Category Archives: creative learning environment

Rina, 4, brings a toy piano to her lesson; creates her own rhythm; and learns A and B; (7th week of instruction using Tales of a Musical Journey) 5 videos

Rina surprised me by bringing her precious mini-purple plastic piano that played a salsa rhythm style piece with very fast notes. It was gratifying to watch her spontaneously point to the “big” and “little houses” on her tiny keyboard that … Continue reading

Posted in "Tales of a Musical Journey", "Tales of a Musical Journey" by Irina Gorin, blog, blogger, blogging, blogs about piano, classissima, classissima.com, creative learning environment, cultivating the singing tone at the piano, how to help children compose, Irina Gorin, Irina Gorin piano studio, learning piano, mindful piano practicing, mindful practicing, MTAC, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Oberlin Conservatory, pianist, piano, piano addict, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano pedagogy, piano playing and relaxation, piano practicing, piano repertoire, Piano Street, piano teacher, piano teaching, piano teaching repertoire, Piano World, pianoaddict.com, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, studying piano, Teach Street, teaching piano, teaching piano to children, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thoughts about teaching a 4-year old with an innovative approach (Tales of a Musical Journey)

I would never have entertained the idea of teaching a 4-year old child. Over the years I had adhered to a rigid age boundary when accepting new piano students. Seven was the magic number. When an opportunity arose to sample … Continue reading

Posted in "Tales of a Musical Journey", "Tales of a Musical Journey" by Irina Gorin, blog, blogger, blogging, Children's pieces, classissima, classissima.com, creative learning environment, ear training, piano lesson, piano lessons, Piano Street, piano student, piano teacher, piano teaching, piano teaching repertoire, pianoaddict.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing piano, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, slow mindful practicing, slow piano practicing, talkclassical.com, Teach Street, teaching piano, teaching piano to children, word press, wordpress.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Memorization at the piano: How to improve your skills

Memorization should be a natural outflow of consistent, thoughtful practicing. Thoughtful is underscored because it’s the most important ingredient in the process of playing a studied piece without music. It means having mental assists that relate to mapping out a … Continue reading

Posted in creative learning environment, developing sight-reading skills as an aid to memorization, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, Fresno California, harmonic analysis, improving sight reading skills, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, keyboard technique, Lillian Freundlich, Major and minor scales, memorizing piano music, mental imagery, Mildred Portney Chase, mind body connection, MTAC, muscular memory, music, music and heart, music and the breath, music memorization, music teachers association of california, musical phrasing, New York City High School of Performing Arts, New York University, Oberlin, Oberlin Conservatory, Old Fig Garden in Fresno, phrasing at the piano, pianist, piano, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano pedagogy, piano practicing, piano student, piano teacher, piano teaching repertoire, piano technique, piano tutorial, Piano World, pianoaddict.com, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing piano, publishers marketplace, Rondo form, self-analysis, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Steinway M grand piano, talkclassical.com, Teach Street, teaching piano, teaching piano scales, teaching scales, technique, Theory, Uncategorized, whole body music listening, word press, wordpress.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Piano Practicing: Re-doing and Refining

Studying piano, playing through the great piano literature, requires revisiting, re-doing and refining our work. This undertaking should not carry a value judgment that what preceded was poor or inadequate. Those adjectives do not belong to the process of learning. … Continue reading

Posted in "Of Foreign Lands and Peoples" by Schumann, California, classissima, classissima.com, Creative Fresno, creative learning environment, Fresno, Fresno California, mind body connection, MTAC, muscular memory, music and heart, music teachers association of california, music video, New York City High School of Performing Arts, New York University, Oberlin Conservatory, pianist, piano, piano addict, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano pedagogy, piano practicing, piano society, Piano Street, piano studio, piano teacher, piano tutorial, Piano World, pianoaddict.com, Pianostreet.com, playing piano, publishers marketplace, publishersmarketplace, publishersmarketplace.com, Robert Schumann, Romantic era music, Romantic music, Schumann, Schumann Kinderszenen, self-analysis, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Steinway and Sons, Steinway grand piano, Steinway M grand piano, talkclassical.com, Teach Street, teaching piano, uk-piano-forums, videotaped replay, whole body music listening, word press, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

The Art of Phrasing at the Piano: Starting the process with Beginners (Videos)

For some unexplained reason, my earliest piano studies never included the art of phrasing. My primer teacher stressed naming notes, finding them, affixing correct fingering and counting out robotic beats. I knew nothing about feeling a melodic landscape; putting the … Continue reading

Posted in "Just Being At the Piano", Baroque music, creative learning environment, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, Faber Primer Piano Adventures, Facebook, Fresno California, fresno filmmakers alliance, harmonic analysis, Intermediate level piano repertoire, Internet, Keith Snell, keyboard technique, Lillian Freundlich, memoir, mind body connection, MTAC, MTAC Baroque Festival, music, music and heart, music teachers association, music teachers association of california, music theory, music video, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Nordiska, Northwest Fresno, Oberlin, Oberlin Conservatory, pianist, piano, piano addict, piano instruction, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano pedagogy, piano society, piano warm-ups, Piano World, pianoaddict.com, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing piano, publishers marketplace, publishersmarketplace, publishersmarketplace.com, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Steinway grand piano, talkclassical.com, Teach Street, teaching piano to teenagers, technique, Theory, traditional piano teaching, Twenty five Progressive pieces by Burgmuller, video performances, whole body music listening, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Piano Technique: Thumb Shifts in Playing Scales and Arpeggios (Video)

The great pianist, Josef Hofmann, imparted words of wisdom when he answered the following question posed by a student that related to the thumb and piano technique: “What is the matter with my scales? I cannot play them without a … Continue reading

Posted in arpeggios, blog, blogger, blogging, California, Circle of Fifths, classissima, classissima.com, creative learning environment, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, Fresno, Fresno California, fresno filmmakers alliance, great pianists of the past, Internet, keyboard technique, Major and minor scales, mind body connection, MTAC, music teachers association of california, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Oberlin Conservatory, piano, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano pedagogy, piano practicing, piano student, piano warm-ups, pianoaddict.com, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing piano, publishers marketplace, publishersmarketplace.com, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Steinway grand piano, Steinway M grand piano, talkclassical.com, Teach Street, whole body music listening, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Piano Students as Composers: Stimulating a Creative Teaching and Learning Environment

This morning, as I foraged through piles of folders, I stumbled upon one of my articles that was published in the California Music Teacher (MTAC Magazine) in 1985. At the time, I had just released my music book, “Piano Duets … Continue reading

Posted in blogger, blogging, composers, Creative Fresno, creative learning environment, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, Facebook, Fresno California, harmonic analysis, how to help children compose, Internet, keyboard technique, MTAC, music, music and heart, Music Teachers Asssociation of California, music theory, Music Together, New York City, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Oberlin, Oberlin Conservatory, pianist, piano, piano addict, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano pedagogy, Piano Street, piano student, piano students as composers, piano teacher, piano teaching repertoire, piano technique, Piano World, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing piano, publishers marketplace, publishersmarketplace.com, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Teach Street, word press, wordpress.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment