P2 - B3

Tone quality, sound production and articulation

  • Play with a focused, clear sound:
    • using some dynamic contrast
    • controlling changes in dynamics with more ease
    • shaping and defining phrases
    • developing some independence of dynamic levels between the hands
    • developing an awareness of tone quality when joining or changing hand position
  • Play with non-legato and legato articulation, including slurring
  • Incorporate direct pedalling and pedalling for effect as appropriate
  • Further develop awareness of how different instruments respond differently, and begin to adjust playing accordingly

Demonstrate examples of well-rounded tone and contrast this with examples of poorly produced tone (both unfocussed and overly harsh), using the same passage. Invite learners to comment on the differences.

‘Good tone’ only becomes meaningful in the context of well-shaped musical phrases.

Provide some simple explanations of the physical origins of well-rounded tone.

Demonstrate and explain the physical movements required for legato and staccato.

To some extent, different articulations will have occurred in Programme of Study 1, but perhaps a fuller explanation is useful at this stage. There are a variety of equally successful approaches to the introduction of staccato. It is useful to make clear links between the sound and the physical movements required.

Help learners to make audio recordings of their playing as a tool for evaluating their tone, using an audio recording app.

When performing on an unfamiliar piano, e.g. in a concert, support learners to adjust their playing accordingly.

Continue exploring the current Programme of Study