Discussion:
My Thoughts On Hanon
(too old to reply)
Wild Card
2006-03-13 01:44:50 UTC
Permalink
Life is just too damned short. Just play the music.
Neil
2006-03-13 06:18:34 UTC
Permalink
I agree. I've been teaching piano for 25 years. I make sure I've
carefully researched topics before advising my students. Any concert
pianist I've ever talked to on the subject say essentially that
exercises are unnecessary -- all the exercises you could ever want are
right there in the music, if it is practiced properly.
R.M.
2006-03-13 12:02:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by Neil
I agree. I've been teaching piano for 25 years. I make sure I've
carefully researched topics before advising my students. Any concert
pianist I've ever talked to on the subject say essentially that
exercises are unnecessary -- all the exercises you could ever want are
right there in the music, if it is practiced properly.
This is what my son's piano teacher also says and does... No exercising, no
Hanon, no Czerny, only pieces to play... Now, at every end of year when he
takes his piano exam, he gets A + everywhere ( musicality, rythm, sight
reading, autonomy ) and he gets an A- or a B in technics... How does one
explain that ? And how correct it if not with playing such things as Hanon ?

A skiet or a tannis player gains strength by exercising his body with
exercises other than tennis and ski, why should it be different with
amusician ? How can one acquire endurance and strength if not by doing
repetitive exercises ?

If somebody has different opinions I would be delighted to read them...
Piano Fan
2006-03-13 12:40:37 UTC
Permalink
I play Hanon cover to cover. I find my technique is Ok for about a day
or so, then the practice has to be redone.

The issue I find is that most compositions do not give the same level of
workout. You can likely get a good workout from Bach's WTC, or Preludes
and Fuges to substitute for Hanon Part 1, but it doesn't include the
techniques from eras after Bach, such as scales in 6ths, octaves etc.

It does get VERY boring, and one possibility is alternating between
different forms of exercise.
Post by R.M.
Post by Neil
I agree. I've been teaching piano for 25 years. I make sure I've
carefully researched topics before advising my students. Any concert
pianist I've ever talked to on the subject say essentially that
exercises are unnecessary -- all the exercises you could ever want
are right there in the music, if it is practiced properly.
This is what my son's piano teacher also says and does... No
exercising, no Hanon, no Czerny, only pieces to play... Now, at every
end of year when he takes his piano exam, he gets A + everywhere (
musicality, rythm, sight reading, autonomy ) and he gets an A- or a B
in technics... How does one explain that ? And how correct it if not
with playing such things as Hanon ?
A skiet or a tannis player gains strength by exercising his body with
exercises other than tennis and ski, why should it be different with
amusician ? How can one acquire endurance and strength if not by doing
repetitive exercises ?
If somebody has different opinions I would be delighted to read them...
**©©
2006-03-13 19:26:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Piano Fan
It does get VERY boring, and one possibility is alternating between
different forms of exercise.
I use Hanon with certain students. There are several variations
I like to use with them, one of which is my so-called 'one-note-down'
method, in which you keep the lower note held down during the ascending
part of the exercise, and the upper note held while descending.

You can also, for mere variation, play the exercises in maj10ths or
sixths, and also use different rhythms. What I like about Hanon
for beginning or near-beginning students is that it allows them to
play something for a sustained period of time - to keep producing
sound and moving fingers for as long as they wish. This isn't possible
to do using compositions, as they are beginners. I also feel that
arpeggios are essential to master, and use both triadic and
7th chord arpeggios with (more advanced) students. Scales are important
to know and play, but it's not necessary to learn all of the minor
scales, etc.
Wakeley Purple
2006-03-14 04:30:35 UTC
Permalink
...
... What I like about Hanon
for beginning or near-beginning students is that it allows them to
play something for a sustained period of time - to keep producing
sound and moving fingers for as long as they wish.
...
I agree. I'm a beginner trying to self-teach until I get a schedule where I
can take lessons. The Hanon I've done so far sounds more like real music to
me than the likes of a "French Folk Song", so it's actually enjoyable. I
hope to see the day when I consider them boring.
--
Wake
Cormagh
2006-03-14 08:14:59 UTC
Permalink
I absolutely agree, the only value of Hanon over other similar
technical systems is that it keeps (some) students' fingers on the keys
for longer. Once the student is adept he can simply follow the pieces
he is doing with corresponding scale practice.
Cormagh
2006-03-14 08:11:33 UTC
Permalink
Beethoven's piano sonatas are equivalent to playing Hanon. I agree with
you that the WTC is not. I give my kids exercises, but not repetitive
exercises, such as Hanon. I became quite a good Jazzer primarily by
practicing the Liszt exercises and making up a few of my own. At an
advanced level, simply playing an exercise in all keys is enough
repetition. You don't need more than that.
Orlando Enrique Fiol
2006-03-19 11:27:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by albert landa
I would just like to ask this simple question.
If doing purely technical work is unneccesary then why is there such a huge
abundence of composed. printed, distributed, recommended. sold and bought
and used by countless pianists right up to the level of Rachmaninoff,
studies, excercises, drills, scales and arpeggios, Hanon in all
configurations,concert studies.thousands of Czerny, Burgmuller, Cramer,
Moscheles, Dohnanyi, Chopin, Liszt, Brahms etc.etc.etc. studies and
technical development works.Yes.Why does all this material exist? Who could
possibly be buying this material and using it in various degrees of
intensity and assiduousness?.
Much technical work is also musical, as are the Liszt Transcendental
Etudes and Chopin's etudes. There are, of course, the Debussy etudes,
which are quite beautiful as well as technically challenging.
Post by albert landa
Why, even Rachmaninoff used Hanon,(Poor much-maligned Hanon!) I think I read
somewhere that Gina Bachauer did FOUR HOURS of technical work before she
started her "proper" practice!!
From my own experience as a performer I can attest that I have gained
enormous benefit from regular technical practice and any teacher who
deliberately eschews technical work and maintains that pieces are sufficient
is, in my view, a charlatan.And the fact that a child is getting A+ in exams
causes me to ask the question "What grades?"
Technical practice allows the student to focus on one technical problem
at a time without having to wait until it comes around in a piece. On
the other hand, certain figures appearing in pieces are not transposed
into all keys, something which many technical studies address.

