No you didn’t click the wrong link today, even though this might sound like a topic for The Flute Show! Learning to breathe properly while you are playing the piano is an essential skill for any pianist. We can all understand that breathing is required to live but it has a great deal to do with performing music as well. Today we are going to discuss a couple of components of how breathing can positively and negatively affect your performances.
Let’s say you are playing a technically demanding piece like the Military Polonaise of Chopin. It’s going to take a lot of energy and you’re going to have to remind yourself to take some deep breaths. If you don’t plan for this you might end some sections out of breath and winded. During a musical performance you have so much on your mind that it’s common to forget something as essential as breathing! You don’t have to plan your breathing ahead of time but you should definitely remind yourself from time to time that you need to breathe. Before you enter a complicated section you should take the time to take a deep breath. This will enhance your performance and help to settle your nerves.
Beyond just breathing, you need to relax your mind and body enough so that it won’t be a problem in the first place. It’s difficult to tell someone to just get on stage and to be completely calm; of course most people will be at least somewhat nervous. Over time and with experience you will learn to calm your nerves and become more comfortable while playing. Learning to direct your energy into your playing as opposed to succumbing to your nerves will make a big difference.
Breathing can also be incredibly important while you’re playing with other musicians. In chamber music for example the breath of the pianist can actually guide the other musicians; it can help cue them as to where to play and where a phrase ends. If you pay close attention you might notice that all the musicians breathe in unison in a fine chamber group – even though some might be playing string instruments which don’t require the breath to produce tone.
Breathing is such an integral part of playing music that even on an instrument that doesn’t require breathing – like the piano – we as musicians still want to feel the breath in music. I cover this more in-depth in an earlier video about breath in music. I also have a topic that explains why singing your music is a great way to practice separate parts and get an idea for how the music should flow.
No matter what instrument you play you should definitely be aware of your breathing and how it affects your overall performance. Thanks again for joining me Robert Estrin Robert@LivingPianos.com (949) 244-3729
No you didn’t click the wrong link today, even though this might sound like a topic for The Flute Show! Learning to breathe properly while you are playing the piano is an essential skill for any pianist. We can all understand that breathing is required to live but it has a great deal to do with performing music as […]Read More