Tag Archives: piano instruction

Piano Technique: No Pain, Much Gain

Sometimes we learn a floating, flowing path to beauty through the unfortunate school of HARD knocks. To this effect, I recall my esteemed Oberlin Conservatory piano teacher dealing in mindless, stressful repetitions of meaningless exercises that caused joint pain and … Continue reading

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Piano Lesson from the Big Apple by iPhone!

It’s one thing to fly from California to New York, taking in awesome views from the plane. But would I lay back and lapse into surrendering a week of piano instruction just because I had a NYC based family obligation? … Continue reading

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A London piano student fine tunes her F# Major scales and arpeggios (staccato and legato)

Yu has been my Skype student for a few years now and she’s made big gains in producing a singing tone with supple wrists, relaxed arms, and hand/finger weight transfer. Today she assiduously practiced her F# Major Scale and Arpeggio, … Continue reading

Posted in F Sharp Major scale, online piano instruction, piano, piano blog, piano blogging, piano instruction, piano learning, piano playing, piano teaching, Shirley Kirsten | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Piano Technique: Remediating peak octave scale paralysis (Staccato)

Choking up is probably the best description of what often happens to final scale octaves and their turnaround. Students get anxious at the terminus, and tend to crowd notes as if they’re racing to the finish line, when in fact, … Continue reading

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Boris Berman: How to connect with the music after over-practicing

I think Maestro Berman said it well, yet from my own experience, over-practicing is less a problem than failing to listen attentively through every phase of learning a composition. If a student does not fine tune each repetition, but considers … Continue reading

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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