Rina may not know the words "pentascales" and "tenths," but she has the intelligence to notice when her fingers move up and down together, playing the same notes an "octave" apart. With a sound knowledge of the music alphabet in both directions, she has good cognitive reinforcement. (She also knows "running notes" or 8ths, "long… Continue reading Growing piano technique in baby steps: Rina, 5, advances to hands together five-finger positions (adding in 10ths)
I have to thank "Lisa" for generating this idea for a new blog. Sometimes, the fountain runs dry until a student experience, teacher-related crisis, or musical event renew the supply. Let me think about this whole issue of picking and choosing the "right" piano teacher. (Applies to adult student-seekers as well) Hmm... I probably covered… Continue reading Scouting a Piano Teacher
Face the music! Most new Conservatory grads with fancy Bachelor of Music, Performance-Piano Degrees bound in leather must improvise when catapulted into the competitive job market. With only a tiny space on the world stage reserved for budding soloists, many aspiring concert pianists will teach privately, wait tables, babysit, or become high school choir accompanists.… Continue reading What can you do with a Performance-Piano Degree?
Scale practicing examples: https://youtu.be/SJGbnFQB8L8 https://youtu.be/Bo1ptHbMu9M https://youtu.be/W3N_9Me7hXQ *** The Backdrop: As a young piano student living in New York City, I remember my reluctance to prepare a mandatory scale each week for my lesson. In fact my first teacher had so many students, she always seemed to forget the scale she had assigned to me, so… Continue reading Why Play Scales?
I previously discussed diminished 7th chords and how they are constructed as an introduction to an actual warm-up routine. The missing ingredient was the student: https://arioso7.wordpress.com/2011/01/19/piano-instruction-playing-diminished-7th-chords-and-arpeggios-video/ In this video, a ten year old pupil fills the bill, romping over the keyboard, joining in a scintillating choreography with her teacher: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mhazCUOzzdI Diminished 7th arpeggio sampled: G#… Continue reading Piano Lesson: Step by step Diminished 7th arpeggio warm-up with a 10 yr. old student
First Lesson: "Flamenco" by Gillock (Early Intermediate Level) Student: Albertina, age 10 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C2vLku_kxR0 This is a teacher/student musical exploration with the use of the second piano at the studio The second piano provides a unique opportunity to share back and forth, provide rhythmic reinforcement when needed, and remind the student about what dynamics, phrase markings,… Continue reading Piano Lessons: The Two-Way Learning Process, Teaching Albertina, and her sister, Ilyana
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ncr1BMTtvOQ Burgmuller, a German composer living in France during the Romantic era composed these delightful programmatic pieces in order of "progressive" difficulty; I've chosen 3 favorites to showcase: "Arabesque," "La Chasse" (The Chase) and "L'Harmonie des Anges" (Harmony of the Angels) Arabesque ("beautiful decoration") is a sprightly, fast paced miniature in "A" minor, that basically… Continue reading More piano teaching favorites: Burgmuller’s 25 Progressive Pieces, op. 100
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RyY3XSl5Wuc Starting a very young child on a musical journey is joyful, exciting and challenging. The first baby steps taken at the piano will be memorable for both teacher and student, so careful thought and preparation are needed. At the very outset, I believe in nurturing an awareness of the singing tone and how it… Continue reading The Joy of Teaching Piano to Young Children (Videos)
I grew up in the Marble Hill projects of the Bronx and lived on the ninth floor. The walls of our housing development were so paper thin that when I practiced on my Sohmer 1922 studio upright, my first dream piano, it would elicit nerve-racking thumps from the neighbor down below. To my embarrassment, I… Continue reading Housing my Dream Pianos
In a routine Yahoo e mail search for a Kawai USA technician I had spoken with a year ago, I stumbled upon a document that I had drafted out of sheer desperation. It related to the decline of my sustain pedal which had been mercilessly pounded by a student who had serious impulse control problems.… Continue reading A Piano Teacher’s Worst Nightmare!