Orlando

presley
2006-03-14 08:40:17 UTC
Permalink
"R.M." <***@xx.invalid> wrote in message > A skiet or a tannis player gains
strength by exercising his body with
Post by R.M.
exercises other than tennis and ski, why should it be different with
amusician ? How can one acquire endurance and strength if not by doing
repetitive exercises ?
If somebody has different opinions I would be delighted to read them.
Playing the piano is not about endurance and strength - it's about
coordination between muscle groups and awareness of fine differences in
motion which affect sound and evenness of execution. A pianist who can play
in a healthy way for 3-6 hours a day is not using strength and has not built
up "endurance". He/she is using the transfer of the weight of the arm from
note to note, and his/her arms should not be any more tired at the end of
three hours than they were at the beginning. (His/her butt on the other hand
is a different matter).
exercises are one way to work on awareness, but they are boring and don't
train a student to listen to himself/herself which is the most important
skill in all of music making. If a person can learn to transfer weight
evenly from one finger to another in a simple five-finger pattern he/she is
well on the way to having mastered all the technical difficulties of the
piano. And these five-finger patterns appear in "real" music of every
composer from Bach to Bartok.
albert landa
2006-03-14 12:34:05 UTC
Permalink
I would just like to ask this simple question.

If doing purely technical work is unneccesary then why is there such a huge
abundence of composed. printed, distributed, recommended. sold and bought
and used by countless pianists right up to the level of Rachmaninoff,
studies, excercises, drills, scales and arpeggios, Hanon in all
configurations,concert studies.thousands of Czerny, Burgmuller, Cramer,
Moscheles, Dohnanyi, Chopin, Liszt, Brahms etc.etc.etc. studies and
technical development works.Yes.Why does all this material exist? Who could
possibly be buying this material and using it in various degrees of
intensity and assiduousness?.

Why, even Rachmaninoff used Hanon,(Poor much-maligned Hanon!) I think I read
somewhere that Gina Bachauer did FOUR HOURS of technical work before she
started her "proper" practice!!

From my own experience as a performer I can attest that I have gained
enormous benefit from regular technical practice and any teacher who
deliberately eschews technical work and maintains that pieces are sufficient
is, in my view, a charlatan.And the fact that a child is getting A+ in exams
causes me to ask the question "What grades?"


albert landa
Post by R.M.
Post by Neil
I agree. I've been teaching piano for 25 years. I make sure I've
carefully researched topics before advising my students. Any concert
pianist I've ever talked to on the subject say essentially that
exercises are unnecessary -- all the exercises you could ever want are
right there in the music, if it is practiced properly.
This is what my son's piano teacher also says and does... No exercising,
no Hanon, no Czerny, only pieces to play... Now, at every end of year
when he takes his piano exam, he gets A + everywhere ( musicality, rythm,
sight reading, autonomy ) and he gets an A- or a B in technics... How does
one explain that ? And how correct it if not with playing such things as
Hanon ?
A skiet or a tannis player gains strength by exercising his body with
exercises other than tennis and ski, why should it be different with
amusician ? How can one acquire endurance and strength if not by doing
repetitive exercises ?
If somebody has different opinions I would be delighted to read them...
John Peterson
2006-03-14 14:54:01 UTC
Permalink
Hello Mr. Landa!

First, if you really are the musician and music professor, its a pleasure
to meet you hear and discuss music with you and the group.

I think to answer your question its because piano pedagogy today is not a
science, its a discipline. There is some definite truth in it, but there
is a lot of personal anecodote as well, some with nearly lunatic
qualities.

Physical fitness had the same issues too. A scientific approach has found
more efficient methods, i.e., less time, more return in muscle mass and
cardiovascular fitness. Founded in 1954, its now the field of Sports
Medicine, most popularly used to advance Olympic athlete fitness and
develop programs for military and police officers. Of course, it doesn't
stop the likes of Tae-bo, and others from pitching their wares:

http://www.beachbody.com/jump.jsp?itemID=0&itemType=HOME_PAGE

What they all have in common is calisthenic like movements, increasing
heart rate, and sweating.

There were old methods of physical fitness that still are viable today,
albeit not as efficient as its original claims, Charles Atlas's dynamic
tension.

Does piano pedagogy has similar issues as befell physical fitness? I
think so. Only recently has a scientific approach been applied to
pedagogy:

http://www.piano.uottawa.ca/jun1_05_en.html

Piano drills have in common a lot of finger motion of increasing and
progressive difficulty in the form of notes not meant to be music that
should be played musically to build musicality, if one can stomach those
compositions ad nauseam. Chopin Etudes would certainly cover many
issues, but its hardly treated for what it was designed to be, exercises.
Maybe it should be?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Etude

Anti-piano-exercise or anti-Hanonist claim you can get the same motion
benefits by playing music and not exercises, especially those composed
ala Hanon. Music provides esthetics and musicality and is far more
rewarding to play than unmusical exercises.

However, if you read at least the most thorough self-published proponent
of this method, it has a distinct logic: it espouses repeating difficult
phrases within a composition until one 'gets it right,', i.e., the
procedure has a built in exercise regimen that uses the difficult passage
as a template for exercise.

http://members.aol.com/chang8828/contents.htm

Hanon is in fact just that, taking a single bar and playing it repeatedly
but ascending through all the white keys. Chang-Coombe think otherwise.
See below.

I believe the truth is somewhere in between. In interviews with
professional pianists [ e.g. compilations such as "Great Pianists Speak"
or Elyse Mach's book or individual interviews with Horowitz, Rubenstein
etc.,] with playing careers, many rarely exercise as they did as a youth,
due to hectic concert schedules. Andre Watts, for one, admits to getting
only a few hours a week if at all, but plays concertos or solos almost
daily. His technique remains superb in his age, but alas, one can never
rule out how much gift he had to begin with as far as his finger skills
are concerned.

As an pianist-amateur of 30 years, I have also had problems exercising
due to time constraints and fatigue from my other career. But what
cannot be taken away from you is musicality built in from youth.
However, one still needs to get 'dexterity' going in some fashion if one
doesn't play often, whether by Hanon or some other technique, as few
piano composition has the required repetitive moves to give even strength
to all the fingers.

