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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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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 11:51 pm 
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Location: U.S.A.
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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"Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities." David April


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2009 11:11 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2007 6:35 am
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Location: Gulfport, MS, USA
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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"Z Czernym poznałem się na panie brat—na dwa fortepiana często z nim u niego grywałem. Dobry człowiek, ale nic więcej..." - Fryderyk Chopin


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 Post subject: Probably not necessary
PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 6:09 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2007 12:25 pm
Posts: 20
Location: the Netherlands
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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I have had classical piano lessons as a youth, then turned to jazz, then I did hardly play at all for many years and now I have returned to the Classics. I have lessons again since September 2007.


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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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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 7:23 pm 
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Location: Illinois
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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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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Nothing is always absolutely so -- Sturgeon's law
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 4:56 pm 
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Location: Texas,USA
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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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 5:31 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 10:50 pm
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Location: Rochester NY
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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Amateur pianist, and Church Musician, who plays for the love of it!!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 7:17 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2009 11:14 pm
Posts: 477
Location: Illinois
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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Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2010 2:42 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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Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 9:48 pm
Posts: 1983
Location: U.S.A.
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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"Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities." David April


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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He is doing his best."
Oscar Wilde: Impressions of America: Leadville


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