A lot of the piano pieces I’ve been assigned have pertained largely to coordination issues. I’ve found that especially when I’m going fast, or am trying to increase your tempo, making sure accents are in the right place is crucial. Often, my teacher would encourage me to not emphasize what looks like the beginning of units, but instead to find where the phrase or rhythm needs emphasis for it to be musical. It’s helping! And I’ve started to catch the mistake myself and correct it rather than needing to be told! I think my tendency to emphasize downbeats or beginnings of fast patterns is a hold over from my clarineting, since sometimes in ensemble playing we will lightly stress the beginnings of groups of notes in order to stay together.
I always think I’m going to backslide more than I actually do whenever I spend a lot of time away from the piano because of vacation or something. It’s never as bad as I think it’s going to be (Though to be fair, I usually think I’m going to forget which side of the keyboard to sit at). Sometimes, I come back and a passage that’s been tripping me up is suddenly fixed. The brain is weird.
Scales on piano serve a very different purpose than on clarinet. On clarinet, scales enable you to read some passages more efficiently in addition to being more dexterous. But on piano… it seems the effect is more general. Now that I’ve spent a several months seriously working on my scales, I’m finding that I’m more comfortable doing crosses and intricate fingering patterns than I was before.They aren’t even necessarily scales or anything that resembles the patterns in my scales… I’m just more comfortable reading and executing them. Woo!
Teacher’s contempt for the composer Franz Burgmüller, whose “Arabesque” I just finished working on, is hysterical. Literally every style correction he gives, my teacher says, “Okay… so this Franz Burgmüller guy is a pretty bad composer, so we have to help him out.” His bluntness makes me warm inside.