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Home > Shirley S Kirsten

Recent Reviews for Shirley S Kirsten

York's World War II Memoir (Short Story) - 12/7/2014 8:48:31 AM
Nice job, Shirley. This anniversary is of a violent beginning and the end is o-so-tragic, too. It seems this war never really ended, just moved around. But York's memory is of healing and humanity. Thanks for recording it and for relating it to us.

CHAPTER NINE: Me, York and our Great Piano Adventure! (Short Story) - 6/6/2007 3:02:51 AM
I thoroughly enjoyed being a participant in this Great Adventure!

My Visit to the Faust Harrison Factory for Steinway Rebuilds (Article) - 6/14/2015 8:23:22 AM
Thanks for your fascinating response. Shirley

My Visit to the Faust Harrison Factory for Steinway Rebuilds (Article) - 6/14/2015 6:00:11 AM
As an industrial engineer I toured many factories, but I never toured one that made musical instruments. I especially like operations that do restoration or rebuilding because they recycle resources and use far less energy, while requiring a much higher level of human skill in the process than normal production, often using robotics to replace human hands. Ron

Musical memories and my impending journey back home to NYC (Article) - 6/4/2015 7:44:36 AM
A lot of memories to try to connect with. And so many losses. I just talked to my 90-year-old mother this morning. She is deaf as Beethoven, but just got her caption phone back after a year and a half in assisted living and called me. She told me that she is too "busy" for me to call her. That Polaroid of you with your award reminds me of one I have on one of my few times in NYC at my cousin's wedding to a NYC girl from St. Patrick's school. They couldn't get married at St. Pats because my cousin wasn't Catholic, so they got married at Immaculate Conception Cathedral instead. The photo shows the wedding party with me and my rented tuxedo in front of the cathedral. It's a good thing they were married there because Robert Kennedy was lying at rest in St. Pats and their wedding would've been called off. Will send you the picture by private email. I don't know if I told you or not, but both of my grandmothers were self-taught on the piano. My grandmother Hull or her daughter would often play songs on the piano during holidays and we would all gather around and sing to the music. Ron

An afternoon with my piano student in Nature's Paradise (Article) - 5/3/2015 7:00:12 AM
You make me wax nostalgic about leaving the pastoral beauty of rural California behind. Your description of Walnut Creek reminded me of the drives I used to take on Skyline Drive on the peninsula south of San Francisco. Piano music is an added wonder to the beauty of of the place. Ron

My Birthday Present to me: A new piano replenishes a loss (Article) - 4/13/2015 6:10:07 AM
From the sound of it, that Baldwin grand was an excellent choice. I'm so sorry to hear of your mother's death, but she was fortunate to live to be 100. My mother is now 90 and is being forced to leave the assisted living home she's in because of the cost. Recently, she has become as deaf as Beethoven, so she can't enjoy music anymore, but can still watch television with closed caption. I have been diagnosed with severe to moderate hearing loss that is nerve damage like my mother, so I may be following in her footsteps in a few years. Ron

Technology as a valuable piano teaching tool (Article) - 4/4/2015 7:44:07 AM
I marvel at your use of technology for your work. I can't seem to get my sister to help my mother just see me on the iPad I bought my mother. Apparently she's able to see her email from me, but because of her mini strokes she's now unable to type messages to me and another stumbling block is that she is nearly deaf. That shouldn't prevent my sister from learning how to operate the iPad, Skype or FaceTime. She claims she doesn't like "Apple" anything. It's a psychological technological dilemma I can't overcome. Ron

RUN! to see Seymour: An Introduction (Article) - 3/22/2015 5:56:09 AM
Bravo! This is a good chance I will take a look at the documentary of Seymour Bernstein. But your little video of your sojourn to see it and your connection with Bernstein when you met him in his apartment is a superb bit of moviemaking in its own right. I wish that my movies could be as well done (and edited, I might add). Ron

Happy Holidays! (Article) - 12/27/2014 9:56:28 AM
Beautiful music beautifully played! It must of been quite cold… Does that make the pianos play better? Ron

Piano Maintenance: 48 hours of pain and anguish! (Article) - 12/20/2014 11:27:07 AM
I can see why that was quite traumatic since you make your living with your piano. For me, it is my two computers, constantly required attention before they become, "obsolete." My most traumatic experience was the loss of my domain from November 3 through the 25th, largely as a result of my inattention and inexperience with domains. I could have solved the problem on November 3 by a simple application of money, something I was reluctant to do because I thought I was being hijacked. That fear led me to 22 days of agony. Yours was short by comparison, but probably more intense. Ron

The Challenges of a Pianist Seeking Housing (Article) - 11/11/2014 10:17:45 AM
I'm sorry, but I kept laughing all the way through. I can't imagine how difficult it must of been. A bit like when I first came to this town when it was booming and there was no place to live even if I could pay the rent. I'm sure glad you found your non-American dream, your little bit of heaven in a place you want to be very close to one of the best universities in the United States. Ron

When Big Hands and Fingers play unwanted notes (Article) - 9/26/2014 9:23:54 AM
He's pretty good! I always had trouble with the PC two button mouse. When trying to use it to click on something, I would push both buttons at once. The best way I've found to solve the problem was use a Mac with a single button mouse actuation. Ron

