Contemporary Piano Technique

Coordinating Breath, Movement, and Sound

"Buy Now" to view and securely purchase the available paperback / digital editions at our publishing partner Hal Leonard LLC.
  • Suggested Retail Price: $29.99
  • Format: Book/DVD-ROM
  • Pages: 152
  • Dimensions: 9 x 12
  • ISBN: 0-87639-077-7
  • SKU: 50449545
  • Publication Date: May 25, 2011

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Develop expressive, virtuosic, and healthy piano technique for contemporary and classical styles. Step by step, through integrated written directions and video examples, you will see exactly how to move your fingers, wrists, arms, feet, body, and breath to achieve maximum expressive effect and technical facility. Developed by Stephany Tiernan as a continuation of the groundbreaking work by Mme. Margaret Chaloff, this approach to piano technique has been used by thousands of pianists worldwide. The DVD demonstrates each technique in isolation and in the context of playing repertoire, from jazz, rock, new age, Latin, and classical styles.

You will learn how to:

  • Move your fingers, wrists, arm, and body efficiently and effectively
  • Coordinate your body posture and breath with each musical phrase
  • Match your technique to the demands of the music, such as different approaches to single-line melodies vs. comping chords
  • Analyze music
  • Practice with a strategy that matches technique to the music’s expressive and technical requirements


“A taste of genius mixed with a completely amazing concept, yet a most natural approach. This is the book pianists of every genre have been searching for. This phenomenal work of art gives an in-depth method for how to develop a masterful “wizard like” technique and understanding of the piano with unmatched clarity, simplicity, and step-by-step instructions. It is written in a magical fashion, including a DVD. Stephany Tiernan and is guaranteed to fulfill every pianist’s wildest dreams! I give it five stars.”

—Joanne Brackeen, Legendary Pianist, Composer, Arranger, Visionary, Professor at Berklee College of Music

“Margaret Chaloff was my teacher, mentor, surrogate mother, and friend for many years. Stephany Tiernan is to be congratulated for this book and DVD. She is keeping Madame Chaloff’s Legacy alive. Any “aspiring” musician will benefit greatly by carefully studying and slowly absorbing these materials. An extraordinary accomplishment!”

—Steve Kuhn, Musician, Composer, Educator

“This book covers all the issues I think are so important but rarely discussed or solved as Stephany’s book does. First, she sheds light on one of the most magical, ethereal yet profoundly solid teachers I had the good fortune to study with, Madame Chaloff. Madame showed me how to put the “Effortless” in Effortless Mastery. Second, she makes the important point that technique should be practiced on actual music. It should not be a separate chore that has no music in it. And third, she marries the idea of technique with the breath. She covers all the issues that I hold dear and that make my own playing possible.”

—Kenny Werner, Pianist, Composer, Author of Effortless Mastery

“Stephany Tiernan’s well developed and refined method clearly addresses critical techniques for performing rock, blues, free, Latin, electronic, jazz, and the multi-period classical piano literature. The melodic and chordal elements found in each style are characterized by slightly different articulation considerations. This book and DVD clearly illustrate the different hand, wrist, arm, and shoulder placement required by each. It is perfect for anyone seeking authenticated guidance in learning any type of piano technique.”

—Ray Santisi, Professor of Piano (Berklee College of Music)


Stephany Tiernan

Stephany Tiernan is chair of the piano department at Berklee College of Music. She has mentored thousands of pianists, as…