Category Archives: piano teaching

The value of studying short Romantic era Character pieces

Piano teachers often welcome the opportunity to use student repertoire requests as a springboard to nourish new learning adventures. Such pupil-driven musical endeavors can lead to deep-layered immersions in short, Romantically framed character pieces. The value of dipping into miniature … Continue reading

Posted in piano lessons, piano lessons by web cam, piano lessons by webcam, piano lessons in Berkeley California, piano lessons on Facetime, piano lessons on the web, piano mentoring, piano repertoire, piano teaching, Romantic era music, Romantic era phrasing, Romantic era piano music, Romantic era piano repertoire | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Piano Technique: Practicing well-shaped scales and arpeggios (videos)

It’s always disheartening when students forego their scales and arpeggios at lessons, choosing instead, to dive immediately into repertoire. In their zeal to immerse themselves in the Masterworks, they neglect a pivotal Circle of Fifths journey that’s wedded to keyboard … Continue reading

Posted in adult piano studies, adult piano teaching, piano teacher, piano teaching, piano techique | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Before and After the Fall, Music Heals

As I sit under a webcam mounted on a 7 foot tripod, I have an uneasy feeling that the cam will dislodge, reviving the nightmare of my head injury, sustained in a backwards fall on June 29th. What made things … Continue reading

Posted in piano teaching | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Keeping up our skills as piano teachers, with an “eye” to taking on challenges

I couldn’t resist juxtaposing the importance of learning new and challenging music with an “eye” toward how we can best accomplish our short and long-term goals within our teaching milieu. (The EYE metaphor becomes CLEARER and dual serving as the … Continue reading

Posted in blogmetrics.org, Classical music blog, French Suite, French Suites, J.S. Bach, Johann Sebastian Bach, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, piano, piano teaching, Shirley Smith Kirsten | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Student: “I get so nervous when I play for you!” The Teacher responds!

As mentors, we can easily recall our student days when well-practiced pieces tanked upon arrival at our piano teacher’s home. Even ascending the staircase to the threshold of the apartment, our heart rate quickened, and we felt cold, clammy and … Continue reading

Posted in piano, piano student, piano teaching | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Piano Lessons during the holidays: Inserting a creative composing dimension to chord exploration

Every winter holiday season most music teachers are asked by parents to devote at least a few weeks to the absorption of Christmas and related celebratory selections. In the traditional musical cosmos, “Silent Night,” “Deck the Halls,” “Hark the Herald … Continue reading

Posted in Christmas music, piano, piano blog, piano instruction, piano teaching, Shirley Kirsten | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Reading Between the Lines: Making decisions about Dynamics

Dynamics cannot always be taken literally when a player embarks upon serious study of a particular composition. In fact, what often governs the shaping of phrases through many measures even with composer inserted soft (piano) or loud (Forte) directives, are … Continue reading

Posted in piano, piano blog, piano instruction, piano teaching | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments