Category Archives: Shirley Kirsten

One grand piano in, and another out, but not forgotten

My tiny Berkeley apartment had been shrinking by increments with its herd of tight-squeezed grand pianos and digital keyboards. Count in a Baldwin grand acquired in April, 2015; a medium size Steinway grand (5’7″) bequeathed by my father after Oberlin … Continue reading

Posted in pianist, piano, piano lessons, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Steinway A grand piano, Steinway M grand piano, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Mirrors and piano playing

As we age, we’re reluctant to look at our reflection in the mirror, but as we grow over time as musicians, the mirror of our playing in recorded “reflections” can foster quality adjustments in phrasing and interpretation. If we nudge … Continue reading

Posted in Alfred Brendel, blog metrics, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, pianist, piano, piano addict, piano blog, piano blogging, piano instruction, piano lessons, Piano Street, Piano World, piano worldwide, recording, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Patience reminders for impatient adult piano students

I was about to lose patience with a student this past week who lost patience with himself in the early practicing phase of a Bach Prelude. It was a common circumstance. An expectation was built into the adult psyche over … Continue reading

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Schumann’s “Almost Too Serious” (Kinderszenen No. 10) requires get serious, step-wise practicing

When I first looked at a “seriously” complex page of dizzying tied-over (syncopated) notes in Schumann’s “Almost Too Serious,” (Fast Zu Ernst) I had a knee-jerk avoidance response–that is until I tapped into a permeating melodic thread that I isolated … Continue reading

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Exploring Mozart Sonata No. 5 in G, K. 283 (First movement, Allegro)

The learning exchange between student and teacher is heightened when a new piece is introduced. In the case of Mozart’s charming, early period Sonata no. 5 in G, it became a revisit for me that brought new revelations that I … Continue reading

Posted in adult piano instruction, Classical era sonatas, classical music, Classical music blog, K. 283, Mozart, Mozart Sonata No. 5 K. 283, Mozart Sonatas, piano blog, piano blogging, piano instruction, piano lessons, Shirley Kirsten, W.A. Mozart | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Choosing a traveling (Portable) digital piano for myself

Apologetically, I must admit that as an acoustic piano purist, I often need an electronic when I’m doing a dinner party gig and there’s no viable alternative. The house piano might be virtually impossible to play or there’s no real … Continue reading

Posted in digital pianos, electronic keyboards, piano, piano blog, piano blogging, pianos, Shirley Kirsten, Yamaha digital pianost, Yamaha P-115 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

What’s Frightening about Schumann’s “Frightening? ” (Kinderszenen, Op. 15, no. 11)

What convinces most pianists that Schumann’s “Furchtenmachen” (Frightening) is an expression of fear or perhaps more specifically anxiety, are the markedly impulsive sections that contrast with lyrical, reflective ones. And not to be overlooked, are the interjections of syncopated SF’s … Continue reading

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