These are two supplementary videos that I created for adult students between lessons. As previously mentioned, they clarify and reinforce the content of our class, and map out ways to practice. I. ROTATION at the turnaround of a B minor Arpeggio Exploring the curve at the very top of the figure with an energy boost… Continue reading Piano Technique: Focusing on Rotation in arpeggios, and building up a scale (Videos)
Solfeggio, or using Do, Re, Mi, etc. musical syllables is a valuable adjunct to naming notes with letter names. It improves sight-reading and transposing while it develops ear-training skills.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFObHOAwNV0 Over a period of three weeks, seven year old Fritz, who'd been taking piano lessons for about 7 months, composed a piece that he titled, "Finding Gold." The student has been using Faber Primer Piano Adventures, with my inserted modifications. He warmed up this past Monday with Lesson Book p. 24, C-D-E-F-G March transposed… Continue reading Piano Lesson: Fritz, Age 7, performs his composed piece, “FINDING GOLD” (Video)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RraBDtDo9Nw Beethoven's C# minor Sonata, Op. 27, No. 2, the "Moonlight") RELATED: https://arioso7.wordpress.com/2011/04/03/piano-instruction-out-of-a-rut-with-spot-practicing/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lk7Bnd6xD9Y The great pianist, Josef Hofmann, imparted words of wisdom when he answered the following question posed by a student that related to the thumb and piano technique: "What is the matter with my scales? I cannot play them without a perceptible jerk when I use my thumb. How can I overcome the unevenness?" The… Continue reading Piano Technique: Thumb Shifts in Playing Scales and Arpeggios (Video)
Why not give composing a try? I did. For the most part, you don't need a degree in composition, but a Theory background helps things along with voice leading in the bass part and understanding the rules of notation. Above all, intuition and inspiration are the main ingredients in any creative undertaking. In 1985 I… Continue reading The Piano Teacher as Composer: Using my MOONBEAMS collection as an example (Video)
Music Theory doesn't have to be drudgery If I turn the clock back to my early days as a piano student, I can say without a doubt that I absolutely HATED “Music Theory” or anything remotely related to it. And I can clearly thank my very pedantic teacher, Mrs. Schwed for this aversion. She made… Continue reading Music Theory and Piano Study: It doesn’t have to be drudgery
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
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?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oc9_wRE4MN8 I made this video after plunking the "devil" beside Bb Major in my previous blog, so if you review the basic approach in that post, you'll get my sway about scales in general. It's always better to think in GROUPS rather than individual notes. For F# minor in its Natural or PURE form, let's… Continue reading Piano Instruction: Learning the F# minor scale (video)