Category Archives: piano blogging

Trading places with our piano students

As teachers, the empathy we have for a pupil’s budding learning process with its slips and slides, is at the foundation of good mentoring. By remembering what it’s like to be in the student’s position, sitting at the piano under … Continue reading

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A Jet-setting adult student makes time for piano

No need to say Play it Again Sam, to Sam P. who’s been a super dedicated piano student ever since he approached me for lessons in Berkeley, nearly 4 years ago. And if we factor in a significant interruption of … Continue reading

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Piano Technique: Soft staccato scales with projection, springboard energy, resilience, and shape

One of the biggest weaknesses that present in soft dynamic range staccato scales, is a lack of projection. Students often snuff out notes, play them in a whisper without a tenacious spring UP character, or a necessary rebound effect from … Continue reading

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Piano Technique: Working with the character of rhythms

It’s easy to assess a student’s difficulty with navigating scales in progressive tempo framings from quarters to 8th notes to 16ths, etc. as being the result of shortcomings in rhythmic perception, when a larger cosmos of awareness is lacking. I … Continue reading

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A 9-year old’s “complete” piano lesson integrates theory and ear training

After 9 months of study, “Liz” whom I’ve followed at regular recorded intervals since her first lesson in mid-February, has been exposed to multi-tiered music learning that’s incorporated a Theory and Ear Training dimension. (Note the choice of Frances Clark’s … Continue reading

Posted in piano blog, piano blogging, piano instruction, Shirley Kirsten, teaching piano to children | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Phrasing at the Piano: Direction and Destination

Often I query my students about the “destination” and “direction” of phrases within a particular composition. Naturally, my questions are a reflection of a need to clarify what arrivals are significant in the transit of notes. Part of this exploration … Continue reading

Posted in Chopin, Frederic Chopin, phrasing at the piano, piano, piano blog, piano blogging, piano instruction, piano lessons, Shirley Kirsten | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

What should be natural is hard for many piano students

I often think about artificial barriers that many students erect when practicing. Of the adults whom I’ve mentored (and learned from) over the years some have had a formidable line of defense against “hitting” wrong notes. In many cases they’ve … Continue reading

Posted in piano, piano blog, piano blogging, piano technique, Shirley Kirsten, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments