Category Archives: wordpress

Favorite Tchaikovsky piano pieces and their pedagogical value

I made a promise to myself well before the New Year, that I would learn one new Tchaikovsky composition each day from the composer’s Op. 39 Children’s Album. (24 tableaux) Not that I’m recommending to piano students that they assimilate … Continue reading

Posted in Brigitte Engerer, music, piano pedagogy, Piano Street, Rada Bukhman, word press.com, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube video, you tube.com, yout tube | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

About Coffee, Cats, and Non-legato

This blog mishmosh is as ridiculous as Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, a best-selling children’s book title, though it’s the perfect segue way to an unmatched set of events that transpired yesterday in Berkeley. Coffee was my first preoccupation … Continue reading

Posted in coffee, Irina Gorin, non-legato, piano, pianoworldwide, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in classissima, classissima.com, Franz Josef Haydn, Haydn Sonata in Eb Hob.XVI:52 (Rondo), Haydn Sonatas, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, Oberlin Conservatory, piano lessons, piano study, piano technique, Schmitt exercises, Shirley Kirsten, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Birds invade the Piano/Skype universe, but this one on You Tube stands out!

An adult piano student who continued her lessons by Skype after I relocated to Berkeley from Fresno, brought along her choir of parakeets. Despite a muddy transmission last night, they registered cackles of chagrin and chirps of approval through Burgmuller’s … 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

Posted in classissima, classissima.com, Franz Josef Haydn, harmonic rhythm, Haydn, Haydn Sonata in Eb Hob.XVI:52 (Rondo), Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, piano instruction, piano lessons, piano technique, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, word press, word press.com, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube.com, youtube, youtube.com | 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

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

Piano Technique: A fire and ice approach to learning pieces at breakspeed tempo

One of my Oberlin Conservatory piano teachers regarded Vladimir Horowitz as a fire and ice player. He referred to the maestro as having the uncanny ability to turn out a hot performance with a cool demeanor. (The physical control, of … Continue reading

Posted in Burgmuller, Burgmuller Op. 100, classissima, classissima.com, Friedrich Burgmuller, piano, Shirley Kirsten, word press.com, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video, you tube.com, yout tube, youtube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Can we rise above the hammer mechanism of our beloved piano?

I say yes to naysayers on various Internet forums. They would have you believe that playing a series of notes cannot be altered by a physical approach to the keys that includes a supple wrist. Their gospel is, it’s all … Continue reading

Posted in Burgmuller, Burgmuller Harmony of the Angels, classissima, classissima.com, Friedrich Burgmuller, hammer mechanism of the piano, Harmony of the Angels, Harmony of the Angels by Burgmuller, piano, piano instruction, piano lesson, piano tone production, wordpress, wordpress.com, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Piano instruction: Arrangements of Classics or the real deal?

One of my adult transfer students brought an arrangement of Chopin’s “Raindrop Prelude” that was an insult to the composer’s original intention. It was poorly transcribed in an alien key, awkwardly fingered, and contained a mountain of additional challenges– a … Continue reading

Posted in classissima, classissima.com, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, piano, piano arrangements, piano instruction, piano lessons, piano teaching, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube.com, youtube | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments