Chords, Nails & Fingertips

Hi.  This week’s fun music exercise is a little tongue-in-cheek.  I invite you to watch several videos of your choice on YouTube.  The ones I recommend are videos featuring the piano playing (and in some cases singing) of Vladimir Horowitz, Thelonious Monk, Sarah Vaughan and Nina Simone.  Note:  This exercise is in no way to ‘make fun’ of anyone’s piano playing.  It’s out of respect for these historic musicians; pianists and vocalists, that I ask you to watch and learn.

The reason for this week’s exercise is because it’s been a challenging week for CMajor.  Seemingly everywhere I turn, students and parents are questioning the need for standard/traditional/conventional piano technique.  Is it okay to play flat-fingered as opposed to curved fingers?  Can I play the piano with nail tips?  What if my fingers keep denting?  Can I leave out notes that I don’t like because it messes up my flow? etc., etc., etc.,..

I have no serious response, but to say check out some videos to learn what’s out there (with parent’s permission as needed) for yourself.  CMajor does not have all of the answers when it comes to technique.  (Note: I personally love me some Hanon and Jr. Hanon.)

You must play Hanon and keep your fingers curved at all times…(expressed in a mock serious manner).

Some of the world’s greatest and most revered pianists have chosen playing techniques that work well for them.  Teachers? Colleagues?  Pedagogy experts online?  Anyone out there with non-humorous advice for today’s students?…My unofficial advice…’Make the best music you can make.’ and most of all…have fun.

See you on the next episode.  Have a great week everybody!

Love,

-C.

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