Over the years, Gillock's music has sparked the enthusiasm of piano students who sometimes need a kick start piece to lift them out of a rut. "Flamenco" can be such a game changer! For Fritz, age 9, who's infatuated with baseball and soccer, the sheer energy of this character piece, draws him to the piano… Continue reading “Flamenco” by Gillock is a winner! (Intermediate Level piano repertoire)
I use various motions extracted from daily life to teach fluidity in piano playing. In this particular example lifted from a lesson-in-progress, Ilyana, 9, applies a door knob-turning gesture to smooth out a passage from William Gillock's "Splashing in the Brook." It's also helpful to enlist mental imagery to capture the mood of a composition.… Continue reading Piano Technique: Turning a door knob helps a 9-year old piano student in her practicing (Videos)
Taking piano lessons should be a deep-level growth experience with a metaphorical tie-in to life. This means that pieces studied and technique applied should be interwoven to realize emotions of sadness, happiness, grieving, elation, disappointment and whatever comes to mind in the full panoply of human feelings. This is why hearing the word “fun” tossed… Continue reading Piano Study: Exploring the full gamut of emotions on the way to mastering a new piece (Videos)
This feline falls asleep at the drop of a note. What breed of music lover would tune out so fast before a few measures were underway? His history precedes him. During the entire Debussy Arabesque No. 1, he was out cold, except for one detectable ear twitch. Yet he's been known to suddenly spring forward,… Continue reading A Feast of Gillock pieces for Aiden cat (Videos) Big surprise at the end!
Continuing my tribute to the prolific and talented composer, William Gillock, I've snatched "Clowns" from Volume Two of his Accent on Gillock collection. (published by Willis Music Company) Not to be long-winded about my approach to teaching this sprightly composition, I simply outline a step-wise practicing routine. 1) Since the melody is divided between the… Continue reading Piano Instruction: A charming, quick-paced piece for late elementary students, titled “Clowns,” by Gillock (VIDEO)
I have no reservation about the immense teaching value of William Gillock's music from elementary through advanced levels. And while the titles in the first few volumes appeal to children, the pieces can be universally enjoyed by piano students of all ages. In this spirit, I picked out "The Glass Slipper" from Accents on Gillock,… Continue reading Teaching Gillock’s delightfully appealing, Later Elementary Level music: “The Glass Slipper” (Video)
Just as a child needs a wholesome diet from birth through adolescence to insure healthy growth and development, a beginning piano student requires the equivalent in musical nourishment. Cocoa Puff pieces that squeeze out whole grain servings of the classics will not in the long term cut the cake. (And I don't rule out compositions… Continue reading The Formative Years of Piano Study and the basic building-blocks of learning (Videos)