Category Archives: Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California

A tribute to the late, Robert DeGaetano, classmate, NYC High School of Performing Arts

“Bobby” as I remember him at “P.A.” (nickname for the FAME school that hadn’t yet acquired Broadway, TV, or movie status) was a shining light among stage-struck students, some of whom swished down the hallway in first position, ballet style, … Continue reading

Posted in Challenger composition by Robert De Gaetano, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, piano, piano blog, piano blogging, Robert De Gaetano, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Thoughts on learning Mozart Sonata No. 12 in F, K. 332 (first movement)

After my review of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Drawing Room” Sonata K. 545 in C, Allegro, I discovered by comparison that the opening movement of K. 332 in F Major, had a more complex mosaic. In the short space of its … Continue reading

Posted in Classical music blog, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, Mozart, Mozart Sonata in F Major K. 332, Mozart Sonatas, pianist, piano, piano blog, piano blogging, piano pedagogy, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, word press, you tube | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The second studio grand gets a tune-up

With dizzying cable wires swimming in all directions, connected to a horizontal mounted overhead web cam, partnered with a side-mounted one, the spotlight is on my vintage Steinway grand. A second piano to its right goes unnoticed. But once a … Continue reading

Posted in Baldwin Hamilton grand, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, piano, piano blog, piano technician, piano technician's guild | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The universe of piano study: Too Little or Too Long on a piece

Not a bullet-proof analysis, but based on decades of teaching piano, I’ve come to a set of conclusions about why students give up on pieces too soon, or in reverse, prolong their agony, through time-warped months of static practicing. In … Continue reading

Posted in Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, piano blog, piano blogging, piano instruction, piano learning, piano lessons, piano study, piano teaching, piano technique | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Piano Technique: Be a Blockhead when learning Bach

Blocking techniques can help to solidify tricky passages in Bach’s A minor Invention (13), especially if intelligent decisions are made about landscaping broken chords with thumb shifts weaving through them. Examining measures 9 through 13 for example, I devised a … Continue reading

Posted in arioso 7, Baroque keyboard music, Classical music blog, classissima.com, Invention 13, J.S. Bach, J.S. Bach Invention 13 in A minor, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, music, piano, piano blog, piano instruction, piano lessons, piano teaching, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, word press, you tube | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Emma Leiuman, pianist, shares thoughts on sound imagination and tone production

In the midst of a heated Internet-driven controversy that surrounds playing a single note at the piano, Emma Leiuman explores “sound imagination” wedded to fluid physical motions that expand ideas about the universe of expressive piano playing. In a detailed … Continue reading

Posted in Emma Leiuman, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, piano, piano blog, piano blogging, piano instruction, piano instructional videos, piano teaching, piano technique, piano tutorial, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, tone production at the piano | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Playing J.S. Bach: Sing, Shape, and Phrase—it’s not rocket science

Having been submerged for 48 hours in mega-science minded theories of playing the piano, I managed to E-merge as the piano teacher I knew before the deluge–refusing to believe that my fingers are throwing hammers at the strings, or obeying … Continue reading

Posted in adult piano instruction, Baroque keyboard music, Baroque music, BWV 816, Classsical music blog, French Suite in G BWV 816, J.S. Bach, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, piano, piano blog, piano lesson, Shirley Kirsten, word press, you tube | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments