Monthly Archives: June 2012

Piano Warm-ups, Chopin, and the Art of Breathing (Videos)

An adult student and I worked on relaxation techniques that applied to her warm-ups. We practiced preparation for starting notes of broken chords and scales. I recommended a slow and deep ingestion of air before the release of a stream, … Continue reading

Posted in El Cerrito piano studio, piano, piano instruction, piano lessons, piano teaching, piano technique and breathing, the breath and phrasing in piano playing, word press, word press.com, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube.com, yout tube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Rina, 5, plays “Little March” by Turk–10 months of piano lessons–and a flashback to my childhood

Rina marches forward making great progress. For a child of 5, her gains are remarkable. By comparison, my early piano studies were unremarkable. When I embarked upon lessons at age 6, I lived in the Marble Hill Projects, (Bronx, New … Continue reading

Posted in piano instruction, piano lessons, Rina takes piano lessons, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, teaching piano to children, teacing piano to children, word press, word press.com, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube.com, yout tube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Originally posted on Arioso7's Blog (Shirley Kirsten):
Face the music! Most new Conservatory grads with fancy Bachelor of Music, Performance-Piano Degrees bound in leather must improvise when catapulted into the competitive job market. With only a tiny space on…

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Originally posted on Arioso7's Blog (Shirley Kirsten):
Bb C D Eb F G A Bb C D Eb F G A Bb *** Last night I had a rap session with a student on the subject of his favorite…

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Phrasing at the piano: Listening to the ends of notes as they flow into others

I’ve chosen Burgmuller’s “Tender Flower” as the springboard to explore attentive listening and its relationship to phrasing. At the outset, the right moment to begin a piece is a challenge. The player has to experience the whole dimension of silence … Continue reading

Posted in attentive listening, Burgmuller Tender Flower, El Cerrito piano studio, Friedrich Burgmuller, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, Just Being at the Piano by Mildred Portney Chase, phrasing at the piano, pianist, piano, piano study, playing piano, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, whole body listening, whole body music listening, word press, word press.com, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video, you tube.com, yout tube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Originally posted on Arioso7's Blog (Shirley Kirsten):
It’s always nice to blog about a devoted cadre of piano students who show up each week prepared for their lessons, wanting to grow and develop in creative directions. Such a pleasing…

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From Legato to Staccato: staying connected at the piano (Video)

The universal chant among my adult students is, “I can’t play those darn staccato scales and arpeggios. They’re impossible!” And the reason for all the moans and groans is, they feel DISCONNECTED, and not safely secure in the keys. It’s … Continue reading

Posted in El Cerrito piano studio, piano instruction, piano lessons, piano scales, piano teaching, piano technique, playing legato to staccato at the piano, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, the playground as music teacher, word press, word press.com, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video, you tube.com, yout tube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Originally posted on Arioso7's Blog (Shirley Kirsten):
York had shown me burns on his arms that he’d sustained in Hiroshima following the US attack. The blisters sprang up rapidly on the afternoon he’d been dispatched to the scene. I had always surmised that York’s deeply embedded scars were…

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Me, York and Our Great Piano Adventure!

For over a year I was an apprentice to Connell York, 84-year old piano tuner. During our colorful journey on the piano-finding trail, a folksy narrative emerged that informs as it entertains. *** Scenes preview: 84-year old, piana’ tuna,’ Connell … Continue reading

Posted in my piano-finding adventures with Connell York, whole body music listening, word press, word press.com, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video, you tube.com, yout tube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Piano Study: Exploring the full gamut of emotions on the way to mastering a new piece (Videos)

Taking piano lessons should be a deep-level growth experience with a metaphorical tie-in to life. This means that pieces studied and technique applied should be interwoven to realize emotions of sadness, happiness, grieving, elation, disappointment and whatever comes to mind … Continue reading

Posted in Burgmuller, Burgmuller 25 Progressive Pieces, classissima, Do piano lessons have to be fun, Friedrich Burgmuller, pianist, piano, piano instruction, piano lessons, piano teaching, playing piano, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, whole body listening, whole body music listening, William Gillock, word press, word press.com, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube.com, yout tube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment