Burgmuller, piano, piano blog, piano pedagogy

Finding a melodic thread in a sea of fast notes

Compositions that are laden with myriads of fast paced notes often pose a problem for students whose immediate response is to efficiently "type" them out. Implementing such a mechanical approach often excludes an awareness of a melodic strand that will need to undergo shaping and contouring. One particular piece comes to mind that offers an… Continue reading Finding a melodic thread in a sea of fast notes

adult piano instruction, piano blog, piano blogging, piano lessons, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten

Piano Technique: Breathing through inverted chords and 4-note arpeggios

A thoughtful journey through 4-note (double root) C Major Chords in INVERSIONS was a lesson preliminary to unraveling them with shape and contour. As a start, an adult student imagined the sound intended, breathed through a string of sonorities, and became aware of sensory and muscle memory dimensions of practicing. These fed nicely into the… Continue reading Piano Technique: Breathing through inverted chords and 4-note arpeggios

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Shaping a melodic line through chord blocking (Schumann Little Etude no. 14)

To block out sonorities that spring from spun out, undulating broken chords, can provide a peak learning experience. In a baby-step advance, especially, where finding a melodic thread, may consist of a one-hand alone approach at first, the pleasure to follow, comes with cushions of harmony. One of my adult students, just launched her journey… Continue reading Shaping a melodic line through chord blocking (Schumann Little Etude no. 14)

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Piano Instruction: Playing Diminished 7th chords and arpeggios (Video)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVZyIhTXmag In order to understand how a diminished chord is formed a student needs to know the difference between a Major and minor third. A Major third has two consecutive whole steps from a starting note so for example, C to E creates a Major third. If a student sings C to D to E,… Continue reading Piano Instruction: Playing Diminished 7th chords and arpeggios (Video)