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Piano Technique: Soft staccato scales with projection, springboard energy, resilience, and shape

One of the biggest weaknesses that present in soft dynamic range staccato scales, is a lack of projection. Students often snuff out notes, play them in a whisper without a tenacious spring UP character, or a necessary rebound effect from note to note. Instead, they become inhibited and constrained. Yet even at the Forte level,… Continue reading Piano Technique: Soft staccato scales with projection, springboard energy, resilience, and shape

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Piano Technique: Finding a secure nesting ground on Black Notes

In our Circle of Fifths journey through the ARPEGGIO universe, the one KEY that stands out as the most dreaded among adult students, is F# Major. A slippery slope of skinny raised BLACK notes, it often feeds separation anxiety from the more spacious WHITE notes. In the face of such traumatic avoidance of ratted black… Continue reading Piano Technique: Finding a secure nesting ground on Black Notes

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A Fear-less, Horizontal Approach to Staccato playing

Most piano students become DIS-connected when asked to play staccato. Their full blown trepidation wedded to DETACHMENT is so conspicuously on display during scale and arpeggio playing that a teacher must first devise mental cues to bring the student down to earth, in a comfortably secure traction with the keys. It's no surprise then, that… Continue reading A Fear-less, Horizontal Approach to Staccato playing

adult piano instruction, adult piano lessons, legato, online piano instruction, piano, piano blog, piano pedagogy, piano teaching, piano technique, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, staccato

A “cool” dip into Quicktime for wrist, finger, and forearm staccato practice

Amazing how 90-degree temperatures in the East Bay can wreak havoc over Face Time transmissions. It nearly made Online mentoring come to a grinding halt yesterday! except that a Quick Time saving grace Lesson Preserver came to the rescue! *** In my Scotland travels, I'm accustomed to subbing in the iPhone for the iMac because… Continue reading A “cool” dip into Quicktime for wrist, finger, and forearm staccato practice

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A Teacher/Student fueled discovery about Staccato playing

I never cease to be amazed by a mutual discovery process that's ongoing between me and my adult students. Without our learning partnership, we would not have periodic awakenings that feed our reciprocal musical development. Case in point, is the attainment of Staccato refinement in its most crisp and animated form. In the past month,… Continue reading A Teacher/Student fueled discovery about Staccato playing

adult piano students, arpeggios, Bach French Suites, Classical music blog, J.S. Bach, piano, piano blog, piano instruction, piano technique, scale, scales, staccato

A Piano Gym Workout in Staccato before J.S. BACH

The Piano Fitness Club was in full swing as a well-prepared adult student and I romped through C# minor scales (3 forms) and B Major Arpeggios. Shaping detached notes in piano to forte dynamic ranges was the focus of a quick-paced hour. The B-Major arpeggio, rendered in sprightly 10ths, was remediated in articulated paired sub-groups… Continue reading A Piano Gym Workout in Staccato before J.S. BACH

adult piano instruction, arpeggios, legato, piano instruction, piano pedagogy, piano technique, scales, staccato

Piano Technique in the PLAY-ground: Thumb to thumb swings and more

The playground can be the best music teacher. Thumb swinging, for example, to smooth out shifts through scales, is practiced by an adult student. (She had initially lost her "feel" for spacing between long and short tunnels, through which her thumb passed). A blocking approach preceded the swing routine that carefully marked out groups of… Continue reading Piano Technique in the PLAY-ground: Thumb to thumb swings and more