“There is a key to the treasury of human wisdom: mathematics, words, and notes,” Victor Hugo once said.
The piano, the king of musical instruments, is often regarded as the crown jewel of music, and the beautiful melodies flowing from its 88 keys have enchanted countless people around the world.
The importance of music in early childhood education is becoming increasingly recognized and valued, and many parents are willing to invest significant time and money in sending their children to receive various types of musical training, with piano naturally becoming the first choice for the majority of families.
As a piano initiation teacher, I am not only concerned about the current dynamics and status of piano education, but I have also discovered some misconceptions in the field.
Myth: An incorrect understanding of learning to play the piano
When I was walking outside, I was occasionally drawn in by the sound of a tinkling piano and saw a 9-year-old boy playing the piano.
What surprised me was that he could play the entire piano music, and his memory of music was excellent, but his sitting posture, hand shape, and key touch were all very irregular, and his rhythm was sloppy and weak.
The general consensus among parents is that they want their children to learn piano more in order to develop their intelligence and skills, and that they do not expect them to achieve outstanding results in this area; after all, most children will not become Beethoven Mozart in the future; and because it is only an amateur study, it is sufficient to play casually.
This, in my opinion, is incorrect. In fact, because it is an amateur study, the way of playing and learning piano does not change fundamentally.
In terms of the relationship between technique and artistic expression of music, in terms of artistic laws and artistic truths, there is no essential difference between an amateur student playing a small piece and a pianist playing a large piece.
Furthermore, learning the piano is very beneficial to the development of children’s intelligence and character, such as the practice of perseverance in overcoming difficulties and the development of good study habits.
However, the aforementioned student not only did not develop good study habits, but he also developed bad habits such as being sloppy, impatient, and overly ambitious.
Countermeasures: Learning to play the piano is not an easy task; it is a step-by-step process in which children must consistently go through strict and standardized training.
Teachers and parents must have the right concept, be patient, avoid sloppiness, and learn step by step in order to perceive and learn again….. the process of perpetual improvement Otherwise, you will not only not learn the piano well, but you will also develop bad habits and have a negative impact on your learning of cultural subjects.
Myth: Ignoring the piano’s distinct and lovely sound.
“Go down and play hard,” a young piano teacher was teaching his students, who were not yet in place, with great dedication, and he also modeled the piano himself. The piano’s overall tone was rough, violent, and sharp, taking away the unique beauty of the piano sound, which is both resonant and soft.
The first step for a beginner is to seek out a good sound – a smooth, rounded, well-resonated sound with a dazzling after-tone that can control the intensity and its variation, as well as a preliminary contrast between light and dark, rigid and soft.
Countermeasures must be implemented from two perspectives: first, the inner sense of hearing, that is, the concept of imagination to pursue, first to set a good sound of the goal, and then persistently pursue Second, mastering the proper technique for touching the keys, such as the rational use of weight to select the main action parts to correctly handle the relationship between touching the keys (force) and relaxation, and so on.
Myth: Piano playing has an inexact rhythm.
Rhythm is the foundation of music. When children are introduced to the concept of the half-beat, which is the unit of the beat, they are more likely to make rhythmic errors, which is a barrier in rhythm recognition.
Countermeasures: The word recitation method, in which two words are recited evenly by mouth in a unit beat, is effective in helping children establish the concept of half-beat (the concept of the time value of the semitone). For example, we will say “number” for the first half-beat and “beat” for the second half-beat.
X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X
beat, beat, beat, beat, beat
You will be able to play the notes correctly if you read it carefully and then play it while reading it. The dotted notes are made using the same method.
Example No. 2
This makes mastering the dotted rhythm simple. The rhythm of legato is a special difficulty for children to master in terms of rhythm, and they can use the rhythm of everyday language to help them learn the special rhythm of legato.
Misconceptions include conflating polyphonic and major-key music.
I once took a student to a piano store to purchase a piano and carefully observed the student practicing.
I asked her to divide and play all of the parts, as well as sing in each one. The main theme should then be emphasized in which part of the voice. The lines are clear and layered in this manner.
Response implementation: the theme takes turns in the main role, giving the impression of a continuous succession of rising and falling, is a unique aesthetic interest of polyphonic music.
The general rule is that when the main theme begins to appear in each voice part, it should be played clearly and vividly in order to give a clear impression and highlight its position. This is due to the fact that the theme is the piece’s main idea, the main exponent of pleasure, and it dominates.
When the main theme is in the high part, just pay attention to it because the human ear has a special sensitivity to the high part, and the player’s right hand also has a tendency to be “dominant.” When you need to emphasize the lower part, intentionally strengthen the lower part while controlling the higher part, so that the listener’s attention is drawn to the lower part.
When playing polyphonic music with individual voices, it is critical not to let the high and low voices overpower the middle voice when the middle voice needs to be highlighted.
There are exceptions, such as when the theme appears too frequently and densely, and the non-thematic part is also very beautiful and moving; in this case, you can let the beauty of the non-thematic part show, and the main part of the theme part temporarily recedes; when the theme appears again, it will produce a more distinct and strong impression.
Myth: Emphasizing finger speed without regard for playing quality.
The phenomenon of plucking is very common in piano examinations, and it has been discovered that the actual level of many students does not reach the number of grades applied for.
On the other hand, the fingers’ independence and dexterity are very poor; the fingers are all stuck together like the webbing of a goose; the fingers cannot open, resulting in a superficial and unclear sound.
Countermeasures should be implemented in a number of ways, including the use of a continuous tone.
The first joint generates the majority of the finger waving; the fingers are not an isolated action, but rather the preparation for playing. The keystroke’s point of force is not in the shoulder joint, but in the finger joint.
2 Throughout the finger lift and key stroke, take care to keep the power focused on the fingertips.
3 Lift and play at the same time When striking the key, the fingers to be played are actively lifted upward and forward (to compensate for the redundant and harmful hooking and bending action of the fingers) and then descend in turn.
When playing scales, for example, the big finger’s upward movement must be longitudinal, with the touching position on the outside of the fingertip rather than at the big finger joint or the entire big finger part. When playing the finger, the finger is lifted upward in preparation, then quickly lowered, and the wrist is naturally sent out like a spring, while the finger is lifted in preparation and pushed downward in turn. When going down, play the little finger while lifting the finger in preparation, and when playing the finger, lift the finger in preparation, to eliminate the time difference and increase the speed significantly.
To ensure the quality of the running, fast must be based on the premise of clarity of tone. Ziegler, a German piano teacher, described it as a “nuclear” sound. It is what we commonly refer to as “granularity,” and it sounds like a pearl falling from a jade dish, with a crystal clear, crisp, and bright sound. In any case, speed cannot be achieved at the expense of clarity.
Myth: Overemphasis on embellishment and packaging at the expense of musicality.
When I watch art school debriefing performances, I notice that many teachers and parents are concerned with external factors such as costumes and makeup, but they frequently overlook the most important point, which is musicality singing. The performance is very stiff, with rigid notes that lack substance and beauty.
Singability refers to the beauty and emotion that people experience while singing. This is singing in playing – “singing” with fingers – when we play the piano with the inner feeling of singing and can transform this feeling into the corresponding sound through our fingers.
The meaning of singing can be divided into two categories: the broad category of singing, which includes almost all piano pieces, and the specific category of singing. The other category is the narrow sense of singing, which refers solely to “songful” piano pieces or piano fragments.
To develop singing in playing, we must first address the following issues.
1 Singing from the bottom of one’s heart The student can truly feel that the music he or she is playing sings.
2 Ear-to-ear listening The player’s understanding of the music’s layout is intended to be identified and coordinated through ear listening.
3 Hand-to-Hand Interpretation The pursuit of a “singing” sound is accomplished through various finger touches.
4 Proper phrasing and breathing techniques To practice inner meditation, hear the “breath,” “tone,” and “emotion” of each phrase, etc., as well as the rise and fall of each passage, and finally, hear the entire piece as a whole. The vividness of singing can be reflected by carefully expressing these characteristics.
To summarize, these various misunderstandings in piano teaching severely limit the quality of piano education, and both teachers and students should strive to overcome these misunderstandings in order to improve the quality of piano education.
In piano instruction, emphasis should be placed on developing students’ ability and habit of listening to music, developing aesthetic hearing of music, and cultivating good feelings and appreciation of music.
Learning to listen and developing good listening habits are the only ways to progress in expressing music and creating pleasing sound art.