Music Perception

Piano

The study of piano presents unique challenges to students at every age. The key to successfully learning to play piano and retaining that for one’s lifetime is to be consistent with practice, and to practice with intelligence. By “intelligent practice,” I mean not necessarily spending long hours repeating the material being learned until one happens upon playing it right. There are methods by which one can pinpoint the exact problem in a given portion of a song and devise a plan to fix it. While this may be more efficient, as a student advances in their learning, the songs will get longer and more complicated, thus requiring more time practicing. In lessons, I will show each student different ways of problem-solving so that they can have this in their arsenal when practicing alone. I also work with students on the best technique so that they will be unhampered in their playing, and devoid of injury which can result from poor technique.

Playing piano is not all about technique, however. It is a means to an end: to play in such as way as to move both the player and the listener. As the student matures I introduce ways of playing that go beyond just playing the right note at the right time with the right dynamic (volume). It is very important to cultivate the student’s own sense of musicality rather than impose mine upon them. Playing what someone else wants to say musically is no different than playing mechanically, in my opinion. The end result is that the student is left unable to express themselves through the medium of the instrument and the notes provided by the composer.

With these expressive techniques which were in common practice before the 20th century, the student will grow as a musician as well as a pianist.