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Video of the TWI Check-In with Borbála!


Have you noticed that most of the time we talk about technique or musical expression separately? We practice technical elements such as arpeggio, fast scales, left hand independence, tremolo, or even legato playing, etc. separately, but never together with the musical elements. Enjoy this two-week intensive to be able to play the basic musical ideas easily such as changes of dynamics and tempo, articulation, accentuation, as well as to improve your musical creativity.

  • Course Period: December 5th - 19th
  • Sign-Up: November 30th 
  • Zoom Check-In: Dec 11th, 9am PT

ASSIGNMENT FOR THE FIRST WEEK:Exercises_Expression (1) 

Please share a video of yourself playing the first three exercises and at least two variations of the fourth exercise.

1-3. Exercises:

  • Take a tempo in which you can play without unnecessary tension and make the musical expressions (accelerando, crescendo) gradually.

Exercice 1:

Exercice 2:

Exercise 3:


4. Exercise:

  • If it’s too difficult for you to learn to play in one week, you can perform only the upper voice.
  • Make attention, that fingering should be different depends on the desired musical character.
  • Try to show the musical elements exaggeratedly, even if it seems to be too much.
  • Try to imagine the character before you play the exercise.

Exercise 4:



Please choose a short section (at least a phrase) of your current repertoire or one of the following

  • Fernando Sor: Six Divertissements Op. 2. No. 1.
  • Matteo Carcassi: 25 Etudes Op. 60. No. 9.
  • Leo Brouwer: Estudios Sencillos No. 5.

and demonstrate it at least in two different variations of musical ideas, musical characters.
You can/should change the fingerings depends on your imagined musical character.
You can use the Cheat Sheet of Observation of musical ideas to control your way of playing.

Cheat_sheet_Observation_of_musical_expression (1) Sor_Six_divertissements_Op_2 Brouwer_Estudios_sencillos_no_5 Carcassi_25_Etudes_Op_60 

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  • The third video seems to be incorrect. It’s just a repeat of the second video.

      • martinTeam
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      • martin.3
      • 1 yr ago
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      Eric Phillips Oh thanks, I will take care of that!!

      Like 1
  • Dynamic Expression Exercise 1 Dec 5

    This is the only one I had time to work on today. Let me know what you think needs work.

    • Eric Phillips Hi Eric, thanks for the recording. I love your decoration and your dog especially.
      The first three part was great, experiment with a bigger range of differencies. You could work also a bit more on the graduality.
      The fourth part you have problem because you play apoyando on the discant strings. (When I saw it well from this angle) Please use only tirando for these exercises. 

      Like 1
    • Borbala Seres Thank you so much, I will try to increase the dynamic range and the graduality. On the fourth one, I don't think I am playing apoyando (I almost never do). I will continue to work on it, though.

    • Eric Phillips please make me another video of the fourth part but with a different angle (turn to the right a bit, that I can see your fingers better). I want to see, what is the problem you mentioned. Thanks! 

      Like 1
    • Borbala Seres Okay I made another video, it is posted below with the date Dec 7 on it.

  • Exercises 2, 3, and 4 December 5

    Like 1
    • Eric Phillips 
      2. Video: Yes it's very difficult, but you are on a good way, you just have to keep work on it. In a few days you will be able to separate the intensity of the plucking for all of your fingers. Be careful that your hand is relaxed.

      3. Video: First of all I understand your problem with bass strings + alternated strokes, but you can avoid these nail noises if you turn your hand vertical that the fingers meet the strings in 90 degrees. Left hand staccato is beautiful, alternated staccato (right hand) was also nice, just try to relax your fingers, it was a good idea to separate it from the left hand cromatic. Keep work on this one. P staccato was also nice and also the muting with the flesh, but keep work on that too.

      4. Video: Amorous: The melody was nice, try to play more legato, much more rubato and tempo could be slower. 
      Court dance: Yes it's difficult if you are not used to play staccatos, but you are on a good way just keep going.
      Christmas carol: It was great.
      In general try to imagine (in your mind) the character befor you start to play. Just believe me, it will be more alive. 
      In my opinion your left elbow is way too high, it seems to me, that your left arm is not enough relaxed. Try to use the gravity for your arm, elbow.

