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 Post subject: Practising Hanon,and Czerny Exercises= A waste of time ?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 3:33 pm 
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Who else thinks Practising Hanon,and Czerny Exercises are a waste of time?
There are now two schools of thought: those who think that the practising Hanon exercises are helpful and those who think they are a waste of time.

Hanon makes some surprising claims in his introduction with no explanation or experimental evidence. This is exemplified in his title, "The Virtuoso Pianist, in 60 Exercises".

Many advanced Piano teachers have told me that This approach to acquiring technique is amateurish and would not work. However, most advanced pianists agree that Hanon is not for acquiring technique, but might be useful for warming up .
Hanon implies that the ability to play these exercises will ensure that you can play anything !
I have to say, I disagree with this statement.
What about you?
your thoughts and Opinions about this?

My teacher used to make me play Hanon when I was in Grade 4 and now I'm in Diploma- She still makes me play Czerny School of Velocity OP 299! Do you think She is wasting my time?

PLease Share your experiences!


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 4:24 pm 
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Location: Obamanation, unfortunately...
Hanon is a waste of time because for 90% if the exercises the key stays the same. I think playing actual music is enough to build skill and technique. Forget Hanon.

Czerny I cannot say because I never even looked at it.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 4:46 pm 
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acc. to hanon ... you're supposed to transpose exercises to all keys ... i use hanon for mindless warmups. but just 1 and 3 ... the lack of imagination gets to be a bit much after a while.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 8:38 pm 
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I've never practised any of these (except for the mandatory Czerny in early piano lessons, which I hated). But I would not want to condemt them. Whether you benefit by these would depend on what you want to achieve, I think. If you want to be a virtuoso that can toss of double octave scales in any key with your eyes closed at any speed required without even thinking, this is surely the stuff you need to practice daily. But you learn only what you practice.... If you just want to make beautiful music, I think you can do without them - but will occasionally regret it when the piece at hand requires sheer mechanical proficiency.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 8:51 pm 
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Hanon is great, if you think about it. The minute Hanon becomes mindless, it's worthless. If you dedicate a bit of time every day to playing Hanon with accuracy and precision, and in all keys, the benefits are enormous. The best thing about Hanon is easy memorization so you can really pay close attention to your fingers. Of course, one must strike a balance because you certainly do want to be spending the bulk of your practice on repertoire.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 9:23 pm 
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I worked through all of the Hanon exercises, along with a good dose of Czerny and dash of Clementi, when I was a young child and never questioned their legitimacy as a path to technical proficiency... that's what I was told, therefore I practiced them religiously. I don't know if it helped my technical equipment or not. Don't think it hurt, though. I do seem to be able to handle most technical situations, but then again, that might have been able to have been achieved just through a thorough studying of various pieces and their challenges. I do wonder if those types of technical exercises might help one but hurt another.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 12:54 am 
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Sorry folks, I am being away and study chopin sonata op58...give me sometime...2 more years and I will return for more fun with you guys.

meanwhile, as a pianist youself, if not...look into future, any classical works or exercise YOU should go thru them and understand what they designed for AT THAT PEROID OF TIME. But this does not mean you have to do it everyday or even part of your warm up exercise. As technology changes.
Some of these exercise not need to be overly practiced(some do diagree with me i know).

There are many ways of warm up.....my way -no hanon exercise or any other excirse..but rather FEEL THE KEY and play it gently....
Save your time and us eyour time wisely.

CU later my piano friends....


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 8:34 pm 
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Juufa72 wrote:
Quote:
Czerny I cannot say because I never even looked at it.


I have practised very much Czerny-etudes when I was between 11 and 16 years old, because my first teacher favoured them. I think, it was totally a waste of time, because it has nothing to do with music. All my musical and deeper playing I developed independent from these etudes together with the real pieces of music, I was gald, when I had not to play anymore this bullshit.
I like Chopin-etudes, of course, which are much more than etudes and I like Brahms, 55 etudes (though I have to admit, that I haven´t done for a longer time one of this). Most of them are really music because of their structure.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 8:35 pm 
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johnmar78 wrote:
Quote:
CU later my piano friends....


Hi John, nice to hear of you again. :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 7:59 pm 
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I studied the first 20 or so Hanon exercises when I started playing the piano. I would say they can be helpful, but only for an absolute beginner, to get a basic strengthening of the weaker fingers. But I wouldn't call that development of technique. Acquiring technique means being able to play certain (technically demanding) pieces -- so, to my mind, technique can only be acquired by (carefully!) studying challenging pieces.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2009 6:27 pm 
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And they don't even have to be 'challenging pieces', which to me sounds like something a little scary. Take any piece (long, short, hard, easy) that has things like legato thirds or octaves and you have something to drill on. Also trills - short simple pieces with trills are great for trying out different trill fingering.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2009 8:34 pm 
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Waste of time for me, definitely. I am a musician, I am not doing fitness. Never separate mind and body, my people ! Emphasizing technique exercises ( body ) is worthless because mind is stronger and controls the body. Train your mind ! Simple, if you have weak mind, you are unable to overcome fear, you cant concentrate, you experience stagefright, your performance will fail. Choose a piece you like and work on it according to your vision, technique will come.
Practice Bach, and other great music. Who is Hanon compared to Bach, Mozart, Chopin, Janacek ? :lol: :lol: :lol:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2009 12:05 am 
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The fundamental problem with Hanon is that you are using both hands together, while my experience tells me that a new technical skill can only be acquired thoroughly when practised with one hand only.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2009 9:33 pm 
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Biggemski wrote:
Quote:
Waste of time for me, definitely. I am a musician, I am not doing fitness. Never separate mind and body, my people ! Emphasizing technique exercises ( body ) is worthless because mind is stronger and controls the body. Train your mind ! Simple, if you have weak mind, you are unable to overcome fear, you cant concentrate, you experience stagefright, your performance will fail. Choose a piece you like and work on it according to your vision, technique will come.
Practice Bach, and other great music. Who is Hanon compared to Bach, Mozart, Chopin, Janacek ? :lol: :lol: :lol:


Very good! I second this at hundert percent! :!:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2009 9:16 am 
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Biggemski wrote:
Waste of time for me, definitely. I am a musician, I am not doing fitness. Never separate mind and body, my people ! Emphasizing technique exercises ( body ) is worthless because mind is stronger and controls the body. Train your mind ! Simple, if you have weak mind, you are unable to overcome fear, you cant concentrate, you experience stagefright, your performance will fail. Choose a piece you like and work on it according to your vision, technique will come.
Practice Bach, and other great music. Who is Hanon compared to Bach, Mozart, Chopin, Janacek ? :lol: :lol: :lol:



Yes! I completely agree with you!
This is Quite interesting:- http://www.pianofundamentals.com/book/en/1.III.7.8


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2009 11:56 am 
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I am applying ideas which are much derived from the art of Yoga and - with regard to art of pianoplaying - it fits rather hundred-percently :wink: . Indian wise men explored all these body-mind-health-... things rather thoroughly so I am drawing attention to their teachings and practices. Thats a pity such a knowledge had not significantly penetrated into our supreme :lol: :lol: :lol: rational West!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 11:51 pm 
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In my youth I studied all of Hanon, some Czerny, and most of Alloys Schmitt's independence of the fingers exercises. Here are my thoughts: Czerny was a total waste of time, as there is little identifiable direct carryover into the repertoire realm. Anyone would be far better off learning some concert etudes of Moscheles or Chopin, which can then double as recital pieces, thereby building technique and repertoire simultaneously.

The "independence" exercises of Schmitt (as well as some of the I. Philipp exercises of this same genre) can be dangerous and even invite injury unless the pianist is very cautious in using them. One is better off devising one independence exercise and sticking with it. I have just one now, and if I find myself getting sloppy holding ties in a piece, for example, I use that exercise to beneficial effect.

I have some good and bad things to say about Hanon. The good things are that playing several of the five-finger exercises can be a quick fix to ragged playing. We all have an occasional day when unexplained raggedness is a problem. A few of Hanon's five-finger exercises will quickly restore evenness in playing like magic. So that's an undeniable benefit. Also, the scale and arpeggio fingerings are excellent, both for the initial learning experience and as a permanent reference. A negative: I could play Parts I, II, and most of III nonstop; however, I can see absolutely no point to it. So beyond what I mentioned as a couple of pluses, I can think of no other gains to be had in Hanon.

The last thing I want to emphasize is that one does not develop a technique from any of these exercise books. Instead it is actually gained through solving various technical problems in day-to-day practice of repertoire pieces.

David

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2009 11:11 pm 
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I'm sitting in the hallway outside my teacher's office because it's the only place in the building I can get online for some reason, and there's a student in there playing Hanon. Or maybe it's my teacher? I'm glad she doesn't make me play that crap!

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 Post subject: Probably not necessary
PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 6:09 pm 
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Here are my 2 cents in this interesting discussion:

My teacher gives me maximum freedom. He - apparently - believes that it is best to enjoy the lessons. But I emphasize that have no ambition whatsoever to become a professional musician.

When I start a new book or a new piece, I first ask my teacher if he thinks I am able to play it. If he thinks so, I study it and he signals the things that do not go well enough and suggests what I should do to improve them.

I believe that helps me more than torturing me with Hanon and Czerny. I did some of it, but my teacher suggested that ad-hoc exercises for the problems I encounter would give me more pleasure and would therefore also be more useful to me than the torturing myself with Czerny & Co.

At the moment I enjoy my lessons tremendously and the pieces I play (at the moment the easier Chopin Walzes) go well. Would they go better if I had studied Czerny, Czerny and Hanon year after year? I doubt it. I also feel that my playing improves.

But I repeat: I do not play to become a professional. I only play to enjoy it.

Rene.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 10:42 pm 
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Syntaxerror wrote:
The fundamental problem with Hanon is that you are using both hands together, while my experience tells me that a new technical skill can only be acquired thoroughly when practised with one hand only.


Hence you should practice it hands separately. FWIW, I find the later exercises (after 20) more useful. And the complete Hanon is an easy way to get a refresh of scales and arps. :D

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 7:23 pm 
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Personally, I prefer to develop the technique as I need it with "real" music. I can either play Czerny exercises that involve scale passages or other techniques found in the music of his day, or a Mozart, Haydn, or Beethoven Sonata that does the same, and if necessary make an exercise out of those sections. And, In the end I have a real piece of music.

As far as Hanon, some of the five-finger patterns make good warm-up material, but beyond that, I'm not sure of their value. Remember, Hanon, Czerny, and company wrote his exercises in a time when the keyboards were lighter and the technique was and could be primarily based on finger movement as opposed to employing more of the larger muscles. And, as far as finger strength -- your pinkie will never be as strong as your thumb (unless you let your thumb atrophy) nor as independant as your thumb (it can't move laterally like the thumb), but you can learn to compensate for the differences in each finger so that they can provide the same sound when used (i.e. causing the hammers to attack the strings at the same velocity regardless of which finger is used.)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 11:58 am 
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I don't think that Hanon is just a waste of time, but it depends on how many years you're playing on piano. If you are just starting, the etudes of Hanon help GREATLY to gain strenght, "sureness" to your fingers, dexterity and they will teach you to touch the keys correctly if you play them conscientiously. But if you play the piano for long time and you start to play the etudes of Chopin, Hanon is practicaly inutile, you can use him only for warm-up. The etudes of Czerny help to obtain technique and "clearness" to your playing which will be very useful when you will start with compositions mainly of classicism and of baroque. So, if you´re beginner and you want to be "good" pianist, i suppose you to play these etudes, but later you can leave it. And don't forget Bach which is very very important!!!!
And sorry for my english . :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 12:00 pm 
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lucas wrote:
And don't forget Bach which is very very important!!!!

Yes :!: :!: :!: :!: :!:
I am glad someone says this at last :lol:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 4:56 pm 
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For me, Hanon is necessary and needed. Provides great exercises, makes fingers work and has all the scales and arpeggios.
Another one is the Brahms exercises. Those are quite difficult, challenging as well. But oh so well done :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 5:31 am 
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Any of the exercises like Hanon, or Cherney are only going to help if done with proper technique. I made the mistake of working through the Hanon Exercises, and the School of Velocity without the benefit of an instructor, and found that all it did was firmly reinforce my bad technique, and bad playing habits. Now with my limited practice time, I would rather work on Technique while learning new repertoire.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 7:17 pm 
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Radar wrote:
Any of the exercises like Hanon, or Cherney are only going to help if done with proper technique. I made the mistake of working through the Hanon Exercises, and the School of Velocity without the benefit of an instructor, and found that all it did was firmly reinforce my bad technique, and bad playing habits. Now with my limited practice time, I would rather work on Technique while learning new repertoire.


Radar has a good point. Practicing good technique develops good technique. I think that it is also important to understand the physiolgy of the the hand, arm, etc. Understanding the connections between the 3rd, 4th, and 5th finger can help to guide one towards developing techniques for finger "independance." Also, understanding the the muscles that control your fingers are actually in your forearm can make a difference. Little things like aligning your 5th or 4th finger with your forearm so the the tendon is not curved when used can increase independance (that's just one little example.)

Scott


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 Post subject: Re: Practising Hanon,and Czerny Exercises= A waste of time ?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 1:15 pm 
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Hanon = depends on your level,
Czerny = definitely NO.

