202 • Cookie cutter

Technical skill is personal, since we ultimately strive for an individual technique. One has to learn not only how to use technical cookie cutters (formulas - i.e. scales, arpeggios, ornaments, chords, octaves, and polydactyla), but also how to make one's own personal technical cookie cutters.

Look at the piano mastery of e.g. Horowitz, Argerich, Cziffra, Tatum, Richter, Gould: those are highly personalized techniques and what we must learn from them is not to tuck the 4th and 5th finger, or to drop octaves, or to use wristbands, or to sit really high or low, but to develop our own personal technique. Always have your artistic standards slightly higher than your technical abilities.

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