Category Archives: satire

Profile of a courageous adult piano student (with a video out-take)

I’m fortunate to be working with five adult students who love the piano and its repertoire. Their enthusiasm is at high volume–keeping the live wire connection between student and teacher bristling with energy. Regardless of busy work schedules, they still … Continue reading

Posted in adult piano students, athletics and piano, baseball and piano, classissima.com, Impressionist Music, Mildred Portney Chase, mind body connection, mindful piano practicing, muscular memory, music and the breath, music teachers association of california, musical phrasing and breathing, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lessons, piano student, piano teacher, piano teaching, pianoaddict.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing piano, satire, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, sports and piano, Teach Street, teaching piano, teaching piano to adult students, The Inner Game of Tennis by Timothy Gallwey, whole body listening, whole body music listening, Willie Mays, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video, Zen and the Art of Archery | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Individualizing Piano Study: How to avoid Method Book dependency

Over decades of teaching, I’ve come to the conclusion that each student needs a custom designed long-term lesson plan. Method books only go so far. Often they stratify the learning process, keeping students in an interminably drawn out, regressive C … Continue reading

Posted in Faber Piano Adventures, Faber the Developing Artist Series, Music Teachers Asssociation of California, music theory, music therapy, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Oberlin Conservatory, pianist, piano, piano addict, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano pedagogy, piano practicing, piano society, Piano Street, piano student, piano students as composers, piano teacher, piano teaching repertoire, playing piano, publishers marketplace, publishersmarketplace.com, Randall Faber, satire, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, sonatina, talkclassical.com, Teach Street, uk-piano-forums | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

In a Piano Teacher’s Arsenal: The Magic bullet piece (VIDEO with Aiden Cat joining in)

There’s always a piece of music lurking somewhere that can save a young student from quitting piano. For those of us who teach the great masterworks, passing a cultural legacy to the next generation, we know lickety-split when it’s time … Continue reading

Posted in Aiden the Cat, authorsden, blog, blogger, blogging, California, cat, cats, classical music, classissima, classissima.com, Creative Fresno, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, Facebook, Fresno, Fresno California, fresno filmmakers alliance, humor, Lillian Freundlich, pianist, piano, piano instruction, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano pedagogy, piano practicing, piano society, Piano Street, piano student, piano teacher, piano teaching repertoire, Piano World, pianoaddict.com, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing piano, publishers marketplace, publishersmarketplace.com, satire, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, willy wonka and the chocolate factory, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The MTAC Celebration Festival, Anna Magdalena Bach, and Meeting Keith Snell (VIDEO)

Last weekend I journeyed to the Fresno State University Music Building to monitor Room 1 for the Celebration Festival sponsored by the Fresno branch of the Music Teachers Association of California. Every February students from our city and surrounding areas … Continue reading

Posted in Celebration MTAC Fresno, Creative Fresno, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, Faber Primer Piano Adventures, Facebook, Fresno, Fresno California, Keith Snell, keyboard technique, KJOS Music Company, MTAC, music, Music Teachers Asssociation of California, music theory, musicology, my space, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Northwest Fresno, Oberlin Conservatory, pianist, piano, piano addict, piano instruction, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano pedagogy, piano practicing, piano student, piano teacher, piano technique, Piano World, pianoaddict.com, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, publishers marketplace, publishersmarketplace.com, satire, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Steinway grand piano, Steinway M grand piano, Steinway piano, teaching piano to teenagers, uk-piano-forums, video performances, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

PULLS AND TUGS: Two sides of the piano student/teacher relationship

There are two sides to every story, so in all fairness I’ve posited a number of situations that crop up in the piano lesson environment, with an analysis from the Teacher and Student’s point of view. In some instances, I’ve … Continue reading

Posted in adult piano students, adult piano students say the darndest things, Amazon, attorney, baseball, blog, blogger, blogging, Classical era, classical music, classissima, classissima.com, Creative Fresno, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, Faber Primer Piano Adventures, football, Fresno, Fresno California, Fresno Famous, fresno filmmakers alliance, humor, MTAC, music, music and heart, Music Teachers Asssociation of California, music theory, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Oberlin, Oberlin Conservatory, pianist, piano, piano addict, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano pedagogy, piano practicing, piano repertoire, piano society, Piano Street, piano student, piano technician's guild, piano warm-ups, Piano World, pianoaddict.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing piano, satire, scales, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Steinway and Sons, Steinway grand piano, Steinway M grand piano, Steinway piano, talkclassical.com, Teach Street, teaching piano scales, teaching piano to teenagers, teaching scales, Uncategorized, whole body music listening, word press, wordpress.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Are Adult Piano Students Stigmatized?

Here are riveting quotes from two adult students: The Italics are my emphasis. 1) “I feel like I’m in the adult student ghetto, where much latitude is given and few results are expected. We’re all supposed to be doing it … Continue reading

Posted in "Just Being At the Piano", adult piano students, adult piano students say the darndest things, athletic coaching, athletic training, authorsden, blog, blogger, blogging, California, classical music, classissima, classissima.com, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, Fresno California, Fresno Famous, piano instruction, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano pedagogy, piano practicing, piano society, Piano Street, piano student, piano teacher, piano technique, Piano World, pianoaddict.com, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing piano, popular music, publishers marketplace, publishersmarketplace.com, satire, scales, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, talkclassical.com, Teach Street, teaching piano scales, teaching scales, technique, Theory, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Letting my hair down with a snatch of “Let It Be!” (VIDEO)

The piano room was a mess yesterday with music strewn about. Two ’60-’70’s era Beatles albums were excavated from a pile of sheet music, hard bound theory texts, and Urtext editions of Beethoven’s sonatas. Foraging a big carton of stuff … Continue reading

Posted in 100 years, 6 degrees of separation, 77 Sunset Strip, adult piano students, Amsterdam Avenue and 74th Street, arpeggios, athletic coaching, athletic training, authorsden, Bach Inventions, Baroque music, Baroque trills, Beatles albums, Beethoven, blog, blogger, blogging, boxing, boxing lessons, California, Caroline Scheer, casio privia 110, cdbaby, Classical era, classical music, Classical period sonata, classissima, classissima.com, Creative Fresno, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, Facebook, Facebook friend, five finger positions, five finger warm-ups, Five for Fighting, Forever and Always, Fresno, Fresno Famous, fresno filmmakers alliance, Gospel Music, Guitar Center, humor, keyboard technique, Major and minor scales, memoir, mind body connection, MTAC, music, music and heart, Music Teachers Asssociation of California, piano, piano addict, piano instruction, piano lesson, piano scales, piano society, Piano Street, piano student, piano teacher, piano teaching repertoire, piano tuning, piano warm-ups, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing piano, popular music, publishers marketplace, publishersmarketplace.com, Ralph Cato, satire, scale fingerings, scales, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, sparring partner, Steinway and Sons, Steinway M grand piano, Steinway piano, Steinway studio upright, talkclassical.com, Taylor Swift, Teach Street, teaching piano scales, teaching piano to teenagers, teaching scales, technique, teenagers, The Beatles, Uncategorized, video performances, whole body music listening, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What can you do with a Performance-Piano Degree?

Face the music! Most new Conservatory grads with fancy Bachelor of Music, Performance-Piano Degrees bound in leather must improvise when catapulted into the competitive job market. With only a tiny space on the world stage reserved for budding soloists, many … Continue reading

Posted in 6 degrees of separation, authorsden, Baroque music, Bay area, blog, blogger, blogging, children's music, Children's pieces, Circle of Fifths, Classical era, classissima, classissima.com, counterpoint, Creative Fresno, Domenico Scarlatti, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, essercizi, Facebook, five finger positions, five finger warm-ups, Fresno, Fresno California, humor, J.S. Bach, JS Bach, Karl Orff, keyboard technique, Major and minor scales, memoir, mind body connection, MTAC, music, music and heart, Music Teachers Asssociation of California, music therapy, musicology, my space, New York City, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Oberlin Conservatory, Orff Schulwerk, pianist, piano, piano addict, piano instruction, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano pedagogy, piano practicing, piano society, Piano Street, piano student, piano teacher, piano technique, piano warm-ups, Piano World, pianoaddict.com, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, publishersmarketplace.com, satire, scale fingerings, scales, Scarlatti, Scarlatti Sonatas, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Steinway and Sons, Steinway grand piano, Steinway M grand piano, Steinway piano, talkclassical.com, Teach Street, teaching piano scales, technique, uk-piano-forums, video performances, videotaped replay, whole body music listening, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The most reviled scale for piano players!! (Video)

Bb C D Eb F G A Bb C D Eb F G A Bb *** Last night I had a rap session with a student on the subject of his favorite scale. And it quickly dawned on me that … Continue reading

Posted in adult piano students, athletic coaching, athletic training, blog, blogger, blogging, California, Circle of Fifths, classissima, classissima.com, Creative Fresno, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, Facebook, Fresno, Fresno California, gymnastics, humor, keyboard technique, Major and minor scales, mind body connection, music teachers association of california, Music Teachers Asssociation of California, my space, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Oberlin Conservatory, Oberlin Conservatory, New York City High School of Performing Arts, pianist, piano, piano addict, piano instruction, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano pedagogy, piano practicing, piano student, piano teacher, piano technique, piano warm-ups, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing piano, publishers marketplace, publishersmarketplace.com, satire, scale fingerings, scales, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Steinway and Sons, Steinway grand piano, Steinway M grand piano, Teach Street, teaching piano scales, teaching scales, technique, Theory, whole body music listening, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Adult piano students say and do the darndest things.

I remember Art Linkletter’s show, “Kids Say the Darndest Things,” which made me think of a few adult piano students and their hauntingly memorable words. Yesterday, for example, I was forewarned by a 70-year old pupil, that I should expect … Continue reading

Posted in 6 degrees of separation, adult piano students, Album for the Young, Apple iPhone, arpeggios, Art Linkletter, athletic coaching, athletic training, attorney, authorsden, Baroque music, Bay area, blog, blogger, blogging, boxing, boxing lessons, California, Cato, cd baby, cdbaby, Children's pieces, Circle of Fifths, Classical era, classical music, classissima, classissima.com, counterpoint, Creative Fresno, crossed hands, diminished 7th arpeggios, diminished 7th chords, Domenico Scarlatti, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, essercizi, Facebook, Fig Garden Village, five finger positions, five finger warm-ups, Fresno, Fresno California, Fresno Famous, fresno filmmakers alliance, gymnastics, humor, Internet, iPad, iPhone, keyboard technique, kids say the darndest things, lawyer, Major and minor scales, memoir, mind body connection, MTAC, MTAC Baroque Festival, music, music and heart, music history, Music Teachers Asssociation of California, musicology, my space, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Oberlin Conservatory, pentachords, piano, piano addict, piano finding adventure, piano instruction, piano society, Piano Street, piano student, piano teacher, piano teaching repertoire, piano warm-ups, Piano World, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing piano, publishers marketplace, publishersmarketplace.com, Ralph Cato, satire, scale fingerings, scales, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, sparring partner, sports, Steinway grand piano, Steinway M grand piano, Steinway piano, Teach Street, technique, Theory, trills, tritone, uk-piano-forums, video performances, videotaped replay, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments