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When the piano teacher is absent between lessons, a You Tube video can fill in the gap (Fur Elise and chord voicing)

Lately, students have benefited from receiving supplemental video instruction during the interval between their weekly lessons.

By videotaping parts of their sessions and uploading to You Tube, they can often make their daily practice time more efficient.

Today, for example, I tilted my iMac so it focused on my piano, which is the Steinway upright located beside the grand where an adult student sat.

During the week my pupil will have an up close examination of voicing chords in the C section of Beethoven’s Fur Elise.

In the first segment, we worked on the physical means to flesh out a resonating melody through various sonorities. (measures 62-65) Beautiful phrasing and observance of dynamics were integrated into our focused musical exploration.

Part 2, covered measures 66-73. (Right Hand)

This pupil has been studying with me for five years and during that time has made considerable progress. You Tubing as an adjunct to piano instruction has been especially helpful.

Part 1

Part 2

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Practicing the Bach Prelude in C from the Well-Tempered Clavier, by a process of chord blocking (Video)

Blocking out the lush harmonic progressions of Bach’s C Major Prelude is an important first step in learning it. A melodic line that sings through these sonorities, albeit, in waves of broken chords, is the composer’s stroke of genius. The chord inversions are perfectly in place to flesh out a divinely “voiced” melody in the treble.

In the attached video, I focus on the value of listening from chord to chord; being sensitive to relationships between them as Dominant to Tonic, or to a Deceptive harmonic event, among others— “feeling” resolutions, modulations, suspensions, sequences, etc. that are part of the “Harmonic Rhythm.”

Shaping lines, in part, according to rhythmic flow enriches a player’s understanding of the composition, giving insights about its phrasing and interpretation.

RELATED:

https://arioso7.wordpress.com/2011/11/19/a-different-view-of-bach-and-the-piano-prelude-in-c-video/


https://arioso7.wordpress.com/2010/12/26/everyone-plays-the-bach-prelude-no-1-in-c-you-tube-video-embedded/

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Piano Technique: Nifty warm-up routines (Videos)

Phase one of lessons is a lively romp over the 88s. It sets the geography of the piano through a host of keys. Establishing a “feel” for the instrument with a supportive knowledge of key signatures, framed in buoyant rhythm, kicks things off.

Here are few examples from Claudia’s lesson. At age 11, she’s advanced to a rigorous technique-building program after about 5 plus years of study.

We usually devote 15 or so minutes to these romps that encompass scales, arpeggios, chord progressions, etc. in parallel and contrary motion.

Here’s a sprinkling, with a staccato flight of fancy following a legato stream of notes in G minor:

Now, four-note chords rolled out as arpeggios in G minor, starting with CHORD BLOCKING. (We start by “shaking these out,” setting “patterns” through a sequence of chord inversions)

G Bb D G, Bb D G Bb, D G Bb D, G Bb D G

To play these as broken chords requires a circular arm swing and supple wrists. It’s not brute strength or power that are needed, but instead, a finessed, artful, motion that includes a “roll” into each arpeggiated figure as the wrist is pliant and “dips.” Locking up elbows, wrists, and arms impedes fluidity. A go with the flow “feeling” and natural, relaxed breaths make the escapade across the keyboard a delightful one.

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Piano Technique: chord playing with a supple wrist and natural, infused long breaths (Burgmuller’s “Ave Maria” as example)

Ilyana, 9, explored the supple wrist entry into chords at Forte (Big) and piano (soft) dynamic levels as the warm-up segment of her lesson. In addition she did some breathing exercises to give life and lift to her sonorities.

More about chord playing and the singing tone:

Playing through Burgmuller’s “Ave Maria” (from the Op. 100 Twenty-Five Progressive Pieces) on the singing nightingale Haddorff: