Skills

The backbone of Entrada’s pedagogy, Skills is where you’ll find focused, sequenced videos designed to build a whole-body, three-dimensional technique from the very beginning through the most advanced levels.

Fundamentals

Sitting Position

Sitting well is Job One for all pianists. What are the criteria to consider each time you set yourself up to play?

6 videos

Anatomy and The Point of Sound

Fundamental biomechanical concepts and how the escapement works are important foundational elements to understand from the start.

5 videos

Natural Hand Position

Chopin had it right a long time ago; contrast his natural approach vs. many other ‘hands’ taught over the past 250 years--including recently.

3 videos

Utilizing Gravity and Alignment

Experiencing free fall and understanding alignment are essential to all aspects of pianism, from beginning through the most advanced levels.

4 videos

Whole-Body Technique: Balancing Freedom and Support

More vital foundational principles that set up effective three-dimensional movement

4 videos

The Basic Vibrato Motion

The basic motion that eventually leads to virtuoso-level trills, tremolos, and octaves can be learned by anyone, and frees up the body for more fluid movement, even very early in piano studies.

2 videos

Three-Dimensional Movement

Two-Note Slur Introduction on Fingers 2 & 3

Franz Liszt was a huge fan of two-note slurs, for both musical and technical reasons. How to play them with effective, whole-body technique from the beginning?

7 videos

Two-Note Slurs: One Pair at a Time & Pausing to Evaluate

Isolating one two-note pair requires careful evaluation. This helps establish good practice habits early on for efficient three-dimensional movement and sensitive listening.

6 videos

Continuous Two-Note Slurs with Fingers 2 & 3, Ascending

Playing two and more pairs of two-note slurs is combined with stopping to evaluate for fluid motion and musical listening, and leads to continuous, three-dimensional movement.

6 videos

Two-Note Slurs with Fingers 3 & 4 and 1 & 2

Applying the two-note slur process to other finger combinations is essential for developing complete coordination at the piano.

5 videos

Two-Note Slurs with Fingers 4 & 5, Ascending

Special attention is given to the challenge of making a two-note slur on fingers 4 & 5 sound similarly good as all other adjacent pairs.

6 videos

Descending Two-Note Slurs

Descending slurs in the right hand receive additional focus. Practice ascending slurs in the left hand for a parallel experience.

7 videos

Descending Two-Note Slurs in Pairs

With all two-note slurs, moving in either direction, note the different lengths of the fingers involved, slide and make adjustments in the vertical plane, accordingly.

7 videos

Three-Note Slurs

Three-note slurs herald the real beginning of elliptical shaping.

2 videos

Four-Note Slurs

Three-dimensional motion becomes increasingly apparent with four-note slurs.

3 videos

The Basic Three-Dimensional Form on Five Notes

Moving simultaneously in three planes of motion comes together most evidently on a pentascale, and lays the foundation for the one-octave arpeggio and more advanced movement.

6 videos

Repeated Single Notes

Vibrato on Single Notes

Mastering repeated notes on single notes with each finger establishes coordination of the Vibrato Technique for advanced trills, tremolos, repeated chords, and octaves.

4 videos

One-Octave Arpeggios

One Octave Arpeggios Overview

Using proper technique and listening for clarity in one-octave arpeggios are crucial to achieving professional-level arpeggios of two and more octaves.

5 videos

Foundational Elements in One-Octave Arpeggios

Avoiding twisting, keeping the hand small, good preparation and follow-through, and a supple wrist are some of the foundational elements combined for an effortless arpeggio.

6 videos

Preparing Three-Dimensional Motion

Whole-body exercises utilizing the horizontal and vertical planes and avoiding twisting sets you up for fluid three-dimensional motion.

4 videos

Cultivating Three-Dimensional Motion

A series of targeted exercises facilitate the elliptical “under and out” shaping for the right hand’s ascent.

6 videos

The One-Octave Ascent

Consolidate gains made in shaping with targeted refinements for continuously improving three-dimensional movement.

5 videos

Momentum and the Descent

A comprehensive review of foundational elements sets you up to easily move in the opposite direction for each hand.

3 videos

Isolating Three Notes at a Time

By carefully applying three-dimensional principles and pausing to evaluate in small groups, musical and technical gestures are integrated.

6 videos

The Complete One-Octave Arpeggio

Isolating several notes at a time and incorporating the turnaround figures at faster speeds guides you to mastery of continuous one-octave arpeggios.

7 videos

Sound Quality

Two-Octave Arpeggios

Learning "The Throw"

Learn the biomechanics and basic approach to the throw, essential for rapid arpeggios of two and more octaves.

5 videos

The Throw on the Interval of a Second

Before throwing on actual arpeggio intervals, it’s important to master the smaller interval of a second.

