Category Archives: Shirley Smith Kirsten

Going into the Finals at the Alaska International Piano-E-Competition, and thoughts about COMPETING

Neither memory lapses nor occasional note slip-ups impeded any of the five selected Piano Finalists from forging ahead to the Chamber Music and Concerto Rounds of the Alaska-based E-Competition. My two particular favorites, Marianna Prjevalskaya and Alexey Chernov honored Schubert … Continue reading

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Seymour Bernstein: From Maine with Love

When Seymour packs his bags for the summer, escaping Manhattan’s stifling heat, he takes along his soulful music and fistfuls of almonds. The maestro, known for his beloved book, With Your Own Two Hands retreats to an awesome, cabin-like sanctuary … Continue reading

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4-hand piano prep and the joy of making music for two

I remember an astonishing concert that I attended at Carnegie Hall where two distinguished pianists sang like nightingales at one 9 foot grand piano. It was back in the 1970’s that I heard Paul Badura-Skoda and Jorge Demus perform the … Continue reading

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Piano Technique: A styled staccato with a dipping wrist

I find that adding supple wrist dips to staccato within any dynamic range helps to style and shape lines, phrases, etc. Here’s it’s first executed within a scale framework. A cat cameo appearance is the opener. Now a sample of … Continue reading

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Piano Lessons by SkYPE: a FUR–st for two furry friends

Two unexpected guests dropped in for a keyboard visit this evening! Another preceded them: Link: Top FIVE PIANO LESSON BY SKYPE INTERRUPTIONS http://arioso7.wordpress.com/2013/07/27/top-five-piano-by-skype-lesson-interruptions-videos/

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Husband and wife pianists I have known and their legacy

This week’s practicing and You Tubing hearkened back to my student days in New York City. Lillian Lefkofsky Freundlich was my Rosina Lhevinne. She, like her Russian counterpart, was married to a high profile husband, Irwin Freundlich who doubled as … Continue reading

Posted in duo pianists, Josef Lhevinne, Rosina Lhevinne, Shirley Smith Kirsten, shirley smith kirsten blog, Shirley Smth Kirsten, word press, you tube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Piano Instruction: On the way to Velocity, doing the groundwork (Video)

When faced with a composition in Presto tempo, it’s best to practice slowly, preferably separate hands, (at first) to secure a good fingering, understand HARMONIC flow (or progressions) and piece out the phrasing, that encompasses articulation and dynamics. In my … Continue reading

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Adult piano instruction: the singing model in playing/practicing Chopin

There’s no doubt in my mind that Chopin’s music is allied to the opera and the New York Times featured an article on this very subject that resonates in my teaching and playing the composer’s works. From Tommasini, Arts editor: … Continue reading

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Facing the Music on FACETIME

Burgmuller’s “SORROW” received a BOOST on FACETIME where it was the PITS on SKYPE. The latter sometimes mimics jet landings with a whoosh sound, while an echo chamber effect causes unwanted tremolos. In this “FACE”-beamed environment, a formerly LIVE student … Continue reading

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The value and application of slow piano practicing

Angela Hewitt boldly emphasizes the importance of slow practicing in this brief video segment. She states that everything you do behind tempo should be molded into a faster reading as to phrasing, dynamics, etc. And it goes without saying that … Continue reading

Posted in Angela Hewitt, Classical era sonata, classissima, Haydn Sonata in Eb Haydn Sonata in Eb Hob.XVI:52 (Rondo), Haydn Sonata in Eb Hob.XVI:52, piano lesson, Shirley Smith Kirsten | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment