Piano Lessons in New York City

New York City and Skype

I love helping pianists shed years of habits and discover that they can play so much more easily and expressively. Every detail of body position and movement makes a difference. So does their increased awareness of sound and rhythmic impulses. They find themselves putting together a puzzle and creating something whole and brilliant. There’s nothing like the feeling of genuine mastery of your instrument.

“After only three lessons with Madeline, my technique feels amazingly natural and effortless. Instead of struggling for power and sounding harsh, I can now make a beautiful, big, round sound so easily. I’m thrilled!”

Laura Amoriello, Piano Faculty, Ithaca College

Through the Art of Practicing and Performing, you learn to recognize habits of overworking, tensing your body, and losing focus, and to replace them with the experience of comfortable movement, keen, joyful listening, and free musical expression. Through learning principles of efficient movement, you develop more physical ease at the piano. You also use specific listening techniques to tune into each sound and achieve greater clarity and expressiveness. And you work with basic laws of rhythm and pulse to unlock the natural flow of each phrase and each piece of music.

You also use simple mental techniques for developing relaxation, focus, and presence in practice and performance. And I offer the Performing Beyond Fear exercise, a short mental technique that transforms stage fright into confidence.

If you’re considering lessons, I offer a complimentary 45-minute diagnostic session at my NYC studio or online. 

 

“Madeline’s kindness and passion for music helped me transform my technique so that I now play with greater ease, expressiveness, and confidence. The tension in my back is gone, and I can sit tall, trust myself, and share my heart spontaneously, moment by moment, with an audience. I also enjoy teaching much more, and my students play with more ease and depth of expression.”

Mary Duncan, pianist and teacher, St. Paul, Minnesota

Piano Technique Photos

playing piano

Madeline demonstrates an inefficient posture for playing the piano: Slumping forward cramps arm movement and creates tension in the neck, shoulders, and arms.

proper piano playing posture

In upright posture, the arms can move freely and the head balances easily on top ofthe spine, easing the load on the neck, shoulders, and arms.

private piano lesson NYC

Keeping fingers raised above the keys while other fingers are playing requires unnecessary effort from the muscles in the forearm. The excess tension spreads throughout the hand, inhibiting speed and expressiveness.

piano keys

Letting fingers rest on the keys when they are not playing minimizes tension in the hand and forearm, which increases ease and improves tone quality.

fingers on piano keys

When the wrist is level with the arch of the hand, the fingers need to bend only slightly to depress the keys. This position also allows the weight of the arm to drop directly into the keys, assisting the fingers in producing sound.

wrist position playing piano

Letting the arm move forward to assist a short finger, such as the forth, in pushing down a piano key may raise the wrist momentarily above the arch of the hand. In transferring arm wieght from the forth finger to the fifth, which is even shorter, the arm must move forward farther, causing the wrist to move even higher. Keeping the wrist in a raised position, however, causes strain.

“I was fortunate to have studied piano technique online with Madeline. She’s the first teacher I have met who thoroughly knows the subject matter of piano technique, and she helped me actually overcome the technique problems I had acquired in the past. Using the computer, she’s able to see and diagnose your incorrect movements in piano playing. She guides you step by step through the process of how your hands and body need to move efficiently. And she explains and sees in detail what many teachers aren’t even able to do in person.”

Margaret Wronka Moeckel, pianist
graduate of Manhattan School of Music

If you’re considering lessons, I offer a complimentary 45-minute diagnostic session at my NYC studio or online.

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