Rolling wrist motions, “Circle Dance,” and adult “elementary” students

A few of my adult students who have returned to the piano after a long hiatus, are pleased to re-orient themselves to the instrument via five-finger position pieces. These cannot be dismissed handily as play by finger number journeys. In fact, the larger pedagogical value of selected repertoire is substantial.

In “Circle Dance” by Ferdinand Beyer, (Classical era), the player is challenged to be aware of two overlapping, imitative voices. The broken chord motif that opens the work (Part A) requires a supple wrist forward motion that is mimed between the hands. Throughout the composition, the wrists are rolling forward limpidly, capturing a circular feeling that well fits the title. A modulation to C Major (B section) is the climax at Forte dynamic, preserving the CIRCULAR movement, followed by a return to the A (opener) at Mezzo Forte (medium loud)

My brief video instruction illustrates the rolling wrist motion, followed by a video where I play the composition with a youngster in duet form. (The secondo part is published in Randall Faber’s Developing Artist Series, Preparatory Piano Literature, Elementary)

Circle Dance  p. 1

Circle Dance by Beyer page 2

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