December 2022 Minutes

Workshop with Jarred Dunn Dec 2, 2022 Abbotsford BCRMTA Zoom

Discussing on the importance/use of an exam system, its pros and cons

1. Look at exams in a critical way

2. Getting a ‘reward’ or a ‘piece of paper’

3. Sense of accomplishment, moving forward

4. For students or parents who insist on an exam in a specific time period – the teacher can get you past the exam but can’t guarantee the quality – it either needs more time or more lesson time

Students with small hands:

1. Measure their hand, is the comfortable stretch 6th, 7th

2. Teach repertoire that has intervals only 1 step larger than what they can reach comfortably, which doesn’t drastically force them to open their hand rapidly.

3. Match repertoire to scale and other technical requirements

4. Assess whether the student is practicing well enough to reach the octave – slower octaves, parallel sixths

5. Some repertoire uses scales or arpeggiated patterns to fill the larger intervals

Good pieces for students with small hands:

1. Scarlatti Sonata in E Major, K 308 (Level 9 2015 edition) 5th the largest interval

2. Bach G minor Sinfonia (Level 9 2015 edition) only broken 8th followed by a rest (use Henle edition or Busoni edition)

3. Scarlatti Sonata in D minor, K 9 – for people who have good scales, has some double thirds

Google the piece: use the best edition, original,

How to test/build musical maturity:

1. Play a scale, listen to the beginning and end, the tone quality, evenness, overall arch

2. Listen together to music and hear their feedback

3. Listen to some competition and ask what might be going on through the head of competitors

4. What have they listened to recently, i.e., if they play an Invention, did they listen to the entire set?

5. Bring 1 - 2 questions to the lesson which they discovered in practicing and have difficulty with, self identify their own weaknesses

6. The sign of maturity is when the student can decide what repertoire is appropriate for their skill level at the moment

7. Practice slowly with them on etudes, examining every movement of the hand, of the finger, any tension; etudes need to be done perfectly by the end of the age 15, if you want to have a pianist

8. The problem with playing at speed is that you don’t know every detail – play slowly in technical training to develop details

9. Be honest but in a constructive, diplomatic way

Some difficult teaching issues:

1. Polyrhythms: i.e., playing 4 against 3: mathematical or intuitive ?

a. Goal posting or sign posting:

b. Line up the soprano notes with the main beat bass note (1st Chopin nocturne in Bb minor)

c. Then add 1 note at time either right or left, creating vertical moments when the hands align

d. The passage needs to unfold very naturally from the get go

e. Group them into smallest possible combinations: i.e., 6 against 4, go down to 3 against 2

f. Play the last 3 Chopin etudes, that nobody usually plays, because they have those problems

g. learn to count solidly in regular rhythm – learn how to subdivide

h. DON’T use pedal

Pieces presented:

1. Nocturne in Eb Major, op 9, #2, Chopin – ornamentation

2. Nocturne in E minor, op 72, #1, Chopin

3. Sonata in C, Hob XVI 10, Haydn – trills and appoggiaturas begin with the bass

a. V chords are more dynamically loud than tonic chords

4. Consolation #3, Liszt – 4 against 3 rhythm