Ilyana has been studying piano for two years. Currently, she's working on various weight applications for staccato. I found that imaging a basketball being bounced vs. a ping pong ball being tapped, helped the student with her overall physical approach. The short video below illustrates. We ended up playing 8th notes, not being overly ambitious… Continue reading Piano Technique: Teaching a 9-year old Staccato and weight application–Think bouncing a basketball vs. ping pong ball tapping (Videos)
In poring over my library of blogs, with October, 2010 as their anniversary date, I found this one from May, 2011, with an embedded video that explored more ways to weigh in with the Left Hand. https://arioso7.wordpress.com/2011/05/29/piano-technique-and-weight-control-bringing-out-and-balancing-voices-video-teacher-shirley-kirsten/ A recent comment by a visitor on the subject of Left Hand enhancement, enlivened the discussion and synched… Continue reading More on boosting the Left Hand in piano playing
Here are riveting quotes from two adult students: The Italics are my emphasis. 1) "I feel like I’m in the adult student ghetto, where much latitude is given and few results are expected. We’re all supposed to be doing it 'for fun.' In a way, of course, that’s right. But in another way, if we… Continue reading Are Adult Piano Students Stigmatized?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4mvDKuMLEl4 Sometimes a piano teacher has no choice but to talk in silly made up syllables while drawing on playground analogies to get a particular piece off the ground. The Chopin Etude Op. 25 no. 9 in Gb was no exception. An adult student who revisited this warhorse responded positively to "rollaleedles," elbow taps, and… Continue reading Teaching Chopin’s Gb Etude, Op. 25 no. 9: Think pogo sticks, “rollaleedles,” and elbow revolutions
The piano room was a mess yesterday with music strewn about. Two '60-'70's era Beatles albums were excavated from a pile of sheet music, hard bound theory texts, and Urtext editions of Beethoven's sonatas. Foraging a big carton of stuff like this was a trip down memory lane. My very old Yamaha guitar, a prized… Continue reading Letting my hair down with a snatch of “Let It Be!” (VIDEO)
Bb C D Eb F G A Bb C D Eb F G A Bb *** Last night I had a rap session with a student on the subject of his favorite scale. And it quickly dawned on me that this whole area of discussion, while definitely out of the mainstream and not a life… Continue reading The most reviled scale for piano players!! (Video)
I remember Art Linkletter's show, "Kids Say the Darndest Things," which made me think of a few adult piano students and their hauntingly memorable words. Yesterday, for example, I was forewarned by a 70-year old pupil, that I should expect a call from her during the night about the key of "F# minor." What impending… Continue reading Adult piano students say and do the darndest things.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZxNy1VeOjk up tempo: http://youtu.be/t-3D6-s5qok Be prepared to exercise your eyeballs minus head movements when tackling large leaps, especially those hand-over-hand acrobatics that are intrinsic to many of Domenico Scarlatti's sonatas. In the first video I've isolated a few of these jumps from Sonata K. 113 in A Major, demonstrating what I've found to be the… Continue reading Piano Technique: Big Leaps, Crossed Hands, and shifty eyeballs (with slow motion video replay)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQiaWoJaUfQ Domenico Scarlatti never fails to come up with a flashy pyrotechnical escapade that can make or break a player in progress. I know, because I've walked the plank with this piece until I was able to reverse my fortune and run with it happily into the horizon. Any number of times those repeated notes,… Continue reading Domenico Scarlatti Sonata (Toccata) in D minor, K. 141 with reams of repeated notes (VIDEO)
I cleared most of my Saturday morning lessons so I could be on time for a special rehearsal at Fresno State. I took no chances given the steady rain these past few days that caused dangerously deep puddles along Shaw Avenue. The inevitable flow of traffic to crowd-jamming Bulldog games would also be a time… Continue reading The Big Baroque Festival!