Tag Archives: Word Press

Van Cliburn’s Tchaikovsky No. 1 concerto revisited

Van Cliburn’s named popped up on one of the piano forums. Would he have made the same formidable impression in today’s Moscow Competition as he did in 1958? The answer is simply YES, and resurrecting a flashback of his winning … Continue reading

Posted in piano, piano blog, piano blogging, piano competition, Tchaikovsky Piano Competition, Van Cliburn | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Piano Technique: Remediating peak octave scale paralysis (Staccato)

Choking up is probably the best description of what often happens to final scale octaves and their turnaround. Students get anxious at the terminus, and tend to crowd notes as if they’re racing to the finish line, when in fact, … Continue reading

Posted in piano, piano blog, piano blogging, piano instruction, piano technique, Shirley Kirsten | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Pianist, Stephen Hough talks about growing a piece over time

In this excerpt from Lara Downe’s San Francisco Classical Voice interview with Stephen Hough, the universe of growth and musical ripening is explored. Lara Downes: Your teacher, Gordon Green, was a great influence and inspiration to you, and you’ve quoted … Continue reading

Posted in adult piano instruction, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, Lara Downes, music study and ripening, patience, pianist, piano, piano blogging, piano learning, piano study, piano teaching, San Francisco Classical Voice, Stephen Hough | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

An Adult Piano Student who builds pianos and restores planes

My adult student, David, is a man for all seasons! He not only studies piano, with a penchant for the works of Bach, but he restores antique airplanes, and builds pianos. Add into the mix, his taking a ride in … Continue reading

Posted in antique airplanes, antique planes, piano blog, piano blogging, plane restoration, planes, Shirley Kirsten | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

GRAND comparisons

It’s always telling to compare a piano’s tone, resonance and decay in the showroom where purchased to its performance in one’s living space. Unfortunately, one cannot transport the piano to one’s home while evaluating it at the store. In this … Continue reading

Posted in Baldwin, Baldwin 165 grand piano, grand piano, piano, piano blog, piano blogging, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Steinway grand, word press, wordpress.com, you tube | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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

Posted in classical music, how to trill on the piano, Joyce Di Donato, opera, operatic trills, piano blog, piano blogging, piano technique, piano trills, Shirley Kirsten, vocal model for piano playing, W. A. Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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, … Continue reading

Posted in Bam Boomerang, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, Lakewood Estates, learning to read, piano, piano blog, reading tools, Shirley Kirsten, Steinway A grand piano, Walnut Creek | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment