high school reunion, NYC High School of Performing Arts, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten

My NYC High School of Performing Arts Reunion!

Saturday, June 6th Performing Arts High (FAME I'm gonna live forever!) Reunion! A first for me that was worth a crowded subway ride to the heart of Times Square plus a zesty walk through throngs of tourists. While I missed class photo shoots, I managed a pose with conductor, Gerard Schwarz before I sauntered over… Continue reading My NYC High School of Performing Arts Reunion!

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Stay LONGER with a piece for higher levels of learning and awareness

All too often piano students give up on a piece after so many weeks of exposure, thinking the fingering is settled, the beats are well-measured, and the notes have fallen into place. At this juncture, a Big STOP SIGN must impede the restless from plunging into a new musical journey despite their belief that the… Continue reading Stay LONGER with a piece for higher levels of learning and awareness

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An afternoon with piano student, Judy and her Steinway ‘A,’ in nature’s paradise

How many piano teachers are invited to a student's lakeside home nestled in verdant beauty?! It was a splendid display of trees, including pines, cedars, spruce, casuarina, maples, birches, poplar, locusis, and sycamores, as well as native oaks. River otters, deer, and exotic birds, such as egrets and herons are known to inhabit an awe-inspired… Continue reading An afternoon with piano student, Judy and her Steinway ‘A,’ in nature’s paradise

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Love the Second Time Around: Seymour, An Introduction

I've seen Ethan Hawke's sensitive film portrait of Seymour Bernstein now FOUR times as I amass a film archive of interviews and written tributes. Need more be said? Run to see a cinematic masterpiece so well framed by Ann Hornaday at the Washington Post: ‘Seymour: An Introduction’ is a soaring, sublime ode to art and… Continue reading Love the Second Time Around: Seymour, An Introduction

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J.S. Bach’s ethereal Prelude in F minor, BWV 881 (contour and voices)

A kindred musician friend and Baroque scholar residing on the East Coast tipped me off that my "first love" reading of Bach's Prelude in F minor a few months back, was just the very top layer of a more in depth relationship to come. And as time bore out, she was right because my earliest… Continue reading J.S. Bach’s ethereal Prelude in F minor, BWV 881 (contour and voices)

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An adult piano student explores phrase shaping in Chopin’s A minor Waltz, Op. Posth.

I'm always warmed by lovely, contoured phrasing, especially when it's produced by an adult student who's reached a new level of aesthetic consciousness through especially attentive and consistent practicing. This particular player has increased her sensitivity in shaping the Chopin A minor Waltz melody with curves, dips, loops, and tapering, while her left hand that… Continue reading An adult piano student explores phrase shaping in Chopin’s A minor Waltz, Op. Posth.

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A Walk Down Memory Lane with Two pint-sized Piano Students

As I foraged through a closet filled with old picture frames, entangled extension cords, discarded lamp shades and pencil sharpeners, I stumbled upon an ancient Digital 8 camcorder that was my original You Tube movie messenger. With its mega-size cassettes and whooshing audio, it still managed to capture my earliest piano lessons with Rina, age… Continue reading A Walk Down Memory Lane with Two pint-sized Piano Students