The El Cerrito Hills are alive with the sound of music

In the old days, I commuted by Amtrak from Central CA to the East Bay, chugging along the scenic route with my digital camera pressed against the train window. A few awesome seascapes managed to squeak through the bumpy ride, and these were memorialized by photographic import to my soundtracks, then posted to YOU TUBE. Others were sent to East Coast friends in pretty frames.

Since moving to Berkeley last September, I continued my 5-year stint in El Cerrito as a piano teacher, and sustained the habit of taking photos on and off public transit.

So every Wednesday, following my Y gym workout on Allston Way, I grab the #7 bus to the El Cerrito Hills, snapping images along the way.



Once settled into an awesome, acoustically brilliant space with cathedral high ceilings, I sneak one or two images of my musical sweetheart, a Baldwin grand that was originally a “blind date.” (From a distance, it joins the greater family of Steinway pianos that are squeezed into my Berkeley apartment)


To top things off in my acoustical palace, I place a small camcorder on a colorful table and film a lesson or two. (Students are sent copies to reinforce goals for follow-up practicing)


Here, an adult pupil works on the second page of Chopin’s C# minor Waltz (in slow tempo)

Without a doubt, the ambiance is heaven sent, and ideal for music-making.

About arioso7: Shirley Kirsten

International piano teacher by Skype, recording artist, composer, piano finder, freelance writer, film maker, story teller: Grad of the NYC HS of Performing Arts, Oberlin Conservatory, NYU (Master of Arts) Studies with Lillian Freundlich and Ena Bronstein; Master classes with Murray Perahia and Oxana Yablonskaya. Studios in BERKELEY and EL CERRITO, California; Member, Music Teachers Assoc. of California, MTAC; Distance learning and Skyped instruction with supplementary videos: SKYPE ID, shirleypiano1 Contact me at: OR or at FACEBOOK: Shirley Smith Kirsten, /shirley.kirsten TWITTER: Private fund-raising for non-profits as pianist--Public Speaking re: piano teaching and creative approaches
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2 Responses to The El Cerrito Hills are alive with the sound of music

  1. Thiago says:

    Lovely and calm place:) We definitely left our hearts in San Francisco 😉


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