Category Archives: Robert Schumann

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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Piano Instruction: “Blindman’s Bluff” from Kinderszenen by Schumann

“Blindman’s Bluff” is a tricky, finger-trapping composition in lightning speed. It’s one of Schumann’s character pieces embedded in his album, Kinderszenen, “Scenes of Childhood.” (from the Romantic era) The challenge is to play defined bursts of sFz’s (sudden accents) followed … Continue reading

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Two musical Eulogies for Newtown’s fallen

Two musical offerings are grief-filled expressions of enduring loss in Newtown, Connecticut. Continue reading

Posted in classical era music, Franz Joseph Haydn, Kreisleriana no. 6 by Robert Schumann, Newton Connecticut, piano, piano addict, Robert Schumann, Romantic era music, Sandy Hook Elementary School, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, tragedy at Sandy Hook elementary school, whole body listening, whole body music listening, word press, word press.com, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video, you tube.com, yout tube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Piano Technique: Exploring contrasting emotions when practicing a piece (as Daniil Trifonov, pianist, recommended in his videotaped interview)

I put into “practice” one of Trifonov’s recommendations, as I mentored a second year piano student this evening. We started the lesson by playing “happy” and then “angry” consecutive staccato thirds. (“Hopping” from Dozen a Day) Eventually after completing our … Continue reading

Posted in pianist, pianists, piano, piano blog, piano blogging, piano blogs, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lessons, piano lessson, piano pedagogy, piano playing, piano playing and phrasing, piano practicing, piano student, piano study, piano teacher, piano teachers, piano teaching, piano teaching repertoire, piano technique, Piano World, piano world-wide, pianoaddict.com, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing piano with expression, playing staccato, playing the piano, playing the piano with a singing tone, Robert Schumann, scales, Schumann, Shirley Kirsten blog, shirley s kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, shirley smith kirsten blog, slow mindful practicing, slow piano practicing, studying piano, teaching piano, Wild Rider by Schumann, word press, word press.com, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

When a NY Times music critic and reader clash over a piano recital

I must admit that I chose not to put the title of this writing in the first person. Perhaps, in an egalitarian spirit, I wanted to identify with any audience member or newspaper reader, who might be offended by a … Continue reading

Posted in Anthony Tommasini, Anthony Tommasini NY Times music reviewer, Avery Fisher Hall, classissima.com, disagreeing with a music critic, Michael Kimmelman, Murray Perahia, Murray Perahia concert, Murray Perahia piano recital, music criticism, music critics, music editor of the New York Times, N.Y., New York Times.com, NY Times arts editor, pianist, piano, piano recital, Robert Schumann, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, The New York Times, The New York Times music page | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Stimulating the imagination: choosing piano repertoire that embraces childhood themes (Video)

I was awakened this morning to an inspired Facebook post that featured a six-year old captivated by a delightful piece that amounted to a “playground” of light-hearted chords with engaging harmonies. The piano teacher, Irina Gorin played snippets of Samuel … Continue reading

Posted in "In the Garden" by Samuel Maykapar, Bartok, Bartok pieces for Children, Burgmuller, Children's pieces, Irina Gorin, Kabalevsky, Kabalevsky Op. 39 Children's pieces, Kinderszenen, MTAC, music and heart, music teachers association of california, musical inspiration, phrasing at the piano, pianist, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano practicing, piano practicing motivators, piano repertoire, piano teacher, piano teaching, piano teaching repertoire, piano technique, Piano World, pianoaddict.com, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing piano, Prokofiev, Robert Schumann, Samuel Maykapar, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, studying piano, Tchaikovsky, Teach Street, teaching piano, teaching piano to children, Tschaikovsky, Tschaikovsky Album for the Young, William Gillock, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Piano Practicing: Re-doing and Refining

Studying piano, playing through the great piano literature, requires revisiting, re-doing and refining our work. This undertaking should not carry a value judgment that what preceded was poor or inadequate. Those adjectives do not belong to the process of learning. … Continue reading

Posted in "Of Foreign Lands and Peoples" by Schumann, California, classissima, classissima.com, Creative Fresno, creative learning environment, Fresno, Fresno California, mind body connection, MTAC, muscular memory, music and heart, music teachers association of california, music video, New York City High School of Performing Arts, New York University, Oberlin Conservatory, pianist, piano, piano addict, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano pedagogy, piano practicing, piano society, Piano Street, piano studio, piano teacher, piano tutorial, Piano World, pianoaddict.com, Pianostreet.com, playing piano, publishers marketplace, publishersmarketplace, publishersmarketplace.com, Robert Schumann, Romantic era music, Romantic music, Schumann, Schumann Kinderszenen, self-analysis, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Steinway and Sons, Steinway grand piano, Steinway M grand piano, talkclassical.com, Teach Street, teaching piano, uk-piano-forums, videotaped replay, whole body music listening, word press, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Piano Technique and Weight Control: Bringing out and balancing voices (Video) Teacher, Shirley Kirsten

When students do routine scales and arpeggios as warm-ups to their tour de force pieces, I like to spice things up a bit by playing around with voicing and weight control. (Yes, you heard me right) I’ll surprise them by … Continue reading

Posted in blog, blogger, blogging, classissima, classissima.com, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, Fresno, Fresno California, Internet, keyboard technique, Major and minor scales, mind body connection, MTAC, muscular memory, music history, music teachers association of california, music theory, New York City, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Oberlin, Oberlin Conservatory, pianist, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano pedagogy, piano practicing, piano repertoire, Piano Street, piano student, piano studio, piano teacher, piano teaching repertoire, piano technique, Piano World, pianoaddict.com, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing piano, publishers marketplace, publishersmarketplace, publishersmarketplace.com, Robert Schumann, Romantic era music, Romantic music, scale fingerings, scales, self-analysis, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, sports, Steinway M grand piano, Steinway piano, talkclassical.com, Teach Street, teaching piano, teaching piano scales, video performances, whole body music listening, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Performance I’ll Never Forget!

I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to provide keyboard music at a Fresno art supply store. It happened quite unexpectedly around the time I’d bumped into Ralph Cato, US Olympic Boxing Trainer at the neighboring Guitar Center. (“Cato, His Killer … Continue reading

Posted in 6 degrees of separation, arpeggios, art store, Bach Invention, Bach Inventions, Bach Prelude in C Major, Bach Two Part Inventions, background music, Beethoven Pathetique, Bosendorfer piano, boxing, boxing lessons, California, Casio, casio privia 110, Cato, Chopin, Classical era, classical music, Creative Fresno, digital piano, Domenico Scarlatti, dream piano, electronic keyboard, Facebook, five finger positions, five finger warm-ups, Frederic Chopin, Fresno, Fresno California, fresno filmmakers alliance, Fur Elise, humor, JS Bach, keyboard technique, memoir, MTAC, music, music and heart, music history, Music Teachers Asssociation of California, my space, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Oberlin Conservatory, Old Fig Garden in Fresno, pianist, piano, piano addict, piano finding, piano instruction, piano lesson, piano society, Piano Street, piano teacher, piano warm-ups, Piano World, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, private party piano sale, publishers marketplace, publishersmarketplace.com, Robert Schumann, Romantic era music, Scarlatti Sonatas, Schumann Arabesque, Schumann New Journal of Music, technique, whole body music listening, word press, wordpress.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments