Learn piano online - Classical romantic

Finger agility
Learn the method to achieve finger agility on the piano online

Learn piano online, more tips and advice on playing classical romantic songs obtained after attending a classical romantic piano concert.

The first 3 bars of the right hand (RH) notes in 'Val Del Requerdo' are rests. It is up to the left hand (RH) to voice out the beginning of the melifluous tone of this gorgeous piece.

Open LH palm while maintaining the curves of the finger so that the 5th finger can play the A and quickly leap one octave higher to land on middle A.

Before ending the phrase on E, the B before it has to be played using the index finger. That means thumbs under the index finger to arrive on the ending note.

Such deft fingering manuevers are necessary to play a classical song well - all the while keeping the legato intact.

Agile fingers conjuring phrases of unbroken legato is a sight to behold. Learning piano is so much more than practicing, observing can also be inspiring. [Photo: Alyssa Khong at the PAC, Straits Quay]

The finger agility required can be acquired through practice of the major scales, aprpeggios and chromatic scales.

Scales and arpeggios are the less glamorous parts of piano playing, but they are essential. They coach the fingers to move on the piano in regimented fashion resulting in strength in the fingers and eventually agility.

Before starting to play any compositions, it is best to exercise with scales be it major scales or chromatic scales or arpeggios for 30 minutes to an hour. Then you can start practising the piece you have been clamouring to play for so long.

Those 30 minutes to an hour of practicing scales is worth a ton of gold in the time you would have saved when trying to master an actual song later.

By practising scales, technique is built into the hands and fingers - technique which comes into effect when you are playing a composition. The outcome will clearly be noticeable.

Piano accompanying the violin and viola would demand near perfect technique and insight on the time values of notes. The clarinet completes the ensemble. [Photo: Ensemble Koschka performing on August 13th]

Keeping the legato intact
Legato on the piano online

“Keeping the legato intact” was briefly mentioned earlier. In means to play each note in a phrase continuously, one leading naturally to the next in a smooth flowing musical arch.

For example; you are practicing the scale of C major. After playing C with your thumb, as the index finger lands on D, keep the thumb on C briefly. Once the index finger has sunk fully on the key ( D ), then you can lift the thumb up.

Simply put, the point is to not jump from one note to another, thus disconnecting the smoothness of the musical arch we are trying to link.

It is paramount to relax the arm and wrists as well as loosening your shoulders when attempting to execute legato in a phrase. Sustain the hand positions just above the keys on the piano.

In case you are still continuing the scale of C major, overlap the E using the 3rd finger with D which was played with the index finger.

My routine is to practice scales over 2 octaves going up and coming back down to the starting note - repeating paragraph 10 and 12 in the process several times until I am content with the outcome.

Scales are exhaustive. To avoid getting deflated and loosing the motivation to practice, I only practice after I am well rested and in a clear state of mind.

Struck by a fresh sense of discovery after a witnessing a live classical performance with the piano on center stage. Delicate touch, technique and tone production can be studied and conquered with effort and perseverence. [Photo : Ensemble Koschka prior to an encore at the PAC, Straits Quay]

Hours of practice
Work ethics practicing the piano online

Playing the piano is creative work. One cannot have evil distractions inside ones head during practice. 

It is also recommended to practice two or three easy compositions, songs that you like for the purpose of breaking the monotonous nature of practicing scales. Slot them in between after every fifteen minutes or so.

A professional pianist most probably practice 8 hours a day, but they are making a living from their music. Merely a piano enthusiast, I can only muster a 2 hour practice session a day before my mind starts to wander.

However, consistently doing so has been enough to improve my piano playing by leaps and bounds.

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How to be great at practicing

...Shouldn’t the title be “How to be a great pianist”? By the time you finish uttering the words to that question, the answer would have naturally entered your mind - You will have to practise the piano exercises first.

On average it takes at least 10,000 hours of practice, fine-tuning, tinkering and trial and error to reach a level of profiency before ‘great’ can even be considered to describe the results of one’s craft. That’s about 10 years of regular practise every day for at least 4 hours excluding weekends.

How to be great at practising piano exercises?...learn more about playing the piano online, read the full article>>>

Arousing the senses with the flair
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Technique improves not only through practicing, blessed with a thriving local cultural scene, I had the pleasure of enjoying a performance by the local orchestra.

...Besides rigorous practice, an aspiring pianist learns from many sources to improve her piano technique. Watching another pianist perform, listening to recitals and absorbing the full range of music brought out by a philharmonic orchestra. 

Hoping to learn something here I was, the ten dollar a seat ticket seemed like a small price to pay if the experience could improve my articulation, expression and flair of the music I was playing on the piano. The gain from improved piano technique is priceless...learn more about playing the piano online, read the full article>>>

Sonatina Op.55, No.1

...An indispensable element crucial in building piano technique is the practice of arpeggios. In this piano song, there are several occasions where they or those almost similar to them make appearances. 

One instance, in bar 5, right after the chords a half-arpeggio-like phrase that is ended with a pair CE chords is apparent. A slightly varied one then follows before a bar of strong character consisting entirely of chords finishes the passage.

There are a couple of chords in this bar which are accented. Play them loud emphasizing the accents with steely clarity, and here is the hard part; slur and immediately soften the next chord that comes next which is not accented. The tendency is to play the whole bar accented. Resist this - observe the sign and finish the bar neat and tidy...learn more about playing the piano online, read the full article>>>

The “X-Factor” of a
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...Learning the piano is a process. Progress depends solely on the piano student herself. Technical skills that involve mastering chords, octaves, scales and arpeggios will have to be acquired. To gain competency playing such challenging phrases requires hundreds of hours of practice. 

It is indeed a laborious process. However, for the passionate student it does not feel like labour, but a frolic.

Sometimes students will encounter obstacles with technique or outside distractions like work and family commitments may also tempt them to veer off course - only those with passion will be able adjust themselves to clear these hurdles and prevail to become a successful piano student...learn more about playing the piano online, read the full article>>>

Choosing a piano teacher

...Classical music requires a lot of finger and arm movements to play. That makes it good practice for the student to develop his technique. Find out the kind of music the teacher likes to instruct on.

Mine loves to alternate between classical and modern jazz. So I get the best of both worlds.

Music theory and piano techniques develop the skills of the student. She will be able to apply these skills with any song she is playing.

It is important to have a teacher who believes so too. There are teachers who teach individual pieces. By doing so, the student can play the particular songs quickly but does not have the skills to carry on to the next songs...learn more about playing the piano online, read the full article>>>