blogging, blogging about piano, Chopin, Chopin and phrasing, Chopin Waltz Op. 64 no. 2, Chopin Waltzes, Chopin's music

Salvaging the remains of a Ravaged piano lesson

As I stepped out my front door to investigate what sounded like three lawn mower engines powered up at FULL BLAST, eviscerating an Online piano lesson to Arizona, I spotted a tree removal squad slashing a young Oak to smithereens just a few yards from the piano room. The tree, about 10 feet tall, not… Continue reading Salvaging the remains of a Ravaged piano lesson

piano instruction

When the flu hits or the weather tanks, ONLINE piano lessons preserve progress

Here in California we've been blitzed by pounding rain, gusty winds and the inevitable round of flu. In the midst of bad weather conditions and the flight of viral illnesses, piano lessons are often suspended, as students are immobilized and lose ground. But to the happy rescue is the Internet that affords ONLINE instruction by… Continue reading When the flu hits or the weather tanks, ONLINE piano lessons preserve progress

piano, piano blog, piano blogging, playing scales in staccato, Shirley Kirsten, staccato, staccato scales

Piano Technique: Soft staccato scales with projection, springboard energy, resilience, and shape

One of the biggest weaknesses that present in soft dynamic range staccato scales, is a lack of projection. Students often snuff out notes, play them in a whisper without a tenacious spring UP character, or a necessary rebound effect from note to note. Instead, they become inhibited and constrained. Yet even at the Forte level,… Continue reading Piano Technique: Soft staccato scales with projection, springboard energy, resilience, and shape

piano instruction, piano lessons

Piano Technique: Different Strokes for Different Folks

I've heard myself say a thousand times over, that each individual piano student deserves a custom designed plan of study. In essence, there's no instructional METHOD fixed in perpetuity that will fit every musical traveler. In fact, with a diversity of student personalities, backgrounds, and approaches to life/career (where adults, in particular, apply), some pupils… Continue reading Piano Technique: Different Strokes for Different Folks

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

Kinderszenen, piano instruction, piano lessons, piano teaching, Robert Schumann, Schumann

When Upbeats have a new meaning and importance

For most piano students, an upbeat is considered a lighter springboard to a more predominant DOWN-beat, as if the UP in music should always be taken LIGHTLY. (except in Jazz framings where syncopations are characteristic of the genre.) *** We can universally agree that in the patriotic Star Spangled Banner, the dotted 8th/16th upbeat is… Continue reading When Upbeats have a new meaning and importance

Bach, Egon Petri, J.S. Bach, Johann Sebastian Bach, piano, piano arrangement, piano transcription, Sheep May Safely Graze, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten

Learning J.S. Bach’s “Sheep May Safely Graze” (Egon Petri piano transcription)

Egon Petri offers a transcription of J.S. Bach's "Sheep May Safely Graze," (based on the Baroque composer's "Birthday" Cantata) and it's drawn a cult of admirers, mostly adult students begging to learn it. The work originally scored for two flutes, soprano and continuo, comes a close second in popularity to "Flight of the Bumblebee," with… Continue reading Learning J.S. Bach’s “Sheep May Safely Graze” (Egon Petri piano transcription)