Monthly Archives: March 2011

Playing two pieces from my ‘Moonbeams’ Collection (Video)

I thought I’d surprise myself with a Moonbeams reunion. “Hebrew Melody and Variations” is performed first, followed by the title piece, “Moonbeams.” The remaining 8 selections vary in mood, character, and tonality. RELATED: http://arioso7.wordpress.com/2011/03/29/the-piano-teacher-as-composer-using-my-moonbeams-collection-as-an-example/ http://arioso7.wordpress.com/2011/03/27/piano-students-as-composers-stimulating-a-creative-teaching-environment/

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Individualizing Piano Study: How to avoid Method Book dependency

Over decades of teaching, I’ve come to the conclusion that each student needs a custom designed long-term lesson plan. Method books only go so far. Often they stratify the learning process, keeping students in an interminably drawn out, regressive C … Continue reading

Posted in Faber Piano Adventures, Faber the Developing Artist Series, Music Teachers Asssociation of California, music theory, music therapy, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Oberlin Conservatory, pianist, piano, piano addict, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano pedagogy, piano practicing, piano society, Piano Street, piano student, piano students as composers, piano teacher, piano teaching repertoire, playing piano, publishers marketplace, publishersmarketplace.com, Randall Faber, satire, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, sonatina, talkclassical.com, Teach Street, uk-piano-forums | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

The Piano Teacher as Composer: Using my MOONBEAMS collection as an example (Video)

Why not give composing a try? I did. For the most part, you don’t need a degree in composition, but a Theory background helps things along with voice leading in the bass part and understanding the rules of notation. Above … Continue reading

Posted in 20th Century music, blog, blogger, blogging, California, Circle of Fifths, classissima, classissima.com, Creative Fresno, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, Fresno, fresno filmmakers alliance, how to help children compose, Internet, keyboard technique, MTAC, music teachers association of california, Music Teachers Asssociation of California, music theory, Oberlin, Oberlin Conservatory, pianist, piano, piano addict, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano pedagogy, piano society, Piano Street, piano students as composers, Piano World, pianoaddict.com, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld.com, playing piano, publishers marketplace, publishersmarketplace.com, word press, wordpress.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Private Piano Teaching: A Hobby or Profession?

More swept under the rug issues related to piano teaching… hush hush.. Don’t tread on sacred ground. Would I dare to blog about a Piano World post that bemoaned the plight of private piano teachers as hobbyists– not hard-working, dedicated … Continue reading

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Piano Students as Composers: Stimulating a Creative Teaching and Learning Environment

This morning, as I foraged through piles of folders, I stumbled upon one of my articles that was published in the California Music Teacher (MTAC Magazine) in 1985. At the time, I had just released my music book, “Piano Duets … Continue reading

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Music Theory and Piano Study: It doesn’t have to be drudgery

Music Theory doesn’t have to be drudgery If I turn the clock back to my early days as a piano student, I can say without a doubt that I absolutely HATED “Music Theory” or anything remotely related to it. And … Continue reading

Posted in Circle of Fifths, classissima, classissima.com, composing, Creative Fresno, El Cerrito California, Faber Primer Piano Adventures, five finger positions, Fresno California, Internet, Keith Snell, memoir, MTAC, Music Teachers Asssociation of California, music theory, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Oberlin, Oberlin Conservatory, pentachords, pianist, piano, piano addict, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lessons, piano pedagogy, piano repertoire, piano student, piano teacher, piano teaching repertoire, piano tutorial, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing piano, publishers marketplace, publishersmarketplace.com, Randall Faber, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Steinway and Sons, Steinway M grand piano, Tanglewood Music Festival, Teach Street, teaching piano scales, teaching piano to teenagers, teaching scales, technique, Theory, traditional piano teaching, uk-piano-forums, Uncategorized, video performances, whole body music listening, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Piano Instruction: Teaching Beethoven’s “Moonlight” Sonata, Movement 1 (VIDEO)

Beethoven didn’t attach “Moonlight” to this first movement of his very popular C# minor Sonata. (Music critics often invented these tags that stuck over centuries) The composer, himself, said his opening was like a fantasy, “quasi una fantasia,” and he … Continue reading

Posted in "Just Being At the Piano", authorsden, Beethoven, Beethoven Moonlight Sonata, Classical era, classissima, classissima.com, Creative Fresno, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, Fresno California, mind body connection, MTAC Baroque Festival, Music Teachers Asssociation of California, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Oberlin Conservatory, pianist, piano, piano addict, piano instruction, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano pedagogy, piano practicing, piano student, piano teacher, piano teaching repertoire, piano technique, Piano World, pianoaddict.com, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, publishers marketplace, publishersmarketplace.com, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Steinway and Sons, Steinway grand piano, Steinway piano, teaching piano scales, teaching scales, technique, Theory, video performances, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bach to Nature, Part 2: The Avian Shuffle

I returned to Oso De Oro Park in Fresno, California to film geese, ducks, and gulls doing their lighthearted shuffles. A Baroque March framed the landscape. These birds produced quite a show. Back story: The gates to the lake area … Continue reading

Posted in Bach to nature, Baroque music, blog, blogger, blogging, California, March in D by C.P.E. Bach, National Geographic, Oberlin Conservatory, pianist, piano, piano addict, Piano World, pianoaddict.com, Pianostreet.com, The Audubon Society, video montage, video performances, whole body music listening, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bach to Nature: A Paradise of Images Wedded to Music

A lake, ducks, geese, and Bach’s Prelude no. 1 from the Well Tempered Clavier….. Backdrop: Oso De Oro Park in Fresno, California. Producers and photographers, Shirley Kirsten and Aviva Kirsten Capturing nature’s flow with a hand held video camera. Oso … Continue reading

Posted in authorsden, Bach to nature, Baroque music, blog, blogger, blogging, California, camera tricks, classissima, classissima.com, Creative Fresno, Fresno, Fresno California, Fresno Famous, fresno filmmakers alliance, JS Bach, music, music and heart, Music Teachers Asssociation of California, music video, musical inspiration, nature and music, nature montage with music, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Oberlin Conservatory, Oso De Oro Lake Park, Piano World, pianoaddict.com, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, playing piano, video montage, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Artistry of Josef Hofmann, a Great Pianist of the 20th Century

When surfing the Net, I came across an enticing video link that led to a potpourri of outstanding pianists who hallmarked the 20th Century. Ten minutes into a lengthy You Tube offering, I was bowled over by the artistry of … Continue reading

Posted in 20th Century music, 6 degrees of separation, great pianists of the past, Josef Hoffman, Josef Hofmann, piano instruction, piano lesson, piano lessons, Rachmaninoff, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment