A Walk Down Memory Lane with Two pint-sized Piano Students

As I foraged through a closet filled with old picture frames, entangled extension cords, discarded lamp shades and pencil sharpeners, I stumbled upon an ancient Digital 8 camcorder that was my original You Tube movie messenger. With its mega-size cassettes and whooshing audio, it still managed to capture my earliest piano lessons with Rina, age four, using Irina Gorin’s Tales of a Musical Journey.

Rina and Aiden

I’d say it was a unique year of experimentation since I’d never started a child so young, though Rina’s predecessor, Claudia had arrived on my doorstep at nearly 5, after studying for a short time in Hawaii.

How coincidental that my closet caper brought two teaching experiences out of the darkness, into a camera channeled spotlight.

So without further ado..

Here’s Rina in her musical infancy, as she stroked the keys with a supple wrist and “weeping willow arms” (At the heart of Gorin’s singing tone approach).


And following, a flashback of little Claudia playing in her first recital at my home back in 2006.

claudia face very young

claudia very young at house concert

P.S. When I relocated to Berkeley two years ago, both pupils moved on. Claudia studied with me for about six years before she left for Southern California with her parents, and Rina, who stayed in the Central Valley (agriculture’s heartland) is working with a Russian teacher and making great strides.

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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