We can easily be lead to think that performing piano music is about exercising passages by repeating them until they spontaneously happen to sound right; unfortunately reality couldn’t distant more from that.
In fact a very interesting analogy exists between the attitude we take when attempting to move some delicate items from a place to another and the way we should be dealing with our “music notes”. When we get conscious about how fragile and vulnerable an object is we automatically adopt a posture that tries and guarantees the safety of it throughout the trip we plan for it. Well, the same concept should apply to the notes we have to play.
Allowing NO mistakes is paramount to prevent the adoption of bad habits. In the same way we learn to play passages in the correct way by repeating them systematically, we will learn to play them wrongly by committing mistakes repeatedly.
Our worst enemy is anxiety. We have to work on each musical phrase in the same way we deal with a spoken phrase. We would never privilege speed over clarity on the second case. Every single note has to be processed before we attempt to play it at the piano so the musical messages sent through pressing the piano keys end being a clear representation of our musical thoughts.
My piano approach prioritizes the development of a musical intellect capable of decoding the information on the score and allowing our mind to abstract it before attempting to play anything on the piano. Singing –not necessarily aloud- plays a very important role in this process. Being our voice the primary of all musical instruments it constitutes the best facilitator when trying to understand the melodies in a musical score.
In every piano lesson we will try to focus on how to first understand exactly what we need to do before producing any sound on the piano.