88 Keys to Mastering the Piano
Fall Quarter started this week and the schedule seems to be working out well for everyone! Yeah :)! Scheduling can be tricky so I was very thankful for this.
Over the 2 week break in August I was able to make a lot of progress on my new piano method, "88 Keys to Mastering the Piano". It is unique in its inclusion of important "Taubman" principles of piano technic. Many of the popular piano methods currently published include information regarding technic which we now know can cause tension which leads to technical limitation and eventually possible pain and injury. In the year 2016 -- with all of the information we now know regarding ergonomic motion -- it is time for the field of piano technic to get an upgrade.
The field of piano pedagogy needs to (once and for all) let go of out-dated principles from the 1800 and 1900's. Inefficient (and unhealthy) principles such as "curling the fingers" (as if holding an imaginary ball), or "isolating" the finger motion from the hand and forearm (causing extreme tension/co-contraction and limitation), or "shaping" with the wrist collapsing too low or raising too high NEED TO BECOME A THING OF THE PAST. These outdated principles of technic encourage motions and misalignment of the body which cause us to use the wrong muscles, or use muscles which we don't need to use. Moving a limb part to the extreme range puts too much stress on our tendons and ligaments. And, most importantly, it makes piano playing difficult and limits our speed and facility. With some studies indicating that over 88% of pianists suffer from pain or injury, it is important that healthy, effortless principles of coordinate motion be applied from the 1st lesson on.
Though daunting and all-consuming, this project is so important. My students need this resource so I will continue to work on future books in my spare time in the years to come. Many thanks to my amazing students past and present for their help in this project. Your photos, videos, and input are invaluable!
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Pianist, Teacher, Clinician, Adjudicator