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Piano Technique: Stabilizing tempo, presence of mind, and breathing through scales and arpeggios

This has to be one of my favorite reciprocal teaching/learning videos because it fleshes out the importance of breathing through scales with mindful concentration. Framed by a singing pulse, the scale becomes a model for all playing.

Screen Shot 2015-04-05 at 9.25.12 AM

Here’s B minor in Contrary Motion (legato) with my annotations that reference the BREATH and mindfulness.

Important Prompts: Sing to shape; drag notes for traction instead of poke; BREATHE into the scale; be MINDFUL and CENTERED with focused CONCENTRATION–Play with a framing pulse; float “weeping willow” arms; “float” on air.

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In this second video, an adult student works on stabilizing her pulse through a legato to staccato rendering of a C Major scale and arpeggio.

Erratic rhythm is a problem for many pupils, but when they review their recorded playing they often have epiphanies that otherwise evade them in real lesson time. This is why playbacks can be so valuable in the piano learning environment.

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