The Pianotools site consists of video recordings of practical teaching situations and directly related short texts, complemented with in-depth texts intended to provide more extensive insight into the practising methods and the subject matter, including our philosophy on it. Furthermore, links are provided to exercises away from the piano, designed to promote the motor skills required in piano playing

The main segments are the teaching of the basics of music through the piano from as early as possible, and their integration into the practising of technique.

The examples are drawn from both one-on-one and small-group teaching. The pupils are from different age groups and study levels. All of them are our own pupils at the Espoo and Vantaa Music Institutes. The video recordings were made in real situations with pupils learning new skills and pieces.

The contents of the videos are not ordered progressively, as this is an expansive website that will develop in the course of time. We believe that there is not a ‘one and only’ order of learning music and playing, and that everybody’s skills are individually structured. Aspiring musicians should walk their own path in their pursuit of music.

Our philosophy is strongly influenced by Liszt and his collection “Technical Studies” (Liszt, Franz. 1983. Technical Studies, parts 1 – 3. Ed. Imre Mezo. Budapest: Editio Musica.). This extensive collection consists of three volumes containing 12 books., divided in accordance with the segments of piano technique: scales, chords, intervals, broken chords and octaves and so on. It constitutes a comprehensive guide to musical and pianistic insight, the creation of a musical way of thinking and the proper functioning of the hand, offering much more than mere introductory exercises to the performance of Liszt’s own works. Moreover, it encourages an all-embracing immersion into Liszt’s pianistic philosophy.

We have adapted these Liszt exercises in our teaching to suit different levels and pupils of different ages, because we feel that the highly systematised and exact original is not altogether accessible to young players. In our experience, students of all ages benefit from the study of these principles. The effect of the exercises is immediate: playing them modifies both musical thinking and the activity of the hands, often conspicuously and radically.

The exercises are aimed at introducing pupils to musical phenomena - elementary cells as it were - at refining the “musical ear” and the cooperation of ear, hand and eye, and at providing tools facilitating the comprehension of structures and material for improvisation and composition.

We wish to emphasise the importance of interaction, so do not hesitate to offer ideas and comments with a view to enhancing the site. You are also welcome to submit video and website links to the links section.



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