In my hey day, I would play about 1 hours worth of my repetoire daily,
and maybe on every 3rd day, work on Hanon. I found however, my dexterity
gradually deteriorated over time, that only Hanon could rebuild.

OTAH, the idea of Chang-Coombe of creating an exercise using the
difficult passage and playing that bar over and over again, then building
the phrase as an exercise by using the bars of music before and after the
difficult passage, to 'work out' the kinks in the technique has great
merit. It provides a technique that is directly applicable to a great
work of music, provides the variety needed to avoid boredom in exercise,
provides the potential for an infinite number of exercises combinations,
at the least. Included in the anti-Hanonist proponents is a regimen of
running through at least, all the scales and appreggios in scales, to
build evenness of all the fingers.

Chang-Coombe state the possible combinations of difficult technical
issues found in real piano music simply cannot be captured by any piano
exercise text, because the possibilities would essentially be creating an
exercise for every combination of notes requirng technique across all
keys. Therefore, one must be able to create an exercise that fits the
issue within the music as it arises.

Taken as a whole, Chang-Coombes technique is very logical. The tome like
text is 300+ single spaced pages. One student, Marc McCarthy was
inspired by his text so that at 17 years old he won an amateur piano
competition after only 3 months of piano study. His MP3 files are
online, and details here:

http://members.aol.com/chang8828/testimonials.htm


Chang-Coombes codified his technique in 2004, so its brand new. Only
time will tell if that technique builds real classical pianist, or can
rapidly create a fair piano player of general education. Either however,
is a substantial improvement on the status quo.
Post by albert landa
If doing purely technical work is unneccesary then why is there such a
huge abundence of composed. printed, distributed, recommended. sold
and bought and used by countless pianists right up to the level of
Rachmaninoff, studies, excercises, drills, scales and arpeggios, Hanon
in all configurations,concert studies.thousands of Czerny, Burgmuller,
Cramer, Moscheles, Dohnanyi, Chopin, Liszt, Brahms etc.etc.etc.
studies and technical development works.Yes.Why does all this material
exist? Who could possibly be buying this material and using it in
various degrees of intensity and assiduousness?.
Why, even Rachmaninoff used Hanon,(Poor much-maligned Hanon!) I think
I read somewhere that Gina Bachauer did FOUR HOURS of technical work
before she started her "proper" practice!!
From my own experience as a performer I can attest that I have gained
enormous benefit from regular technical practice and any teacher who
deliberately eschews technical work and maintains that pieces are
sufficient is, in my view, a charlatan.And the fact that a child is
getting A+ in exams causes me to ask the question "What grades?"
albert landa
Tom Shaw
2006-03-14 18:01:12 UTC
Permalink
I guess you mean steroids and getting drunk every night.
TS
Post by John Peterson
Hello Mr. Landa!
snip
Post by John Peterson
Physical fitness had the same issues too. A scientific approach has found
more efficient methods, i.e., less time, more return in muscle mass and
cardiovascular fitness.
Gary L.
2006-03-14 22:24:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Peterson
However, if you read at least the most thorough self-published proponent
of this method ....
http://members.aol.com/chang8828/contents.htm
How did this thing self-published by a guy on AOL achieve the status
of an authority on anything? A *real* book by a *real* pianist with
*real* piano teaching experience might be something worthy of
consideration.
- -
Gary L.
Reply to the newsgroup only
Joe John
2006-03-15 00:40:13 UTC
Permalink
I am not familiar with all the references in his book, but of some of them,
they do recommend some methods he uses, but not all. However, Chang puts
them together as a whole, where the others did not. For more information,
just read the 1st page, then the 1st 10 pages.

How effective is his process? First released in 2004, I don't know how
many have used it other than those mentioned in his testimonials. The
information is free, so readers can judge for themselves.

Amateur can contribute significantly were professionals could not e.g.
Comet Shoemaker-Levy {David Levy was a phys Ed teacher who is now a full
time astronomer with honorary degrees], Vivien Thomas for open heart
Surgery [his highest education was high school but taught the procedure to
Hopkins doctors], Thomas Edison never had formal schooling nor any degrees
in any of his discoveries, etc., you can find their bios on Wikipedia.
Post by Gary L.
Post by John Peterson
However, if you read at least the most thorough self-published proponent
of this method ....
http://members.aol.com/chang8828/contents.htm
How did this thing self-published by a guy on AOL achieve the status
of an authority on anything? A *real* book by a *real* pianist with
*real* piano teaching experience might be something worthy of
consideration.
- -
Gary L.
Reply to the newsgroup only
Gary L.
2006-03-15 03:08:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joe John
Amateur can contribute significantly were professionals could not e.g.
Comet Shoemaker-Levy {David Levy was a phys Ed teacher who is now a full
time astronomer with honorary degrees], Vivien Thomas for open heart
Surgery [his highest education was high school but taught the procedure to
Hopkins doctors], Thomas Edison never had formal schooling nor any degrees
in any of his discoveries, etc., you can find their bios on Wikipedia.
Einstein was an "amateur" (in the sense that he was employed as a
patent clerk rather than as a physicist) in 1905 when he wrote his
three landmark papers, but he did have a Ph.D. in physics and he knew
his stuff. I don't think Edison was an insightful thinker: his
approach was more brute force than theoretical thought.

You are free to read the Chang stuff and form your own opinion.
Personally, it strikes me as a few recycled practical ideas mixed with
a lot of theoretical gibberish.
- -
Gary L.
Reply to the newsgroup only
albert landa
2006-03-15 12:45:42 UTC
Permalink
I thoroughly concur with your opinion of Mr. Chang.


albert landa
Post by Gary L.
Post by Joe John
Amateur can contribute significantly were professionals could not e.g.
Comet Shoemaker-Levy {David Levy was a phys Ed teacher who is now a full
time astronomer with honorary degrees], Vivien Thomas for open heart
Surgery [his highest education was high school but taught the procedure to
Hopkins doctors], Thomas Edison never had formal schooling nor any degrees
in any of his discoveries, etc., you can find their bios on Wikipedia.
Einstein was an "amateur" (in the sense that he was employed as a
patent clerk rather than as a physicist) in 1905 when he wrote his
three landmark papers, but he did have a Ph.D. in physics and he knew
his stuff. I don't think Edison was an insightful thinker: his
approach was more brute force than theoretical thought.
You are free to read the Chang stuff and form your own opinion.
Personally, it strikes me as a few recycled practical ideas mixed with
a lot of theoretical gibberish.
- -
Gary L.
Reply to the newsgroup only
CRMF
2006-03-15 19:19:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gary L.
You are free to read the Chang stuff and form your own opinion.
Personally, it strikes me as a few recycled practical ideas mixed with
a lot of theoretical gibberish.
Exactly. Chang's "book" is published free of charge and is worth every cent.

