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Dear Bernhard (Read 63999 times)

Offline Mayla

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Re: Dear Bernhard
«Reply #50 on: August 02, 2005, 06:38:59 PM »
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"The greatest thing in this world is not so much where we are, but in what direction we are moving"  ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

Offline bernhard

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Re: Dear Bernhard
«Reply #51 on: August 04, 2005, 10:39:02 PM »
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I am wanting to make some perhaps *major* purchases in getting these pieces in both recording form and score form (whatever I don't have and can't find on the internet).  So, I have started hunting for recordings and have a question.

You have, for example, "Cimarosa - Sonata" typed in the above list.  I looked him up and he has 60 something sonatas.  I will get the recording, but I wonder, when you list something like that are you indicating that you will just choose one from the options ?  I am wondering because I don't know if they are all beginner type musics or not and I am just wanting to have a little more organization in my plan here.

This CD represents just one out of many possibilities, and reflects two things foremost: my personal taste and the availability of the pieces (it is very difficult to find recordings of total beginner pieces). So, by all means make your own compilation. I should have perhaps given more specific details for each piece. The Cimarosa sonata, for instance is C.34. In a collection of his sonatas I have, (Ed. Johan Ligtelijn – Broekmans & van Popppel – Amsterdam) it is numbered as no. 4 (book I). Here is the first line:



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Would you happen to be willing to share a "week 2" ?? by any chance ? 

The problem with week 2 and the ones that follow is that it will completely depend on the student progress/choice of pieces. Personal difficulties will be taken into account. Some students have a natural way of moving and need little probing in that area. Others may have to spend weeks investigating how to move properly at the piano. Some may understand the principles of sight-reading and implement them straightaway, others may take months until they get the aha experience. The general plan however is centred on the piece of their choice. Around it we explore these four main areas:

1.   Technique (= ways of moving to produce a desired sound)

2.   Scales (learning and improvising on the piece’s scales, perhaps even using some of the piece’s figurations)

3.   Reading music – teaching by rote is discontinued and I insist that the score be deciphered

4.   Analysis – whatever is appropriate for the piece in question. Music theory is taught in an as-needed-basis, since after 9 – 10 pieces have been mastered the general outline starts to appear naturally.

I have given an example of this progression in this thread:

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,2893.msg25500.html#msg25500
(how to teach op. 142 no. 2 - Burgmuller studies – Lots of practice tricks – the pragmatical x logical approach using Boolean algebra and word processing as an example)


Best wishes,
Bernhard.


The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side. (Hunter Thompson)

Offline Mayla

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Re: Dear Bernhard
«Reply #52 on: August 04, 2005, 11:13:59 PM »
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"The greatest thing in this world is not so much where we are, but in what direction we are moving"  ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

Offline Mayla

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Re: Dear Bernhard
«Reply #53 on: August 04, 2005, 11:15:47 PM »
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"The greatest thing in this world is not so much where we are, but in what direction we are moving"  ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

Offline leahcim

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Re: Dear Bernhard
«Reply #54 on: August 05, 2005, 05:14:34 PM »
Ooops, I also meant to say that this makes sense, I get it, and 'thanks'.

I wonder how much the selection / rejection phase contributes to the success?

That's to say, you want a way of selecting people ["talented" / hard working or responsive to your method - whatever you want to attribute it to] without the advantage a higher level course has of only picking people that can already play.

It might be missed compared with the longer description of the method, but

(a) Charge a lot - [help reject the time wasters, "put your money where your mouth is" is probably an apt saying]
(b) Prefer complete beginners [if they haven't learnt after n months / years elsewhere probability is higher they'll fall into (c) or have "ingrained bad habits" if you prefer, it doesn't matter the reason] You wouldn't want to reject everyone here though, see (d)
(c) Get rid of folk not learning quick/well enough after 6 months to another teacher [it might be they don't practise, the method isn't for them or they are talentless buffoons - it doesn't really matter _why_ just that you're cutting out the dead meat, so to speak]
(d) Develop an uncanny ability to reject other timewasters.

After which you've got people who are going to learn to play the piano, if you can teach whether it's hard work, talent or the method you use specifically, you're already ahead of the game compared with someone who can teach but teaches (a)-(d) as well - or, in other words, if you want to use the method with the same success the first thing someone might do is wave goodbye to 50-90% of their current pupils [unless they already reject] as much as hope that an alternative practise method is going to help.

Offline kaveh

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Re: Dear Bernhard
«Reply #55 on: August 05, 2005, 09:48:53 PM »
Hi Bernhard,

Am an adult returner (around grade 7 standard) determined to win the 2009 Yamaha Outstanding Amateur Pianist contest. 

http://www.pianostreet.com/smf/index.php/topic,11265.0.html

I'm 26, live in West London, work in Surrey, and am religiously dedicated.

Any chance you can squeeze in another student?

Thank you,
Kaveh

Offline Skeptopotamus

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Re: Dear Bernhard
«Reply #56 on: August 05, 2005, 09:53:13 PM »
Dear Bernhard,
     Thank you for the lovely time I had at your estate.  Your cooking is spectacular.  I can only extend the most heart-felt gratitude and I plan on returning soon.


                                                                xoxoxoxo,
                                                                   The Skeptopotamus

Offline jeremyjchilds

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Re: Dear Bernhard
«Reply #57 on: August 06, 2005, 12:11:50 AM »
Hi bernard...

I was thinking of using saved up Make-up lessons from my students to have a one week session where we had lessons every day sometime over the summer. (Granted it may be a few years to save up 5 make ups)

My question is, what is the biggest mistake you could forsee for an instructor teaching a week-long course like this for the first time?

Thanks so much

Happy Guru-ing
"He who answers without listening...that is his folly and his shame"    (A very wise person)

Offline bernhard

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Re: Dear Bernhard
«Reply #58 on: August 13, 2005, 12:00:08 AM »
Hi bernard...

I was thinking of using saved up Make-up lessons from my students to have a one week session where we had lessons every day sometime over the summer. (Granted it may be a few years to save up 5 make ups)

My question is, what is the biggest mistake you could forsee for an instructor teaching a week-long course like this for the first time?

Thanks so much

Happy Guru-ing

I think the two basic mistakes are not planning the course and trying to cram too much in a single lesson. Both mistakes are usually a consequence of trying to apply the weekly lesson format to what is actually a very different lesson format. So let me put this in a more positive way as my two basic recommendations:

1.   Plan the course.

This means that you should know exactly what material you will be covering in each lesson. Ideally you should know exactly what you are going to do in the next five days minimum. Now this plan has two functions: it provides an ideal to reach for, and it provides you with something to fall back on.

Expect to drift from it though. Every student is different. Some students may be able to achieve what you had planned for the whole week in a single lesson (which is why a five-day plan is the minimum). Other students may need the whole week to cover what you had planned for the first lesson (this is perfectly all right).

So, although a plan is mandatory, it is not sacred.

An important point in my teaching is that it is cumulative: We do not move to a new skill until the previous one has been mastered. If the student shows signs of “burn-out”, we change the subject, but do not advance. For instance, I try to teach scales, pieces, sight-reading and theory in parallel. So if we are stuck in a particularly challenging scale task and the student is bored to tears, we change to a passage of his piece(s). If this is not going anywhere, we do a particular stage in sight-reading. And so on. What I will not do is to move to the next passage in the piece if the one we are working on has not been mastered.

But to do this, you will need a plan, and you will also need flexibility in applying the plan. As far as I am concerned, the most important element in learning the piano (anything, really) is consistency. However being consistent is not an inborn talent. It must be taught, it must be practised, and it must be shown to work better than inconsistency. Only when a student has developed consistency in his approach to piano (or to anything else) can the teacher be inconsistent and improvisatory in his teaching.

2.   Do not be overambitious.

When teaching in weekly lessons, a teacher necessarily must cram in the lesson enough material to last the student the whole week (not that the students ever cover it ::)). But with daily lessons, this is not only unnecessary, as it is positively harmful.

I tend to think of daily lessons not so much as “lessons” but as sessions with a personal trainer, who goes there to exercise with you and make sure that you exercise properly. So the   first lesson may be about learning a passage, but the next two or three lessons (assuming that the passage was learnt in the first lesson) should still be about that passage. This time however, you will not be learning it, but practising it. Learning a new passage every lesson is a mistake, because it is not just about learning a passage. It is also – and perhaps more importantly – about revisiting the passage, exploring it in new ways, learning how to practise it, memorising (and learning how to do so).

Whatever your aims for the week, do not share them with the student, because if he does not achieve them, he will have failed. Instead, make the aim for the week, whatever the student has achieved, this way he always succeed. At the same time set very clear targets for everything you do, and share those with the student. Of course the several targets should always add up to the secret aim.

I hope this helps.

Good luck,
Bernhard.


The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side. (Hunter Thompson)

Offline Mayla

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Re: Dear Bernhard
«Reply #59 on: August 28, 2005, 04:21:39 AM »
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"The greatest thing in this world is not so much where we are, but in what direction we are moving"  ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

Offline Mayla

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Re: Dear Bernhard
«Reply #60 on: September 14, 2005, 05:41:18 PM »
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"The greatest thing in this world is not so much where we are, but in what direction we are moving"  ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

Offline bernhard

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Re: Dear Bernhard
«Reply #61 on: September 15, 2005, 12:14:44 AM »
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1.   Do you have any set expectations on what each student should know upon leaving your studio after 3 years ?

Yes. But this may not take three years. It may take one or five or (more rarely more). This is what I expect at the end of the course:

a.   Competence in sight-reading.

b.   Competence in analysing a piece of music for the purposes of learning to play it. To give you an example, it could be argued endlessly what exactly is the basic motif in Bach’s invention no. 1. Is it the first seven notes, the first 8 notes or the first 12 notes? I would argue that it is the first seven notes if your purpose is analysis for learning, since it allows a very efficient and pragmatical learning of this piece, no matter how many more sensible arguments are there for the other two options (which may be much more appropriate for theoretical and musicological purposes), But musicology is not my main interest when teaching a piece, so I rarely – for instance – indulge in things like schenkerian analysis which has almost no import in the learning of a piece of music (which is not to say that it does not have other highly meritorious uses).

c.   Competence in taking any piece of music and knowing straight away which approach(es) will be the most efficient to learn it (e.g., outlining, breaking it into separate voices, how large should be the passages to tackle, etc.

d.   Competence in practice methods and philosophy.

e.   Knowledge of anatomy and anatomically correct movements, so that given any passage of music one knows exactly which movement will be the most appropriate, and even if one does not know straight away, one knows the steps required to investigate and arrive at such an optimum movement. This includes awareness of the possibility of injuries ad which movements are most likely to cause them.

f.   A sizeable repertory of musically superior pieces from all levels from elementary to reasonably advanced.

g.   Thorough knowledge of scales and harmonic relationships (as well as theory) so as to allow free improvisation – and perhaps competent composing (not superlative, but competent).

h.   Experience in accompanying.

This is of course what I aim at, not necessarily what I get. At the end of the day a teacher can only teach – it is up to the student to learn.

This is what I do not offer:

a.   Exquisite criticism and teaching in the area of musicality. I am still learning about this one.

b.   Teaching concerts and works with orchestra – I have no experience in this area (and most importantly I have no access to an orchestra).

c.   Teaching aspects of professional performance like dealing with different hall acoustics, with the public, how to market oneself, the intricacies of recording, etc.

d.   Providing the student with “contacts” in the professional world. (I am afraid I have none).

For these areas I will always refer the student to a more appropriate teacher.

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Then, do you have an expectation of what each student should learn/know in each year ?

I have hopes, not expectations.  ;) And usually I don't believe in miracles, I rely on them. ;D

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2.  If you DO have set courses of study, do you only accept students at the beginning of each year ?

I will accept a student at any time of the year provided I have a free slot. The only circumstance your question would make sense is if I was teaching groups, so for groups a definite start is mandatory, but my teaching is strictly individual, so the beginning of the “year” is whenever the student begins.

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I just sat down and typed up all of the general and some specific aspects of music I would like my students to both learn overall, as well as in the first year.   I just wonder how realistic it is.

You will soon find  out. ;)

My philosophy is always to aim high. The truth is that no one ever achieves what they set out to achieve. We are always a bit below our own standards. So set your standards impossibly high, and you will fail, but you will still achieve far more than the person who set them low and equally fails to achieve them.

Best wishes,
Bernhard.
The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side. (Hunter Thompson)

Offline Mayla

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Re: Dear Bernhard
«Reply #62 on: September 15, 2005, 06:16:29 AM »
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"The greatest thing in this world is not so much where we are, but in what direction we are moving"  ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

Offline bernhard

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Re: Dear Bernhard
«Reply #63 on: September 17, 2005, 09:39:33 AM »
You are welcome  :)
The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side. (Hunter Thompson)

Offline alzado

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Re: Dear Bernhard
«Reply #64 on: October 01, 2005, 12:03:30 AM »
Bernhard--

I always enjoy your postings SO MUCH.

It is so nice to learn more about you in this thread.

One aspect I like so much about you is your very encyclopedic knowledge of significant composers over these past centuries.

Of all the comments you posted in this thread, I most like the comment that students must be taught to read music, because in that lies "music independence."  It gives them the power to explore music for themselves.

True.  But also, persons must get off of "top dead center" and do some simple research.  Even if it is so simple as to stand at the sheet music shelves of the local music store for half an hour, skimming through myriad compositions.

My hat is off.   I would call you "sir" but I am too old for that.

Best regards.

Offline bernhard

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Re: Dear Bernhard
«Reply #65 on: October 01, 2005, 11:21:57 PM »

True.  But also, persons must get off of "top dead center" and do some simple research.  Even if it is so simple as to stand at the sheet music shelves of the local music store for half an hour, skimming through myriad compositions.


Yes, I agree completely. Especially when I compare the situation during my teenager years (and musical formation) with what is available nowadays. (I am sure you will relate to what Iam about to say).

In my early years, recordings of pieces - except for the standara repertory - were difficult to come by, and very expensive. A decent Hi-fi system was the size of a small car, and there were endless discussions about the best stylus, and the best counterweight for the arm of the turntable. The cost, again was ridiculous. The teachers of my generation had the stupid attitude that they should never play for you since it "would interfere" with your interpretation. Scores - especially urtext scores with critical comments - did not exist or were prohibitively expensive. Most scholarly research on most composers (especially pre-romantic) had not yet been done, or was still locked away in academic centres. Live performances were actually rare and the pianist would play all the old warhorses.

It is really baffling that today with all the material available through CDs, the internet, TV documentaries and so on people are still stuck on ten or twelve pieces.

Best wishes,
Bernhard.
The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side. (Hunter Thompson)

Offline ptmidwest

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Re: Dear Bernhard
«Reply #66 on: May 04, 2006, 01:23:05 PM »
   (bump)


Please, Bernhard, what are these exercises and lessons  (nos. 10, 14, 15, 16, and 23, 24 and such)?

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BEGINNER’S CD TRACKS

1.   Martini – Plaisir d’amour
2.   Pachelbel – Fugue
3.   Mozart – Minuet in F K2
4.   Diabelli – Sonatina
5.   Cimarosa – Sonata
6.   Alessandro Scarlatti  - La folia
7.   Le Coupey – Air Tendre
8.   Krebs – Rigaudon –
9.   Shostakovitch – Merry story
10.   Exercise
11.   Purcell - Air
12.   Exercise 13
13.   Rameau – Rondino
14.   Exercise 8
15.   Exercise 9
16.   Exercise 10
17.   Leopold Mozart – Minuet
18.   Attwood – Sonatina in G (3rd mov)
19.   Exercise 8
20.   Exercise 8
21.   Exercise 10
22.   Jose Mauricio Nunes Garcia – lesson 1 – 2
23.   Lesson 3 – 4
24.   Lesson 5-6
25.   Howard Skempton
Quote

                         Thank you!

Offline chocolatedog

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Re: Dear Bernhard
«Reply #67 on: May 27, 2006, 08:38:23 AM »
Apologies for replying to an older topic but I'm new here, and I was reading this with interest. I was looking up the Marshmallow Sundae that Bernhard spoke of, and have traced it to a book called "The Delicious Book" by Bergerac. I found a sample (8 bars or so) in a Max Camp book, but so far have no luck in tracking the original. Does anyone know if this book is still in print? And if so, where I could get it? (I live in the UK, by the way.) Thanks.

Offline bernhard

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Re: Dear Bernhard
«Reply #68 on: July 03, 2006, 04:12:57 AM »
   (bump)


Please, Bernhard, what are these exercises and lessons  (nos. 10, 14, 15, 16, and 23, 24 and such)?

                         Thank you!

I sent you a PM.

Best wishes,
Bernhard.
The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side. (Hunter Thompson)

Offline bernhard

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Re: Dear Bernhard
«Reply #69 on: July 03, 2006, 04:16:12 AM »
Apologies for replying to an older topic but I'm new here, and I was reading this with interest. I was looking up the Marshmallow Sundae that Bernhard spoke of, and have traced it to a book called "The Delicious Book" by Bergerac. I found a sample (8 bars or so) in a Max Camp book, but so far have no luck in tracking the original. Does anyone know if this book is still in print? And if so, where I could get it? (I live in the UK, by the way.) Thanks.

The Max Camp book has the complete score for “Marshmallow Sundae”, just turn the page! (pages 113 – 114).
 ;)

I have sent you a PM.

Best wishes,
Bernhard.
The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side. (Hunter Thompson)

Offline ptmidwest

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Re: Dear Bernhard
«Reply #70 on: July 07, 2006, 04:55:32 PM »
Fellow teachers...Bernhard is a generous jewel. 




Offline db05

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Re: Dear Bernhard
«Reply #71 on: March 30, 2009, 05:51:53 AM »
Dear bernhard,

You have been sorely missed by the members of this community. Please come back.
You may say that the information has already been given and spread throughout the forum many times over, but there is more to bernhard than just that! We miss your personality, and your genuinely loving heart.  :-*

Love,
db05 and others
(reply and sign your name if you agree, sort of a petition)
I'm sinking like a stone in the sea,
I'm burning like a bridge for your body

Offline artichoke

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Re: Dear Bernhard
«Reply #72 on: March 30, 2009, 02:30:45 PM »
Yes, I'd like to sign here. I've a strong feeling that when Bernhard was around, this forum was more alive.

Offline ridr27

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Re: Dear Bernhard
«Reply #73 on: March 30, 2009, 09:49:02 PM »
Count me in..
if a petition will get Bernhard back on..
Let's go for it.

Ridr27

Offline shaksu

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Re: Dear Bernhard
«Reply #74 on: March 31, 2009, 07:57:32 AM »
Yes, for Bernhard.

Offline josefine

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Re: Dear Bernhard
«Reply #75 on: April 01, 2009, 09:50:28 AM »
 :) Come back!
6. Develop a bad attitude and do not give a d**n towards how others feel about your practising.

Offline tds

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Re: Dear Bernhard
«Reply #76 on: April 01, 2009, 10:25:04 AM »
:) Come back!

when he comes back, he will get my debut album for free...i promise ;D ;D
dignity, love and joy.

Offline db05

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Re: Dear Bernhard
«Reply #77 on: April 01, 2009, 10:35:14 AM »
when he comes back, he will get my debut album for free...i promise ;D ;D

How about free tickets to your concert, and a backstage pass? Surely you want to meet him too!
I'm sinking like a stone in the sea,
I'm burning like a bridge for your body

Offline kerry6657

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Re: Dear Bernhard
«Reply #78 on: January 02, 2011, 12:10:38 AM »
Scarlatti Sonatas.  A long while ago Bernard posted a lot of help regarding Scarlatti Sonatas
I would love to be able to thank him for all the pleasure I have had playing Scarlatti.
Bernard is so generous with his time and wonderful comments regarding this subject.
Wonderful music.  Thank you dear Bernard.   Kerry

Offline danc

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Re: Dear Bernhard
«Reply #79 on: June 30, 2014, 09:51:18 PM »
I put together a youtube playlist of Bernhard's beginner tracks so I could listen to them. Thought I'd share it with anyone else interested too!