Technique

Maestro's 2016/17 Studio Challenges - Part 1

Maestro's 2016/17 Studio Challenges - Part 1

This year, I made two big changes to Maestro's Challenges. The first is that I separated the Musician Survival Skills Challenges and the Music Moxie Challenges. The biggest change, however, is how my students and I are approaching technique. It's been a bit of a gamble, especially with the ones preparing for an exam, but it's paying off.

Time Saving Technique Practice Idea

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.

Curve Those Piano Fingers!

Is your piano teacher getting on your case about playing piano with flat fingers? Check out these tips courtesy of my fellow teachers (and friends), Katrina Thompson Fost and Melodie Archer: Finger Posture Tip #1: The Water Bottle Trick

If you squeeze the bottle too hard, you will have too much tension in your hand and forearm (not to mention, you'll get wet). This works well with an egg. Be brave and try it with a raw egg (you'll learn really quickly!).

Finger Posture Tip #2: The O's Game

This is an extension of the "Making O's" or "Making Eyeglasses" warm-up in the Piano Adventures books. Make an "O" and gently squeeze your finger and thumb together:

Then, test how firm your finger is pushing into your thumb by pushing on the curved finger - anywhere from the nail to the first knuckle is fine. If that finger collapses (goes flat), then you need to firm up your fingertips a little bit more.

You could even get a family member or friend to push on your curved finger. Go ahead a turn it into a bit of a game.