Sunday, September 26, 2010

Glenn Gould piano technique

"Guerrero was an advocate of a technical discipline known as finger tapping. Apparently, the idea came to him while watching a young boy dancing in a Chinese circus. Guerrero spoke to the boy’s trainer, who demonstrated his teaching routine: he moved the child’s passive limbs into the desired positions, which the boy would then replicate, trying to maintain the feeling of relaxation. Adapting the technique to the piano, Guerrero taught his students to hold one hand in a relaxed position on the keyboard, lightly touching the keys. With the other hand, the student would tap a fingertip enough to depress the desired key. The mechanical action of the key springing up would lift the finger back into place. The idea was to teach the fingers to play with a minimum of effort and no excess lift."  For Glenn Gould, Form Followed Fingers

I LOVE Glenn Gould! - A true artist, he stand up for his beliefs, regardless if ANYONE EVER AGREES or not with him and mind you, I certainly respect his interpretations and cannot wait to listen to one of them - and no, I do not always agree, but we discuss his interpretations in length.

The amazing thing is, I teach a similarly relaxed hand. I do not suggest to sit so low as Glenn Gould demonstrates, I also do not suggest a "dry Baroque sound" at all times - besides Baroque sound should not always be "dry" - often very rich and singing with a Clavichord brightly singing sound. On rare occasions - in order to show / demonstrate a relaxed physical motion - I let my students drape their hand over mine and they get a "feeling" of how the motion "feels" that I am trying to convey - and it usually works very nicely. We always work scales / chords - cadences and arpeggios, shaping a relaxed and beautiful meaningful sound. And we (my students) can play beautifully and accurately very early on, growing into advanced repertoire quickly. I have two students perform in the Bach Complete Works Competition next week and wish them well, preparing conscientiously in the next 8 days. It is not easy to keep youngsters focused, but that is all part of developing maturity and follow through.
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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Play Piano in All Keys Scales Chords Cadences Arpeggios Fingering Charts

Finally, this far with my videos. They are my first introductions on the piano books online. At least a start, the next ones will show improvements.
Scales, Chords / Cadences, Arpeggios - this book made life so much easier as a teacher getting students through the difficult scales, chords, arpeggios disciplines. We are getting rock solid fingering and actually quite good technique even with low to moderate practice time. Most teachers either hand draw similar charts or resort to note scales on the grand staff. The only question remains: "How quickly do you get 4 octave scales?" I can only say, that it is almost impossible to learn scales, chords - cadences, arpeggios with notes, unless a child practices literally hours a day and acquires the note and scale knowledge that way. But most of my students only practice average 20 - 45 minutes a day. And even here, I can see their progress.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Play Piano in All Keys Scales Fingering Charts - video introduction on youtube

My first youtube video introducing my Major and Minor charges book. This manual comes in very handy when learning scales for the very first time. This book also comes in very handy when preparing for an exam and my students use this book until their piano Highschool diploma.
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Saturday, September 4, 2010

Working on videos

Just wanted to let everyone know that I am working on recording videos, please watch for those. I am finally getting very close with my sound tests. Maybe tomorrow.
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Thursday, September 2, 2010

The importance of a solid piano foundation for any creative composer

I thought of taking the time and commenting on the importance of a solid piano playing foundation for creative composers.  Many students come to me as child proteges writing their own music but NO PIANISTIC SKILLS or tonal foundation. This is a heart break time after time. These creative geniuses are 12 - 14 years old, sometimes semi professional, and no technique to fall back on. Quite amazing that they can actually play their own songs which are often quite difficult to play! 
Time after time, have I tested these fingering charts. The complete manual provides giant, easy to read fingering charts for All Major, parallel harmonic, melodic and natural minor scales. No note reading skills are required. The schematic of black and white keys, with accurate finger numbers and note labels is all you will ever need to work technique correctly.  Working technique off fingering charts is the logic way to go about practicing scales foundation: do not bother struggling withe note deciphering while working those fingers. Learn to sight read with sight reading books and learn technique with the Play Piano in All Keys fingering charts. This is your very logic approach.
Also included are all I-IV-V Major and Minor Triads, inversions and cadences and all Arpeggios (Root, 1st, 2nd inversions)
Once any pianist has initially mastered the basic Major, Harmonic, Melodic, Natural minors scales, the cords / cadences and Arpeggios, there is only a "better" with repetitions. But the foundation has been set accurate and that is of greatest importance.
And if you are one of the many adult students, who wants to advance and finally "get the scales and technique", this book is a must. All keys including black keys are included.
Be creative and learn to play in all keys.