Technique for Piano & Guitar
Strengthen fingers for performance!
Singing requires continuous muscle training
to insure strong projection, quality and control.
We must understand what technique is because not understanding technique leads to incorrect practice methods. More importantly, a proper understanding can help us to develop correct practice methods. The most common misunderstanding is that technique is some inherited finger dexterity. It is not. The innate dexterity of accomplished musicians and ordinary folk are not that different. This means that practically anyone can learn to play well. There are numerous examples of mentally handicapped people with limited coordination that exhibit incredible musical talent. Unfortunately, many of us are much more dexterous but can't manage the musical passages because of a lack of some simple but critical information. Acquiring technique is mostly a process of brain/nerve development, not development of finger strength.
Technique is the ability to execute a zillion different musical passages; therefore it is not dexterity, but an aggregate of many skills. The wondrous thing about technique, and the most important message, is that technical skills can be learned in a short time, if the correct learning procedures are applied. These skills are acquired in two stages: (1) discovering how the fingers, hands, arms, etc., are to be moved, and (2) conditioning the brain, nerves, and muscles to execute these with ease and control. Many students think of practice as hours of finger calisthenics because they were never taught the proper definition of technique. The reality is that you are actually improving your brain when learning technique! You are actually making yourself smarter and improving your memory; this is why learning correctly has so many benefits, such as success in school, the ability to better cope with everyday problems, and the ability to retain memory longer as you age. This is why memorizing is an inseparable part of technique acquisition.
We must understand our own anatomy and learn how to discover and acquire the correct technique. This turns out to be a nearly impossible task for the average human brain unless you dedicate your entire life to it from childhood. Even then, most will not succeed. The reason is that, without proper instruction, the musician must discover the correct motions, etc., by trial and error. You must depend on the small probability that, as you try to play that difficult passage faster, your hand accidentally stumbles onto a motion that works. If you are unlucky, your hand never discovers the motion and you are stuck forever, a phenomenon called "speed wall". Most beginning students haven't the foggiest idea about the complex motions that the fingers, hands, and arms can perform. Fortunately, the many geniuses who came before us have made most of the useful discoveries (otherwise, they wouldn't have been such great performers) leading to efficient practice methods.
Another misconception about technique is that once the fingers become sufficiently skillful, you can play anything. Almost every different passage is a new adventure; it must be learned anew. Experienced musicians seem to be able to play just about anything because (1) they have practiced all the things that you encounter frequently, and (2) they know how to learn new things very quickly. There are large classes of passages, such as scales, that appear frequently; knowledge of how to play these will cover significant portions of most compositions. But more importantly, there are general solutions for large classes of problems and specific solutions for specific problems.
Victor E. Galvan
Pianist, Guitar, Vocal Instructor
Home Office: 210-340-7877
Email address: [email protected]
B.M. Music Education-University of North Texas, Denton, Texas
St. Philips College, San Antonio, Texas-1975-1977
Memorial High School, San Antonio, Texas-Graduated 1974
Major Areas of Study
Music Theory Composition and Piano Guitar
Piano and Organ Voice & Choral Conducting
Owner/Operator: Piano or Guitar in your Home by Victor Galvan (1981- current)Instructor:
Executive Producer and CEO of the CAN
Awards Talent Search, a Texas state competition.
Owner and Operator of Private/Class Instruction Fine Arts program, “Community Arts Network”, Working in various San Antonio venues: i.e.; schools, restaurants, shopping malls, and churches where I produced and directed various major musical projects throughout San Antonio public and private schools.
The after school programs served over 600 students.
Producer of many
community plays, concerts, recitals, dramas, and musicals including: “West Side Story”, “Grease”, “The Prince of
Egypt”(with a cast of 100). Recorded
Cd’s with extensive experience directing and training children/adult choirs,
bands, and orchestra musicians for small and major productions. Have a strong
and broad knowledge in state-of-the-art keyboards, synthesizers, sequencers,
computers and video equipment.
Owned and operated music and video recording studio.
Traveled extensively in the United States and Mexico after recording four Latin albums, several singles and live recordings with a major label.
Happily married to my best friend and the father of three (adult son and two young daughters). My wife and children are also musicians.
References (available upon request)
Piano/Guitar/Voice Lesson Agreement
Weekly Lesson Agenda: Music Reading & Theory, Technique & Improvisation.
SPECIAL NOTE: DUE TO FULL STUDENT SCHEDULING MISSED LESSONS WILL BE FORFEITED, UNLESS MISSED BY ME.
NO REFUNDS. STUDENTS MAY ALSO PAY USING PAY PAL!Group rate: must have 3 students to make the class. Fees for Books & Supplies: Up to $50 for the semester (Depending on the level)
1.Voice 2 Dance 3 Acting
Any/all GROUP REHEARSALS WILL ALWAYS COUNT AS LESSON TIME.
Recognition Awarded at Major Concert/Recitals.
IF YOU ARE PARTICIPATING IN OUR RECITAL GROUP, REHEARSALS WILL BE CONSIDERED AS LESSONS.
Lesson Day: Lesson Time:
Careers: Mom______________________________ Dad____________________________
Fee Paid_$____________________________ Date____________________________
Teacher: ___________________________ __________________________________________