Piano Technique: Different Strokes for Different Folks

I’ve heard myself say a thousand times over, that each individual piano student deserves a custom designed plan of study.

In essence, there’s no instructional METHOD fixed in perpetuity that will fit every musical traveler. In fact, with a diversity of student personalities, backgrounds, and approaches to life/career (where adults, in particular, apply), some pupils for one reason or another, will lunge and grab at notes, while others have a more detached, laissez-faire, “tracing paper” relationship to the instrument. (excuse the mixed metaphor)

For those who transfer the ethos of a dog-eat-dog world of corporate competition to the piano, I become a Life Coach/Psychologist, de-emphasizing a DEEP, in the KEYS WARM-UP. Instead, I substitute a PARADOXICAL LIGHT-NESS of BEING APPROACH.

To the OVERDETERMINED, I say, Throw fate to the wind.

Don’t grab, stab, or capture the RIGHT notes. They’ll be there without op_PRESSIVE over-possession. (Shed the Napoleanic Banner!)


FlOAT, and gently roll your arms/hands into the scale. Think clouds, magic carpets, or whatever releases the body from enslaved tension.


“STATE of Mind,” always comes to MIND: An ever-evolving GLOSSARY of nonsense syllables and mental images feed the imagination, freeing the spirit. Students shuffle pads and take notes.

“How to undo a sweat and tears, Pain/gain, Battle-ready, rage against the 88 demonic finger traps?”

Simply, “LIGHTEN the strokes for these FOLKS.”

About arioso7: Shirley Kirsten

International piano teacher by Skype, recording artist, composer, piano finder, freelance writer, film maker, story teller: Grad of the NYC HS of Performing Arts, Oberlin Conservatory, NYU (Master of Arts) Studies with Lillian Freundlich and Ena Bronstein; Master classes with Murray Perahia and Oxana Yablonskaya. Studios in BERKELEY and EL CERRITO, California; Member, Music Teachers Assoc. of California, MTAC; Distance learning and Skyped instruction with supplementary videos: SKYPE ID, shirleypiano1 Contact me at: shirley_kirsten@yahoo.com OR http://www.youtube.com/arioso7 or at FACEBOOK: Shirley Smith Kirsten, http://facebook.com /shirley.kirsten TWITTER: http://twitter.com/arioso7 Private fund-raising for non-profits as pianist--Public Speaking re: piano teaching and creative approaches
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5 Responses to Piano Technique: Different Strokes for Different Folks

  1. Pingback: Piano Technique: Different Strokes for Different Folks – Burning Bushes Music

  2. Pingback: Piano Technique: Different Strokes for Different Folks | Liv Morales

  3. Pingback: Piano Technique: Different Strokes for Different Folks | Henry Tan

  4. I love this idea regarding scales. I have grandchildren who are showing interest in the piano and I will certainly incorporate this idea into their practice regime. Thank you.


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