Category Archives: Bay area

My New Piano Studio in El Cerrito, California, and panoramic views taken from Amtrak 711 and 712 along the Bay route

*** After my arrival in El Cerrito, I walked to my new location in a very old, established neighborhood with mature shade trees and lush foliage. It had to be the perfect paradise for teaching piano. *** Photos down below … Continue reading

Posted in Bay area, classissima, classissima.com, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, phrasing at the piano, pianist, piano, piano addict, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano lessons and parental support, piano pedagogy, playing piano, teaching piano, teaching piano to children, teaching piano to teenagers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Between California and Oregon: Skyping Chopin with an eight-year old student (Video of lesson in progress)

At the cue of a SKYPE musical trademark ring, I tapped the green-colored phone icon and brought an eight-year old, her dad, and a grand piano into view. A second virtual lesson beamed between California and Oregon officially began! Featured … Continue reading

Posted in Bay area, blog, blogger, blogging, California, Chopin, Chopin Waltz, Chopin Waltz in A minor, Creative Fresno, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, Facebook, Fresno California, keyboard technique, long distance piano teaching, memorizing piano music, mind body connection, MTAC, muscular memory, music, music and heart, music and the breath, music teachers association of california, music video, musical inspiration, musical phrasing, New York, New York City, New York City High School of Performing Arts, New York University, Oberlin, Oberlin Conservatory, phrasing at the piano, pianist, piano, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano pedagogy, piano practicing, piano society, Piano Street, piano student, piano studio, piano teacher, piano teaching repertoire, piano technique, piano tutorial, Piano World, pianoaddict.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing piano, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Skype, skyped piano lessons, Skyping piano lessons, slow piano practicing, talkclassical.com, Teach Street, teaching piano, uk-piano-forums, video uploading, virtual piano lessons, virtual piano teaching, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

My Anna Magdalena Bach Notebook favorites, and why it’s best to play the real deal (Video)

I was thinking about an adult student I currently teach in the Bay area who thumbed through her Faber Older Beginner Adult Accelerated Piano Adventures Method Book, and was instantly drawn to “Musette,”one of the many pieces contained in Anna … Continue reading

Posted in adult piano students, Anna Magdalena Bach Notebook, Baroque music, Bay area, blog, blogger, blogging, classissima, classissima.com, Faber Older beginner Accelerated Piano Adventures, Faber the Developing Artist Series, piano practicing, piano repertoire, piano student, piano studio, piano teacher, piano teaching repertoire, Piano World, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing piano, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, talkclassical.com, Teach Street, teaching piano, traditional piano teaching, uk-piano-forums, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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

A Piano Room with a View

I thought of E.M. Forster’s novel as an inspiration for this blog, but “The Hills are alive with the Sound of Music” would have more aptly described what I was writing about. Every week, a breathtaking view of the El … Continue reading

Posted in "A Room with a View", "The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Music", Bay area, blog, blogger, blogging, E.M. Forster, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, Molly Goldberg, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano room, piano society, piano student, piano studio, Piano World, pianoaddict.com, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, South Bronx, talkclassical.com, Teach Street, Uncategorized, video performances, word press, wordpress.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What can you do with a Performance-Piano Degree?

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 the world stage reserved for budding soloists, many … Continue reading

Posted in 6 degrees of separation, authorsden, Baroque music, Bay area, blog, blogger, blogging, children's music, Children's pieces, Circle of Fifths, Classical era, classissima, classissima.com, counterpoint, Creative Fresno, Domenico Scarlatti, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, essercizi, Facebook, five finger positions, five finger warm-ups, Fresno, Fresno California, humor, J.S. Bach, JS Bach, Karl Orff, keyboard technique, Major and minor scales, memoir, mind body connection, MTAC, music, music and heart, Music Teachers Asssociation of California, music therapy, musicology, my space, New York City, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Oberlin Conservatory, Orff Schulwerk, pianist, piano, piano addict, piano instruction, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano pedagogy, piano practicing, piano society, Piano Street, piano student, piano teacher, piano technique, piano warm-ups, Piano World, pianoaddict.com, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, publishersmarketplace.com, satire, scale fingerings, scales, Scarlatti, Scarlatti Sonatas, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Steinway and Sons, Steinway grand piano, Steinway M grand piano, Steinway piano, talkclassical.com, Teach Street, teaching piano scales, technique, uk-piano-forums, video performances, videotaped replay, whole body music listening, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Piano teachers, students, and reluctant farewells

  Lillian Freundlich *** For many piano teachers who’ve nursed along students from Primer toddlerhood to an Intermediate level confidence-climbing phase, through to the Advanced, smooth riding finish with flashy fingers, the pupil’s farewell is an emotional event. Of course, … Continue reading

Posted in 6 degrees of separation, adult piano students, Bay area, blogger, blogging, California, classical music, classissima.com, Creative Fresno, Douglas Freundlich, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, Facebook, Fresno, Fresno California, Hanon studies, humor, keyboard technique, Major and minor scales, memoir, mind body connection, MTAC, music, music and heart, Music Teachers Asssociation of California, musicology, New York City, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Oberlin Conservatory, pianist, piano, piano addict, piano instruction, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano pedagogy, piano practicing, piano scales, piano society, Piano Street, piano student, piano teaching repertoire, piano technique, piano warm-ups, playing piano, publishers marketplace, publishersmarketplace.com, scale fingerings, scales, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Steinway and Sons, Steinway M grand piano, talkclassical.com, Teach Street, teaching piano scales, technique, Theory, whole body music listening, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Adult piano students say and do the darndest things.

