Category Archives: memoir

A Long Lost Concert Program turns up on a dusty grand piano

One of the fringe benefits of tidying up a piano room filled with unsorted piles of music and the rest, is finding a gold mine of goodies that have been missing for months, if not years. Have you ever experienced … Continue reading

Posted in arioso7, Bach D minor piano concerto, Beethoven Violin Concerto, Berkshire Music Festival, Boston Symphony, Boston Symphony Orchestra, chamber ensemble, Charles Munch, classissima, classissima.com, Isaac Stern, James Stagliano, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, Lenox, Lukas Foss, Massachusetts, memoir, Merrywood Music Camp, pianist, piano, Pierre Monteux, playing the piano, playing the violin, Ruth Hurwitz, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Tanglewood, Tanglewood Music Festival, violin, violinist, word press, wordpress.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

What’s happened to music in churches, temples and other religious sanctuaries? (2013 update)

On a rainy Sunday morning I was surfing You Tube in search of a spiritually poignant musical offering. One particular posting had been so inspiring that my index finger ached from so many mouse-clicked replays. It was ? “Verum”–The one … Continue reading

Posted in Cantata 78 by J.S. Bach performed at the First Moravian Church in New York City, classissima, classissima.com, Elaine Comparone, emotion in music, First Moravian Church in New York City, Fresno, Fresno California, Kol Nidre, memoir, Mozart, music and heart, music in churches, music in Jewish temples, music in religious services, music in synagogues, musical inspiration, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, publishers marketplace, publishersmarketplace, publishersmarketplace.com, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Steinway M grand piano, the Crystal Cathdral, the Crystal cathedral, W.A. Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, word press, wordpress.com, Yom Kippur, you tube, You Tube Cantata no. 78 performed at the First Moravian Church in New York City, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 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

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

Posted in Circle of Fifths, classissima, classissima.com, composing, Creative Fresno, El Cerrito California, Faber Primer Piano Adventures, five finger positions, Fresno California, Internet, Keith Snell, memoir, MTAC, Music Teachers Asssociation of California, music theory, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Oberlin, Oberlin Conservatory, pentachords, pianist, piano, piano addict, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lessons, piano pedagogy, piano repertoire, piano student, piano teacher, piano teaching repertoire, piano tutorial, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing piano, publishers marketplace, publishersmarketplace.com, Randall Faber, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Steinway and Sons, Steinway M grand piano, Tanglewood Music Festival, Teach Street, teaching piano scales, teaching piano to teenagers, teaching scales, technique, Theory, traditional piano teaching, uk-piano-forums, Uncategorized, video performances, whole body music listening, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Appel Farm Music Camp and the Chicken Coops

Was I dreaming? Did I wake up in a chicken coop on a hot and humid July morning? The summer before I was a Merrywood camper, encapsulated in a forest of pines bordering Lenox, Massachusetts. A short journey to Tanglewood … Continue reading

Posted in 6 degrees of separation, Albert Appel, Appel Farm in Elmer New Jersey, Appel Farm Music Camp, Audrey Bookspan, authorsden, blog, blogger, blogging, camp memories, chamber music, chicken coops, classissima, classissima.com, Elmer New Jersey, Facebook, Martin Bookspan, memoir, Micky Bookspan, modern dance, Mozart g minor piano quintet, music and heart, Natalie Hinderas, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Oberlin Conservatory, pianist, piano, piano addict, piano society, Piano Street, playing piano, publishersmarketplace.com, Ravel Quartet in g minor, Ravel String Quartet in F Major, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, South Jersey, summer arts camp, summer music camp, talkclassical.com, Teach Street, Temple University, Toby Appel, Toby Appel, Toby Appel violist, whole body music listening, word press, wordpress.com, worst nightmare, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Scouting a Piano Teacher

I have to thank “Lisa” for generating this idea for a new blog. Sometimes, the fountain runs dry until a student experience, teacher-related crisis, or musical event renew the supply. Let me think about this whole issue of picking and … Continue reading

