Harmonic Series 1

Wednesday, January 31, 2018 by Mary O'Connor | math and music

My son was at this Opening Concert and found it very interesting.

Math and music join forces for the Harmonic Series, an exciting quarterly program presented by MoMath, hosted by public radio’s “Piano Puzzler” Bruce Adolphe, each event will bring together different musicians, composers, and mathematicians — and some who are all three at once — in conversation and performance. Enjoy the best of both worlds as these talented minds play live music and participate in an ongoing discussion about the artistic and logical intersections of these two disciplines.

Opening Concert - December 16, 2015 7:00 PM
 "All Things Equal: Music and Math at the Piano"
 Featuring performances by Noam Elkies & Orli Shaham

Noam Elkies is a mathematician, composer, and the youngest ever tenured professor at Harvard. Orli Shaham is an acclaimed pianist and the host of “Dial-A-Musician.” Celebrate Beethoven's birthday on December 16 with this eagerly anticipated debut! Noam and Orli will display their performance talents and discuss with host Bruce Adolphe the subtle and splendid ways that mathematics weaves into their artistry.



The National Museum of Mathematics (MoMath)  is located at 11 East 26th Street in Manhattan and is open from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, seven days a week, 364 days a year (MoMath is closed on Thanksgiving Day). Special note: MoMath closes early the first Wednesday of every month, at 2:30 PM.

National Compliment Day

Wednesday, January 24, 2018 by Mary O'Connor | holiday

compliment

 

National Compliment Day.  Give an extra compliment on National Compliment Day which is observed annually on January 24. A compliment has a powerful effect. It can instill confidence in a child, or validate someone's hard work.

The OCMS has sticker pages you can put in your student's music or notebooks to remind him or her how well you think they're doing.

Always find something to praise in your student's practice and playing.  You'll see that it makes a world of difference.

 

Hanon Exercises

Saturday, January 20, 2018 by Mary O'Connor | technique,

  hanon 


Since the first release of this classic Schirmer edition over 100 years ago, almost anyone who has taken piano lessons for more than two years has played from The Virtuoso Pianist.


Most anyone who has ever played piano has a love-hate relationship with the "Hanon".

The Virtuoso Pianist (Le Pianiste virtuose ) by Charles-Louis Hanon, is a compilation of sixty exercises meant to train the pianist in speed, precision, agility, and strength of all of the fingers and flexibility in the wrists.

First published in Boulogne, in 1873, The Virtuoso Pianist is Hanon's most well-known work, and is still widely used by piano instructors and pupils although some teachers are getting away from the mechanical playing these can produce.

Personally, I've sometimes played these on "auto-pilot" since all one really needs is to get the first pattern going, then move up a step, up a step...

hanon1



Notes by C. L. Hanon: Preparatory exercises for the Acquirement of Agility, Independence, Strength and Perfect Evenness in the Fingers. For studying the 20 exercises, begin with the metronome set at 60, gradually increasing the speed up to 108.

From Wikipedia:

The exercises are intended to address common problems which could hamper the performance abilities of a student. These include "crossing of the thumb", strengthening of the fourth and fifth fingers, and quadruple- and triple-trills.

The exercises are meant to be individually mastered and then played consecutively in the sections they are placed in.

Apart from increasing technical abilities of the student, when played in groups at higher speeds, the exercises will also help to increase endurance. The exercises are divided in three parts:

  1. Exercises 1 - 20: Labeled "preparatory exercises", these are also the most famous exercises, and are used to develop finger strength and independence. Each exercise contains a sequence of 8 semiquavers, beginning on C, which is then repeated starting on D, and so on across two octaves. The exercise is then repeated in reverse down two octaves to the starting C. The exercises are intended to be practiced in groups of three, except for the first two which are practiced together.
  2. Exercises 21 - 43: Labeled "further exercises for the development of a virtuoso technique." This more difficult section is meant to be played after the pianist has fully mastered Part 1. Part 2 includes scales and arpeggios.
  3. Exercises 44 - 60: Labeled "virtuoso exercises for mastering the greatest technical difficulties." Since this section is considerably more difficult, Hanon recommends the mastery of both previous parts before proceeding to this one. This part includes repeated notes,, and more.

After all three parts are mastered, Hanon recommends all exercises be played through daily to retain technique.

The O'Connor Music Studio has several editions of this work.