Tag: Piano Technique


Back Release Mini Series by GéNIA: 3 Minute Tension Release

May 13th, 2014 — 7:49am

After playing piano professionally for 30 years and teaching piano for the last 16, I have noticed that due to regular piano playing some people can experience similar physical and psychological problems. After observing students, colleagues and, of course, myself I have come to the conclusion that these problems can be alleviated if dealt with before they manifest.

There is a popular misconception that compared to the work of a dancer, a pianist’s work is mainly intellectually based. However pianists use the physical body as much as the mind – without both elements the expression of music would not be possible.

The most common physical problems for pianists are stiffness and pain in the shoulder girdle and lower back, stiffness and tension in the hips (mainly due to long hours of sitting), muscle fatigue in the hands, arms and right leg (due to pedaling), and a general feeling of blocked energy. As well as dealing with physical strain many pianists, especially those at a professional level, have to deal with the psychological stress of public performances.

Music students are expected and encouraged to practice a lot, some classical pianists practice up to eight hours a day. However, driven by the will to succeed they often ignore these issues continuing to practice and continuing to be deprived of the desired results because of the state of their physical and mental well-being.

After studying yoga for a number of years and then training to be a yoga teacher, I started implementing various yoga postures and exercises into the breaks between my piano playing sessions and found that the quality of my practice and my well-being improved tremendously.

The exercises outlined in Back Release Mini Series are designed to help pianists during and after their sessions by helping to rejuvenate and stretch the body, particularly working on the upper back. You can do each exercise individually between your piano practice sessions or do them together as a sequence.

Try to take notice and observe the way your body is feeling and choose the exercises that feel suitable for you. Also remember that all breathing during these exercises is done through your nose, with the mouth closed, unless you feel blocked and congested. In this blog I am introducing 3 Minute Tension Release:

 

3 Minute Tension Release

BENEFITS: Stretches the spine. Opens the hips. Warms up the upper body. Rejuvenates tired muscles. Restorative.

Props: Using a Grand Piano as a prop can be useful for stretching and releasing your back after a piano playing session. This exercise can also be done by placing your hands on a wall and then walking yourself backwards but is a little less effective. Recommended for adults only.

  • Place your feet parallel and hip width apart
  • Place your hands with your palms facing down on the lid of a grand piano (Do not do this with an upright as the height would not be appropriate).
  • Start slowly walking backwards while keeping your hands on the piano until you find yourself in an L-shaped position
  • Hold position for a few minutes and engage abdominal muscles by drawing them slightly inwards to support the back
  • To come out of the stretch, slowly start to walk towards the piano while keeping your palms pressed on the lid until you reach an upright position

 

Photographer: Pamela Troni
Model: Trudi Oliveiro
Photos: © Piano-Yoga Ltd

If you like to learn this exercise directly from GéNIA click HERE to book your place on the Piano-Yoga® retreat at King’s Place on 18th May in London.

Comment » | GéNIA's Articles, Piano-Yoga®, Piano-Yoga® School, Practical Advice, Yoga

Piano-Yoga® 30 Second Tips No. 9 – Belt

October 11th, 2013 — 10:57am

In this video, Russian pianist and the founder of Piano-Yoga®, GéNIA, describes how the use of a yoga belt can dramatically extend the amount of time you can comfortably play the piano. Recorded at the Piano-Yoga® EPTA Workshop 2010.

For detailed, step by step instructions on how to use the belt, please visit our website:
www.piano-yoga.com/free-resources/useful-props.php

If you wish to experience what the Piano-Yoga® method has to offer, come join us at Kings Place for our Piano-Yoga® Certificate Courses, 29th September – 1st December 2013. https://www.piano-yoga.com/courses/about-certificate-courses.php

Video shot and edited by Richard Music Productions:
https://www.richard-music.co.uk/

Comment » | Practical Advice, Video

Piano-Yoga® 30 Second Tips No. 8 – Wrist Exercise

October 1st, 2013 — 10:54am

In this video, Russian pianist and the founder of Piano-Yoga®, GéNIA, demonstrates how to perform a yogic exercise that helps to release the tension in the wrists and make them more flexible for playing. This exercise can be performed away from the piano. Recorded at the Piano-Yoga® EPTA Workshop 2010.

These bite sized videos contain essential advice on piano playing from the founder of Piano-Yoga® itself, virtuoso concert pianist GéNIA, with all the material taken from the large database of Piano-Yoga® workshops, retreats and presentations that took place in the last few years.

If you wish to experience what the Piano-Yoga® method has to offer, come join us at Kings Place for our Piano-Yoga® Certificate Courses, 29th September – 1st December 2013. https://www.piano-yoga.com/courses/about-certificate-courses.php

Video shot and edited by Richard Music Productions:
https://www.richard-music.co.uk/

Comment » | GéNIA, Practical Advice, Video

Why Piano-Yoga® Certificate Courses?

September 20th, 2013 — 7:43pm

GéNIA by the Piano

In all my years as a teacher, I keep coming across many students, whether professional or amateur, who feel frustrated with their playing and think that they cannot do something due to lack of ability. Very often, after looking into their concerns, it turns out that the problems they are experiencing are due to either misinformation or simply lack of knowledge.

I came to the conclusion that having knowledge is as easy as not having it as, whether we want it or not, we still form an opinion about everything (very rare we think that we have no opinion whatsoever!). We look at the situation and form an opinion, sometimes through rationalising and sometimes through emotion or intuition. In the light of this, would not it be easier to spend a little more time and get proper information that would provide a foundation to solve the problems and challenges?

Very often when I speak with students they say ‘well, we are only beginners, maybe we do not need that in-depth knowledge and information about piano playing’. And this is when I think they are fundamentally wrong. If you are spending your time on something, it is up to you to decide how you utilise this time; to learn to your maximum capacity is crucial.

This is why I decided to introduce the Piano-Yoga® Certificate Courses. They start with the very simple basics: how to sit at the piano, how best to hold your hands, how to create the basic sound, how to perfect your rhythm, organise your practice, how to cope with pre-performance nerves, amongst other things. The main part of the course is dedicated to answering a lot of ‘Why’s?’ The course will suit anyone, whether 11 years old or 75, whether a professional or amateur. It gives the basics from the Piano-Yoga® prospective, from the point of view of working with the individual body, mind and energetic capacity. It will also show how, through piano playing, one can learn about one’s own personality and physique and then provide you with appropriate tools to start working on yourself in all those areas (your character, your energetic state, your mind).

It will also show how to improve the body’s capacity – whether to heighten the energy or calm yourself down.

Don’t forget: if you have any questions, you can always send us an email and the answers will be published in this blog.

Looking forward to seeing you at our courses!

GéNIA

Click HERE to find out more about the Piano-Yoga Certificate Courses at Kings Place.
Click HERE to book tickets.

Comment » | GéNIA, GéNIA's Articles, Piano-Yoga®

Piano-Yoga® 30 Second Tips No. 7 – Neck Support

September 19th, 2013 — 9:59am

In this video, Russian pianist and the founder of Piano-Yoga®, GéNIA, demonstrates how a proper neck position can prevent problems with your back, shoulders and head. Recorded at the Piano-Yoga® EPTA Workshop 2010.

These bite sized videos contain essential advice on piano playing from the founder of Piano-Yoga® itself, virtuoso concert pianist GéNIA, with all the material taken from the large database of Piano-Yoga® workshops, retreats and presentations that took place in the last few years.

If you wish to experience what the Piano-Yoga® method has to offer, come join us at Kings Place for our Piano-Yoga® Certificate Courses, 29th September – 1st December 2013. https://www.piano-yoga.com/courses/about-certificate-courses.php

Video shot and edited by Richard Music Productions:
https://www.richard-music.co.uk/

Comment » | GéNIA, Practical Advice, Video

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