Category Archives: music teachers association

Irina Morozova’s inspiring words flow through a lesson with an adult student (Beethoven’s Fur Elise-in-progress) Video

“From watching great pianists it is obvious that they incorporate quite different movements to achieve the same goals, because people do not play piano with fingers but rather with the mind and the ear. Again, it is the clear image … Continue reading

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Piano Instruction: A charming, quick-paced piece for late elementary students, titled “Clowns,” by Gillock (VIDEO)

Continuing my tribute to the prolific and talented composer, William Gillock, I’ve snatched “Clowns” from Volume Two of his Accent on Gillock collection. (published by Willis Music Company) Not to be long-winded about my approach to teaching this sprightly composition, … Continue reading

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Piano Instruction: Debussy Arabesque No. 1 (Video)–and playing through the whole composition

I first came to know this piece when a fifth grader at P.S. 122 in the Bronx was selected to play it at our student assembly. The ebb and flowing beauty of this work was so poignant, that I stored … Continue reading

Posted in Claude Debussy, Debussy, Debussy Arabesque No. 1 by Claude Debussy, ear training, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, Fresno California, Haddorff, Haddorff piano, Impressionist Music, long distance piano teaching, mental imagery, mind body connection, molasses, MTAC, music, music and heart, music and the breath, music history, music teachers association, music teachers association of california, music theory, musical inspiration, musical phrasing, New York City, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Oberlin, Oberlin Conservatory, phrasing at the piano, pianist, piano, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano pedagogy, piano repertoire, piano student, piano studio, piano teacher, piano technique, piano tutorial, Piano World, pianoaddict.com, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing piano, public school 122, self-analysis, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, singing tone legato, slow piano practicing, Teach Street, teaching piano, technique, Theory, uk-piano-forums, whole body listening, whole body music listening, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Digital Piano Review continued: On Location at Best Buy in Fresno CA (6 videos)

This was such a smooth experience. Matthew Wheeler was found playing drums and keyboard in Best Buy’s atrium, for want of a better name, and he stopped what he was doing to film me sampling digitals. These were console models: … Continue reading

Posted in Beethoven, blog, blogger, blogging, California, Casio, Casio 830 digital piano, classical music, classissima, classissima.com, digital piano, digital pianos, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, Fur Elise, music teachers association, music teachers association of california, New York City High School of Performing Arts, New York University, Oberlin, Oberlin Conservatory, phrasing at the piano, piano, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano teacher, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing piano, Roland digital, Roland digital piano, RolandF110, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, word press, wordpress.com, Yamaha Arius YDP141, Yamaha piano, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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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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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Practicing Bach Inventions 4 and 13 with my 10 year old piano student

We had fun videotaping part of a lesson from a different camera angle. My student and I sat in front of our separate pianos, collaborating on two Bach Inventions. (Number 4 in D minor and number 13 in A minor) … Continue reading

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The iPhone Invades Piano Lessons

Monday, Jan. 24th, was a first! Esmeralda, a retired attorney, who’d been taking lessons from me for a year, entered my El Cerrito piano studio with a bright red iPhone as a sign of the times. A dangling rectangular prism … Continue reading

Posted in 6 degrees of separation, Apple iPhone, arpeggios, athletic coaching, athletic training, Bay area, California, Creative Fresno, cyber technology, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, email, Facebook, five finger positions, five finger warm-ups, Fresno, Fresno California, Fresno Famous, Fresno miniseries, humor, Internet, iPad, iPhone, keyboard technique, memoir, MTAC, music, music and heart, music appreciation classes, music teachers association, music teachers association of california, my space, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Oberlin Conservatory, New York City High School of Performing Arts, pentachords, pianist, piano, piano addict, piano instruction, piano lesson, piano pedagogy, piano repertoire, piano room, piano scales, piano student, piano teacher, piano teaching repertoire, piano technique, piano tuner, piano warm-ups, Piano World, pianoaddict.com, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, publishers marketplace, publishersmarketplace.com, pyrotechnical exercises, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Steinway and Sons, Steinway grand piano, talkclassical.com, Teach Street, technique, uk-piano-forums, word press, wordpress.com, worst nightmare, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Revisiting Marble Hill memories, and a remarkable twist of fate

I was deeply moved to have discovered the Marble Hill Reunion site which inspired my own cherished memories of the projects in the Bronx where I romped during my childhood and early adolescence. My family moved from Featherbed Lane near … Continue reading

Posted in 6 degrees of separation, Album for the Young, Amtrak station, antique pianos, antiques, arpeggios, authorsden, Bronx dialect, classical music, Creative Fresno, dream piano, El Cerrito piano studio, Facebook, Facebook friend, Featherbed Lane, Fresno, Fresno California, Fresno Famous, humor, Major Deegan Highway, Marble Hill Projects, memoir, Mrs. Elston, music teachers association, music teachers associationo of California, my space, New York, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Northwest Bronx, Northwest Fresno, Oberlin Conservatory, New York City High School of Performing Arts, pianist, piano, piano addict, piano finding, piano lesson, piano pedagogy, piano room, piano society, Piano Street, piano student, Piano World, pianoaddict.com, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, popular music, public school 122, rats, roaches, Romantic era music, Romantic music, satire, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Sohmer upright, sports, Steinway piano, talkclassical.com, Teach Street, Twenty five Progressive pieces by Burgmuller, used piano, used pianos, veterans, veterans housing, vets, WW II veterans | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Teaching Piano to Teenagers: Classical, Pop, Taylor Swift, Liz on Top of the World and more (Videos)

There’s always room for flexibility in choice of repertoire, especially when teaching teenagers. Alex, 18, had taken lessons during primary school, took a long break and returned to the piano as a senior in high school. His first request was … Continue reading

Posted in 100 years, Album for the Young, arpeggios, athletic coaching, athletic training, authorsden, Baroque music, Bay area, California, cdbaby, Circle of Fifths, Classical era, classical music, Classical period sonata, Classical sonatina, counterpoint, Creative Fresno, Dario Marianelli, dream piano, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, Faber Primer Piano Adventures, Facebook, Fig Garden Village, five finger positions, five finger warm-ups, Five for Fighting, Forever and Always, Fresno, Fresno California, Fresno Famous, Fresno Piano Store, gymnastics, humor, J.S. Bach, Jane Austen, JS Bach, Kabalevsky Op. 39 Children's pieces, keyboard technique, Latour, Liz on Top of the World, Major and minor scales, memoir, MTAC, music appreciation classes, music teachers association, music teachers association of california, music teachers associationo of California, Music Teachers Asssociation of California, musicology, Musictogether.com, my space, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Northwest Fresno, Oberlin Conservatory, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Old Fig Garden in Fresno, pianist, piano, piano addict, piano finding, piano instruction, piano lesson, piano pedagogy, piano purchase, piano room, piano scales, piano society, Piano Street, piano student, piano teacher, piano teaching repertoire, piano technique, piano tutorial, piano warm-ups, Piano World, pianoaddict.com, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, ping pong, ping pong balls, popular music, Pride and Prejudice, scales, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, sonatina, Steinway and Sons, Steinway grand piano, Steinway M grand piano, talkclassical.com, Teach Street, teaching piano to teenagers, teenagers, tennis, Theory, uk-piano-forums, video performances, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments