Category Archives: Shirley Kirsten blog

The piano learning process at all levels of study

In spite of my having studied piano for decades, each learning experience is filled with challenges that I must approach with a glut of patience. A new composition has its own form, architecture, harmonic rhythm, fingering that requires a big … Continue reading

Posted in "Tales of a Musical Journey" by Irina Gorin, Chopin Waltz in A minor no. 19, classissima, classissima.com, Irina Gorin, phrasing at the piano, pianist, piano, piano blogs, piano instrruction, piano lessons, piano lessons for adults, Piano Street, piano studio, piano studio in El Cerrito, piano study, piano teacher, piano teaching, piano technique and breathing, pianoaddict.com, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, practicing piano, practicing piano in slow motion, practicing piano in slow tempo, practicing piano with relaxation, relaxed arms in piano playing, scales, scales and arpeggios, separate hand piano practicing, Shirley Kirsten blog, shirley s kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, shirley smith kirsten blog, Shirley Smth Kirsten, slow mindful practicing, slow piano practicing, teaching Beethoven Fur Elise, teaching Fur Elise, teaching piano scales, teaching piano to adult students, teaching piano to adults, teaching piano to young children, whole body listening, whole body music listening, word press, word press.com, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube.com, yout tube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

The C Major Scale universe: metric and muscle memory; shaping and tapering

The C Major scale is more than meets the “I,” if you’re the one practicing it! Continue reading

Posted in C Major Scale, C major scale at the piano, classissima, classissima.com, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, piano instruction, piano instruction by Skype, piano lessons, piano lessons for adults, piano lessons in Berkeley California, piano lessons in El Cerrito California, piano teachers, piano teaching, piano technique, Piano World, pianoaddict.com, playing staccato at the piano, playing the piano, playing the piano with a singing tone, POWHOW, POWHOW instruction, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, shirley s kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, shirley smith kirsten blog, skype piano lesson, Skype piano lessons, skyped piano lessons, Skyping piano lessons, teaching piano online, teaching piano to adults, the breath and phrasing in piano playing, 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

The business of copying the piano teacher: Who has the final say or PLAY?

The latest provocative teacher exchange is taking place on Facebook at the “Art of Piano Pedagogy” which has now become a private forum. When it comes to teaching philosophies, many are intensely opinionated. From my perspective, I passionately believe in … Continue reading

Posted in classissima, classsissima.com, Nairi Grigorian Akimov, piano, piano instruction, piano lessons, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Kirsten on POWHOW, shirley s kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, shirley smith kirsten blog, Shirley Smth Kirsten, skype piano lesson, Skype piano lessons, slow mindful practicing, slow piano practicing, teaching piano online, teaching piano to adult students, teaching piano to children, The art of phrasing at the piano, the breath and phrasing in piano playing, word press, word press.com, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube video, yout tube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Using piano repertoire as a springboard for a theory lesson: Major, minor and Diminished Chords (Videos)

One of my adult students is working on the gorgeous J.C. Bach Prelude in A minor which has a second page full of “Major,” “Minor” and “Diminished” chords. The sonorities progress in sequences, but they also have a secondary dominant … Continue reading

Posted in J. C. Bach Prelude in A Minor, J.C. Bach, Major minor and diminished chords, musical phrasing, musical phrasing and breathing, phrasing at the piano, pianist, piano, piano learning, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano pedagogy, piano playing, piano regulation, piano studio, piano studio in El Cerrito, piano study, piano teachers, piano teaching, piano tutorial, Piano World, piano world-wide, pianoaddict.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing pentascales, playing piano, playing the piano, playing the piano with a singing tone, POWHOW, POWHOW instruction, practicing piano, publishers marketplace, publishersmarketplace, repertoire for piano students, rolling forward wrist motions in piano playing, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Kirsten on POWHOW, shirley kirsten on POWHOW webcam piano class, shirley s kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, shirley smith kirsten blog, studying piano, teaching piano, teaching piano to adults, The art of phrasing at the piano, the art of piano pedaling, Theory, whole body listening, whole body music listening, word press.com, wordpress, you tube video, yout tube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

El Cerrito “Sushi” cat is a match for Aiden (Videos)

Aiden took the prize for his mini-choreography of Chopin’s C# minor Waltz, but “Sushi” outdistanced him with an impressive break dance routine on the kitchen floor. “Sushi,” the house cat in El Cerrito, is always on the move–resistant to stay … Continue reading

