Expression and technique as symbiotic aspects of the piano learning process - Abstract

We never have to forget that singing is the source of all melodic music. The act of breathing is therefore present in all instrumental technique even for those instruments which do not need any air flow, like the strings or the piano.

All performing mechanisms involve a tension-and-release cycle which normally follows the expressive behavior of the phrasing style used throughout the pieces. Therefore it is paramount to identify which is the right accentuation involved in the phrasing and how it relates with the piece’s time signature, as these features allow us to enhance the expression while we deal with any possible technical difficulties.All piano lessons should treat expression and technique as symbiotic subjects which reciprocally influence each other. It is remarkable how many times the fact of understanding a passage correctly from the musical point of view also means we have reached a clearer perspective on how to approach it technically.

As a piano tutor I always try and focus on teaching my students to understand how the purely artistic side of music defines the technique and not the other way around. This approach has proven to be particularly inspiring as it keeps our attention on making music instead of facing the pieces as mere gymnastic challenges. At the end of the day expressing ourselves is the main reason why we want to learn how to use this powerful and emotional machine, the piano


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