The First Principles Of Pianoforte Playing

A complete playing tutorial for self learners or school use.

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to music itself—and to do this through Attention to the key. Not only is this necessary during the first stages—when learning new Touch-methods—but it is necessary ever afterwards, even when the Artist-stage is reached. For we find that even those most gifted musically are at times liable to forget to use their musical-imagination and judgment; and are besides always prone to forget to attend instrumentally,—to forget to attend to Key-resistance through the Muscular-sense, and to the Beginning of sound through the Ear; omissions (the last two especially) which instantly impair the musical effect of the per­formance.
This last point cannot be urged too strongly upon Teachev and Pupil;—that it is only through attention to his instrument that a performer can attend to Music.
Coming now to the treatment of children: Much the same course should be pursued with them as with adults. With an intelligent child one need not hesitate to start with a recital of the facts to be learned, even as advocated for adults. Of course this must be reduced to the simplest and barest outline; the teacher being careful to draw attention rather to what has to be done, than to the explanation of why it has to be done; for a child cares not to know the Wherefore so much, as the How-fore! Every intelligent child will indeed be found quite interested to know "the rules of the game" before starting to play; much therefore depends on the way these matters are presented;—one can only expect the child to be interested, provided the teacher makes plain the immediate and practical application of these rules.
And here, again, the moment the child essays to touch the instrument, tendencies towards some fault or other will at once manifest themselves to the alert teacher, and will thus give him the desired opening from which to start the whole chain of instruction. But before a child (or adult, for that matter) is permitted to touch an instrument, the teacher must insist on a clear understanding of the nature of the first principles of playing itself,—how the pupil must attend (and intend)
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