Monthly Archives: July 2012

Keeping up with a fast turnover of repertoire and reclaiming an old piece from the Classical era (Videos)

I always make it a point to advise students of all levels, to stay with a piece long enough to feel at one with it–to experience a fluidity of motion that comes from baby-step, layered learning. Despite my admonitions, some … Continue reading

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Originally posted on Arioso7's Blog (Shirley Kirsten):
York called me from a client’s home in Clovis right after our great treasure-seeking adventure under the Kawai 7-foot grand piano. He’d been appraising a Samick studio upright manufactured in 1990 that was owned…

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Excerpts from a SKYPED Piano Lesson to Greece

In these video segments, the student is practicing Sonatina in C, OP. 36, No. 3, first and last movements: These replays can be very helpful for the student, who is sent copies of his lesson-in-progress. ***

Posted in Muzio Clementi, piano lessons, piano lessons by Skype, piano teaching, POWHOW, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Skyped piano lesson to Greece, skyped piano lessons, Sonatina in C Op. 36 no. 3 by Clementi | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Piano Technique: Turning a door knob helps a 9-year old piano student in her practicing (Videos)

I use various motions extracted from daily life to teach fluidity in piano playing. In this particular example lifted from a lesson-in-progress, Ilyana, 9, applies a door knob-turning gesture to smooth out a passage from William Gillock’s “Splashing in the … Continue reading

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Originally posted on Arioso7's Blog (Shirley Kirsten):
I had to pinch myself when I discovered a Craig’s List ad that featured “an antique baby grand piano selling for $1500.” Staring at me was a larger-than-life “Johann Fritz” that seemed…

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A piano student kicks back over the summer playing a Disney selection while I rekindle old musical memories (Videos)

It’s not a big deal when a student forgets her scale, arpeggio, and total assignment, then drifts into a casual reading of “When You Wish Upon a Star” from Pinocchio. Albertina, 13, had brought a coffee-table size anthology of popular … Continue reading

Posted in "When you Wish Upon a Star" from Walt Disney, duet playing with piano students, Five for Fighting a Hundred Years, John Ondrasik, Liz on Top of the World from Pride and Prejudice, piano instruction, piano lessons, piano teaching, playing piano, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Taylor Swift, Wlat Disney, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube.com, yout tube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Piano Instruction: Clementi Sonatina in C, Op. 36 No. 3 (parts 1 and 2) and a Skyped lesson-in-progress recorded by camcorder

Supplements to Skyped lessons come in two forms. I will either send an unlisted mid-week video to a long-distance learner as a brush-up, or I’ll upload public videos that can be universally shared. Both help me crystallize how I will … Continue reading

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A Bay Area literary gathering of Oberlin Alums produced a web of connections

Less than six degrees separated attendees at a Berkeley-based Book discussion group. I knew the moment I entered the living room of Mike and Adrianne Fine Bank for an Oberlin alumni-sponsored book group event on Berkeley’s Le Roy Avenue, that … Continue reading

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Harmonic Rhythm, melodic twists, and emotional shifts in Chopin’s B Minor Waltz, Op. 69, No. 2 (Video)

The harmonic flow of a piece is one ingredient of phrase shaping, along with melodic contouring that springs from the human voice and its natural breath. All have emotional consequence as music pours out of the heart and soul of … Continue reading

Posted in Chopin B minor Waltz, Chopin B minor Waltz op. 69 No. 2, Chopin Waltzes, Frederic Chopin, Interpreting Chopin's music, pianist, piano, piano instruction, piano lessons, playing piano, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Skype, video exchanges with skype piano students, word press, word press.com, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube.com, yout tube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pianos, Old Age, and Cosmetic Imperfection

I wish I could order an instant make-over for gorgeous-sounding pianos that suffer rejection because of imperfect exteriors. By example, one of my students who’d grown attached to her respectable-looking, 70′s era, walnut console piano, was devastated when her family … Continue reading

Posted in Acrosonic piano, Brooklyn Bridge Park, cosmetic appearances of pianos, George Gershwin, Gulbransen piano, Haddorff piano, piano, Rhapsody in Blue, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Sing for Hope, Steinway M grand piano, Steinway piano, used piano, used pianos, word press.com, wordpress, wordpress.com, Wurlitzer piano, you tube video, you tube.com, yout tube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments