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Stay LONGER with a piece for higher levels of learning and awareness

All too often piano students give up on a piece after so many weeks of exposure, thinking the fingering is settled, the beats are well-measured, and the notes have fallen into place.

At this juncture, a Big STOP SIGN Stop sign must impede the restless from plunging into a new musical journey despite their belief that the old one has run its course.

In truth, those who STAY the course at a point when boredom and frustration set in, can experience a heightened level of awareness about a composition if properly guided by a mentor.

To cite a case example, one of my adult students has practiced J.S. Bach’s A minor Invention in conscientious baby steps for quite a long period of time. Yet her tenacity as well as determination to realize the piece to a high level of artistry has stepped up her perception of multi-dimensional aspects of the composer’s two-voice masterpiece. (Patience is the WORD!)

First she grappled with fingering, phrasing, articulation and counterpoint–comprehending two independent, though interactive voices; then she learned about harmonic rhythm, modulations and their impact on phrasing and contouring lines. When note slip-ups occurred, she understood that blocking techniques would improve her sense of centering, and how shifts of the hand with rotation and relaxation synthesized in the flow of broken chords patterns. In stages she was ready to absorb even more analysis about the piece as she embraced a kinesthetic/affective/cognitive relationship to it over months.

These many STAGES of learning could not have played out in a predictable time span with pre-set deadlines. Instead, the student realized that committing long range exposure to a musical work provided a generous opportunity to increase the intensity of her awareness.

At our last lesson on the Invention, we specifically worked on threading a melody through reams of broken chords in a refined shaping process that created more musically fluid lines.

Naturally, through this whole developmental process, I became inspired to create my newest Bach Invention 13 tutorial that reflects a heightened journey of discovery made possible by a dedicated student.

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