Category Archives: teaching piano to adults

My Gold Standard Adult Pupils!

I’m the proud mentor of seven COMMITTED adult piano students, three of whom were TAGGED with body stickers for doing GOOD time at their lessons yesterday. NOTE: None have been coerced by authorities to sign up. (i.e. Parents) Each is … Continue reading

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Piano Practicing: Breathing into phrases and blocking out passages (Mozart Sonata, example)

I’ve picked the first two pages of Mozart’s Sonata in Bb Major, K. 281, last movement, Rondeau, Allegro to explore breathing and blocking techniques in the learning process. (These principles can be applied to practicing music from a variety of … Continue reading

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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

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A Purr-fect sedative for a Cat

“Harmony of the Angels” has a soporific effect on Aiden cat while it provided a relaxing prelude to Rina’s earliest piano lessons. Students, young and old, love its thread of sonorities. Continue reading

Posted in Aiden Cat, Burgmuller, classissima, classissima.com, Friedrich Burgmuller, Op. 100 Twenty-five Progressive Pieces, piano addict, Piano Street, Piano World, playing piano, Shirley Smith Kirsten, shirley smith kirsten blog, Shirley Smth Kirsten, teaching piano to adults, teaching piano to young children, teaching Rina piano, teachinig piano to young children, teacing piano to children, the art of piano playing, the breath and phrasing in piano playing, undulating wrist in piano playing, 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

Piano Technique: Practicing a C# minor arpeggio, in rolled four-note groupings (Adult student lesson-in-progress)

We start by blocking out the Right Hand with a good fingering, reinforcing depth into the keys, and follow-through motion. The arpeggio is then unraveled with curves of energy assisted by relaxed arms, fluid wrists. The turnaround at the top … Continue reading

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When a beginning adult piano student wants to learn popular music….(Video samples)

I have no problem indulging the musical appetites of my adult students, as long as they keep up their technical routines, and balance their intake of popular servings with Classical. Same applies to my younger pupils who are up to … Continue reading

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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

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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

Doing Piano Push-ups to feel connected, and dead-weighted into the keys (The B minor arpeggio is my Cardio-activating springboard) VIDEO

Piano Cardio isn’t such a far-fetched description of a good piano workout when it comes to playing scales and arpeggios. (You can throw in a few push-ups to practice connecting into keys with an added health benefit) *** An adult … Continue reading

Posted in B minor arpeggio, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, pianist, piano, piano instruction, piano lessons, playing piano, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, teaching piano to adults, The Visible and the Invisible in Piano Technique, Tobias Matthay, You Tube interview with Lugansky from Israel, you tube video, yout tube | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment