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“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”

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Piano Technique: Student/teacher echo exchanges stabilize rhythm and refine articulation

Of my favorite teaching strategies is bouncing warm-ups back and forth with students. We echo short phrases in legato and staccato as a form of rhythmic rehab. The recordings of these interactions become valuable practicing aids between lessons. Yesterday, an adult pupil and I had fun sharing E Minor/Major penta-scales and five-finger position thirds from… Continue reading Piano Technique: Student/teacher echo exchanges stabilize rhythm and refine articulation

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Piano Technique: Spring forward wrist/bounce motions applied to the piano repertoire (Videos)

I use Edna-Mae Burnham's Dozen a Day exercises with my adult students because of their application to the piano literature. Naturally, pupils transpose these warm-ups to all Major and minor keys around the Circle of Fifths though these short romps are written within the scope of five-finger positions. A particular favorite is "HOPPING" (in staccato)… Continue reading Piano Technique: Spring forward wrist/bounce motions applied to the piano repertoire (Videos)

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Adult Piano Instruction: Phase two of Rhythmic Rehab in Pentascale practice

These are Five-finger positions pulled from Edna-Mae Burnham's Dozen a Day but expanded to 32nd notes/legato/staccato. They're nice springboard warm-ups to scale playing that follows. I call this lesson segment, PIANO GYM, in part, because of the ENERGY, vitality, and even mental imagery that's needed to make easy, smooth, and proportioned transitions from one rhythmic… Continue reading Adult Piano Instruction: Phase two of Rhythmic Rehab in Pentascale practice

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Piano Technique: “Hopping” in thirds (staccato)–excerpts from two lessons (Video)

Ilyana, 8 and her sister Albertina, 12, explored "hopping" in consecutive thirds at their lessons. (Dozen a Day, Book I, no. 3) They enlisted a spring forward wrist, and tapered the end of a phrase with a swing out elbow motion. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pM3d3RYlUk8