Beautiful music in motivating pieces

Why I love playing and teaching Ludovico Einaudi’s piano music – guest post by Maria Busqué

Ludovico Einaudi’s piano music is a delight to play. That aside, there are many advantages to teaching it. I’m still grateful to the person who first introduced me to his pieces.

Einaudi’s music is beautiful and unpretentious. It’s sincere, simple, and allows for a direct emotional connection. Why? Because it stems from improvisational work, fully open to the player’s fantasy. You can take the pieces as a starting point, a kind of “choose your own adventure”. Some of my students feel inspired, after playing a piece by him, to compose a new one exploring this style. That speaks for the openness of his work.

With teenage students, it’s especially important to keep the repertoire fresh, exciting, and relevant. This music is the perfect fit for all three, creating motivation out of itself.

There’s a reason why Einaudi’s music is so popular with students: It leaves them with a sense of accomplishment. He presents a few musical ideas, that he develops and varies. A genius move: students aren’t challenged every ten bars  and still can play beautiful long piano pieces.

Einaudi’s music prepares inexperienced players for long pieces and for other classical repertoire. They train rhythmic and technical aspects without the feeling of playing an etude.

As we know, piano players are expected to have a sense for harmony and structure. And you can never be too young to start. Einaudi’s music allows for straightforward musical analysis. His writing is very clear in that sense. I let students take a look at the whole piece. Which rhythmical patterns appear? These could be the indicators for the different sections. Basic analysis helps them gain a sense of structure and have it in mind when performing.

It’s a joy to play Einaudi’s works at first sight, discovering the emotion of the music as you go. You can just let him take you by the hand and explore together. And that’s really fun. And then, I keep coming back to those pieces of him which have touched my heart, and I can play them over and over again. Some of my favourites are: ‘Stella del Mattino, ‘I Giorni’, ‘Life’, ‘Run’, ‘Una Mattina’, ‘Divenire’, ‘Limbo’, ‘Bella Notte’.

We want to encourage in our students a love for sound and music as a means to self-expression. Einaudi’s works do that exactly, while at the same time bringing players forward pianistically. The perfect blend.

Maria Busque
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