Category Archives: California

East Coast/West Coast (East Bay) culture shock

Recently, I made a trip back East to New York City to attend my aunt’s Memorial Service, and the experience hit “home!” Being a child of the Bronx and Manhattan, my emigration to California over three decades ago, definitely came … Continue reading

Posted in Bezerkeley, California, cultural differences between New York City and Berkeley, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, making friends in Berkeley California, New York City, New York City versus Berkeley, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, the Big Apple, The East Bay California, word press, word press.com, wordpress, wordpress.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

When sight-reading is not enough: Learning a new piano piece from the ground up so we can teach it to our students (Videos)

I’m reminded of a quote attributed to Sviatoslav Richter when asked how he approached a challenging new composition of virtuoso proportion: His reply– “I read a new piece and then start practicing the place that irritates me the most. After … Continue reading

Posted in arioso7, blog, blogger, blogging, blogging about piano, California, classissima, classissima.com, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, Felix Mendelssohn, Mendelssohn Children's Piece Op. 72 no. 1, music, music and heart, music and the breath, New York City High School of Performing Arts, New York University, Oberlin Conservatory, pianist, pianists, piano, piano addict, piano blogging, piano blogs, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano lessson, piano playing, piano playing and breathing, piano playing and phrasing, piano playing and the singing tone, piano studio, piano study, piano teacher, piano teachers, piano teaching, piano teaching repertoire, piano tutorial, Piano World, piano world-wide, pianoaddict.com, Romantic era music, sight-reading and piano playing, Sviatoslav Richter, video instruction, whole body listening, whole body music listening, word press, word press.com, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A former piano student carves out a unique life as a dance accompanist or is it “Freeway Gypsy?”

For Becca Wong, her career path seemed predestined. Having had a firmly rooted music and dance background in her native Hong Kong prior to her arrival in California, she was at least predisposed to a future vocation celebrating the arts. … Continue reading

Posted in Alvin Ailey Dance Company, American Ballet Theater, ballet, ballet accompanist, Boston Ballet, California, Chapman University, choreography, color guard, dance accompanist, dance musician, Fresno, Fresno California, Hong Kong, Hubbard Street, Mark Morris Dance Group, Orange County High School of the Arts, Riverside Community College, Segerstom in Southern California, University of California Irvine, Vladimir Malakhov, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Piano Instruction: Chopin Mazurka in F Major, Op. 68, No. 3 (Video)

According to the Harvard Brief Dictionary of Music edited by Willi Apel and Ralph T. Daniel, a “Mazurka” is a Polish national dance in triple time with a characteristic dotted rhythm, and having a strong accent on the second or … Continue reading

Posted in California, Chopin, Chopin Mazurka, Chopin Mazurka in F Major Op. 68 no. 3, classissima, classissima.com, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, Fresno California, Haddorff, Haddorff piano, Mazurka, MTAC, muscular memory, music, music teachers association of california, musical inspiration, musical phrasing, New York City, New York City High School of Performing Arts, New York University, Oberlin, Oberlin Conservatory, phrasing at the piano, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano pedagogy, piano practicing, piano repertoire, piano studio, piano teacher, piano teaching repertoire, piano technique, pianoaddict.com, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing piano, Romantic era music, Romantic music, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, talkclassical.com, Teach Street, teaching piano, teaching piano to children, technique, uk-piano-forums, whole body listening, whole body music listening, word press, wordpress.com, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Aiden Cat Dozes off to Debussy (Video)

Looks like Aiden was out like a light… except for 2 well-timed ear twitches … otherwise, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz Arabesque no. 1 Played on my Haddorff console piano (manuf. 1951) a real musical treasure with divine resonance. Aiden’s awake-time pics: RELATED: A … Continue reading

Posted in Aiden Cat, Aiden the Cat, California, classissima.com, Claude Debussy, Debussy, Debussy Arabesque No. 1 by Claude Debussy, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, Fresno California, Haddorff, Haddorff piano, Impressionist Music, MTAC, music, music and heart, music and the breath, music teachers association of california, musical cat, musical inspiration, musical phrasing, New York City High School of Performing Arts, New York University, Oberlin, Oberlin Conservatory, whole body listening, whole body music listening, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Should piano students listen to recorded performances of pieces they are first beginning to learn?

I was thinking of Palmer’s edition of Chopin, an Introduction to His Music, and when I first purchased it years ago there was no inserted CD of recorded selections contained in the album. With subsequent published editions, a CD popped … Continue reading

Posted in blog, blogger, blogging, California, ear training, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, Fresno, Fresno California, mind body connection, MTAC, Murray Perahia, muscular memory, music, music and heart, music and the breath, music history, music teachers association of california, music theory, 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 teacher, piano teaching repertoire, piano technique, Piano World, pianoaddict.com, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing piano, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, sight-singing, slow piano practicing, talkclassical.com, Teach Street, teaching piano, teaching piano to children, technique, Theory, uk-piano-forums, whole body listening, whole body music listening, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | 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

Piano Instruction: Avoiding Injuries, using “Butterfly” by Edvard Grieg as a slow practicing example (Videos)

About twenty years ago, before I was enlightened about the risk of injuries when I practiced and how to avoid them, I sustained a ligament tear of my ring finger, right hand. It was while playing the Schumann Carnaval, and … Continue reading

Posted in adult piano students, authorsden, blog, blogger, blogging, California, classissima, classissima.com, Edvard Grieg, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, MTAC, music and heart, music and the breath, music teachers association of california, New York City High School of Performing Arts, New York University, Oberlin Conservatory, pianist, piano, piano addict, piano instructor, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano society, Piano Street, piano studio, playing piano, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Steinway piano, talkclassical.com, Teach Street, teaching piano, teaching piano to children, teaching piano to teenagers, technique, uk-piano-forums, whole body listening, whole body music listening, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

More ideas about Piano Technique and Mental Imagery (Playing into a Bowl of Molasses)

Continuing my practice of videotaping my Thursday evening lesson, I reviewed the footage and discovered some catch words that helped me clarify ideas about technique and fluency. While it may sound a bit outlandish to think of the piano as … Continue reading

Posted in blog, blogger, California, classissima, classissima.com, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, Fresno California, molasses, MTAC, music and heart, music and the breath, music teachers association of california, New York City High School of Performing Arts, New York University, Oberlin Conservatory, pianist, piano, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lesson, piano pedagogy, piano practicing, piano scales, piano society, Piano Street, piano student, piano studio, piano teacher, piano technique, piano tutorial, Piano World, pianoaddict.com, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing piano, scale fingerings, scales, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Steinway M grand piano, Steinway piano, Steinway studio upright, talkclassical.com, Teach Street, teaching piano, teaching piano scales, teaching scales, technique, whole body listening, whole body music listening, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Digital Piano Review continued: On Location at Best Buy in Fresno CA (6 videos)

This was such a smooth experience. Matthew Wheeler was found playing drums and keyboard in Best Buy’s atrium, for want of a better name, and he stopped what he was doing to film me sampling digitals. These were console models: … Continue reading

Posted in Beethoven, blog, blogger, blogging, California, Casio, Casio 830 digital piano, classical music, classissima, classissima.com, digital piano, digital pianos, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, Fur Elise, music teachers association, music teachers association of california, New York City High School of Performing Arts, New York University, Oberlin, Oberlin Conservatory, phrasing at the piano, piano, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano teacher, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing piano, Roland digital, Roland digital piano, RolandF110, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, word press, wordpress.com, Yamaha Arius YDP141, Yamaha piano, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment