"Splashing in the Brook" by Gillock, piano, piano instruction, piano lessons, piano technique, playing piano, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, teaching piano, William Gillock, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video, you tube.com, yout tube, youtube.com

Piano Technique: Turning a door knob helps a 9-year old piano student in her practicing (Videos)

I use various motions extracted from daily life to teach fluidity in piano playing. In this particular example lifted from a lesson-in-progress, Ilyana, 9, applies a door knob-turning gesture to smooth out a passage from William Gillock’s “Splashing in the Brook.”

It’s also helpful to enlist mental imagery to capture the mood of a composition. In this case, the composer has the piece’s character embedded in the title.

In the videos attached, I emphasize a “playful” scene and a “rippling” brook. The water image, in particular, softens the impact of the opening measures. A contrasting pair of FORTE measures, follows with a wave-like motion.

Extra-musical suggestions go a long way to improve technique and musicianship. They frame the music with something bigger than the narrow goal of playing the “right notes.”

In so many words, the joy a student derives from playing the piano comes from his imagination springing to life.

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