Category Archives: Shirley Smith Kirsten

My Steinway “M” Grand gets the Royal Treatment, DAY ONE!

Shawn Skylark was given a royal welcome as he crossed the threshold of my piano-filled apartment. On this FIRST day of TWO slated for regulating and voicing beloved Steinway M, (1917), seasoned technician, Skylark rose to the occasion with meticulous … Continue reading

Posted in piano, Shirley Kirsten, you tube, piano maintenance, Shirley Smith Kirsten, piano blog, wordpress, piano regulation, blogmetrics.org, Shawn Skylark, piano voicing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

GRAND comparisons

It’s always telling to compare a piano’s tone, resonance and decay in the showroom where purchased to its performance in one’s living space. Unfortunately, one cannot transport the piano to one’s home while evaluating it at the store. In this … Continue reading

Posted in Baldwin, Baldwin 165 grand piano, grand piano, piano, piano blog, piano blogging, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Steinway grand, word press, wordpress.com, you tube | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Piano Technique: Playing scales without bumps or accents

It’s common for piano students to divide their scales into well-boxed rhythmic compartments, emphasizing the fundamental beat that interrupts a smooth flowing legato (connecting from note to note). Sometimes players are unaware of their reinforced “beat” counting impulses and need … Continue reading

Posted in adult piano instruction, adult piano lessons, arpeggios, blogmetrics, blogmetrics.org, imagination and piano technique, pianist, piano blog, piano blogging, piano instruction, piano lessons, piano teaching, piano technique, playing scales, scales, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, smoothing out piano technique | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Domenico Scarlatti’s music that’s within reach of the Intermediate level student

Margery Halford via Alfred publications has compiled a nice assortment of Domenico Scarlatti’s Menuettos and Sonatas (essercizi) that’s a satisfying “Introduction” to the Baroque era composer’s music. (Scarlatti, An Introduction to his Keyboard Works) In fact, I snatched at least … Continue reading

Posted in Alfred publications, Domenico Scarlatti, esercizi per gravicembalo, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, Margery Halford, Margery Halford collection of Scarlatti's Keyboard Works, Margery Halford editor, piano blog, piano blogging, Scarlatti, Scarlatti Sonatas, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

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

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 adult piano lessons, piano, piano blog, piano blogging, piano instruction, piano lessons, piano teacher, piano teaching, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten | 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