Tag Archives: Shirley Kirsten blog

Liz, age 8, has her second piano lesson! (With my interspersed thoughts about materials and teaching philosophy)

As I journey along with Liz, my newest piano student, I’m collecting insights about the nature of music learning from the perspective of a child. And by this most recent experience, I’ve come to realize that the choice of teaching … Continue reading

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Piano Technique: Trills and the vocal model

Joyce Di Donato, “lyric-coloratura mezzo-soprano,” is my model for trilling. In an embedded you tube video, the opera singer emphasizes the undulating character of a beautifully executed trill that leans on the upper note. (Too often pianists deliver a robotic … Continue reading

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Piano Instruction: Mozart Sonata No. 16 in C Major, K. 545, Allegro (updated Video)

Play through

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Piano Technique: Reeling off parallel thirds in staccato (with a trampoline effect)

The playground as music teacher applies: My brood of students and I enjoy the romp through a set of parallel thirds within a five-finger position. In our escapade, we usually dance through the Major and parallel minor tonalities. Interplay, back … Continue reading

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Rolling wrist motion for J.S. Bach Invention 4 in D minor

Just a video snippet exploring the rolling wrist forward motion in phrasing Bach Invention 4. The streams of scale-like 16th notes and their surprising melodic displacement (descending 7ths) suggest a slope up, then curve around motion that’s best realized with … Continue reading

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My blind date with a “new” piano–

I’m meeting a 5’2 Baldwin Hamilton in El Cerrito today, Sunday, and I’ll videotape the introduction for posting on You Tube. This is the piano that had a verboten phone interview with a follow-up long distance tech eval. Good report, … Continue reading

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The Transfer Piano Student

I would hate to pigeon hole all “transfer” students in one way or another. It would be unfair, and unfortunately many piano teachers shy away from prospects who were immersed in learning environments where little progress was made over a … Continue reading

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