Category Archives: California

My Birthday present to me!

Who would have imagined that a new piano would be my special gift to myself! It was one week since my mother had passed away at 100 and I was devastated, shaken by the loss– too distressed to be thinking … Continue reading

Posted in Baldwin, Baldwin pianos, Berkeley, Berkeley CA, California, piano, piano blog, piano blogging, piano shopping, Russell Kassman, Shirley Kirsten | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

East Coast/West Coast (East Bay) culture shock

Recently, I made a trip back East to New York City to attend my aunt’s Memorial Service, and the experience hit “home!” Being a child of the Bronx and Manhattan, my emigration to California over three decades ago, definitely came … Continue reading

Posted in Bezerkeley, California, cultural differences between New York City and Berkeley, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, making friends in Berkeley California, New York City, New York City versus Berkeley, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, the Big Apple, The East Bay California, word press, word press.com, wordpress, wordpress.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

When sight-reading is not enough: Learning a new piano piece from the ground up so we can teach it to our students (Videos)

I’m reminded of a quote attributed to Sviatoslav Richter when asked how he approached a challenging new composition of virtuoso proportion: His reply– “I read a new piece and then start practicing the place that irritates me the most. After … Continue reading

Posted in arioso7, blog, blogger, blogging, blogging about piano, California, classissima, classissima.com, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, Felix Mendelssohn, Mendelssohn Children's Piece Op. 72 no. 1, music, music and heart, music and the breath, New York City High School of Performing Arts, New York University, Oberlin Conservatory, pianist, pianists, piano, piano addict, piano blogging, piano blogs, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano lessson, piano playing, piano playing and breathing, piano playing and phrasing, piano playing and the singing tone, piano studio, piano study, piano teacher, piano teachers, piano teaching, piano teaching repertoire, piano tutorial, Piano World, piano world-wide, pianoaddict.com, Romantic era music, sight-reading and piano playing, Sviatoslav Richter, video instruction, whole body listening, whole body music listening, word press, word press.com, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A former piano student carves out a unique life as a dance accompanist or is it “Freeway Gypsy?”

For Becca Wong, her career path seemed predestined. Having had a firmly rooted music and dance background in her native Hong Kong prior to her arrival in California, she was at least predisposed to a future vocation celebrating the arts. … Continue reading

Posted in Alvin Ailey Dance Company, American Ballet Theater, ballet, ballet accompanist, Boston Ballet, California, Chapman University, choreography, color guard, dance accompanist, dance musician, Fresno, Fresno California, Hong Kong, Hubbard Street, Mark Morris Dance Group, Orange County High School of the Arts, Riverside Community College, Segerstom in Southern California, University of California Irvine, Vladimir Malakhov, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Piano Instruction: Chopin Mazurka in F Major, Op. 68, No. 3 (Video)

According to the Harvard Brief Dictionary of Music edited by Willi Apel and Ralph T. Daniel, a “Mazurka” is a Polish national dance in triple time with a characteristic dotted rhythm, and having a strong accent on the second or … Continue reading

Posted in California, Chopin, Chopin Mazurka, Chopin Mazurka in F Major Op. 68 no. 3, classissima, classissima.com, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, Fresno California, Haddorff, Haddorff piano, Mazurka, MTAC, muscular memory, music, music teachers association of california, musical inspiration, musical phrasing, New York City, New York City High School of Performing Arts, New York University, Oberlin, Oberlin Conservatory, phrasing at the piano, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano pedagogy, piano practicing, piano repertoire, piano studio, piano teacher, piano teaching repertoire, piano technique, pianoaddict.com, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing piano, Romantic era music, Romantic music, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, talkclassical.com, Teach Street, teaching piano, teaching piano to children, technique, uk-piano-forums, whole body listening, whole body music listening, word press, wordpress.com, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Aiden Cat Dozes off to Debussy (Video)

Looks like Aiden was out like a light… except for 2 well-timed ear twitches … otherwise, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz Arabesque no. 1 Played on my Haddorff console piano (manuf. 1951) a real musical treasure with divine resonance. Aiden’s awake-time pics: RELATED: A … Continue reading

Posted in Aiden Cat, Aiden the Cat, California, classissima.com, Claude Debussy, Debussy, Debussy Arabesque No. 1 by Claude Debussy, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, Fresno California, Haddorff, Haddorff piano, Impressionist Music, MTAC, music, music and heart, music and the breath, music teachers association of california, musical cat, musical inspiration, musical phrasing, New York City High School of Performing Arts, New York University, Oberlin, Oberlin Conservatory, whole body listening, whole body music listening, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Should piano students listen to recorded performances of pieces they are first beginning to learn?

I was thinking of Palmer’s edition of Chopin, an Introduction to His Music, and when I first purchased it years ago there was no inserted CD of recorded selections contained in the album. With subsequent published editions, a CD popped … Continue reading

Posted in piano, music, piano teacher, MTAC, pianist, Shirley Kirsten, you tube, pianoaddict.com, El Cerrito, piano instruction, Fresno, music history, Theory, word press, piano technique, wordpress.com, piano lesson, you tube video, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Murray Perahia, Piano World, pianoworld.com, Pianostreet.com, Teach Street, talkclassical.com, technique, pianoworld, uk-piano-forums, Shirley Kirsten blog, Fresno California, El Cerrito California, piano pedagogy, California, Shirley Smith Kirsten, music teachers association of california, piano teaching repertoire, El Cerrito piano studio, whole body music listening, music and heart, mind body connection, Oberlin Conservatory, piano practicing, Oberlin, playing piano, blog, blogging, blogger, piano lessons, New York City, music theory, piano instructor, New York University, ear training, sight-singing, teaching piano, muscular memory, phrasing at the piano, music and the breath, teaching piano to children, slow piano practicing, whole body listening | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment