Tag Archives: Shirley Smith Kirsten

Piano Technique: Five-Finger positions are good for you!

Piano students of all levels can benefit from 5-finger position romps in many keyboard geographies. That’s because a player can experiment with legato and staccato on a bed of black notes; white notes, or combinations of both, without worrying about … Continue reading

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Piano Practicing: What to do when you make a mistake

In the universe of playing incorrect notes, I tell students to chill out, and approach a particular glitched passage in an organized manner. (This does NOT include PLAYING the so-called wrong note again ON PURPOSE to eliminate it) When an … Continue reading

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A Walk Down Memory Lane with Two pint-sized Piano Students

As I foraged through a closet filled with old picture frames, entangled extension cords, discarded lamp shades and pencil sharpeners, I stumbled upon an ancient Digital 8 camcorder that was my original You Tube movie messenger. With its mega-size cassettes … Continue reading

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A Conversation about machine and ear tuning (and more) with Israel Stein, Registered Piano Technician

I couldn’t resist an opportunity to immerse myself in an engaging dialog with Israel Stein, RPT, as he was tuning my piano. Regaled far and wide by a community of pianists and teachers as he amasses awards bestowed by his … Continue reading

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Experimentation and refinement are the ingredients of music teaching and learning

One of the joys of teaching piano is to experience awakenings with our students as we experiment with phrasing, and refine original perceptions. And while a piano teacher is considered a mentor to a student, he/she clearly realizes that roles … Continue reading

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Seymour Bernstein’s take on Pianist, Glenn Gould

Seymour: An Introduction, produced by Ethan Hawke, is making the rounds through a series of reputable film festivals. Recently screened in Telluride (Colorado) and soon to make its Toronto, Canada debut followed by a Lincoln Center touchdown, the 81-minute documentary … Continue reading

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Piano Technique: Split-Screen, rolling 4-note arpeggios (C# minor; B minor)

I love to work with students on 4-note arpeggios through inversions, prompting them to ROLL into horizontal, curvaceous groups of notes to avoid up and down finger poking. The elements of visualization (“imagining” motion SHAPES); kinesthetic translation (counterclockwise arm motions) … Continue reading

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