Aikido, Galop by Kabalevsky, German, Japan, Japanese, Kabalevsky, Kabalevsky Op. 39 Children's pieces, mind body connection, mindful piano practicing, mindful practicing, MTAC, music, music and the breath, Op. 39 Children's Pieces by Kabalevsky, phrasing at the piano, pianist, piano, piano addict, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano pedagogy, piano playing and breathing, piano playing and phrasing, piano playing and relaxation, piano practicing, piano practicing motivators, piano repertoire, piano student, piano teacher, piano teaching, piano technique, Piano World,,, pianoworld,, playing piano, playing staccato at the piano, practicing the left hand at the piano, publishers marketplace, publishersmarketplace, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Taekwando, Teach Street, teaching piano to children, video performances, whole body listening, whole body music listening, word press,, you tube, you tube video

Aikido and Piano are a good match for Sakura (Video) (Note the rolling forward wrist motion in Kabalevsky’s “Galop”)

Main article: Aikido
Aikido shihōnage technique.

“Aikido (合氣道:あいきどう aikidō?) is a modern grappling-based Japanese martial art developed by Morihei Ueshiba (植芝 盛平 Ueshiba Morihei, 1883 – 1969). The art consists of “striking”, “throwing” and “joint locking” techniques and is known for its fluidity and blending with an attacker, rather than meeting “force with force”. Emphasis is upon joining with the rhythm and intent of the opponent in order to find the optimal position and timing with which to apply force. Aikidō is also known for emphasizing the spiritual and philosophical development of its students reflecting the religious background of its founder.

“Morihei Ueshiba developed aikido mainly from Daitō-ryū aiki-jūjutsu incorporating training movements such as those for the yari (spear), jō (a short quarterstaff), and perhaps also juken (bayonet). Arguably the strongest influence is that of kenjutsu and in many ways, an aikidō practitioner moves as an empty handed swordsman.”

Sakura comes for her lesson when it’s already dark at 6:30 p.m. and she’s in full Aikido garb.

At 12, she speaks Japanese and German fluently. And it can get confusing at times when one or the other parent picks her up and chatters off in the native language. (Dad is from Germany, mom, from Japan)

I’m always awestruck when Sakura easily slips from one mode of communication to another without skipping a beat.

Both parents, University faculty, were determined to keep their cultures preserved as they raised three children and what a nice job they have done!


Sakura has taken piano lessons for two years now, and is one of my rare left-handed pupils. It doesn’t seem to factor into her playing, because I wouldn’t know of this predisposition if my eyes were open or closed.

Her pronounced dedication to practicing has an intensity that keeps propelling her forward, and she understands the importance of keeping the steady rhythm of learning alive and well.

In the repertoire arena, Sakura has studied the works of J.C. Bach, J.S. Bach, Kabalevsky, Clementi, and Mozart.

Recently, she performed Bach’s Prelude no. 1 in C from the Well-Tempered Clavier at her Middle School talent show. And through the grapevine I heard that it was with flying colors.

Yesterday, on a cold evening in Fresno, she played a sprightly “Galop” by Kabalevsky and demonstrated her mastery of the spring forward wrist. (Notice the rolling motion that drives the 16ths to the long note)

Bravo, Sakura! You’re a joy to teach!

cat, cats, Connell York, Fresno, Fresno California, Fresno Piano Store, humor, Japan, memoir, mice, moths, Mr. York, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Oberlin Conservatory, New York City High School of Performing Arts, photos, piano, piano finding, piano finding adventure, piano maintenance, piano repair, piano restoration, piano room, piano society, Piano Street, piano student, piano teacher, piano technician's guild, piano tuner, piano tuning, Piano World,,, pianoworld,, rats, satire, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Steinway and Sons, Steinway grand piano, Steinway M grand piano, Steinway piano, Steinway studio upright,, Teach Street, uk-piano-forums, Uncategorized, veterans, Waltzing Matilda, word press,, World War II, York, you tube, you tube video

Piano Tuner, York on Mice, Rats, Moths and Cats (Video, part 2)

In this part two follow-up to York’s World War II Memoir, the seasoned piano tuner relaxes into his emblematic animated conversation, telling the world how to eradicate mice, rats, and moths from pianos. Oldsters watching better have a fresh pair of Depends, because York lets loose with some mighty over the top, funny lines.

Throw in a cat under the lid story, and you’re in for an unforgettable treat.

Finally, listen carefully to York’s concluding remarks, as he becomes philosopher and sage all in one. Live to the fullest, he says, and never stop learning! At 84, he’s gotta right to tell the rest of us how it’s done!

We close with York’s favorite song, “Waltzing Matilda” with a montage of photos rolling by. Be prepared to shed some tears. I did.


Connell York, Cornet, Cornetist, Fresno, Fresno California, General McArthur, humor, Infantry, Japan, Koga, memoir, Mr. York, Okinawa, Pearl Harbor, pentatonic song, pianist, piano tuner,,, satire, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Steinway M grand piano, Steinway piano,, Teach Street, uk-piano-forums, Uncategorized, US Army, veterans, vets, word press,, World War II, Yokohama, York, you tube, you tube video

Mr. York in his own voice, a Musical WW II Memoir

Without giving away the content of this video before it is seen, suffice it to say that the viewer will long remember this tender World War II story as recounted by 84 year old, Connell York, piano tuner, in his own words, and through a memorable song.


Kirsten Productions

Aviva Kirsten, Director and Video Editor

Shirley Kirsten, Co-Producer, and interviewer

January 2011

Feedback is always appreciated!

Part II

York recalls his hair-raising piano adventures in

colorful detail. You won’t stop laughing!

Remember that “Mice, Moths, and Moisture” are a piano’s worst enemies!