I never cease to be amazed by a mutual discovery process that’s ongoing between me and my adult students. Without our learning partnership, we would not have periodic awakenings that feed our reciprocal musical development.
Case in point, is the attainment of Staccato refinement in its most crisp and animated form.
In the past month, after watching my pupils often stumble through their scales and arpeggios when they transitioned from playing legato to rendering short, crisp detached notes, I started to think about ways to remedy the problem.
Through finite observation, and experimentation in my personal learning lab, aka, my practice module, I came to the conclusion that having students snap each finger along the scale or arpeggio spectrum in slow tempo, would fine-tune their ears to what constituted a crisp note release. Naturally, the sensitive ear training phase was bound to a physical awareness of how these notes marched along in an appealingly animated manner.
From my perspective, it wasn’t purely a FINGER-driven staccato that fed a briskly played scale or arpeggio with a desired horizontal dimension, but the fingers at the end of a relaxed arm and supple wrist spectrum provided a necessary unity for fluid playing.
Naturally, a parceled layered learning approach that included a blocking phase, produced positive results.
In this particular video sample I used an Eb Major arpeggio framed in triplets to advance a well-contoured staccato. A lesson-in-progress with an adult student followed my tutorial.