chiral3 wrote:I was having a related discussion with my son's piano teacher ... I think I am of the opinion that, at least for novices and maybe intermediate players, dynamics should be worked on later, or after a piece can be smoothly played in the correct time.
Mark Clifton-Gaultier wrote:
I teach dynamic control and varied articulation from the very first exercises using a single note. In my experience problems such as inadvertent acceleration related to an increase in volume are much easier to deal with (or usually avoid altogether) if the student has internalised these elements early and independently.
I assume I am in the minority with this one, but your point about teaching this from learning the first note would address the issue. Problem is, how often does a teacher get to be there for the first note? In terms of internalizing - at least with my son, we sit with the sheet music and read and talk about the dynamics separately, before incorporating. We also carve time out for listening to recordings or performances of the music where we discuss dynamics. His teacher also started to do this with him at my request. I suppose this would be defined as incorporating dynamics serially as opposed to in parallel. We do this elsewhere in music, though. A similar thing happens with learning the notes. Some teachers would say play the notes slowly with the correct rhythm from the beginning rather than learning the notes then nailing the rhythm. I am in this camp because I believe that the notes get preferential treatment over rhythm for everyone except drummers. I would say the norm is that one learns notes, then rhythm, then dynamics. Learning notes and rhythm, then dynamics, is what I allude to above. Notes and rhythm and dynamics could be too much parallel processing for the beginning brain, your method being the exception. Back to dynamics, I suspect (in a hand waiving empirically factual way) that when I hear a particularly rough and rubatosized version of Un dia de Noviembre or Lagrima that it's related to the lack of this foundation, i.e., the player is not hearing that they change the rhythm and meter because they are so focused on dynamics.