5 videos

Moving Toward Throws on Thirds

Detailed musical and technical work with focus on seconds leads toward the thirds required in arpeggios.

5 videos

Throws on Thirds, Fourths, and Larger Intervals

Mastering throws on larger intervals liberates you not only for advanced arpeggios but also improved spatial awareness for other jumps required in repertoire.

5 videos

The Check-Mark Motion

To connect notes just before and after a throw, use reduced intervals and the “check-mark” motion.

6 videos

Combining Three Dimensional Momentum with the Throw

Performing four notes quickly using momentum and released fingers foreshadows the liberated feeling and sound you will experience with full arpeggios of all kinds.

4 videos

Preparing for the Two-Octave Ascent in the Right Hand

Practice a series of exercises designed to facilitate the most challenging part of outstanding arpeggios: linking the first octave with the second to the note just past the throw.

4 videos

The Complete Two-Octave Ascent

By integrating all foundational elements, momentum, and three-dimensional movement, you’ll achieve an advanced ascending two-octave arpeggio.

5 videos

Preparing for the Two-Octave Descent in the Right Hand

Isolating three notes just before and after the throw requires a sudden movement toward your body, beginning with reduced intervals.

5 videos

The Complete Two-Octave Descent

The full descent is achieved by using momentum and follow-through movement similar to how you mastered the two-octave ascent.

6 videos

Putting It All Together

By reviewing and combining all elements studied to this point with targeted exercises and turnarounds at fast speeds, you can master the complete two-octave arpeggios at a professional level.

8 videos

Vibrato Technique Context

Vibrato Technique

Through a lesson with an advanced student and whole-body exercises, the stage is set for playing repeated chords, octaves, tremolos and trills.

3 videos

Repeated Chords

Repeated Chords

By synchronizing small adjustments in three planes of motion, the vibrato technique enables you to play repeated chords effortlessly, at any speed required at the piano.

4 videos

Octaves

Preparing to Play Octaves

Exercises that isolate the thumb and the reduced interval of a sixth help you cultivate proper form for playing full octaves.

5 videos

Octaves for Individual Hand Sizes

Principles for smaller hands can be employed by pianists with any sized hand; this subunit includes more exercises to instantaneously release octaves and to maintain a ‘small’ hand.

5 videos

Practicing Octaves

Combining the vibrato technique with all three-dimensional principles learned previously allows you to play octaves continuously, without fatigue.

5 videos

Tremolos

Trills

Trill Preparation

Foundational elements, including the quiet hand, preparatory lift and drop, 2- and 3-note slurs, released fingers, and understanding the soundpoint, are applied for effortless trills.

7 videos

Trills on Five or More Notes

Mastering exercises on five notes allows you to proceed to playing more notes, leading to continuous trills without effort.

8 videos

Left-Hand Trills and Using Fingers 1 and 3

This subunit focuses on a variety of trills in the left hand plus special emphasis on the 1-3 trill in the right hand.

4 videos

Master Classes on 3-5 Trills

The 3-5 trill receives special attention here.

2 videos

Basic Trill Exercises

Following review of the main trill combinations and common problems, an option to incorporate the vibrato technique in trills from the outset is presented.

8 videos

Scales

Three-Dimensional Principles in Scales, Part 1

Common scale problems are juxtaposed with three-dimensional shaping and Chopin’s preferred starting point for scales.

4 videos

Three-Dimensional Principles in Scales, Part 2

Continuous alignment adjustments and three-dimensional principles, including good preparation and follow-through and the quiet hand, are contrasted with the common problem of curling the 5th finger.

4 videos

Released Fingers and Adjusting for the Turnaround

Three-dimensional shaping in various key combinations leads to effective execution of the turnarounds in scales.

2 videos

Scale Fundamentals in B Major

The B Major scale in the right hand is the ideal starting point to incorporate a wide range of three-dimensional elements before progressing to all other scales.

6 videos

Keyboard Topography

Understanding the relationship of black and white keys to each other within each major scale leads to better coordination in all keys.

3 videos

Shaping and Momentum in the Left Hand, in D-Flat Major

The D-Flat Major scale in the left hand is the ideal starting point to master three-dimensional scalar shaping before progressing to all other scales.

2 videos

The Turnaround

Focusing on the turnaround figures in each scale, hands alone, leads to better coordination in other technical movements and in repertoire.

5 videos

Playing Together in Ensemble

Playing precisely with hands together can be greatly improved with these exercises.

3 videos

Exercises for Speed and Evenness

Two effective practice strategies include playing with accents and using different rhythms in short groups.

2 videos

Practicing for Speed Using the Metronome

The metronome may be used as an aid to achieving more fluent scales when all previous steps are mastered.

4 videos