B.
David Bruce Murray
2006-03-15 04:13:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gary L.
How did this thing self-published by a guy on AOL achieve the status
of an authority on anything? A *real* book by a *real* pianist with
*real* piano teaching experience might be something worthy of
consideration.
Well, I thought some of his ideas were very interesting and he makes some
excellent points.

However, I also thought it was sort of funny when he said it was a good idea
to avoid any piano teacher who didn't have a website. He should take his own
advice, because his website is about the least appealing looking site I've
seen in a loooongg time.
--
David Bruce Murray is still "Making hay while the sun shines"
CD Reviews/BLOG: www.musicscribe.com/blog.html
"Always acknowledge a fault. This will throw those in authority off their
guard and give you an opportunity to commit more."---Mark Twain
Radu Focshaner
2006-03-15 22:00:21 UTC
Permalink
"David Bruce Murray" <***@NOSPAMmusicscribe.com> wrote in message news:LvMRf.4263$***@newsread2.news.atl.earthlink.net...
.
Post by David Bruce Murray
However, I also thought it was sort of funny when he said it was a good
idea to avoid any piano teacher who didn't have a website. He should take
his own advice, because his website is about the least appealing looking
site I've seen in a loooongg time.
Actually, you can't blame him. He is NOT a piano teacher and never claimed
to be. He never taught any students. The famous Mlle LaCombe was the teacher
of his daughters, so any info he got from her is by , probably,
eavesdropping.(check this on Google - he admitted it).

The archives of Google go back to the 97-98. During those years , Chang
started to gather info from posters in rmmp to make up his book ( True, he
was open to criticism). With time, his ego started to inflate. He even made
up for himself a lineage up to Liszt - he later "corrected" it. When he
decided to write about piano tuning he flooded the forum with questions. At
that time the forum was full of knowledgeable technicians who provided him
the information. Not in a single line in his book did Chang give credits to
those who helped him to write the book.

For those who never took piano lessons from good teachers, the ideas
presented in the book ("hands separate") seemed like he "discovered" them.
He did not. There are a lot of practice tips and methods on the web,
presented by professional teachers (like Brent Hugh or "Marbeth"), much more
interesting and valuable. Our Greg Presley , for example, was a constant
source of good and valuable help to everyone who asked for direction/help.

Once again, the Google archive remembers all Chang's history... Check it !
Joe John
2006-03-15 23:25:02 UTC
Permalink
Thanks for the history lesson. I think the archives speaks for itself!
Post by Radu Focshaner
.
Post by David Bruce Murray
However, I also thought it was sort of funny when he said it was a
good idea to avoid any piano teacher who didn't have a website. He
should take his own advice, because his website is about the least
appealing looking site I've seen in a loooongg time.
Actually, you can't blame him. He is NOT a piano teacher and never
claimed to be. He never taught any students. The famous Mlle LaCombe
was the teacher of his daughters, so any info he got from her is by ,
probably, eavesdropping.(check this on Google - he admitted it).
The archives of Google go back to the 97-98. During those years ,
Chang started to gather info from posters in rmmp to make up his book
( True, he was open to criticism). With time, his ego started to
inflate. He even made up for himself a lineage up to Liszt - he later
"corrected" it. When he decided to write about piano tuning he
flooded the forum with questions. At that time the forum was full of
knowledgeable technicians who provided him the information. Not in a
single line in his book did Chang give credits to those who helped him
to write the book.
For those who never took piano lessons from good teachers, the ideas
presented in the book ("hands separate") seemed like he "discovered"
them. He did not. There are a lot of practice tips and methods on the
web, presented by professional teachers (like Brent Hugh or
"Marbeth"), much more interesting and valuable. Our Greg Presley , for
example, was a constant source of good and valuable help to everyone
who asked for direction/help.
Once again, the Google archive remembers all Chang's history... Check it !
Piano Fan
2006-03-16 02:37:53 UTC
Permalink
Folks just for historical record. Chang has about 2131 posts on all
newsgroups indexed by google, of which 2089 are on this group, rmmp!

I've gone through many of his posts, but for the most part he appears
just overtly zealous about piano pedagogy, and works on his book quite
frequently. Anyway, I let the readers judge:

http://groups.google.com/groups/profile?
enc_user=hFW0JQ0AAAD5WTfAy3l9W1ew8YEXdveE

In Jan 2005 he begins to thread about AOL terminating newsgroup service,
and by Oct 05, his posts are gone.

Thanks all for the leads.
Post by Joe John
Thanks for the history lesson. I think the archives speaks for itself!
Post by Radu Focshaner
For those who never took piano lessons from good teachers, the ideas
presented in the book ("hands separate") seemed like he "discovered"
them. He did not. There are a lot of practice tips and methods on the
web, presented by professional teachers (like Brent Hugh or
"Marbeth"), much more interesting and valuable. Our Greg Presley , for
example, was a constant source of good and valuable help to everyone
who asked for direction/help.
Once again, the Google archive remembers all Chang's history... Check it !
albert landa
2006-03-16 00:28:39 UTC
Permalink
My dear Radu,

I thought you had disappeared into cyberspace.It's good to see your
laser-like observations again.

But, whilst I've got you I wonder if I may request a favour.

Aeons ago you provided this forum with a list of great pianists, all of whom
had comitted the great sin of having been born with impure and non-Aryan
blood..

As I myself share that great misfortune I was wondering if you would be so
kind as to once again provide that list, and this time I will remember to
print it off.

with many thanks,

albert landa
Post by Radu Focshaner
.
Post by David Bruce Murray
However, I also thought it was sort of funny when he said it was a good
idea to avoid any piano teacher who didn't have a website. He should take
his own advice, because his website is about the least appealing looking
site I've seen in a loooongg time.
Actually, you can't blame him. He is NOT a piano teacher and never claimed
to be. He never taught any students. The famous Mlle LaCombe was the
teacher of his daughters, so any info he got from her is by , probably,
eavesdropping.(check this on Google - he admitted it).
The archives of Google go back to the 97-98. During those years , Chang
started to gather info from posters in rmmp to make up his book ( True, he
was open to criticism). With time, his ego started to inflate. He even
made up for himself a lineage up to Liszt - he later "corrected" it. When
he decided to write about piano tuning he flooded the forum with
questions. At that time the forum was full of knowledgeable technicians
who provided him the information. Not in a single line in his book did
Chang give credits to those who helped him to write the book.
For those who never took piano lessons from good teachers, the ideas
presented in the book ("hands separate") seemed like he "discovered" them.
He did not. There are a lot of practice tips and methods on the web,
presented by professional teachers (like Brent Hugh or "Marbeth"), much
more interesting and valuable. Our Greg Presley , for example, was a
constant source of good and valuable help to everyone who asked for
direction/help.
Once again, the Google archive remembers all Chang's history... Check it !
Radu Focshaner
2006-03-16 06:05:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by albert landa
Aeons ago you provided this forum with a list of great pianists, all of
whom had comitted the great sin of having been born with impure and
non-Aryan blood..
As I myself share that great misfortune I was wondering if you would be so
kind as to once again provide that list, and this time I will remember to
print it off.
From http://www.jinfo.org/Pianists.html

---------------------------------
a.. Charles Alkan
a.. Vladimir Ashkenazy 1
a.. Emanuel Ax
a.. Victor Babin
a.. Gina Bachauer 11
a.. Dmitri Bashkirov 13
a.. Daniel Barenboim
a.. Simon Barere
a.. Boris Berman

a.. Lazar Berman
a.. Victor Borge
a.. Alexander Borovsky
a.. Alexander Brailowsky
a.. Yefim Bronfman
a.. Ignaz Bruell
a.. Shura Cherkassky
a.. Harriet Cohen
a.. Bella Davidovich
a.. Misha Dichter
a.. Samuil Feinberg
a.. Vladimir Feltsman
a.. Annie Fischer 2
a.. Leon Fleisher
a.. Yakov Flier
a.. Claude Frank
a.. Ignaz Friedman
a.. Emil Gilels
a.. Grigory Ginsburg
a.. Leopold Godowsky
a.. Alexander Goldenweiser 8
a.. Richard Goode
a.. Gary Graffman
a.. Mark Hambourg
a.. Clara Haskil
a.. Myra Hess
a.. Vladimir Horovitz
a.. Eugene Istomin 9
a.. Byron Janis
a.. Joseph Kalichstein
a.. William Kapell
a.. Julius Katchen
a.. Mindru Katz

a.. Louis Kentner
a.. Evgeny Kissin
a.. Vladimir Krainev 14
a.. Lili Kraus 10
a.. Wanda Landowska
a.. Ruth Laredo
a.. Josef Lh?vinne
a.. Rosina Lh?vinne
a.. Radu Lupu 3
a.. Hephzibah Menuhin
a.. Benno Moiseiwitsch
a.. Ignaz Moscheles
a.. Murray Perahia
a.. Menahem Pressler
a.. Andr? Previn
a.. Michael Roll
a.. Moritz Rosenthal
a.. Anton Rubinstein
a.. Artur Rubinstein
a.. Nikolai Rubinstein
a.. Harold Samuel
a.. Andr?s Schiff 4
a.. Artur Schnabel
a.. Peter Serkin 5
a.. Rudolf Serkin
a.. Abbey Simon

a.. Solomon (Cutner)
a.. Wladyslaw Szpilman
a.. Mark Taimanov
a.. Carl Tausig
a.. Sigismund Thalberg
a.. Rosalyn Tureck
a.. Isabella Vengerova 12
a.. Alexis Weissenberg
a.. Paul Wittgenstein 6
a.. Maria Yudina 7

NOTES
1. Jewish father, non-Jewish mother.
2. See Jewish Budapest by Kinga Frojimovics et al. (Central European
University Press, Budapest and New York, 1999, p. 366.)
3. Information confirmed by sources in the Romanian ?migr? community in
Israel.
4. See http://www.jewhoo.com.
5. Jewish father, non-Jewish mother.
6. Like his brother the philosopher, Paul Wittgenstein was three-quarters
Jewish.
7. See http://www.jewishgen.org/Belarus/rje_y.htm.
8. Jewish father, non-Jewish mother.
9. See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A11016-2003Oct10.html.
Tim Page's obituary article in the Washington Post stated that Istomin's
parents were "of Russian-Jewish ancestry." Based on name analysis,
Istomin's mother (n?e Asya Chavin) was almost certainly Jewish. This,
however, is less likely to have been the case for his father, George
Istomin.
10. See Lili Kraus: Hungarian Pianist, Texas Teacher, and Personality
Extraordinaire, by Steven Henry Roberson (Texas A&M, 2000, p. 1).
11. See http://www.bachauer.com/archive-1.asp.
12. See http://www.jewishgen.org/Belarus/rje_v.htm.
13. See http://www.jewishgen.org/Belarus/rje_b.htm.
14. Jewish mother, non-Jewish father.
albert landa
2006-03-16 11:04:47 UTC
Permalink
Liberace? Myra Hess? Oscar Levant?

albert landa?