I remember Art Linkletter’s show, “Kids Say the Darndest Things,” which made me think of a few adult piano students and their hauntingly memorable words. Yesterday, for example, I was forewarned by a 70-year old pupil, that I should expect … Continue reading

Posted in 6 degrees of separation, adult piano students, Album for the Young, Apple iPhone, arpeggios, Art Linkletter, athletic coaching, athletic training, attorney, authorsden, Baroque music, Bay area, blog, blogger, blogging, boxing, boxing lessons, California, Cato, cd baby, cdbaby, Children's pieces, Circle of Fifths, Classical era, classical music, classissima, classissima.com, counterpoint, Creative Fresno, crossed hands, diminished 7th arpeggios, diminished 7th chords, Domenico Scarlatti, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, essercizi, Facebook, Fig Garden Village, five finger positions, five finger warm-ups, Fresno, Fresno California, Fresno Famous, fresno filmmakers alliance, gymnastics, humor, Internet, iPad, iPhone, keyboard technique, kids say the darndest things, lawyer, Major and minor scales, memoir, mind body connection, MTAC, MTAC Baroque Festival, music, music and heart, music history, Music Teachers Asssociation of California, musicology, my space, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Oberlin Conservatory, pentachords, piano, piano addict, piano finding adventure, piano instruction, piano society, Piano Street, piano student, piano teacher, piano teaching repertoire, piano warm-ups, Piano World, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing piano, publishers marketplace, publishersmarketplace.com, Ralph Cato, satire, scale fingerings, scales, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, sparring partner, sports, Steinway grand piano, Steinway M grand piano, Steinway piano, Teach Street, technique, Theory, trills, tritone, uk-piano-forums, video performances, videotaped replay, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Domenico Scarlatti Sonata (Toccata) in D minor, K. 141 with reams of repeated notes (VIDEO)

Domenico Scarlatti never fails to come up with a flashy pyrotechnical escapade that can make or break a player in progress. I know, because I’ve walked the plank with this piece until I was able to reverse my fortune and … Continue reading

Posted in arpeggios, athletic coaching, athletic training, authorsden, Baroque music, Bay area, California, classical music, classissima.com, counterpoint, Creative Fresno, crossed hands, diminished 7th arpeggios, diminished 7th chords, diminished chords, Domenico Scarlatti, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, Elaine Comparone, essercizi, Facebook, five finger positions, five finger warm-ups, Fresno, Fresno California, Fresno Famous, fresno filmmakers alliance, gymnastics, harpsichord, keyboard technique, Major and minor scales, mind body connection, music, music and heart, music teachers association of california, Music Teachers Asssociation of California, musicology, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Northwest Fresno, Oberlin Conservatory, Oberlin Conservatory, New York City High School of Performing Arts, ornaments, pianist, piano, piano addict, piano instruction, piano lesson, piano society, Piano Street, piano student, piano teacher, piano technique, piano warm-ups, Piano World, pianoaddict.com, Pianostreet.com, publishers marketplace, publishersmarketplace.com, pyrotechnical exercises, Ralph Kirkpatrick, repeated notes, scales, Scarlatti, Scarlatti Sonatas, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, talkclassical.com, technique, Theory, trills, uk-piano-forums, whole body music listening, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Big Baroque Festival!

I cleared most of my Saturday morning lessons so I could be on time for a special rehearsal at Fresno State. I took no chances given the steady rain these past few days that caused dangerously deep puddles along Shaw … Continue reading

Posted in "Just Being At the Piano", "The Inner Game of Tennis", 6 degrees of separation, Amtrak station, Apple iPhone, athletic coaching, athletic training, authorsden, Bach Invention, Bach Inventions, Bach Two Part Inventions, Baroque music, Bay area, Beethoven, Beethoven Moonlight Sonata, California, classical music, classissima, classissima.com, counterpoint, Creative Fresno, cyber technology, Domenico Scarlatti, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, email, essercizi, Facebook, five finger positions, five finger warm-ups, Fresno, Fresno California, Fresno State University, gymnastics, humor, Internet, iPhone, J.S. Bach, J.S. Bach two part Inventions, keyboard technique, Major and minor scales, memoir, Mildred Portney Chase, mind body connection, MTAC, MTAC Baroque Festival, music, music and heart, Music Teachers Asssociation of California, musicology, my space, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Northwest Fresno, Oberlin Conservatory, Old Fig Garden in Fresno, pentachords, performance anxiety, pianist, piano, piano addict, piano instruction, piano lesson, piano pedagogy, piano room, piano society, piano student, piano teacher, piano teaching repertoire, piano technique, piano warm-ups, Piano World, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld.com, publishers marketplace, publishersmarketplace.com, pyrotechnical exercises, satire, Scarlatti, Scarlatti Sonatas, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, sports, Steinway and Sons, Steinway grand piano, Steinway M grand piano, Steinway piano, talkclassical.com, technique, uk-piano-forums, video performances, whole body music listening, word press, wordpress.com, Yamaha piano, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment