Category Archives: Shirley Kirsten

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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Comparing two performances Of Chopin’s Nocturne in Db, Op. 27, No. 2

I had a reunion with a childhood friend over Skype this past weekend, and our conversation drifted to concerts we both attended in the 1970’s at Carnegie Hall. For me, one was memorable, the other, not. Horowitz had made a … Continue reading

Posted in classissima, classissima.com, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, Maurizio Pollini, No.2, piano, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Vitalij Margulis, Vitaly Margulis | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

My Steinway upright has a “new” home, and so do I

Model 1098 was eased out my front door by two piano moving Zen masters, Greg and Jeremy. (I’ll give them a Yin/Yang Yelp for their artful twists and turns) http://www.mcpianomove.com It wasn’t the first time McCrea’s picked up or delivered … Continue reading

Posted in Bay area piano movers, classissima, classissima.com, Greg McCrea piano mover, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, McCrea's AA Piano Moving, piano, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, word press, word press.com, youtube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Conversation with David v.R. Bowles, Award-winning Classical Recording Engineer/Producer

David v.R. Bowles inhabits a sprawling space in Wildcat Canyon, high up in the Berkeley Hills where nature’s bounty is a source of inspiration. It also happens to be home to his Classical Recording Company, Swineshead Productions that he formed … Continue reading

Posted in audio engineer, classissima, classissima.com, David V.R. Bowles, Gwendolyn Mok, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, piano, piano addict, Piano Street, Piano World, recording engineer, recording period instruments, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Navigating a robust Beethoven Sonatina (not the one everybody plays)

I borrowed a few hours from my Haydn immersion to review a Beethoven Sonatina that is absolutely charming but very challenging. One would think that such a work labeled -mini, by its “-ina” suffix spelled an easier passage to the … Continue reading

Posted in Beethoven Sonatina in F Major, Beethoven Sonatina in F Major anh.5, Classical era, Classical era sonatina, classissima.com, Jourhal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, Ludwig Van Beethoven, piano, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, sonatina, sonatina for piano, you tube video, you tube.com, youtube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Perfect pitch? What’s the big deal?

As I foraged through old e-mail files, I stumbled upon my note to Oberlin alum, Robert Krulwich, WNYC RADIO LAB program moderator. http://www.radiolab.org/search/?q=robert+krulwich#q=robert krulwich He and his co-host had featured psychologist, Dr. Diane Deutsch’s podcast on Perfect Pitch. One of … Continue reading

Posted in classissima, classissima.com, Dr. Diane Deutsch, perfect pitch, perfect pitch and piano study, perfect pitch and tone languages, piano, piano study and perfect pitch, Robert Krulwich, Robert Krulwich Radio Lab, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, word press.com, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube.com, yout tube, youtube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments