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A Fear-less, Horizontal Approach to Staccato playing

Most piano students become DIS-connected when asked to play staccato. Their full blown trepidation wedded to DETACHMENT is so conspicuously on display during scale and arpeggio playing that a teacher must first devise mental cues to bring the student down to earth, in a comfortably secure traction with the keys. It's no surprise then, that… Continue reading A Fear-less, Horizontal Approach to Staccato playing

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A Domenico Scarlatti Sonata that enables Finger and Forearm Staccato

It's been decades since my beloved N.Y.C. piano teacher, Lillian Freundlich bestowed upon me the gift of Domenico Scarlatti Sonatas. And at the time, (while I was a student at the New York City H.S. of Performing Arts) I had no idea that those she had selected were permeated with the basics of technique bonded… Continue reading A Domenico Scarlatti Sonata that enables Finger and Forearm Staccato

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A Teacher/Student fueled discovery about Staccato playing

I never cease to be amazed by a mutual discovery process that's ongoing between me and my adult students. Without our learning partnership, we would not have periodic awakenings that feed our reciprocal musical development. Case in point, is the attainment of Staccato refinement in its most crisp and animated form. In the past month,… Continue reading A Teacher/Student fueled discovery about Staccato playing

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Piano Technique: Psychological and physical approaches to staccato (Video)

Today's romp in F# minor (melodic form) brought new awakenings in the universe of bouncy staccato through scales and arpeggios--(in big Forte projection, followed by a soft, piano range rendering) Within the psychological universe where mental images abound, catchwords like "THINKING UP" through rapid fire 32nds, kept the notes percolating without falling down FLAT with… Continue reading Piano Technique: Psychological and physical approaches to staccato (Video)

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Staccato scales: Staying on the PLANE without a bumpy ride

Most students become very disconnected when traveling through a staccato scale so their journey from lift-off to landing is often bumpy. In the E minor Natural form, for example, a redundant E, F# occurring in every octave will fool a player into thinking he's got to brace for ELEVATION that makes his hand jerk forward… Continue reading Staccato scales: Staying on the PLANE without a bumpy ride

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Piano Technique: Staying CONNECTED while playing staccato

I've picked the B Major Scale with 5 sharps distributed through double and triple black note sequence, to demonstrate wrist, forearm, and finger staccato. In these forays through detached notes, I emphasize how to stay "in touch" and not lose a basic connection to threads of notes. Many ingredients contribute to the creation of a… Continue reading Piano Technique: Staying CONNECTED while playing staccato

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Piano Technique: balance and bearings on the black notes (Video)

One of my adult students confided that her five-finger warm-up in F# Major made her feel shaky and insecure. "It's like I'm going to slip off the key when I play my 5th finger," (pinky)--C# (Notes in F# Major penta-scale position are F# G# A# B C#) Such a distress call like this one stimulates… Continue reading Piano Technique: balance and bearings on the black notes (Video)