Category Archives: Internet

Piano Instruction: Schumann Arabesque, Op. 18-Using a supple wrist follow through motion, and parceling out voices (Video)

The Schumann Arabesque is a heartfelt character piece from the Romantic era. It requires the player to have a very supple wrist to realize the lilt of buoyant, legato dotted eighth/16th figures that permeate the music. Though the composition is … Continue reading

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Piano Technique and Weight Control: Bringing out and balancing voices (Video) Teacher, Shirley Kirsten

When students do routine scales and arpeggios as warm-ups to their tour de force pieces, I like to spice things up a bit by playing around with voicing and weight control. (Yes, you heard me right) I’ll surprise them by … Continue reading

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Piano Instruction: The Virtues of Slow Motion Practicing and Attentive Listening

It takes patience to approach a piece well behind tempo, tuning in to every nuance and turn of phrase. With ears alert and sensitive, the player tries to create a feeling state where he’s submerged in sound to the exclusion … Continue reading

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Can Piano Lessons be Skyped?

The very title of this blog might send readers feverishly rushing off to other sites. I would have had the same fight/flight response before I heard from two happy Skyping students, one of whom was so pan-allergic that any semblance … Continue reading

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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

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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

The Piano Teacher as Composer: Using my MOONBEAMS collection as an example (Video)

Why not give composing a try? I did. For the most part, you don’t need a degree in composition, but a Theory background helps things along with voice leading in the bass part and understanding the rules of notation. Above … Continue reading

Posted in 20th Century music, blog, blogger, blogging, California, Circle of Fifths, classissima, classissima.com, Creative Fresno, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, Fresno, fresno filmmakers alliance, how to help children compose, Internet, keyboard technique, MTAC, music teachers association of california, Music Teachers Asssociation of California, music theory, Oberlin, Oberlin Conservatory, pianist, piano, piano addict, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano pedagogy, piano society, Piano Street, piano students as composers, Piano World, pianoaddict.com, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld.com, playing piano, publishers marketplace, publishersmarketplace.com, word press, wordpress.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Private Piano Teaching: A Hobby or Profession?

More swept under the rug issues related to piano teaching… hush hush.. Don’t tread on sacred ground. Would I dare to blog about a Piano World post that bemoaned the plight of private piano teachers as hobbyists– not hard-working, dedicated … Continue reading

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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

Music Theory and Piano Study: It doesn’t have to be drudgery

Music Theory doesn’t have to be drudgery If I turn the clock back to my early days as a piano student, I can say without a doubt that I absolutely HATED “Music Theory” or anything remotely related to it. And … Continue reading

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