Today, my student L came to her piano lesson a little on the grumpy side. Blame it on her homework and group projects. We tried something today that was rather fun - we added a bit of passion to her technical exercises.
We focussed on two keys today - G major and its minor cousin E minor. We wound up staying in E minor since it sounds angrier. I asked her to play me some Angry Scales, Stressed Out Triads and Frantic Arpeggios. She was rather convincing in conveying her emotions of the day. The way she made her triads zigzag really sounded like a stressed out person running in one direction and rapidly turning to run the other way. Ditto for her arpeggios.
After venting her frustrations" through her technique, L's rendition of "Can You Feel the Love Tonight?" was sufficiently tender, "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" was perfectly boogie-ish, while Beethoven's "Ecossaise was positively perky.
Now I'm willing to bet that if I had her start with Can You Feel the Love Tonight?, it would have sounded like someone yelling.
I tried the same tactic with a few more students tonight to great success as I had quite a few students stressed out from homework. I think I'm going to give it a try with my own technical exercises.
At the end of L's lesson, I wished her well with her school projects and expressed my hope that within a few days, she'll be able to practice some Happy Scales, Excited Triads and Lazy Arpeggios.
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