piano teachers, piano teaching, piano technique, singing at the piano

From the Start: Singing through Piano Lessons

On this Mother's Day, I think of the many piano teachers who breathe life into fledgling musical journeys with a gentle prod of the hands and the warm embrace of the human voice. Phrase shaping and the singing tone, originate from the ebb and flow of the breath that fuels energy through relaxed arms and… Continue reading From the Start: Singing through Piano Lessons

piano instuction

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 students with meticulous attention to vocal modeling, touch sensitivity, and an infusion of imagination. Irina… Continue reading No shortcuts in teaching beginning piano students

piano, piano teaching

Cruising the piano forums

Amidst my morning journey to Huffington Post, Salon.com, Slate, NY Times International edition, Twittle-Tweet and Twittle-Trumpf, Democracy Now, and Facebook's Headline HQ, I check the latest humdrum at the piano forums. Some of these Internet-driven PRIVATE GROUPS by invitation only, differ by a subtle nuance of interpretation so that "Art of Piano Pedagogy" and "Art… Continue reading Cruising the piano forums

composing, early piano instruction, piano instruction, piano lessons, piano teaching

The earliest steps in piano learning

The earliest dip into piano study includes many ingredients some of which are overlooked or minimized. When mentoring a young child of 6 or 7, or a beginning adult student, sensitivity to tone/touch seems very basic to making music, yet it's underplayed. While assigning finger numbers to notes and absorbing letter names are fundamental to… Continue reading The earliest steps in piano learning

Classical music blog, classissima, classissima.com, Emanuel Ax, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, phrasing at the piano, piano, piano blog, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, tone production at the piano, word press, you tube

Does approaching notes in different ways at the piano affect tone production?

Emanuel Ax, well-known concert pianist and teacher asserts that one note struck cannot be varied by physical approach (except for volume) and I'm assuming duration (a clipped staccato release vs. a lingering sustain without pedal) Yet he didn't provide enough specific details about duration, dynamics, and how delays into notes using supple wrist motions could… Continue reading Does approaching notes in different ways at the piano affect tone production?

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A Walk Down Memory Lane with Two pint-sized Piano Students

As I foraged through a closet filled with old picture frames, entangled extension cords, discarded lamp shades and pencil sharpeners, I stumbled upon an ancient Digital 8 camcorder that was my original You Tube movie messenger. With its mega-size cassettes and whooshing audio, it still managed to capture my earliest piano lessons with Rina, age… Continue reading A Walk Down Memory Lane with Two pint-sized Piano Students

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Piano Instruction: Teaching a good hand position and technical skills to very young children

Teaching wee beginners a natural approach to the piano, that includes a relaxed hand position, flowing arms and supple wrists allows the birth of beautiful music-making while it promotes injury avoidance. Irina Gorin is one of the best teacher models in this universe. A dedicated proponent of early exposure to "weeping willow" arms, and "rainbow"… Continue reading Piano Instruction: Teaching a good hand position and technical skills to very young children