Monthly Archives: September 2015

The Anatomy of a Scale

If you want to pick your brain, ultra-analyzing a scale: finding symmetries, asymmetries, reciprocals, common tones with common fingers, upside down, inside-out relationships between the hands, and anything else that will solidify it, you might add an extra few senility-proof … Continue reading

Posted in A flat Major scale, Ab Major scale, piano addcit, piano addict, piano blog, piano scales, Piano Street, piano technique, Piano World, scales, Shirley Kirsten, word press, you tube | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

J.S. Bach Prelude in Ab, BWV 862: A Fresh Start for Student and Teacher

In the course of teaching, a situation may arise where a particular favored piece is requested by a student that I’ve never studied–which means a deep-layered journey is ahead of two learning partners. And given that J.S. Bach’s Prelude and … Continue reading

Posted in Bach Prelude no. 17, Baroque music, blog, blogger, blogmetrics.org, BWV862, California, fingering, J.S. Bach, J.S. Bach Prelude in Ab, Johann Sebastian Bach, learning a new piano composition, making fingering choices, pianist, piano, piano blog, piano blogging, piano instruction, piano lessons, piano teaching, piano technique, piano tutorial, practicing new piano music, Preludes and Fugues, setting a good piano fingering, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, tutorial, Well-Tempered Clavier | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Two San Francisco musical attractions: Pianist, Trifonov and a Chinese Harpist

Within 48 hours, high-level music-making was heard in vastly different venues. Louise Davies Hall with its golden hue of lights and balconies provided a stunning backdrop for Daniil Trifonov’s heart-throbbing performance of Chopin’s Concerto No. 2 under the baton of … Continue reading

Posted in blogmetrics, Chinese harp, Chopin, Chopin Concerto in F minor, Chopin Concerto no. 2, Daniil Trifonov, Erhu, Frederic Chopin, Guzheng, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, pianist, piano, piano blog, piano blogging, pianoforte, San Francisco Symphony, Shirley Kirsten, word press, you tube | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Piano Technique: Avoiding thumpy thumbs!

One of the biggest challenges for pianists, particularly in the staccato playing scale cosmos, is to avoid a downward, pack-a-punch “thumpy thumb! This unwanted lead weight-loaded attack often interrupts a buoyantly springy journey, transforming it into crowded pile-up of space-less … Continue reading

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The Jewish New Year ushers in poignant musical memories

We sometimes think of our childhood in musical terms. Seymour Bernstein mentions hearing Schubert’s Standchen that brought him to tears. Otherwise his home was bereft of music, let alone the time-honored Classics. It was mostly silent. I was bathed in … Continue reading

Posted in Jewish New Year, music, piano blog, piano blogging, Ruth Rubin, Shirley Kirsten, Yiddish Songs, Yiddish Theater | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

An Adult Piano Student teaches the Teacher

Awakenings alternately occur between teacher and student, especially if they’re collectively open to them. And embracing this sharing spirit, I welcome ideas from pupils about phrasing, technique, etc. since we enjoy a common journey of discovery. By chance, one student brought … Continue reading

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A “cool” dip into Quicktime for wrist, finger, and forearm staccato practice

Amazing how 90-degree temperatures in the East Bay can wreak havoc over Face Time transmissions. It nearly made Online mentoring come to a grinding halt yesterday! except that a Quick Time saving grace Lesson Preserver came to the rescue! *** … Continue reading

Posted in adult piano instruction, adult piano lessons, legato, online piano instruction, piano, piano blog, piano pedagogy, piano teaching, piano technique, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, staccato | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments