Learning the piano implies the fact of acquiring the knowledge to identify what has to be done to sort out the different expressive and technical challenges involved in the interpretation of a musical piece. Many of the most popular problems students have when working over pianistic difficulties rely on the lack of well-defined skills to start solving different passages. These technical tools are aimed to support the ultimate aim of a piano performance: expression.
Maestro Vincenzo Scaramuzza was a paradigmatic teacher that was responsible for developing great pianists as Martha Argerich, Bruno Gelber, Antonio De Raco… from complete beginners!. This magic personality that worked in Buenos Aires Argentina until the 60’s was the creator of one of the major piano schools of the world. Perfectly and positively constructed, this knowledge enables any pianist to avoid the confusion and frustration of working long hours without knowing its way -technically speaking-.
Basically, the method states that there are just five basic movements, which used alone or combined, are necessary to play any musical piece written for the piano. Of course some of them are used more often than the others; ordered according to their importance and frequency these are the names of the movements (which are called after the parts of our body used to perform them): fingers, forearm, palm, arm and rotation in its three forms: supination, pronation, and both combined.
All these mechanisms are ruled by the same principle: weight management. Playing the piano is not a matter of stressed muscles; on the contrary, it relies on our capacity to control every part of our body in order to warranty their complete relaxation. Basically, when we have to play a note we don’t have to think about pressing a key but about releasing the weight directed to one finger towards the other.
These kinds of reflective movements are developed gradually but effectively throw a sustained and well guided everyday practice. These studies will be divided into very short almost gymnastic exercises along with the study of musical pieces selected and also written to focus on the improvement of certain technical and expressive matters.
Summarizing, this technique would be about reducing the level of uncertainty to a point in which the only surprising experience will have will be to find out how expressive we can be when we don’t struggle with technical issues….
I am happy to be accompanied in this, my very own, journey by WKMT London Piano Studio. Who happily accepted my personal commitment to sharing this amazing piano technique to all our students.
As I mentioned, I have written a series of different articles to summarize all the contents and knowledge of this technique. So now, you can find all the different movements through the links below mentioned. Meaning, uses and videos showing the proper movement: