The video attached to this writing validates the beauty of music-making on a well-maintained, though 1940s vintage era acoustic piano. Baldwin Acrosonics were the Cadillacs of the spinet and console variety pianos. They had a noticeable innovation compared to their sister-size instruments. (A deeper sound chamber, especially noted in the consoles that measured 40" or… Continue reading Into the Hills with the Sound of Music –a Baldwin Acrosonic “acoustic” sings
In spite of my having studied piano for decades, each learning experience is filled with challenges that I must approach with a glut of patience. A new composition has its own form, architecture, harmonic rhythm, fingering that requires a big reserve of self-acceptance in a deadline-free frame. To the contrary, many of my students, who… Continue reading The piano learning process at all levels of study
The C Major scale is more than meets the "I," if you're the one practicing it!
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
Rina may not know the words "pentascales" and "tenths," but she has the intelligence to notice when her fingers move up and down together, playing the same notes an "octave" apart. With a sound knowledge of the music alphabet in both directions, she has good cognitive reinforcement. (She also knows "running notes" or 8ths, "long… Continue reading Growing piano technique in baby steps: Rina, 5, advances to hands together five-finger positions (adding in 10ths)
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
In order from Part One to Six: I. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bd-lC_JeNS0 II. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9VNsvfyNtE III. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntQ4fJ-Swlg IV. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fargqHQiJfk V. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pd52itE4aAQ VI. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwQzBpWJWqs LINKS: Part ONE: Beethoven Tempest Sonata in D minor https://arioso7.wordpress.com/2012/04/01/practicing-tips-for-beethovens-tempest-sonata-op-31-no-2-part-one-video/ Part TWO Instruction https://arioso7.wordpress.com/2012/04/01/piano-instuction-part-two-beethovens-tempest-sonata-hand-cross-over-with-tremolo-in-the-middle-voice/ Part THREE Instruction https://arioso7.wordpress.com/2012/04/03/piano-instruction-part-three-beethoven-tempest-sonata-in-d-minor-op-31-no-2/ Part FOUR Instruction https://arioso7.wordpress.com/2012/04/04/piano-instruction-part-four-beethovens-tempest-sonata-in-d-minor-op-31-no-2-measures-55-93/ Part FIVE Instruction https://arioso7.wordpress.com/2012/04/05/piano-instruction-part-five-beethovens-tempest-sonata-op-31-no-2-measures-93-to-158-development-recitative-submerged-pedal/ PART SIX, referenced in You Tube format http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwQzBpWJWqs