Categories
Piano

Learning to Love Arpeggios

I have no feel for the proportion of pieces in the piano repertoire that contain arpeggios, somewhere between ‘a significant number’ and ‘an awful lot’. As such, they’re absolutely necessary for any aspiring pianist to learn. But here’s the problem: within the framework of structured musical education, the early arpeggios are about as dry and […]

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Piano

A Couperin Christmas

I’ve been completely alone this Christmas: I haven’t spoken to another soul for four days. Although there have been occasional pangs of sadness (after drinking too much of the Japanese gin I found in the back of a kitchen cupboard), no work and no socials have allowed me unfettered piano practice. I’ve temporarily paused work […]

Categories
Piano

Live Classical Music Needs to Try Harder

I started listening to classical music at the same time I started playing the piano. Each fed the other: the more I played the more I wanted to listen, the more I listened the more I wanted to play. Not long after, I went to see my first live performance, a very charming pianist whose […]

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Piano

An Artistic Retrospective

Sometimes clawing my way up the piano learning curve gets tiresome and demoralising. Following my last post, I spent a lot of time and energy trying to perfect small passages in a couple of pieces and I needed a break. I needed to just play some music and feel slightly better about my piano-playing self. […]

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Piano

A Distinguished Performance

‘It is often perfection in little things which distinguishes the performance of the great pianist from the novice.’ I read that little snippet — a quote from Busoni — in James Francis Cooke’s book Great Pianists on Piano Playing. I haven’t read it all, but it’s out of copywright (I think) and you can download […]

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Piano

TERESA SAYS RELAX

Lack of talent and ill-discipline aside, the most significant challenge I face at the piano is my inability to relax. When faced with technically difficult sections, I often find my fine motor control consumed by creeping tension as I descend into the abyss of frustration, jabbing and clawing at the keys as I go, like […]