Guest post by Simon Nicholls (adapted from advice to an adult pupil, already in the profession as teacher and player) There is no such thing as a ‘note-bashing stage’. Rather, as soon as one or two notes are involved, there should be music being made; even if it’s slow-motion, dry, nothing like the finished article will… Continue reading Some elements of effective practice
There are certain habits of piano practice which are ingrained in us from an early age and which have become a form of “piano dogma”. As a young piano student we may accept these practices without question, trusting in our teacher’s seniority and assertion that these activities are “good for you”, that they will make you “a better pianist”.
If we understand how to adapt specific skills, to make them relevant to the repertoire we are currently working on, we can make the learning process less arduous and more rewarding, while also continuing to build on existing skills and develop new ones.
JJ writes: Hi Fran - I'm having trouble playing the tremolos in Beethoven's Tempest Sonata (1st movement) evenly and at speed, with L and R hands well synchronised. Have tried practising slowly, etc. but still having difficulty. Hi JJ - These passages are tricky technically and artistically as you don't want the triplets to have… Continue reading Coffee Shop Questions: Beethoven ‘Tempest’ Sonata
Being confined to one's home for the duration of the coronavirus crisis may be an excellent reason to engage in more piano practice, but you may have questions arising out of your practising. In this new series, inspired by teaching sessions and conversations (in a London coffee shop) with a friend from my London piano… Continue reading Coffee Shop Questions – a new series
In the second of my videos produced for Casio Music and Pianist Magazine, I discuss some basic aspects of technique including staccato and legato https://youtu.be/c-ms3yz9-r4 New e-book from Graham Fitch - Practising the Piano: an introduction to practice strategies and piano technique. Available free from Casio Music
Technique lies at the foundation of piano playing, and good technique can serve the beginner student right through to advanced level.
This, the third book by Murray McLachlan's for Faber Music on piano technique, takes a more leftfield approach to piano playing and piano technique, tackling esoteric, psychological and philosophical issues such as visualisation techniques, inspiration, musicians' health and well-being (including dealing with performance anxiety), career development, and encouraging independent learning and interpretative decision-making. This non-traditional… Continue reading The Psychology of Piano Technique – Murray McLachlan
A couple of useful new resources for pianists, teachers and the parents of piano students which have come my way recently. The first, Piano Exercises, is a DVD by Mikael Pettersson, a Swedish concert pianist based in the UK. The exercises were created by Mikael to help pianists develop their technique to play without tension… Continue reading New resources for pianists, piano teachers and parents
Purrfect Practice was created by Australian piano teacher Jackie Sharp. Her new Technique Trainer 1 is intended as the first volume in a three-part series of e-books of technical and musical exercises that develop the many skills necessary for achieving excellence and artistry at the piano. With an engaging and accessible design, Technique Trainer covers… Continue reading Purrfect Practice ‘Technique Trainer’