Category Archives: classissima

A Romp through F# Major scales and arpeggios

F# Major, from a certain perspective, happens to be one of the easier scales to play because it falls into patterns of triple black and double black keys with thumbs meeting in between. In fact, both hands have mirror fingers … Continue reading

Posted in classissima, F# Major scale, piano technique, scales and arpeggios, wordpress.com, you tube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Facing the Music on FACETIME

Burgmuller’s “SORROW” received a BOOST on FACETIME where it was the PITS on SKYPE. The latter sometimes mimics jet landings with a whoosh sound, while an echo chamber effect causes unwanted tremolos. In this “FACE”-beamed environment, a formerly LIVE student … Continue reading

Posted in classissima, classissima.com, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Skype, wordpress.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The value and application of slow piano practicing

Angela Hewitt boldly emphasizes the importance of slow practicing in this brief video segment. She states that everything you do behind tempo should be molded into a faster reading as to phrasing, dynamics, etc. And it goes without saying that … Continue reading

Posted in Angela Hewitt, Classical era sonata, classissima, Haydn Sonata in Eb Haydn Sonata in Eb Hob.XVI:52 (Rondo), Haydn Sonata in Eb Hob.XVI:52, piano lesson, Shirley Smith Kirsten | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Piano technique is about flexibility not finger strength

I remember my days at the Oberlin Conservatory pumping out meaningless Schmitt finger exercises, often holding notes down, while a selected persecuted finger had to brave the pain is gain ritual. (tap, tap, tap, tap, and move on to the … Continue reading

Posted in classissima, classissima.com, Franz Josef Haydn, Haydn Sonata in Eb Hob.XVI:52 (Rondo), Haydn Sonatas, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, Oberlin Conservatory, piano lessons, piano study, piano technique, Schmitt exercises, Shirley Kirsten, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Piano Practicing: Taking the robot out of fast passages

It’s easy to stare at a Presto Rondo from the Classical era, and wonder how to navigate scads of notes that can end up on the assembly line, pumped out with no sense of individuality. And while herds of them … Continue reading

Posted in classissima, classissima.com, Franz Josef Haydn, harmonic rhythm, Haydn, Haydn Sonata in Eb Hob.XVI:52 (Rondo), Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, piano instruction, piano lessons, piano technique, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, word press, word press.com, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube.com, youtube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Comparing two performances Of Chopin’s Nocturne in Db, Op. 27, No. 2

I had a reunion with a childhood friend over Skype this past weekend, and our conversation drifted to concerts we both attended in the 1970’s at Carnegie Hall. For me, one was memorable, the other, not. Horowitz had made a … Continue reading

Posted in classissima, classissima.com, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, Maurizio Pollini, No.2, piano, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Vitalij Margulis, Vitaly Margulis | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Steinway upright has a “new” home, and so do I

Model 1098 was eased out my front door by two piano moving Zen masters, Greg and Jeremy. (I’ll give them a Yin/Yang Yelp for their artful twists and turns) http://www.mcpianomove.com It wasn’t the first time McCrea’s picked up or delivered … Continue reading

Posted in Bay area piano movers, classissima, classissima.com, Greg McCrea piano mover, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, McCrea's AA Piano Moving, piano, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, word press, word press.com, youtube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Conversation with David v.R. Bowles, Award-winning Classical Recording Engineer/Producer

David v.R. Bowles inhabits a sprawling space in Wildcat Canyon, high up in the Berkeley Hills where nature’s bounty is a source of inspiration. It also happens to be home to his Classical Recording Company, Swineshead Productions that he formed … Continue reading

Posted in audio engineer, classissima, classissima.com, David V.R. Bowles, Gwendolyn Mok, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, piano, piano addict, Piano Street, Piano World, recording engineer, recording period instruments, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Adult student Rhythmic REHAB

I have four piano students in rehab who are grappling with metrical issues. They might start with a healthy quarter note in a five-finger position warm-up; manage proportioned 8th notes, but totally relapse playing 16ths. That’s when their confidence sinks … Continue reading

Posted in adult piano students, classissima, classissima.com, helping adult piano students with rhythm, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, K. 5, Mozart, Mozart Minuet in F, piano, piano instruction, piano lessons, Shirley Kirsten, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, word press, word press.com, wordpress, you tube.com, yout tube, youtube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Perfect pitch? What’s the big deal?

As I foraged through old e-mail files, I stumbled upon my note to Oberlin alum, Robert Krulwich, WNYC RADIO LAB program moderator. http://www.radiolab.org/search/?q=robert+krulwich#q=robert krulwich He and his co-host had featured psychologist, Dr. Diane Deutsch’s podcast on Perfect Pitch. One of … Continue reading

Posted in classissima, classissima.com, Dr. Diane Deutsch, perfect pitch, perfect pitch and piano study, perfect pitch and tone languages, piano, piano study and perfect pitch, Robert Krulwich, Robert Krulwich Radio Lab, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, word press.com, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube.com, yout tube, youtube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments