Monthly Archives: May 2011

The double standard as applied to used pianos and their sale

I’m always surprised by the condition of many private party market used pianos, as if a double standard is operating when comparing a house sale to a piano sale. I will sometimes walk into a home that is on the … Continue reading

Posted in antique pianos, appraisal piano, blog, blogger, blogging, California, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, Fresno California, humor, piano, piano finding, piano finding adventure, piano maintenance, piano repair, private party marketplace of pianos, used piano, used pianos | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Piano Practicing: Re-doing and Refining

Studying piano, playing through the great piano literature, requires revisiting, re-doing and refining our work. This undertaking should not carry a value judgment that what preceded was poor or inadequate. Those adjectives do not belong to the process of learning. … Continue reading

Posted in "Of Foreign Lands and Peoples" by Schumann, California, classissima, classissima.com, Creative Fresno, creative learning environment, Fresno, Fresno California, mind body connection, MTAC, muscular memory, music and heart, music teachers association of california, music video, New York City High School of Performing Arts, New York University, Oberlin Conservatory, pianist, piano, piano addict, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano pedagogy, piano practicing, piano society, Piano Street, piano studio, piano teacher, piano tutorial, Piano World, pianoaddict.com, Pianostreet.com, playing piano, publishers marketplace, publishersmarketplace, publishersmarketplace.com, Robert Schumann, Romantic era music, Romantic music, Schumann, Schumann Kinderszenen, self-analysis, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Steinway and Sons, Steinway grand piano, Steinway M grand piano, talkclassical.com, Teach Street, teaching piano, uk-piano-forums, videotaped replay, whole body music listening, word press, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Piano Technique and Weight Control: Bringing out and balancing voices (Video) Teacher, Shirley Kirsten

When students do routine scales and arpeggios as warm-ups to their tour de force pieces, I like to spice things up a bit by playing around with voicing and weight control. (Yes, you heard me right) I’ll surprise them by … Continue reading

Posted in blog, blogger, blogging, classissima, classissima.com, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, Fresno, Fresno California, Internet, keyboard technique, Major and minor scales, mind body connection, MTAC, muscular memory, music history, music teachers association of california, music theory, New York City, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Oberlin, Oberlin Conservatory, pianist, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano pedagogy, piano practicing, piano repertoire, Piano Street, piano student, piano studio, piano teacher, piano teaching repertoire, piano technique, Piano World, pianoaddict.com, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing piano, publishers marketplace, publishersmarketplace, publishersmarketplace.com, Robert Schumann, Romantic era music, Romantic music, scale fingerings, scales, self-analysis, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, sports, Steinway M grand piano, Steinway piano, talkclassical.com, Teach Street, teaching piano, teaching piano scales, video performances, whole body music listening, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Performing the Adagio Cantabile, Mvt. 2, Beethoven, Sonata Pathetique, Op. 13

There comes a time when all the analyzing, voice parceling and dissection of a movement must finally be integrated into a whole. Trusting that attentive listening and muscle memory are at work on a subliminal level, the player lets go, … Continue reading

Posted in Beethoven, Beethoven Pathetique, blog, blogger, blogging, pianist, piano, piano addict, piano instructor, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano pedagogy, piano practicing, Piano World, pianoworld, playing piano, publishers marketplace, publishersmarketplace, publishersmarketplace.com, self-analysis, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Steinway grand piano, Teach Street, teaching piano, video performances, whole body music listening, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Piano instruction: Beethoven’s Sonata “Pathetique,” Adagio mvt.–applying voice analysis and muscle memory to the opening ( 4 Videos)

The Adagio movement of Beethoven’s Pathetique Sonata requires attentive listening, deep in the key practicing, muscle memory, and a natural breath that flows out of phrases. I start with the top most voice and work my way through to the … Continue reading

