Tag Archives: piano technique

A London piano student fine tunes her F# Major scales and arpeggios (staccato and legato)

Yu has been my Skype student for a few years now and she’s made big gains in producing a singing tone with supple wrists, relaxed arms, and hand/finger weight transfer. Today she assiduously practiced her F# Major Scale and Arpeggio, … Continue reading

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Piano Technique: Remediating peak octave scale paralysis (Staccato)

Choking up is probably the best description of what often happens to final scale octaves and their turnaround. Students get anxious at the terminus, and tend to crowd notes as if they’re racing to the finish line, when in fact, … Continue reading

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Boris Berman: How to connect with the music after over-practicing

I think Maestro Berman said it well, yet from my own experience, over-practicing is less a problem than failing to listen attentively through every phase of learning a composition. If a student does not fine tune each repetition, but considers … Continue reading

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Piano Technique: Playing LEGATO can be a drag!

One of my favorite verbal prompts to students who have a choppy approach to scales and arpeggios, is: “drag” your fingers from note note–“feel” the weight transfer with imagined resistance. I often talk about flowing “vowels” not consonants through an … Continue reading

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Stay LONGER with a piece for higher levels of learning and awareness

All too often piano students give up on a piece after so many weeks of exposure, thinking the fingering is settled, the beats are well-measured, and the notes have fallen into place. At this juncture, a Big STOP SIGN must … Continue reading

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Piano Technique: Trills and the vocal model

Joyce Di Donato, “lyric-coloratura mezzo-soprano,” is my model for trilling. In an embedded you tube video, the opera singer emphasizes the undulating character of a beautifully executed trill that leans on the upper note. (Too often pianists deliver a robotic … Continue reading

Posted in Shirley Kirsten, piano technique, classical music, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, piano blog, piano blogging, Joyce Di Donato, opera, piano trills, how to trill on the piano, vocal model for piano playing, W. A. Mozart, operatic trills | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Piano Technique: Playing scales without bumps or accents

It’s common for piano students to divide their scales into well-boxed rhythmic compartments, emphasizing the fundamental beat that interrupts a smooth flowing legato (connecting from note to note). Sometimes players are unaware of their reinforced “beat” counting impulses and need … Continue reading

Posted in adult piano instruction, adult piano lessons, arpeggios, blogmetrics, blogmetrics.org, imagination and piano technique, pianist, piano blog, piano blogging, piano instruction, piano lessons, piano teaching, piano technique, playing scales, scales, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, smoothing out piano technique | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment