Pedaling for smaller students
Found in: Musicality, Pedaling, Technique
Francine V., Australia
How do you teachers do the pedaling for smaller students at a concert, without sitting in the way? I don’t want the audience to be looking at me, just because I’m sitting at the top end of the piano to do their pedal – and the top end happens to be the end closest to the audience. I’ve thought about sitting on the floor but that’s a bit awkward. I also thought about draping a black cloth over me so I don’t stand out, but that would also look awkward. How do you do it without getting in the way?
Anne S., Nebraska
I’ve never even thought about pedaling for my students. If I have gotten to the point with them that they know how to pedal correctly, they pedal themselves. If not, they play without a pedal and it’s fine.
Ian B., California
I think students should learn to do their own pedaling at the proper time. My own ears may not prefer it, but it’s really better that the student comes away from recital experience with a sense of having completed their performance successfully, and autonomously if at all possible. This issue is similar in some ways to playing duet-style accompaniments with students. Am I actually helping the student or just satisfying my ego (and ear) by supplementing their performance?
Joanne D., Australia
Have you got a pedal box extender so they can do it themselves? I got one earlier this year and it’s great for smaller students who can’t reach. It just sits on top of the pedals and is easy to fit and remove; sometimes I put it there to stop students playing with my real pedals.