Posted in Beethoven, Beethoven Pathetique, Classical era, classical music, Classical period sonata, classissima, classissima.com, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, muscular memory, music and heart, music teachers association of california, music theory, musical inspiration, New York City High School of Performing Arts, New York University, Oberlin Conservatory, pianist, piano, piano addict, piano instruction, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano pedagogy, piano practicing, piano society, Piano Street, piano student, piano studio, piano teacher, piano technique, piano tutorial, Piano World, pianoaddict.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, publishers marketplace, publishersmarketplace, publishersmarketplace.com, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Piano Technique: Muscular memory, self-analysis, and mental imagery (VIDEO)

Muscular memory and self-analytical practicing go hand in hand. When you feel like you’re zinging in, playing a passage or phrase like you would imagine hearing a fine pianist render it, then it’s your prime time to recapture the moment … Continue reading

Posted in classissima, classissima.com, muscular memory, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano pedagogy, piano student, piano tutorial, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing piano, publishers marketplace, publishersmarketplace, publishersmarketplace.com, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Teach Street, teaching piano, uk-piano-forums, whole body music listening, word press, wordpress.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Piano Instruction: Connecting a melody through Chords in Beethoven’s “Fur Elise,” Measures 62-77

This video contains recommendations for fleshing out a legato melody that runs through chords in the C section, or Stormy part of Beethoven’s “Fur Elise.” (Right hand finger substitutions, etc . explored)

Posted in Beethoven, blog, blogger, Classical era, classical music, Fur Elise, music teachers association of california, New York City High School of Performing Arts, New York University, Oberlin Conservatory, piano, piano instruction, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano practicing, Piano Street, piano student, piano teacher, playing piano | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Piano Instruction: The Virtues of Slow Motion Practicing and Attentive Listening

It takes patience to approach a piece well behind tempo, tuning in to every nuance and turn of phrase. With ears alert and sensitive, the player tries to create a feeling state where he’s submerged in sound to the exclusion … Continue reading

Posted in blog, blogger, blogging, classissima, classissima.com, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, Fresno, Internet, mental imagery, Mildred Portney Chase, mind body connection, music, music and heart, music teachers association, music teachers association of california, musical inspiration, New York, New York City, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Northwest Fresno, Oberlin, Oberlin Conservatory, pianist, piano, piano addict, piano instructor, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano pedagogy, piano practicing, piano technique, piano warm-ups, Piano World, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing piano, self-analysis, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, talkclassical.com, Teach Street, teaching piano, technique, uk-piano-forums | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Can Piano Lessons be Skyped?

The very title of this blog might send readers feverishly rushing off to other sites. I would have had the same fight/flight response before I heard from two happy Skyping students, one of whom was so pan-allergic that any semblance … Continue reading

Posted in El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, Fresno California, Internet, music, music teachers association of california, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Oberlin Conservatory, piano addict, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano pedagogy, piano student, piano studio, piano teacher, piano teaching repertoire, piano technique, piano tutorial, pianoaddict.com, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing piano, publishers marketplace, publishersmarketplace, publishersmarketplace.com, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Skype, Skyping piano lessons, Teach Street, teaching piano, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Piano Instruction: Using the wrist to taper phrases

I’ve always believed that it’s not enough to rely on fingers, or finger action alone, to play the piano expressively. For me, enlisting the wrist, and rolling into notes, especially those that are shaped down at the conclusion of phrases … Continue reading

Posted in authorsden, blog, blogger, blogging, California, Chopin, Chopin Waltz in A minor, classissima, classissima.com, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, flexible tempo, Fresno California, harmonic analysis, keyboard technique, MTAC, music, music and heart, music teachers association of california, New York City High School of Performing Arts, New York University, Oberlin Conservatory, pianist, piano, piano addict, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano pedagogy, piano repertoire, Piano Street, piano student, piano studio, piano teacher, piano teaching repertoire, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, publishers marketplace, publishersmarketplace, publishersmarketplace.com, Romantic era music, Romantic music, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, teaching piano scales, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment