Tag Archives: piano students

Teaching the Language of Debussy in Reverie

Yesterday afternoon I found myself mentoring a student about the nuances of a composer’s language and style in the Impressionist genre. Claude Debussy’s Reverie, with its palette of blended colors was on display–naturally intoned in vowels rather than consonants, while … Continue reading

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My Piano Students of Yesteryear: Where are they now?

Over decades of teaching, and with relocation being the norm for students and mentors, it would have taken a bit of research to track down all my beginner, intermediate, and advanced students dating back to 1968 (NYC); and from 1979 … Continue reading

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The Lang Lang controversy

World-renowned pianist, Lang Lang has attained rock star status in China, whereas here in the U.S., a sizable contingent of serious mentors in and out of the conservatory milieu register outright disdain for him. Many detractors publicly post their objections … Continue reading

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The “Talent” equation in piano playing/learning

Last Wednesday night, Indre Viskontas, opera singer and neuroscientist explored the many facets of Creativity in a City Arts “conversation.” And because a roving MIC didn’t quite reach my section of the San Francisco Nourse Auditorium during the Q and … Continue reading

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Piano Lessons: “My kids don’t practice so what can I do about it?”

The latest piano forum quandary surrounds daily practicing. Parents are wringing their hands as teachers impart the latest advice of the week. Even adult students are plagued by “shoulds” and perfect routes to success, planted in their psyche in early … Continue reading

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Quality spot-practicing by an adult student: Beethoven’s “Fur Elise” (Video)

Marie, a motivated adult student, revisited piano studies after a decades-long hiatus. When she resumed lessons about 6 years ago, she made “Fur Elise” her goal-setting piece. Following long-term scale and arpeggio exposure accompanied by a detailed focus on minuets, … Continue reading

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The Suzuki Method for Piano, Pros and Cons

The traditional Suzuki method, devised by its pioneer advocate, Shinichi Suzuki applied originally to violin instruction. Students as young as 2 or 3 learned to play their instruments in the way language was acquired, through imitation. (I recalled black and … Continue reading

Posted in Journey of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, Journey of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, music education, pianist, piano, piano instruction, piano playing, piano teaching, playing piano, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Suzuki, Suzuki piano instruction, Suzuki piano method, suzuki violin method, word press, word press.com, wordpress, wordpress.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments