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Beyond Leon Fleisher’s riveting words about pianists and vocal modeling

Pianist, Leon Fleisher has given us his notable artistry over decades, while his insights about practicing and teaching have been invaluable for a vast community of mentors and students. In his latest interview that coincided with the release of a … Continue reading

Posted in piano lesson, piano lesson by Face Time, piano lesson by Skype, piano lessons | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Piano Technique: Practicing well-shaped scales and arpeggios (videos)

It’s always disheartening when students forego their scales and arpeggios at lessons, choosing instead, to dive immediately into repertoire. In their zeal to immerse themselves in the Masterworks, they neglect a pivotal Circle of Fifths journey that’s wedded to keyboard … Continue reading

Posted in adult piano studies, adult piano teaching, piano teacher, piano teaching, piano techique | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

No shortcuts in teaching beginning piano students

Watching a colleague teaching a child in Madrid (on video) brought home the complexity of playing just two notes with beauty. What might be construed as an innately “natural” approach to piano playing, must in reality be learned by beginning … Continue reading

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Trading places with our piano students

As teachers, the empathy we have for a pupil’s budding learning process with its slips and slides, is at the foundation of good mentoring. By remembering what it’s like to be in the student’s position, sitting at the piano under … Continue reading

Posted in piano blog, piano blog by Shirley Kirsten, piano blogger, piano blogging, piano blogs, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano learning, piano lesson | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Before and After the Fall, Music Heals

As I sit under a webcam mounted on a 7 foot tripod, I have an uneasy feeling that the cam will dislodge, reviving the nightmare of my head injury, sustained in a backwards fall on June 29th. What made things … Continue reading

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Piano Student: “I don’t know what I want to hear?”

A commonly registered concern among my brood of adult students circumscribes an uncertainty about phrasing and overall musical expression. Many don’t trust their native musical instincts as they might apply to practicing fledgling pieces that are in early stage development. … Continue reading

Posted in adult beginner piano students, adult instruction | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Chamber music and pianists: seamless interaction, ensemble, and musical growth

Most piano students don’t get ample opportunity to play piano trios, quartets, quintets, etc. because they’re consumed with learning solo repertoire and developing their technical/musical skills. Thankfully, the ongoing Cliburn International Piano Competition, in progress, fills this common void by … Continue reading

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