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An Adult Piano Student and Stained Glass Artist has a dual passion

It's a small world in many ways. Julie Orchard became a piano student of mine through my next door neighbor, Art, who happens to own the Bottle Shop across the street. But degrees of separation melted further when I discovered that Julie's mother studied piano in Fresno with my former teacher, Ena Bronstein. In fact,… Continue reading An Adult Piano Student and Stained Glass Artist has a dual passion

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Honoring my “neighborhood” piano teacher amidst melting degrees of separation

The Back Story: After having spent about 30 years in hometown New York City, I emigrated to the agriculture-rich San Joaquin Valley, California, planting myself and family in Fresno. This seemed to be a God forsaken place with excruciating heat (though dry). With its relentless air pollution; bad water from contaminated wells, and high incidence… Continue reading Honoring my “neighborhood” piano teacher amidst melting degrees of separation

Berkeley piano technician, John Peters piano technician Berkeley, piano, piano maintenance, piano technician, piano technician's guild, Registered piano technician, Steinway and Sons pianos, Steinway model 1098 upright piano, word press, word press.com, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video, you tube.com, youtube.com

An informative chat with a whimsical piano technician (REGISTERED, of course)

I had a delightful exchange with John Peters, RPT, about pianos, restorations, repairs, machine vs. aural tunings, and all that sprung from his wild imagination. For instance, John communicates an intense passion for tuning.. "I get paid to "meditate," he insists. Then he quickly veers off with a one-liner about fixing squeaky pedals. "I pour… Continue reading An informative chat with a whimsical piano technician (REGISTERED, of course)

Bezerkeley, California, cultural differences between New York City and Berkeley, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, making friends in Berkeley California, New York City, New York City versus Berkeley, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, the Big Apple, The East Bay California, word press, word press.com, wordpress, wordpress.com

East Coast/West Coast (East Bay) culture shock

Recently, I made a trip back East to New York City to attend my aunt's Memorial Service, and the experience hit "home!" Being a child of the Bronx and Manhattan, my emigration to California over three decades ago, definitely came with culture shock, but my most recent relocation to the East Bay (Berkeley aka "Bezerkeley")… Continue reading East Coast/West Coast (East Bay) culture shock

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Piano practicing and blocking techniques

I was originally enlightened about the value of blocking out intricate and tricky passages when I attended a rehearsal of Rudolf Serkin and the New York Philharmonic. He was about to play the Beethoven "Emperor" Concerto No. 5 with its majestic opener of broken chords (arpeggios) and as a warm-up, he silently blocked out a… Continue reading Piano practicing and blocking techniques

"Evening in the Country" by Bartok, Ana's Flowers in Berkeley CA, Bela Bartok, bela bartok, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, piano, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, wordpress.com, you tube video, you tube.com, yout tube, youtube.com

A Love story born of flowers and set to the music of Bela Bartok

It was my birthday a few days ago, and I was blessed with the gift of flowers and a plant from two close friends. These sit side-by-side atop my upright piano: Little did I know that "Roy" who delivered the tulips to my doorstep had quite a story to share about how he met his… Continue reading A Love story born of flowers and set to the music of Bela Bartok

J.S. Bach, J.S. Bach Invention 1 BWV772, Seymour Bernstein, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten

The rolling wrist through Bach Invention 1 in C Major with a slow motion replay (Video)

Practicing the Bach Invention 1 with a supple wrist, behind tempo.