Category Archives: piano lessons

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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Piano Practicing: Taking the robot out of fast passages

It’s easy to stare at a Presto Rondo from the Classical era, and wonder how to navigate scads of notes that can end up on the assembly line, pumped out with no sense of individuality. And while herds of them … Continue reading

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Overscheduled Piano Students

Here’s a snapshot of overloaded kids FOLLOWING lessons: (Friday Afternoon) MOM: “Shiloh, Get ready for swimming. Your towel is folded into your knapsack…. Math Club reminder. Your cubic folder is on top of your cups. (athletic protector), and grab your … Continue reading

Posted in Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, overscheduled piano students, piano, piano instruction, piano lessons, piano students and sports conflicts, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, word press, wordpress.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Video supplements for piano students assist practicing

Whether giving piano lessons LIVE or by SKYPE, sending students video excerpts of their lessons-in-progress, or creating a short film that zeroes in on a particular technical challenge, is always helpful. In the old days when I studied with Lillian … Continue reading

Posted in filming piano lessons, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, piano instruction, piano lessons, piano lessons by Skype, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, teaching adult students, video instruction, video uploading, videotaped instruction, videotaping piano lessons | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Adult student Rhythmic REHAB

I have four piano students in rehab who are grappling with metrical issues. They might start with a healthy quarter note in a five-finger position warm-up; manage proportioned 8th notes, but totally relapse playing 16ths. That’s when their confidence sinks … Continue reading

Posted in adult piano students, classissima, classissima.com, helping adult piano students with rhythm, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, K. 5, Mozart, Mozart Minuet in F, piano, piano instruction, piano lessons, Shirley Kirsten, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, word press, word press.com, wordpress, you tube.com, yout tube, youtube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Piano instruction: Arrangements of Classics or the real deal?

One of my adult transfer students brought an arrangement of Chopin’s “Raindrop Prelude” that was an insult to the composer’s original intention. It was poorly transcribed in an alien key, awkwardly fingered, and contained a mountain of additional challenges– a … Continue reading

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The El Cerrito Hills are alive with the sound of music

In the old days, I commuted by Amtrak from Central CA to the East Bay, chugging along the scenic route with my digital camera pressed against the train window. A few awesome seascapes managed to squeak through the bumpy ride, … Continue reading

Posted in Chopin Waltz in c# minor Op. 64 no.2, piano instruction, piano lessons, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Intermediate Level Piano Repertoire: Album for the Young by Robert Schumann

I took a musical journey down memory lane yesterday, rekindling scenes of childhood as I read through a set of “old” Romantic era compositions. These weren’t Robert Schumann’s illustrious KINDERSZENEN, but colorful character pieces wrapped into the composer’s Album for … Continue reading

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The Adult Piano Student Rhythmic Quagmire

It’s practically a universal problem area for adult students in the beginner to intermediate range. Keeping a steady pulse in scale playing, and then making transitions to double speed, as from 16ths to 32nds is a big challenge for them. … Continue reading

Posted in adult piano instruction, adult piano students, arioso7, C Major Scale, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, piano, piano instruction, piano lessons, piano teaching, teaching adult piano students, teaching scales, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Top FIVE Piano Lesson by SKYPE Interruptions! (Videos)

Group web cam lessons on Bow-wow ( Iowa, Michigan, and Minnesota) Top Notch Tone Tutorial Class 1) out-take 2) out-take 3) Cat jumps out the window (United Kingdom) 4) 5 month-old Baby on lap (Alaska) 5) Earthquake! (Brazil)

Posted in arioso7, classissima, classissima.com, interruptions of Piano lessons by Skype, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, piano, piano blog, piano blog by Shirley Kirsten, piano lessons, piano lessons by Skype, piano lessons by web cam, piano teaching, Skype, word press, word press.com, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video, you tube.com, yout tube, youtube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment