piano, piano blog, piano blog by Shirley Kirsten, piano mentoring

Anti-boredom formula=Daily, attentive, patient, layered practicing

Over decades of teaching children from beginners to advanced levels, I've been struck by those who progress over a lengthy period due to their focused, disciplined, and organized practicing. Each encounter at lessons becomes for them, an awakening, reinforced by deeper probing. If a pupil is willing to partner in such a journey where a… Continue reading Anti-boredom formula=Daily, attentive, patient, layered practicing

piano

How Bach should be played is Twitter-framed!

A wellspring of inspiration poured forth in a Tweet posted by virtuoso cellist, Steven Isserlis whose vivid musical imagination fuses with his seamless technique. (We share common Oberlin Conservatory "roots" and an insatiable love for J.S.) It was no accident that while unearthing a perfect gem among a collection of Bach Little Preludes, I encountered… Continue reading How Bach should be played is Twitter-framed!

acoustic piano, adult piano lessons, piano instructional videos, piano lessons, piano lessons by webcam, piano lessons in Berkeley California, piano technique and the singing tone, piano warm-ups, playing staccato

Piano Technique Tutorials abound this week!

I often enjoy a splurge of self-produced technique videos to assist my teaching, and to clarify my latest insights. This week I examined Staccato playing, using weight transfer for dynamic variation, as I employed a legato "floating arm" as a model for snipping out a stream of well-connected, scale-wise detached notes. In this undertaking, I'd… Continue reading Piano Technique Tutorials abound this week!

blogger, blogging, Classsical music blog, pianist, piano

Piano Adventures!

This past week brought a nearly insurmountable challenge to help a 90-year old sell her 7-foot Baldwin grand piano. Sight unseen, I'd enlisted a volunteer effort while facing a built-in pressure cooker deadline of 30 days to sale. The owner's move to Assisted Living could not include a lion's size instrument. With less than a… Continue reading Piano Adventures!

piano,, piano, piano teaching, piano playing, pianoforte

Playing with Imagination!

Lately, I've been imbuing lessons with the word "imagination" particularly as it has applied to short pictorial works by Enrique Granados. Yet, drawing on the imagination crosses historical periods of musical composition, not limited to 19th Century "expressive" Romanticism and well beyond. In this vein, J.S. Bach Preludes, Fugues, movements from the French and English… Continue reading Playing with Imagination!

phrasing, phrasing at the piano, pianists, piano, piano instruction, piano learning

What you Learn by Teaching Piano

I was inspired by the sagacious words of Peter Takacs, Oberlin Conservatory piano faculty member, in response to a query by Zsolt Bognar. (Living the Classical Life interview) Zsolt: "Should a pianist teach?" (I was a bit surprised by a question that sowed doubt about the endeavor of mentoring--as if it proliferated the weak cliche… Continue reading What you Learn by Teaching Piano

piano, piano technique, piano technique and breathing

This week’s ear-catcher: “Stay Loose and Keep Moving!”

There were a pile-up of competing events to fill a blog feature, but only one stole the show: Amidst a sweltering East Coast heat wave, harpsichordist friend, Elaine Comparone, messaged a BBC link to an astounding display of age-defying virtuosity. At her home in Paris, 103-year old, French pianist, "Colette," played mellifluous Debussy, "moving" gracefully… Continue reading This week’s ear-catcher: “Stay Loose and Keep Moving!”