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 […]

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 […]

Piano Performance With(out) Fear: The Power of Yoga

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The practice of Yoga may provide an answer to a widespread problem among musicians. That problem is performance anxiety or stage fright. One in four musicians use Beta-blockers to improve their live performances. For some musicians, anxiety symptoms can be so debilitating that they lower the quality of performance and lower marks resulting from examinations. In […]

You Must Sing with Your Fingers

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Nearly all music has vocal qualities except for some styles of contemporary music. Often when playing a passage on the keyboard we fail to recognize the natural vocal inflections. We become preoccupied with coordinating our fingers and forget what we are doing musically. Finger singing is an exercise to develop a cantabile (singing) style of playing. Chopin […]

Is the Bosendorfer better than the Steinway?

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Hungarian pianist Andras Schiff appeared at Koerner Hall in February with a program consisting of the final piano sonatas by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert. He played this concert on a Bosendorfer. This is noteworthy as at least locally, the majority of the concerts are played on a Steinway. An audience member made the following statement at intermission. […]