Bach Invention in C Major BWV 772, classissima,, J.S. Bach, piano, playing piano, Shirley Smith Kirsten, the form of a Bach Invention, word press,, you tube

Learning a J.S. Bach Invention requires an understanding of right-side-up, upside down, inside out, and other relationships


Arioso7's Blog (Shirley Kirsten)

Pearly words of wisdom flowed so naturally from the pen of Irina Morozova, a concert pianist and teacher, who responded graciously to my set of pointed questions.

As introduction, she’s a Mannes College of Music piano faculty member and teaches children at the Special Music School/Kaufman Center in Manhattan.

Immersed in a richly rewarding career mentoring students, performing, and giving masterclasses in local and international venues, her inspired thoughts are shared in unedited form with videos interspersed as they pertain.


1) There’s a dualism to your career that’s bound up in teaching and performing. 

How does preparing for a recital grow your mentoring skills?

Frankly, there is no connection whatsoever. To prepare a recital involves time where I concentrate on myself. At least I try.

If we look at this issue somewhat more generally, there are apparent advantages for students to study with a teacher who is active as…

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Knee-jerk technology brings the keyboard closer to an Online piano student

By reassigning a web cam to my knee, I was able to assist a student with a nagging measure.

J.S. Bach, J.S. Bach Little Prelude in D minor BWV 935, piano, piano instruction, piano lessons, practicing piano in slow motion, practicing piano in slow tempo, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, word press, word, wordpress,, you tube, you tube video, you, yout tube,

Piano Learning and Technique: The Value of practicing in SLOW motion or behind tempo

On one of the piano forums, students, teachers, amateurs and professionals are debating the value of slow practicing in developing performance fluency. Some insist that motor movements enlisted in slow motion are different from those employed in a brisker tempo, so why bother going through a laborious phase one. I can affirm that layered learning… Continue reading Piano Learning and Technique: The Value of practicing in SLOW motion or behind tempo


Arioso7's Blog (Shirley Kirsten)

When it comes right down to it, musicians “sing” through their instruments, and pianists with generous polyphonic resources (many voices) will find the melody and flesh it out as the tour de force of a composition.

On this special day of Christmas I therefore chose la creme de la creme of a vocal model performance.

A grand display of elegance.

Arleen Auger sings “Hallelujia” from Mozart’s Exultate Jubilate K. 165

If we can learn from the phrasing and nuance of this diva, we can play more expressively.

Merry Christmas! And may music always have a sacred place in our lives!

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Arioso7's Blog (Shirley Kirsten)

I was deeply moved to have discovered the Marble Hill Reunion site which inspired my own cherished memories of the projects in the Bronx where I romped during my childhood and early adolescence.

My family moved from Featherbed Lane near Tremont Avenue to Marble Hill when I was about four. It was quite a notch up from a one room flat that had roaches, rats, and an ice box, barely containing enough food for a week. The iceman cometh. My parents needed the space, and rents were reduced for wartime veterans, so the projects were a perfect match.

During the early years we watched the construction of the Major Deegan Highway and P.S. 122, but having spent my first year of school at P.S. 95, I had a painful memory of being lost in the school yard with a dog tag around my neck. Fortunately, I managed to find my…

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Arioso7's Blog (Shirley Kirsten)

An old cardboard box that yielded my New York City High of Performing Arts Yearbook and a flood of memories, revealed my portrait. I looked innocent enough, with a riveting quote beneath: “I know what is missing in the barrel rather than what is there.”

Perhaps it was a time-honored insecurity that adolescents might disclose about themselves?–A Catcher in the Rye moment for a teenage girl?

Reva Cooper, in the Drama Department, and my best friend at the time, admits that her quote actually belonged to Constance DiGiovanni but was misprinted.

A simple exchange of inspired words between the two would have straightened things out:

Reva: “Music is my Best Medicine.”

Connie: “Cry the Beloved Country for Wasted Youth.”

So as we three exited our star-struck school, it was in the spirit of an empty barrel, music medicine, and wasted youth worth crying about.


The seeds of insecurity…

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