Play Piano Today With Dr. J

Starting at the LEFT Side of a Piece

Posted on: February 10, 2013

Let’s talk about the left side of a piece of music – i.e. the very very beginning of the piece.

Before playing a note on your instrument, take in every detail on the left side of the page.  Don’t miss a detail.  The following are all important to not only an informed performance but a successful practice session!!

The qualitative terms – mm quarter note = 120

The quantitative terms – allegretto

The clefs – treble, bass, other?

The key signature – what major or minor key?

The time signature – the basic pulse

Starting to practice or perform a piece of music without first checking the details on the “left side” of the piece is akin to putting your car in gear and shooting out of your driveway blindfolded.  So, take off that blindfold, check the seat, check the mirror, look and look again, put your car in gear, relax and move forward.

 You are now ready to look at those black spots we call the notes.

Dr. Jeannine Jordan is a piano and organ instructor and concert organist.


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  • bhundley1: I'm interested in your elaborating on the "fingering" aspect of practice. Are you a fan of Czerny, for instance, in terms of building up dexterity wi
  • promotionmusic: Thanks for your response. Congratulations to you on the work you are doing in the piano world.


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