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
Pianists are expected to perform on stage without music. It's a controversial area worth probing.
My note: I've listed links to blogs posted about these performers. PIANO Grigory Sokolov Complete piano recital, Theatre de Champs Elysee (for astounding fusion of technique/lyricism/wide dynamic palette--having everything and anything at his disposal to draw upon from his rich musical repository) http://youtu.be/o7qUMHm3LOI Irina Morozova: Chopin Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor, Op. 11,… Continue reading My Top You Tube Picks for 2013, What are yours?
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)
I'm glad I videotaped many of Rina's early lessons, (from age 4) since I have a tendency to be creative, and take liberties with any instruction in book form. It's a great reference repository and springboard for new ideas. To start with, Irina Gorin's Tales of a Musical Journey, has got it right by its… Continue reading Looking back to early piano lessons with Rina, 5, with a solid musical foundation to build on (And now the present) Videos
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
Rina, 5, has embarked upon her 7th month of study and is scaling my staircase before settling down to the piano. I've used this routine to imbue a sense of music's topography before a keyboard transfer. It's working. Videotaped samples: On the stairs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c2dkza8FehU At the Piano: (with a preliminary five-finger position legato roll between… Continue reading Rina’s Lesson-in-Progress: From the staircase to the piano (Reinagle Minuet in G) Videos
I will be giving LIVE webcam classes for Book I, Tales of a Musical Journey by Irina Gorin. http://www.powhow.com/classes/shirley-kirsten Class Title: Teaching Piano to Young Children (4 to 7 years old) with a Creative New Approach Saturday, May 19, 2012 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT I will lead parents and piano teachers, chapter-by-chapter through Irina Gorin's Tales of… Continue reading Teaching Piano to Young Children, A Creative New Approach
I updated the last blog-embedded video that previewed staircase activity planned for Rina's next lesson. It explored the tricky last line of Reinagle's Minuet which has a mix of rhythms and more complex melodic motion compared to the first three staves of music. What I added to the footage, however, was my plan to insert… Continue reading Rina, 5, and a review of her staircase activity: The Playground as Piano Teacher (VIDEOS)
Rina's mother attends her daughter's lessons, takes notes, and receives a follow-up assignment. Today, I sent her a video that summarized what we had accomplished yesterday along with a goal-setting outline. *** The child has been working on her legato which is a new and enticing musical universe. For the better part of 6 months… Continue reading Teaching piano to Rina, 5, with a supplementary video for mom that outlines our lesson plan and goals