I often enjoy a splurge of self-produced technique videos to assist my teaching, and to clarify my latest insights. This week I examined Staccato playing, using weight transfer for dynamic variation, as I employed a legato "floating arm" as a model for snipping out a stream of well-connected, scale-wise detached notes. In this undertaking, I'd… Continue reading Piano Technique Tutorials abound this week!
Rina may not know the words "pentascales" and "tenths," but she has the intelligence to notice when her fingers move up and down together, playing the same notes an "octave" apart. With a sound knowledge of the music alphabet in both directions, she has good cognitive reinforcement. (She also knows "running notes" or 8ths, "long… Continue reading Growing piano technique in baby steps: Rina, 5, advances to hands together five-finger positions (adding in 10ths)
The playground as music teacher applies: My brood of students and I enjoy the romp through a set of parallel thirds within a five-finger position. In our escapade, we usually dance through the Major and parallel minor tonalities. Interplay, back and forth always helps. It allows the teacher to model physical ingredients of a buoyant… Continue reading Piano Technique: Reeling off parallel thirds in staccato (with a trampoline effect)
"The Return" from the composer's Twenty-Five Progressive Pieces, Op. 100, is ear-catching. Like an Offenbach opera replete with an Overture, it delights in a set of lighthearted staccato chords that spill into a passionate MINOR sequenced interlude, setting the heart afire. Extinguished by the revisit of Eb Major punctuations, the music drifts off by authentic… Continue reading Burgmuller’s “The Return”–like a light opera, with interspersed drama (videos)
Claudia, 11, and I do a 20-minute warm-up before she tackles repertoire at her weekly lesson. Today I snatched two routines that might help others with the time-honored, upper arm roll, supple wrist, and elbow swing. Just my bias showing about technique and what I favor in its development. I've presented this one before, but… Continue reading Piano Technique: Two nifty warm-up routines, one loopy, the other for zig-zaggers
In two videos, I flesh out the need for a rolling forward wrist motion in playing the last movement of Clementi's well-known Sonatina in C, vivace. In addition, a 3/8 meter designation in rapid tempo requires the "feeling" of ONE impulse per measure not three. And this sense of ONENESS suggests CIRCLES of motion which… Continue reading Piano Technique: More wrist-forward rolling motion in Sonatina by Clementi Op. 36 no. 1 Vivace (Videos)
Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to meet a new adult piano student who had studied for a few years. Besides having this basic, preliminary information, I had no other tangible clues about her level of playing. The suspense of not knowing what music she would bring was lifted when two contrasting era works… Continue reading The very first lesson with a new Intermediate or advanced piano student: thinking creatively on your feet
I put into "practice" one of Trifonov's recommendations, as I mentored a second year piano student this evening. We started the lesson by playing "happy" and then "angry" consecutive staccato thirds. ("Hopping" from Dozen a Day) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VaGlz5pKDZI Eventually after completing our scale and other technical routines, we applied the emotion shifts to the opening of… Continue reading Piano Technique: Exploring contrasting emotions when practicing a piece (as Daniil Trifonov, pianist, recommended in his videotaped interview)