I’ve finally gotten the Mozart to the point at which I can make individual decisions about individual notes — that is, the point at which I can ask myself how do I want each of these notes to sound? and then do the work to make them sound exactly as I want them to.

What I’ve found is that this kind of work takes a very specific, assiduous effort; if you don’t roll the opening chord so that each note is both distinct and balanced, for example, you’re less likely to play the subsequent run in a way that allows each note to resonate in the way you’ve already decided you want it to.

In other words: starting the piece with a specific, predetermined action makes it more likely that you’ll continue making specific, predetermined actions.

Starting the piece with something that isn’t-quite-right leads to additional not-quite-rightness — either because your mind is elsewhere to begin with or because your mind quickly travels backwards to why didn’t that chord roll the way I wanted it to instead of staying on the current problem of how can I play this run the way I want to?

Which means that your first problem is to ensure that you can always roll the chord the same way.

Here’s a video in which I practice exactly that — specifically, getting the development section of the third movement of the Mozart off to the right start. Watch the whole thing (it’s short), if only so you can see the moment in which my focus shifts from how can I play this to how can I blog about it…

Anyway, I’m sure this is a metaphor for life, or something.

If not, it’s an excellent piano practice technique. ❤️

Where I got published this week


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