The hallmark of a good pianist is the beautiful tone they create when they play.

I recently attended a workshop presented by clinician and pianist Marc Durand called Technic: Understanding the relationship between the piano and how one uses the body. Marc Durand teaches at the University of Montreal and the RCM Glenn Gould School in Toronto. It was excellent to hear a master create a palette of sounds from a piano Рa weightless shimmer of sound, a jewel-like melody, effortless rapid scales. Mr. Durand demonstrated a solid understanding of the mechanics of the piano and the human body, and showed how a small physical change can yield a greatly improved tone.

Learning to play the piano is so much more than just learning how to read music. I estimate that about 50% of my comments to students are related to listening for and achieving beautiful tone. The basic things you’ll need to create some beautiful music are: good technique, a critical ear, and a good quality acoustic piano. I’ll talk about each component individually over the next few posts.

We’re not just playing the piano; we’re making art.