P3 - B3

Tone quality, sound production and articulation

  • Play with a focused, clear sound:
    • using a larger range of dynamics
    • controlling changes in dynamics
    • shaping and defining phrases
    • controlling the dynamic levels of each hand with more ease
    • controlling the tone quality when joining or changing hand position
    • using an appropriate range of accent and emphasis
    • highlighting the top note of a chord
  • Play with non-legato and legato articulation, including slurring and staccato
  • Use direct pedalling, pedalling for effect and legato pedalling where musically appropriate
  • Adjust various aspects of playing technique according to the instrument and venue with guidance from the teacher

Provide learners with simple demonstrations and explanations of the physical movements required for particular articulations and ask them to apply these to particular pieces.

Show learners how to develop even staccato touch at a range of dynamic levels and at different tempi and ask them to comment on the musical effects.

Staccato touch can originate at the finger, hand (wrist), or arm (though the latter is unlikely at this stage).

Demonstrate the effects of good and poor balance, both between and within hands, and invite learners to comment on the results.

Illustrate exercises for chordal balance, playing the top note of the chord f, followed shortly after by the rest of the chord p, and with the lower notes followed by the top note.

Demonstrate playing the lower notes of a chord and singing the top, encouraging learners to incorporate this into their practice routines.

Select, demonstrate and discuss repertoire, e.g. the sets For Children by Bartok, Easy and Progressive Studies op. 100 by Burgmüller, Thirty Pieces for Children op. 27 by Kabalevsky, that emphasises clear contrasts of dynamics and articulation, including a developing range of tenuto, staccato, etc. Ask learners to comment on the various effects.

Illustrate and explain simple exercises for the introduction of legato pedalling, asking learners to imitate these and to apply them to short passages in pieces.

When performing on an unfamiliar piano and/or in a new venue, encourage learners to identify how to adjust their playing according to the instrument and acoustics.

Continue exploring the current Programme of Study