Category Archives: Technic

… and don’t blame the page-turner

“What is it to be musical? You will not be so, if your eyes are fixed on the notes with anxiety and you play your piece laboriously through; you will not be so if, supposing that someone should turn over … Continue reading

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In the Technique Box – Part 3

In the box marked Advanced: 1. Essential Daily Exercises for Piano (Boris Berlin, pub Alfred). My go-to book for transfer students; a systematic approach to fixing or developing every aspect of technique. Organized in 20 sets (increasing in difficulty) of 14 … Continue reading

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Let the kids do the work

Performance classes this week. Focus: a good hand position. I harp about this week in and week out. Take pains to make sure they’re sitting correctly at the lesson with strict instructions to go home and do likewise. Give all … Continue reading

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In the Technique Box – part 2

Intermediate technique books sitting on my shelf. May or may not ever be used … 1. Technic is Fun, Books One and Two  (compiled, edited and arranged by David Hirschberg, pub. Alfred). Classic studies that cover a wide range of … Continue reading

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In the Technique Box* (part 1)

There are three boxes of technique books sitting on the shelf, organized according to the level: Elementary, Intermediate, and Advanced. These are used books. Stuff that I pull out for students as needed. My beginner and elementary students use the … Continue reading

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Every truly cultured music student knows…

… You must learn your scales and your arpeggios. And how to make the learning of those scales and arpeggios less of a drudgery? I have a list – first posted in April 2011 – of a few creative ways … Continue reading

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Chromatic Scale Fingerings

Students love them. The chromatic scales. Once they get that 1-3-1-3 fingering going they can whip up and down the piano playing every single note at an uncontrollable, unstoppable speed. It’s even more fun doing them hands together in contrary … Continue reading

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Small Hands

I’m no expert on this topic. My hands, while not large, are not so small that I can’t get around a lot of stuff (I can reach a 9th comfortably enough). I do somehow end up with a lot of … Continue reading

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Jaws and Trills

Friday night, with my daughter, I watched Jaws for the first time in my life. It came out when I was in my teens and simply everybody went to see it – standing in line-ups that went around the block … Continue reading

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The big gun

Week 3 of the summer teaching schedule. Week 3 of the intense “let’s improve your reading” campaign with one of my early advanced students – blogged about here. Two weeks ago, in addition to what I blogged about I sent … Continue reading

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Burgmuller – Opus 105

Love it when I catch myself making the same mistakes that I bag at my students about! It keeps me grounded, and human, and laughing. Sight-reading my way through the “B”s I played through my collection of Burgmüller today – … Continue reading

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Arpeggio fingering chart

Once students reach the advanced level (grade 9), I get them to try a different arpeggio fingering for those all-white-note arpeggios. The first time I ran across it I thought it was the stupidest thing ever, but as it happens … Continue reading

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