More ideas about Piano Technique and Mental Imagery (Playing into a Bowl of Molasses)

Continuing my practice of videotaping my Thursday evening lesson, I reviewed the footage and discovered some catch words that helped me clarify ideas about technique and fluency.

While it may sound a bit outlandish to think of the piano as a “bowl of molasses,” the image alone helped my adult student approach the keys with more of a delayed entry, avoiding a skimming the surface type of playing that never quite gets the player “grooved” or “connected into” the notes. I like the volume or density of molasses.

Listening to the end of a note, before playing the next through an E minor Arpeggio in tenths, imbues a consciousness about playing deep into the keys, sculpting, feeling the “jello” that Irina Gorin references. It’s fundamental to producing a beautiful singing tone.

Other images or catchwords that I used to aid fluidity of technique: “roll” into the scale; Don’t Anticipate–Be in the here and now; think Slowly through fast passages; feel the rolling turnaround at either end of the scale, “BREATHE.”

So molasses slows things down, and allows for some key depth exploration without a premature release to other notes. This applies to passages in slow, fast or moderate tempo.

Fast Melody

For the rippling strings of 32nds in Allegro that can be practiced in a scale framework, the principle of attentive listening from note to note should be framed as “fast melody.” Melodic contouring blends well with a bowl of molasses even though the latter would seem to drastically slow things down.

But for most piano students who tend to race over the keys losing their breath and composure, some key catchwords might neutralize the frenzy.

In this teaching segment, the student and I are playing the Dominant 7th Arpeggio B, D#, F#, A in contrary motion, Thumbs at B (an octave above middle B)

The next video extracted from the same lesson, draws on more catchwords to aid fluidity of technique: “roll” into the scale; Don’t Anticipate–Be in the here and now; think Slowly through fast passages; feel the rolling turnaround at either end of the scale, “BREATHE.”

Molasses also applies here, because it suggests density, and precludes the tracing paper, skimming on top of the keys touch and tone.

About arioso7: Shirley Kirsten

International piano teacher by Skype, recording artist, composer, piano finder, freelance writer, film maker, story teller: Grad of the NYC HS of Performing Arts, Oberlin Conservatory, NYU (Master of Arts) Studies with Lillian Freundlich and Ena Bronstein; Master classes with Murray Perahia and Oxana Yablonskaya. Studios in BERKELEY and EL CERRITO, California; Member, Music Teachers Assoc. of California, MTAC; Distance learning and Skyped instruction with supplementary videos: SKYPE ID, shirleypiano1 Contact me at: shirley_kirsten@yahoo.com OR http://www.youtube.com/arioso7 or at FACEBOOK: Shirley Smith Kirsten, http://facebook.com /shirley.kirsten TWITTER: http://twitter.com/arioso7 Private fund-raising for non-profits as pianist--Public Speaking re: piano teaching and creative approaches
This entry was posted in blog, blogger, California, classissima, classissima.com, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, Fresno California, molasses, MTAC, music and heart, music and the breath, music teachers association of california, New York City High School of Performing Arts, New York University, Oberlin Conservatory, pianist, piano, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lesson, piano pedagogy, piano practicing, piano scales, piano society, Piano Street, piano student, piano studio, piano teacher, piano technique, piano tutorial, Piano World, pianoaddict.com, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing piano, scale fingerings, scales, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Steinway M grand piano, Steinway piano, Steinway studio upright, talkclassical.com, Teach Street, teaching piano, teaching piano scales, teaching scales, technique, whole body listening, whole body music listening, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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