Reviews of Effortless Playing Piano Technique
Video Review by Natalia Lauk, Idaho State University
Review by Aurelien Boccard, MM, DMA
Working with Nancy has been a life changing experience and I always eagerly wait for my next lesson. She has a unique way of demonstrating and explaining how to create the right movement to produce the most beautiful sound with the least amount of effort. After a lesson with Nancy I feel empowered to play the piano to my full potential.
Review by Kathy Hansen
I cringe when I hear teacher after teacher in master classes, workshops, and studios, talk about strong, independent fingers. It is a myth, plain and simple. I struggled to the point of injury in trying to meet the expectations and illusion of making my fingers “strong.” My musicality suffered, my technique suffered, and I suffered physically. I was told that I just may not have the “talent” to play the bigger repertoire, but something deep, down, in my heart, told me they were wrong and I kept looking for the answer. I found that answer in Nancy Reese.
I met Nancy while I was studying for my Bachelor of Arts in Music. I had a senior recital looming and I had sustained an overuse injury. She broke down my technique and started from scratch. It wasn’t easy and it wasn’t quick, but it was the most amazing gift that anyone has ever given me. In less than two years, my playing has changed from mechanical, tense, and dry to… lyrical, flowing, and yes “powerful” without tension, or pain, or strong fingers. I always knew what my heart wanted to say when I played the piano and now my technique allows me to bring it from the piano keys. It has changed everything.
Review by Julia Scherer, MM, NCTM, KCMTA Workshop Chair 2012-2015
Nancy Reese presented her workshop Fingers...An Illusion! for the Kansas City Music Teachers Association in November 2013. In her 90-minute session, she introduced the basic principles underlying her ground-breaking technique that allows pianists to play with complete physical ease and to always achieve the desired musical sound and effect.
With equal measures of clarity and charm, Nancy presented her technical concepts through well-chosen words as well as through actual physical motions, both at the instrument and away from it. The participants were actively involved from start to finish. They particularly enjoyed being able to go to the piano and try out some of the techniques for themselves. They also appreciated having the opportunity to ask questions about specific technical issues.
A strikingly approachable person, Nancy possesses the happy combination of being exceptionally perceptive in assessing technical and musical problems and extremely articulate in communicating their solutions. An upbeat energy permeated her workshop. All of us were reluctant to leave when our time together drew to a close.
Many of the teachers were so stunned by what they had experienced at the workshop that they arranged private coaching sessions with Nancy. Every time she returns to Kansas City, a growing number of pianists sign up to work with her—we can’t get enough of Nancy Reese!
Review by Hemdah Salonimer-Horner, MM, NCTM
Nancy, I’ve learned so much from you! My job as an accompanist is so technically demanding, that if it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t be able to continue making my living as a pianist.
Review by Rebecca Gale
I first came to the piano as a very eager adult student, having sung and played guitar since I was a child. My deep desire to play piano motivated me to practice and advance fairly rapidly for the first couple of years... and then my weaknesses began to emerge. I discovered I couldn't play anything at a fast tempo, no matter how long I practiced a passage or phrase slowly and evenly; invariably, as I tried to increase my speed, the quality of my playing would disintegrate into rhythmic irregularities and harsh sounds that frustrated and discouraged me and left me wondering whether I was capable of progressing further.
I met Nancy at a music teacher's conference and felt drawn to her passion, depth of knowledge, and warm, encouraging spirit. When I reached out to her for help with my playing, I had no idea how life-changing her coaching would be for me. Her unique approach and vast experience enabled her to diagnose and quickly resolve the problems I was having; right away, I could feel a different kind of playing emerge from me. After two years of regular online lessons and in-person study with Nancy, I'm discovering an ability to learn music that I never dreamed would be accessible to me. In addition, the way I teach my own piano students has been transformed by my work with Nancy, and their playing and progress are a joy to hear and witness. If you're wanting to dramatically improve your own playing and are open to new ways of thinking, Nancy's skillful coaching should be your next pursuit. Thank you, Nancy, for all that you do for me and so many others – I am forever grateful for the discoveries you've made on your own journey that you so willingly share with the rest of us.