Category Archives: Shirley Kirsten

Piano Technique: Breathing through inverted chords and 4-note arpeggios

A thoughtful journey through 4-note (double root) C Major Chords in INVERSIONS was a lesson preliminary to unraveling them with shape and contour. As a start, an adult student imagined the sound intended, breathed through a string of sonorities, and … Continue reading

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The Chopin Waltz No. 19 in A minor is Poetry in Motion

Adult piano students who aspire to play the Op. Posthumous A minor Waltz must immerse themselves in a poetic musical framing, floating notes with supple wrists and relaxed arms. In the bass, support for a horizontally spun melody should prevail, … Continue reading

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A six-year old child is awakened to the singing tone and how to produce it

The earliest exposure to the piano in the primary lesson learning environment comes with an opportunity to teach the singing tone– to sensitize young ears to the instrument’s capacity to resonate with beauty. It’s not just an ear-training experience. The … Continue reading

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Baroque Ornaments, execution, style, context and taste: A Conversation with Elaine Comparone

One of the delights of my trip back to hometown New York City, was an encore visit with Elaine Comparone! Continue reading

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Wave Hill, Toscanini, and Heaven on Earth

To cap off my Big Apple journey, a bus ride to Riverdale in the Northwest Bronx rekindled memories of Maestro Arturo Toscanini. Both he and Mark Twain had once been tenants of a country estate and family home owned by … Continue reading

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Sequences and Phrase contouring in J. S. Bach’s French Suite No. 5, BWV 816

An adult student and I explored sequences in the Allemande opener of Bach’s French Suite in G as we parceled out the treble and bass lines. (Still another voice that danced from the alto to tenor range, was separately identified … Continue reading

Posted in J.S. Bach French Suite No. 5 in G, J.S. Bach French Suite no. 5 in G Major BWV 816, Jourhal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, pianist, piano, piano addict, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano instuction, piano learning, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano technique, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, shirley smith kirsten blog, Shirley Smth Kirsten, teaching piano to adult students, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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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