Claudia has made significant gains this year. She's shaping her phrases more, and becoming ear-attentive and physically responsive to the music she plays. Today, she made additional headway with J.S. Bach's Prelude in C minor, BWV 847. Coming into her lesson with two introductory readings, she was bobbing her head up and down, reinforcing beats… Continue reading Down to the wire: An 11-year old piano student prepares for a competitive Baroque event (VIDEO) with a tender flashback
This morning, Claudia, 11, practiced the J.S. Bach A minor Invention behind tempo, (in slow motion) to improve her musical/technical understanding of the composition. She worked on "weaving"/shaping the main idea or subject, which is a broken chord figure. The interaction between hands or voices (there are two them) was a particular focus, as it… Continue reading Piano Lesson Excerpts: Practicing the Bach Invention 13 in A minor (Videos)
Today was Rina's 14th piano lesson and she's moving right along. Her hand position is greatly improved and she has a nice appreciation of the singing tone. Irina Gorin's instruction is laid out in such a way that a student takes no short cuts in learning piano. The physical approach to creating a beautiful tone,… Continue reading Piano Lesson: Rina, 4, learns about “Long and Short sounds meeting High and Low Sounds,” Chapter 15, Tales of a Musical Journey (Videos)
I was reminded by a reader of my post titled, "When love for the piano dies.." and in that particular writing I focused on situations where certain pressures brought by parents and/or the piano teacher can trigger practicing avoidance, leading to the obvious, piano lesson termination. In these scenarios, mom or dad may live through… Continue reading When a piano student is not working up to potential, the meeting and e-mail that are needed…
My original opinion on this topic was unequivocal. I would never use a metronome under any circumstances in my teaching except to consult for overall tempo. The expression, to be “ticked off” summed up my attitude toward the robotic beat counter. Setting the wand to any magic number created a despairing search for the downbeat… Continue reading The Metronome, a blessing or curse?
Most of my late intermediate and advanced students know the routine at lessons. The first twenty minutes are spent warming up in the Key they've been assigned the previous week. Once seated at the piano, they're ready for a challenging kinetic whirl around the keyboard as scales and arpeggios dance through the cosmos in various… Continue reading The Complete Piano Work-out in 3 parts (Videos)
Today I Skyped a third piano lesson between California and Oregon, and learned that the student I was mentoring was not 10-years old as I had thought all along, but only 8! Dad told me she had 10 months of lessons altogether, wherein I became involved only weeks ago at the father's invitation. But the… Continue reading Skyped Piano Lessons: Using video supplements as reinforcement (Video sent to an 8-year old student)