I love a good Winston Churchill quote, and here’s one of my favorites:
“However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.”
Let’s take note reading as an example. Most of us have our tried-and-true methods of teaching students their lines and spaces. There are numerous note spellers, flash cards, mnemonic devices, . . . → Read More: Churchill, Maslow, and the Hula Dance Wrist Technique
Sorry it’s been awhile, but the semester’s recitals are over, so let the writing resume! Let’s talk about accuracy:
Let’s face it, accurate playing is important. And let’s be honest, when we tell students “the audience didn’t notice,” we’re lying. Big time. Audiences DO notice! They might not recognize that a particular note was . . . → Read More: Nothing but Net
As the dancers were doing one of their repetitive tendu exercises one day, the instructor said “one of my teachers once told me that every time you repeat a movement, you put a penny in the bank – and in performance, you get to cash it in.”
Now, forget all the clever epithets you’ve heard . . . → Read More: A Lesson from Ballet Class, Part 2 (Burger Pedagogy)
Being a piano teacher, most of my work is after school hours, so in the mornings, I’ve taken a job accompanying ballet classes at the local university. It’s been a fascinating experience, and I wanted to share some things that I think have some relevance to the piano lesson.
Ballet classes are typically structured in . . . → Read More: A Lesson from Ballet Class, Part 1
Here’s an exercise I use to help speed up Alberti bass figures:
First, sit so that the C above middle C is directly in front of you.
Second, turn your body to the right so that you’re facing the top C on the keyboard.
Third, practice this, using 5131 5131 for your fingering:
Doing . . . → Read More: The Augmented Alberti Exercise
Two things inspired this post:
The first is Concert Hands, a completely ridiculous piece of technology that you strap on to your wrists and hands to help you learn to play. (Seriously, watch the video, it’s hilarious!)
The second is a description of a teaching technique in Julie Knerr’s excellent article on elementary technique in . . . → Read More: Piano Playing – in 3D!
This week, I thought I’d share one of my favorite pieces, “Monkeys in the Tree” by Boris Berlin. It’s found in Celebration Series Repertoire Book 4, and it’s always a big hit for audiences and performers alike.
Repertoire selection is one of the keys to good teaching, but it’s very difficult to say exactly what . . . → Read More: Monkeys in the Tree