piano, piano instruction, piano lessons, piano teaching, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten

A 9-year-old piano student devises a plan to improve her practicing

Into her seventh month of music study, Liz has more clearly defined her approach to practicing various pieces by devising a well-written outline of phrase-loving reminders. And though her vocabulary is an understandable offshoot of her teacher's, with its emphasis on floating, flowing wrists, side-by-side with "pokey" finger prohibitions, she manages to offer an original… Continue reading A 9-year-old piano student devises a plan to improve her practicing

Bach, Egon Petri, J.S. Bach, Johann Sebastian Bach, piano, piano arrangement, piano transcription, Sheep May Safely Graze, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten

Learning J.S. Bach’s “Sheep May Safely Graze” (Egon Petri piano transcription)

Egon Petri offers a transcription of J.S. Bach's "Sheep May Safely Graze," (based on the Baroque composer's "Birthday" Cantata) and it's drawn a cult of admirers, mostly adult students begging to learn it. The work originally scored for two flutes, soprano and continuo, comes a close second in popularity to "Flight of the Bumblebee," with… Continue reading Learning J.S. Bach’s “Sheep May Safely Graze” (Egon Petri piano transcription)

piano, piano blog, piano instruction, piano pedagogy, piano technique

An adult and child share common goals in playing piano artistically

There's no big ocean of divide in working with children and adult piano students. In fact, today I found common threads running through two lessons: one with a local beginner, age, 8--the other, a seasoned adult. Liz, 8, completed her fifth week of instruction, with my imbued emphasis on how to produce a singing tone.… Continue reading An adult and child share common goals in playing piano artistically

piano, piano instruction, piano technique

Fluid Arpeggios: No hand twisting, with floating arms and an economy of motion

Piano Technique: Arpeggios LOCATION: From: Berkeley, California To: Sydney, Australia I continue to learn from my students as I view close-ups of their arms, wrists, hands/fingers in motion across the keyboard. Most of my epiphanies occur over Skype or Face Time where I pinpoint technical problems that are MAGNIFIED by the webcam. I might use… Continue reading Fluid Arpeggios: No hand twisting, with floating arms and an economy of motion

Ann Arbor Michigan, blog metrics, Judith Jacobs, Natalie Jacobs, piano blog, Stan Jacobs, When Your Song Breaks the Silence

When Your Song Breaks the Silence: A book about Franz Schubert

One of the fruits of forming a Short Story Book group, is meeting people who not only share an embrace of fine literature, but who might also enjoy a strong connection to the music world. Judith and Stan Jacobs fit nicely into this dual universe, having become members of my shrinking degrees of separation literary… Continue reading When Your Song Breaks the Silence: A book about Franz Schubert

blog, Kinderszenen, piano, piano blog, piano blogging, piano instruction, piano technique, Robert Schumann, Shirley Kirsten

Untangling hands and subduing AFTER beats in Robert Schumann’s music

When a pianist tackles a piece like "Am Kamin," ("At the Fireplace") from Schumann's signature childhood reminiscence, Kinderszenen, he/she must artfully navigate the musical terrain, avoiding hand pile-ups and after-beat pounding. A gorgeous Romantic era, lyrical melody that threads though this tableau can be at risk-- easily interrupted or jarred by offbeats that contain parcels… Continue reading Untangling hands and subduing AFTER beats in Robert Schumann’s music

Classical music blog, George Li, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, Lucas Debargue, piano, piano blog, piano competition, Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition

George Li, among 6 Tchaikovsky Competition Finalists

As many cheering fans had expected, George Li catapulted himself into the Finals with a memorable performance of Mozart's Piano Concerto in A, K. 488. http://tch15.medici.tv/en/performance/round-round-2-piano-2015-06-24-2030000300-great-ha Reed Tetzloff not having the same good fortune to make the cut, still delivered a moving reading of the soulful middle movement, K. 488. A noticeable audience favorite at… Continue reading George Li, among 6 Tchaikovsky Competition Finalists