albert landa
Post by Radu Focshaner
Post by albert landa
Aeons ago you provided this forum with a list of great pianists, all of
whom had comitted the great sin of having been born with impure and
non-Aryan blood..
As I myself share that great misfortune I was wondering if you would be
so kind as to once again provide that list, and this time I will remember
to print it off.
From http://www.jinfo.org/Pianists.html
---------------------------------
a.. Charles Alkan
a.. Vladimir Ashkenazy 1
a.. Emanuel Ax
a.. Victor Babin
a.. Gina Bachauer 11
a.. Dmitri Bashkirov 13
a.. Daniel Barenboim
a.. Simon Barere
a.. Boris Berman
a.. Lazar Berman
a.. Victor Borge
a.. Alexander Borovsky
a.. Alexander Brailowsky
a.. Yefim Bronfman
a.. Ignaz Bruell
a.. Shura Cherkassky
a.. Harriet Cohen
a.. Bella Davidovich
a.. Misha Dichter
a.. Samuil Feinberg
a.. Vladimir Feltsman
a.. Annie Fischer 2
a.. Leon Fleisher
a.. Yakov Flier
a.. Claude Frank
a.. Ignaz Friedman
a.. Emil Gilels
a.. Grigory Ginsburg
a.. Leopold Godowsky
a.. Alexander Goldenweiser 8
a.. Richard Goode
a.. Gary Graffman
a.. Mark Hambourg
a.. Clara Haskil
a.. Myra Hess
a.. Vladimir Horovitz
a.. Eugene Istomin 9
a.. Byron Janis
a.. Joseph Kalichstein
a.. William Kapell
a.. Julius Katchen
a.. Mindru Katz
a.. Louis Kentner
a.. Evgeny Kissin
a.. Vladimir Krainev 14
a.. Lili Kraus 10
a.. Wanda Landowska
a.. Ruth Laredo
a.. Josef Lh?vinne
a.. Rosina Lh?vinne
a.. Radu Lupu 3
a.. Hephzibah Menuhin
a.. Benno Moiseiwitsch
a.. Ignaz Moscheles
a.. Murray Perahia
a.. Menahem Pressler
a.. Andr? Previn
a.. Michael Roll
a.. Moritz Rosenthal
a.. Anton Rubinstein
a.. Artur Rubinstein
a.. Nikolai Rubinstein
a.. Harold Samuel
a.. Andr?s Schiff 4
a.. Artur Schnabel
a.. Peter Serkin 5
a.. Rudolf Serkin
a.. Abbey Simon
a.. Solomon (Cutner)
a.. Wladyslaw Szpilman
a.. Mark Taimanov
a.. Carl Tausig
a.. Sigismund Thalberg
a.. Rosalyn Tureck
a.. Isabella Vengerova 12
a.. Alexis Weissenberg
a.. Paul Wittgenstein 6
a.. Maria Yudina 7
NOTES
1. Jewish father, non-Jewish mother.
2. See Jewish Budapest by Kinga Frojimovics et al. (Central European
University Press, Budapest and New York, 1999, p. 366.)
3. Information confirmed by sources in the Romanian ?migr? community in
Israel.
4. See http://www.jewhoo.com.
5. Jewish father, non-Jewish mother.
6. Like his brother the philosopher, Paul Wittgenstein was three-quarters
Jewish.
7. See http://www.jewishgen.org/Belarus/rje_y.htm.
8. Jewish father, non-Jewish mother.
9. See
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A11016-2003Oct10.html. Tim
Page's obituary article in the Washington Post stated that Istomin's
parents were "of Russian-Jewish ancestry." Based on name analysis,
Istomin's mother (n?e Asya Chavin) was almost certainly Jewish. This,
however, is less likely to have been the case for his father, George
Istomin.
10. See Lili Kraus: Hungarian Pianist, Texas Teacher, and Personality
Extraordinaire, by Steven Henry Roberson (Texas A&M, 2000, p. 1).
11. See http://www.bachauer.com/archive-1.asp.
12. See http://www.jewishgen.org/Belarus/rje_v.htm.
13. See http://www.jewishgen.org/Belarus/rje_b.htm.
14. Jewish mother, non-Jewish father.
Gary L.
2006-03-16 20:11:15 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 16 Mar 2006 08:05:58 +0200, "Radu Focshaner"
Post by Radu Focshaner
a.. Paul Wittgenstein 6
NOTES
6. Like his brother the philosopher, Paul Wittgenstein was three-quarters
Jewish.
An interesting historical note is that the Wittgensteins purchased a
"dispensation" from the Nazis. In exchange for the payment of a
considerable amount of money from foreign bank accounts, the Nazis
refrained from persecuting the family members that remained within the
Nazi sphere of influence. I believe that there was some sort of formal
declaration that they weren't Jewish after all.

Ludwig was in England well before the start of WWII, and some other
family members were in the U.S., as I recall. I think one sister
remained in Europe (in Vienna or possibly Paris). I will have to track
down the book where I read this to get the correct details; I think it
was a recent biography of Ludwig I read a couple of years ago.

- -
Gary L.
Reply to the newsgroup only
Wild Card
2006-03-16 18:26:43 UTC
Permalink
Our Greg Presley , for example, was a constant source of good and valuable
help to everyone who asked for direction/help.
And back when you posted as LstPuritan, so were you!
Radu Focshaner
2006-03-17 06:13:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Wild Card
And back when you posted as LstPuritan, so were you!
You got it wrong. LstPuritan is Justin D. Scott :

-----------

Hey all:

While doing a random search today, I found a thread on musicmakerforum from
2004 about me; where I was and what I am doing and whether or not I am an
alias or whether I was or am this or that or the other. You know, old
gossip stuff. I took the emails from some of the people I remember and
wanted to give you an update in case anything comes up again there is proof
that I exist!

My wife and I moved to Orlando, Florida last year after I spent several
years teaching piano privately, tutoring music theory, and performing for
various events around Blacksburg, VA. I worked for Montgomery School
District for school rehearsals, plays, and choral performances as an
accompanist while saving money for the move to Orlando.

Both my wife and I have gone back to school--at Full Sail in Orlando, FL.
www.fullsail.com

I am currently a student working on a B.S. degree in Video Game Design and
Development and my wife is going for Digital Arts and Media. It's an
intensive two year program and I have classes 5-6 days per week 8-12 hours
per day on a 24 hour class schedule. I have access to the MIDI labs here
that the Recording Arts students learn to use and I compose music/scores for
Film Students, 3D Animation, and Digital Media projects. I work with
Recording Arts students as well as act in student films. Most of my time,
though, is spent in front of my laptop in .NET coding, or else playing the
piano or keeping up with World of Warcraft and networking in the Video Game
Industry to secure a programming job when I graduate in early 2007.

My ultimate goal, after breaking into the Video Game Industry as a
programmer, is to write music for video games. If you've heard the music
from Metal Gear Solid 2 or 3 (Harry Gregson-Williams, same guy who scored
Rock and Armageddon), or the Final Fantasy music by Uematsu, or the Halo
music by Marty O'Donnell, then you know how far video game music has come
and that's the cutting edge of musical freedom as a composer . . . more so,
in my opinion, than even film. So that's what I'm shooting for.

