Happy New Year, Mr. Hanon! And to all teachers, students, adult learners, colleagues, and those who enjoy playful patterns, ceremonial chords, and an adventurous Auld Lang Syne—fueled by Mr. Hanon’s first pattern in “The Virtuoso Pianist.” Charles Louis Hanon (1819−1900) has helped develop the technique of thousands of pianists through his patterned exercises in “The Virtuoso […]
Making O’s not only develops the fingertip at early levels, it can be used at advanced levels to align the arm and knuckle with the finger that plays. Join Dr. Faber for some interesting pointers.
Two things you might not normally think of together: autumn and… blooming flowers. But they pair very well when you’re thinking of new piano students. If you have students starting in our Piano Adventures Primer Level, you probably already know where this is going! “Round Hand Shape” is our Technique Secret No. 2, and “blooming flowers” […]
Best wishes to teachers, students, and parents as a new “back to school” season begins! This year our posts will be organized around a monthly theme. For September, the theme is Primer Level teaching. Every young piano student remembers the first lesson. It is such a privilege to introduce the magnificence of the piano—and some […]
Time to head off to the North Pole to check on the toy-packing and gift-wrapping. Some young people write letters with lists, and some might even try sending emails. But we’re going to hitch a ride for a little in-person inspection. And for that we need our thumbs! The thumb is such a useful, important […]
Most students dream of playing an as yet unattainable piece that represents what it means to be an artist at the piano. They imagine how they will sound when they can play such a famous composition. (Clair de Lune, perhaps?) And how do they get there? By beginning early with the very techniques needed to […]
In many places Autumn is the most beautiful season, with colourful leaves creating a kaleidoscope of whirling reds, yellows, rusts, and orange-browns, each with its own changing nuance as the days and weather shift. Nuance itself is a delicate word, implying subtlety and fine distinctions. And attention to playing with nuance can begin early. Yes, […]
Technique Secrets are the essential pianistic movements, gestures and touches — a scaffold of progressing skill development. We see wide variety in students in the type of music they wish to play, in the level of commitment they bring to practice, and in coordination and listening abilities. However, one thing we know for sure — […]
There is much to share with our beginning students. With limited lesson time, how do we maximize our results? Fortunately, the Primer Level presents three elements of pedagogy that have exponential value when taught in combination.
An essential concept of Level 1 is beginning articulation, specifically legato and staccato. These terms are so familiar to us as music teachers that we might overlook the importance of these touches in developing technique and musical expression. Perhaps you have noticed that there are no articulation marks at the Primer Level—no slurs and no […]