Saturday, July 13, 2019

Motivating Beginning Piano Technique Mastery with Wizard Challenges

Beginning Piano Technique Wizard Challenges, a organized piano teaching technique curriculum

In order to earn the "Technique Wizard Challenge" on my piano student leaderboard, students complete the following technique challenges that correspond with their current level.

Technique Wizard - Star
Caterpillar Crawl

Can you prepare to use proper piano technique motions by demonstrating these movements away from the keyboard while listening to Mozart's Rondo Alla Turca?
  • Bicycle Wrist Circles
  • Jump Rope Staccato Bounces
  • Swimming Pool Float Offs
  • Weight Lifting Finger O's
  • Balance Beam Thumb Tucks
  • Teeter Totter Wrist Rotation
  • Alternating Hands - Piano Safari Herbie Hippo

Technique Wizard - Hero
Piano Safari Animal Techniques
Can you demonstrate all of the animal techniques in Safari Friends after learning each of the other animal pieces? Links to Reminder, Instructional and Performance Animal Technique Videos are on .  By clicking the song titles below you can view the Reminder Videos for each rote  technique piece
Technique Wizard Scholar
  • Can you do the Thumb Tuck Challenge and apply it to 5 different 1 octave scales?
  • Shape Scales with Dynamics-Make the volume rise as you go up and fall on the way down.
  • Legato vs Staccato Scales- Can you play right hand legato while left is staccato, then switch?
  • Demo Secrets: Float off Phrase endings

Technique Wizard Master
  • Demonstrate Arm Weight by adding more weight as you play a piece that includes accents.
  • Demonstrate a Light Thumb  as you play a sequence of scale patterns (Snowball Scales PA 2B)
  • Demonstrate the Swoop (Down-Up) Slur Gesture as you play broken chords of the C scale Forward/Backward Somersaults PA 2B)
  • Demonstrate Syncopated Pedaling as you play the chords of the C scale (Pedal Power PA 2B)
  • Play a Chromatic Scale with Correct Fingering (Prep with Piano Safari I Like Bananas)
Technique Wizard Doctorate (PA Technique Artistry 3A/3B)
  • Round off Slurs
  • Chord Wrist Bows
  • Rotating Intervals
  • Closed Hand Scales vs Open Hand Extensions
  • The Up-Touch
  • Voice the Melody
Technique Wizard Gold  (PA Technique Artistry Level 4 or Hanon-Faber) Describe and Demonstrate
  • Alignment with Grace Notes
  • Drop and Follow Through
  • Weighted Tone and Empty Fingers
  • Half Circle/Full Circle (Swoop/Arc Hanon-Faber)
  • 4 Types of Staccato
The idea of having technique wizard was sparked by this post on the Colourful Keys blog.  I love Nicola's organized way of motivating students!

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