Category Archives: piano pedagogy

Finding a melodic thread in a sea of fast notes

Compositions that are laden with myriads of fast paced notes often pose a problem for students whose immediate response is to efficiently “type” them out. Implementing such a mechanical approach often excludes an awareness of a melodic strand that will … Continue reading

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A “cool” dip into Quicktime for wrist, finger, and forearm staccato practice

Amazing how 90-degree temperatures in the East Bay can wreak havoc over Face Time transmissions. It nearly made Online mentoring come to a grinding halt yesterday! except that a Quick Time saving grace Lesson Preserver came to the rescue! *** … Continue reading

Posted in adult piano instruction, adult piano lessons, legato, online piano instruction, piano, piano blog, piano pedagogy, piano teaching, piano technique, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, staccato | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

No dumbing down piano study for adult students

I’m ready for a shower of criticism on this one. After all, some adults want their favorite transcription of the Elvira Madigan theme song, (aka Mozart’s Concerto No. 21 in C, Andante) to encapsulate their musical journey—at least for part … Continue reading

Posted in adult piano instruction, adult piano pupils, adult piano students, Kinderszenen, piano blog, piano blogging, piano pedagogy, piano transcriptions, Robert Schumann, Scenes of Childhood, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Traumerei, wordpress, you tube | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Piano Lesson summary videos cut to the chase

I used to customarily record segments of lessons in progress that required sensitive editing before I uploaded them to you tube. It was not only a big job, but much of the video time was taken up with students lumbering … Continue reading

Posted in adult piano lessons, Bach, Bach Invention, Beethoven, Beethoven Bagatelles, Classical music blog, piano, piano addict, piano blog, piano blogging, piano learning, piano lessons, piano pedagogy, Piano Street, piano teaching, Piano World, recorded piano lesson videos, Shirley Kirsten, summary piano videos | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Piano Technique: No Pain, Much Gain

Sometimes we learn a floating, flowing path to beauty through the unfortunate school of HARD knocks. To this effect, I recall my esteemed Oberlin Conservatory piano teacher dealing in mindless, stressful repetitions of meaningless exercises that caused joint pain and … Continue reading

Posted in Irina Morozova, Oberlin Conservatory, piano pedagogy, piano playing, piano teaching, piano technique | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Pedaling Chopin Waltz No. 19 in A minor, Op. Posthumous

When considering ways to pedal Chopin’s ethereal A minor Waltz, I think back to Stephen Hough and his teacher’s comments about the learning process: “I don’t care how you’re playing the piece now, what I care about is how you’ll … 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