Author: Emily Wright

hacks for your technique, part 1: fixing clumped fingers

There are techniques that feel, for some, completely unnatural. It gets to the point that struggling students can’t even feel what right is, so they either give up on the technique (this is common with vibrato, for instance) or develop weird work arounds (hello splayed extensions!). Over the years, I’ve employed a few novel strategies to try and help students get a feel for the right technical ideas. Some have worked, many have not. Today’s post is one of five that have seemed to help when other interventions have not. By now, you should be aware of my somewhat...

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a collection of truly terrible stock photos

Keep in mind I am making fun of the art direction and not the models themselves. Lord knows they were only doing what they were told. This was supposed to be a lovely slideshow instead of some 1998 Netscape mismatched image hash, but apparently my WP theme is not up to the challenge of multiple size images. So, while I shop for a better client for image hosting, please enjoy. 🙂...

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stuff to round out your approach: studying scores and critical listening

Even if you can hear the music in your head when you look at a piece, it’s never a bad idea to listen to several recordings and study the score as part of your general practice curriculum. To experience mastery, you need to know every crevice, every detail, technique, stretch, shift and emotional/dynamic implication of what you’re playing. A performance, whether it be solo, accompanied, or with an ensemble needs you to be the motor, driving the direction- not a passenger, along for a ride, fading in and out of autopilot depending on how many notes are on the...

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advice our teachers gave us, part 1

Part of the reward of teaching is grafting new students onto the lineage of instructors who influenced me, and in effect, into the legacy of the instructors who influenced them. It always tickled me to hear Cathy’s tone change when she quoted William Pleeth; it seemed like she and I were both students in that moment, listening to words that changed the trajectory of her career, and in turn, mine. The same would happen when Ron, a colossus of pedagogy in his own right, would talk about Leonard Rose’s brushstroke bowing, demonstrating with a hand that might as well...

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