Bay area piano instruction, Beethoven, building piano technique, classissima, classisssima.com, El Cerrito piano instruction, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, Ludwig Van Beethoven, pianist, piano, piano instruction, piano lesson, piano lessons, Piano Street, piano teaching, piano technique, Piano World, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Sonata Pathetique first movement by Beethoven, Sonatina no. 1 by Latour, word press, word press.com, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video

Building Piano Technique: Extracting passages from pieces to practice

Instead of playing through laborious Hanon and Czerny exercises to improve aspects of piano technique, a student can cut to the chase, by snatching selected passages from their pieces that magnify a particular technical/musical challenge.

As an example, one of my adult students, devoted part of her lesson time to practicing a series of descending melodic sequences in the Latour Sonatina no. 1 in C Major. (I’ve bracketed pertinent measures)

At first I demonstrated how to enlist a forward rolling wrist motion for these passages, before the student emulated the approach.

***

The instruction below explores this wrist motion in creating a “round” melodic contour. It avoids the more angular, vertical type of playing that lacks “shape.”

Too often, students will play these notes with vertical finger pokes, creating a very “notey” sounding phrase. The forward roll wrist motion helps to counter this tendency. The instruction also fleshes out ways to apply rhythmic and harmonic variation to practicing the referenced set of measures.

***

In the second video, produced months ago, I extracted a section from Beethoven’s “Pathetique” Sonata (first movement) to chord “block” in a graduated practicing frame that led to fluency and tempo building.

3 thoughts on “Building Piano Technique: Extracting passages from pieces to practice”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.