RELEASE OF NEW SOLO ALBUM
I am very happy to announce the release of my first solo piano album, “Chopin Piano Masterpieces.” Producer, Scott Hawkinson did an amazing job capturing my playing and I hope you will it check out.
Click here to listen to Chopin Piano Masterpieces by Concert Pianist, David Leighton. I would enjoy hearing what you think!
Contact David Leighton.
People learn in different ways. After more than 40 years in the music industry, I have observed that some people are analytical but others are more feeling-oriented. Some like to see music written out, others need to hear it played or sung to them. Some need to get the whole body moving to the music in order to learn. I’ve come to believe that each individual combines these and other preferences in a unique way so a teacher needs to be flexible instead of insisting on any one method.
First, I try to learn what a student wants to accomplish. Is their goal to compete as a professional or just get good enough to play for their friends? Maybe they don’t know, but simply want to start playing and see where that leads. If they have a goal in mind I try to give a good idea of how much study will probably be necessary to achieve it. Since a professional is expected to have a much broader knowledge of repertoire than someone doing it for fun, I paint a pretty severe picture of what is expected if they want to go that route.
With their goals in mind, I use exercises to explore and strengthen all parts of the hands and arms with an emphasis on flexible positions. People have different hand sizes so there is not one correct position. I follow Alfred Cortot’s Rational Principles of Pianoforte Technique and the exercise philosophy he so beautifully explains in his editions of Chopin and other composers.
I work to expand the ability to play expressively from loud to soft, from aggressive to mellow. I encourage everyone to get a taste of every style, from classical to pop. In addition I bring in as much musical analysis as suits each student. Theory is very helpful in learning music and can save a lot of time, but it is often taught badly. Using a practical approach and pointing out how harmony and form work in a piece the student is learning not only makes it fun, but is the best way to learn music theory.