Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, learning piano, LIVE webcam piano classes, Live webcam piano classes given by Shirley Kirsten, pianist, piano, piano instruction, piano lessons, playing piano, POWHOW,, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, teaching piano

A Power Piano Powhow Launch! (LIVE webcam class instruction)

My first POWHOW class, “Top Notch Tone Tutorial,” brought a group of piano enthusiasts who appeared in their own unique “boxes” eager to learn about touch, tone, and nuance. An inspired pooch even chimed in off camera, but was quickly re-routed to BOW-WOW Dog Discipline 101.



The PIANO basics were top priority:

Where to sit on the bench; relaxed, round, hand position; approach to the keys from lap to keyboard as prep for the main Event.

Detached note playing with supple wrist motion, separate fingers of each hand. Imagining a beautiful tone, and singing along.

Playing groups of two notes (8ths) with a dipping wrist, and follow-through forward motion.

Finally, grouping four notes at a time in “doubleleedle” tempo (twice as fast as 8ths but framed by a well-controlled tempo) The flexible, “spongy” wrist helped with phrase-shaping.

It was a joyful romp over C, D, E, F, and G of each hand, adding in the “sad minor” with Eb for mood contrast.

Not to forget our CONTRARY MOTION escapade, with fingers going in opposite directions.

A brief encounter with “monkey swing out” elbow motions assisted with tapering phrases gracefully.

To wrap things up, we played various measures at different dynamic levels: First LOUD (Forte) to soft, (piano) then soft to LOUD.


Coming up: The Trampoline effect, and how to produce a bouncy “staccato.”

Join the fun and sign up for piano classes that interest you.


Feel free to contact me with suggested ideas, days and times.


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