While I underscore the adult student population in this discussion, it's not meant to omit students of any age who study piano. Almost universally, those coming back to the piano after a significant hiatus, or those just beginning lessons in adulthood, have big expectations to "succeed" and progress at an imagined rate of "speed." Such… Continue reading The Biggest Challenge for Adult Piano Students (Video)
As I continue this series, "Celebrating Adult Piano Students," I couldn't help but snatch a narrative from Lisa, a very dear friend, who is not my pupil, but shares a passion for learning the great masterworks, and channels her deepest emotions into every musical phrase. Her grandson, Collin, is particularly fortunate, not only to have… Continue reading An adult piano student teaches her grandson!
This student lives in the UK and takes piano lessons by Skype. Her answers to my inquiries are below: 1) What drew you back to the piano in adulthood? Bundled into that question: What were your early experiences taking piano lessons? (positives, negatives, mixed bag, whatever) I started as a complete adult beginner about five… Continue reading Celebrating Adult Piano Students, Part 2
These lesson videos-in-progress reinforce practicing approaches to warm-ups, giving a student an additional angle of the teacher's hands. I. Crispy Cracker Staccato (D Major scale) Forearm generated at FORTE level followed by "lighter" finger strokes at "piano" dynamic. Forte=Big Projection, Piano=Soft FLASHBACK video, (A Major scale in Staccato) before my relocation to Berkeley--same student LIVE,… Continue reading Adult sneak peek piano technique
Tonight's piano lesson on Facetime amounted to an impromptu jam session: A syllabic interchange coupled with clapping inspired a collaborating adult student to experience the "feel" of a beat, rising and falling with organic authenticity. The nearly "improvised" exchange between teacher and pupil sprang from a Five-finger Ab Major warm-up that progressed from Quarters, to… Continue reading Adult Piano Instruction: Rockin’ and Rollin’ in Rhythmic Rehab
In a Utopian universe: Embarks upon piano study of his/her own volition. No lurking parent, prodding relative, or "cool" friend is part of the mix. Owns an acoustic piano, with 88-functioning keys. Instrument has been tuned no greater than 8 years ago. (If digitally compromised, he/she should have a weighted keyboard---no bell and whistle, 61-key… Continue reading The Ideal Adult Piano student (Humor)
I have no problem indulging the musical appetites of my adult students, as long as they keep up their technical routines, and balance their intake of popular servings with Classical. Same applies to my younger pupils who are up to the task of reading music well enough so they can tackle music in various genres.… Continue reading When a beginning adult piano student wants to learn popular music….(Video samples)
Today's lesson with an adult student produced a helpful video that focused on the second section, page 1--but was devoted in large part, to examining measures 9-15 in the following ways: 1) for the execution of a rolling motion across four notes with a slight crescendo through B-C-D to E (B C and D form… Continue reading More Tips on practicing Beethoven’s Fur Elise using a rolling motion, weight transfer, undulating wrist, and relaxed arm swing (Video)