Monthly Archives: August 2013

Adult student Rhythmic REHAB

I have four piano students in rehab who are grappling with metrical issues. They might start with a healthy quarter note in a five-finger position warm-up; manage proportioned 8th notes, but totally relapse playing 16ths. That’s when their confidence sinks … Continue reading

Posted in adult piano students, classissima, classissima.com, helping adult piano students with rhythm, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, K. 5, Mozart, Mozart Minuet in F, piano, piano instruction, piano lessons, Shirley Kirsten, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, word press, word press.com, wordpress, you tube.com, yout tube, youtube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Navigating a robust Beethoven Sonatina (not the one everybody plays)

I borrowed a few hours from my Haydn immersion to review a Beethoven Sonatina that is absolutely charming but very challenging. One would think that such a work labeled -mini, by its “-ina” suffix spelled an easier passage to the … Continue reading

Posted in Beethoven Sonatina in F Major, Beethoven Sonatina in F Major anh.5, Classical era, Classical era sonatina, classissima.com, Jourhal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, Ludwig Van Beethoven, piano, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, sonatina, sonatina for piano, you tube video, you tube.com, youtube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Perfect pitch? What’s the big deal?

As I foraged through old e-mail files, I stumbled upon my note to Oberlin alum, Robert Krulwich, WNYC RADIO LAB program moderator. http://www.radiolab.org/search/?q=robert+krulwich#q=robert krulwich He and his co-host had featured psychologist, Dr. Diane Deutsch’s podcast on Perfect Pitch. One of … Continue reading

Posted in classissima, classissima.com, Dr. Diane Deutsch, perfect pitch, perfect pitch and piano study, perfect pitch and tone languages, piano, piano study and perfect pitch, Robert Krulwich, Robert Krulwich Radio Lab, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, word press.com, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube.com, yout tube, youtube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Piano Technique: The big hand/little hand controversy (Videos)

Originally posted on Arioso7's Blog (Shirley Kirsten):
I don’t know how many times I’ve been asked the same question by either parents, or people I meet on Amtrak. It’s about “piano fingers,” “hand size,” and the best physiological fit…

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Piano Technique: A fire and ice approach to learning pieces at breakspeed tempo

One of my Oberlin Conservatory piano teachers regarded Vladimir Horowitz as a fire and ice player. He referred to the maestro as having the uncanny ability to turn out a hot performance with a cool demeanor. (The physical control, of … Continue reading

Posted in Burgmuller, Burgmuller Op. 100, classissima, classissima.com, Friedrich Burgmuller, piano, Shirley Kirsten, word press.com, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video, you tube.com, yout tube, youtube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Gold Standard Adult Pupils!

I’m the proud mentor of seven COMMITTED adult piano students, three of whom were TAGGED with body stickers for doing GOOD time at their lessons yesterday. NOTE: None have been coerced by authorities to sign up. (i.e. Parents) Each is … Continue reading

Posted in adult piano instruction, adult piano students, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, piano, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, teaching piano to adults | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Piano Technique: Playing BEYOND the fingers

Many students get finger-trapped playing the piano, hammering away at tricky passages with tight wrists and stiff, plunky fingers. The more glitches they encounter, the tenser they get, which sets up a vicious cycle. I always advise these harrowed pupils … Continue reading

Posted in piano, piano technique | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment