Tag Archives: Shirley Smith Kirsten

Apple Inc.’s latest MAVERICKS UPGRADE is a disaster for Online piano teachers! (Watch the video)

It all started with a FACETIME hitch. Out of the blue, the popular FACE to FACE application tanked when I ACCEPTED an incoming call. Three beeps and a hasty shutdown! Disconnected! Kaput! finished! A CALL back from my END produced … Continue reading

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The right chemistry between piano teacher and student

If ever I’ve seen and heard a full-blown affinity between a mentor and pupil, it’s conspicuously revealed in these two performances that are a harmonious blend of beautiful phrasing and fluid motions. And as the saying goes, “The fruit doesn’t … Continue reading

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Birthday Blogomania! Three pianists + 1 adult student intersect on April 19th

To my amazement, I celebrated these three musician luminaries in separate blogs over a period of years. So honoring them once again on their common birthday is a joyful undertaking. Adding a fourth celebrant to the mix, I’ve given a … Continue reading

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Art, Photography, and Music in perfect harmony

Julie Orchard, an intensely dedicated piano student, presented a glass multimedia mosaic at the Subterranean Arthouse last night that blended well with Domenico Scarlatti’s music. In the same spirit, the composer’s Sonata in D minor complemented the splendor of Berkeley’s … Continue reading

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An Adult Piano Student and Stained Glass Artist has a dual passion

It’s a small world in many ways. Julie Orchard became a piano student of mine through my next door neighbor, Art, who happens to own the Bottle Shop across the street. But degrees of separation melted further when I discovered … Continue reading

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From Perugia with love: Pianist, Ilana Vered hosts an enticing summer music fest

I stumbled upon Ilana Vered’s dazzlingly performance of two Moskowzski Etudes in a televised Steinway anniversary tribute hosted by Van Cliburn. It was during this celebration that Murray Perahia, my Performing Arts High classmate, rendered Chopin from the basement of … Continue reading

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4-hand piano prep and the joy of making music for two

I remember an astonishing concert that I attended at Carnegie Hall where two distinguished pianists sang like nightingales at one 9 foot grand piano. It was back in the 1970′s that I heard Paul Badura-Skoda and Jorge Demus perform the … Continue reading

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Dedicating my birthday to Chopin!

I’m often asked to name my favorite composer, and nearly always, it’s the one whose music I’m currently studying and teaching. In this case, Chopin’s posthumous Waltz in A minor, discovered by musicologists in the 1950s, is the CHOSEN. Not … Continue reading

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The SINGING ingredient of phrasing

When I studied piano in New York City with Lillian Lefkofsky Freundlich, she always sang over my playing as well as her own. Her habitual voice-overs that lingered for years and seeped into the depths of my musical consciousness, gave … Continue reading

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Reviewing Chopin’s Nocturne in C# minor, Op. Posthumous (MOVIE THEME, THE PIANIST)

We have to give credit to movie-makers for putting this hauntingly beautiful composition on the popular marquee of Classical music favorites. It shares notoriety with Mozart’s middle movement theme of Concerto no. 21 in C, which recurred throughout the film, … Continue reading

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