How do I teach students to play fast pieces evenly? : LUSENET : Everything About Teaching and Learning the Piano : One Thread

I am currently preparing three intermediate students for a recital, and all three are struggling with playing certain sections of their pieces evenly. I have instructed them to slow down, play with the metronome, etc., which is how I was instructed to work with uneven spots, but they haven't had a whole lot of success. Does anyone have suggestions for exercises on playing evenly? I seem to remember my college professor working with a student on playing groups of notes in different rhythms, but can't remember the exact exercise.

-- Emily Whitby (, February 03, 2005


I often have students practice their pieces "in rhythms" to gain accuracy and fluency and evenness in their passage work. First have them practice in pairs of notes in a dotted eighth/ sixteenth note rhythm. Then have them practice in the opposite rhythm. It is important to play with a strong, even tone quality throughout and to play the long note long enough. It should be a double-dotted feel or even longer. After they have mastered this practice technique, they can practice in groups of four, with a dotted eighth followed by three thirty-seconds. I call this "impulse practice". Always follow one rhythm with the opposite rhythm.

-- Maria Sier (, February 04, 2005.

Thank you for your suggestions -- this was exactly what I was looking for. I will definitely try these exercises with my students this week. Thanks again!

-- Emily Whitby (, February 04, 2005.

You might also try recording them - as you know we all hear/feel/play at a speed different from the listener. Once they can hear what they sound like they will know how to correct it.

Also, I would suggest letting them "feel" the passages. Metronomes and counting are merely tools of communication, but that is only 50% of being a performer.

John Hinson

-- John Hinson (, February 28, 2005.

Tell them to ask there inner teacher for advice. the best teacher of all

-- justin (, March 01, 2005.

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