|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 scores with original material of Schenkerian origin. Our goal is to build on , not disrupt, established curricula of piano training.|
|Learning goals||In addition to revealing the individuality of each single tone in the music, Schenkerian reasoning is used to prevent or overcome “technical” pianistic obstacles by intrinsically musical means , and specifically through an awareness of the work’s tonal structure. Students cultivate the ability to intuitively recognize the complex musical work as a hierarchy of simple linear structures . Because of their expressive interaction, and often their correspondence to specific psychomotor responses, these structures provide us with a systematic framework for highly creative work on expression and technique (tone production) . Beyond its plausibly hypothesized benefits for memorization , this approach allows granular control over both musical and pianistic complexity in close coordination . In every other way the program shares the goals of most professionally-oriented programs of training in piano performance, among them the pursuit of a broad expressive range, a healthy desire to perform under the public gaze, resilience, and efficient work habits.|
|Our research goals||The program serves a double function: first, as the field-research platform of an extensive project on Heinrich Schenker’s reduction and diminution as primary tools for instrument teaching practice; second, as a testing environment for sensor-enhanced pedagogies, including the collection of sensor data and usability feedback from our participants.
|Sensor use||Frequent (upon the participant’s approval).|
|Eligibility||The program is intended for beginning and intermediate students of piano, instrument teachers interested in new approaches, as well as other “practitioners” of musical analysis. Schenkerian ideas are pervasive but assimilated inconspicuously, without recourse to 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 adheres to the outlines of a university-level Schenker sequence, but is intended to address obstacles 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, “outlining” skills (production and performance 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).|
|Eligibility||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||The program assists performers prepare for specific engagements— competitions, auditions, examinations, concerts —by casting music-analytical light on their expressive and technical intuitions, and by helping them assimilate analytical insight into stage-projected musicianship .The approach is fundamentally Schenkerian but most terminology and the inner workings of tonal theory are typically hidden from view. During these workshop-like sessions we alternate between hearings that are microscopic (the local dramatic detail) or macroscopic (the entire work as a synoptic “landscape” view), experimenting with spontaneously scribbled analytical graphs (Bilder) and a wide range of realizations in sound. We are in search of large-scale motives, long-range lines, multi-level designs, and other dramatic structures and revelatory events that are as salient to a convincing performance as they are concealed from ordinary score-reading or hearing.|
|Learning goals||Schenkerian training recasts harmonic hearing 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), a subtle and variegated hearing of meter and rhythm, and especially the mastery of tonal tension (e.g. eradicating unintended “dead spots.”) . It is important to note that this is a repertoire-driven, not theory-driven program, which dives into specific works ahead of their public performance. While it encourages an analytical approach to performance preparation in general, it does not serve as a comprehensive syllabus in Schenkerian technique.|
|Our research goals||We document performers’ interpretive and psychomotor responses to analytical representations in different modalities (visual, aural, verbal), study the potential functions of such representations 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.|
|Eligibility||Instrumental pedagogues , advanced 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.
Tuition fees are a significant income stream for the lab, and most places are not free. That said, we are able to offer free study opportunities on occasion, typically in the following cases:
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.