I’m pretty passionate about this fourth key point of my teaching philosophy.

4. I firmly believe in technique with a purpose: more convincing musical communication (and injury prevention).

Technique is an important part of a piano education. However, it is the means to an end. It’s always problematic when the means become the end. When it becomes all about playing something as fast as possible and perfectly cleanly, something is seriously wrong. Again, piano playing is about making music, not being perfect!

Technique needs to be about making music too. Each technical adjustment should have a musical purpose. Each technical exercise should have a musical purpose. Each technical discovery should be a musical discovery.

The way we physically play a piano key tremendously impacts the sound. This sound should drive our technical decision. Do we need a sharp attack? Do we need a round forte? What character are we going for?

Framing technical decisions in terms of musical decisions helps students find meaning and joy in technical practice. It has a purpose beyond itself!

Preventing injury is another important reason for proper technique. This can be clearly stated as well to help students understand why they need to practice technique. We all want to understand the whys of life.

And I guarantee you will hear “Why?” about a scale much more often than about a piece of music.