Radu had requested pics from my wedding last year---
If you go to Yahoo.com and do a search for "Justin D. Scott" the first three
links pertain to me, including wedding pics currently posted on my Mom's
website for horse training.

http://www.justindscott.com/JustinWebFlyer.pdf
http://www.naturalhorsetraining.com/FamilyPictures5.html
http://www.justindscott.com/performances.html

I'll try to be better about answering e-mails in the future.

Best Regards to all,

--Justin D. Scott
Tom Shaw
2006-03-18 20:14:39 UTC
Permalink
That's okay Radu. You were really helpful too.
TS
Post by Radu Focshaner
Post by Wild Card
And back when you posted as LstPuritan, so were you!
-----------
While doing a random search today, I found a thread on musicmakerforum
from 2004 about me; where I was and what I am doing and whether or not I
am an alias or whether I was or am this or that or the other. You know,
old gossip stuff. I took the emails from some of the people I remember
and wanted to give you an update in case anything comes up again there is
proof that I exist!
My wife and I moved to Orlando, Florida last year after I spent several
years teaching piano privately, tutoring music theory, and performing for
various events around Blacksburg, VA. I worked for Montgomery School
District for school rehearsals, plays, and choral performances as an
accompanist while saving money for the move to Orlando.
Both my wife and I have gone back to school--at Full Sail in Orlando, FL.
www.fullsail.com
I am currently a student working on a B.S. degree in Video Game Design and
Development and my wife is going for Digital Arts and Media. It's an
intensive two year program and I have classes 5-6 days per week 8-12 hours
per day on a 24 hour class schedule. I have access to the MIDI labs here
that the Recording Arts students learn to use and I compose music/scores
for Film Students, 3D Animation, and Digital Media projects. I work with
Recording Arts students as well as act in student films. Most of my time,
though, is spent in front of my laptop in .NET coding, or else playing the
piano or keeping up with World of Warcraft and networking in the Video
Game Industry to secure a programming job when I graduate in early 2007.
My ultimate goal, after breaking into the Video Game Industry as a
programmer, is to write music for video games. If you've heard the music
from Metal Gear Solid 2 or 3 (Harry Gregson-Williams, same guy who scored
Rock and Armageddon), or the Final Fantasy music by Uematsu, or the Halo
music by Marty O'Donnell, then you know how far video game music has come
and that's the cutting edge of musical freedom as a composer . . . more
so, in my opinion, than even film. So that's what I'm shooting for.
Radu had requested pics from my wedding last year---
If you go to Yahoo.com and do a search for "Justin D. Scott" the first
three links pertain to me, including wedding pics currently posted on my
Mom's website for horse training.
http://www.justindscott.com/JustinWebFlyer.pdf
http://www.naturalhorsetraining.com/FamilyPictures5.html
http://www.justindscott.com/performances.html
I'll try to be better about answering e-mails in the future.
Best Regards to all,
--Justin D. Scott
The Misfit
2006-03-18 20:28:29 UTC
Permalink
Dude, I just wanted you to know that the work you did with Styx was awesome.
Especially the earlier, funnier years.

The Misfit
The Misfit
2006-03-18 20:27:47 UTC
Permalink
Ha! I used to work at Full Sail! Bunch of hippies. Justin will be right
at home. Our little Opie is all growed up and married!

The Misfit

p.s. Full Sail is down the street from the University of Central Florida,
another supposed "real" education center.
David Bruce Murray
2006-03-14 15:06:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by albert landa
From my own experience as a performer I can attest that I have gained
enormous benefit from regular technical practice and any teacher who
deliberately eschews technical work and maintains that pieces are
sufficient is, in my view, a charlatan.
I wouldn't go so far as to say that type of teacher is a charlatan. There
are different methods of teaching and you can't argue if the results are
satisfactory, BUT I totally agree with you that regimented technical
exercises have been proven to help students. If for no other reason, it
isolates a certain type of move and allows the student to make it second
nature. Whether it be scales, Hanon, or whatever, that can't be a bad thing
in the educational process. Perhaps a teacher can derive technical exercises
from a piece of music and have the student work on that rather than pulling
them out of Hanon. That would require more work and creativity on the part
of the teacher, but it would be a fine approach, in my opinion. However, if
they're saying they expect a student to learn a piece without isolating ANY
technical elements and working on them individually, then that's just
foolish.

If comparing this argument to basketball, you might say all the skills you
need for a game can be learned in the course of playing a game...but
watching Knight School on ESPN will clearly show that a variety of methods
can be used to get the result you want. Breaking down the game into
individual elements and running drills is a big part of that.
--
David Bruce Murray is still "Making hay while the sun shines"
CD Reviews/BLOG: www.musicscribe.com/blog.html
"Always acknowledge a fault. This will throw those in authority off their
guard and give you an opportunity to commit more."---Mark Twain
Cormagh
2006-03-18 18:11:40 UTC
Permalink
I agree with the gist of your argument. From my experience, I have
learned that "the isolation of technical elements", as you call it, is
really a technical game of statistics. If a talented student resists
playing repetitive exercises, and even the repetitive isolation you
give him, he may actually end up repeating the elements in normal
practice (perhaps through concentration) to compensate for the lack of
"repetition" and end up with a satisfactory result.

I don't deny that the best result could have come through a mixed
approach. The overriding factor, in my opinion, is the younger
student's personal sense of satisfaction, which can be damaged when he
is forced to practice something he objects to.
presley
2006-03-15 06:54:24 UTC
Permalink
The problem with exercises and studies, aside from the fact that most are
boring, is that unless the teacher is right there explaining what is to be
gained by doing each one, and demonstrating the proper techniques to be
used, nothing will be learned and nothing will be gained. Time will have
been wasted.
The basic Hanon exercises, for instance, if done with locked wrists, fingers
lifted high, knuckles collapsed, and a host of other ways I have seen
students play them, would not only NOT assist technical progress, they would
certainly contribute to serious damage to the playing mechanism over time.
The sole value of exercises over, say, a real piece of music, is that they
isolate a particular problem without the distraction of rhythmic issues,
melodic issues, balance issues, or pedalling issues. And as I said, if the
teacher takes the time to explain what is supposed to be accomplished, and
spends half the lesson with the student demonstrating and correcting, that
has half a chance of succeeding. The problem is that the types of patterns
which appear in exercises rarely exactly match the patterns which appear in
real music, and of course, in real music the issues of melody, rhythm,
pedalling, balance, etc are always present and have to be dealt with. There
are two exceptions that I can think of: one is that Shostakovich uses
certain Hanon patterns in the final mvt of the 2nd piano concerto, but that
is done as a joke, and the other is featured in Saint-Saen's Carnival of the
Animals. (also as a joke)
In piano playing as in athletics, there are naturals who need little in
the way of technical guidance, and who understand very quickly and
intuitively the corrections they are given, and there are others (the vast
majority) whose fingers and brains are not well-connected and who lack
self-awareness. It takes a great deal more work on the teacher's part to get
such students to "coordinate" themselves, and most exercises written
throughout music history have been or are directed towards them. But I don't
accept the notion that just because such or such a technical approach has
been used for 100 years, it is necessarily better or best. Much of the
traditional training of athletes has changed drastically in the past 25
years, as with the advent of videotaping and slow motion, movement
scientists were able to prove that what coaches and trainers were saying
were the best ways to do things didn't match what the most successful
"natural" athletes actually did. Such an approach in piano playing is LONG
overdue. The vast majority of piano teachers still teach a very inefficient
way of playing scales and arpeggios, with a very exaggerated thumb under
motion, and an extreme twist of the wrist. NOTHING could be further from a
smooth and natural method of playing a scale, and yet this is our
inheritance from 100 years of doing things as they were always done.
Post by albert landa
I would just like to ask this simple question.
If doing purely technical work is unneccesary then why is there such a
huge abundence of composed. printed, distributed, recommended. sold and
bought and used by countless pianists right up to the level of
Rachmaninoff, studies, excercises, drills, scales and arpeggios, Hanon in
all configurations,concert studies.thousands of Czerny, Burgmuller,
Cramer, Moscheles, Dohnanyi, Chopin, Liszt, Brahms etc.etc.etc. studies
and technical development works.Yes.Why does all this material exist? Who
could possibly be buying this material and using it in various degrees of
intensity and assiduousness?.
Why, even Rachmaninoff used Hanon,(Poor much-maligned Hanon!) I think I
read somewhere that Gina Bachauer did FOUR HOURS of technical work before
she started her "proper" practice!!
From my own experience as a performer I can attest that I have gained
enormous benefit from regular technical practice and any teacher who
deliberately eschews technical work and maintains that pieces are
sufficient is, in my view, a charlatan.And the fact that a child is
getting A+ in exams causes me to ask the question "What grades?"
albert landa
Post by R.M.
Post by Neil
I agree. I've been teaching piano for 25 years. I make sure I've
carefully researched topics before advising my students. Any concert
pianist I've ever talked to on the subject say essentially that
exercises are unnecessary -- all the exercises you could ever want are
right there in the music, if it is practiced properly.
This is what my son's piano teacher also says and does... No exercising,
no Hanon, no Czerny, only pieces to play... Now, at every end of year
when he takes his piano exam, he gets A + everywhere ( musicality, rythm,
sight reading, autonomy ) and he gets an A- or a B in technics... How
does one explain that ? And how correct it if not with playing such
things as Hanon ?
A skiet or a tannis player gains strength by exercising his body with
exercises other than tennis and ski, why should it be different with
amusician ? How can one acquire endurance and strength if not by doing
repetitive exercises ?
If somebody has different opinions I would be delighted to read them...
presley
2006-03-15 09:17:08 UTC
Permalink
For a very good discussion about the use of piano exercises, the following
link is valuable:
http://www.music.sc.edu/ea/Keyboard/PPF/2.3/2.3.PPFp.html
"presley"
Piano Fan
2006-03-15 13:00:43 UTC
Permalink
Thanks for the link. It would be interesting to revisit the opinions of
those expressed here on the topics of Hanon, years from now, since
google.com archives these postings for life.
Post by presley
For a very good discussion about the use of piano exercises, the
http://www.music.sc.edu/ea/Keyboard/PPF/2.3/2.3.PPFp.html
"presley"
R.M.
2006-03-15 07:47:28 UTC
Permalink
"albert landa" <***@optusnet.com.au> a écrit dans le message de news:
4416b84c$0$25201$***@news.optusnet.com.au...
And the fact that a child is getting A+ in exams
Post by albert landa
causes me to ask the question "What grades?"
At the end of every year in our conservatory, there are exams, and there
they get appreciations not marks, Very Good + means A +, Very good means A -
and so on. He is in his sixth year.
Georges Khairallah
2006-03-18 20:12:33 UTC
Permalink
As at trained classical pianist of 20 years, I can say that both of opinions
are valid.
The whole issue of doing technique exercises can be overwhelming, especially
to a kid learning piano.
I think it is hard enough for an adult who might have an attention span
longer than 10 minutes :-p to do these excercise, let alone a 10 year old
kid.
Unfortunately, the time when all the technique work needs to happen IS when
you are in your earlier years, and there's nothing more annoying than having
to play 15 or 20 minutes (which seem like 3 hours) of Hannon or any other
technique book, before you start your actual practice.

In my experience, I found that the exercises that I had to do, even though
extremely boring, are responsible for my good technique today. I personally
use to use an older version of the book "Rational Principles of Piano
Technique" by Alfred Cortot. I have read some people the "one-down"
technique, which, I have to say is pretty hard until you get used to it, but
I thought techniques that are physically challenging to the fingers were a
little more entertaining than doing exercisese that are seemingly so easy to
do if not played right. After all, even playing scales, arpegios, chromatic
, etc ... can be entertaining once you're playing it fast... in fact, for
young players, I found it to be something to be proud of when I would go and
play a chromatic scale in 3rd, or 6th.... alas, the purpose of scales isn't
playing them fast, it's actually playing them slow, and make sure that the
technique is happening during that time. I didn't understand that until
about 3 or 4 years of lessons, and my teacher used to yell at me for not
doing them right :-/

I think excercises like Czerny and even some of Bach's preludes are
excellent ways to excercise your techniques and keeping it slightly
interesting.
Post by Wild Card
Life is just too damned short. Just play the music.
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