Tag Archives: piano lessons

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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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

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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

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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

Piano Technique: Playing scales without bumps or accents

It’s common for piano students to divide their scales into well-boxed rhythmic compartments, emphasizing the fundamental beat that interrupts a smooth flowing legato (connecting from note to note). Sometimes players are unaware of their reinforced “beat” counting impulses and need … Continue reading

Posted in adult piano instruction, adult piano lessons, arpeggios, blogmetrics, blogmetrics.org, imagination and piano technique, pianist, piano blog, piano blogging, piano instruction, piano lessons, piano teaching, piano technique, playing scales, scales, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, smoothing out piano technique | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Domenico Scarlatti’s music that’s within reach of the Intermediate level student

Margery Halford via Alfred publications has compiled a nice assortment of Domenico Scarlatti’s Menuettos and Sonatas (essercizi) that’s a satisfying “Introduction” to the Baroque era composer’s music. (Scarlatti, An Introduction to his Keyboard Works) In fact, I snatched at least … Continue reading

Posted in Alfred publications, Domenico Scarlatti, esercizi per gravicembalo, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, Margery Halford, Margery Halford collection of Scarlatti's Keyboard Works, Margery Halford editor, piano blog, piano blogging, Scarlatti, Scarlatti Sonatas, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments