Category Archives: music and the breath

Piano Lesson: The challenge of playing a slow movement

I chose Muzio Clementi’s popular Sonatina in C, Op. 36, No. 1 to flesh out the contrasting middle movement designated ANDANTE by the composer. It’s definitely a challenge to play just 6 lines of music with beauty and finesse. As … Continue reading

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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

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A Lesson in Progress with an adult student: Debussy Arabesque No. 1 (shaping, looping, wrist dips, swinging elbows in and out) VIDEO

By all accounts, this hard-working pupil should be the next “Student of the Week” because of his six continuous years of applied practicing that has brought him from playing the Clementi Sonatina in C, Op. 36 for which he suffered … Continue reading

Posted in Debussy, Debussy Arabesque no. 1, Debussy Arabesque No. 1 by Claude Debussy, mind body connection, music and the breath, musical inspiration, musical phrasing, pianist, piano, piano instruction, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano playing and phrasing, piano practicing, piano repertoire, Piano World, pianoaddict.com, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, singing tone legato, slow mindful practicing, slow piano practicing, Teach Street, teaching piano, teaching piano to adults, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Aikido and Piano are a good match for Sakura (Video) (Note the rolling forward wrist motion in Kabalevsky’s “Galop”)

Aikido Main article: Aikido Aikido shihōnage technique. “Aikido (合氣道:あいきどう aikidō?) is a modern grappling-based Japanese martial art developed by Morihei Ueshiba (植芝 盛平 Ueshiba Morihei, 1883 – 1969). The art consists of “striking”, “throwing” and “joint locking” techniques and is … Continue reading

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Mozart memories, reflections and revisits (Videos)

Andante: second movement, Mozart Sonata K. 545 played on my Steinway, 1917, M. **** My relationship to Mozart and his music began with the violin. At the Merrywood Music Camp in Lenox, Massachusetts, only a stone’s throw from Tanglewood, I … Continue reading

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The Old World playing, like fine wine, of Livia Rev, Hungarian pianist and teacher (see her teaching segments on the pliant wrist)

So now I am into documentaries about piano teachers/performers who leave an eternal imprint on their students and upon the world. Livia Rev is one such special person who belongs in the good company of Irena Orlov, Irina Gorin, and … Continue reading

Posted in "Portrait of Lívia Rév pianist / teaching / 90th Birthda, Bela Bartok, Bela Bartok and Livia Rev, Edna Golandsky, Hungary, Livia Rev, mind body connection, Mozart, music and heart, music and the breath, musical inspiration, musical phrasing, musical phrasing and breathing, phrasing at the piano, pianist, piano, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lessons, piano playing and breathing, piano playing and phrasing, piano playing and relaxation, piano practicing, piano student, piano technique, pianoaddict.com, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Taubman piano method, teaching piano, technique, The art of phrasing at the piano, the art of piano playing, Uncategorized, W.A. Mozart, whole body listening, whole body music listening, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ethereal piano playing: Another Irina, with an i in the middle, brings heaven to earth

This is the special month of Irina, Irena, and still another Irina. The latest messenger of beauty via You Tube is Irina Morozova. And as fate would have it, one of my readers, owner of a Knight piano treasure, e-mailed … Continue reading

Posted in Chopin, Chopin Barcarolle, Chopin Mazurka, Chopin Mazurka in G minor Op. 63 no. 3, classissima, classissima.com, Frederic Chopin, International Piano Institute at Mannes College, Irena Orlov, Irina Gorin, Irina Gorin piano studio, Irina Morozova, Levine School of Music, Levine School of Music in Washington, Levine School of Music in Washington D.C., Mannes College of Music, mind body connection, music, music and heart, music and the breath, phrasing at the piano, piano playing and phrasing, piano playing and relaxation, pianoaddict.com, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing piano, producing a singing tone legato at the piano, publishersmarketplace, publishersmarketplace.com, Romantic era music, Romantic music, self-analysis, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, singing tone legato, studying piano, talkclassical.com, tempo rubato, The art of phrasing at the piano, the art of piano playing, video performances, whole body listening, whole body music listening, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Piano Technique: “Butterfly” by Grieg, a revisit (playing and exploring the rolling, rotational motion) videos

I can see the butterfly in my mind’s eye in its flight of fancy. But I wish it were as easy to play, as to imagine. Relaxation is the key word here, but not to the point that the 16th-notes … Continue reading

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Piano practicing, performance, and gym routines: Always Reach Beyond! (Video, Bach Invention 8 in F)

I take my inspiration from the two Irina/Irena-s, each pronouncing their names slightly differently. Irina Gorin is the ingenious piano teacher from Carmel, Indiana via the Ukraine, and Irena Orlov is from Washington D.C.’s Levine School of Music via Leningrad. … Continue reading

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Playing piano and getting into the spirit (Video with Aiden cat joining in)

It’s holiday time, and we’re all eating with gusto. In honor of Thanksgiving, we completely let go, pardoning ourselves of any rigid diet that would preclude an all out splurge. So now, enter the piano, as a feast of delights … Continue reading

Posted in Aiden Cat, classical music, classissima, classissima.com, iMac, iMovie, Irena Orlov, letting go to music, Levine School of Music, mind body connection, Mozart, Mozart Rondo Allegretto K. 545, music, music and heart, music and the breath, piano playing and breathing, piano playing and phrasing, piano playing and relaxation, piano practicing, piano studio, piano technique, Piano World, pianoaddict.com, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing piano, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Steinway grand piano, Steinway M grand piano, Steinway piano, studying piano, the art of piano playing, Uncategorized, video editing on iMovie, video performances, video uploading, videotaped replay, whole body listening, whole body music listening, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, word press, wordpress.com, you tube | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments