Tag Archives: Oberlin Conservatory

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

Ear Training and Transposing are intrinsic to piano lessons (examples from an Adult lesson in progress)

It’s not easy to plan a one hour piano lesson to include ear training, solfege and transposing. (They belong together, bundled with Theory, and enrich the learning environment) At the Oberlin Conservatory, Theory, Keyboard Harmony, and Eurhythmics were taught separately. … Continue reading

Posted in classical music, classissima, classissima. om, ear training, Fundamentals of Piano Theory by Snell and Ashleigh, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, Mozart Sonata in C Major Rondo Allegretto, Mozart Sonata no. 16 in C Major K. 545, music theory, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Oberlin Conservatory, pianist, piano, piano instruction, piano learning, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano lessons in Berkeley California, piano lessons in El Cerrito California, piano pedagogy, piano playing, word press, word press.com, wordpress, you tube video, you tube.com, yout tube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rekindling ties with a dear NYC friend, her 1893 Steinway B, and piano tinkering grandbaby

Friendship is forever. Coming back to New York City was living proof of it. Continue reading

Posted in Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, New York State Employment Service, Oberlin Conservatory, Schoenhut piano, Verdi Square in NYC, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video, you tube.com, yout tube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rina’s Lesson-in-Progress: From the staircase to the piano (Reinagle Minuet in G) Videos

Rina, 5, has embarked upon her 7th month of study and is scaling my staircase before settling down to the piano. I’ve used this routine to imbue a sense of music’s topography before a keyboard transfer. It’s working. Videotaped samples: … Continue reading

Posted in "Tales of a Musical Journey" by Irina Gorin, Irina Gorin, Minuet by Reinagle, piano addict, piano instruction, piano lessons, Piano Street, Piano World, POWHOW, POWHOW.com, Shirley Kirsten teaches classes at POWHOW, Shirley Smith Kirsten, teaching piano to young children, teaching Rina piano, whole body listening, whole body music listening, word press, word press.com, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video, yout tube | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Piano Technique: Playing beyond the fingers to sculpt beautiful phrases (Debussy Arabesque no. 1)

Many piano students who practice Debussy’s Arabesque no. 1 tend to grab and articulate notes, rather than let them flow from energy streaming down relaxed arms into supple wrists. Reliance on fingers-down playing becomes the panacea for accuracy, while it … Continue reading

Posted in "Just Being At the Piano", 19th Century music, 20th Century music, arioso 7, arpeggios, arpeggios for the piano, Claude Debussy, Debussy, Debussy Arabesque no. 1, Impressionistic music, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, Just Being at the Piano by Mildred Portney Chase, Mildred Portney Chase, pianist, piano, piano lessons, piano teaching, piano world-wide, playing piano, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, word press, word press.com, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video, yout tube | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Abby Whiteside and playing beyond the fingers as a point of departure (Videos)

From WIKI: Abby Whiteside (1881–1956) was an influential American piano teacher. She challenged the finger-centric approach of much classical piano teaching and instead advocated a holistic attitude in which the arm and torso are the conductors of a musical image … Continue reading

Posted in Abby Whiteside, Mastering the Chopin Etudes and Other Essays by Abby Whiteside, phrasing at the piano, pianists, piano, piano addict, piano blog, piano blogging, piano blogs, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano playing, piano tutorial, piano world-wide, pianoaddict.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing piano, playing piano with expression, playing the piano, Shirley Smith Kirsten, shirley smith kirsten blog, singing tone legato, slow mindful practicing, slow piano practicing, Steinway M grand, studying piano, supple wrist in piano playing, technique, the art of piano playing, The Russian singing tone school of piano teaching, video instruction, video supplementation of piano lessons, video uploading, virtual piano lessons, virtual piano teaching, whole body listening, whole body music listening, word press, word press.com, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Piano Instruction: A charming, quick-paced piece for late elementary students, titled “Clowns,” by Gillock (VIDEO)

Continuing my tribute to the prolific and talented composer, William Gillock, I’ve snatched “Clowns” from Volume Two of his Accent on Gillock collection. (published by Willis Music Company) Not to be long-winded about my approach to teaching this sprightly composition, … Continue reading

Posted in "Clowns" by William Gillock, Accent on Gillock Volume two Later Elementary, classissima, classissima.com, Gillock composer, mind body connection, mindful piano practicing, mindful practicing, Moonbeams and other Musical Sketches by Shirley Kirsten, MTAC, music, music and heart, music teachers association, Oberlin Conservatory, Op. 39 Children's Pieces by Kabalevsky, phrasing at the piano, pianist, pianists, piano, piano addict, piano blog, piano blogging, piano blogs, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano lessson, piano pedagogy, piano practicing, piano recital, piano repertoire, piano student, piano studio, piano study, piano teacher, piano teacher and student relationships, piano teachers, piano teaching, piano teaching repertoire, Piano World, piano world-wide, pianoaddict.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing piano, playing staccato at the piano, playing the piano with a singing tone, playing two musical instruments, William Gillock, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment