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Dynamic Deficiency

Are your students missing the dynamics? For many students, these pale in comparison to all the other stuff they need to think about: rhythms, notes, articulation, etc.

Dynamic Deficiency: Transfiguration

Transforming into an animal allows students to express dynamics more freely and makes them more likely to engage with all the dynamics in the piece.

Steps

  • Pick an animal to represent each dynamic mark.
  • Draw a picture of the animal or use stickers as reminders.
  • Ask your student to play the piece, transforming into each animal as she plays.
  • The drawings or stickers will serve as a reminder for her to practice this way at home too. Ask her to explain the animals to her family too, and to listen out for them as she plays.

Dynamic Deficiency: Dramatise

Make dynamics the most fun and engaging part of your student’s piece by adding drama into the mix. Acting out dynamics will bring them to life and make them relevant for your student.

Steps

  • Come up with a story together that fits the dynamics in your student’s piece. If nothing comes to mind, ask her to close her eyes while you play to help her visualise a matching narrative.
  • Discuss mimes and actions that could convey this story. Encourage her to jump around, crouch down, dance and gesture.
  • Play the piece several times with exaggerated dynamics while your student performs the actions.
  • Ask her to return to the piano and imagine this acted out story as she plays.
  • At home, assign this same imaginative practice. Tell your student to teach family members the actions so that they can join in as she plays.