Monthly Archives: April 2011

The Emotionally Abusive Piano Teacher and Suggested Rehab

Over the years my ears have been pinned back by stories from students who experienced emotionally abusive teachers. One who transferred to my studio from another, described her head having been shoved into the music after striking a wrong note. … Continue reading

Posted in authorsden, Bay area, blog, blogger, blogging, California, classissima, classissima.com, creative learning environment, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, Fresno, humor, keyboard technique, music, music teachers association of california, music theory, New York, New York City, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Oberlin, Oberlin Conservatory, piano, piano instruction, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano pedagogy, piano practicing, piano society, piano student, piano teacher, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, publishers marketplace, publishersmarketplace, publishersmarketplace.com, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, word press, wordpress.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The Piano Universe of Discussion Boards, Digital Feedback, and Self-analysis (Video)

I love to scan the Boards at Piano World, UK Forums, Piano Street, Piano Addict, and other stop-off points such as My Music Life Blogspot and Color in my Piano to get a feel for the concerns of piano students … Continue reading

Posted in adult piano students, blog, blogger, blogging, California, Chopin Black Key Etude, classissima, classissima.com, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, Facebook, Fresno California, harmonic analysis, humor, Mildred Portney Chase, MTAC, music, music and heart, music teachers association of california, musicology, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Oberlin Conservatory, piano, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano pedagogy, piano society, Piano Street, piano student, piano studio, piano teacher, pianoaddict.com, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, publishers marketplace, publishersmarketplace, publishersmarketplace.com, Romantic music, self-analysis, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Sony Camcorder, technique, uk-piano-forums, video performances, videotaped replay, whole body music listening, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

How to Improve Sight-reading at the Piano

A universal complaint among piano students relates to sight-reading. They find themselves stumbling through the first playing of a brand new piece, not knowing if an end is in sight. The faltering, (wrong note, right note in treble and bass … Continue reading

Posted in ear training, how to improve sight-reading at the piano, improving sight reading skills, Piano Street, piano student, piano studio, piano teacher, piano technique, piano tuning, piano tutorial, Piano World, pianoaddict.com, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing piano, publishers marketplace, publishersmarketplace, publishersmarketplace.com, scale fingerings, scales, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, sight-reading at the piano, sightreading at the piano, talkclassical.com, teaching scales, technique, Theory, uk-piano-forums, Uncategorized, whole body music listening, word press, wordpress.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Taking Piano Lessons: Skimming the surface or getting deeply involved?

I often think about a prevailing atmosphere of depersonalization these days fostered by cell phones, text messaging, being on the periphery of things, touching bases, not really getting deeply connected to any one subject. Social networking, video games, compulsive school … Continue reading

Posted in blog, blogger, blogging, California, classissima, classissima.com, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, Fresno, John Dewey, Lipman Bers, mind body connection, music, music and heart, music teachers association of california, musical inspiration, New York City, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Oberlin Conservatory, piano, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano pedagogy, piano technique, Piano World, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing piano, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, talkclassical.com, word press, wordpress.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Piano Instruction: Flexible wrist, rolling forward motion for shaping groups of notes in Burgmuller’s “Inquietude” (VIDEO)

I’ve chosen Burgmuller’s E minor “Inquietude” (Restlessness) from the composer’s Twenty-Five Progressive Pieces, to demonstrate a spring forward movement of the wrist used with groupings of three slurred 16th notes that permeate the selection. I also enlist syllables, “da-lee-dle” to … Continue reading

Posted in 19th Century music, Burgmuller Inquietude, mind body connection, MTAC, music, music and heart, music history, music teachers association of california, music theory, musicology, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Oberlin, Oberlin Conservatory, pianist, piano, piano addict, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano pedagogy, piano practicing, piano repertoire for intermediate level students, piano society, Piano Street, piano student, piano studio, piano teacher, piano teaching repertoire, piano technique, piano tutorial, Piano World, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing piano, publishers marketplace, publishersmarketplace, publishersmarketplace.com, Romantic era music, Romantic music, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Steinway grand piano, Steinway M grand piano, Steinway piano, talkclassical.com, Teach Street, Theory, Twenty five Progressive pieces by Burgmuller, uk-piano-forums, video performances, whole body music listening, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Eurhythmics, A Whole Body Listening Experience (Video)

