Category Archives: Music Together

Piano Instruction: Learning from our colleagues (Videos)

Since we are very isolated as piano teachers, nurturing one-to-one relationships with our students for months and years at a time, we sometimes forget that there are other teaching universes beyond our own with repositories of ideas that may enrich … Continue reading

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Piano Students as Composers: Stimulating a Creative Teaching and Learning Environment

This morning, as I foraged through piles of folders, I stumbled upon one of my articles that was published in the California Music Teacher (MTAC Magazine) in 1985. At the time, I had just released my music book, “Piano Duets … Continue reading

Posted in blogger, blogging, composers, Creative Fresno, creative learning environment, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, Facebook, Fresno California, harmonic analysis, how to help children compose, Internet, keyboard technique, MTAC, music, music and heart, Music Teachers Asssociation of California, music theory, Music Together, New York City, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Oberlin, Oberlin Conservatory, pianist, piano, piano addict, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano pedagogy, Piano Street, piano student, piano students as composers, piano teacher, piano teaching repertoire, piano technique, Piano World, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing piano, publishers marketplace, publishersmarketplace.com, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Teach Street, word press, wordpress.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The very first Chopin Waltz that I teach: #19, Op. Posth. in A minor (Video instruction)

After decades of teaching the Chopin Waltzes, I’ve come to the conclusion that the A minor, No. 19, Op. Posthumous is the best student introduction to the form as the composer cultivated it. While many other Waltzes in Chopin’s collection … Continue reading

Posted in arpeggios, Bay area, California, cdbaby, Chopin, Chopin Waltz, Creative Fresno, dream piano, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, Frederic Chopin, Fresno, Fresno California, Internet, keyboard technique, Major and minor scales, mind body connection, MTAC, music, music and heart, music teachers association of california, Music Teachers Asssociation of California, Music Together, musicology, Musictogether.com, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Northwest Fresno, Oberlin Conservatory, Op. posthumous, pianist, piano, piano addict, piano instruction, piano lesson, piano pedagogy, piano room, piano society, Piano Street, piano student, piano teacher, piano teaching repertoire, piano technique, piano warm-ups, Piano World, pianoaddict.com, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld.com, ping pong, ping pong balls, Poland, publishers marketplace, publishersmarketplace.com, scales, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, sonatina, Steinway and Sons, Steinway grand piano, Steinway M grand piano, Steinway piano, talkclassical.com, Teach Street, technique, tempo rubato, trills, Uncategorized, video performances, whole body music listening, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why Play Scales? (with an adult piano student’s updated video)

My pupil, Yukiko, demonstrates a sequence of E Major Scales in Legato/staccato–Parallel and Contrary Motion: These provide a repository of articulations and dynamics that apply directly to her repertoire of pieces. *** The Backdrop: As a young piano student living … Continue reading

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Piano Lessons: The Two-Way Learning Process, Teaching Albertina, and her sister, Ilyana

First Lesson: “Flamenco” by Gillock (Early Intermediate Level) Student: Albertina, age 10 This is a teacher/student musical exploration with the use of the second piano at the studio The second piano provides a unique opportunity to share back and forth, … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized, Oberlin Conservatory, New York City High School of Performing Arts, piano, piano teacher, MTAC, pianist, Shirley Kirsten, you tube, pianoaddict.com, El Cerrito, humor, scales, arpeggios, piano instruction, Fresno, word press, piano technique, athletic training, wordpress.com, ping pong, ping pong balls, keyboard technique, piano lesson, you tube video, New York City High School of Performing Arts, piano student, Piano World, pianoworld.com, Piano Street, Pianostreet.com, Teach Street, piano finding, piano scales, technique, piano society, uk-piano-forums, authorsden, Steinway and Sons, Steinway grand piano, Steinway M grand piano, Shirley Kirsten blog, Fresno California, El Cerrito California, piano pedagogy, gymnastics, video performances, five finger positions, five finger warm-ups, Major and minor scales, Fresno Famous, Shirley Smith Kirsten, music teachers association, music teachers association of california, piano addict, piano warm-ups, Creative Fresno, Children's pieces, children's music, 20th Century music, Album for the Young, dream piano, Faber Primer Piano Adventures, Orff Schulwerk, Music Together, music appreciation classes, Randall Faber, piano teaching repertoire, athletic coaching, Gillock "Flamenco", Bastien "Taco Joe", Jane Bastien | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Joy of Teaching Piano to Young Children (Videos)

Starting a very young child on a musical journey is joyful, exciting and challenging. The first baby steps taken at the piano will be memorable for both teacher and student, so careful thought and preparation are needed. At the very … Continue reading

Posted in Album for the Young, athletic training, Bay area, California, cat, cats, cd baby, cdbaby, children's music, Children's pieces, classical music, Clowns by Kabalevsky, Creative Fresno, dream piano, Faber Primer Piano Adventures, Facebook, five finger positions, five finger warm-ups, Gallop by Kabalevsky, games, gymnastics, humor, Kabalevsky, Kabalevsky Op. 39 Children's pieces, Major and minor scales, MTAC, music teachers association, music teachers association of california, music teachers associationo of California, Music Teachers Asssociation of California, Music Together, Musictogether.com, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Oberlin Conservatory, New York City High School of Performing Arts, old upright, pentachords, pianist, piano, piano addict, piano finding, piano finding adventure, piano instruction, piano lesson, piano pedagogy, piano room, piano society, Piano Street, piano student, piano teacher, piano warm-ups, Piano World, pianoaddict.com, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld.com, ping pong, ping pong balls, Randall Faber, scales, Schumann's Album for the Young, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Steinway and Sons, Steinway grand piano, Steinway M grand piano, Steinway studio upright, talkclassical.com, Teach Street, technique, Theory, used piano, used pianos, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Teens, popular music then and now, Taylor Swift, throw in Five for Fighting “100 Years”

Today was by no means a first for me, a long-haired musician raised on Bach, Beethoven and Brahms teaching a teen some pop tunes by John Ondrasik and Taylor Swift while I sailed through the universe of “Liz on Top … Continue reading

Posted in 100 years, 6 degrees of separation, 77 Sunset Strip, arpeggios, authorsden, Bay area, Bill Haley and the Comets, Bob Dylan, Bronx, Bronx dialect, California, cd baby, cdbaby, Classical era, Creative Fresno, Dario Marianelli, dream piano, Edith Piaf, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, Elvis Presley, Facebook, Featherbed Lane, five finger positions, five finger warm-ups, Five for Fighting, Forever and Always, Fresno, Fresno California, Fresno Famous, gymnastics, humor, J.S. Bach, Jane Austen, Johnny Mathis, JS Bach, keyboard technique, Liz on Top of the World, Major and minor scales, memoir, music, music appreciation classes, music history, music teachers association of california, Music Teachers Asssociation of California, Music Together, my space, New York, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Northwest Bronx, Northwest Fresno, Oberlin Conservatory, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Old Fig Garden in Fresno, Pete Seeger, Peter Paul and Mary, pianist, piano, piano addict, piano instruction, piano lesson, piano room, piano sale, Piano Street, piano student, piano teacher, piano teaching repertoire, piano technique, piano warm-ups, Piano World, pianoaddict.com, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, popular music, Pride and Prejudice, Romantic era music, satire, scales, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Sohmer upright, sports, Steinway and Sons, Steinway grand piano, Steinway M grand piano, talkclassical.com, Teach Street, teaching piano to teenagers, technique, tennis, The Beatles, Twenty five Progressive pieces by Burgmuller, used piano, used pianos, Van Cliburn, Well Tempered Clavier, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment