Category Archives: teaching piano scales

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

Piano Technique: Rotation, Turnaround, and Curve around of scales, with application to repertoire (Videos)

Piano students, by and large, don’t relish playing scales. They would rather eat spinach than practice what they view as tedious, finger-trippers. I have a different perspective. For me, scales are my playground and workout space. They keep me in … Continue reading

Posted in classissima, classissima.com, El Cerrito piano studio, Latour Sonatina in C, pianist, piano, playing piano, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, teaching piano, teaching piano scales, teaching piano to adult students, teaching piano to children, teaching piano to teens, teaching scales, 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 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Transfer Piano Student

I would hate to pigeon hole all “transfer” students in one way or another. It would be unfair, and unfortunately many piano teachers shy away from prospects who were immersed in learning environments where little progress was made over a … Continue reading

Posted in classissima, classissima.com, My Music Life Blog spot, philosophy of eduction, phrasing at the piano, pianist, pianists, piano, piano blog, piano blogging, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano lessson, piano studio, piano study, piano teacher, piano teacher and student relationships, piano teachers, piano teaching, Piano World, piano world-wide, pianoaddict.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, Seymour Bernstein, Seymour Bernstein author Monsters and Angels, Seymour Bernstein author With Your Own Two Hands, Seymour Bernstein pianist, Seymour Bernstein With Your Own Two Hands, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, shirley s kirsten, studying piano, teaching piano, teaching piano scales, teaching piano to adult students, teaching piano to adults, teaching piano to teenagers, teaching piano to teens, teaching scales, the transfer piano student, Uncategorized, whole body listening, whole body music listening, With your own Two Hands by Seymour Bernstein, word press, word press.com, wordpress.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Warm-up routines with an adult piano student (Video)

This pupil is into her fourth year of study and plays the Chopin Waltz in A minor, and Beethoven’s “Fur Elise.” Here is a sample of our weekly warm-up routine using pentascales (five finger positions) in Major and minor, followed … Continue reading

Posted in pentascales, Piano Street, piano teaching, piano technique, playing piano, playing staccato at the piano, scale fingerings, scales, scales and arpeggios, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, studying piano, Teach Street, teaching piano, teaching piano scales, teaching piano to adult students, teaching piano to adults, technique, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

An Adult “Piano Student of the Week” lands the Gold!

Today, I launched the piano Olympics.. well not really. No one in this studio of hard-working adults and children is competing for a medal, but just the same, I have shimmering GOLD stickers that are individually awarded to deserving students. … Continue reading

Posted in pianist, piano, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano student, piano studio, piano teacher, piano teaching, pianoaddict.com, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing piano, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Steinway grand piano, Steinway M grand piano, studying piano, talkclassical.com, Teach Street, teaching piano, teaching piano scales, teaching piano to adult students, Wild Rider by Schumann, word press, wordpress.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Piano Technique: chord playing with a supple wrist and natural, infused long breaths (Burgmuller’s “Ave Maria” as example)

Ilyana, 9, explored the supple wrist entry into chords at Forte (Big) and piano (soft) dynamic levels as the warm-up segment of her lesson. In addition she did some breathing exercises to give life and lift to her sonorities. More … Continue reading

Posted in musical phrasing, musical phrasing and breathing, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano pedagogy, piano playing and breathing, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing chords at the piano, playing piano, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, teaching piano scales, teaching piano to children, whole body listening, whole body music listening, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Piano Technique: Forearm and finger emphasized staccato (Videos)

More often than not, pianists acquire insights about piano technique through self-exploration and analysis. (trial and error attempts) Others have had mentors who demonstrated physical approaches to the piano that paved a learning path for the next generation of students. … Continue reading

Posted in Domenico Scarlatti Sonata in C K. 159, finger staccato, forearm staccato, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano pedagogy, piano playing and phrasing, piano studio, piano teacher, piano teaching, piano technique, pianoaddict.com, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing piano, playing staccato at the piano, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Skype, skyped piano lessons, Skyping piano lessons, studying piano, Sydney Australia, teaching piano scales, technique, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Piano Technique: Boosting the Left Hand (Video)

I’m always in awe of pianists whose left hand is equal to the right hand in dexterity, expression, power and reliability. It’s the switch hitter thing that’s mind-boggling as it also applies to sports. Creaming a ball and sending it … Continue reading

Posted in Chopin's Revolutionary Etude Op. 10 no. 12, improving the left hand at the piano, piano teacher, piano teaching, pianoaddict.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing piano, practicing the left hand at the piano, scales, self-analysis, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, slow mindful practicing, slow piano practicing, studying piano, teaching piano scales, technique, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

Piano Lesson: Playing into “putty” to acquire a singing tone legato–An 8-year old gets deep in the keys (Video)

I decided to explore a variation of Irina Gorin’s “jello” image to teach an 8-year old how to produce a deep, resonant singing tone. She’d been studying piano with me for two years and relished the opportunity to plunge her … Continue reading

Posted in cultivating the singing tone at the piano, phrasing at the piano, piano instruction, piano lessons, piano playing and relaxation, piano practicing, piano teacher, piano teaching, piano technique, piano tutorial, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing piano, producing a singing tone legato at the piano, scales, self-analysis, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, singing tone legato, slow mindful practicing, slow piano practicing, studying piano, Teach Street, teaching piano, teaching piano scales, teaching piano to children, teaching scales, technique, uk-piano-forums, whole body listening, whole body music listening, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Piano Technique: Producing a beautiful singing tone using jello as an image

The following teaching video produced by Irina Gorin, confirmed my belief that a singing tone springs from the imagination along with a consciousness about the physical means to achieve it. On both accounts, Gorin succeeded in the company of a … Continue reading

Posted in "Tales of a Musical Journey", Irina Gorin, Irina Gorin piano studio, mind body connection, mindful piano practicing, mindful practicing, musical phrasing, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Oberlin Conservatory, phrasing at the piano, pianist, piano, piano addict, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano playing and relaxation, piano teacher, piano teaching, piano technique, pianoaddict.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, singing tone legato, slow mindful practicing, slow piano practicing, Teach Street, teaching piano, teaching piano scales, teaching piano to children, whole body listening, whole body music listening, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments