adult piano instruction, Face Time, Online piano lessons, piano, piano instruction, piano lessons, piano lessons by Face Time, piano lessons by Skype, piano teaching, Rhythmical practicing, Skype

“Counting Correctly, but Playing Un-rhythmically”

“The habit of counting correctly but playing unrhythmically develops easily in the beginning and is too often overlooked.” – Richard Chronister (A Piano Teacher’s Legacy, Ed. Edward Darling) http://www.amazon.com/Teachers-Selected-Writings-Richard-Chronister/dp/0976116308 I love this quote, because many students count out beats quite methodically but without musical meaning. Their metrical repetitions serve little purpose if the goal of… Continue reading “Counting Correctly, but Playing Un-rhythmically”

Bach Prelude in C from Well-Tempered Clavier, J.S. Bach, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, pianist, piano, piano blog, piano instruction, piano pedagogy, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Well-Tempered Clavier

J.S. Bach Prelude No. 1 in C, Voicing and Harmonic Rhythm (my ideas and Seymour Bernstein’s)

A musician's understanding of a masterwork is a composite of ideas derived from many sources. In the course of piano study, perceptions change and grow, enlarged by a combined theoretical and musical examination of a composition that invites mentors into the mix. In this tutorial, I realized how I synthesized the contributions of harpsichordist, Elaine… Continue reading J.S. Bach Prelude No. 1 in C, Voicing and Harmonic Rhythm (my ideas and Seymour Bernstein’s)

forearm rotation, piano, piano blog, piano blogging, piano instruction, piano lessons, piano technique

Piano Technique: The Rotating Thumb

With all the cyber forum posts about thumbs up, thumbs down, early or late, advanced or delayed, the ROTATIONAL dimension of the shortest, and most problematic finger is often overlooked, and because of miss-directed attention, the clunky thumb brigade marches relentlessly through countless arpeggios and scales. But change is possible! During the course of this… Continue reading Piano Technique: The Rotating Thumb

arpeggios, Classical music blog, piano, piano blog, piano blogging, piano instruction, piano lessons, piano teaching, piano technique, scales, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten

Piano Technique: Self-created Scale and Arpeggio Prep

Over months and years, I've devised various technique framed routines that happen to be bi-products of trial and error excursions over the keyboard. To the extent that I put myself under self-analysis following a stint of formal piano study, I was able to discard a lion's share of the factory-generated, Conservatory-based litany that encapsulated certain… Continue reading Piano Technique: Self-created Scale and Arpeggio Prep

adult piano instruction, Bach Two Part Inventions, J.S. Bach, Johann Sebastian Bach, piano, piano instruction, piano lessons, Two -part Inventions

Playing J.S. Bach with an awareness of Harmonic Rhythm

In working through Bach's two-part Invention No. 13 in A minor, an adult student and I explored harmonic resolutions and their influence on phrasing. *** While many pupils expect cadences to be predictable resting points where pianists typically taper a musical line, they soon discover with teacher prompts that in the course of a composition,… Continue reading Playing J.S. Bach with an awareness of Harmonic Rhythm

Classical era, Mozart Sonata K. 545, Mozart Sonatas, pianist, piano, piano blog, piano instruction, piano lesson, piano teaching, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Piano Lesson: Mozart Rondo, Allegretto- Sonata K. 545 with a pedal pushback to Andante

Each teaching encounter brings a new awakening. A composition that's been practiced to death, taught times over, recorded, retired and reviewed, can still experience a rebirth when a student embarks upon his/her individual musical journey. It's like a parent (mentor) reliving one's own childhood by having children. On Skype today, a pupil who had conscientiously… Continue reading Piano Lesson: Mozart Rondo, Allegretto- Sonata K. 545 with a pedal pushback to Andante

piano, piano instruction, piano technique, the thumb in piano playing, thumb shifts

Piano Technique: The Relaxed Thumb

Some people will say in a disparaging way that this or that person is all THUMBS, suggesting an awkwardness in coordination, perhaps. And it seems that these digits can be a big, troublesome nemesis in navigating the keyboard smoothly if its SHORTcomings are FLESHED out. (falling down hard and interrupting scale passages and the like)… Continue reading Piano Technique: The Relaxed Thumb