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-- Play Piano Nature's Way

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Technique -->  the Brain is the king, the president:

I often image that the brain is the Central Processing Unit (CPU) of a computer and   the fingers are the I/O devices  which are under the commands of the CPU.

There is no double it, use your  brain to play from the very beginning to the very end. The conscious mind must train the sub-conscious mind. The  brain must guide the fingers, not the fingers the brain. There is no substitute in piano practice for the careful, conscious repetition of a movement in order that there may be complete reliability when the movement later comes under the sub-conscious control.The hand's acting straightly shows WHAT HAPPENS in the pianist's MIND.

 

"Concentrated thought is the basis of his principles, the corner stone of his method. Without it , nothing of any permanent value can be obtained, either  in art or anything else. No amount of mechanical finger-work can take its place; and the player who repeats the same passage wearily expectant that he will accomplish it in process of time, is a lost of soul on a hopeless quest."                             - On Leschetizky's Teaching Methods

In technique, our goal is to have the fingers reach the keys with  the minimum, most economic motion before the keys are depressed, then depress the keys with proper force and speed control and relax your muscles immediately after the sound is produced. It sounds easy but it happens in a split second.  You have to figure out how to do it with your brain genius and train your fingers to do it. It  requires the pianist, in addition to his musicianship, the  knowledge about the physiology of his body, his playing members and the knowledge of how the piano sound.

"Technique in the truer sense has its seat in the brain."

 - Quote from Ferruccio Busoni

Whenever  there are obstinate difficulties in technique or interpretation, the player should stop playing and start thinking.  Do not expect that the repetition of the same passage again and again can solve the problem. Study the music scores away from the piano. search the related literatures to find a solution with your brain.

PLAYING BY BRAIN AND EAR

"I advise you very often to stop and listen when you are practicing, and then you will find out a great deal for yourself. "

-Quote from Theodor Leschetizky

Playing piano by brain and ear may actually be much easier than most music teachers lead students to believe.

According to the articles in WebMD,  researchers say the findings suggest that the brain links finger movements with particular notes within minutes of training. It also suggest that  ear-to-hand link commences within the first weeks of practice and may render the basis for any  skills that can be accomplished in a pianist's career. Researchers say the study may also help explain why many pianists tap their fingers when they hear music without even knowing they're doing it.

Traditional piano playing teach you to establish close eye-to-hand link that dominated decades of practice. We don't mean that you don't need a score to play. But try to play your favorite melodies by ear when you first contact the piano.

"Notes, after all, are merely symbols for sounds. The pupil who has learned music by the way it sounds hears the tone when he looks at the symbol. The movements that make this imagined tone audible are directed by his ear. They are as fluid, as efficient, as co-ordinated as his movements when playing without notes."   -Quote from Abby Whitside

When you play piano by  score, your eyes glue to the notes and the notations, your brain and ears spend less in controlling your playing mechanism. It would result in note-wise playing without music. If the score is hard to read then read it away from the piano. When you are familiar with the piece after practice, play it from memory so that your brain and ears can concentrate in making music.

 

"The best study could be done away from the piano...."   -Quote from Theodor Leschetizky

Playing from Memory:

Playing from memory is not an option but a necessity. It frees your eyes from looking at the scores, let's your body, arms and hands move more freely; let's you concentrate your mind in making the music as well as decrease the likely hood of memory slip during performance. So playing from memory is an integral part of the technique.

There are different types of memory:

Aural Memory: you physically hear the sound of the  music, can sing the melody in your mind.

Analytical Memory:  memorize by knowing  the form of the composition, it's structural design, it's paragraphs, phrases. dynamics, nuances and by understanding the harmonics, chord progressions. key signatures, etc. It is most reliable way of memorization.

Visual/Photographic memory: seeing the printed music score in your mind. Most of us are vision learners.

Hand/Muscle Memory: know where your hand and fingers to go. it's a type of reflex that is subconscious. It's most unreliable, always cause memory slip due to nervousness.

Memory slip occurs when we rely on one type of memory which can fail momentarily due to nervousness and playing environment changes. We must train each memory instead rely on only one of them.

In order to play for performance, we must play from memory.

 

 

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