Here are five C-words that can help with this task.
1. Command. Scales, triads, chords, and arpeggios are not stand-alone exercises--they are building blocks for creating music, as any composer will tell you. Knowing how to play these musical building blocks will simplify the process of learning and understanding music you encounter. In addition, technique contains the seeds of piano playing's physicality such as finger strength, good fingering habits, finger crossing, arm weight, hand and arm stability, and the integration of these over time into an efficient playing setup. That scale passage in a Beethoven Sonata will be much easier to incorporate into your performance if you know you've already learned and mastered the relevant scale and its fingering.
|The Brown Scale Book For Piano. Scales, Chords and Arpeggios for Piano. Technique. Elementary-Advanced. Level: Grades 1-10. Book. 46 pages. Published by The Frederick Harris Music Company. (HS1) |
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2. Clarity. Have you heard a perfectly executed 4-octave arpeggio lately? They are becoming rarer and rarer these days, to the chagrin of many an RCM examiner. Spending time on these technical exercises can teach you to listen to the details of playing necessary for developing an acute sense of awareness that can allow you to be in the moment in all your playing.
3. Comfort. Technique isn't just about the accuracy game, but about incorporating a large number of physical concepts into a whole. Are you comfortable when you play? Where is the tension? Does anything hurt? Working with your teacher in solving these problems through technique can create a basis for a stable and workable playing setup when playing repertoire.
4. Creativity. A common myth about technique is that is is boring. Part of a teacher's job is to make the daily dose into a fun and rewarding part of a student's practice day. Why not bundle basic technical exercises with the learning of musical concepts? Here are just a few ideas:
- Vary dynamics, pp to ff, play with crescendo and diminuendo
- Vary articulations--try playing scales with different articulations and combinations of articulations.
- Vary the order--Arrange the order of exercises by type (ie. octave scales, triads, etc.), key, play them all and note the problems, work only on problem patterns. Warm up with technique or cool down with it. Creating a new experience all the time can eliminate the boredom.
|Piano Adventures Technique & Artistry Book, Level 1 By Randall Faber, Nancy Faber. For Piano. Piano Adventures. Level: Grade 1. Book. Published by The FJH Music Company, Inc. (FF1097) |
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