Tag Archives: Piano Technique

Top Ten Technical Tools

… for first-year piano students. One more list to make me feel completely inadequate.* This is from a workshop by the indomitable Ingrid Jacobson Clarfield that I attended almost 20 years ago. I get depressed when I realize how many of … 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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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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It’s all about the brain

After looking at numerous incentive programs, and rejecting many because they’re more complicated than I’d like them to be, I’ve decided to use Jennifer Fink’s This is Your Brain… on Music! (Pianimation) I like this because : (1) It’s easy. It’s … 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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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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Advanced Technique Workshop

The idea of practicing technique gets a bad rap. So why do it? In Canada, where we have a firmly entrenched exam system with required technical elements, the main reason seems to be to pass that component. We might acknowledge … Continue reading

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Pondering the Thumb and the Value of Words

Typical scale sounds:  Clunk-2-3-Clunk-2-3-4-Clunk-2-3-Clunk-2-3-4-5. That heavy thumb is hard to get under control. Students so often play as if they have one straight bone from the tip of the thumb to the elbow. They actually seem surprised when I show … Continue reading

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Technique Worksheet – Grade 4 RCM

From time to time I add different grades to my collection of worksheets. Feel free to use this RCM gr. 4 worksheet (2008) 

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