My friend and colleague, LaDona Ahenda expands upon my list of Popular Hand & Technical Exercises Books with this three-part series.
Are you stuck between studying for tests and logging in much needed time on practicing technique? Try this idea that came up during one of my lessons last week.
This popped into my head while I was teaching a lesson last week. I asked my student to play her Grade 8 piano technique by going through the Circle of Fifths. Not only was it quickly evident that my student needs to review her key signatures, but it also was clear that she was used to practicing her technique in a certain order. However, during a music examination, you have no clue which of the required technical elements you will be asked to play. It is important to mix things up regularly.
In this piano lesson tutorial, I demonstrate what how my student practiced her piano technique using the Circle of Fifths approach.
Try as I might, some students just loathe practicing their technical exercises. You know the ones - scales, chords and arpeggios. I must admit that when I was their age, I wasn't too keen on practicing them either. However, if you want to "level up" and/or ace this portion of your music examination, you can't get away from it. You have to practice them. A lot.
If I have to ask my students to play a scale more than once in a lesson, I ask my them to play to play it differently. For instance, if a student played it legato the first time, they could play it staccato the second time.
But why stop there? Change the rhythm and make it sound like a real tune. Zig-zag back and forth so it doesn't sound like a scale. Change where you place the accents so that it's on every fifth note instead of every second or third.
The bottom line is that some degree of repetition is needed, so why not make it interesting for yourself?
With exams coming up, is it any wonder us teachers are asking to hear those pesky scales, chords and arpeggios more often?
Here are some useful links/articles to help improve your piano technique:
Feel free to suggest other sites as well.
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