Hanon is useful as a stepping stone for Czerny and Czerny is a stepping stone for Chopin, which in turn is a stepping stone for Liszt. I normally do not run through Hanon once a day, as suggested(what a waste of time = =). I only run through the scales, scales in octaves and the arpeggios. Then I'll move on to whatever I wanna do, which will DEFINITELY not be Hanon anymore.


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 Post subject: Re: Practising Hanon,and Czerny Exercises= A waste of time ?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 12:38 pm 
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for hanon, i can say it "yes"

but for Czerny, "No"

Czerny Etude is very good for developing technique, but not "Musicality". I think it's very good to practice czerny and other musical etude (like Moszkowzki) simultaneously..


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 Post subject: Re: Practising Hanon,and Czerny Exercises= A waste of time ?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2010 10:27 pm 
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First, in my youth I played a few Czerny etudes and found them not particularly helpful, as there is little transfer from them to the Chopin, Debussy or Liszt etudes which are true concert etudes. Time would be better spent on the latter, not the former. So I do not believe there is much value in Czerny.

As for Hanon, in my time I've played all of Parts I and II and have used Part III selectively based on specific needs. The scale fingerings there are definitely useful. Other than that, I reserve Hanon for one purpose only: Once in awhile we pianists have a day where our playing seems a bit uneven or ragged (probably attributable as biorhythms being out of synch.) I find that playing through Part II at MM = 100 remedies that problem nicely and takes only a few minutes. Other than that, I've found no other benefit(s) in Hanon. Rachmaninoff used to deal with the unevenness problem by stopping what he was doing and turning to Scarlatti, which is probably the better idea.

One thing that as pianists we must be able to play at all times are scales and arpeggios in parallel, four octaves, in both major and harmonic minor (more complex than melodic minor) modes. The practical reason for this is that scalar and arpeggiated figurations very frequently appear in the piano literature. By knowing the scales and arpeggios, most often the very same fingerings can be applied in musical contexts. Thus, there is real value there.

Overall, I'm a strong believer that pianists do not develop technique through "exercise books" such as Hanon, Pishna, Philipp, Cramer, Schmidt, Czerny or the others. Rather, technique is developed within the repertoire when during practicing we encounter technical problems. By isolating each problem with a bit of context to either side of it, we can make a real-world exercise out of the difficult figuration. In successfully solving it, we have enhanced our technique, and that skill is then transferable to similar passages in other works that we might face. In this approach, precious practice time is not squandered on mindless exercises, but more profitably spent on repertoire, and therein enhancing piano technique as we progress.

David

P.S. I just noticed that I posted this which is so similar to the posting above a year later. I must have been really tired. Anyway, I'm consistent!!! :lol:

David

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Last edited by Rachfan on Tue Nov 29, 2011 4:47 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Practising Hanon,and Czerny Exercises= A waste of time ?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:43 pm 
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When I was learning the teacher took one look at Hanon and suggested I chuck it out. I worked on Czerny and Cramer, but only because, as a begginer adult learner, I was not yet prepared for the real stuff.

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 Post subject: Re: Practising Hanon,and Czerny Exercises= A waste of time ?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:03 pm 
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When I was a kid I had to practice Hanon finger exercises, some Czerny, and Alloys Schmitt for independence of the fingers, along with all scales and arpeggios major and minor in the Circle of 5ths plus the chromatic scale. Here are my thoughts:

Hanon, for the greater part is useless. The scale fingerings in Part III are in fact helpful when one is first learning them. Now, there is only one purpose for my resorting to Hanon. Maybe two or three times a year, for some unaccountable reason (maybe biorhythms out of synch), my playing seems ragged. To remedy that I open Part II of Hanon and play it through at about MM = 100, which only takes a little while. That medicine restores evenness. (Rachmaninoff preferred playing Scarlatti sonatas to regain evenness.) So that's the only application I use there.

The Schmitt (and Phillipp) independence exercises can be dangerous. My second artist-teacher gave me one simple independence exercise which works very well for both hands, and these days I rely on it occasionally when the need arises.

Pianists must know all scales and arpeggios by memory, major and harmonic minor for four octaves in parallel motion. (Harmonic minor is a better workout than melodic minor.) The reason is that scalar and arpeggiated passages occur quite often in music. If one already knows the standard fingerings, much time can be saved while practicing those passages.

Apart from scales and arpeggios, the other 99% of technique is developed by practicing actual repertoire pieces. Whenever the pianist works on a piece and encounters a difficulty, solving that difficulty through intelligent practice and repetitions becomes a "technical exercise" and most benefits the pianist. Thus, learning the literature of the piano is the best technique builder of all.

David

P.S. Egad! A third post on this! I must have been super-adamant about this subject! :lol:

David

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Last edited by Rachfan on Tue Nov 29, 2011 4:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Practising Hanon,and Czerny Exercises= A waste of time ?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 10:21 am 
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Hanon exercises are available for free at http://www.hanon-online.com :D


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 Post subject: Re: Practising Hanon,and Czerny Exercises= A waste of time ?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 3:34 pm 
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David, for some reason someone is trying to get us to see some on-line Hanon, otherwise I would not have seen your last post on this thread. I agree with you about the extreme limited nature of the Hanon exercises (despite it being a required staple at the Moscow conservatory [at least 100 years ago]). However, your statment above that said, "Besides arpeggios and scales the other 99% of technique ..." I think misses the important difference between technique and mechanics that I discussed in reply to this post:
http://pianosociety.com/new/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=4606

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 Post subject: Re: Practising Hanon,and Czerny Exercises= A waste of time ?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 4:17 pm 
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Could it not be that what you, Eddy, divide, is regarded by some people as a unit?

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 Post subject: Re: Practising Hanon,and Czerny Exercises= A waste of time ?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 4:24 pm 
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richard66 wrote:
Could it not be that what you, Eddy, divide, is regarded by some people as a unit?

I would answer you this way: Mechanics is in the domain of piano literature, technique is in the domain of pianists, and there are very noticible differences in general and specifics in the approach of, shall we say, German School, Russian School, French School, etc. The differences are about technique.

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 Post subject: Re: Practising Hanon,and Czerny Exercises= A waste of time ?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 4:34 pm 
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Yes, this is a clearer concept, thank you. Understood.

I was tought by a follower of the French school but I do regret not having followed the Russian one: I would have become a better pianist, but then, when I was young a foolish, what did I know? :oops:

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 Post subject: Re: Practising Hanon,and Czerny Exercises= A waste of time ?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 4:41 pm 
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richard66 wrote:
Yes, this is a clearer concept, thank you. Understood.

I was tought by a follower of the French school but I do regret not having followed the Russian one: I would have become a better pianist, but then, when I was young a foolish, what did I know? :oops:

Ah hum <swallow>, If Hélène Grimaud is an exponent of the French School, then I love the French School :wink: !

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 Post subject: Re: Practising Hanon,and Czerny Exercises= A waste of time ?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 4:47 pm 
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I did once read someone who said that there was something wrong with the French school (a follower of the Russsian one), as it had not produced a single great pianist. Think of Horowitz and his flat fingers which would be out with the French. I was certainly taught never to play with finger movements but only with arm and wrist.

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 Post subject: Re: Practising Hanon,and Czerny Exercises= A waste of time ?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 12:19 am 
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richard66 wrote:
I did once read someone who said that there was something wrong with the French school (a follower of the Russsian one), as it had not produced a single great pianist.


I think Cortot was a great pianist. Perlemuter trained in the French school. Yves Nat deserves to be better known, it's a shame his recordings are so hard to find. Pascal Rogé and Pierre-Laurent Aimard seem to be doing OK.

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 Post subject: Re: Practising Hanon,and Czerny Exercises= A waste of time ?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 12:16 pm 
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Indeed, how right you are. I was not agreeing with that argument, mind you.

But then it is not said that all French pianists follow the French school. Interestingly enough there are in Paris not one, but two Russian conservatoires! One is surely the Sergei Rachmaninoff (I went there once for something) and the other, if memory does not fail me, is the Skriabine.

I cannot say more than that.

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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 11:28 am 
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Radar wrote:
Any of the exercises like Hanon, or Cherney are only going to help if done with proper technique. I made the mistake of working through the Hanon Exercises, and the School of Velocity without the benefit of an instructor, and found that all it did was firmly reinforce my bad technique, and bad playing habits. Now with my limited practice time, I would rather work on Technique while learning the piano lessons new repertoire.

I see you point. Well I see one reason why people keep on using Hanon: that is to keep the hands in fine playing condition day to day. I think that this habit came out of studying Hanon early in one person's piano career, and that person would not be using Hanon if he or she was not so habituated. Well honestly I also used Hanon exercises back then but I now, nah I'm an anti-Hanon school. Czerny, Cramer-Bulow, and related lesson pieces have many of these disadvantages. Hanon maybe a good example of how intuitive methods can suck entire populations of pianists into using methods that are essentially useless, or even harmful. So yeah, it's a waste of time.


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