Sheila Paige
  The Keyboard Wellness Seminar Piano • Organ • Computer
Lectures Topics  
Ms. Sheila Paige's Annual Keyboard Wellness Seminars, numerous Workshops, Lectures and Master Classes at universities and colleges as well as for organizations include topics from the list below:

Posture and seating:
  • How posture and balance can help or hinder your playing.
  • Learn how good posture and balance can free arms and hands for coordinate and natural movement to occur.
Basic anatomy for pianists:
  • Understanding how the body is put together and how it is designed to move will help pianists, teachers and students with technique. The easier and more fluid the technique, the more the performer’s focus can shift to the music and away from worrying about the notes.
How motion affects sound:
  • Learn how different hand, arm and finger movements change tone, color and phrasing. Let your body work with your musicianship, not against it.
Technique Tips for Young Students:
  • Many problems recur in the teaching of beginning students. Here are some suggestions to overcome these problems in early stages before the habits get harder and harder to break. Problems covered include the following and many more.
  • Questions are most welcome!
  • Flat fingers
  • Collapsed main knuckles
  • Collapsed or “weak” nail joints
  • Arm pumping and no fingers
  • Collapsed wrists
  • Poor posture
  • Finger isolation and pulling up in the air
  • The problematic thumb
  • Dynamic and tone control

Teaching the first important beginning skills:

  • Learning the keyboard
  • Understanding the piano and how it works
  • Note reading
  • Rhythm
  • Setting the foundation for good posture and efficient movement
Arm weight and balance at the keyboard:
  • How to work on balancing arm weight on each finger and what exactly balance means.
  • All movement must originate from a point of balance or it is compromised.
  • All movement should end at a point of balance.
In depth analysis of forearm movements: (Each lecture 1 to 1 and ½ hours )
  • Rotation: forearm rotation is not just for trills and broken octaves; how it can remove the need to stretch
  • In and out: Moving in and out (or forward and back) on the keyboard eliminates
    the need to twist arm and hand to reach the black keys.
  • The role of lateral and up and down movements in playing
  • This is a combination of all of the above forearm movements: rotation, in and out, across and up and down. When all of these movements are combined they assume an overall shape or design. This enables the performer to think of only one movement instead of so many. Shaping is also intimately connected to phrasing. The correct shape brings the phrase to life with ease. Ultimately the performer thinks of the phrase and the body automatically responds with the correct movement or shape.
Octaves and staccatos:
  • It’s impossible to speak of octaves without speaking of staccatos and rebound. Lecture covers easy ways to teach free fall and rebound necessary for all staccato playing. These principles can be taught to any age and any level. Octave lecture covers arm and hand alignment for the octave position, how to open the hand without stretching, where octave movement originates and the path(s) of rebound.
  • How to learn and memorize music beyond motor memory from the beginning stages of learning a piece. The role of analysis and organization in the learning process along with visual, aural and kinesthetic cues.
Memory technique clinic:
  • One-on-one work with someone having memory problems,
  • Or wanting help with their memorizing process. This person must be willing to work in front of a group. They will try to memorize a short passage in front of the audience and together we’ll see how to make their memorizing more efficient.
  • This is very helpful to the person at the piano as well as performers and teachers in the audience.
  • How the organization of music can eliminate numerous technical and musical issues.
  • An in-depth discussion of the principles involved using numerous musical examples from the standard repertoire.
  • Various principles and techniques can make leaps feel as though they disappear.
  • An in-depth discussion of the principles involved using numerous musical examples from the standard repertoire.
Interdependence of hands:
  • Pianists need interdependence, or integration of hands in order for their hands to feel truly independent.
  • Learn the importance of solving problems hands alone first but why that isn’t enough.
  • How the brain conceives of playing both hands is an important part of integrating the hands.
  • This lecture will give you tools for your own playing and teaching.
Issues of the Thumb:
  • The thumb is also a finger, but because of our anatomy it operates in a different fashion than all the other fingers. Learn the correct movements of the thumb, how to balance on the thumb, why second knuckle collapses or holds out, and how to fix these problems.
  • Fingering can literally make or break both the passage and the pianist.
  • Learn new concepts of fingering to make your life easier.
  • Challenge your concepts of how to create a legato sound, and new possibilities open up in the world of fingering.
Enslavement to Notation (or on a positive note, Emancipation from Notation):
  • Dorothy Taubman’s phrase for being literally tied to the notation on the page is “Enslavement to Notation.” The markings on the page are indications of how the music should sound. They do not necessarily tell the performer how to do it.
  • Learning different techniques and movements of creating sound and legato can free you from the impossible stretches and pulling that seem to be called for in the music.
  • An in-depth discussion of the principles involved using numerous musical examples from the standard repertoire is included.
Practice techniques, philosophy and the relationship to performance anxiety:
  • This lecture brings together the concepts of mind, body and spirit. How you learn, how your brain functions, how you organize your material, how your body moves and how you view yourself all affect your overall performance.
If it hurts here, check this:
  • Many musicians at all levels can experience discomfort, fatigue or even pain from practicing inefficiently.
  • This lecture gives a check list for the performer or teacher.
  • If certain parts of the body become uncomfortable when you play, this lecture will give you concrete things to check.
Innovations in technique:
  • Ms. Paige has developed many new ideas based on her study of Taubman Technique, Alexander Technique and other methods. This lecture includes her latest innovations, not found in any other setting.
Understanding dystonia:
  • Focal dystonia is a serious condition whose causes are still debated in the medical world. Ms Paige has worked with many pianists with dystonia, many of whom are now concertizing and recording again. This lecture includes symptoms, probable causes and ways of working with dystonia in order to recover function.

Master class

Technique clinic:
  • Pianists and/or students can bring technical issues; either passage problems, coordination problems, or fatigue, discomfort or pain issues.



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