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Author Topic: Piano Technique - Scaramuzza  (Read 506 times)
wkmt
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« on: September 09, 2017, 10:43:44 AM »

Have you ever thought how important is be present in the present?
Our latest article talks about this and some interesting Scaramuzza ideas.

In WKMT, we teach the famous piano technique which gave the best pianists in the world such as Martha Argerich.

http://www.piano-composer-teacher-london.co.uk/single-post/Piano-attacking-notes-fully-in-the-present
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dogperson
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« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2017, 02:08:32 PM »

Have you ever thought about seeing what other forum topics might benefit from your input? Without participation in this forum in that way, we are your advertising forum

Until you become a real forum participant, I will boycott reading all of your blogs. I hope other forum  members do the same
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wkmt
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« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2017, 04:41:41 PM »

Thank you for your enthusiasm, we truly appreciate it Smiley
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ronde_des_sylphes
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« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2017, 06:12:07 PM »

I fundamentally disagree with this article. The mechanics of finger movement should be immersed in the subconscious. Present, future: these aspects are irrelevant. One would not fixate on the next foot and limb movement, or on the movement(s) currently being made, in order to walk. One simply does it, because it has become ingrained and natural; the same thing applies to playing the piano. Once that state is acquired, the pianist can then focus on the more important process of being a musician.

Sorry dogperson btw Wink
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klavieronin
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« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2017, 02:13:11 AM »

Two points;

1. On dogperson's point, I also find it kind of annoying when I see a topic in the forum that sounds interesting only to have to click over to another site to read it. I know other forums that would ban you for this sort of activity.

Also, if you are doing it for SEO purposes I don't know how much weight links in forums carry with the search engines. I noticed you are a local business. If you want better rankings there are more effective ways to do it. Send me a PM if you want to know more.

2. About the article itself; I think the idea about not focusing on what you are about to play and instead focusing on what you are playing in the moment is interesting but has a couple of fundamental flaws. Firstly, we are always in the past since it takes time for sensory stimuli to reach and be processed in our brains, and secondly, it takes time to reach and play the next key or chord, so how could you hope to play in time at all without thinking slightly ahead of the music?
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keypeg
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« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2017, 05:59:27 AM »

I don't think that "in the present" was meant so absolutely as to be only that millisecond of time of that note you are playing right now.  I would only say that the concept is not revolutionary, and it is not the concept only of this one person.  I've been taught about this by two teachers myself, and I'm just an ordinary adult student who started lessons late in life.  The way I learned it the first time is that you are actually pendling between the immediate present, the immediate past, and the immediate future.  What note you have come from to what note you are arriving and, and what note you are about to come to.  For the one you are about to go to, how do you picture it, and once you arrive, to get it as you picture, and then is it as you pictured.  The is the pendle.  And there is also a kind of time-stretch with it.
If I ran into two teachers teaching this, then there must be hundreds at least in the world.
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lostinidlewonder
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« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2017, 06:49:23 AM »

A so called school that advertises with such a scattergun approach as to post here, an international forum, reeks of desperation. Upon reading the content of anything they post you will feel rather empty and bored. Successful school? If they were they wouldn't be spamming here like a lame ass.

Dogperson is boycotting your posts and you post appreciation, what an arrogant representative of your dumb school you are.
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klavieronin
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« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2017, 09:26:26 AM »

I don't think that "in the present" was meant so absolutely as to be only that millisecond of time of that note you are playing right now.

With everything totaled we're probably talking about up to a few hundred milliseconds at least (think of what it takes to leap from one end of the keyboard to the other) but point taken. I may have interpreted that part a little too literally. That aside, I think there are also musical reasons to think ahead (and behind) because you need to shape your performance but how can you if you are only thinking about the notes you are playing in the present?

(I like your pendulum metaphor too, keypeg. I definitely have that experience.)
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keypeg
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« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2017, 03:36:33 PM »

Klavieronin, my post was a poor rendition of what I tried to say.  I was coming from an inhuman work load and was rather wiped out afterward.  The main thing I was trying to address, actually, is where the article seems to suggest that these ideas are unique to the one master teacher and thus "revolutionary".  If I, as an adult student who first had lessons late in life, ran into these ideas by chance through two teachers, then these ideas are known, practised, and taught, and least by some teachers.

In regards to everyone's criticism (to wkmt) - All posts and responses to responses - have this atmosphere of exclusivity, of being the only teacher/school who knows anything, not of a back and forth sharing of knowledge.  Several of us have stressed the need for you to start reading other posts and other threads, written by others, possibly respond to some of it, and also see what things of value your peers (other teachers) may have to say.  Also, to truly respond to responses when they go into specific things people respond to.  There have been a few attempts more recently to do so.
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keypeg
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« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2017, 03:58:55 PM »

In regards to the ideas themselves: When put in the rhealm of teaching students, then you have to get more practical and see how that translates into teaching.  At what stages do you set this up to ensure that students will be "in the moment" as they play, and practise with the right mindset?  What types of things might be done in teaching that may undermine the chance of this developing?  How might it be done at each learning stage?  If a teacher at a school only has a general idea in the manner presented, and if it is then presented as generally and abstractly to students, it won't work.  Many posts seem to stay at lofty, abstract levels.

In regards to this:
Quote
The attacks become enjoyable mainly when we learn how to minimize the tension involved in their production. This happens mainly when we can abstract our minds from the mechanical side of performing and we can focus on the sound production as the main concern of our playing. 
There are debates on whether to focus on sound or action.  I believe it is chicken / egg and depends where a student is at.  I, as a student, must focus especially on the mechanical in order to get the sound.  That is because initially I was self-taught and developed awkward movements to create the effect In envision.  I am relearning better ways of moving, which are also more effective toward the sounds I want to reach.  The only way I can do that is be focusing on the mechanical, otherwise I'll slip into the old awkward motions.  For students starting out, this can be set up that they fall into natural and effective motions from the get go.  Here we get into the how and details of teaching.  An abstract idea won't take you far unless you know how to implement it.

In what I am learning both as a student, and as a student getting the pedagogy side, is that there are details involved which set up such things.  For example, if you don't have a grasp of where you're going and blindly aim for the next notes while you're already underway, this can cause tension from hesitation or inaccuracy.  Teaching things and approaches that create that grasp is the answer.  Concentrating on this note, then the next note, then the next, can lead to staying on each note individually in a start-stop-start mentality with the same kind of effect as if you constantly slam on the brakes and then get going again.  So there may be the concept of each note being a transition toward the next note, and that can also be mechanical.

What I'm signaling is that there are how's to all this - underlying things.  The abstract notion, without real ways of getting there, can almost be dangerous to a student.  In fact, the teachers I work with rarely if ever talk about being in the moment.  They implement solid, concrete things that bring it about.  The concern themselves with rather concrete things, but hold these kinds of concepts in the back of their minds.
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hardy_practice
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« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2017, 07:31:20 PM »

There's nothing there that Matthay didn't articulate brilliantly (rather than Wkthingy's poor excuse for English) 100 years ago.  
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ted
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« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2017, 11:22:31 PM »

I fundamentally disagree with this article. The mechanics of finger movement should be immersed in the subconscious. Present, future: these aspects are irrelevant. One would not fixate on the next foot and limb movement, or on the movement(s) currently being made, in order to walk. One simply does it, because it has become ingrained and natural; the same thing applies to playing the piano. Once that state is acquired, the pianist can then focus on the more important process of being a musician.

Andrew is talking sense, as usual. I have found this business of trying to force all aspects of playing music to the conscious level to be not only obviously impossible but also destructive of both technique and idea flow in improvisation. The only exception was correcting an involuntary movement or injury, when a certain amount of concentrated thought was necessary, but in small doses and never as a general rule. In fact, I have a sneaking suspicion that too consciously forceful an approach can actually worsen or even directly cause physical and musical blocks. The older I get, the more I tend to let my mind run free, physically and musically.

I suppose it could be said that I am just an aging, eccentric improviser with a fair to middling technique and too small a repertoire to comment, so what do I know ? That might indeed be true.
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keypeg
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« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2017, 01:23:33 AM »

Andrew is talking sense, as usual. I have found this business of trying to force all aspects of playing music to the conscious level to be not only obviously impossible but also destructive of both technique and idea flow in improvisation.
If this was meant for forcing all aspects to a conscious level, then I agree.

In general, for teaching the whole thing is impractical.  It was probably a fun demo for experienced pianists to watch.  But nothing to be implemented in lessons.

In general, if I lived in the vicinity and was looking to take lessons or register my children, the articles being featured would push me away - they are cerebral and some make straightforward things look complicated.  At best I'd try for a trial lesson with one of the teachers and see where there might be a practical human being who can teach, and just ignore the writings coming out of the school.
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wkmt
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« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2017, 03:23:31 PM »

I fundamentally disagree with this article. The mechanics of finger movement should be immersed in the subconscious. Present, future: these aspects are irrelevant. One would not fixate on the next foot and limb movement, or on the movement(s) currently being made, in order to walk. One simply does it, because it has become ingrained and natural; the same thing applies to playing the piano. Once that state is acquired, the pianist can then focus on the more important process of being a musician.

Sorry dogperson btw Wink
I think my point was not understood. I'm talking about the way we think about a musical phrase. The way we "buffer" it.

We need to be concerned about the present and create a different dimension of future.
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wkmt
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« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2017, 03:25:21 PM »

Two points;

1. On dogperson's point, I also find it kind of annoying when I see a topic in the forum that sounds interesting only to have to click over to another site to read it. I know other forums that would ban you for this sort of activity.

Also, if you are doing it for SEO purposes I don't know how much weight links in forums carry with the search engines. I noticed you are a local business. If you want better rankings there are more effective ways to do it. Send me a PM if you want to know more.

2. About the article itself; I think the idea about not focusing on what you are about to play and instead focusing on what you are playing in the moment is interesting but has a couple of fundamental flaws. Firstly, we are always in the past since it takes time for sensory stimuli to reach and be processed in our brains, and secondly, it takes time to reach and play the next key or chord, so how could you hope to play in time at all without thinking slightly ahead of the music?

I'm trying to point out a quintessential fact. We need to have the most immediate futire, what I call the present, as our main concern. We should have planned everything so well in advance that the macro performatic structures we created can always serve as the perfect framing for the incidental imprumptu. I hope this claryfies my point Smiley
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wkmt
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« Reply #15 on: September 15, 2017, 03:28:15 PM »

I don't think that "in the present" was meant so absolutely as to be only that millisecond of time of that note you are playing right now.  I would only say that the concept is not revolutionary, and it is not the concept only of this one person.  I've been taught about this by two teachers myself, and I'm just an ordinary adult student who started lessons late in life.  The way I learned it the first time is that you are actually pendling between the immediate present, the immediate past, and the immediate future.  What note you have come from to what note you are arriving and, and what note you are about to come to.  For the one you are about to go to, how do you picture it, and once you arrive, to get it as you picture, and then is it as you pictured.  The is the pendle.  And there is also a kind of time-stretch with it.
If I ran into two teachers teaching this, then there must be hundreds at least in the world.

That's the exact point I want to make, thank you for your clarification and support.

What I also want to leave clear is that the full cycle of attack should be run through before jumping into the next one. The big challenge, relax as quickly as possible and as the passage allows us before running into the next bit. We need to live and settle into each stimulus.
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wkmt
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« Reply #16 on: September 15, 2017, 03:30:36 PM »

If this was meant for forcing all aspects to a conscious level, then I agree.

In general, for teaching the whole thing is impractical.  It was probably a fun demo for experienced pianists to watch.  But nothing to be implemented in lessons.

In general, if I lived in the vicinity and was looking to take lessons or register my children, the articles being featured would push me away - they are cerebral and some make straightforward things look complicated.  At best I'd try for a trial lesson with one of the teachers and see where there might be a practical human being who can teach, and just ignore the writings coming out of the school.

There is complexity everywhere around us, but the task of a good teacher is to disassemble it and describe it to the smallest of scales. Is it hard work? yes! Does it worth doing it? Every single time.

Colleagues never be afraid of entering in the complex world of simplicity Wink
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klavieronin
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« Reply #17 on: September 16, 2017, 03:01:58 AM »

We should have planned everything so well in advance that the macro performatic structures we created can always serve as the perfect framing for the incidental imprumptu. I hope this claryfies my point Smiley

Huh… "macro performatic structures", "perfect framing for the incidental imprumptu"? Well now I'm more confused than ever.

I'm genuinely not having a go at you but I really hope you don't talk to your students like that.
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wkmt
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« Reply #18 on: September 16, 2017, 09:54:28 PM »

Huh… "macro performatic structures", "perfect framing for the incidental imprumptu"? Well now I'm more confused than ever.

I'm genuinely not having a go at you but I really hope you don't talk to your students like that.

Ignorance is never a strength but always a weakness. And now who is being repetitive and spammy Wink

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klavieronin
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« Reply #19 on: September 16, 2017, 11:36:31 PM »

Ignorance is never a strength but always a weakness. And now who is being repetitive and spammy  Wink

Perhaps you missed the part where I said "I'm genuinely not having a go at you". As teachers we are in the business of curing people of their ignorance. Once again, I really hope you don't talk to your students like that.
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keypeg
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« Reply #20 on: September 17, 2017, 11:59:35 PM »

Wkmt, this is off topic but it's been bugging me for a while.  You have a couple of teacher talks up on Youtube, and you're teaching on the Kawai CA97 - same piano that I have.  Why on earth do you have speakers on top?  The Kawai has excellent sound with well placed speakers inside, as well as the sound board (I assume you have the 97, not the 67), which would do more than fill up a room, as well as being much more realistic than other dp's that don't have the soundboard.  So why the large external speakers? Smiley
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wkmt
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« Reply #21 on: September 19, 2017, 06:12:21 PM »

Wkmt, this is off topic but it's been bugging me for a while.  You have a couple of teacher talks up on Youtube, and you're teaching on the Kawai CA97 - same piano that I have.  Why on earth do you have speakers on top?  The Kawai has excellent sound with well placed speakers inside, as well as the sound board (I assume you have the 97, not the 67), which would do more than fill up a room, as well as being much more realistic than other dp's that don't have the soundboard.  So why the large external speakers? Smiley

 Grin Grin Grin

Very good question! And I can see your point. Those speakers are not amplifying the piano, they are used with the editing suite of the computer you see on top of the piano as well. I agree with you 100% the CA 95 has a great sound system and does not need any speakers at all.
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