Piano Teacher Stories from the War Zone! Part One (Article) - 9/6/2014 8:20:21 AM
She has some wonderful stories. We can always learn from our elders. I may have told you before. We moved to a large Victorian when my twin brother and I were seven. Mom rented out the upstairs apartment to a woman and her daughter, about 17, who taught piano. Both of my grandmothers were self-taught pianists and could read music. So, we took lessons from the girl upstairs. Except for some simple tunes, I don't remember what we learned. I think the reason the lessons stopped was that the renters moved out, I don't remember. Later, when we were about 10, my parents wanted us to learn the piano accordion (so we could make money at parties and in bars). They bought ann expensive accordion and had us start on lessons at a local music shop. I remember going to a radio station and playing very badly… So embarrassed because I couldn't play the simple song I planned. When we moved, mom hooked us up with an old Polish guy that liked to stomp his foot loudly while he played--bad teacher. I do recall we learned to play Fats Domino's version of Blueberry Hill, but we never reach the epitome of accordion playing… Lady of Spain. ;-) Ended up quitting because baseball beckoned. Would have liked to have picked up the guitar. A cousin did, self-taught, and started a rock band. I'm glad I didn't learn to play well with my hands, because when my hands and arms became paralyzed when I was 20, that would've been a huge letdown if I was any good by that time. Ron

What Happened during the Earthquake! (Article) - 9/4/2014 6:16:23 AM
Thanks for sharing.. I am befuddled by the Review formatting on Authors Den.. Never know if I've read the whole entry. Best Regards, shirley K

Pianist, Seymour Bernstein is the subject of an Ethan Hawke produced docu (Article) - 8/29/2014 6:59:55 AM
I always enjoy profiles of artists, especially little-known ones. I see most of them on CBS Sunday Morning and some on 60 Minutes. I haven't seen many documentaries in recent years but have recently connected with where I get to see many documentaries. Reading about Seymour Bernstein, I thought of my niece who has a very good job as an environmental engineer. She is seriously thinking of becoming a high school science teacher. While I don't wish her the aggravation, I admire her, like Bernstein, willing to forgo much higher income to do something very worthwhile. Ron

What Happened during the Earthquake! (Article) - 8/25/2014 7:18:28 AM
Quite the musical experience! With me, it was also in the middle of the night, but I was in bed. Thinking it was quite a storm outside to have the cupboards shaking. When I realized that it wasn't the windows shaking in the wind, I started thinking about where my pants were so that I could run out of my Redwood City apartment. Another time, I was sitting in the open cafeteria during break in San Carlos. I clearly saw a wave come down off the hills and shake up to big tanks out by the parking lot as it continued right through the floor of the cafeteria and beyond to the Bay. I had never experienced a wave on land before. There were distinctly two of them. Thankfully, there was no damage in either of those quakes. Stay safe in your beautiful abode across from Shaky Town… My most un-favorite part of California. Ron

Hear it Before You Play It! (Article) - 8/17/2014 7:59:14 AM
A good lesson on how to create music. Ron

Does Practice Make Perfect? (Article) - 7/26/2014 10:49:01 AM
A very good review of the podcast. Practice does improve skills, but experience trumps practice. Ron

Seymour Bernstein: From Maine with Love (Article) - 7/2/2014 11:50:35 AM
Wow, bet my parents were familiar with him. Wonder where abouts in Maine as I will be heading there in August and September. I'll be off the the woods somewhere- but always need to check in at Booth Bay and Camden Harbor. John

My Afternoon at the San Francisco Symphony with pianist, Yuja Wang (Article) - 6/6/2014 8:15:49 AM
Looks like a wonderful time was had. Reminds me of the Wortham here in Houston. Great images and music. Ron

The Talent Equation in Piano Playing/Learning (Article) - 5/24/2014 4:13:11 PM
well done

Piano Repair: Taking the Noise out of my Pedal (Article) - 5/17/2014 9:52:58 AM
I wasn't able to play the video for some reason. It would start but not continue. You are fortunate to be able to afford the best. Also fortunate to be able to get rid of the problem you've been faced with for so long. Yesterday I looked down at the front wheel on my 20-year-old electric wheelchair and noticed some fluff coming out of the place where the axle ran through the wheel. Upon inspection, my helper started pulling out 20 years of carpet fibers, and threads from towels and robes that got caught in the wheel and other various fibers creating a pile of nice dry tinder like a mouse nest next to the wheel. I couldn't believe that the wheel did not stop turning altogether with all that stuff in it. Ron

Simone Dinnerstein at Dewing: A Crusade for a Better Piano (Article) - 2/2/2014 8:00:19 AM
What a wonderful review of Dinnerstein's recital. I simply love the way you describe the Yamaha's traits and the rest of her performance. Not only are you a master musician, you are a terrific writer, as well. Thanks for giving Mills College a piece of your mind. They deserve it for having second-class equipment for their recitals. Ron

Multi-cam views during Skype or Facetime piano lessons (Article) - 1/27/2014 9:43:15 AM
Some great ideas. I have refrained from using Skype and FaceTime although I've known about them for some time, because when I look at myself in the camera, its resolution tells me that I need professional makeup before going online with anyone else. ;-) Ron

Favorite Tchaikovsky piano pieces and their pedagogical value (Article) - 12/30/2013 2:44:00 PM
You bring magic and charm to every musical composition you play. The Morning Prayer was magnifique.

A Heart-wrenching blend of Music and Memoir (Article) - 12/8/2013 8:47:28 AM
Mona Golabek is remarkably talented and creative. Thanks for sharing… Ron

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