Tag Archives: Berkeley piano studio

Video supplements for piano students assist practicing

Whether giving piano lessons LIVE or by SKYPE, sending students video excerpts of their lessons-in-progress, or creating a short film that zeroes in on a particular technical challenge, is always helpful. In the old days when I studied with Lillian … Continue reading

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Navigating a robust Beethoven Sonatina (not the one everybody plays)

I borrowed a few hours from my Haydn immersion to review a Beethoven Sonatina that is absolutely charming but very challenging. One would think that such a work labeled -mini, by its “-ina” suffix spelled an easier passage to the … Continue reading

Posted in Beethoven Sonatina in F Major, Beethoven Sonatina in F Major anh.5, Classical era, Classical era sonatina, classissima.com, Jourhal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, Ludwig Van Beethoven, piano, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, sonatina, sonatina for piano, you tube video, you tube.com, youtube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Playing BEYOND the Metronome (Two very brisk pieces by Burgmuller, Op. 100)

In my latest musical journey, I hunted short pieces at peak tempo that are supported by the composer’s Metronome Markings. Schumann and Burgmuller among others designated specific M.M.’s in some of their collections. So in the spirit of being true … Continue reading

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When bad news arrives by E-mail that a student is dropping piano

There’s a hot discussion brewing on a Facebook forum about how piano teachers should handle e-mailed lesson terminations. Some in our profession take the position that it’s no big deal. After all, anyone should be able to quit at any … Continue reading

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The Adult Piano Student Rhythmic Quagmire

It’s practically a universal problem area for adult students in the beginner to intermediate range. Keeping a steady pulse in scale playing, and then making transitions to double speed, as from 16ths to 32nds is a big challenge for them. … Continue reading

Posted in adult piano instruction, adult piano students, arioso7, C Major Scale, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, piano, piano instruction, piano lessons, piano teaching, teaching adult piano students, teaching scales, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Piano Instruction, Don’t wake the “Sleeping Child,” Schumann Kinderszenen, Op. 15 No. 12

Often contemplative, lyrical pieces like lullabies, are bigger challenges to play than lightning bolt fast and furious etudes, final sonata movements etc. “Sleeping Child” is its own poster child for fostering relaxed breaths, flowing musical poetry, and bigger energies beyond … Continue reading

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Piano warm-up routines with an adult student

This pupil is working on the Chopin Waltz in C# minor Op. 64 alongside Mozart’s K. 545 Sonata in C. (I’ll have snatches of her spot practicing in another post) She’s made considerable progress because of her conscientious step-by-step, layered … Continue reading

Posted in adult piano instruction, adult piano lessons, classissima, classissima.com, piano, piano instruction, piano lessons, piano teaching, piano technique, scales and arpeggios at the piano, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, word press, word press.com, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube video, you tube.com, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Piano practicing and blocking techniques

I was originally enlightened about the value of blocking out intricate and tricky passages when I attended a rehearsal of Rudolf Serkin and the New York Philharmonic. He was about to play the Beethoven “Emperor” Concerto No. 5 with its … Continue reading

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Piano performance: The moment of creation can be deceiving and how we can learn from video playbacks

I was telling a musical friend about the discrepancy between what we think we’re hearing during our own performances and what bears out in a review of our self-made recordings. This is why teaching and learning opportunities abound in comparing … Continue reading

Posted in classissima, classissima.com, J.S. Bach, J.S. Bach Invention in 13 minor, J.S. Bach Prelude in C minor, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, pianist, piano instruction, piano lessons, piano teaching, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, videotaping piano lessons, word press, word press.com, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video, you tube.com, yout tube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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