Discover the Magic of Music
18 Danville Road Plaistow, NH 03865
The Upscale Piano program utilizes The Joy of First Year Piano method book that begins with a simple children’s tune, Bluebird and ends with a dazzling, two part piece, English Dance. Once the method book is completed, the student will enter the realm of the intermediate pianist. The completion of the method book establishes basic sight reading skills, the ability to comprehend two levels of subdivision as well as correct finger and wrist/hand technique. Markedly, the student will develop independence of the hands in three of the five skills required to be a well-trained pianist.
- Independent melodies in each hand
- Independent rhythms in each hand
- Independent note articulations in each hand
- Independent dynamic levels
- Independent phrasing
Early Beginner Level
Emma performing Bluebird at seven years old, one month of lessons.
Early Intermediate Level
Madeleine performing English Dance at eight years old, two years of lessons.
The first goal of the Upscale Piano Method is to be able to play with finger strikes that are completely isolated from the hands.
The intermediate level piano program utilizes Bach’s Minuet in G which establishes confidence with passing the thumb underneath fingers 2, 3 & 4 as well as passing fingers 2, 3 & 4 over the thumb. The Minuet in G also introduces Floating Elbow Technique. This is a technique by which the upper arm muscles (rather than the fingers) are responsible for carrying the weight of the hand and forearm while performing scales and arpeggios.
Matt, an adult student, performing Minuet in G after one year of lessons.
The fundamental lesson program ends once Beethoven’s Fur Elise has been completed. Mastering this piece establishes confidence with larger stretches of the hand as well as navigating distant hand position changes with greater speed and fluidity .
The teacher, Paul Beauregard, performing Fur Elise
Late Intermediate Level
From this point forward, (completion of Minuet in G and Fur Elise) students are encouraged to select songs from any genre they wish to play. The teacher will create custom piano arrangements specifically tailored to match the student’s proficiency level. Listen to Nia play her selected piece, River Flows in You, at the 2019 Upscale Piano Recital.
Independence of the Hands
Here’s Maddie at ten years old, four years of lessons, learning the song: 100 Years. The point of note here is the student’s ability to play syncopated rhythms in both hands while staying perfectly in time (tempo giusto) with the metronome.
Here’s Maddie at eleven years old, five years of lessons, improving her performance of her 2022 recital piece: The River Flows in You. The point of improvement in this video is the student’s mastering of Rubato. Rubato is an Italian word/musical term which means to rob or steal from the time. In the normal course of most musical performances the performer’s goal is to play Tempo Giusto e.g., play in strict time as we heard in the previous video clip of the song, 100 Years. Tempo Rubato is the opposite of Tempo Giusto, it’s when the performer pushes and pulls on the music’s tempo to achieve a more dramatic effect.
Imagine holding a large rubber band in each hand and pulling it to stretch it out and relaxing it to return to it’s original shape. The musical effect of pushing and pulling on the time is featured in the video below. (The rubato aspect of the performance on the video below ends at 0:22)
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UPSCALE PIANO LESSONS
18 Danville Road
Plaistow, NH 03865