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Piano Lesson: Shaping scales and arpeggios with syllables and tempo prompts (Video)

In this video segment, a 10-year old student warmed up with 3 forms of the D minor scale played in contrary motion in 16ths followed by 32nds. Syllable prompts helped shape these and kept them rhythmically framed. (Tempo variations were enlisted to smooth out playings) With arpeggios, we usually chunk “tunnels” through which the thumb passes–and swing out elbows for smooth thumb shifts in the Right hand, ascending–same for the Left Hand, descending. The goal is to have relaxed, flowing arms and supple wrists at all times–and a smoothly advancing thumb.


4 octaves of 16ths legato, each form consecutively played in Legato (Natural, Harmonic and Melodic)

4 octaves of 32nds, same as above.

The D minor arpeggios were practiced in parallel motion from 8ths to 16ths. (legato to staccato)

Three octaves of triplet 8ths, Legato

Four octaves of triplet 16ths, Legato

Four octaves of triplet 16ths, staccato, Forte

Four octaves of triplet 16ths, staccato, piano

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