What is good piano technique?

In Part One of our Interview with Richard Beauchamp we explore the question of piano technique. Is there a "good one?" What does "good" mean? Is there one technique or many?

Richard Beauchamp is a pianist and educator who has studied with, among others, Ernest Empson. He performed on radio and television and appeared as soloist with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.

Early in his training he became fascinated by the difficulty music teachers seem to have in explaining what they mean, and by the fact that what they did was very often different from what they said. This led to a lifelong interest in anatomy and the mechanics of movement. 

In 1977 he joined the staff of St Mary's Music School in Edinburgh, where he has been Head of Keyboard for the majority of his years there until his retirement from the post in April, 2014. He continues to teach piano and accompany the students.

(Interviewer's note: The history of piano technique to which I refer in the interview is "Famous Pianists and Their Technique" by Reginald Gerig.)


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