The miracle of technology allows a micro-review of a student's physical relationship to the keyboard, magnifying problems that need thoughtful remedy. Today, I felt akin to a radiologist examining x-rays in great detail, looking for areas of concern, if not glaring pathology. A student whom I teach Online, was having difficulty playing a D Major… Continue reading Piano Teaching: Diagnosis and Treatment in Cyber
When playing a three-note (root, third, fifth) arpeggio over a spread of 3-4 octaves, the ROLLING motion that permeates a Legato rendering in triplets, can nicely snip into a buoyant staccato, if the arm, wrist and fingers are unimpeded by tension. I've found the wrist, in particular, to be pivotal in sculpting a satisfying legato… Continue reading Piano Technique: A Legato to staccato arpeggio with “rolls and snips”
My two J's, back-to-back adult pupils, had a rollicking time practicing their arpeggios from legato to staccato. Both had epiphanies about wrist, forearm, and finger staccato in their transitions from whirly, swirly playing to crisp releases. For J(2) "weeping willow" arms allowed a stream of uninterrupted funneled energy that fueled his C Major romp over… Continue reading Two Adult Piano Students have an Arpeggio fun fest!
One of my wise colleagues tipped me off about moving toward the piano when playing scales and arpeggios in contrary motion. After trying it, I integrated the leaning forward motion into my own practicing and naturally, it trickled down to my students in the lesson environment. Here's a demonstration using the E minor arpeggio in… Continue reading Piano Technique Tips: Leaning toward the piano in contrary motion
The scale of D minor (Harmonic form) feeds nicely into the study of Bach's Invention 4, BWV 775, and within this Baroque inspired universe, Alton, (Life Begins at 77) continued his musical journey. First my play through of the Two-Part Invention http://youtu.be/jZ5jbiLUhHQ A capsulized compositional analysis http://youtu.be/LTtM2DsJsk8 And a Summary of lesson goals for the… Continue reading Building a piano lesson around J.S. Bach Invention 4 (d minor)
F# Major, from a certain perspective, happens to be one of the easier scales to play because it falls into patterns of triple black and double black keys with thumbs meeting in between. In fact, both hands have mirror fingers on the black notes. That's why piano teachers will often introduce the F# Major scale… Continue reading A Romp through F# Major scales and arpeggios
I uploaded two videos today that focus on practicing strategies for playing brisk paced arpeggio (G Major). The first is an after hours tutorial that I recorded by FACETIME SCREEN RECORD. The screen, framed by Millennium technology art nouveau, features my Arius YDP 141 digital piano as its centerpiece. The second video sample is a… Continue reading Piano Technique: Picking up Arpeggio Speed with blocked and unblocked note groupings