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Weaving Theory and Harmonic Rhythm into a piano lesson

The flow of harmony in and out of pieces should be a big part of a piano lesson. Yet it's one thing to isolate chords in student a hand-out, but quite another to bring phrases to life with an infusion of harmonic rhythm awareness in the process of playing. In this video sample, a student… Continue reading Weaving Theory and Harmonic Rhythm into a piano lesson

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Playing the piano like a singer

The J.C. Bach Prelude in A minor begs for a fluid "singing" tone through its progression of rolled out broken chords that have a melodic thread fleshed out by finger 5. Rounding out these uppermost destination notes is a challenge because it's easy to fall down hard on them with pencil point attacks instead of… Continue reading Playing the piano like a singer

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A Peak teaching and learning experience!

Piano teachers may complain about students who hardly practice, or come to lessons with a truckload of excuses, but the times we savor are when everything seems to click. Tonight, I had a lesson with an adult student who announced immediately before playing a note that her piece "was in the doghouse." What a tension-relieving… Continue reading A Peak teaching and learning experience!

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CELEBRATING Adult piano students!

I sent a few questions to adult students and this is the first of many responses I will be posting. A video of a lesson in progress is a point of reference: The pupil is working on J.C. Bach's Prelude in A minor, second section, which contains a series of modulating chords or secondary dominants.… Continue reading CELEBRATING Adult piano students!

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A relevant sequence of pieces for an Intermediate piano student

One of my adult pupils is deeply embedded in J.C. Bach's Prelude in A minor which is a soulful outpouring of broken chords with patterns and symmetries built into its harmonic fabric. Yet through a sequence of secondary dominants that heightens the composition's beauty, a melodic line is interwoven, and it needs to be fleshed… Continue reading A relevant sequence of pieces for an Intermediate piano student

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Using piano repertoire as a springboard for a theory lesson: Major, minor and Diminished Chords (Videos)

One of my adult students is working on the gorgeous J.C. Bach Prelude in A minor which has a second page full of "Major," "Minor" and "Diminished" chords. The sonorities progress in sequences, but they also have a secondary dominant relationship to resolving chords. The "harmonic rhythm" moves quickly. While this particular pupil may not… Continue reading Using piano repertoire as a springboard for a theory lesson: Major, minor and Diminished Chords (Videos)