blogmetrics.org, Classical music blog, French Suite, French Suites, J.S. Bach, Johann Sebastian Bach, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, piano, piano teaching, Shirley Smith Kirsten

Keeping up our skills as piano teachers, with an “eye” to taking on challenges

I couldn't resist juxtaposing the importance of learning new and challenging music with an "eye" toward how we can best accomplish our short and long-term goals within our teaching milieu. (The EYE metaphor becomes CLEARER and dual serving as the posting progresses.) *** So many music teachers have a tight schedule of back-to-back students that… Continue reading Keeping up our skills as piano teachers, with an “eye” to taking on challenges

Bach French Suites, J.S. Bach, Johann Sebastian Bach, piano

Learning a new and challenging piece along with a student

It's easy for piano teachers to inhabit a comfortable space, teaching mainly repertoire that they've well learned, put away and brought back for review. It can perpetuate a stale process of retreading "old" pieces without posing a refreshing self-made challenge to learn a complex "new" work from the ground up side-by-side with a pupil. About… Continue reading Learning a new and challenging piece along with a student

Claudio Arrau, J.S. Bach, Johann Sebastian Bach, piano technique

Piano Technique: Shaking out Bach Ornaments! and the influence of Claudio Arrau

When working on executing ornaments with an adult student as they appear in J.S. Bach's Prelude in F minor, I thought instantly of Claudio Arrau's allusions to "shaking" these out, without having a thread of tension in the arms, wrists, and hands. One of his biographers, Joseph Horowitz, profiled the pianist in an extensive interview… Continue reading Piano Technique: Shaking out Bach Ornaments! and the influence of Claudio Arrau

Bach, Egon Petri, J.S. Bach, Johann Sebastian Bach, piano, piano arrangement, piano transcription, Sheep May Safely Graze, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten

Learning J.S. Bach’s “Sheep May Safely Graze” (Egon Petri piano transcription)

Egon Petri offers a transcription of J.S. Bach's "Sheep May Safely Graze," (based on the Baroque composer's "Birthday" Cantata) and it's drawn a cult of admirers, mostly adult students begging to learn it. The work originally scored for two flutes, soprano and continuo, comes a close second in popularity to "Flight of the Bumblebee," with… Continue reading Learning J.S. Bach’s “Sheep May Safely Graze” (Egon Petri piano transcription)

Fugue, Fugue Analysis, J.S. Bach, Johann Sebastian Bach, piano

Putting Slow Practicing to good use in a J.S. Bach Fugue Analysis

I've been my own mentor to the exponential these past intensified 48 hours as I immersed myself in a slow, deep-layered analysis of J.S.Bach's Fugue in Ab, BWV 862 (Well-Tempered Clavier Book 1) The detailed exploration not only heightened my understanding of this ingenious composition, but it increased my love and reverence for it. So… Continue reading Putting Slow Practicing to good use in a J.S. Bach Fugue Analysis

fugue form, Fugue Structure, J.S. Bach

A Bach Fugue is a neuron booster and soul searcher

In my tepid re-entry into the universe of piano repertoire for two hands, I chose what would be the antithesis of a comfort zone in my injury recovery phase. But just the same, my brain needed stimulation, building neurotransmitters, as it signaled the hands and fingers to regroup in a gradual healing process. Without doubt,… Continue reading A Bach Fugue is a neuron booster and soul searcher

Bach Prelude no. 17, Baroque music, blog, blogger, blogmetrics.org, BWV862, California, fingering, J.S. Bach, J.S. Bach Prelude in Ab, Johann Sebastian Bach, learning a new piano composition, making fingering choices, pianist, piano, piano blog, piano blogging, piano instruction, piano lessons, piano teaching, piano technique, piano tutorial, practicing new piano music, Preludes and Fugues, setting a good piano fingering, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, tutorial, Well-Tempered Clavier

J.S. Bach Prelude in Ab, BWV 862: A Fresh Start for Student and Teacher

In the course of teaching, a situation may arise where a particular favored piece is requested by a student that I've never studied--which means a deep-layered journey is ahead of two learning partners. And given that J.S. Bach's Prelude and Fugue in Ab, (Well-Tempered Clavier Book 1) requires thoughtful fingering choices; an awareness of Baroque… Continue reading J.S. Bach Prelude in Ab, BWV 862: A Fresh Start for Student and Teacher