Tag Archives: blogging

No shortcuts in teaching beginning piano students

Watching a colleague teaching a child in Madrid (on video) brought home the complexity of playing just two notes with beauty. What might be construed as an innately “natural” approach to piano playing, must in reality be learned by beginning … Continue reading

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The Art and Music synthesis: Does it exist?

Most musicians fully appreciate the extra-musical “programmatic” content in works by Romantic era composers. Robert Schumann, for example, captures children playing tag by throwing “got you” accents on the downbeats of measures framed in sprightly staccato. (short, detached articulations) The … Continue reading

Posted in art and music, Christopher Rothko, Mark Rothko | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Choosing a traveling (Portable) digital piano for myself

Apologetically, I must admit that as an acoustic piano purist, I often need an electronic when I’m doing a dinner party gig and there’s no viable alternative. The house piano might be virtually impossible to play or there’s no real … Continue reading

Posted in digital pianos, electronic keyboards, piano, piano blog, piano blogging, pianos, Shirley Kirsten, Yamaha digital pianost, Yamaha P-115 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

What’s Frightening about Schumann’s “Frightening? ” (Kinderszenen, Op. 15, no. 11)

What convinces most pianists that Schumann’s “Furchtenmachen” (Frightening) is an expression of fear or perhaps more specifically anxiety, are the markedly impulsive sections that contrast with lyrical, reflective ones. And not to be overlooked, are the interjections of syncopated SF’s … Continue reading

Posted in classissima, classissima.com, piano, piano blog, piano blogging, Robert Schumann, Romantic era piano repertoire, Schumann, Shirley Kirsten | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Two San Francisco musical attractions: Pianist, Trifonov and a Chinese Harpist

Within 48 hours, high-level music-making was heard in vastly different venues. Louise Davies Hall with its golden hue of lights and balconies provided a stunning backdrop for Daniil Trifonov’s heart-throbbing performance of Chopin’s Concerto No. 2 under the baton of … Continue reading

Posted in blogmetrics, Chinese harp, Chopin, Chopin Concerto in F minor, Chopin Concerto no. 2, Daniil Trifonov, Erhu, Frederic Chopin, Guzheng, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, pianist, piano, piano blog, piano blogging, pianoforte, San Francisco Symphony, Shirley Kirsten, word press, you tube | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Piano Technique: No Pain, Much Gain

Sometimes we learn a floating, flowing path to beauty through the unfortunate school of HARD knocks. To this effect, I recall my esteemed Oberlin Conservatory piano teacher dealing in mindless, stressful repetitions of meaningless exercises that caused joint pain and … Continue reading

Posted in Irina Morozova, Oberlin Conservatory, piano pedagogy, piano playing, piano teaching, piano technique | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Piano Technique: Five-Finger positions are good for you!

Piano students of all levels can benefit from 5-finger position romps in many keyboard geographies. That’s because a player can experiment with legato and staccato on a bed of black notes; white notes, or combinations of both, without worrying about … Continue reading

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