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)
I begin by playing the Sonatina, first movement and then I map out the composition to advance thoughtful learning and memorization. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNuMbp_q9X0 RELATED: https://arioso7.wordpress.com/2011/06/17/memorization-at-the-piano-how-to-improve-your-skills/
Memorization should be a natural outflow of consistent, thoughtful practicing. Thoughtful is underscored because it's the most important ingredient in the process of playing a studied piece without music. It means having mental assists that relate to mapping out a particular composition without chance reliance on intuition or instinct. So if you suddenly find yourself… Continue reading Memorization at the piano: How to improve your skills
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCck4ZFNeQI When students do routine scales and arpeggios as warm-ups to their tour de force pieces, I like to spice things up a bit by playing around with voicing and weight control. (Yes, you heard me right) I'll surprise them by asking for the Left hand notes to be fleshed out, while the Right ones… Continue reading Piano Technique and Weight Control: Bringing out and balancing voices (Video) Teacher, Shirley Kirsten
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)
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)
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?