Posted in blog, blogger, blogging, Bluebook of pianos, cdbaby, children's music, Children's pieces, classical music, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, Faber Primer Piano Adventures, Facebook, Facebook friend, Fig Garden Village, five finger positions, Fresno, Fresno California, humor, keyboard technique, Manhattan, memoir, mental imagery, Mildred Portney Chase, mind body connection, Mrs. Elston, music, music and heart, Music Teachers Asssociation of California, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Oberlin Conservatory, piano teacher, piano teaching repertoire, piano technique, piano tutorial, piano warm-ups, Piano World, pianoaddict.com, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing piano, publishers marketplace, publishersmarketplace.com, scale fingerings, scales, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Steinway and Sons, Steinway grand piano, Steinway M grand piano, Steinway piano, suzuki piano teaching, talkclassical.com, Teach Street, teaching piano scales, teaching piano to teenagers, teaching scales, technique, Theory, traditional piano teaching, video performances, whole body music listening, word press, wordpress.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Letting my hair down with a snatch of “Let It Be!” (VIDEO)

The piano room was a mess yesterday with music strewn about. Two ’60-’70’s era Beatles albums were excavated from a pile of sheet music, hard bound theory texts, and Urtext editions of Beethoven’s sonatas. Foraging a big carton of stuff … Continue reading

Posted in 100 years, 6 degrees of separation, 77 Sunset Strip, adult piano students, Amsterdam Avenue and 74th Street, arpeggios, athletic coaching, athletic training, authorsden, Bach Inventions, Baroque music, Baroque trills, Beatles albums, Beethoven, blog, blogger, blogging, boxing, boxing lessons, California, Caroline Scheer, casio privia 110, cdbaby, Classical era, classical music, Classical period sonata, classissima, classissima.com, Creative Fresno, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, Facebook, Facebook friend, five finger positions, five finger warm-ups, Five for Fighting, Forever and Always, Fresno, Fresno Famous, fresno filmmakers alliance, Gospel Music, Guitar Center, humor, keyboard technique, Major and minor scales, memoir, mind body connection, MTAC, music, music and heart, Music Teachers Asssociation of California, piano, piano addict, piano instruction, piano lesson, piano scales, piano society, Piano Street, piano student, piano teacher, piano teaching repertoire, piano tuning, piano warm-ups, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing piano, popular music, publishers marketplace, publishersmarketplace.com, Ralph Cato, satire, scale fingerings, scales, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, sparring partner, Steinway and Sons, Steinway M grand piano, Steinway piano, Steinway studio upright, talkclassical.com, Taylor Swift, Teach Street, teaching piano scales, teaching piano to teenagers, teaching scales, technique, teenagers, The Beatles, Uncategorized, video performances, whole body music listening, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | 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

More trills, but bucolic and serene: Scarlatti’s d minor “pastorale” K. 9 (VIDEO)

Domenico Scarlatti Sonata K. 9 in d minor (the “pastorale”) The trills in K. 9 are far different than those permeating Scarlatti’s sonata K. 159 in C Major. The latter has a robust horn call opening with a lavish assortment … Continue reading

Posted in Baroque trills, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, Elaine Comparone, essercizi, Facebook, Frederic Chopin, Fresno, Fresno California, Juilliard, keyboard technique, memoir, mind body connection, music, music and heart, music appreciation classes, music history, Music Teachers Asssociation of California, my space, New York, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Oberlin, Oberlin Conservatory, pentachords, performance anxiety, piano, piano instruction, piano lesson, piano pedagogy, piano practicing, piano scales, piano society, Piano Street, piano student, piano teacher, piano teaching repertoire, piano technique, piano warm-ups, Piano World, pianoaddict.com, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, publishers marketplace, publishersmarketplace.com, scales, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Steinway grand piano, Steinway M grand piano, Steinway piano, Steinway studio upright, talkclassical.com, teaching scales, the natural minor scale, trills, uk-piano-forums, video performances, whole body music listening, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment