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Hanon and Other Excerises are VERY IMPORTANT (Read 68892 times)

Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: Hanon and Other Excerises are VERY IMPORTANT
«Reply #200 on: January 13, 2017, 03:18:26 PM »
(LiW of course believes that sitting at a piano will magically protect one from injury.)
Tim have a closer read of my responses because I dunno why you would think this. It should not be the SOURCE of the injury, if it is something is very very wrong and not normal imho.

Some instruments can be played easily in various positions.  Keypeg plays violin, which can be played and practiced sitting or standing or even dancing, allowing some flexibility and some variety.
Holding that violin on my chin is extremely uncomfortable for me as a beginner, its a tension I never experienced in piano and limits how long I can hold that damn instrument up!

Piano is nearly unique in having a fixed dimension instrument.  You can usually adjust your bench height, but other than that you are totally forced to comply with it's requirements.  
I can sit at a piano for much longer than I can hold a violin up. So what does that mean?
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Offline keypeg

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Re: Hanon and Other Excerises are VERY IMPORTANT
«Reply #201 on: January 13, 2017, 03:39:43 PM »
No, you don't, I agree.  You put a lot of thought into this.

On the other hand, you're basing a lot if conclusions on a sample where N = 1 (yourself). 
Thank you for the first.  For the second - please carefully read the beginning of the post you responded to, where I enumerated my sources, and I think the length of time for accumulating these things. (about 10 years)

Offline keypeg

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Re: Hanon and Other Excerises are VERY IMPORTANT
«Reply #202 on: January 13, 2017, 03:50:39 PM »
  Sitting for long periods of time is inherently bad for the human body; I think we could agree on that.  Well, most of us.
Some unknown variables include what you yourself have learned in regards to the concept of "sitting" as it pertains to piano.  In fact, misperceptions and misteaching in this regard is one cause of injury or at least discomfort.  We should not "sit" when playing piano in the sense of how you sit in a chair; nor should you "sit up straight" as students were taught in the classroom, being motionless with hands carefully folded when not writing.  The piano is played with the whole body.  Everything is involved from feet to head.  If this is not learned, then you have the potential for injury or discomfort.  LiW has said this using less words.
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  (LiW of course believes that sitting at a piano will magically protect one from injury.)
Can you quote a statement by LiW expressing that belief?  I don't recall one.
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Keypeg plays violin, which can be played and practiced sitting or standing or even dancing, allowing some flexibility and some variety.
Guess where my first injuries occurred?  Correct that to say I studied violin for a few years, stopped entirely for a decade, and resumed tentatively last year, relearning everything from scratch. That experience is what brought me to my present stance in the first place. 
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Piano is nearly unique in having a fixed dimension instrument.  You can usually adjust your bench height, but other than that you are totally forced to comply with it's requirements. 
All the more reason to learn to use your body efficiently and work efficiently. ;)

You are less free on violin.  You've got this thing stuck under your chin, which has to be balanced so it doesn't fall down, and immediately lose a great deal of freedom to move, especially with the left hand.  In contrast, on piano you can move about with will.  You also do the same kinds of actions with both hands in symmetry, while being in the center of the instrument with the range of notes equidistant either direction.  You can lean to the left, to the right, forward and back, and should do so.  And much more.

Offline timothy42b

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Re: Hanon and Other Excerises are VERY IMPORTANT
«Reply #203 on: January 13, 2017, 04:22:36 PM »
  In contrast, on piano you can move about with will.  You also do the same kinds of actions with both hands in symmetry, while being in the center of the instrument with the range of notes equidistant either direction.  You can lean to the left, to the right, forward and back, and should do so.  And much more.

Yeah, in theory.  In practice the injury rate is high.  The very dramatic, we could even say histrionic performers move all over the place, though this is disparaged here; maybe that's healthier. 

I have an employee who can't sit at his desk for long periods of time without experiencing pain.  I bought him a stand that raises his computer monitor and keyboard.  He will sit for a while and work, then flip the lever, bring everything up, and stand up to work. 

I don't believe that people who can play at the level required to audition for a conservatory are ignorant with respect to playing the piano with the whole body.  These are highly skilled players even before starting conservatory.  Yours is good advice for the amateur, would seem very patronizing directed towards this population. 

I get up at 0530 every morning and play before work.  My approach is to stop roughly every 3 minutes, stand up, and do 1 minute of physical exercise.  I get my musical and my physical warmups at the same time.  That's my theory of how to minimize the effects of sitting.  Of course I don't put in those 4-6 daily hours of practice serious musicians do, but then my day job does keep me in front of a PC a good bit of the day.   

Tim

Offline dcstudio

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Re: Hanon and Other Excerises are VERY IMPORTANT
«Reply #204 on: January 13, 2017, 04:41:16 PM »
I have a theory developed over all my years that some players use the injury excuse as a reason to give up or to justify why they are not a "monster" player.

I have played gigs with a variety of injuries to my hands and once with a sling on my arm.  A few years ago I compressed a nerve and couldn't lift my hand....I figured out how to use y left to compensate. My point is that injuries have never stood in my way.  My brain figures out how to work around them.  So the question of repetitive practicing destroying someone who was destined for piano greatness...I don't buy into that so much. 

Yes students are taught incorrectly and it causes major issues...but Hanon is not to blame. IMO.

Offline timothy42b

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Re: Hanon and Other Excerises are VERY IMPORTANT
«Reply #205 on: January 13, 2017, 04:50:44 PM »
I have a theory developed over all my years that some players use the injury excuse as a reason to give up or to justify why they are not a "monster" player.

.

I don't think they do give up, though; I think that like yourself, they play through the pain.  Whether that's good in the long run I don't know, but it's part of the job.

By the way, I have to apologize for the improper apostrophical use of it's as possessive in a previous post.  I would edit if I could.

It is often alleged that only monster players get dystonias, and of course those do end a lot of careers (whatever they really are - some controversy here). 
Tim

Offline keypeg

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Re: Hanon and Other Excerises are VERY IMPORTANT
«Reply #206 on: January 13, 2017, 04:56:45 PM »
nm - I'm writing too much today.

Offline timothy42b

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Re: Hanon and Other Excerises are VERY IMPORTANT
«Reply #207 on: January 13, 2017, 06:28:20 PM »
Had another thought.

Here is a possible additional contributing factor:  the nerd component.

Serious music students on the whole self-select from an entirely different demographic than athletes do.  It wouldn't be too incorrect to call it the nerd factor, as long as we don't make that pejorative.  There aren't too many mesomorphs playing piano.  Tuba, maybe (I used to play weekend gigs in a polka band.) 

It's not impossible that general fitness, strength, and flexibility are lower in music students than in other endeavors.  That might predispose them to injury - what do you think?  The nice thing is if true, it suggests a preventive measure. 
Tim

Offline dcstudio

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Re: Hanon and Other Excerises are VERY IMPORTANT
«Reply #208 on: January 13, 2017, 07:42:31 PM »
I don't think they do give up, though; I think that like yourself, they play through the pain.  Whether that's good in the long run I don't know, but it's part of the job
Maybe they don't give up forever...but I saw a lot of that at university...a lot of excuses in general .  Always some outside factor or genetic deficiency that caused them to fail.  I am not really downing this as in some instances I am sure it's not am excuse.  However, I sure have heard a lot of people say
"I could have been a great pianist but I had an injury"

I am just suggesting that maybe these figures aren't exactly painting a clear picture.  At least some of the injured could have continued on but chose not to.

Offline vaniii

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Re: Hanon and Other Excerises are VERY IMPORTANT
«Reply #209 on: January 13, 2017, 08:29:26 PM »
Maybe they don't give up forever...but I saw a lot of that at university...a lot of excuses in general .
...
"I could have been a great pianist but I had an injury"

I am just suggesting that maybe these figures aren't exactly painting a clear picture.  At least some of the injured could have continued on but chose not to.

I agree with this sentiment.

Offline dcstudio

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Re: Hanon and Other Excerises are VERY IMPORTANT
«Reply #210 on: January 13, 2017, 09:23:09 PM »
Thank you vanii

Blaming hanon or poor training....whatever...just sounds like someone giving an excuse or struggling to figure out why they are not as great at this as they think they should be.  I have seen people do all kinds of things to compensate for this.  I delved into the academic side of music and beat those monsters with my straight As in theory and music history. Ironically enough it's people like me who go the distance.  Many of those monsters from my school went on to other careers long ago.  Some don't even own a piano now....or it's collecting dust in the corner.  Looking back...I understand now just how much not being a monster contributed to what I can do now.

OK.  So I will stop now.

Offline keypeg

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Re: Hanon and Other Excerises are VERY IMPORTANT
«Reply #211 on: January 13, 2017, 10:23:18 PM »
dctstudio, what you are saying is undoubtedly true.  Unfortunately, that's not what we were talking about.  ;)  I wrote in about the factor of HOW we play, how we are taught to play.  This went beyond Hanon. But in the context of Hanon, the injuries we read about occasionally in regards to Hanon may well be related to this "how".  For example, if one is taught ignorantly to keep the arms absolutely still so that the wrists are locked while hammering down with strong curved fingers while doing a repetitive action for a lengthy time, that's injury.

I am a student though I do some teaching now, and as a student in this TEACHING forum I am concerned with how things are taught and how people are guided.  I came close to permanent injury the first time I had lessons, though this was not piano, and it had to do with this.

I will say that if someone does have difficulty, making excuses, as you describe, doesn't help.  But finding out cause and solution, and doing something about it, does.

I will also say that I don't concern myself much with students at a high level in conservatories, "making excuses" or otherwise, because I figure that most of the teaching here is probably at a much more basic level.  How many of the teachers in this forum are teaching at conservatories?

Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: Hanon and Other Excerises are VERY IMPORTANT
«Reply #212 on: January 14, 2017, 02:04:13 AM »
In practice the injury rate is high..... I don't believe that people who can play at the level required to audition for a conservatory are ignorant with respect to playing the piano with the whole body.  These are highly skilled players even before starting conservatory.  Yours is good advice for the amateur, would seem very patronizing directed towards this population.  
Tim are you a high level pianist or even a piano teacher? I don't think you are right? So much of what you say is just theory. How can you talk about "highly skilled players" who go to conservatory? Do you think that ALL 100% every single high skilled player goes to a conservatory? Do you realize that many people enter conservatory lacking in many skills that they hope to attain in school? Do you not realize there are many types of conservatories in this world? Not everyone has to go to conservatory and work so hard they break themselves and suffer injury.

Still all my points about these silly statistic of injury has been ignored, I know because it is too difficult to refute.

1) There is a difference between piano being the SOURCE of injury or merely aggravated preexisting conditions. It is not intelligent to wonder why someone with a broken arm for instance feels pain while playing piano.

2) Not all high level pianists need to go to a conservatory and work so hard that they break

3) Why are these statistics monitoring such a small number of musicians? It is such a small sample you can't possibly take it seriously to represent the whole world of pianists.

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Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: Hanon and Other Excerises are VERY IMPORTANT
«Reply #213 on: January 14, 2017, 03:16:22 AM »
....I saw a lot of that at university...a lot of excuses in general .  Always some outside factor or genetic deficiency that caused them to fail.  .... I sure have heard a lot of people say
"I could have been a great pianist but I had an injury"

I am just suggesting that maybe these figures aren't exactly painting a clear picture.  At least some of the injured could have continued on but chose not to.
What a shame that people give excuses for their improvement. The reality is that not everyone has a healthy body and it can come from many different issues. I am sure that there are many pianists who enter conservatories who have practice to death with very unhealthy stress on their body. It is a shame because this is not the way to go about improving piano over a lifetime. These teens go into conservatory still fresh musicians and try to force their improvement as fast as possible. I don't know why people think that this is the only way to go about a lifetime relationship with the piano. How can it be good to damage yourself early on so your future playing is handicapped? It is all totally abhorrent to me.
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Offline dcstudio

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Re: Hanon and Other Excerises are VERY IMPORTANT
«Reply #214 on: January 16, 2017, 06:23:53 AM »
You are invincible when you are young.   That's why.

Offline keypeg

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Re: Hanon and Other Excerises are VERY IMPORTANT
«Reply #215 on: January 16, 2017, 09:59:07 AM »
You are invincible when you are young.   That's why.
Better than invisible.

Offline keypeg

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Re: Hanon and Other Excerises are VERY IMPORTANT
«Reply #216 on: January 16, 2017, 05:23:02 PM »
I've been told recently that if you want to be read, you should write a short, maybe angry post.  Be provocative - write something off-the-cuff with little thought and you'll get a response.  Maybe they were right.

Offline dogperson

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Re: Hanon and Other Excerises are VERY IMPORTANT
«Reply #217 on: January 16, 2017, 05:33:08 PM »
I've been told recently that if you want to be read, you should write a short, maybe angry post.  Be provocative - write something off-the-cuff with little thought and you'll get a response.  Maybe they were right.

Not sure what this is in response to?   DCStudio was commenting on why young students practice to the point of damage.  'You are invincible when you are young' was the last thought posted. 

Offline keypeg

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Re: Hanon and Other Excerises are VERY IMPORTANT
«Reply #218 on: January 16, 2017, 06:07:13 PM »
It's more what didn't get responded to.

Offline davida

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Re: Hanon and Other Excerises are VERY IMPORTANT
«Reply #219 on: January 16, 2017, 08:06:58 PM »
The use of Hanon in teaching piano technique has always been, so it seems, a bone of contention. I find it very useful when I am brushing up my playing after a period of slack. So, I think, used with intelligence it can be very useful and beneficial. It is interesting that (and I found this nugget in my reading up on Rachmaninoff - and I will pursue the reference and post it as I can't remember at the moment where I read it as I have ploughed through a number of books on Rachmaninoff recently) that at the Moscow Conservatory at the turn of the 20th century piano students were expected to know the entire Hanon by heart, in all keys and at a requested tempo. This was a basic requirement to their technique classes. Now, that is really interesting. The acquiring of technique seems such an elusive objective. But I found that when you push the boundaries of your own playing - I put together Ginastera Sonata No 1, Fountains of the Villa d'Este, Reflets dans l'eau and Jeux d'eau for a programme, you really do find that your abilities expand by sheer need to grapple with the technical demands inherent in the pieces. What is difficult is maintaining the standard that you have reached preparing such a programme. You don't have to start from scratch but it is difficult maintaining peak technique and I think Hanon helps in this regard. Some thoughts for what they are worth. Many thanks. D