Piano Technique: Playing BEYOND the fingers

Many students get finger-trapped playing the piano, hammering away at tricky passages with tight wrists and stiff, plunky fingers. The more glitches they encounter, the tenser they get, which sets up a vicious cycle.

I always advise these harrowed pupils to think bigger than smaller movements, and let arms, especially drive their motions.

In this video, yours truly grapples with a difficult passage from Haydn’s Eb Sonata (49) So I essentially apply what my students have taught me NOT to do. I won’t utilize finger power through knotty measures that will die on the vine from terminal fatigue.

Instead, I start blocking out challenging measures; do my “mashed potato” routine, inject rhythms into my practicing, and enlist bigger-than-fingers energies. (These techniques are well-demonstrated in my video instruction)

In the first segment I explore parallel thirds in five-finger position to show side-to-side arm motions, eventually working my way to the Haydn sonata. (Rondo movement)

Extracting difficult passages from pieces is always a nice way to build technique, alongside a healthy regimen of scales, arpeggios, etc. around the Circle of Fifths.

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
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