Category Archives: piano instruction

“Counting Correctly, but Playing Un-rhythmically”

“The habit of counting correctly but playing unrhythmically develops easily in the beginning and is too often overlooked.” – Richard Chronister (A Piano Teacher’s Legacy, Ed. Edward Darling) http://www.amazon.com/Teachers-Selected-Writings-Richard-Chronister/dp/0976116308 I love this quote, because many students count out beats quite … Continue reading

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Piano Technique: Playing scales without bumps or accents

It’s common for piano students to divide their scales into well-boxed rhythmic compartments, emphasizing the fundamental beat that interrupts a smooth flowing legato (connecting from note to note). Sometimes players are unaware of their reinforced “beat” counting impulses and need … Continue reading

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J.S. Bach Prelude No. 1 in C, Voicing and Harmonic Rhythm (my ideas and Seymour Bernstein’s)

A musician’s understanding of a masterwork is a composite of ideas derived from many sources. In the course of piano study, perceptions change and grow, enlarged by a combined theoretical and musical examination of a composition that invites mentors into … Continue reading

Posted in Bach Prelude in C from Well-Tempered Clavier, J.S. Bach, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, pianist, piano, piano blog, piano instruction, piano pedagogy, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Well-Tempered Clavier | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Approaching a brand new piece with spirit and emotion

When piano students first encounter a fresh page of music, they will often wade through the notes as best as they can, fumbling here and there without an adjusted framing pulse or investment of animated interest in what the notes … Continue reading

Posted in adult piano instruction, Dimitri Kabalevsky, Dimitry Kabalevsky, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, Kabalevsky, Online piano lessons, piano, piano blog, piano blogging, piano instruction, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano lessons by Face Time, piano lessons by Skype, Shirley Kirsten | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Phrase loving exchange between Teacher and Student (Mozart Sonata in C, K. 545)

Tonight’s lesson with Judy had inspiring moments within a phrase sharing interplay. We started out singing the opening measures of the composer’s charming masterpiece, emphasizing a singing line supported by harmonies cresting and dipping into resolutions. The vocal lead-in, threaded … Continue reading

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Multiple SKYPE CALL RECORDER Playback views for a Piano Lesson: J.C. Bach Prelude in A minor

As prep for my presentation to the Music Teachers Association (Alameda Branch), I’ve put together a series of exemplary SKYPE Lessons demonstrating the technology to best advantage. In fact my May 11th Program title is, “Teaching Piano by Skype: Braving … Continue reading

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Weaving Theory and Harmonic Rhythm into a piano lesson

The flow of harmony in and out of pieces should be a big part of a piano lesson. Yet it’s one thing to isolate chords in student a hand-out, but quite another to bring phrases to life with an infusion … Continue reading

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