Piano Exercises For Dummies, 2nd Edition
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Breathing is an integral part of piano exercises — after all, it's the model for fluid motion where the end of an inhalation is the beginning of an exhalation. When you play the piano think of the music, your body, and your mind as part of this constant, fluid motion.

To create the smoothest, most luxurious breathing cycle you can imagine, follow these steps:

  1. Stand with your shoulders and arms relaxed at your sides as you develop this slow cycle of inhalation and exhalation.

  2. Inhale through your nose slowly and evenly, deeply filling your lungs over a smooth arc of time.

  3. Turn the inhalation into an exhalation without holding your breath, like a swimmer reverses direction in a pool, always in motion.

  4. Exhale fully, without pushing, and let go of all the air until you're ready to begin another inhalation.

  5. As you develop this slow cycle, let all your muscles relax and let go in the same rhythm.

Allow the breath to widen your upper body, back, shoulders, and neck so that you feel as if you're loosening and lengthening throughout your body.

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Holly Day and Michael Pilhofer are co-authors of all editions of Music Theory For Dummies and Music Composition For Dummies. Blake Neely was a contributing author to the 2nd edition of Piano For Dummies. David Pearl is author of Piano Exercises For Dummies. Jerry Kovarksy is a contributing writer to Electronic Musician magazine.

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