Category Archives: Technic

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 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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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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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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Bach, Bartok, Brahms, Bortkewicz, Burgmuller, Busoni, Buxtehude

Having completed all the As in my stash of unread music (one volume, 5 pieces of Albeniz), it’s time to move on the the Bs. This will take me a while. I’ve already sight-read through or performed or taught a … Continue reading

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No advantage for lefties

Almost everyone struggles more with the left hand (LH) than the right hand (RH) – especially in technical passages, and especially when the LH line is descending, moving from the stronger to the weaker part of the hand, “backwards” in … Continue reading

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Technique Plan

I remember hearing Edward Parker, author of Piano Pedagogy: A Practical Approach, say the following at a workshop a few years ago: “The only thing worse than a bad technique plan is no plan at all.” For the first few … Continue reading

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No Warm-up? Really?

Stephen Hough, concert pianist by night and writer of things musical, theological and all sorts of things, blogs for The Telegraph (in the U.K.). I stumbled upon a series of practice tips that he wrote fairly recently. One is his … Continue reading

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