In many places Autumn is the most beautiful season, with colorful leaves creating a kaleidoscope of whirling reds, yellows, rusts, and orange-browns, each with its own changing nuance as the days and weather shift. Nuance itself is a delicate word, implying subtlety and fine distinctions. And attention to playing with nuance can begin early. Yes, it’s a matter of touch and technique, but listening is a key component. And discovering that learning to use the pedal is learning to listen expands a student’s ability to play with artistry. Colorful dynamic effects involving sensitive use of the pedal are at the heart of Autumn Colors in Level 2B Technique & Artistry. Two arpeggiated chords create a reflective shimmer, not unlike sunlight reflecting off falling leaves. The soft echo chord must be heard, not lost in the ringing resonance. So, at the point of the pedal change a decision must be made. “Let your ear be your guide,” is Dr. Faber’s advice. “Experiment.” For most students playing at this level using the pedal is still a thrill. And the resonance created by pedal effects is special to the piano. All the more reason to encourage the interdependence between the ear and the foot.

4 replies on “Listen to This!”

  • This Thanksgiving, I’m being grateful for this well-organized website with its collection of short videos touching so many topics and levels. I look forward to the breath of fresh air each new clip offers. The ripple effect you create here moves through me to my students and also their families… so, many thanks!

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