Piano Performance and Technique


Piano performance and technique.

Not one pianist has the same hand or mind and even the greatest schools have to constantly adjust to every student. This is true for other subjects, and that is why I teach all arts and psychology for teachers in this way – adjusting to individual needs of the moment.

Back to piano, for a performer to be joyful and successful, in the sense that someone benefited from their performance – it is best to be calm and harmonious, while also keeping fingers light and hand relaxed. As you perform, important things are steady rhythm overall (including rubato – when you momentarily chance pace – be sure to come back). After rhythm, comes phrasing. As we talk we lower and raise our intonation, and people respond to a music that talks to them. So shape your sound by changes in dynamics and your emotional state. But the most simple and effective advise is make sure you like what you are performing. Not you get therapy and maybe express anger into music – that is not what I mean. Make it beautiful for yourself. Make it passionate and active so that you want to do your best after your music. Make it peaceful if it is a calmer music – find a way to inspire yourself by your performance first, and others will be sure to sense it – even subconsciously (this is known long ago and Rachmaninoff talked about it).

Next, technique. A tense arm is a limited arm. Spending time with warm environment, medium tempo, and heavy relaxed touch was taught to me by Dr. Nick Somov – who would insist on comfort before tempo. Trust, best to have the attitude of lots of time available. As hands relax they can lighten up (from lack of blockages and tension) and you would go so fast you never thought possible. The key to playing fast is of course playing fast, but it is also playing without rush or tension.

For you to be both expressive and relaxed have a sweet drink, like hot chocolate or coffee, have a nice snack before and during playing. Tell your body you are ok, this experience is safe. The body responds to care just like pets. Teach your body to love playing, not stress, first of all it is a live organism and it responds to tender care. Tell your body by giving it favorite food and drink while playing that you love playing, it is a joy – and muscles, which have neurons, will work better!

Happy practicing!

Dr. Nina Soyfer

skype naonanina

email: nina@iamschool.ca