Category Archives: Shirley Smith Kirsten

Early stage learning, and ways of knowing a new piano piece

One of my adult students has embarked upon studying Tchaikovsky’s “German Song,” Op. 39, and in her initial baby-step exposure to the composition, she has already explored multiple ways of “knowing” the work. 1) Setting a fingering for each hand, … Continue reading

Posted in learning a new piano piece, piano blog, piano blogging, piano instruction, piano learning, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Tchaikovsky | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

A tribute to the late, Robert DeGaetano, classmate, NYC High School of Performing Arts

“Bobby” as I remember him at “P.A.” (nickname for the FAME school that hadn’t yet acquired Broadway, TV, or movie status) was a shining light among stage-struck students, some of whom swished down the hallway in first position, ballet style, … Continue reading

Posted in Challenger composition by Robert De Gaetano, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, piano, piano blog, piano blogging, Robert De Gaetano, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Thoughts on learning Mozart Sonata No. 12 in F, K. 332 (first movement)

After my review of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Drawing Room” Sonata K. 545 in C, Allegro, I discovered by comparison that the opening movement of K. 332 in F Major, had a more complex mosaic. In the short space of its … Continue reading

Posted in Classical music blog, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, Mozart, Mozart Sonata in F Major K. 332, Mozart Sonatas, pianist, piano, piano blog, piano blogging, piano pedagogy, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, word press, you tube | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Tempo Rubato and Chopin Waltz in A minor No. 19, Op. Posthumous

Tempo Rubato as defined in Wikipedia: “Tempo rubato (free in the presentation, Italian for: stolen time) is a musical term referring to expressive and rhythmic freedom by a slight speeding up and then slowing down of the tempo of a … Continue reading

Posted in adult piano instruction, Chopin, Chopin Waltz in A minor, Chopin Waltzes, Frederic Chopin, piano, piano blog, piano blogging, piano instruction, piano teaching, Romantic era, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, tempo rubato, word press, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Piano Technique: Self-created Scale and Arpeggio Prep

Over months and years, I’ve devised various technique framed routines that happen to be bi-products of trial and error excursions over the keyboard. To the extent that I put myself under self-analysis following a stint of formal piano study, I … Continue reading

Posted in arpeggios, Classical music blog, piano, piano blog, piano blogging, piano instruction, piano lessons, piano teaching, piano technique, scales, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Piano Lesson: Mozart Rondo, Allegretto- Sonata K. 545 with a pedal pushback to Andante

Each teaching encounter brings a new awakening. A composition that’s been practiced to death, taught times over, recorded, retired and reviewed, can still experience a rebirth when a student embarks upon his/her individual musical journey. It’s like a parent (mentor) … Continue reading

Posted in Classical era, Mozart Sonata K. 545, Mozart Sonatas, pianist, piano, piano blog, piano instruction, piano lesson, piano teaching, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Piano Technique: Student/teacher echo exchanges stabilize rhythm and refine articulation

Of my favorite teaching strategies is bouncing warm-ups back and forth with students. We echo short phrases in legato and staccato as a form of rhythmic rehab. The recordings of these interactions become valuable practicing aids between lessons. Yesterday, an … Continue reading

Posted in Dozen a Day by Edna-Mae Burnam, pentascales, piano, piano blog, piano blogging, piano lessons, piano technique, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment