"Tales of a Musical Journey" by Irina Gorin, Irina Gorin, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, pianist, piano, piano lessons, piano teaching, playing piano, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, teaching piano to young children, word press, wordpress.com, you tube

Looking back to early piano lessons with Rina, 5, with a solid musical foundation to build on (And now the present) Videos

I’m glad I videotaped many of Rina’s early lessons, (from age 4) since I have a tendency to be creative, and take liberties with any instruction in book form. It’s a great reference repository and springboard for new ideas.

To start with, Irina Gorin’s Tales of a Musical Journey, has got it right by its saturation of the singing tone and how to produce it. The piano IS a singing instrument, and from the start, a child (or adult) should be exposed to its universe of tone color, nuance and musical imagination.

That’s why computer-based learning where tots, toddlers, and pre-schoolers are hooked up to typewriter-like electronic keyboards won’t imbue sensitivity to tone and touch.



Early movement warm-up to lesson: August 2012 (Rina’s first month of study)

Rina’s third piano lesson:

Instruction using Tales of a Musical Journey: Exploration of two-key black notes with graceful weeping willow arms, relaxed wrists and rainbow motions.
Identifying C, D, and E

Dec. 11, 2012 (approx 4 months into study)

I enlisted my staircase as a “playground” preliminary to teaching “Frere Jacques” in a single finger, detached-note style.

Once Rina sat down at the piano, our work encompassed singing, “feeling,” tone, touch, a “singing pulse” and all the ingredients of artistic playing.

April, 2012 (starting 7th month of study)

Rina played “Frere Jacques” with the sad minor added. (legato–smooth and connected playing)

More Staircase activity in the present followed by a transfer to the piano. (Minuet by Reinagle)

At the piano

Rina has advanced along from detached-note playing to LEGATO, preserving what was embedded from day one. It’s a nice catalog of progress to draw upon as we head into the future.



“A CREATIVE NEW WAY TO TEACH YOUNG CHILDREN” (I will be using Irina Gorin’s Tales of a Musical Journey Instruction)


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