I love giving students a tour of the inside of the piano. It’s amazing to see how the hammers and strings and dampers all conspire to create such amazing sounds. The piano has the full range of an entire orchestra!
Often students tell me it sounds so different in the lesson than at home. There are lots of reasons for this. Every piano sounds and feels different, and the environment it’s in affects the sound, too. A small space with lots of hard surfaces tends to amplify the sound while, lots of carpet and upholstery absorbs sounds.
We can learn to adjust to these factors, as long as the instruments we play are kept in tune and good repair. Our Ontario weather with big changes in humidity and temperature can play havoc on tuning. As we move out of summer and in to the winter months, now is an excellent time to have your piano tuned. Pianos should be tuned at least once a year. There are a number of excellent tuners working in this area, and I am also happy to make recommendations.
It’s important to listen carefully and critically to the tone and phrasing and dynamics as we develop pieces artistically. These are things we work on in lessons, and it’s important to carry on with that work throughout the week. If the piano at home is out of tune, this becomes very difficult.
I’m also recording some of the work we do in lessons, using a digital recorder, and sharing it with students using Dropbox. It’s amazing what we are able hear in our own playing when we sit back and listen.