piano

Forward Arm Rolls and Rotations

We clarify and refine our teaching skills through self-examination at the piano. As mentors, we simultaneously enjoy a window into our students practicing from week to week. Together we grow as music sharing partners. This leads to what I periodically post in the form of self-teaching tutorials that reach my pupils and well beyond in cyber. Often, Comments on my You Tube channel prompt even more self-examination, encouraging strides toward refinement.

This short intro leads to my first tutorial on Forward Arm rolls that was inspired by pianist/teacher/author Seymour Bernstein. His 1986 published video series, “You and the Piano” provided invaluable choreographies that synchronize with gorgeous, seamless musical lines. A sample follows:

Under Seymour’s influence, I posted a tutorial on practicing Friedrich Burgmuller’s “La Gracieuse” (“Grace”), Op. 100, that draws upon these very conspicuous forward arm rolls. (Some teachers call them forward wrist rolls, though a bigger energy is propelled down the arms into supple wrists.)

In the cosmos of Rotations combined with Forward Arm Rolls, I created this tutorial enlisting Edvard Grieg’s “Butterfly,” Op. 43, No. 1, Lyric Pieces.

In the above example, the infusion of Rotations interspersed with Forward Arm rolls allows a seamless flowing line in the poetic, Romantic tradition.

Adding various gradations of arm weight to well choreographed phrases expands musical awareness.

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