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The very first Chopin Waltz that I teach: #19, Op. Posth. in A minor (Video instruction)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJ--gGIwgAA After decades of teaching the Chopin Waltzes, I've come to the conclusion that the A minor, No. 19, Op. Posthumous is the best student introduction to the form as the composer cultivated it. While many other Waltzes in Chopin's collection are far more substantial and technically challenging, No. 19, is in my opinion, easiest… Continue reading The very first Chopin Waltz that I teach: #19, Op. Posth. in A minor (Video instruction)

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Why Play Scales?

Scale practicing examples: https://youtu.be/SJGbnFQB8L8 https://youtu.be/Bo1ptHbMu9M https://youtu.be/W3N_9Me7hXQ *** The Backdrop: As a young piano student living in New York City, I remember my reluctance to prepare a mandatory scale each week for my lesson. In fact my first teacher had so many students, she always seemed to forget the scale she had assigned to me, so… Continue reading Why Play Scales?

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Performance Anxiety and the Pianist

For too long performance anxiety was a taboo subject, always swept under the rug. I remember grappling with paralyzing jitters during my years at the New York City High School of Performing Arts. My piano teacher at the time, a seasoned professional, would always say the same thing: "Honey, the music is bigger than you… Continue reading Performance Anxiety and the Pianist

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Piano Lesson: Step by step Diminished 7th arpeggio warm-up with a 10 yr. old student

I previously discussed diminished 7th chords and how they are constructed as an introduction to an actual warm-up routine. The missing ingredient was the student: https://arioso7.wordpress.com/2011/01/19/piano-instruction-playing-diminished-7th-chords-and-arpeggios-video/ In this video, a ten year old pupil fills the bill, romping over the keyboard, joining in a scintillating choreography with her teacher: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mhazCUOzzdI Diminished 7th arpeggio sampled: G#… Continue reading Piano Lesson: Step by step Diminished 7th arpeggio warm-up with a 10 yr. old student

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Practicing Bach Inventions 4 and 13 with my 10 year old piano student

We had fun videotaping part of a lesson from a different camera angle. My student and I sat in front of our separate pianos, collaborating on two Bach Inventions. (Number 4 in D minor and number 13 in A minor) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Y3CaCycoHE In the first segment, my pupil is playing through the d minor Invention, mostly… Continue reading Practicing Bach Inventions 4 and 13 with my 10 year old piano student

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Teaching Piano to Teenagers: Classical, Pop, Taylor Swift, Liz on Top of the World and more (Videos)

There's always room for flexibility in choice of repertoire, especially when teaching teenagers. Alex, 18, had taken lessons during primary school, took a long break and returned to the piano as a senior in high school. His first request was to study "Liz on Top of the World," by Dario Marianelli from the movie, "Pride… Continue reading Teaching Piano to Teenagers: Classical, Pop, Taylor Swift, Liz on Top of the World and more (Videos)

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Piano Lessons: The Two-Way Learning Process, Teaching Albertina, and her sister, Ilyana

First Lesson: "Flamenco" by Gillock (Early Intermediate Level) Student: Albertina, age 10 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C2vLku_kxR0 This is a teacher/student musical exploration with the use of the second piano at the studio The second piano provides a unique opportunity to share back and forth, provide rhythmic reinforcement when needed, and remind the student about what dynamics, phrase markings,… Continue reading Piano Lessons: The Two-Way Learning Process, Teaching Albertina, and her sister, Ilyana