It's not easy to plan a one hour piano lesson to include ear training, solfege and transposing. (They belong together, bundled with Theory, and enrich the learning environment) At the Oberlin Conservatory, Theory, Keyboard Harmony, and Eurhythmics were taught separately. Our piano teachers (applied study) adhered to their rigid routine, rarely fitting solfege, sight-reading, improvising,… Continue reading Ear Training and Transposing are intrinsic to piano lessons (examples from an Adult lesson in progress)
"From watching great pianists it is obvious that they incorporate quite different movements to achieve the same goals, because people do not play piano with fingers but rather with the mind and the ear. Again, it is the clear image of what kind of sound one wants to achieve, combined with the knowledge of how… Continue reading Irina Morozova’s inspiring words flow through a lesson with an adult student (Beethoven’s Fur Elise-in-progress) Video
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.
I would never have entertained the idea of teaching a 4-year old child. Over the years I had adhered to a rigid age boundary when accepting new piano students. Seven was the magic number. When an opportunity arose to sample a new book created by Irina Gorin that focused on instruction for children in the… Continue reading Thoughts about teaching a 4-year old with an innovative approach (Tales of a Musical Journey)
I was thinking of Palmer's edition of Chopin, an Introduction to His Music, and when I first purchased it years ago there was no inserted CD of recorded selections contained in the album. With subsequent published editions, a CD popped into an envelope, beckoning a player to sample another pianist's interpretation of music he had… Continue reading Should piano students listen to recorded performances of pieces they are first beginning to learn?
I first came to know this piece when a fifth grader at P.S. 122 in the Bronx was selected to play it at our student assembly. The ebb and flowing beauty of this work was so poignant, that I stored it away in my memory until I was able to personally experience this composition years… Continue reading Piano Instruction: Debussy Arabesque No. 1 (Video)–and playing through the whole composition
I wish I could have waved a magic wand when I was six years old and produced a beginning teacher who would have artfully nursed me through my crawling stage to a graceful, phrase-loving adulthood at the piano. I needed to learn how to produce a singing tone, moving with agility from one note to… Continue reading About the physical side of playing piano: What we need to teach at all levels (Videos)
A universal complaint among piano students relates to sight-reading. They find themselves stumbling through the first playing of a brand new piece, not knowing if an end is in sight. The faltering, (wrong note, right note in treble and bass clefs) can keep a "reader" so contained in one measure at a time, if not… Continue reading How to Improve Sight-reading at the Piano