“It is not the study of technique that matters, but the technique of studying” (Franz Liszt)
The concept "Piano Technique & Physiology" tries to connect the worlds of music practice with that of Music physiology and Music medicine in a meaningful way. This Concept is a result from 20 years of experience in the field of piano pedagogy, as a concert pianist as well a 10-years close collaboration with the Institute for Music physiology and Music Medicine in Hanover
(Head Prof. Dr. E. Altenmüller) - which research continuously contributes to the further development of the concept.
The greatest challenge, but also greatest satisfaction, lies in the transmission of the principles into the daily instrumental practice, which then provides concrete answers for the problems of pianists and piano educators. The approach of "Piano technique & Physiology" can therefore not be a final product, but a permanent "work in progress", which is carried out through the unique combination of a fruitful collaboration with high leveled concert pianists, piano educators, piano students and renowned researchers in the field of music physiology.
All movement patterns specific to piano technique are analysed according to neuro-physiological criteria, which requires a particularly detailed knowledge of anatomy, principally the upper body, as well as its resulting physiological functions.
A systematic study of “compensatory” movements
Determining risk-patterns and/or eventual pathologies.
The analysis will be the steppingstone to the classification of physiologically “at-risk” movementpatterns. Risk-patterns are those that are contrary to the natural functions of the body, and thus constitute a risk factor for the appearance of specific pathologies. These patterns or problems may include varied forms of inflammation and chronic tendinitis (conditions that are generally the most familiar to pianists) as well as partial loss of motor control resulting from fatigue, overuse, or chronic pain syndromes.
Using the knowledge gained from the analysis and identification of risk-patterns, a strategy will be determined on how to reduce them and to prevent further problems to occur. The optimization of those specific movements establishes a repertoire of varied tools put at the player’s disposal and will be accompanied with logical explanations of common compensatory mechanisms.
Your optimal tool-box
Where everything gets together
The implementation-process of optimizing our pianistic tools is carried out in close association with the repertoire and the musical ideas of the participants in order to realize an expressive and natural performance at the keyboard. Thus, all the elements directly related to musical interpretation (phrasing, articulation, tone, voicing, rhythm, rubato, breathing, etc.) will be covered within this physiological approach.
The Structure of the Physiological concept
“A physiological approach to piano technique”