Posted in Aiden Cat, Aiden the Cat, feline, felines, pianist, piano, piano blog, piano blogging, piano blogs, piano lesson, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, shirley smith kirsten blog, word press, word press.com, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube video, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Piano Lesson in progress: Beethoven “Tempest” Sonata, Op. 31, No. 2 (shaping the opening phrases) Video

An adult student practiced the transition from the opening Largo broken chord, to grouping double 8th-notes in the Allegro, by blocking them, then unraveling the duple figures. The Adagio that followed required phrasing with an ear toward shaping the line … Continue reading

Posted in Beethoven, Beethoven "Tempest" in Dminor Op. 31 no.2, Beethoven "Tempest" sonata op. 31 no. 2, classissima, classissima.com, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, Ludwig Van Beethoven, pianist, piano, playing piano, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Kirsten certified piano instructor at POWHOW, Shirley Kirsten on POWHOW, shirley kirsten on POWHOW webcam piano class, shirley s kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, shirley smith kirsten blog, slow mindful practicing, slow piano practicing, teaching piano, teaching piano to adult students, teaching piano to adults, whole body listening, whole body music listening, word press, word press.com, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video, yout tube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Interview with George Li, a seasoned pianist at 16

George Li’s offical website illuminates his musical accomplishments while it resonates with gratitude for a community that has supported him over the years. A page link to a “family” circle of parents, teachers, mentors, and others, sends a heartwarming message … Continue reading

Posted in George Li, New England Conservatory, piano, Russell Sherman, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Walnut Hill School for the Arts, Wha Kyung Byun, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Piano Technique: A Bouncy Scale workout with forward arm rolls and supple wrist motions–Enjoy the romp! (Videos)

Scales can be a great workout routine if you let your arms loose, dip your pliant wrists and go with the flow. And it’s a great cardio. (No treadmill or weights required) Just apply principles of balance and buoyancy. Here … Continue reading

Posted in phrasing at the piano, pianist, pianists, piano, piano arpeggios, piano blog, piano blogging, piano blogs, piano instrruction, piano instructor, piano lessson, piano playing, piano playing and breathing, piano playing and phrasing, piano playing and relaxation, piano practicing, Piano Street, piano student, piano studio, piano study, piano teacher, piano teachers, piano teaching, piano technique, Piano World, piano world-wide, pianoaddict.com, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing piano, POWHOW, POWHOW instruction, POWHOW piano instruction, scale fingerings, scales, scales and arpeggios, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Kirsten certified piano instructor at POWHOW, Shirley Kirsten on POWHOW, Shirley Kirsten teaches classes at POWHOW, shirley s kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, shirley smith kirsten blog, singing tone legato, studying piano, teaching piano, technique, video piano instruction, virtual piano lessons, virtual piano teaching, whole body listening, word press, word press.com, wordpress, you tube, you tube video, yout tube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Piano Technique: Practicing dip/roll motions, and dead weight fat lady to skinny dipper for diminuendo (Videos)

I show my 13-year old student, Albertina how to dip/roll the last measures of Burgmuller’s frenzied Ballade, while applying weight control to taper a phrase. (diminuendo) We’re on the final lap of preparation for Saturday’s Spring Recital! ONLINE Webcam piano … Continue reading

Posted in phrasing at the piano, pianist, piano, piano blog, piano blogging, piano blogs, piano instrruction, piano instruction, piano lesson, piano lesson dropouts, piano lessons, piano studio, Piano World, piano world-wide, pianoaddict.com, playing piano, POWHOW, POWHOW instruction, POWHOW piano instruction, POWHOW webcam online piano class, practicing piano, practicing piano with relaxation, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Kirsten certified piano instructor at POWHOW, Shirley Kirsten on POWHOW, Shirley Kirsten teaches classes at POWHOW, shirley s kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, shirley smith kirsten blog, slow mindful practicing, studying piano, technique, undulating wrist in piano playing, videotaped instruction, videotaped piano instruction, whole body listening, whole body music listening, word press, word press.com, wordpress, wordpress.com, Yeti microphone, you tube video, yout tube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Piano Technique: Practicing the C# minor Arpeggio in a myriad of ways (Video)

You can imagine any number of approaches to an arpeggio that will nudge it along to fluidity. One, is thinking that the elbows, arms, and wrists are playing the fingers. In a sense the fingers are the end of a … Continue reading

Posted in C# minor arpeggio, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, piano, piano arpeggios, piano instrruction, piano instruction, piano lessons, piano teaching, piano technique, Piano World, playing a C# minor arpeggio, playing piano, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Kirsten on POWHOW, Shirley Smith Kirsten, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video, yout tube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment