Have you ever wondered how a violin bow is made? It requires a lot of patience, a good eye for detail and much filing and sanding! William Watson, a former employee of W E Hill & Sons, shows the complete process, from the well-seasoned bow blank to the insertion of the Mongolian horse hair.
Apart from Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, the best well-known melody is Happy Birthday. But how would it sound if Beethoven had composed it? Or perhaps Chopin? Or Bach? Pianist, Nicole Pesce, shows how.
If you are an instrumentalist, you probably won’t have much difficulty with page turns. After all, it’s quite easy to add an extra page to the music on your stand so you have three pages visible.
However, for a pianist, this is a different story altogether. There are ways of coping with this. This one below is NOT one I would recommend!
This pianist obviously had not thought about this kind of accident! So what can a pianist do to eliminate performance hiccups?
Here are some suggestions if you want to turn pages yourself:
- Photocopy the next page or enough of the page so you can turn at a convenient point, eg when one hand has a long note or some rests. DO NOT tape all your pages together as the pianist in the video did!
- Turn early, playing the last few bars of the page from memory
- Turn early, and mark a spot over the page where the bars you need are repeated. Play enough to get you to the top of the page after the turn.
- Bend back the corner of the page so you can grab it quickly and easily
- Decide which hand is more important and leave a few notes out from the other hand while you turn. In many Baroque or Classical pieces you can get away with just playing the left hand bass notes while you turn the page.
Do I need a page turner?
Having a page turner can definitely make playing easier if you need to get to the next page and there is no sensible place to turn. Also, if you think you might pull the music off the piano stand as you turn (some books do not sit well on the piano) then yes, by all means find someone to turn your pages. However, some pianists prefer to turn their own pages because it’s what they get used to when they are practising.
In the end it’s really up to you. Here are a couple of tips to help your page turner:
- Make sure your page turner knows what your signal is to turn the page. Most pianists nod when they want the page turned. You don’t have to look at your page turner when you do this.
- Be sure to let your page turner know how close and where to stand. You don’t want them cramping your playing if you have a lot of bass notes at the turn They should always stand on the stage side of your piano stool, never on the audience side. If the piece is slow or long they might like to sit on a chair until the line before the turn.
Students often bring a number of books to lessons… unless they leave them at home, and that happens too! But what if you have a really creative way of helping your student (and yourself!) keep track of their technical progress?
Andrea, from Teach Piano Today, has come up with a relatively painless way to help you and your piano students do this and is also offering free printables. These suit RCM exams but you could adapt them to suit your exam syllabus requirements fairly easily. There are also some “blanks” for you to fill in yourself. Check out what Andrea has to say here and pick up the free printables here 🙂
One of the most important aspects of any piece of music is the beat. All music needs a beat of some kind whether it is heard in the performers’ heads or given from a conductor, a percusssion section or from a drummer. However, sometimes drummers “do their own thing” together and with much practice achieve amazing results. Check out the spectacular Top Secret Drum Corps below!
About Top Secret Drum Corps
Top Secret Drum Corps is a precision drum corps based in Basel, Switzerland. It comprises 25 drummers and colorguard members. The corps became famous for its demanding six-minute routine performed at the Edinburgh Tattoo in 2003, thus becoming one of the first non-military, non-British Commonwealth acts to perform on the Esplanade at Edinburgh Castle. Since its success in 2003, Top Secret was invited to return to Edinburgh in 2006, 2009 and again in 2012. Under the leadership of Erik Julliard, the band is also responsible for the founding of the Basel Tattoo, a military tattoo show similar to the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, now held annually in Basel.