Tag Archives: Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California

Pedaling Chopin Waltz No. 19 in A minor, Op. Posthumous

When considering ways to pedal Chopin’s ethereal A minor Waltz, I think back to Stephen Hough and his teacher’s comments about the learning process: “I don’t care how you’re playing the piece now, what I care about is how you’ll … Continue reading

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Piano Technique: Playing LEGATO can be a drag!

One of my favorite verbal prompts to students who have a choppy approach to scales and arpeggios, is: “drag” your fingers from note note–“feel” the weight transfer with imagined resistance. I often talk about flowing “vowels” not consonants through an … Continue reading

Posted in legato playing, piano instruction, piano lessons, piano lessons by Face Time, piano lessons by Skype, piano technique | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Pianist, Stephen Hough talks about growing a piece over time

In this excerpt from Lara Downe’s San Francisco Classical Voice interview with Stephen Hough, the universe of growth and musical ripening is explored. Lara Downes: Your teacher, Gordon Green, was a great influence and inspiration to you, and you’ve quoted … Continue reading

Posted in adult piano instruction, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, Lara Downes, music study and ripening, patience, pianist, piano, piano blogging, piano learning, piano study, piano teaching, San Francisco Classical Voice, Stephen Hough | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Stay LONGER with a piece for higher levels of learning and awareness

All too often piano students give up on a piece after so many weeks of exposure, thinking the fingering is settled, the beats are well-measured, and the notes have fallen into place. At this juncture, a Big STOP SIGN must … Continue reading

Posted in you tube, piano instruction, J.S. Bach, Bach Inventions, blogging, blogger, piano teaching, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, piano blog, wordpress, piano learning, Bach, adult piano instruction, Classical music blog, Bach Invention 13 in A minor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Good phrasing: listen for the decay, and psyche out your piano

The theme of today’s Online lesson beamed from North Carolina was following the decay of a note from the end of a phrase into the next measure with a thread of continuity. To have good conjunction between phrases one has … Continue reading

Posted in adult piano instruction, Chopin, Frederic Chopin, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, piano, piano blog, piano blogging, Shirley Kirsten | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

An Adult Piano Student who builds pianos and restores planes”

My adult student, David, is a man for all seasons! He not only studies piano, with a penchant for the works of Bach, but he restores antique airplanes, and builds pianos. Add into the mix, his taking a ride in … Continue reading

Posted in antique airplanes, antique planes, piano blog, piano blogging, plane restoration, planes, Shirley Kirsten | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Piano Technique: Trills and the vocal model

Joyce Di Donato, “lyric-coloratura mezzo-soprano,” is my model for trilling. In an embedded you tube video, the opera singer emphasizes the undulating character of a beautifully executed trill that leans on the upper note. (Too often pianists deliver a robotic … Continue reading

Posted in classical music, how to trill on the piano, Joyce Di Donato, opera, operatic trills, piano blog, piano blogging, piano technique, piano trills, Shirley Kirsten, vocal model for piano playing, W. A. Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment