Teaching Expressive Piano Playing

expressive piano playing

I often attend workshops and conferences for piano teachers and have the opportunity to observe adjudication sessions with piano students from many different age groups. Expressive piano playing ALWAYS comes up during these sessions.

The performances are usually tidy and polished.

The rhythm is accurate.

There’s hardly a wrong note.

The staccato and legato touch is perfection.

Yet…something is missing.

And then the adjudicator, often an incredibly experienced musician and piano teacher, will begin to ask questions about the piece.

“What color do you picture when you play this part?”


“What’s the story behind your piece?”

As it turns out, the students may never have thought about these things. They were¬†busy paying attention to note names, articulation, rhythm and fingering, and didn’t take the time to think about what picture this piece creates in their minds.

It’s so easy to get distracted by the many things that go into learning a piano piece that dynamics and expression become an afterthought.

But expressive piano playing it is such an important part of being a musician and an artist!

Watch my livecast below for fun ideas and practice strategies to help train your student in expressive piano playing.

Download a summary of the strategies from the livecast to keep handy during your piano practice.

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How do you get your student to implement expressive piano playing?




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