Awakenings alternately occur between teacher and student, especially if they're collectively open to them. And embracing this sharing spirit, I welcome ideas from pupils about phrasing, technique, etc. since we enjoy a common journey of discovery. By chance, one student brought a "new" fingering for his assigned D Major arpeggio in 10ths, and it worked so… Continue reading An Adult Piano Student teaches the Teacher
It's common for piano students to divide their scales into well-boxed rhythmic compartments, emphasizing the fundamental beat that interrupts a smooth flowing legato (connecting from note to note). Sometimes players are unaware of their reinforced "beat" counting impulses and need occasional reminders of what's communicated to the listener. (who happens to be the innocent bystander… Continue reading Piano Technique: Playing scales without bumps or accents
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. Here's B minor in Contrary Motion (legato) with my annotations that reference the BREATH and mindfulness. https://youtu.be/kVmCWbA32bg Important… Continue reading Piano Technique: Stabilizing tempo, presence of mind, and breathing through scales and arpeggios
It's always valuable to snatch a lesson segment when a student gets it just right and has the equivalent of a runner's high at the keyboard. It's certainly instructive for both teacher and pupil to observe what conditions predisposed a pupil to a level of ONEness of body, mind and spirit. Last night, Jocel displayed… Continue reading Piano Technique: When an adult student is in the Zone!
With creative juices flowing during a piano lesson by Skype, a teacher can toy with various mental images by webcam that assist fluid technique. "Wrist dipping" through a five-finger position in rapid rhythm required focus on how to avoid the inevitable accent that occurs on framing thumb and pinky. "Soft" landings were therefore isolated and… Continue reading Piano Technique: Wrist dipping and thumb twiddling
Over months and years, I've devised various technique framed routines that happen to be bi-products of trial and error excursions over the keyboard. To the extent that I put myself under self-analysis following a stint of formal piano study, I was able to discard a lion's share of the factory-generated, Conservatory-based litany that encapsulated certain… Continue reading Piano Technique: Self-created Scale and Arpeggio Prep
The Piano Fitness Club was in full swing as a well-prepared adult student and I romped through C# minor scales (3 forms) and B Major Arpeggios. Shaping detached notes in piano to forte dynamic ranges was the focus of a quick-paced hour. The B-Major arpeggio, rendered in sprightly 10ths, was remediated in articulated paired sub-groups… Continue reading A Piano Gym Workout in Staccato before J.S. BACH