I. Dust off your instrument.
2. Watch some YouTube concerts featuring pianists playing the music you love.
3. Find your metronome.
4. Read some inspiration material about folks like yourself who have succeeded.
5. Start noodling on the piano. Review some old favorites. Explore some new music. Dream.
6. Plan practice time in your schedule to succeed.
The happiest students know what they want, why they want it. They've made time for it, and stuck with it. Come join us.
It depends on what musical skills and experiences you already have.
It depends on what expectations you have. If your desires are modest, yes you can likely make some simple music from watching online videos. If some level of musical competency is desired, online videos are a trickier proposition.
Why? No feedback.
Teachers give feedback, sequence learning material, correct technique, inspire when the going gets tough, and make the journey fun through collaborative learning.
If that sounds like what you need, call me. I can help.
One interpretation among many possibilities. I marked the right hand legato and the left hand quarter notes staccato. These would be 'wet' staccato, or "portato". Slightly detached, but marked to give the music some forward momentum.
James Maddox present another lovely rendition closely resembling the edit above. He places less emphasis on the broken chords in measures 9 and 16 though.
Short, charming, relatively easy, level 5 and 6. What can a harpsichordist teach pianists? How to pace the music, notice the subtle flexibility to the flow of the music.
In the 2nd video the performer talks about the works.
Theory is fun. I'd forgotten how interesting and satisfying writing a fugue can be.
The performance is a computer rendition. To be playable with two hands I'd need to transpose the left hand starting at mm. 8., but then it wouldn't sound as rich.
If you would like some help with music theory call me.
Planning an interpretation
I can help you understand the plan my student and I created prior to "practicing" the piece.
So much planning goes on before we play.
Planning an interpretation
You play primo.
Learn your part, put on headphone or ear buds and play along. Remember YouTube videos can be slowed if required.
So many students are seeking the "secret", the secret that sends them to the front of the line.
Alas, there is more than one secret. And they are all hiding in plain sight.
Here are a few of the secrets:
1. Practice technique with a metronome.
2. Master theory appropriate to your level, including harmony.
3. Read music history, knowing the repertoire and the historical context from whence it comes.
4. And most importantly, ear training. Connecting the ear with the hands.
Known by some students as the boring bits. Recognized by professionals as the exciting bits.
Below is a video of the Duke Ellington student staple, Satin doll. The video is cued for the B section or middle 8. Listen to the trombone "lick" played when the chord progression lands on F. Figure is out. It is in the key of F, starts on A. Now check out the video I've made on what to do with this lick.
If I can help, call me.
www.finchcocks.com/Finchcock Piano Courses UK
One week of piano among other pianists with 1st rate tutors, food, and wine.
Click above for more inf.
4 hours of practice: All joy, no grinding.
Top 5 tips for practicing any musical instrument
If you would like some help, call me.
One of my students is working at the early advanced stage of Classical piano. This week Chopin Waltz in b minor and Gnossienne #6 by Satie. Sophisticated music.
She is a retired executive whose career spanned the globe. She is an avid concert goer. As in, more than a concert a week.
At the end of class I complemented her on her playing and knowledge of the music, it's context, and style. She was slightly taken back. She quickly explained that she has friends who are so much more sophisticated and nuanced in their appreciation of classical music. (One wrote liner notes for a major classical music label, one was a critic if I recall correctly as well.)
I pointed out to her that she has learned more than she knew through those friendships. She recalled the after concert socializing where great debates on the merits of the performance.
Furthermore, decades of concert going at the great halls of the world leaves a mark. A significant mark.
How I Prepare to Learn Or Teach A New Piece of Music: Haydn Sonata in C And Bourrée in F By Telemann
When I take on a new piece of music of any complexity I will go through some or all the following steps. My goal is to have a clear artistic impression of the piece before I begin.
1. Compare the different scores available to me.
2. Seek out professional recordings.
3. Print the music as I will be marking it up.
4. Study the form and phrasing of the work. Sometimes, as in the Telemann I will mark in the phrasing.
5. I will consider the era in which it was written for clues on possible interpretations.
6. I translate any unfamiliar terms I find in the score.
7. I might consult other sources to explore the style and era of its creation. For the Sonata in C, I enjoyed re-reading the section on Haydn ornaments in the book below.
8. I will listen to multiple professional performances and mark on the score ideas of interest. I often will slow down a recording to hear how the artist plays their ornaments.
9. I might consult with a colleague or my piano coach as well.
In short, I will have a clear set of ideas, those I discovered and my own, to explore as I now start to "learn" the piece. I will share these with my students.
If I can help you discover intriguing world of classical music, please call me.
Bach's WTC would be one of the 2 music books I would take with me if I was to be exiled to an island.
Listen to great music. A musical truism: "we are who we listen to".
Try this on your next new piece.
How do I become a great pianist?
An honest question if a tiny bit naïve. If you are in a great hurry, it is going to be difficult. If you are looking for a “hack” or some shortcut, I don’t know any.
For centuries pianists have followed a standard set of proven practices.
I'm available to help and encourage you on your journey. Just call me.
Acquiring fluency in the “language” of Classical Music
First: We all play what we hear in our heads. Second: Beautiful music is “heard” in our heads and our hands obey.
What we hear...
What we “hear” in our mind is a combination of experience, education, and reflection. Experience includes all the listening opportunities we’ve had in life. (My advice is start early) When the our listening experiences are linked to a moment of high emotional arousal: a concert trip with a beloved family member, attending a concert with a date, the impression is going to last. Impassioned listening I call it. For links to studies click this sentence.
Education is musical appreciation, music theory studies, ear training, analysis, and score study. Sophisticated music does not give up her charms easily. You must work for it. Piano students too often want to skip this stuff and get right to the good stuff. Believing that the score tells you all you need to know to create a beautiful performance is an unfortunate fallacy in piano education. It is just a bare minimum. Artistic insight and performance go way beyond the ink.
Reflection needs to be deliberate. Another form of deliberate practice. It is listening with intent in the performance of a great artist and ourselves. Reading biographies, autobiographies, listening to podcasts, watching YouTube interviews, and concerts. Asking ourselves, “what is going on here?” “How did they do it?”
What we can execute...
What we can execute is all about deliberate practice, time, patience, and access to resources including teachers.
Now go practice,
1. Try to finish level 6 theory, it will really help us to communicate as musicians and build your understanding of the music you play.
2. Summer is a good time to explore music history. A good introduction for classical piano students is found on Audible.ca https://www.thegreatcourses.com/courses/the-23-greatest-solo-piano-works.html check www.audible.com I found it there for a really fair price.
3. YouTube score watching; paying attention to one element at a time: articulations , dynamics, tempo
4. General piano skills
If I can help you, please call and reserve a future spot. I am now taking reservations of summer 2020 and fall 2020.
The ability to discriminate these individual elements will help you play more expressively.
Here is an exercise:
Ear training gives you the ability to conceptualise what you hear, nothing more. There are countless phone apps, YouTube videos, and social media hustlers, and books promising results in short order. Unless you are in possession of perfect pitch and deep prior experiences listening to music, this will take some time. I am 48 years in. I am still working on it.
Ear Training for Classical Musicians
If I can help you, call me.
Nahre Sol provides a concise explanation of this phenomenon. Until the 19th century improvisation was expected from musicians of "classical" music. From cadenzas in Mozart to repeats in Baroque dance suites musicians and audiences alike expected and eagerly anticipated the performer's flights of fancy.
I'm pleased to report young musicians day are much more open to improvising in classical music than are musicians of my generation.
I'd be pleased to show you how to improvise in both the Baroque and Classical style. Just ask.
Nahre Sol spends too little time explaining her practice time breakdown: Composition, improvisation, repertoire, technique, study.
Even though Bach left us with this, in performance there are nuances to consider. Tempo will one modifier of what we see above.
Check out this article from Strad Magazine for further details and explanations.
You've got to learn your instrument. Then, you practice, practice, practice. And then, when you finally get up there on the bandstand, forget all that and just wail.
I'm a professional pianist and music educator in West Toronto Ontario. I'm also a devoted student and teacher of the drums.