piano

Piano Study: Process not Mastery

One of my students recommended a book by George Leonard that globalizes the idea of gaining Mastery in any field of endeavor through a love of "plateaus." (These are pauses in forward-moving progress that can either frustrate a learner, or motivate him to forge onward with an all-embracing love of the "journey.") The author begins… Continue reading Piano Study: Process not Mastery

piano, piano blog, piano learning, piano study, piano teachers, piano teaching

Our self-made tutorials grow teaching skills

Ever since I embarked upon my very first lunge at globalizing my ideas over the Internet---devising a "chunking" strategy to play black key weighted scales B, F#, and C# Major, I realized that I was teaching myself while helping others. A "blocking" technique in its infancy, blossomed into more sophisticated analyses of how to approach… Continue reading Our self-made tutorials grow teaching skills

adult piano instruction, piano, piano blog, piano teaching, singing tone legato

Creating a seamless, singing tone legato through arpeggios and scales

My students are often amused by my prompts that frequently include "oohs," "ahhs," and "wah's," among other spaced out sounds, to prevent consonant sounding notes or hard-liners from interrupting a smooth, "sighing" stepwise descent to the tonic. And from this universe of impromptu effusions, I've created a self-styled language, that, at times, has incorporated barnyard… Continue reading Creating a seamless, singing tone legato through arpeggios and scales

adult instruction, adult piano pupils, adult piano student, piano blog, piano blogging, piano instruction, piano, piano teaching, piano playing, Uncategorized

Centering the beat for cohesion in scale playing

"...No matter what the mood to be conveyed, or how sensitive the playing, it is the rhythm that binds the expression." Mildred Portney Chase, Just Being at the Piano Most students, including myself, sometimes find ourselves running away from our initially centered, fundamental beat through scales, which causes an uncomfortable disruption of the phrase. And… Continue reading Centering the beat for cohesion in scale playing

Just Being at the Piano, Mildred Portney Chase, Peter Illyich Tchaikovksy, pianist, piano, piano playing, Tchaikovsky

Imagination fuels expressive piano playing

As my local and Online piano students gear up for their bi-annual music sharing this coming Saturday over Skype, a commonly expressed concern is how to harness the imagination to feed a musical journey right from the opening measure of a piece to its final cadence. The challenge for everyone embodies a centered period of… Continue reading Imagination fuels expressive piano playing

creative learning environment, developing sight-reading skills as an aid to memorization, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, Fresno California, harmonic analysis, improving sight reading skills, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, keyboard technique, Lillian Freundlich, Major and minor scales, memorizing piano music, mental imagery, Mildred Portney Chase, mind body connection, MTAC, muscular memory, music, music and heart, music and the breath, music memorization, music teachers association of california, musical phrasing, New York City High School of Performing Arts, New York University, Oberlin, Oberlin Conservatory, Old Fig Garden in Fresno, phrasing at the piano, pianist, piano, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano pedagogy, piano practicing, piano student, piano teacher, piano teaching repertoire, piano technique, piano tutorial, Piano World, pianoaddict.com, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing piano, publishers marketplace, Rondo form, self-analysis, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Steinway M grand piano, talkclassical.com, Teach Street, teaching piano, teaching piano scales, teaching scales, technique, Theory, Uncategorized, whole body music listening, word press, wordpress.com

Memorization at the piano: How to improve your skills

Memorization should be a natural outflow of consistent, thoughtful practicing. Thoughtful is underscored because it's the most important ingredient in the process of playing a studied piece without music. It means having mental assists that relate to mapping out a particular composition without chance reliance on intuition or instinct. So if you suddenly find yourself… Continue reading Memorization at the piano: How to improve your skills

blog, blogger, blogging, classissima, classissima.com, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, Fresno, Internet, mental imagery, Mildred Portney Chase, mind body connection, music, music and heart, music teachers association, music teachers association of california, musical inspiration, New York, New York City, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Northwest Fresno, Oberlin, Oberlin Conservatory, pianist, piano, piano addict, piano instructor, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano pedagogy, piano practicing, piano technique, piano warm-ups, Piano World, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing piano, self-analysis, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, talkclassical.com, Teach Street, teaching piano, technique, uk-piano-forums

Piano Instruction: The Virtues of Slow Motion Practicing and Attentive Listening

It takes patience to approach a piece well behind tempo, tuning in to every nuance and turn of phrase. With ears alert and sensitive, the player tries to create a feeling state where he's submerged in sound to the exclusion of all else. At the pinnacle of concentration, he's "in the zone," attaining Maslow's "peak… Continue reading Piano Instruction: The Virtues of Slow Motion Practicing and Attentive Listening