Orchestral Colors of the Piano
Independent Study or Group Intensive

"Keep searching for the sound until it becomes a reality." Bill Evans

The Challenge

If you had a whole orchestra at your fingertips - how would that advance your artistic vision? How do we create notes that carry meaning and color, and have distinct attack and follow through? Composers have long used the piano to create short scores for symphonic works, and pianists have used piano reductions to share these works through private salons. Transcriptions and the fluid flow being piano and orchestral colors are an important piece to understanding the language of great master composers. Performing these colors on the piano involves Conscious Listening™ (connections of mind, body and heart). 

Using the concept of instrumental timbres is a fast track to inspiring fascinating and intentional qualities of sound!

The Strategy 

During this workshop, you will
1)do the deep listening that is so easily lost in life's distractions,
2)improve ear training by becoming more aware /of the diversity tone colors, through instrumental timbres.
3)learn how to technically express diversity /through muscle toning exercises and breathwork,
4)unleash your own imagination to orchestrate
5)differentiate your interpretation of distinct sections, by making combinations of timbres.

In the Independent Study, you will schedule a 6 week window of your own choosing, and submit 6 short videos and 6 marked score excerpts. During the live Zoom coaching, we will review all 6 projects together.  "Estimated time required" is 20 minutes videos and score study + 25minutes practicing + 10minutes self recording per score excerpt.

In the Group Intensive, each live Zoom workshop is preceded by video lessons and "micro-practicing" bite-size homework recordings, and followed up by detailed responses to your homework recordings. Our weekly excerpts are very short to accommodate busy lives, but challenging enough to require your creativity and focus. You will instantly have accountability partners to keep you focused and encouraged in this small group. In week five you will bring an excerpt of your own choosing, and then vote for someone else in the class. The person with the most votes in this optional friendly contest will win the prizes below.

The Transformation 

You will learn how to orchestrate your piano piece and expand your aural imagination.
You will learn what artistic decisions goes into orchestration and hear the nuances of timbres.
You will expand your technical “Tools of Expression” and lead with listening.

The Rep
Piano solo/transcription excerpts of Bach, Bartok, Ravel, Schumann, Mussorgsky.
Intermediate - advance level. If you have a busy work schedule or want to digest more fully, this can be modified to just individual lines or skeletal chords at any time.

Next Steps

1a. Group Format: Live 1-hour Zoom classes are tentatively on SAT's. (If this doesn't work with your schedule, please let me know what window of time does work, in case we have an alternate group.) A baseline of 1 hour homework + 1 hour Zoom a week is recommended.
Registration deadline is TBA: $597. 
*If finances are prohibiting you, there will be a $100 scholarship available for the most need or biggest impact to a new participant.


1b. Independent Study On Demand with one hour live Zoom coaching $207.

2. What questions do you have for me? Email theNutmegStudio@gmail.com to ask!
3. Fill out "Registration Form" by clicking the blue button below.
4. Make Payment by Zelle (Quickpay). I can provide an invoice if requested. Paypal or Snail mail check is fine if you prefer. Receipt of payment is confirmation.

The most wholehearted way to communicate your imagination requires Artistic Practicing™ , a solid understanding of theory (Hear That!™ Harmonic Analysis) , and its potential for expression emotions (YouTube “Tools of Expression” series). These resources work together to exponentially improve your power of expression.

"I was very excited about results of many hours of thinking about how fabulous [the Schumann] would sound with harps and cellos. All the times in lessons that you would ask me to think about an instrument never really penetrated in the way it has in this very intensive “Intensive”.  The combination of listening to examples and working out the orchestration details ourselves was very effective. I very much appreciate how much this course has challenged me.Judy 

Professionals Praise Hsing-ay's Intensives

"Hsing-ay Hsu has developed a unique blend of approaches to thinking about musicianship, interpretation and technical mastery, all the while attending to one’s emotional, spiritual and intellectual mindset. A prodigious artist in her own right, among her generation’s most compelling pianists, she has insights to share that can enlighten just about anyone interested in an enjoyable and satisfying journey at the keyboard."

"Communicating the emotional essence of a work is paramount in Hsing-ay Hsu’s performances as a pianist.  That’s what makes her such a compelling musician. Her students learn not only how to develop a personal artistic vision for a work, but also how to express it. Hsu has created a highly effective way of using technology as an enhancement to the learning process.  Students gather online from various locales to explore the process of interpreting a score and finding what makes it emotionally compelling."