Category Archives: Oberlin Conservatory

Piano technique is about flexibility not finger strength

I remember my days at the Oberlin Conservatory pumping out meaningless Schmitt finger exercises, often holding notes down, while a selected persecuted finger had to brave the pain is gain ritual. (tap, tap, tap, tap, and move on to the … Continue reading

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Ear Training and Transposing are intrinsic to piano lessons (examples from an Adult lesson in progress)

It’s not easy to plan a one hour piano lesson to include ear training, solfege and transposing. (They belong together, bundled with Theory, and enrich the learning environment) At the Oberlin Conservatory, Theory, Keyboard Harmony, and Eurhythmics were taught separately. … Continue reading

Posted in classical music, classissima, classissima. om, ear training, Fundamentals of Piano Theory by Snell and Ashleigh, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, Mozart Sonata in C Major Rondo Allegretto, Mozart Sonata no. 16 in C Major K. 545, music theory, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Oberlin Conservatory, pianist, piano, piano instruction, piano learning, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano lessons in Berkeley California, piano lessons in El Cerrito California, piano pedagogy, piano playing, word press, word press.com, wordpress, you tube video, you tube.com, yout tube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Love Story Woven on a Chopin Canvas

A few years ago, I received a telling message through my Authors Den website. John Bidwell, a spirited short story writer and poet, shared more than a literary connection with me. He waxed poetic about his late mother and father, … Continue reading

Posted in a musical love story, Chopin, Chopin's music, classissima, classissima.com, David Bidwell, Eleanor Bidwell, Frederic Chopin, John Bidwell, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, Oberlin, Oberlin Conservatory, piano addict, Piano World, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, word press, word press.com, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube video, yout tube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Rekindling ties with a dear NYC friend, her 1893 Steinway B, and piano tinkering grandbaby

Friendship is forever. Coming back to New York City was living proof of it. Continue reading

Posted in Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, New York State Employment Service, Oberlin Conservatory, Schoenhut piano, Verdi Square in NYC, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video, you tube.com, yout tube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Piano Technique: Focusing on Rotation in arpeggios, and building up a scale (Videos)

These are two supplementary videos that I created for adult students between lessons. As previously mentioned, they clarify and reinforce the content of our class, and map out ways to practice. I. ROTATION at the turnaround of a B minor … Continue reading

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Growing piano technique in baby steps: Rina, 5, advances to hands together five-finger positions (adding in 10ths)

Rina may not know the words “pentascales” and “tenths,” but she has the intelligence to notice when her fingers move up and down together, playing the same notes an “octave” apart. With a sound knowledge of the music alphabet in … Continue reading

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Rina, 5, and a review of her staircase activity: The Playground as Piano Teacher (VIDEOS)

I updated the last blog-embedded video that previewed staircase activity planned for Rina’s next lesson. It explored the tricky last line of Reinagle’s Minuet which has a mix of rhythms and more complex melodic motion compared to the first three … Continue reading

Posted in "Tales of a Musical Journey" by Irina Gorin, El Cerrito piano studio, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, Oberlin Conservatory, pianist, piano, piano lessons, Piano Street, Piano World, piano world-wide, playing piano, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, teaching a piano student about melody, teaching piano, teaching piano to children, the playground as music teacher, the playground as piano teacher, word press, word press.com, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video, yout tube | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment