CPTP177: Are You Fit 4 Piano? Rae de Lisle Unpacks her Interactive Technique Book

What approach do you use when teaching technique to your students? Are you familiar with the techniques you should teach?

My guest today, Rae de Lisle, is the author of Fit 4 Piano eBook, Associate Professor of Piano at the University of Auckland, and one of New Zealand’s foremost piano pedagogues. Her teaching has produced many outstanding pianists. Aside from the many awards she has been given, her ground-breaking PhD on focal dystonia has resulted in specific concepts about instrumental retraining, leading to many international presentations and keynote speeches. 

Fit 4 Piano is a fun, interactive e-book designed to assist the development of a coordinated technique. This unique book uses an approach that aligns with all teaching methods and contains more than 80 HD videos of exercises, musical examples, showing how these concepts  are relevant whether playing the easiest pieces or advanced repertoire.  If you want to learn more about technique in a very interesting way, you’ll definitely want to stick around and listen to this episode.


If you’d like to download a PDF transcript of this episode, please click below.

In this episode, you’ll learn

  • [10:58] Where Rae is from and the kind and style of teaching she is doing.
  • [12:21] What is technique?
  • [13:03] How making sounds in piano is the most important thing.
  • [14:10] The approach of using fingers versus the whole body.
  • [15:19] What made Rae decide to write a book about technique.
  • [17:12] The value of the interactivity of the book she wrote.
  • [19:17] An important highlight in Rae’s book.
  • [20:06] The story of how the images were created in the book.
  • [21:19] The reason behind the title of her book Fit For Piano.
  • [23:11] Key mistakes that teachers make with beginner students.
  • [25:28] The importance of getting movement right from the beginning for beginner students.
  • [27:27] Argument on buckling the joint.
  • [28:46] General principles for posture.
  • [31:25] The approach of detached motion versus legato.
  • [32:47] Technique names in her book
  • [34:38] Covering all levels of student technique.
  • [35:48] Tips for relaxation 
  • [37:16] How all methods align well with her approach.
  • [38:27] The availability of her book in PDF and ePub form.
  • [39:23] How her exercises fit in with teachers approach to scales, arpeggios and others.
  • [41:22] The type of teachers who should read her book.

Links Mentioned

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What approach do you use in teaching technique?

Do you teach it right from the start? How has it improved the way your students play?

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