About Coffee, Cats, and Non-legato

This blog mishmosh is as ridiculous as Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, a best-selling children’s book title, though it’s the perfect segue way to an unmatched set of events that transpired yesterday in Berkeley.

Coffee was my first preoccupation after Marta Vago, a long lost “connection” to my late piano teacher, Lillian Freundlich, surfaced on FACEBOOK regaling a coffee bean. Let’s back up. She posted a link to “Top Nutrition Lies That Make the World Sick and Fat”...http://authoritynutrition.com/top-13-nutrition-lies-that-made-the-world-sick-and-fat/ and while EGGS suddenly rose to prominence as the perfect food, Coffee also acquired a new lease on life, as an Alzheimer blocker and more.

To be exact, here’s how coffee drinkers measure up.

According to the spread,

“They have up to a 67% lower risk of Type II diabetes.”

“Are at a much lower risk of getting Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.”

“And have up to an 80% lower risk of liver diseases like cirrhosis.”

“Caffeine also helps to mobilize fatty acids from the fat tissues, boost metabolism and increase exercise performance by an average of 11-12%”

“Many studies have examined the effects of caffeine on the brain, showing that it can improve mood, memory, reaction time, vigilance and overall brain function.”

“….coffee is also loaded with antioxidants. In fact, it is the biggest source of antioxidants in the modern diet, outranking both fruits and vegetables, combined.”

The aforementioned was motivation enough for me to resume coffee drinking, though I’ll admit to having fallen off the wagon, months ago.

During my verboten forays, I noticed higher performance at the GYM after creaming an 8 oz. container of Organic McLaughlin, and an increase in stamina from mid-afternoon into late evening. (nearly midnight)

Organic iced coffee on Gravitron

As for coffee and its relationship to piano playing, I entered only PLUSes on the balance sheet—noting enhanced coordination, greater animation, awareness, cognition, and emotional connectivity to music. (With no reported jitters)

On my sprightly way home from the Berkeley ‘Y’ Gym, (loaded with Organic Iced Coffee) I spotted two daunting felines that caught my eye. (Naturally, I had to snap ’em)

blue eyed cat in North Berkeley

kitten in North Berkeley

And since these pics are worth two-thousand words, no more need be said.



Finally, having acute, caffeine-driven awareness, I continued on my way home, greeted by a computer-generated LinkedIn spotlight on “NON-Legato.”

Irina Gorin, creator of Tales of a Musical Journey believes that a gentle arch of the hand is gradually built by individually developing fingers 2, 3 and 4. That’s why her very young young students tap single, DETACHED (NON-LEGATO) notes to musically rich melodies from the folk and classical literature. (prerecorded with a ticking metronome)

Here’s an example: (My former Fresno student, Rina, was nursed along on Gorin’s book One, having embarked upon piano study at age 4.) A snatch from her 11th lesson included tapping A’s to a modal melody.

Naturally, many approaches to piano study are valid and each teacher makes decisions about learning schedules based upon individual student needs.



Do I dare add more to this hodgepodge?

I can’t resist. One of my MTAC (Music Teacher) colleagues posted this hysterical skit on her Facebook page that dates back to the 50’s. It’s a such a blast that I had to embed it, and besides there’s a conspicuous MUSICAL thread running through it. (I was in STITCHES!)



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: shirley_kirsten@yahoo.com OR http://www.youtube.com/arioso7 or at FACEBOOK: Shirley Smith Kirsten, http://facebook.com /shirley.kirsten TWITTER: http://twitter.com/arioso7 Private fund-raising for non-profits as pianist--Public Speaking re: piano teaching and creative approaches
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