Pianist to Pianist

A collection of pianistic, pedagogical, methodical, musical, artistic, and cultural contemplations, concepts, observations, and concerns, from pianist to pianist, pedagogue to pedagogue, musician to musician and from a curious and critical observer.

Sometimes the sound (balance, colors, transparency, gesture) of a musician is purely an attempt at imitation of a sound of great pianists from recordings ~ for example the sound of the iridescent brilliance of Horowitz or the crystal clear articulation of Gould. Taking a great...

In repetition practicing, the re-integration of a difficult spot or passage is equally important as its prior isolation. One must not only solve the actual problem (be it technically, or expressive, or memory related) but also assimilate it back into the continuous, actual (in tempo) musical...

It is known that the parental guidance and support of the development of children is particularly important in cases of specialized training such as mastering an instrument.

If the inspirational (appealing to higher goals), the physical (appealing to the desire of avoidance of corporal punishment), and the psychological (guilt trip) models are inapplicable, a fourth model presents itself: The compensation (incentive) model.

When bribing children into practicing an instrument, a finely tuned exponential reward system produces vastly superior results compared to a geometrical.

Most piano students, no matter the stage of development, know their right hand to be superior to the left. That's because the right hand spent more time at the keyboard; it's older by weeks, months, and eventually years technically speaking, it's because of mileage. The right hand actually pushed about four times as many keys (that's a rough estimate based on observation and experience) and thus - elementary deduction, Watson - dexterity is in the beginning as well as in the end all about time spent practicing dexterity. There is a threshold after which a basic and reliable ability is achieved - after about 3000 hours. An advanced and sophisticated ability establishes around 5,000 hours. Mastery needs much more time and in addition creativity and talent. Time spent with or in the element! Time in water is what distinguishes an olympic swimmer from a pool stud: Olympic swimmers (and aquatic lunatics) spend several years up to eight hours a day in water.

Eight hours*