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Piano Technique: Teaching a 9-year old Staccato and weight application–Think bouncing a basketball vs. ping pong ball tapping (Videos)

Ilyana has been studying piano for two years. Currently, she's working on various weight applications for staccato. I found that imaging a basketball being bounced vs. a ping pong ball being tapped, helped the student with her overall physical approach. The short video below illustrates. We ended up playing 8th notes, not being overly ambitious… Continue reading Piano Technique: Teaching a 9-year old Staccato and weight application–Think bouncing a basketball vs. ping pong ball tapping (Videos)

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Trills and Domenico Scarlatti (Video)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XyXvet9KrLc In a separate writing about crossed hands, large leaps, and other keyboard acrobatics, I'd discussed trills which permeate Domenico Scarlatti's music. Perhaps these precious ornaments evoked the gypsy wails in the surrounding Madrid countryside, or they were part of the performance practice of the Baroque period. I would hedge my bets that hunting horns,… Continue reading Trills and Domenico Scarlatti (Video)

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Piano Technique: Using a spring forward wrist, and arc motions for hand crossovers in Scarlatti Sonata in A, K. 113 (three videos)

Every so often I revisit a composition I've previously studied applying a different perspective. In Scarlatti's A Major Sonata, with its very demanding Allegrissimo tempo marking that makes the crossed hand sections seem impossibly difficult, I decided to parcel out pertinent measures in practice tempo. The goal was to inch up to a faster rendering… Continue reading Piano Technique: Using a spring forward wrist, and arc motions for hand crossovers in Scarlatti Sonata in A, K. 113 (three videos)

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Pianists and Injuries

You can't avoid it. Athletics are part of piano playing so if you abuse your hands, arms, wrists, let alone your fingers, you'll end up benched, like an overused relief pitcher. Yesterday, I pushed the envelope, practicing rapid fire repeated notes in Domenico Scarlatti's Toccata in D minor, well into the night. Ample streams of… Continue reading Pianists and Injuries

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Domenico Scarlatti Toccata in D Minor, K. 141: How to play rapid repeated notes, and make hand cross-overs easier (Videos)

I always return to a composition that never quite ripened into a desired tempo when I first learned it, with the intention of devising new strategies to improve my technique the second time around. In this endeavor I'll often study videos of world class performers to ascertain physical movements that might work for me which… Continue reading Domenico Scarlatti Toccata in D Minor, K. 141: How to play rapid repeated notes, and make hand cross-overs easier (Videos)

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What can you do with a Performance-Piano Degree?

Face the music! Most new Conservatory grads with fancy Bachelor of Music, Performance-Piano Degrees bound in leather must improvise when catapulted into the competitive job market. With only a tiny space on the world stage reserved for budding soloists, many aspiring concert pianists will teach privately, wait tables, babysit, or become high school choir accompanists.… Continue reading What can you do with a Performance-Piano Degree?

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Piano Technique: Big Leaps, Crossed Hands, and shifty eyeballs (with slow motion video replay)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZxNy1VeOjk up tempo: http://youtu.be/t-3D6-s5qok Be prepared to exercise your eyeballs minus head movements when tackling large leaps, especially those hand-over-hand acrobatics that are intrinsic to many of Domenico Scarlatti's sonatas. In the first video I've isolated a few of these jumps from Sonata K. 113 in A Major, demonstrating what I've found to be the… Continue reading Piano Technique: Big Leaps, Crossed Hands, and shifty eyeballs (with slow motion video replay)