"When mastered, this technique is one of the healthiest ways to play piano. - Hey Rim Jeon"
Hey Rim has studied with Stephany Tiernan, Professor and Chair Emerita for a number of years. Ms. Tiernan taught her principles of piano technique, which were passed on through the teachings of Isabell Vengerova the fundamental and Madame Margaret Chaloff. She is now proud to be considered as a part of that tradition.
Many great pianists were profoundly influenced by them including Leonard Bernstein, Samuel Barber and Keith Jarrett. All pianists in this technique achieved expressive playing and beautiful tone, keeping the fingers close to the keys for evenness and a seamless legato, playing deeply in the keys while using the weight of the forearm and a flexible wrist to achieve a full singing tone without harshness, and controlling tone by higher or lower positions of the wrist. When mastered, this technique is one of the healthiest ways to play piano.
Hey Rim has developed her own approach to all different contemporary music styles including jazz, Latin, pop and contemporary classical music. She often use the finger independence technique of Dohnanyi Erno, which consists of playing one or two note combinations while holding the rest of the notes. His exercises are a great approach to finger independence, strength, agility and evenness. In particular, when playing independent counterpoint lines, finger independence is a necessary technique.
The combination of these wonderful piano techniques has helped her students to develop the tone and command of the piano, while preventing hand injuries. In contemporary music, in particular, we as pianists need to play certain ostinato or groove patterns for a long period of time, as a part of a rhythm section. Having students use proper posture, relaxation of wrists and engaging breath technique is truly important. She has observed that her unique approach to coordinating breath, body and verbal improvisational techniques assists her students to be better equipped as a contemporary improviser or performer.
For the highest level of performers, after years of enormous effort on piano techniques, she would focus on how to become ‘one’ with piano. The primary goal is for you to become a part of piano and piano becomes a part of you. The fingertips become an intermediary between you and piano. The combination of finger independence and breath technique aid to achieve this goal. She herself as a performer keep developing this way of being focused physically and mentally.
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