Category Archives: The art of phrasing at the piano

Into the Hills with the Sound of Music –a Baldwin Acrosonic “acoustic” sings

The video attached to this writing validates the beauty of music-making on a well-maintained, though 1940s vintage era acoustic piano. Baldwin Acrosonics were the Cadillacs of the spinet and console variety pianos. They had a noticeable innovation compared to their … Continue reading

Posted in Baldwin Acrosonic piano, Chopin, Chopin pedaling, Chopin Waltz in A minor no. 19, classissima, classissima.com, El Cerrito California, pedaling at the piano, phrasing at the piano, piano addict, piano blogging, piano blogs, piano instrruction, piano instruction, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano lessons in Berkeley California, piano lessons in El Cerrito California, piano studio, piano studio in El Cerrito, piano teachers, piano technique, piano technique and breathing, Piano World, piano world-wide, pianoaddict.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing piano, shirley kirsten pianist, shirley s kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, shirley smith kirsten blog, Shirley Smth Kirsten, slow mindful practicing, slow piano practicing, studying piano, The art of phrasing at the piano, the art of piano pedaling, The El Cerrito Hills, whole body listening, whole body music listening, word press, word press.com, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube video, you tube.com, yout tube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The business of copying the piano teacher: Who has the final say or PLAY?

The latest provocative teacher exchange is taking place on Facebook at the “Art of Piano Pedagogy” which has now become a private forum. When it comes to teaching philosophies, many are intensely opinionated. From my perspective, I passionately believe in … Continue reading

Posted in classissima, classsissima.com, Nairi Grigorian Akimov, piano, piano instruction, piano lessons, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Kirsten on POWHOW, shirley s kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, shirley smith kirsten blog, Shirley Smth Kirsten, skype piano lesson, Skype piano lessons, slow mindful practicing, slow piano practicing, teaching piano online, teaching piano to adult students, teaching piano to children, The art of phrasing at the piano, the breath and phrasing in piano playing, word press, word press.com, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube video, yout tube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in J. C. Bach Prelude in A Minor, J.C. Bach, Major minor and diminished chords, musical phrasing, musical phrasing and breathing, phrasing at the piano, pianist, piano, piano learning, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano pedagogy, piano playing, piano regulation, piano studio, piano studio in El Cerrito, piano study, piano teachers, piano teaching, piano tutorial, Piano World, piano world-wide, pianoaddict.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing pentascales, playing piano, playing the piano, playing the piano with a singing tone, POWHOW, POWHOW instruction, practicing piano, publishers marketplace, publishersmarketplace, repertoire for piano students, rolling forward wrist motions in piano playing, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Kirsten on POWHOW, shirley kirsten on POWHOW webcam piano class, shirley s kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, shirley smith kirsten blog, studying piano, teaching piano, teaching piano to adults, The art of phrasing at the piano, the art of piano pedaling, Theory, whole body listening, whole body music listening, word press.com, wordpress, you tube video, yout tube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Piano Instruction: Pastorale in D Major, K. 415 by Domenico Scarlatti, a stepwise approach

The Pastorale in D, included in Margery Halford’s Scarlatti, An Introduction to his Keyboard Works, poses significant musical challenges. In the technical realm, the composer has a tricky landscape of two-note legato figures as offbeats in the treble, and these … Continue reading

Posted in Baroque keyboard music, classissima, classissima.com, Domenico Scarlatti, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, Margery Halford Scarlatti an Inroduc tion to his Keyboard Works, pianist, piano, piano instruction, piano lessons, Piano Street, Piano World, playing piano, POWHOW.com, Scarlatti Pastorale in D K. 415, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, teaching the works of Domenico Scarlatti, The art of phrasing at the piano, the art of piano playing, video piano instruction, videotaped piano instruction, virtual piano lessons, virtual piano teaching, whole body listening, whole body music listening, word press, word press.com, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube video, yout tube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Piano Technique: The big hand/little hand controversy (Videos)

I don’t know how many times I’ve been asked the same question by either parents, or people I meet on Amtrak. It’s about “piano fingers,” “hand size,” and the best physiological fit for the keyboard. Next in line are queries … Continue reading

Posted in alica delarrocha, Artur Rubinstein, Daniel Barenboim, pianists with big hands, pianists with little hands, Shirley Smith Kirsten, teaching piano, The art of phrasing at the piano, the art of piano pedaling, the art of piano playing, word press, word press.com, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Piano Technique: Burgmuller’s Tarentelle, Op. 100-Fueling and shaping fast passages with a dipping, supple wrist (Videos)

Most piano students will have been assigned a Burgmuller selection or two during their formative years of study. And most likely, these would have been snatched from the composer’s Twenty-Five Progressive Pieces, Op. 100 that advance by steps in difficulty, … Continue reading

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Bonus post-concert Video Footage: Daniil Trifonov Interview, Fresno, California

In supplementary video footage, Trifonov discussed the role of “relaxation,” and physical “freedom” in beautiful music-making. He reiterated a practicing modality where a pianist plays a composition in “seven different emotions.” One of my adult students and her husband joined … Continue reading

Posted in Andreas Werz, classissima, classissima.com, Daniil Trifonov, Daniil Trifonov piano recital in Fresno California, Fresno State Recital Hall, Fresno State University, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, Philip Lorenz Memorial Keyboard Concerts, pianist, piano, piano addict, piano blog, piano playing, Piano Street, Piano World, piano world-wide, practicing a piece in 7 different emotions, practicing piano with relaxation, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, supple wrist in piano playing, teaching piano to adults, The art of phrasing at the piano, the art of piano pedaling, The Rubinstein Competition in Tel Aviv, whole body music listening, word press, word press.com, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The piano teacher as conductor–sometimes shaping gestures help a student phrase better (Video)

I couldn’t resist an opportunity to conduct my student playing the Bach Invention 13 in A minor today. She’s preparing two selections for a competitive Baroque event coming up in two weeks, and the second offering is the Prelude in … Continue reading

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Playing through Chopin’s B minor Waltz with its sighing motif (Video commentary)

Last night I sat myself down at my imperfectly regulated Steinway M grand and managed to sigh several times through torrents of phrases crafted by design and inspiration to tug at the heartstrings. And in the video below, I journeyed … Continue reading

Posted in classissima, classissima.com, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, legato playing at the piano, phrasing at the piano, pianist, pianists, piano, piano blog, piano blogging, piano instructor, piano lesson, piano lessson, piano pedagogy, piano playing and breathing, piano playing and phrasing, piano playing and relaxation, piano practicing, piano society, Piano Street, piano student, piano studio, piano teacher, piano teachers, piano teaching, piano teaching repertoire, piano technique, piano technique and the singing tone, Piano World, piano world-wide, pianoaddict.com, playing the piano with a singing tone, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, shirley s kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, shirley smith kirsten blog, singing tone legato, slow mindful practicing, slow piano practicing, Steinway M, Steinway M grand piano, Steinway piano, string player, studying piano, swinging arms in playing piano, Teach Street, teaching piano, technique, tempo rubato, The art of phrasing at the piano, the art of piano pedaling, the art of piano playing, video performances, video uploading, videotaping a piano performance and self analysis, violin, virtual piano lessons, virtual piano teaching, What pianists can learn from string players, whole body listening, whole body music listening, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Chopin Waltz in Ab Major, Op. 69 No. 1–considerations of mics, recording conditions, and tempo, with performance comparisons

First, I have to admit that my prized Yeti mic suffered yet another break-down. “Break” is to be emphasized. I tripped over the wire on the way to Haddy Haddorff, and the sensitive connector from iMac’s USB port to the … Continue reading

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