piano

The Importance of Analytical Practicing

Needless repetitions that are unfocused, without attaching an analysis of what requires improvement will impede a piano student in the advancement of a composition. And while a tricky, isolated passage or complete section of a piece may have been carefully learned by layers in slow tempo, the very same area of the piece can develop… Continue reading The Importance of Analytical Practicing

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Reading Between the Lines: Making decisions about Dynamics

Dynamics cannot always be taken literally when a player embarks upon serious study of a particular composition. In fact, what often governs the shaping of phrases through many measures even with composer inserted soft (piano) or loud (Forte) directives, are harmonic rhythm and metrical considerations. So while a set of measures might attach a Crescendo… Continue reading Reading Between the Lines: Making decisions about Dynamics

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Piano Technique: Creating an illusion of legato

It's a challenge to play scales, arpeggios, and passages lifted out of the mainstream Classical piano repertoire with a well-shaped and nicely spaced legato. (smooth and connected playing) But it can be more daunting to navigate particular sections of masterworks that have legato markings over chords, for instance, that carry a melodic thread that is… Continue reading Piano Technique: Creating an illusion of legato

piano

Piano Technique: Energy-saving, Relaxed, Resting hands

It's common for piano students to tense a hand that is not actively engaged in playing during measured rests. Beethoven's "Fur Elise," an aspirational piece for so many, is the perfect representation of interactive, woven hands, that flow across from Left to Right, with a spacious margin of relaxed breaths. (as rests are notated) This… Continue reading Piano Technique: Energy-saving, Relaxed, Resting hands

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A Home Piano Concert draped in technology (Video attached)

I had a rip-roaring morning! Art, my next-door neighbor, who puts up with my round-the-clock practicing, was invited precisely at 11 a.m. to listen to my rehearsal in prep for my house concert set for next Saturday night. And naturally, as whimsical as everyone knows me to be, I did a MAN in the STREET… Continue reading A Home Piano Concert draped in technology (Video attached)

4000 Miles by Amy Herzog, After the Revolution by Amy Herzog, Amy Herzog, Beethoven, Fur Elise by Beethoven, Joe Josephs, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, Leepee Joseph, Lincoln Center, Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater, New York, New York City, Paul Robeson, Pete Seeger, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, The Weavers, Uncategorized, West Village of New York

After the Revolution is my cousin, Amy Herzog’s tour de force play. (An Aurora Theatre Berkeley production)

Amy Herzog is regaled as one of the most gifted young playwrights of her generation. Not only has she been a recipient of the well-regarded Lillian Hellman prize, but she's amassed a slew of New York Times rave reviews. Charles Isherwood, Arts editor, lauded After the Revolution in a generous media spread that wove in… Continue reading After the Revolution is my cousin, Amy Herzog’s tour de force play. (An Aurora Theatre Berkeley production)

Eugene Lehner, Horenstainer violin 1799 Mittenwald, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, Mittenwald, piano, Shirley Kisten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Steinway upright piano model 1098, vintage violin, violin, word press, word press.com, wordpress

Showcasing two of my exquisite instruments (Violin and Piano)

First the violin, a 1799 Horenstainer, Mittenwald that replaced the "cigar box" I was handed as a kid. My precious teacher, Samuel Gardner selected this German original for me in Paris, France. From there, I took it to Merrywood music camp in Lenox, MA where I coached under Eugene Lehner of the Boston Symphony. Oberlin… Continue reading Showcasing two of my exquisite instruments (Violin and Piano)

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How I deal with my performance anxiety? (Video)

I prepared a video as a meditation, or spiritual assist for tonight. I'm playing at my house of religious worship. It's an open MIC event, and I thought it would be a relaxing opportunity for SHARING. Underline that last word and think about tossing PERFORMANCE out of your vocabulary. Key words-- getting inside the music--GIVING… Continue reading How I deal with my performance anxiety? (Video)

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The piano learning process at all levels of study

In spite of my having studied piano for decades, each learning experience is filled with challenges that I must approach with a glut of patience. A new composition has its own form, architecture, harmonic rhythm, fingering that requires a big reserve of self-acceptance in a deadline-free frame. To the contrary, many of my students, who… Continue reading The piano learning process at all levels of study

Edvard Grieg, Fur Elise by Beethoven, Fur Elise for solo and orchestra, Georgii Tcherkin, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, Ludwig Van Beethoven, pianist, piano, playing piano, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, word press, word press.com, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video

Beethoven’s Fur Elise with orchestra? or without (Videos)

During the night, I stumbled upon a piano solo with orchestra arrangement of "Fur Elise" that included a set of nuanced special effects. First, the pianist, nonchalantly flowed into the first theme to a stream applause, reminding me of the time I played this same piece without embellishment in the dining hall of Fig Garden… Continue reading Beethoven’s Fur Elise with orchestra? or without (Videos)