Category Archives: music theory

Theory embedded in phrasing/musical expression

What am I doing up at 2 a.m.? To put it simply, answering an adult student’s inquiry about the theoretical analysis of J.S. Bach Invention 13 in A minor. At our last lesson, I had tweaked her curiosity about the … Continue reading

Posted in Bach Two Part Inventions, blog metrics, harmonic analysis, J.S. Bach, Johann Sebastian Bach, music theory, piano blog, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Ear Training and Transposing are intrinsic to piano lessons (examples from an Adult lesson in progress)

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. … Continue reading

Posted in classical music, classissima, classissima. om, ear training, Fundamentals of Piano Theory by Snell and Ashleigh, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, Mozart Sonata in C Major Rondo Allegretto, Mozart Sonata no. 16 in C Major K. 545, music theory, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Oberlin Conservatory, pianist, piano, piano instruction, piano learning, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano lessons in Berkeley California, piano lessons in El Cerrito California, piano pedagogy, piano playing, word press, word press.com, wordpress, you tube video, you tube.com, yout tube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Skyped Piano Lessons: Using video supplements as reinforcement (Video sent to an 8-year old student)

Today I Skyped a third piano lesson between California and Oregon, and learned that the student I was mentoring was not 10-years old as I had thought all along, but only 8! Dad told me she had 10 months of … Continue reading

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Should piano students listen to recorded performances of pieces they are first beginning to learn?

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 … Continue reading

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Piano Instruction: Debussy Arabesque No. 1 (Video)–and playing through the whole composition

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 … Continue reading

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Piano Instruction: Common student problems related to playing Clementi Sonatina, Op. 36, No. 3, Spiritoso (Video)

The student I’m currently teaching by Skype has received a number of supplemental videos from me that target problems universal to those learning Clementi Sonatina, Op. 36, No. 3. In this video, geared for teachers as well as students, I … Continue reading

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Inspiration and the Piano Student

“Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.” Thomas Edison Blood, sweat and tears and all that invested energy are supposed to produce extraordinary results. We marvel at geniuses in musical, literary, artistic and scientific fields wondering about the ingredients of … Continue reading

Posted in music and heart, music and the breath, music teachers association of california, music theory, musical inspiration, musical phrasing, New York City High School of Performing Arts, New York University, Oberlin Conservatory, phrasing at the piano, pianist, piano, piano addict, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano pedagogy, piano practicing, Piano Street, piano student, piano studio, piano teacher, piano teaching repertoire, piano technique, Piano World, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing piano | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment