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A Piano Student Practices his own Musical Creation (Video)

A composing activity stimulates a 9-year old student's mind and imagination

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What to do in a 90-minute piano lesson? ( A 9-yr. old meets the challenge) Videos

Fritz is a bundle of energy. He comes to his 45-minute lesson each week before soccer practice and has an additional roster of sports activities that keep him in tip- top shape. Into his third year of piano study, his favorite pieces include: "Bear" by Rebikov, which requires a rotation of the Left Hand to… Continue reading What to do in a 90-minute piano lesson? ( A 9-yr. old meets the challenge) Videos

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My weekly breather in El Cerrito: Teaching munchkins in the East Bay (Piano lessons in progress–Videos)

I always look forward to my weekly getaway to El Cerrito because I can take wholesome deep breaths without choking on toxic Central Valley air. Besides, I also get to teach a few delightful munchkins and adults. While the visit is all too short, I still relish my walks amidst the foliage as I ascend… Continue reading My weekly breather in El Cerrito: Teaching munchkins in the East Bay (Piano lessons in progress–Videos)

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My own slow practicing, Presto Agitato, Beethoven’s “Moonlight” Sonata (VIDEO)

This was an opportunity to sift through the first part of the last movement in slow motion following the collaboration with my adult student yesterday. My below tempo practicing, was a baby step progression to a more bravado reading. (when ripening takes effect) This particular practice routine fleshed out various harmonic landmarks, chordal blocks, and… Continue reading My own slow practicing, Presto Agitato, Beethoven’s “Moonlight” Sonata (VIDEO)

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Piano Lesson: Fritz, Age 7, performs his composed piece, “FINDING GOLD” (Video)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFObHOAwNV0 Over a period of three weeks, seven year old Fritz, who'd been taking piano lessons for about 7 months, composed a piece that he titled, "Finding Gold." The student has been using Faber Primer Piano Adventures, with my inserted modifications. He warmed up this past Monday with Lesson Book p. 24, C-D-E-F-G March transposed… Continue reading Piano Lesson: Fritz, Age 7, performs his composed piece, “FINDING GOLD” (Video)

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Individualizing Piano Study: How to avoid Method Book dependency

Over decades of teaching, I've come to the conclusion that each student needs a custom designed long-term lesson plan. Method books only go so far. Often they stratify the learning process, keeping students in an interminably drawn out, regressive C Major universe. For the most part, flats and sharps with Letter Name identifications are regarded… Continue reading Individualizing Piano Study: How to avoid Method Book dependency

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The Piano Teacher as Composer: Using my MOONBEAMS collection as an example (Video)

Why not give composing a try? I did. For the most part, you don't need a degree in composition, but a Theory background helps things along with voice leading in the bass part and understanding the rules of notation. Above all, intuition and inspiration are the main ingredients in any creative undertaking. In 1985 I… Continue reading The Piano Teacher as Composer: Using my MOONBEAMS collection as an example (Video)