Monthly Archives: September 2011

When love for the piano dies…and why

After many years of watching students grow and develop, I’ve noticed that some experience a turnaround of feelings about playing the piano, and it can occur at any level of study from beginner to advanced. In some instances, the materials … Continue reading

Posted in piano instruction, piano lesson, piano lesson dropouts, piano lessons, piano student, piano students who drop out, word press, wordpress.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Musical memories of New York City, and my impending trip back home

In about two weeks, I will fly back to New York City for a family birthday celebration, and in a tight 4-day span I’ll visit the edifice of my High School of Performing Arts, which is a designated landmark at … Continue reading

Posted in Carnegie Hall, Lewisohn Stadium, New York City, Patelson's music shop, Sohmer upright piano, the Bronx, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Feeling Disconnected at the Jewish New Year!

Wake up call. At sundown this evening, the Jewish New Year is ushered in. It will have arrived just after my computer wisely shut itself down. The “card” for the fire wire cable IEEE1394 decided to expire at the right … Continue reading

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Emotion and Meaning in Music with examples from Beethoven’s piano works (Videos)

As I thumbed through a soft cover copy of Leonard B. Meyer’s Emotion and Meaning in Music, a book required for an elective course I took at the City University of New York, I became thoroughly confused by the author’s … Continue reading

Posted in "Fur Elise" by Beethoven, Beethoven, Beethoven "Tempest" sonata op. 31 no. 2, Beethoven Pathetique, Emotion and Meaning in Music by Leonard B. Meyer, emotion in music, emotional meaning of music, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lessons, piano teaching, Piano World, pianoaddict.com, playing piano, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Teach Street, teaching Fur Elise, teaching piano, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Piano lessons, long nails, and peer pressure

One of the loudest protests I’d ever heard, came from a 13-year old piano student who screamed at the top of her lungs on the doorstep of my house. Her mother was trying to clip her overgrown fingernails on the … Continue reading

Posted in piano, piano addict, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lesson, piano lessons, playing the piano with long nails, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

A “Glee”-fully Skyping Piano Teacher Sitcom

I couldn’t resist writing a story board for a hypothetical Cable network sitcom about a webcam-enslaved piano teacher. Take One: 7:45 a.m. An adult student Skypes in from the Bay area. The camera angle is off. I can see teenage … Continue reading

Posted in Dozen a Day by Edna-Mae Burnam, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lessons, Skype, skyped piano lessons, TV sitcom, word press, wordpress.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Revisiting Beethoven’s “Moonlight” Sonata, movement 1, “quasi una fantasia,” and comparing You Tube performances

I continuously revisit compositions for a new perspective and in this endeavor, I usually check out You Tube performances of celebrated pianists. The “Moonlight Sonata,” first movement is a piece that many students set their sights to play. On the … Continue reading

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Rina, 4, brings a toy piano to her lesson; creates her own rhythm; and learns A and B; (7th week of instruction using Tales of a Musical Journey) 5 videos

Rina surprised me by bringing her precious mini-purple plastic piano that played a salsa rhythm style piece with very fast notes. It was gratifying to watch her spontaneously point to the “big” and “little houses” on her tiny keyboard that … Continue reading

Posted in "Tales of a Musical Journey", "Tales of a Musical Journey" by Irina Gorin, blog, blogger, blogging, blogs about piano, classissima, classissima.com, creative learning environment, cultivating the singing tone at the piano, how to help children compose, Irina Gorin, Irina Gorin piano studio, learning piano, mindful piano practicing, mindful practicing, MTAC, 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 playing and relaxation, piano practicing, piano repertoire, Piano Street, piano teacher, piano teaching, piano teaching repertoire, Piano World, pianoaddict.com, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, studying piano, Teach Street, teaching piano, teaching piano to children, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Piano Instruction: Going outside the method book track

Method books on the commercial market have a certain lure because they attempt to conveniently package a set of step-by-step lesson goals through approximately six books that are divided into Lesson, Performance and Theory. A teacher can also choose Technique … Continue reading

Posted in "Tales of a Musical Journey" by Irina Gorin, Irina Gorin, Irina Gorin piano studio, MTAC, music and the breath, music teachers association of california, musical phrasing, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Oberlin Conservatory, phrasing at the piano, piano, piano addict, piano instruction, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano playing and relaxation, piano practicing, piano student, piano teacher, piano teaching, piano teaching repertoire, piano technique, pianoaddict.com, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing piano, producing a singing tone legato at the piano, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, singing tone legato, slow mindful practicing, slow piano practicing, studying piano, Teach Street, teaching piano to children, teaching scales, traditional piano teaching, whole body listening, whole body music listening, word press, wordpress.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Piano Technique: “Hopping” in thirds (staccato)–excerpts from two lessons (Video)

Ilyana, 8 and her sister Albertina, 12, explored “hopping” in consecutive thirds at their lessons. (Dozen a Day, Book I, no. 3) They enlisted a spring forward wrist, and tapered the end of a phrase with a swing out elbow … Continue reading

Posted in "Hopping" from Dozen a Day, piano, piano addict, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano playing and relaxation, piano practicing, piano teacher, piano teaching, piano technique, pianoaddict.com, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing piano, playing staccato at the piano, self-analysis, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Teach Street, teaching piano to children, technique, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment