Boring Dynamics

Music Without Dynamics is Booooring

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Dynamics (variation in loudness) is a common missing ingredient from piano performances. Without dynamic contrast, a pianist’s playing is lifeless and dull.  Adjudicators of festivals or exams frequently recommend to “use more dynamics”. Dynamics are often in place during rehearsal but absent during the performance. In this case, performance anxiety is the culprit. In other […]

motor learning and sleep

Motor Learning and Sleep: Can Quality Sleep Enhance Piano Practice?

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Daily practice punctuated by weekly lessons are time-honored traditions when learning to play the piano or any other musical instrument. Recent findings in neuroscience regarding motor learning and sleep support the wisdom of these traditions. It also helps us to understand a common experience. This experience is as follows. We sit down to practice a […]

stage fright

Managing Stage Fright: The Inner Game

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Stage fright, for some musicians, presents a difficult challenge. Musicians are very much on the edge when performing. One minor mishap can initiate a domino effect that can derail a performance. Add stage fright into this scenario and it will have the potential to hijack one performance after another. Often, this experience is disheartening, discouraging […]

Sculpture of the inner child

The Well-Tempered Piano Student: Free Your Inner Child

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Children can teach us an important lesson about the learning process. They do this by demonstrating the value of freeing our inner child. Typically, an adult piano student will spend fifty percent of their lesson time explaining how incompetent they are. On the other hand, when children encounter a difficulty they often giggle and laugh at themselves. Children […]