Group 1

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 

110replies Oldest first
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Active threads
  • Popular
    • Barney
    • Barney
    • 1 yr ago
    • Reported - view

    I chose the Carcassi excerpt for this brief expression example. 

    The first mood is that of "Children Playing Happily". The second is a  "Calm Lazy River Ride".

    I've never played this Etude before, so haven't lived with it long, but please let me know your comments.  Thanks!

      • Barney
      • Barney
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Borbala Seres Got it, thanks!!

    • Barney Thank you Barney for your active participation and for your thoughts, this short period was a joy for me as well.

      Hope to see you soon too!

  • Being brave!


    Here is a recording of the full piece KINKACHOO, I LOVE YOU by Phillip Houghton

    I experiemented with expanding the dynamic range by playing both softer and louder.

    I experimented with tone color changes. 

    I will continue to work in increasing the overall tempo as I learn the transitions better.

    I do see that there is tension in my LH pinky. 


    Thank you, Borbala, for your suggestions and encouragement.

    Like 1
    • Martha Kreipke I really enjoyed this. I think sometimes the problem with pieces that have a steady repetitive pattern or flow of arpeggios is that none of the notes stand out but you did such a good job of keeping the melody and what I should be listening to front and center. That and the variation of dynamics and color kept me interested the entire time. Really nice. Congrats and thanks for sharing. 

    • Steve Price 

      Thank you for listening and sharing your generous comments. You made my day!

    • Martha Kreipke Hi Martha, thanks for this second video!

      I think you really came out from your comfort zone and you were brave enough to experiment! I'm very happy for you, your interpretation was great! You used many tools, I loved the immediate color changes, volume was also brave. You kept my attention during the whole piece and this was your job! Bravo!
      I hope you enjoyed this way also better.
      Some suggestions, you could also add sometimes to crescendo a small accelerando or to decrescendo a ritartando. It will help you to make the crescendo/decrescendo more alive, but anyway it was very good. I think this "brave Martha" fits you very well 🙂. Great job! Just keep experimenting!

    • Borbala Seres 

      Thank you for listening and commenting. Your encouragement means a lot to me!

      I am planning to perform this piece in a local, live open mic session in January and have increased confidence that I am on the right track.  I am going to pair it with a short tango piece by Thierry Tisserand. 

      I learned so much from you in these two weeks. I hope you will offer more sessions on Tonebase. 

      All the best,


    • Martha Kreipke That sounds great, I'm sure you will play beautiful, I wish I could be there...

      Best of luck and don't forget your new year's resolution 😉.
      I would be glad to make more sessions on Tonbase.
      You were a really active participants with nice thoughts, so thanks for your work!


      All the best,


  • Hi Everyone,

    I just wanted to thank you all for your active participation and nice videos! It was a joyfull journey for me as well to get an experience with teaching musical expression through video recording instead of face to face lessons. I did learn a lot as well, and as I saw all of you made a great progress and you could step out from your comfort zone. Congratulation to Everyone! Keep going with experimentation!  


    Like 1
    • Borbala Seres Thank you so much, Borbála, for serving as our guide! I really enjoyed working with the ideas you shared with us, and it has made a real difference in the way I will approach the music I play.

Like1 Follow
  • 1 yr agoLast active
  • 110Replies
  • 295Views
  • 10 Following


View all topics