Heuristic Approach to Piano Technique

I am a pianist. I have traveled far and wide in my pursuit of perfect piano teacher over the years. Traveled, moved, worked, studied, invested time and resources.. One of the greatest things about working with amazing pedagogues was having face to face interaction and learning not just about piano but picking their brain about life. I always though that in order to be a real artist, you need life experience and good education.

There isn’t much innovation in the world of learning piano online. You can watch boring tutorials put together by some guy on YouTube or pay for a Skype lesson. That’s about how far it goes. Oh, download an app that does absolutely nothing for you.

Having working with esteemed pedagogues, Alan Fraser and Kemal Gekic, I really wanted to bring this experience to wider audience and share it with others like me who were not able to take the path I took.

And so while staying at my friends couch in a strange place of Lincoln, NE, I had this idea. I will build a site where we will share actual piano lessons, lectures or piano session of any kind, edit out and show the process and interactions between teacher and students rather then boring tutorials. It will follow this so called heuristic approach:

A heuristic technique (/hjᵿˈrɪstᵻk/; Ancient Greek: εὑρίσκω, “find” or “discover”), often called simply a heuristic, is any approach to problem solving, learning, or discovery that employs a practical method not guaranteed to be optimal or perfect, but sufficient for the immediate goals.

And so PianoTechnique.org, a unique online service for pianists built by pianists was born. This is not yet another piano tutorial site where we teach you to play C major scale. We will show you the body mechanics and everything going on with your hand in order to play a healthy scale.

Alan Fraser, one of the biggest authorities on piano technique today, recognized the potential of this platform from the very get go. We began shaping and tailoring the content as well as building and tweaking infrastructure around it. One of the early additions were Points of Interest, a simple in video tagging option where users could tag an interesting moment in a video for others to see. Over time we added all the bells and whistles a modern web app should have. Video favorites, watch lists, video view trackers, series, workshops, notifications..

The content is very neatly organized in series, by tags, by teacher, technical or musical problem and can be filtered down even more. The beauty of the whole project is different takes from different teachers on the same or similar topics. Alan tends to get more scientific and mechanical where Kemal digs deeper into the meaning and music score.

You are learning by observing and drawing your own conclusions. None of our teachers provides the ultimate answer. The ultimate answer is for your to figure out, they can only point you the right way. This approach works for some but it also does not work for many. I’d say you would have to at least be a mid level pianist before getting into something like this.

Alan Fraser also happens to be a highly trained Feldenkrais practitioner, so we also try to publish as many free Feldenkrais videos for pianists as possible.

The Feldenkrais Method is a type of exercise therapy devised by Moshé Feldenkrais (1904–1984). The method is claimed to reorganize connections between the brain and body and so improve body movement and psychological state.

The site continues to grow every day. We are publishing new lessons, lectures, ATMs and series several times a week. A big portion of the site is behind the paywall but some 12–15% is free for all and we will try to keep it that way.

PianoTechnique.org