I took a Eurhythmics class at Oberlin taught by a magical, mystical, musically in touch woman named Inda Howland who was a student of Jacques Dalcroze. Barefoot, wearing a native Indian garment–embracing an exotic percussion instrument from Bali as her … Continue reading

Posted in music and heart, musical inspiration, New York City High School of Performing Arts, New York University, Oberlin Conservatory, piano instruction, piano lesson, piano lessons, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing piano, publishers marketplace, publishersmarketplace, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, talkclassical.com, whole body music listening, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I could write a book titled PIANODRAMA

First I thought about Pianorama, which would be a catchy title describing a marathon of student performances sponsored by a local Music Teachers Association. In fact years ago we had one of these in Fresno, where I used to teach. … Continue reading

Posted in "Did Somebody Say Fresno?!", MTAC, music, music teachers association of california, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Oberlin, Oberlin Conservatory, piano, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano society, Piano Street, piano student, piano studio, piano teacher, Piano World, pianoaddict.com, pianorama, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing piano, publishers marketplace, publishersmarketplace, publishersmarketplace.com, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, word press, wordpress.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

The Art of Phrasing at the Piano: Starting the process with Beginners (Videos)

For some unexplained reason, my earliest piano studies never included the art of phrasing. My primer teacher stressed naming notes, finding them, affixing correct fingering and counting out robotic beats. I knew nothing about feeling a melodic landscape; putting the … Continue reading

Posted in "Just Being At the Piano", Baroque music, creative learning environment, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, Faber Primer Piano Adventures, Facebook, Fresno California, fresno filmmakers alliance, harmonic analysis, Intermediate level piano repertoire, Internet, Keith Snell, keyboard technique, Lillian Freundlich, memoir, mind body connection, MTAC, MTAC Baroque Festival, music, music and heart, music teachers association, music teachers association of california, music theory, music video, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Nordiska, Northwest Fresno, Oberlin, Oberlin Conservatory, pianist, piano, piano addict, piano instruction, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano pedagogy, piano society, piano warm-ups, Piano World, pianoaddict.com, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing piano, publishers marketplace, publishersmarketplace, publishersmarketplace.com, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Steinway grand piano, talkclassical.com, Teach Street, teaching piano to teenagers, technique, Theory, traditional piano teaching, Twenty five Progressive pieces by Burgmuller, video performances, whole body music listening, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Appealing piano repertoire for students: Ballade by Burgmuller (Video) and a Lesson-in-Progress

A piece that’s popular among piano students and often steers them back on course, is Burgmuller’s “Ballade.” In previous blogs, I highlighted “The Chase,” “Harmony of the Angels,” and “Tarentelle,” from this Op. 100 Collection of 25 Progressive Pieces. Burgmuller’s … Continue reading

Posted in authorsden, blog, blogger, blogging, Burgmuller, California, classissima, classissima.com, Creative Fresno, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, Fresno, Fresno California, fresno filmmakers alliance, Intermediate level piano repertoire, MTAC, music teachers association of california, New York City High School of Performing Arts, New York University, Oberlin Conservatory, piano, piano addict, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano pedagogy, piano practicing, piano repertoire for intermediate level students, piano society, Piano Street, piano teacher, piano teaching repertoire, Piano World, pianoaddict.com, Pianostreet.com, publishers marketplace, publishersmarketplace, publishersmarketplace.com, Romantic era music, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Steinway and Sons, Steinway grand piano, Twenty five Progressive pieces by Burgmuller, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

To use or not to use a Metronome in the piano studio

There’s no doubt that one of the biggest challenges in teaching piano students of all ages is imbuing a rhythmic or metrical consciousness. In my experience, younger students, especially, at the primer level of study, want to race off like … Continue reading

Posted in adult piano students, blog, blogger, blogging, Celebration MTAC Fresno, classissima, classissima.com, metronome, music teachers association of california, music theory, New York City High School of Performing Arts, New York University, Oberlin Conservatory, Oberlin Conservatory, New York City High School of Performing Arts, pianist, piano, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano pedagogy, piano practicing, piano society, Piano Street, piano studio, piano teacher, Piano World, pianoaddict.com, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, publishersmarketplace, publishersmarketplace.com, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, talkclassical.com, Teach Street, teaching piano scales, teaching piano to teenagers, teaching scales, Theory, word press, wordpress.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments