The latest provocative teacher exchange is taking place on Facebook at the "Art of Piano Pedagogy" which has now become a private forum. When it comes to teaching philosophies, many are intensely opinionated. From my perspective, I passionately believe in sharing my ground-up musical insights with students to justify my presence at the lesson in… Continue reading The business of copying the piano teacher: Who has the final say or PLAY?
One of my adult students is working on the gorgeous J.C. Bach Prelude in A minor which has a second page full of "Major," "Minor" and "Diminished" chords. The sonorities progress in sequences, but they also have a secondary dominant relationship to resolving chords. The "harmonic rhythm" moves quickly. While this particular pupil may not… Continue reading Using piano repertoire as a springboard for a theory lesson: Major, minor and Diminished Chords (Videos)
An adult student practiced the transition from the opening Largo broken chord, to grouping double 8th-notes in the Allegro, by blocking them, then unraveling the duple figures. The Adagio that followed required phrasing with an ear toward shaping the line in a different temporal universe before a spill of note-pairs in a tension-building crescendo. Video:… Continue reading Piano Lesson in progress: Beethoven “Tempest” Sonata, Op. 31, No. 2 (shaping the opening phrases) Video
Scales can be a great workout routine if you let your arms loose, dip your pliant wrists and go with the flow. And it's a great cardio. (No treadmill or weights required) Just apply principles of balance and buoyancy. Here are snatches from an adult student's lesson (Legato and staccato playing with slow motion replays)… Continue reading Piano Technique: A Bouncy Scale workout with forward arm rolls and supple wrist motions–Enjoy the romp! (Videos)
I show my 13-year old student, Albertina how to dip/roll the last measures of Burgmuller's frenzied Ballade, while applying weight control to taper a phrase. (diminuendo) We're on the final lap of preparation for Saturday's Spring Recital! http://youtu.be/FjaKqpnUq08 ONLINE Webcam piano classes and Instructional schedule: http://www.powhow.com/classes/shirley-kirsten Play through: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTR0BIMxCdA
You can imagine any number of approaches to an arpeggio that will nudge it along to fluidity. One, is thinking that the elbows, arms, and wrists are playing the fingers. In a sense the fingers are the end of a total arm suspension. Relaxation is the key word. The C# minor arpeggio is thankfully symmetrical… Continue reading Piano Technique: Practicing the C# minor Arpeggio in a myriad of ways (Video)
Since Rina embarked upon legato playing two weeks ago in a five-finger position "roll" up and down, she's made a nice transition to rendering her pieces in smooth and connected style. The detached-note playing for at least 6 months prepared her for LEGATO. Here's "Frere Jacques" in C Major, and minor.(using Eb) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_pzkLrQbjYk Rina "READS"… Continue reading Piano Lesson: Rina, 5, plays “Frere Jacques” in C Major and “sad” minor, with legato fingering (smooth and connected) Video