Category Archives: Shirley Kirsten

J.S. Bach Prelude No. 1 in C, Voicing and Harmonic Rhythm (my ideas and Seymour Bernstein’s)

A musician’s understanding of a masterwork is a composite of ideas derived from many sources. In the course of piano study, perceptions change and grow, enlarged by a combined theoretical and musical examination of a composition that invites mentors into … Continue reading

Posted in Bach Prelude in C from Well-Tempered Clavier, J.S. Bach, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, pianist, piano, piano blog, piano instruction, piano pedagogy, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Well-Tempered Clavier | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Approaching a brand new piece with spirit and emotion

When piano students first encounter a fresh page of music, they will often wade through the notes as best as they can, fumbling here and there without an adjusted framing pulse or investment of animated interest in what the notes … Continue reading

Posted in adult piano instruction, Dimitri Kabalevsky, Dimitry Kabalevsky, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, Kabalevsky, Online piano lessons, piano, piano blog, piano blogging, piano instruction, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano lessons by Face Time, piano lessons by Skype, Shirley Kirsten | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

My Birthday present to me!

Who would have imagined that a new piano would be my special gift to myself! It was one week since my mother had passed away at 100 and I was devastated, shaken by the loss– too distressed to be thinking … Continue reading

Posted in Baldwin, Baldwin pianos, Berkeley, Berkeley CA, California, piano, piano blog, piano blogging, piano shopping, Russell Kassman, Shirley Kirsten | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

A Phrase loving exchange between Teacher and Student (Mozart Sonata in C, K. 545)

Tonight’s lesson with Judy had inspiring moments within a phrase sharing interplay. We started out singing the opening measures of the composer’s charming masterpiece, emphasizing a singing line supported by harmonies cresting and dipping into resolutions. The vocal lead-in, threaded … Continue reading

Posted in piano, piano teacher, Shirley Kirsten, piano instruction, Shirley Smith Kirsten, piano lessons, piano teaching, piano blog, piano blogging, adult piano lessons | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Piano Technique: Stabilizing tempo, presence of mind, and breathing through scales and arpeggios

This has to be one of my favorite reciprocal teaching/learning videos because it fleshes out the importance of breathing through scales with mindful concentration. Framed by a singing pulse, the scale becomes a model for all playing. Here’s B minor … Continue reading

Posted in arpeggios, blog, blogger, blogmetrics, classissima, piano, piano blog, piano blogging, piano technique, scales, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Technology as a valuable piano teaching tool

This is not a planned or staged informercial, but one of my students spontaneously reviewed the value of her piano lessons by Face Time, and I snatched her critique on my iPhone. NOTIFICATION: She was not impeded from sharing the … Continue reading

Posted in blogmetrics, blogmetrics.org, Face Time, Online piano lessons, piano blog, piano blogging, piano lessons, piano lessons by Face Time, piano lessons by Skype, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Skype, word press, you tube | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Judy, Seymour, and Ludwig

It was no surprise that Judy, one of my adult piano students came to her lesson yesterday gushing about Seymour: An Introduction. And naturally, in the nick of time, I grabbed my super-charged, helium packed iPhone and added the latest … Continue reading

Posted in adult piano instruction, Beethoven, blogmetrics.org, documentary, Ethan Hawke, film, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, Ludwig Van Beethoven, piano blog, piano blogging, Seymour: An Introduction, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments