Feldenkrais Method® and Piano Somatics
From the General Towards the Specific in Piano Technique
This article is built around an extract from Play the Piano with Your Whole Self, my fourth in an ongoing series of books on piano technique. The series is titled “Natural, Artistic Piano Playing,” and to date contains over 250 Piano Somatics ATM® lessons. The hand on key functions much like a little person with legs (fingers), pelvis (hand) and torso (forearm). This analogy lends itself to Feldenkrais Method-style exercises which develop the relationship between the hand’s innate structure and function and the complex actions required to move a piano key artistically. Piano Somatics, the science and art of movement at the keyboard, addresses certain thorny problems in piano pedagogy that have exasperated generations of pianists. The Feldenkrais Method, with its understanding of skeletal mechanics, biological cybernetics and learning, offers the context for Piano Somatics’ new approach to piano technique.