If to try to skip the process or the journey between actual events and only concentrate on these events (in this case for example between depressing the keys), only the skeleton of actions remains. Most of joy from moving your body and expressing your inner self in every second is lost. Oppositely, the more you sense through every moment in your action the more you are present. Your abilities rise and the creative directing of yourself in the learning process gets a lot better.
Of course, absolute freedom is impossible. But if you move your hand through the air for example, you can do it very freely and also with a very high tension. Because playing the piano is a huge system of habits and contains so many different details, the “complexity” could lead into habits of using lot of unnecessary tensions. If these tensions become your natural habits, you do not sense that anything is “wrong” because you are too used to this. But knowingly widening the picture and getting out of the “habit zone” can open up fields that can completely change your piano playing and make it more enjoyable.
Of course the starting energy for the piece is the vision of the piece. You start playing according to the vision of the piece in your head. Also the habits you have mastered while doing the handicraft – again according to the musical imagination – play an important role. So the aim of the video is to give you some ideas how you could clear and sharpen some attention channels that are essential to stay musically adequate and accurate while playing the piano.
Of course the act of performing itself is very important and it is essential to be adequate and confident while doing something. At the same time the preparation process often defines the result. Artur Schnabel and many other great masters of the piano have said that music is between the notes and keys. The meaning reveals itself – every note sounds just the way how you move to it.
If you have a vision of the piece in your head, the vision can be in a way called as a perfect material or a perfect idea. Now the problem is how to transform the vision into music? One very helpful approach is minimizing the energy level that you use for playing until a level where you can control everything. Bring down the tempo, volume, release tensions etc. Everything that is more than your “cable” is able to transform turns into tensions or chaos.
1) The vision of the piece is mature and sophisticated.
2) Accomplishing the piece has gone into subconscious area and can just happen without active interruption. So the brain tension is quite low.
3) At the same time there is full awareness of what is going on while performing the piece. The possibility of watching your own playing process from aside occurs.
There is no limit of developing a piece. But the imagination of something can be mastered.
The most dangerous moments while performing a piece on stage are concentration gaps. If the piece is memorized and you know it well you could be quite confident while playing to the audience. But after playing several minutes in the deep concentration level your brain might need a moment for resting. Then a concentration gap can occur where connection with your memory is much weaker. Here in this video there is a technique how to improve confidence and minimize risks on stage.
Generally the most important aspect in rising the quality of the practicing process is reducing the material that is being practiced at a time and rising the concentration level through it. So after analyzing the piece, devide the piece into small sections and practice every small section separately. It is essential to mention that the beginning of the next section should always be added to the section that is being practiced. Then it is easier to connect the sections later naturally.
Your ability to express is based on your previous experiences. The more colorful and wide your knowledge and experience is the richer the reflection or interpretation of a musical piece can be. So listen to different music and widen and enrich your musical specter. This idea is also mentioned by Heinrich Neuhaus in his book “The Art of Piano Playing”.
Often pianists practice session starts with full concentration and intelligent approach. From one moment on the temptation to play fast and just enjoy playing can win the patience and the benefit from practicing diminishes tremendously. It could be a sign of getting tired and reason to end the practice session and continue after a break.