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Shirley S Kirsten

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An Adult Piano Student lands the Gold!
By Shirley S Kirsten   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Saturday, November 12, 2011
Posted: Saturday, November 12, 2011

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The pay-off for practicing is a treasured medallion. A middle-aged piano student from Holland caps 4 years of study, earning a well deserved award.

Photos at:

href=""&gt;<img width=350 src="" alt="" title="goldmedallion" width="132" height="300" class="aligncenter size-medium wp-image-18975" /></a>

Today, I launched the piano Olympics.. well not really. No one in this studio of hard-working adults and children is competing for a medal, but just the same, I have shimmering GOLD stickers that are individually awarded to deserving students.

Today, Marie earned her sparkling medallion and proudly displayed it after some prodding.
<a target="_blank" href=""><img width=350 src="" alt="" title="DSC01156" width="640" height="360" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-18953" /></a>

In addition she was added to my Wall of Fame at the entranceway.

<a target="_blank" href=""><img width=350 src="" alt="" title="marieatdoorwrappingupherlesson" width="640" height="360" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-18958" /></a>

Here's Marie in piano karma. Oops, Aiden interrupted her meditation....

<a target="_blank" href=""><img width=350 src="" alt="" title="aidenjoinsmarieathesteinway" width="640" height="360" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-18955" /></a>

More photos at the Steinway:

<a target="_blank" href=""><img width=350 src="" alt="" title="anothersidecloseupmarieatpiano" width="640" height="360" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-18960" /></a>

<a target="_blank" href=""><img width=350 src="" alt="" title="backviewfromstairsmarieisplaying" width="640" height="360" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-18962" /></a>

<strong>The Backdrop:</strong>
Marie began piano studies at my current studio in approximately 2007 when I had just moved from a knee-crushing cubicle to a civilized space.

She'd taken previous lessons, but had a significant hiatus of unknown length. I remember her first lesson well. She had no specific pieces to play for me but was ready, willing and able to embark upon a musical adventure.

The enthusiasm was there and remains to this day.

Here's the musical terrain we covered:

Pentascales or five finger positions in Major/parallel minor relationship--all keys.

Four octave Major and minor Scales and Arpeggios in parallel and contrary around the Circle of Fifths. (We are currently adding 10ths and 3rds)

<strong>Repertoire</strong>, following a review romp through the Faber Accelerated Adult Beginner Books--Lesson, Performance and Theory:

James Hook Minuet; Anna Magdalena collection, Minuet in G (attributed to Christian Petzold, and not J.S. Bach as formerly believed; Clementi Sonatina in C, Op. 36 no. 1, (all movements), "First Sorrow" and "Wild Rider" from <em>Schumann's Album for the Young</em>, Rameau Menuet en Rondeau; Mozart Dance in F Major; J.C Bach Prelude in A minor and Andante in A minor; Chopin Prelude in A Major; Chopin Waltz No. 19 in A minor, Op. Posthumous; Beethoven "Fur Elise."

Progress has been steady and satisfying. I enjoy Marie's devotion to the piano, and laud her for acquiring a lovely, resonant Acrosonic Baldwin after letting go of her skittish Kincaid with all its built-in handicaps.

The Acro is kept in tune, and has featured piano status as the centerpiece of her living room. A cage full of cackling parakeets, is nearby, and a cat and dog who co-exist harmoniously, join in a chorus of approval while Marie practices.

I had the honor of presenting a concert on this very piano for Marie's mother's birthday. She was heading toward her 90th, but had a few years to go.

Apparently, mom, had quite a musical background and taught Marie a bit of piano in Holland where the family lived.

I keep these as a reminder of Marie's musical presence in between lessons.
<a target="_blank" href=""><img width=350 src="" alt="" title="perfectshoesholland" width="640" height="360" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-18981" /></a>&lt;a

Web Site: An "Adult Student of the Week" lands the Gold!

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