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My Piano, My Body and Me
Making the most of two wonderful machines
to integrate technique, musicianship & interpretation….
Motivating students to develop musical skills at the piano is a constant challenge for teachers. Attractive repertoire is elusive, yet the need exists throughout a pianist’s life.
The book invites students to explore for themselves the intricacies of the instrument, comparing the characteristics of the high notes with the low ones, the effects of the pedals, playing with the lid open and more.
Invitingly laid out, the left hand pages of ‘My Piano, My Body & Me’ contain information, illustrations and instruction while on the right are original, stimulating studies each of which prioritises a particular aspect – equally in both hands. The focus of each piece is shown at the top of the page and cross referenced to the relevant text.
The evolution of the piano is described, with its special characteristics. The book illustrates and explains the benefits of good posture, demonstrating how this allows a pianist to develop a sound technique and optimise the response from the instrument.
In Book One, titles such as ‘Left Handed Rag’ , ‘Two Timing Boogie’, ‘Blue Shades’ invite students to develop for themselves the manual dexterity, sensitivity and physical skills needed at the outset and early years; dynamics, legato, staccato, ‘Drop-slur’, cantabile, playing chords, indirect pedalling, balance between hands, handling melody and countermelodies, ties and general independence of hands.
‘Beginnings’ encourages expressive playing; ‘Daydreaming’ practises smooth legato particularly when changing hand positions; ‘Pebble in Deep Water’ is an introduction to pedalling; ‘On Tenterhooks’ works on independent hand control.
‘My Piano, My Body and Me’ may be used between grades to prepare for the next step; working for a grade to practise a particular skill or regardless of examinations to enhance musical enjoyment and appreciation.