|Piano Training on Schenkerian Principles|
|For whom||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.|
|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.|
|Locations||Piano lessons are available in Helsinki/Espoo, Saint Petersburg, Tallinn, and Moscow.|
|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).|
|Duration||Sessions typically take place once or twice a week. Their duration depends on the participant’s age.|
|Fees||See our FAQ.|
|Schenkerian Analysis on the Instrument|
|For whom||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.|
|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.
|Locations||Training sessions take place online with students from most time-zones, or onsite in Helsinki/Espoo, Saint Petersburg, and Moscow. We are typically able to provide online students with a Wacom tablet—our tool of choice—on long-term loan.|
|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).|
|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|
|For whom||Instrument pedagogues , advanced pianists , conservatory students , orchestral musicians , conductors , instrumentalists . Prior study of harmony (four-part writing) is a prerequisite.|
|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.|
|Locations||Sessions take place in Helsinki/Espoo, Saint Petersburg, Moscow, Tallinn. Depending on the student’s technical infrastructure and the stage of their preparation, we may be able to arrange online sessions, as well.|
|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.|
|Duration||As agreed on a case-by-case basis, depending on study goals, any forthcoming performance commitments, and repertoire.|
|Fees||See our FAQ.|
Our training programs serve simultaneously as research platforms to the benefit of everyone involved, so we seek participants whose musical background is aligned with our current research needs. We invite you to run TekhneeBot, our decision engine, which will consider your individual background and suggest relevant projects. At the end of the process you’ll be provided with the option to arrange a follow-up discussion with us.
Sensor usage is more frequent in the performance-intensive programs. Most participants will be invited to wear one or more coin-sized sensors on a regular basis. In relevant cases we request acceptance of a standard “non-disclosure agreement,” as a token of understanding that any information on the devices or associated pedagogic materials, to which you’ll be privy, will remain confidential. Participants are given access to all data collected from their playing.
The number is limited and depends on current resources, the possible involvement of collaborators, and the number of active participants, among other factors.
Please contact us, either directly or after running 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 graduate students and junior researchers in any of the above areas.
Most of the resulting research is intended to be released in the public domain via academic and open scholarship channels. Until that happens we count on 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.
Among others: Swift, Julia, Pd, RStudio, OSC, music21, and the mbientLab platform.
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 its outstanding performance tradition, the open entrepreneurial culture and infrastructures, and much more.