      Like 1
    • Borbala Seres Thank you so very much for your careful listening and valuable feedback. I will try to take all of that into account as I continue to practice these. Hopefully I will post an update of my progress in a few days.

  • Hi Borbala, so glad to see you doing this session. I didn't realize I'd cropped my right hand out of the videos so I'm going to re-record the first three exercises. 

    For the first take of exercise 4, I thought of the music as being an interlude or incidental music for a light-hearted play. Purposefully silly with some heavy glissando. For the second take I thought of it as a chorale or a dirge with long pauses for breaths and very little along the lines of gliss, vibrato, or rolled chords. I love sad music in a major key.

    Thanks in advance for any feedback.

    • Steve Price hi Steve,  Thanks for the videos. Actually the assignment for the fourth excercise was to choose at least two of my versions, to practice the use of the different tools,and their effect. You found out your own versions, that's fine, I'm glad!  I liked the first version very much. Maybe I wouldn't play the staccatos so short, or I would take a bit faster tempo, because now they are too accented and it doesn't fit so well for your character idea. In this case your joke (glissando) at the end would be more surprising and effective.
      Second version is also a good idea. Just be careful that you play complete legato, that would fit more to a choral charcter. I would advice you not to plant everything with your right hand, because that doesn't allow you to play singing legato. Also you should work on the syncronity of the both hands, because sometimes your left fingers change the notes or position earlier than they should.

      Like 1
  • December 7 - Exercises 1, 2, and 4

    Let me know your thoughts, and thank you! 🙏

    • Eric Phillips thanks! 

      The first is really beautiful now! 

      The 4th part (the problematic one) : of course we need a bigger force to play Forte, but try not to tense your hand palm too much. 

      Like 1
    • Eric Phillips and try not to have too big movements with the fingers! 

      Try not to allow the p to change the position of the ima fingers while changing the bass strings! They have to stay there in that same position, only the p move separately at the string changing. And also try to prepare always the next finger to the strings which you have to pluck the next (but not with planting, just in the air). 

      Like 1
    • Eric Phillips 2. Exercise : p, a are really good! You see!? You can do it, just need time ☺️

      With i, m, before play the hole chords, try to play also the piano voices too, to get the feeling of the force what you need for them, only then put the hole chord together! 

      Like 1
    • Eric Phillips amorous Beautiful! 

      Dance, also nice, you could work on the dynamic change there too, last chord : basses both short, and the discant you play long, and you stop together with the second bass. They stop the resonance all together! 

      Carol is also good! 

      Great job! 👍

      Like 1
    • Borbala Seres Thank you so much for all the great feedback! I will read over all of that closely and bring it into my next practice.

  • Hello Borbala Seres

    This is the video of the first exercise.

    • Raul Guzman Vidal HI Raul, 

      Thanks for the video. Good job, I think you could still work on the graduality a bit, if you have time. The first and second part was nice, the third: try to imagine the tempo and the hole exercise in your mind before start to play it. Then you 'll be able to controll better the starting tempo too. 

      4th part, I would recommend you to make it a bit more simple, play only one bass under each four group, then you can concentrate more on the immediate change of volume. 

      And try to make your ima finger movements a bit smaller, then you can reach the notes better! 

    • Raul Guzman Vidal I forgot to write you, for accelerando, pay attention, that when you get faster you don't do too big finger movements! When we play fast, we have to have very small movements, to be able to reach the strings easyly and fast. Your movements were doing quite the opposite. And try to relax your pinkie, it looked a bit tense, overcompensated the tempo. Use a mirror, it's a good control to see the movements! 

      And for the 4. part you can have a slower tempo, if it's more comfortable! It doesn't matter! 😊

    • Borbala Seres Thank you for the feedback! I will be practicing the exercises with those recommendations in mind.

    • Borbala Seres Here is the second exercise. This is the first time I have paid attention to accentuating notes.

    • Raul Guzman Vidal thanks for the video! 

      The p is fine, also the " a" finger. For the i, m I would say pay attention, that your p finger doesn't get too loud. It oversings the others, also in case of "a" accentuation. M was actually nice loud, but the p disturbed it too. Please try to make my pre - excercise too, to get the idea of the necessary force which you need for the different fingers. 

      Like 1
    • Borbala Seres Thank you for the feedback!

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