Teacher Elleana: Piano Q&A

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Teacher Elleana: Piano Q&A

Postby ElleanaLiu » Sat Mar 30, 2013 2:29 am

I am Elleana, a professional piano teacher with many years of teaching experience.
I have started this thread to point out and discuss certain common issues that students have encountered while learning piano.
I hope that through this discussion with parents and students, I can assist you in rectifying these common issues.
Through the years, I have observed that the majority of the students here face the following issues:

1) The basics are very important: Playing the piano requires the strength used in the fingers, wrists, arms and shoulders to be in harmony.
The wrist is the point of intersection where the energy from the arm and the shoulder is transfered to the fingers.
Hence the wrist must be relaxed and flexible in order to regulate the speed and strength of playing according to the direction of the melody and mood of the piece.
Also, whether the wrist joints can stand firmly supported, affects the independence and liveliness of the fingers.
This in turn affects the sound from touching the keys, whether it is firm or liveless.
I realised many students bend their fingers, press on their fingers or collapse their fingers when playing.
This happens when the wrist joints is not supported as the wrists are either lazy or too relaxed.

2) Rythm is the essence of music. I find that most students are unable to maintain a constant speed while playing.
Hence grasping the rythm in your heart is one of the keys to playing a music piece well.

3) Emphasis on technique: The purpose of playing practice pieces is to train technique and the purpose of technique is to serve music.
Many students do not like playing music scales and practice pieces as they find it boring.
But whether you can play a song well depends on whether you practise your practice piece regularly.

4) Musicality is the soul of music, good musicality is a method of expressing music, you have experience it with your spirit.
Alot of students play music mechanically as though they are machines, without any inspiration. Music has moods, clauses, breath and depth of tone.
I usually tell my students that playing music is like telling a story, singing a song.

5) Establishing good sight reading, posture and fingering, can raise your effect and level of performance.
But many students neglect the importance of sight reading and fingering.
This is the result of not grasping firmly the basics during the initial stages when learning piano.

6) How much or how fast a piano student can progress depends on how hardworking the student is at practising and is key to improving piano skills.
I realise that students are either very passive while practising or simply do not practise at all.
They stutter while playing during revision. In the long run, this will result in a "negative cycle" as the more you do not practise, the worser you become when you play, and the more you play badly, the lesser you feel like practising.
In the end, this will prevent your progress in learning and thus result in giving up due to loss of interest.

If any of you encounter any difficulties when playing the piano or any queries regarding playing techniques, please feel free to contact me at 96348538 or email me at elleana@yahoo.cn or simply post your queries on this thread.
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ElleanaLiu
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