Friday, 8 May 2015

An exercise to get you playing piano with one hand louder than the other

This post is about developing the skill of both hands playing at the same time with a different volume level in each hand.

Most piano music only shows one dynamic marking in the space between the treble and bass clef, suggesting it applies to both left hand and right, however it is rare that both hands should be played with exactly the same volume for an entire piece.  Bringing out the most interesting part of the piece and playing the other part/s softer is called achieving balance between the hands.   This is a necessary skill if you want to create an interesting, musical and enjoyable performance for your audience.

Monday, 2 February 2015

40 Pieces a Year Challenge

There has been a lot of hype among piano teachers over the past few years about the benefits of students learning at least 40 pieces a year.

Traditionally, many piano teachers have had their students learn only 3 new pieces a year, which they play at an exam at the end of the year, only to throw another 3 pieces a grade higher at the student the next year.  

Not only does this approach near bore the student to death, it also doesn't help them one iota in becoming independent musicians who can learn new piano pieces by themselves.  It's the equivalent of giving 3 novels to someone who is wanting to learn how to read a new language and saying "good luck with that!  Oh, and have fun!"

Monday, 1 December 2014

Suzuki piano playlists

ABRSM Playlists

Trinity College London piano playlists

Piano Adventures playlists (including PlayTime, FunTime, ChordTime etc)

AMEB playlists