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Tempo Rubato and Chopin Waltz in A minor No. 19, Op. Posthumous

Tempo Rubato as defined in Wikipedia: "Tempo rubato (free in the presentation, Italian for: stolen time) is a musical term referring to expressive and rhythmic freedom by a slight speeding up and then slowing down of the tempo of a piece at the discretion of the soloist or the conductor." I think of it in… Continue reading Tempo Rubato and Chopin Waltz in A minor No. 19, Op. Posthumous

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Piano Technique: The Rotating Thumb

With all the cyber forum posts about thumbs up, thumbs down, early or late, advanced or delayed, the ROTATIONAL dimension of the shortest, and most problematic finger is often overlooked, and because of miss-directed attention, the clunky thumb brigade marches relentlessly through countless arpeggios and scales. But change is possible! During the course of this… Continue reading Piano Technique: The Rotating Thumb

arpeggios, Classical music blog, piano, piano blog, piano blogging, piano instruction, piano lessons, piano teaching, piano technique, scales, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten

Piano Technique: Self-created Scale and Arpeggio Prep

Over months and years, I've devised various technique framed routines that happen to be bi-products of trial and error excursions over the keyboard. To the extent that I put myself under self-analysis following a stint of formal piano study, I was able to discard a lion's share of the factory-generated, Conservatory-based litany that encapsulated certain… Continue reading Piano Technique: Self-created Scale and Arpeggio Prep

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Playing J.S. Bach with an awareness of Harmonic Rhythm

In working through Bach's two-part Invention No. 13 in A minor, an adult student and I explored harmonic resolutions and their influence on phrasing. *** While many pupils expect cadences to be predictable resting points where pianists typically taper a musical line, they soon discover with teacher prompts that in the course of a composition,… Continue reading Playing J.S. Bach with an awareness of Harmonic Rhythm

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Mozart played on an acoustic and digital piano

If an acoustic piano is well-voiced and regulated, one can attempt to make a timbre and touch comparison with a "hammer-weighted" digital piano by playing a side-by-side excerpt from the repertoire. In this instance, my Steinway grand is in the process of undergoing hammer filing and regulation, so the two instruments are not perhaps justly… Continue reading Mozart played on an acoustic and digital piano

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Piano Lesson: Mozart Rondo, Allegretto- Sonata K. 545 with a pedal pushback to Andante

Each teaching encounter brings a new awakening. A composition that's been practiced to death, taught times over, recorded, retired and reviewed, can still experience a rebirth when a student embarks upon his/her individual musical journey. It's like a parent (mentor) reliving one's own childhood by having children. On Skype today, a pupil who had conscientiously… Continue reading Piano Lesson: Mozart Rondo, Allegretto- Sonata K. 545 with a pedal pushback to Andante

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Chopin and Bach piano lesson excerpts

Most students welcome recorded recaps of their lessons for practicing reminders and direction. While the editing time is significant, the overall effort results in a fine-tuned clarification of fingering, phrasing, dynamics etc. with a space margin for reconsideration of interpretation. After all, no reading within an artistic frame is set in stone. ** Yesterday, I… Continue reading Chopin and Bach piano lesson excerpts