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 […]

Road sign that reads Reduce Speed Now which illustrates slow practice

Slow Practice: A Pianist’s Foundation

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One of our most important piano practice techniques is slow practice. In fact, it is our foundation. It is a useful tool for the beginner and the most seasoned virtuoso alike. To illustrate, in his book Speaking of Pianists, Abram Chasins describes a time he arrived for a lesson with Rachmaninov and overhead him practicing. Rachmaninov was practicing […]

Man using a stopping guester referring the stopping practice

Stopping Practice: A Method To Improve Quality Of Your Piano Practice

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“Think Ten Times and Play Once.” These are famous words from the renowned pianist and pedagogue Theodor Leschetizhy. Leschetizky was born in Poland in 1820 and was the head of the piano department and one of the founders of the St. Petersburg Conservatory of Music. In 1878 he settled in Vienna and began teaching there. Promising pianists flocked […]