piano, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Time to Begin, wordpress blog, wordpress.com, youtube, youtube.com

Liz, age 8, has her second piano lesson! (With my interspersed thoughts about materials and teaching philosophy)

As I journey along with Liz, my newest piano student, I'm collecting insights about the nature of music learning from the perspective of a child. And by this most recent experience, I've come to realize that the choice of teaching materials is wedded to a mentor's own philosophy about expressive music-making. The samples below represent… Continue reading Liz, age 8, has her second piano lesson! (With my interspersed thoughts about materials and teaching philosophy)

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

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

https://youtu.be/6BSvDPdSNt4 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 graduation, and two side-by-side digital keyboards--YDP 105, and Yamaha Arius 141. The electronics were… Continue reading One grand piano in, and another out, but not forgotten

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

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 ourselves to step back and be "objective" about what we're hearing, we may try to… Continue reading Mirrors and piano playing

bassoon, cello, Friedrich Edelmann, pianist, piano, piano blog, piano blogging, Rebecca Rust, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video

Dining with musician friends at Bacheesos in Berkeley, CA

This was a happy reunion after many long months. The last I caught up with Friedrich Edelmann and Rebecca Rust they were returning from one of their European tours only to land one in Japan, playing for the Emperor and Empress. The happily married bassoon and cello duo, who sometimes add a pianist to the… Continue reading Dining with musician friends at Bacheesos in Berkeley, CA

"The Endangered Piano Technician" by James Boyk, blogmetrics, blogmetrics.org, chuck Terpo, Classical music blog, pianist, piano, piano maintenance, piano technician, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video

Piano Maintenance: Resolving a weighty problem

Chuck Terpo, who continues to finely regulate my Steinway M grand, gave an encore performance yesterday, as he meticulously "lightened" some weighty bass notes. His nifty maneuvers on display in my iPhone generated video, revealed an analytic approach and smooth follow-through. Watch Chuck methodically check the bass range, that was a bit too heavy for… Continue reading Piano Maintenance: Resolving a weighty problem

Bach, Baroque music, blogmetrics, blogmetrics.org, Classical music blog, classissima.com, J.S. Bach, Johann Sebastian Bach, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, piano blog, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, youtube.com

Getting immersed in LEARNING Bach’s F minor Fugue, BWV 881 (Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2)

My journey through the Baroque master's Fugue no. 12 has been a labor of love though the form enshrined by J.S. Bach can be intimidating by its structural nit-pickings. Wikipedia, for example, cites BWV 847 in C minor, (the Fugue) as a model of internal order, with a carefully marked out Subject;  Answer (a fifth… Continue reading Getting immersed in LEARNING Bach’s F minor Fugue, BWV 881 (Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2)

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

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 regard, I can share a pertinent experience where a 7' ft. Grotrian grand whose bass… Continue reading GRAND comparisons