Category Archives: Shirley Smith Kirsten

A Jet-setting adult student makes time for piano

No need to say Play it Again Sam, to Sam P. who’s been a super dedicated piano student ever since he approached me for lessons in Berkeley, nearly 4 years ago. And if we factor in a significant interruption of … Continue reading

Posted in adult piano teaching, piano, piano blog, piano blogging, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 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

A 9-year-old piano student devises a plan to improve her practicing

Into her seventh month of music study, Liz has more clearly defined her approach to practicing various pieces by devising a well-written outline of phrase-loving reminders. And though her vocabulary is an understandable offshoot of her teacher’s, with its emphasis … Continue reading

Posted in piano, piano instruction, piano lessons, piano teaching, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Learning J.S. Bach’s “Sheep May Safely Graze” (Egon Petri piano transcription)

Egon Petri offers a transcription of J.S. Bach’s “Sheep May Safely Graze,” (based on the Baroque composer’s “Birthday” Cantata) and it’s drawn a cult of admirers, mostly adult students begging to learn it. The work originally scored for two flutes, … Continue reading

Posted in Bach, Egon Petri, J.S. Bach, Johann Sebastian Bach, piano, piano arrangement, piano transcription, Sheep May Safely Graze, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

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 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

J.S. Bach Prelude in Ab, BWV 862: A Fresh Start for Student and Teacher

In the course of teaching, a situation may arise where a particular favored piece is requested by a student that I’ve never studied–which means a deep-layered journey is ahead of two learning partners. And given that J.S. Bach’s Prelude and … Continue reading

Posted in Bach Prelude no. 17, Baroque music, blog, blogger, blogmetrics.org, BWV862, California, fingering, J.S. Bach, J.S. Bach Prelude in Ab, Johann Sebastian Bach, learning a new piano composition, making fingering choices, pianist, piano, piano blog, piano blogging, piano instruction, piano lessons, piano teaching, piano technique, piano tutorial, practicing new piano music, Preludes and Fugues, setting a good piano fingering, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, tutorial, Well-Tempered Clavier | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments