http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-power-of-pedagogy-1472507353 This latest piece on how to teach piano (creatively) is gathering attention far and wide, most notably as an eye-catching feature in the Wall Street Journal. And if I'm not mistaken, an article on the joys of returning to the piano as an adult accorded a similar flood of adulation and empathy in this… Continue reading Piano Pedagogy article by Byron Janis in the Wall Street Journal
Over decades of teaching, and with relocation being the norm for students and mentors, it would have taken a bit of research to track down all my beginner, intermediate, and advanced students dating back to 1968 (NYC); and from 1979 (Fresno CA) to 2011, before my 2012 move to Berkeley, California. What I discovered in… Continue reading My Piano Students of Yesteryear: Where are they now?
This was the hallmark topic at a Linked-in piano forum board, with many piano teachers chiming in with great suggestions. For me, singing beside a student or nudging him/her to join in is always helpful. I focus on shaping phrases in this way while also enlisting conducting motions. Finally, insights into how harmonic rhythm or… Continue reading Advice for teaching piano students about dynamics and phrasing
Yesterday, my Logitech cam was un-clipped from the Big Mac during a lesson to Greece. The pupil, hanging out on the island of Kos, needed a graphic representation of my hands braving a few difficult measures in Bach's Little Fugue in C Major, BWV 952. It's the composition where the composer challenges the player to… Continue reading Bringing the Keyboard closer to the long distance piano student
Tips on learning a Mozart gem!
A teacher/student musical collaboration is a uniquely poetic experience..
Here's the link rather than copy/paste. The article is ONLINE! The you tubes are nicely embedded within the writing. http://www.mtac.org/cmt/CMT2012FallTalesMusicalJourney.pdf Now the icing on the cake: Irina needs to make the rounds to branches around the State to sell her stuff and give "live" presentations. Keep the phone lines open!
I use various motions extracted from daily life to teach fluidity in piano playing. In this particular example lifted from a lesson-in-progress, Ilyana, 9, applies a door knob-turning gesture to smooth out a passage from William Gillock's "Splashing in the Brook." It's also helpful to enlist mental imagery to capture the mood of a composition.… Continue reading Piano Technique: Turning a door knob helps a 9-year old piano student in her practicing (Videos)
It's invaluable to send videos to SKYPE students between lessons. 1) It fills in some of the gaps associated with long distance transmission where variations in volume and clarity might temporarily interrupt instruction. 2) It's a summation of what transpired at the lesson along with recommendations to improve practicing and performance. While some students videotape… Continue reading A Supplement to a Skyped lesson (Chopin Waltz in B minor) Video
Since I'm in the swing of You Tubing, it's not a stretch to whip up post-lesson videos to send to students for mid-week reinforcement. In this instance, one of my new SKYPE pupils will benefit from a video that carefully explores the singing tone, as well as arm, wrist, hand choreography, since these are fundamental… Continue reading The value of sending video supplements to students between piano lessons