physical fitness and piano playing, piano blog, piano instruction, piano teaching

Physical fitness and piano playing

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I have an addiction to my daily workout at the Downtown ‘Y” gym and it’s proven beneficial for my piano playing so I’m spreading the word.

In the opener of my self-made video, I show examples of dead weight transfer into the keys, which for me, allows a pliant range of dynamics. If I need the big splash crescendo to double FF (Fortissimo) I’ve got reserves of energy and strength, not to mention breath control to peak a passage without choking.

In my piano studio, which often doubles as a home-based workout center, I focus on achieving ONENESS with the instrument through various approaches. Nothing is set in stone as a fixed dialectical methodology, but instead I apply a constellation of relaxation, supple wrist, natural breathing techniques, and weight transfer to grow technique in partnership with the imagination. Artful expression supported by fluid movements also happens to prevent injury.

In the first attached video, I briefly share my particular fitness routine. (I don’t use weights because they pose a strain on my wrists but I do build upper body strength on the Gravitron). My remaining gym itinerary includes basic Core developers: ab table workouts, the Captain’s Chair for the same, and various bicep builders on machines that aid toning and good health.

In the second video I offer a variety of tips to assist a full blown crescendo through F minor scales especially in STACCATO, where the forearm is enlisted. However, in very fast tempo, the student and I probe a finger-driven component that applies to drawing down the crisp, detached notes in a diminuendo. (In one particular segment, I reference and briefly demonstrate weight transfer as an aid to intensify a scale into the last octave)

Bonus video: More on DEAD WEIGHT POWER TRANSFER