Tag Archives: piano technique

Staccato scales: Staying on the PLANE without a bumpy ride

Most students become very disconnected when traveling through a staccato scale so their journey from lift-off to landing is often bumpy. In the E minor Natural form, for example, a redundant E, F# occurring in every octave will fool a … Continue reading

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Piano Technique: Spot checking for relaxed arms, wrists, and hands (Video)

I think of a whole arm/wrist/hand continuum when playing the piano, and I urge students to alleviate tension anywhere in the spectrum by lifting arms off the keys with a feeling of buoyancy. In this gesture a pupil can monitor … Continue reading

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Piano Technique: Executing Tremolos as occur in Beethoven’s Sonata “Pathetique”

I’ve picked up various ideas about practicing tremolos from the piano forums as applies to the Alla Breve section of the “Pathetique” Sonata No. 8 (movement 1) and extracted a valuable tutorial from a colleague who posted it to you … Continue reading

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Piano Technique: Wrist flexibility and relaxed arms

Livia Rev, Hungarian born pianist, who’s 98, demonstrates in her playing how flexible wrists and relaxed arms spin beautiful phrases in legato and staccato. In a romp through Czerny studies, we observe her conspicuous, elastic wrist motions. In a separate … Continue reading

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Playing the piano like a singer

The J.C. Bach Prelude in A minor begs for a fluid “singing” tone through its progression of rolled out broken chords that have a melodic thread fleshed out by finger 5. Rounding out these uppermost destination notes is a challenge … Continue reading

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Piano Technique: Contrary motion scales without side-to-side head tracking

Most piano students insist on playing contrary motion scales like they’re watching a tennis match: heads rolling to either side of the net with well orchestrated rows of synched sports aficionados. When applied to the piano, however, this capo paced … Continue reading

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Two Adult Piano Students have an Arpeggio fun fest!

My two J’s, back-to-back adult pupils, had a rollicking time practicing their arpeggios from legato to staccato. Both had epiphanies about wrist, forearm, and finger staccato in their transitions from whirly, swirly playing to crisp releases. For J(2) “weeping willow” … Continue reading

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“Clouds,” “cushions,” and “veils” permeate a Chopin Lesson (Waltz in A minor)

Floating arms, supple wrists, delicate relaxed ornaments and trills, and an oxymoron-driven, perfect parachute landing flowed into a lesson last night with a musically responsive adult student. The keyboard was transformed into a soft cushion receiving fingers energized with bigger … Continue reading

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Piano Forums and The Thumb (Video)

About the Thumb and piano playing: I always receive a needed infusion of ideas from many inquisitive and creative teachers who post at the Facebook Piano Pedagogy forum. So there, I thankfully found the springboard for today’s discussion. “How do … Continue reading

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Reviewing Chopin’s Nocturne in C# minor, Op. Posthumous (MOVIE THEME, THE PIANIST)

We have to give credit to movie-makers for putting this hauntingly beautiful composition on the popular marquee of Classical music favorites. It shares notoriety with Mozart’s middle movement theme of Concerto no. 21 in C, which recurred throughout the film, … Continue reading

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