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Piano Technique: The Spongy Wrist is a great shock absorber and singing tone supporter

Rina, age 5, and Emily, 13, both learned about the supple wrist and how it nurtures a beautiful singing tone at the piano.

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Rina, 5, plays “Little March” by Turk–10 months of piano lessons–and a flashback to my childhood

Rina marches forward making great progress. For a child of 5, her gains are remarkable. By comparison, my early piano studies were unremarkable. When I embarked upon lessons at age 6, I lived in the Marble Hill Projects, (Bronx, New York) in a small apartment that had no piano. As a consequence, I had to… Continue reading Rina, 5, plays “Little March” by Turk–10 months of piano lessons–and a flashback to my childhood

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Piano Lessons: Catching up with Rina, age 5

Rina has reached a turning point in her piano studies, just 10 months into them. She's playing the Reinagle Minuet, coordinating bass and treble lines. This is NOT ROTE playing, or any Suzuki variant. Rina knows the music alphabet forward and in reverse; understands up and down, steps and skips, and plays LEGATO five-finger positions… Continue reading Piano Lessons: Catching up with Rina, age 5

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The Right Age for a Child to Start Piano Lessons (Videos)

Is there a right time in a child's life to embark upon piano study? The answer is not clear as I've discovered from years of teaching. With technology creating an environment in which children as young as two or three are propped up at electronic keyboards hooked into big-size computer screens, the whole area of… Continue reading The Right Age for a Child to Start Piano Lessons (Videos)

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Piano Technique: The dipping wrist, and how it defies convention (Videos)

One of my adult students echoed a belief that has resonated for generations in piano studios across the country, if not the world. The OLD school of thought was that you played piano with a rigid, arched hand, and if you slipped into a longer, relaxed curve, or dared to DIP your wrist below the… Continue reading Piano Technique: The dipping wrist, and how it defies convention (Videos)

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Growing piano technique in baby steps: Rina, 5, advances to hands together five-finger positions (adding in 10ths)

Rina may not know the words "pentascales" and "tenths," but she has the intelligence to notice when her fingers move up and down together, playing the same notes an "octave" apart. With a sound knowledge of the music alphabet in both directions, she has good cognitive reinforcement. (She also knows "running notes" or 8ths, "long… Continue reading Growing piano technique in baby steps: Rina, 5, advances to hands together five-finger positions (adding in 10ths)

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Rina, 5, performs at our Spring Recital (after 8 months of piano lessons) Video

Rina is moving right along. She can spin a legato phrase with finesse after having practiced her detached-note playing for months. Now she's working on using featherlight thumbs to craft smoother lines. Notice her supple wrist approach to the piano: *** Here's a sample of Rina's offerings at the May 5th evening recital held at… Continue reading Rina, 5, performs at our Spring Recital (after 8 months of piano lessons) Video