Sun., Mar. 17 | Knox Presbyterian Church

Free Pedagogy Workshop

8 tricks to inspire your students to play with better tone!
Registration is Closed
Free Pedagogy Workshop

Time & Location

Mar. 17, 2019, 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Knox Presbyterian Church, 50 Erb St W, Waterloo, ON N2L 1T1, Canada

About The Event


This 45 minute workshop explores tone production from philosophical, historical, and pedagogical perspectives. For the purposes of this workshop, tone production is defined as the technical manner in which the most beautiful quality of sound is produced on the modern piano. This workshop will have implications for the pianist's physical, aural and conceptual experience of piano playing.

In order to talk about beautiful tone production, one must have an understanding of the philosophy of beauty and the centrality of judgement in the perception of art. Sir Roger Scruton's perspective on this manner will be used to set our parameters for the philosophy of music and why it is important for those who make it.

Next, a history of tone production at the keyboard will be explored. I will discuss how tone production changed from the earliest of keyboard instruments through to the modern piano. This will reveal the nature of the special challenges that exist for those who aim to produce the most beautiful sound on the modern piano.

We will then explore the challenges that the music teacher faces when assisting the student in cultivating an ear that can perceive differences in tone quality. We will also look at the different contexts in which the student is required to demonstrate competency in tone production.

The bulk of the workshop will be demonstrations, activities, games, and tools that will be useful to piano teachers who are working with students who are playing pre-reading, elementary, intermediate and advanced level repertoire. Eight "tricks" will be presented that can easily be applied by piano students in a variety of contexts at any level. The tricks will be presented in the context of scales and chords with take-home youtube video resources that teachers can use to help students recall movements learned in lesson. Each trick will be demonstrated in the context of a level 2 and level 10 RCM etude. Workshop participants will have an opportunity to try these "tricks" and explore how they can be applied in their own teaching practice. Participants are welcome to bring in pieces from any level that they would like to get feedback on regarding how to play them with better tone quality.

The workshop will conclude with a question and answer period and reflective discussion on other perspectives on tone production present in the audience.

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