|Piano Training on Schenkerian Principles|
|Description||A research-derived program of piano training based on Heinrich Schenker’s ideas on analysis, interpretation, and performance. The course supplements concert repertoire and standard pedagogic material—the latter mainly of Russian origin—with original material of Schenkerian origin. Our intention is to build on, not disrupt, standard curricula of piano training.|
|Learning goals||Schenkerian reasoning is used to overcome pianistic obstacles typically thought “technical” by intrinsically musical means, and specifically through awareness of the work’s multi-level structure. Students acquire an intuitive grasp of the musical work as a highly organized network of elementary structures with interactive expressive potential, and hone flexible psychomotor responses to this content for tone production. Coordinating musical and pianistic complexity through modular musical entities, the approach enables granular and flexible control over the learning curve. In every other way the program shares the goals of most professionally-oriented programs of training in piano performance, among them a personal attachment to the pianist’s craft, a healthy desire to perform under the public gaze, resilience, and efficient work habits.|
|Our research goals||The program serves as the field-research platform of a parallel research project exploring Heinrich Schenker’s concepts of reduction and diminution as primary tools for pedagogic work. The sessions also provide opportunities for exploring sensor-enhanced pedagogies, collecting sensor data, and soliciting usability feedback from our participants.
|Sensor use||Frequent (upon the participant’s approval).|
|Participants||The program is intended for beginning and intermediate students of piano. (Instrumental teachers, students of other instruments, and music theorists, for instance, will likely find our other two programs more relevant.) Schenkerian ideas are pervasive but assimilated inconspicuously, without terminology or manifest theoretical rigor.|
|Duration||Sessions typically take place once or twice a week. Their duration depends mainly on the participant’s age.|
|Fees||See our FAQ.|
|Schenkerian Analysis on the Instrument|
|Description||A comprehensive course in Schenkerian analysis with three distinct features:
The syllabus otherwise builds on selected texts by Schenker himself as well as core secondary literature in the field.
|Learning goals||The program generally adheres to the sequence of a university-level two-semester sequence in Schenkerian analysis but, borrowing techniques from Cognitive Load Theory, is designed to respond to two particular challenges that we consider responsible for the resistance of many performers to music analysis:
The learning goals are otherwise similar to those of university-level Schenkerian training: long-range harmonic-contrapuntal hearing, practical “outlining” skills (production of musical “summaries”); grounding in the theoretical and aesthetic principles; and familiarity with key works of the primary and secondary literature.
|Our research goals||The program serves as a generator of instructional material for publication and as a data source on the comparative cognitive loads of different analytical representations.|
|Sensor use||On rare occasions (upon the participant’s approval).|
|Participants||Instrument pedagogues, performing musicians and conservatory students, musicologists, music critics, listeners with advanced musical training. Prior study of harmony (in four-parts) is essential. Familiarity with modal or tonal counterpoint in two parts would be helpful but is not a prerequisite.|
|Duration||One or two cycles of 8–12 weekly meetings. Each meeting typically lasts 60–90 minutes, depending on the student’s background and the number of participants.|
|Fees||See our FAQ.|
|Schenkerian Performance Preparation|
|Description||Performance preparation integrated with in-depth analytical examination of tonal repertoire proposed by the participant. The approach is fundamentally Schenkerian but the degree to which terminology or the theory itself are exposed depends on the student’s background and interests. During the session we alternate between microscopic (the local dramatic detail) and macroscopic (the entire work as a synoptic “landscape” view), experimenting with different realizations of the work in sound, and drawing spontaneous analytical sketches (Bilder) in search of large-scale motives, long lines, multi-level designs, and other dramatic structures and events that are as salient to a convincing performance as they are concealed from ordinary score-reading or hearing.|
|Learning goals||The program is repertoire-driven, delving into the given repertoire ahead of a public performance in the broad sense (recitals, exams, auditions, recording). While some of the skills acquired are transferrable to any other tonal repertoire, the program is not a comprehensive seminar in analysis but rather an analysis-informed performance workshop. Schenkerian training recasts harmony as a fundamentally horizontal phenomenon, and accordingly the program cultivates such qualities as long-range continuity, finely nuanced tonal closures (cadences, lines, transitions between formal units), meaningful coloristic detail, and especially the avoidance of unintended “dead spots.”|
|Our research goals||We document performers’ responses to analytical representations in different modalities (visual, aural, verbal), study their potential function in studio training, compare them according to Cognitive Load Theory criteria, and index them for reference in current and planned projects.|
|Sensor use||During the sessions (upon the participant’s approval) we may occasionally test sensor-enhanced pedagogies and solicit device usability feedback.|
|Participants||Instrumental pedagogues, advanded pianists, conservatory students, orchestral musicians, conductors, instrumentalists. Prior study of harmony (four-part writing) is a prerequisite.|
|Duration||As agreed on a case-by-case basis, depending on study goals, any forthcoming performance commitments, and repertoire.|
|Fees||See our FAQ.|
Since our programs serve simultaneously as research platforms, we seek participants whose musical background is aligned with our current research needs, to the mutual benefit of everyone involved. Successful match-making is therefore essential to the integrity of our research and teaching. We invite you to chat with TekhneeBot, our decision engine, who will consider your individual background and suggest relevant projects. At the end of the process you’ll be provided with a list of recommendations and the option to arrange a follow-up discussion with us.
In principle, yes; in practice, sensor usage is more frequent in the performance-intensive programs. Most participants in such programs will be invited to wear one or more coin-sized sensors at least once, and possibly on a regular basis. Currently, the sensors are used for calibration and reference dataset development. Use of sensors requires your acceptance of a standard confidentiality (“non-disclosure”) agreement and your assurance that any information on devices or associated pedagogic practices to which you have been privy will remain confidential.
The number is limited and depends on the current stage of our research work, as well as our current resources, the involvement of collaborators, and the current number of active participants, among other factors.
Please contact us, either directly or after chatting with TekhneeBot, for information on fees.
The academic integrity of our research and the artistic relevance of our practices and technologies.
We are particularly keen on working with advanced students and junior researchers.
Most of the resulting research is intended to be released in the public domain via academic and academic press channels. Until that happens we generally request your confidentiality. Some of our work is also patent-pending. In special cases, Tekhnee may request a non-disclosure agreement with you prior to a collaboration.
A representative list includes: Swift, Julia, Pd, RStudio, OSC, music21, and the mbientLab platform, among other tools and technologies.
More reasons than would fit in this space: former affiliation of Tekhnee staff with the Sibelius Academy, a vibrant art-music scene, a penchant for innovation in education, proximity to Russia and other countries with an outstanding pianistic tradition, the open entrepreneurial culture and infrastructures, and much more.