Category Archives: piano technique

Sequences and Phrase contouring in J. S. Bach’s French Suite No. 5, BWV 816

An adult student and I explored sequences in the Allemande opener of Bach’s French Suite in G as we parceled out the treble and bass lines. (Still another voice that danced from the alto to tenor range, was separately identified … Continue reading

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A Romp through F# Major scales and arpeggios

F# Major, from a certain perspective, happens to be one of the easier scales to play because it falls into patterns of triple black and double black keys with thumbs meeting in between. In fact, both hands have mirror fingers … Continue reading

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Instruction and Comparative performances of Beethoven’s Bagatelle in G minor, Op. 119 No. 1

Wikipedia: “The Eleven Bagatelles, Op. 119 were written by Ludwig van Beethoven between the 1790s and the early 1820s. By the end of 1803, he had already sketched Bagatelles Nos. 1 through 5 (along with several other short works for … Continue reading

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Piano Instruction: On the way to Velocity, doing the groundwork (Video)

When faced with a composition in Presto tempo, it’s best to practice slowly, preferably separate hands, (at first) to secure a good fingering, understand HARMONIC flow (or progressions) and piece out the phrasing, that encompasses articulation and dynamics. In my … Continue reading

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Piano Technique: balance and bearings on the black notes (Video)

One of my adult students confided that her five-finger warm-up in F# Major made her feel shaky and insecure. “It’s like I’m going to slip off the key when I play my 5th finger,” (pinky)–C# (Notes in F# Major penta-scale … Continue reading

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Piano Instruction: Teaching a good hand position and technical skills to very young children

Teaching wee beginners a natural approach to the piano, that includes a relaxed hand position, flowing arms and supple wrists allows the birth of beautiful music-making while it promotes injury avoidance. Irina Gorin is one of the best teacher models … Continue reading

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Piano technique is about flexibility not finger strength

I remember my days at the Oberlin Conservatory pumping out meaningless Schmitt finger exercises, often holding notes down, while a selected persecuted finger had to brave the pain is gain ritual. (tap, tap, tap, tap, and move on to the … Continue reading

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