Tag Archives: El Cerrito CA

The El Cerrito Hills are alive with the sound of music

In the old days, I commuted by Amtrak from Central CA to the East Bay, chugging along the scenic route with my digital camera pressed against the train window. A few awesome seascapes managed to squeak through the bumpy ride, … Continue reading

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My Journey to Ifshin’s in El Cerrito, CA where violins, unlike pianos are thriving!

I headed over to the premier string HAUS in the Bay area today to bring my 1799 vintage German violin back to life. For years it had been laying at the bottom of my closet, layered over with two portable … Continue reading

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Piano Lessons: Creativity, composing, and diversifying

Fritz, one of my young piano students, had been saddled with a long lesson due to his sister’s absence so he thought the “extra” time would be spent spot practicing the knotty measures of his Bach Minuet. Or he anticipated … Continue reading

Posted in composing and piano teaching, composing in the piano studio, creativity and composing at the piano, Fritz composes, Journal of a Pianot Teacher from New York to California, piano, piano instruction, piano lessons, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, word press, word press.com, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video, you tube.com, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Piano Instruction: Mozart Minuet in F, K. 2

Play Through Such delightful music sprang from an inspired little Mozart who at age 6, composed this Minuet in F. His father, Leopold, “notated his son’s pieces in a notebook recording the exact date of almost every composition.” (K. 2 … Continue reading

Posted in classissima, classissima.com, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, K. 2, Mozart, Mozart Minuet, Mozart Minuet in F Major K 2, piano, piano instruction, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano teacher, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube video, you tube.com, yout tube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Steinway and Sons is sold, and the digitals are probably having a party

http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2013/07/01/steinway-sold-to-private-equity-firm-for-438-million/ It was no surprise to read about Steinway selling out to Kohlberg and Company .. Why? because, 1) who has the money to buy a pricey grand 2) Digitals are turning acoustics into dinosaurs. If I were purist and … Continue reading

Posted in classissima, classissima.com, digital pianos, piano addict, Piano Street, Piano World, Steinway and Sons, Yamaha Arius 141 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Sister and brother piano lessons in the Hills

I enjoy my weekly journey to a home way up in the Hills of El Cerrito (neighbor to Berkeley) There, I teach Lucy and Fritz who play a lovely, resonant Baldwin Acrosonic that I advised mom to purchase (over at … Continue reading

Posted in Burgmuller, Burgmuller 25 Progressive Pieces, Burgmuller Inquietude, classissima, classissima.com, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, piano, piano instruction, piano instruction by Skype, piano instructor, piano learning, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano lessons and parental support, piano lessons by Skype, piano lessons in Berkeley California, piano lessons in El Cerrito California, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, word press, word press.com, wordpress, you tube video, yout tube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Piano Technique: Turning a door knob helps a 9-year old piano student in her practicing (Videos)

I use various motions extracted from daily life to teach fluidity in piano playing. In this particular example lifted from a lesson-in-progress, Ilyana, 9, applies a door knob-turning gesture to smooth out a passage from William Gillock’s “Splashing in the … Continue reading

Posted in "Splashing in the Brook" by Gillock, piano, piano instruction, piano lessons, piano technique, playing piano, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, teaching piano, William Gillock, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video, you tube.com, yout tube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A piano student kicks back over the summer playing a Disney selection while I rekindle old musical memories (Videos)

It’s not a big deal when a student forgets her scale, arpeggio, and total assignment, then drifts into a casual reading of “When You Wish Upon a Star” from Pinocchio. Albertina, 13, had brought a coffee-table size anthology of popular … Continue reading

Posted in "When you Wish Upon a Star" from Walt Disney, duet playing with piano students, Five for Fighting a Hundred Years, John Ondrasik, Liz on Top of the World from Pride and Prejudice, piano instruction, piano lessons, piano teaching, playing piano, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Taylor Swift, Wlat Disney, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube.com, yout tube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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