The flow of harmony in and out of pieces should be a big part of a piano lesson. Yet it's one thing to isolate chords in student a hand-out, but quite another to bring phrases to life with an infusion of harmonic rhythm awareness in the process of playing. In this video sample, a student… Continue reading Weaving Theory and Harmonic Rhythm into a piano lesson
Little Bach Fugue in C, BWV 952 required insights into its organized structure so I could better teach it. But how much analysis was required and could it be trusted?
Music Theory is often dreaded by piano students so why not make it intrinsic to learning an appealing selection.
Theory and Ear-Training are indispensable ingredients of a well-rounded music education.
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)
This morning, Claudia, 11, practiced the J.S. Bach A minor Invention behind tempo, (in slow motion) to improve her musical/technical understanding of the composition. She worked on "weaving"/shaping the main idea or subject, which is a broken chord figure. The interaction between hands or voices (there are two them) was a particular focus, as it… Continue reading Piano Lesson Excerpts: Practicing the Bach Invention 13 in A minor (Videos)
Every so often I revisit a composition I've previously studied applying a different perspective. In Scarlatti's A Major Sonata, with its very demanding Allegrissimo tempo marking that makes the crossed hand sections seem impossibly difficult, I decided to parcel out pertinent measures in practice tempo. The goal was to inch up to a faster rendering… Continue reading Piano Technique: Using a spring forward wrist, and arc motions for hand crossovers in Scarlatti Sonata in A, K. 113 (three videos)
I vowed at some point to do a hands-on follow up to my sight-reading post, and tonight was my chosen time to brave the virgin territory of two compositions from "Anna Magdalena's Notebook," edited by Keith Snell. I randomly picked "Polonaise in G minor" BWV 119 (Anonymous) and another of the same form, BWV125 by… Continue reading Sight-reading through two pieces: Putting myself in the hot seat! (Videos)
Singing has always been a basic, if not primitive form of communication between parent and infant. A tender melody often lulls a colicky baby into blissful sleep along with rhythmic rocking motions. As the tyke eventually babbles and coos high-pitched sounds that prime his vocal cords, mom or dad will respond in the same squeaky voice… Continue reading Piano Study and the value of SINGING against a cultural backdrop of vocal inhibition
Preserving teaching moments on video allows students an opportunity to review what transpired at their lesson as a springboard to improve practicing during the week. In this particular situation, I was able to e-mail the You Tube link to Claudia, 10, and Claire 8, both of whom are studying the Chopin A Minor Waltz No.… Continue reading More Lesson-in-Progress excerpts, Chopin Waltz in A minor, No. 19, Op. Posthumous (Video)