cellists and pianists, piano, piano blogs, piano playing

Cellists and the Piano

I admit to watching hours of great cellists (past and present) on you tube, as they breathe life into phrases with direct string contact and adjustments of weight transfer channeled through artful bowing. Icons of string playing serve as great examples for pianists in particular, because they teach us to bridge our distance from the… Continue reading Cellists and the Piano

piano performance, piano playing

Favorite you tube video picks for 2018! (carried over from 2017)

I slipped up and missed the deadline for my end of 2017 super You Tube picks--realizing a bit late, that readers were celebrating the New Year in different time zones. Piano lovers from Japan and Australia had already popped champagne bottles 18 or so hours before those of us partook on the West Coast--And with… Continue reading Favorite you tube video picks for 2018! (carried over from 2017)

Just Being at the Piano, Mildred Portney Chase, Peter Illyich Tchaikovksy, pianist, piano, piano playing, Tchaikovsky

Imagination fuels expressive piano playing

As my local and Online piano students gear up for their bi-annual music sharing this coming Saturday over Skype, a commonly expressed concern is how to harness the imagination to feed a musical journey right from the opening measure of a piece to its final cadence. The challenge for everyone embodies a centered period of… Continue reading Imagination fuels expressive piano playing

piano, piano blog, piano playing, piano teaching, piano technique, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, staccato, word press, you tube

A Teacher/Student fueled discovery about Staccato playing

I never cease to be amazed by a mutual discovery process that's ongoing between me and my adult students. Without our learning partnership, we would not have periodic awakenings that feed our reciprocal musical development. Case in point, is the attainment of Staccato refinement in its most crisp and animated form. In the past month,… Continue reading A Teacher/Student fueled discovery about Staccato playing

piano, piano blog, piano blogging, piano learning, piano playing, piano teaching, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten

Early Musical Exposure and its importance

I recall my early childhood in the East Bronx on Featherbed Lane. At age 2 or 3, I was exposed to music emanating from a victrola perched on a corner table in a small two-room flat. From sunrise to sunset, heart-throbbing violin concertos, interspersed with operatic solos of Puccini played endlessly. My mother, standing by… Continue reading Early Musical Exposure and its importance

Irina Morozova, Oberlin Conservatory, piano pedagogy, piano playing, piano teaching, piano technique

Piano Technique: No Pain, Much Gain

Sometimes we learn a floating, flowing path to beauty through the unfortunate school of HARD knocks. To this effect, I recall my esteemed Oberlin Conservatory piano teacher dealing in mindless, stressful repetitions of meaningless exercises that caused joint pain and unremarkable displays of flat-lined, tightly squeezed playing. His teaching, to an extreme level of adherence… Continue reading Piano Technique: No Pain, Much Gain

F Sharp Major scale, online piano instruction, piano, piano blog, piano blogging, piano instruction, piano learning, piano playing, piano teaching, Shirley Kirsten

A London piano student fine tunes her F# Major scales and arpeggios (staccato and legato)

Yu has been my Skype student for a few years now and she's made big gains in producing a singing tone with supple wrists, relaxed arms, and hand/finger weight transfer. Today she assiduously practiced her F# Major Scale and Arpeggio, energizing forearm and wrist staccato. Using "cupped hands" for her power driven forearm staccato on… Continue reading A London piano student fine tunes her F# Major scales and arpeggios (staccato and legato)