Category Archives: piano instruction

Mirrors and piano playing

As we age, we’re reluctant to look at our reflection in the mirror, but as we grow over time as musicians, the mirror of our playing in recorded “reflections” can foster quality adjustments in phrasing and interpretation. If we nudge … Continue reading

Posted in Alfred Brendel, blog metrics, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, pianist, piano, piano addict, piano blog, piano blogging, piano instruction, piano lessons, Piano Street, Piano World, piano worldwide, recording, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Barnyard follies in the piano studio, or how imaginative prompts can improve technique

As piano teachers, we often devise spur of the moment, impromptu strategies to deal with redundant student glitches as they frequently play out in scales and arpeggios. In this creative teaching/learning universe, we can become quite imaginative as we integrate … Continue reading

Posted in piano, piano blog, piano blogging, piano instruction, piano technique, scales and arpeggios | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Why is practicing slowly so unpopular?

There appears to be a stigma attached to parceling out a brand new piece in deliberately slow tempo, where a player threads through separate lines with a commitment to expression framed by an ultra-relaxed singing pulse. In the best realization … Continue reading

Posted in piano, piano blog, piano instruction, piano lessons, piano practicing, piano teaching, slow piano practicing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

A Domenico Scarlatti Sonata that enables Finger and Forearm Staccato

It’s been decades since my beloved N.Y.C. piano teacher, Lillian Freundlich bestowed upon me the gift of Domenico Scarlatti Sonatas. And at the time, (while I was a student at the New York City H.S. of Performing Arts) I had … Continue reading

Posted in adult piano instruction, adult piano instructn, Domenico Scarlatti, Lillian Freundlich, piano instruction, piano lessons, piano technique, Scarlatti Sonatas, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Centering the beat for cohesion in scale playing

“…No matter what the mood to be conveyed, or how sensitive the playing, it is the rhythm that binds the expression.” Mildred Portney Chase, Just Being at the Piano Most students, including myself, sometimes find ourselves running away from our … Continue reading

Posted in adult instruction, adult piano pupils, adult piano student, piano blog, piano blogging, piano instruction, piano, piano teaching, piano playing, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Patience reminders for impatient adult piano students

I was about to lose patience with a student this past week who lost patience with himself in the early practicing phase of a Bach Prelude. It was a common circumstance. An expectation was built into the adult psyche over … Continue reading

Posted in piano, piano blog, piano blogging, piano instruction, piano learning, piano lessons, Shirley Kirsten | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Chopin’s Fantasie-Impromptu rises above Facebook etiquette

This morning I was greeted by a Timeline addition to my Facebook page that was worrisome. The header was, “Is this your student?” It framed a precociously youthful performance of the Fantasie-Impromptu that was at best hammered out and musically … Continue reading

Posted in Chopin, Cyprien Katsaris, Fantasie-Impromptu, Frederic Chopin, piano instruction, piano teaching | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments