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Arm Weight and Flat Fingers, ppp, and... (Read 6153 times)

Offline mrcreosote

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Arm Weight and Flat Fingers, ppp, and...
« on: February 19, 2018, 03:32:13 PM »
I'm a firm believer in AW. 

However, I simply cannot believe people react full arm weight when playing ppp - having 95% of the finger load on the supporting fingers and not the playing ones challenges my mechanical engineering expertise.

I'm also guessing AW is not used with Flat Fingers.

I also find that when using full AW, I will get tension in my hands (not fingers or wrists).  Even if a perfect arch is maintained from the finger tips to the elbows, muscle force is still required because the arch does not have "buttresses."

Offline louispodesta

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Re: Arm Weight and Flat Fingers, ppp, and...
«Reply #1 on: February 19, 2018, 11:27:55 PM »
I'm a firm believer in AW. 

However, I simply cannot believe people react full arm weight when playing ppp - having 95% of the finger load on the supporting fingers and not the playing ones challenges my mechanical engineering expertise.

I'm also guessing AW is not used with Flat Fingers.

I also find that when using full AW, I will get tension in my hands (not fingers or wrists).  Even if a perfect arch is maintained from the finger tips to the elbows, muscle force is still required because the arch does not have "buttresses."
Do you know what?  I can help you, but if I did so in this particular Forum, every Troll out there would damn me for doing so.  That is:  with the exception of a very few friends.

Therefore, if you want to contact me by PM, then you are welcome to do so.

It is so sad, that when a entire International Website is totally dedicated to Pianism, that when a subject like this (which has been discussed for well over 60 years) cannot be discussed publicly without ridicule.

Thank you for having the courage to broach this subject, once again.  Your questions are on point, and then some.

Offline xdjuicebox

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Re: Arm Weight and Flat Fingers, ppp, and...
«Reply #2 on: February 20, 2018, 07:15:25 AM »
I'm a firm believer in AW. 

However, I simply cannot believe people react full arm weight when playing ppp - having 95% of the finger load on the supporting fingers and not the playing ones challenges my mechanical engineering expertise.

I'm also guessing AW is not used with Flat Fingers.

I also find that when using full AW, I will get tension in my hands (not fingers or wrists).  Even if a perfect arch is maintained from the finger tips to the elbows, muscle force is still required because the arch does not have "buttresses."

You are correct; from my (limited) understanding of the pianistic mechanism, no matter what you do, something's gotta hold the bones in place, and the arch shape just minimizes the muscular force required.

I play with "arm weight technique" in some contexts (I believe you need both actually; accurately developed fingers and coordination of said fingers with the rest of the arm), but when it comes to pianissimo - or slow pianissimo, at least - I keep my hands relatively loose, and the only muscular force I am is to "lighten the weight" being dropped into the key if that makes sense. It's kind of hard to describe. So like a really gentle "landing" onto the key.

Part of it is visualization - play with the structure of your hand, not your hands themselves (because if you actively move your fingers, they will tense, I find, but if you just think the notes, you get a relaxed motion - at least for me. And even then, I still tense here and there)
I am trying to become Franz Liszt. Trying. And failing.

Offline hardy_practice

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Re: Arm Weight and Flat Fingers, ppp, and...
«Reply #3 on: February 20, 2018, 08:35:06 AM »
no matter what you do, something's gotta hold the bones in place, and the arch shape just minimizes the muscular force required.
Quite right.  Arch 1 is a picture from Louis' favorite book.  Arch 2 and 3 are what really would happen without muscles.  I could do an Arch 4 with knuckle collapsing followed by Arch 5 with wrist collapsing.
B Mus, PGCE, DipABRSM

Offline louispodesta

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Re: Arm Weight and Flat Fingers, ppp, and...
«Reply #4 on: February 21, 2018, 12:38:53 AM »
Quite right.  Arch 1 is a picture from Louis' favorite book.  Arch 2 and 3 are what really would happen without muscles.  I could do an Arch 4 with knuckle collapsing followed by Arch 5 with wrist collapsing.
Thank you for your very insightful post, and, in addition, here is what I have recommended before:

1  Sit comfortably/erect in any chair, and then raise both of your arms from the forearm elbow joint to a level parallel position.  That means: keep your upper arms "gently" at your side.

2)  Do not articulate your fingers at all.  When I say:  raise your forearms, I mean only your forearms.

3)  This will allow normal gravity to effectuate the normal hand position associated with any performance action (Piano or otherwise).

4)  Then, rotate/bring your right forearm laterally from right to left (without any articulation of the fingers of the hand) to a level right in front of your eyes.

5)  Next, examine this very "limp" hand.  Then, gently rotate it (thumb to you) and then observe.

6)  Finally, you will notice that:  per the particular Morphology of your individual hand, you have the normal articulation within which you should strike any key on the piano.  It is not straight fingered, and it is not curved fingered.

It is your normal finger position which should be effectuated with arm weight and also coordinated with the entire body!  Thomas Mark www.pianomap.com ("What Every Pianist Needs to Know About the Body")


Offline fftransform

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Re: Arm Weight and Flat Fingers, ppp, and...
«Reply #5 on: February 24, 2018, 08:24:51 PM »
Oh, is that what 'arm weight' means?  I thought it was just a snobby way of describing a portamento touch.

Then yeah, that's horrible.  Many people will have locked third joints on some of their fingers in the proscribed 'natural' position (I do on my 2nd/3rd/5th fingers, and my 4th finger is indeed completely straight between 2nd/3rd joints), obviously useless for playing difficult passages.  Refusing to allow articulation in the fingers means you can't voice chords; just follows from what you say.

Since I doubt that's what going on, to me it seems just like a bunch of mumbo jumbo.  Like some kung fu nonsense: "Use the currents of the air and the spirit of water in your moves" or some mess.  Y'all just like how a soft portamento touch feels and want to analyze it to death.  Well, wrong analysis.

Offline clouseau

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Re: Arm Weight and Flat Fingers, ppp, and...
«Reply #6 on: February 24, 2018, 10:28:21 PM »
Arm Weight is a somewhat vague term and it is only natural that there is alot of confusion surrounding it. To put things in pespective:

Ludwig Deppe (1828 - 1890), mostly known for his pedagogical work, is one of the first who suggested arm weight as a solution to the ever increasing technical challenges of the piano literature of that time, as the old school of playing piano with just the fingers and a quiet hand (closer to cembalo technique) was insufficient.

I find that a good way to decsribe arm weight, is to imagine that the arm is swinging freely like a hammock between the shoulder and the finger touching the keys. This way of playing, might give the subjective feeling of weight being transfered freely from the arm to the fingers.

This school, like any school, has found some fanatics and dogmatists. Especially at that time, and Deppe himself, tried to reduce every technique to arm weight. Today, any teacher who knows what he is doing, will not view those schools as closed systems, but as techniques to be employed at will, depending on the musical goal. There is a lot passagework where arm weight is useless.

A good pianist has mastered both those ways of playing, and does not chose one and discard the other. In general, the schools of piano playing go hand in hand with the music of their time.
So, oversimplified:

Mozart - finger activity
Chopin - armweight
"What the devil do you mean to sing to me, priest? You are out of tune." - Rameau

Offline louispodesta

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Re: Arm Weight and Flat Fingers, ppp, and...
«Reply #7 on: February 25, 2018, 12:11:34 AM »
I expected as much, but thank you.

The stated purpose of the OP was Arm Weight and Flat Fingered Playing.  My post was to separate out the misnomer of this argument/interrogatory.

Per the (Alexander, Taubman? and Thomas Mark Technique), the playing of the piano involves not only hand/finger positioning, it also involves so-called arm weight and whole body proper alignment.  I use the term 'so-called' because one cannot (in terms of the Kinesiology of the Human Body) tell me what a normal "Arm Weight" is or can be effectuated.

Accordingly, I stand by my original response, along with the addition of any PM the OP would like to forward to me.

Offline hardy_practice

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Re: Arm Weight and Flat Fingers, ppp, and...
«Reply #8 on: February 25, 2018, 05:11:59 PM »


Mozart - finger activity
Chopin - armweight
Very intelligent post!  Yes, take Hummel, add armweight, and you've got Chopin.  Chopin's armweight was for aesthetic reasons though, by Deppe's time the mechanism demanded it.
B Mus, PGCE, DipABRSM

Offline louispodesta

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Re: Arm Weight and Flat Fingers, ppp, and...
«Reply #9 on: February 26, 2018, 12:20:52 AM »
Very intelligent post!  Yes, take Hummel, add armweight, and you've got Chopin.  Chopin's armweight was for aesthetic reasons though, by Deppe's time the mechanism demanded it.
"Things are in Flux."  That is all I can say for now.

However (in the interim), have you ever played a Pleyel.   You may have, and you may have not.

With ALL DUE RESPECT,! due you think that Franz Liszt was the very first person to play the Chopin Etudes (in their entirety) as some type of accident.  No, it was not!

It had everything to with the piano that was played on, and its associated tactile Action.

I will leave it there for now.  There is much more to follow.

Offline mrcreosote

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Re: Arm Weight and Flat Fingers, ppp, and...
«Reply #10 on: February 26, 2018, 12:23:54 AM »
I apologize, I've been traveling and only now have had a chance to check on my question.

Thanks for the replies - a lot of information given and will take me some time to go through it and various references.  

RE:  AW:  

I didn't want to mention this since it might bias the answers, but my current take on AW is to use it to vary loudness:  heavy for loud, and light for soft.  There is no doubt that full arm weight has helped me a lot in eliminating shoulder and neck tensions - that is when I can apply lots of AW.  Extended ppp will cause some shoulder tension if prolonged, but with the AW concept in play, ppp is much more precise for me.  

The Chopin Mazurka 33 # 4 (Horowitz Viena) is my prime example.  There are staccatos that are supremely soft which cannot utilize AW.  And it looks like there is no tension/strength in his fingers when playing ppp.  So I'm guessing he is regulating AW to produce the required volume.

Maria Pires will actually support her hand with her thumb resting on the front ledge (key slip).  Of course this would be a method to involve AW (or more of it) when otherwise impossible to do so.

RE:  FF:

From an structural engineering perspective, FF are not arches which are stiff from the knuckle to the finger tip.  Instead they are cantilevers which have compliance.  This compliance (in addition to finger mass) would reduce the volume variation associated with a given muscle actuation variation.

SOME OBSERVATIONS:

My past:

I am 65 and became aware of tension when I was 50 when I concluded that playing was a Marshal Art:  Strength, Accuracy, and Speed.  Too bad someone didn't tell me this when I was young and though playing slowly with great strength (like heavy weight lifting) like my teachers instructed would lead to speed.  I only learned about AW and Rotation about a year ago.

Some Conclusions:

What fingers do on the keyboard should be an elegant ballet with an infinite variety of movements.  Just knowing this has led me to a great amount of improvement over the past year - and this is just from being aware of these principles.

I wonder if teachers can actually see what is wrong with my technique and recommend corrections as they do in professional sports.  My concern is that there is no Big Money driving piano biomechanics like there is in professional sports.  Still, I believe there are gifted instructors that have both the eye, and scientific knowledge to help students - keeping in mind that the same approach will not work for all students.

They say, "If you meed Buddha in the middle of the road, Kill him." meaning that once you get to a certain level, you, are the one that must guide your enlightenment.  Since I'm not that good, I think anyone could show me things that would help - just knowing what works for other people has been a big help when I'm lucky to get a little instruction.

Offline rachmaninoff_forever

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Re: Arm Weight and Flat Fingers, ppp, and...
«Reply #11 on: February 26, 2018, 02:13:49 AM »
You are correct; from my (limited) understanding of the pianistic mechanism, no matter what you do, something's gotta hold the bones in place, and the arch shape just minimizes the muscular force required.

I play with "arm weight technique" in some contexts (I believe you need both actually; accurately developed fingers and coordination of said fingers with the rest of the arm), but when it comes to pianissimo - or slow pianissimo, at least - I keep my hands relatively loose, and the only muscular force I am is to "lighten the weight" being dropped into the key if that makes sense. It's kind of hard to describe. So like a really gentle "landing" onto the key.

Part of it is visualization - play with the structure of your hand, not your hands themselves (because if you actively move your fingers, they will tense, I find, but if you just think the notes, you get a relaxed motion - at least for me. And even then, I still tense here and there)

YOU'RE THE DUDE FROM INSTAGRAM what!!!!!!
Live large, die large.  Leave a giant coffin.

Offline hardy_practice

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Re: Arm Weight and Flat Fingers, ppp, and...
«Reply #12 on: February 26, 2018, 07:32:35 AM »

However (in the interim), have you ever played a Pleyel.   .
I OWN A PLEYEL!!!!!!  

Liszt initially knew nothing about armweight.


They say, "If you meed Buddha in the middle of the road, Kill him." meaning that once you get to a certain level, you, are the one that must guide your enlightenment.
No.  That's not its meaning.
B Mus, PGCE, DipABRSM

Offline clouseau

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Re: Arm Weight and Flat Fingers, ppp, and...
«Reply #13 on: February 26, 2018, 09:52:11 PM »
Very intelligent post!  Yes, take Hummel, add armweight, and you've got Chopin.  Chopin's armweight was for aesthetic reasons though, by Deppe's time the mechanism demanded it.

finally someone agrees with me!
"What the devil do you mean to sing to me, priest? You are out of tune." - Rameau

Offline louispodesta

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Re: Arm Weight and Flat Fingers, ppp, and...
«Reply #14 on: February 26, 2018, 11:42:48 PM »
I apologize, I've been traveling and only now have had a chance to check on my question.

Thanks for the replies - a lot of information given and will take me some time to go through it and various references.  

RE:  AW:  

I didn't want to mention this since it might bias the answers, but my current take on AW is to use it to vary loudness:  heavy for loud, and light for soft.  There is no doubt that full arm weight has helped me a lot in eliminating shoulder and neck tensions - that is when I can apply lots of AW.  Extended ppp will cause some shoulder tension if prolonged, but with the AW concept in play, ppp is much more precise for me.  

The Chopin Mazurka 33 # 4 (Horowitz Viena) is my prime example.  There are staccatos that are supremely soft which cannot utilize AW.  And it looks like there is no tension/strength in his fingers when playing ppp.  So I'm guessing he is regulating AW to produce the required volume.

Maria Pires will actually support her hand with her thumb resting on the front ledge (key slip).  Of course this would be a method to involve AW (or more of it) when otherwise impossible to do so.

RE:  FF:

From an structural engineering perspective, FF are not arches which are stiff from the knuckle to the finger tip.  Instead they are cantilevers which have compliance.  This compliance (in addition to finger mass) would reduce the volume variation associated with a given muscle actuation variation.

SOME OBSERVATIONS:

My past:

I am 65 and became aware of tension when I was 50 when I concluded that playing was a Marshal Art:  Strength, Accuracy, and Speed.  Too bad someone didn't tell me this when I was young and though playing slowly with great strength (like heavy weight lifting) like my teachers instructed would lead to speed.  I only learned about AW and Rotation about a year ago.

Some Conclusions:

What fingers do on the keyboard should be an elegant ballet with an infinite variety of movements.  Just knowing this has led me to a great amount of improvement over the past year - and this is just from being aware of these principles.

I wonder if teachers can actually see what is wrong with my technique and recommend corrections as they do in professional sports.  My concern is that there is no Big Money driving piano biomechanics like there is in professional sports.  Still, I believe there are gifted instructors that have both the eye, and scientific knowledge to help students - keeping in mind that the same approach will not work for all students.

They say, "If you meed Buddha in the middle of the road, Kill him." meaning that once you get to a certain level, you, are the one that must guide your enlightenment.  Since I'm not that good, I think anyone could show me things that would help - just knowing what works for other people has been a big help when I'm lucky to get a little instruction.
Do you know what?  Tobias Matthay, Dorothy Taubman, and now Thomas Mark have spent their whole teaching lives on the subject of the Biomechanics associated with the playing of the piano.  My late friend, Charles Aschbrenner (Pulse Patterning) did the same adapting the Feldenkrais principles of sit bone rotation to the piano.

All of these techniques go way beyond a "Simplistic" discussion of just "Arm Weight."  Additionally, one must remember that all of the great composers sat in a table chair, totally different from the piano bench of today.

However, in that I have cited the written sources of these Pedagogues before (many times), it would proffer a level of respect to the OP, which (to this point, my opinion) he does not deserve.

"I've been traveling."

Accordingly, there is much more that I can share on this subject, but I will now be "traveling."

Offline hardy_practice

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Re: Arm Weight and Flat Fingers, ppp, and...
«Reply #15 on: February 27, 2018, 07:57:12 AM »


All of these techniques go way beyond a "Simplistic" discussion of just "Arm Weight."  
I'm stayin' in today, and no, teaching and carrying out armweight technique is easy.  The biomechanics is what's complex but the student/performer does not require that knowledge.
B Mus, PGCE, DipABRSM

Offline mrcreosote

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Re: Arm Weight and Flat Fingers, ppp, and...
«Reply #16 on: February 27, 2018, 03:53:22 PM »
I appreciate the information and effort of all the responders but if an answer was given, I didn't get it.

I didn't want to influence the replies with my thoughts, but here they are for criticism:

"Is full AW used when playing ppp (legato)?"  NO, AW is reduced to get the amount of pianissimo desired.

"Is AW used with Flat Fingers?"  Never full. MAX AMOUNT:  Less AW is used than if w/o FF.  MIN AMOUNT = Zero




Offline hardy_practice

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Re: Arm Weight and Flat Fingers, ppp, and...
«Reply #17 on: February 27, 2018, 05:21:49 PM »
AW is a dynamic technique.  It can be and is often applied and taken away in an instant.  Chords for instance - you can't put 2 or more notes down simultaneously otherwise.  The arm is the 'one' that allows the chord to be a unit - same for soft chords as for loud but as you say, less weight.  But there's Chopin's aesthetic as well.  Try and find a Polish fiddler who stands still!  

For slow flat finger playing you may use it too but I add it into the keybed to continue experiencing the line even after the hammer has hit.  Mostly finger work is just that though.  The arm is being supported.
B Mus, PGCE, DipABRSM

Offline louispodesta

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Re: Arm Weight and Flat Fingers, ppp, and...
«Reply #18 on: February 28, 2018, 12:26:34 AM »
AW is a dynamic technique.  It can be and is often applied and taken away in an instant.  Chords for instance - you can't put 2 or more notes down simultaneously otherwise.  The arm is the 'one' that allows the chord to be a unit - same for soft chords as for loud but as you say, less weight.  But there's Chopin's aesthetic as well.  Try and find a Polish fiddler who stands still!  

For slow flat finger playing you may use it too but I add it into the keybed to continue experiencing the line even after the hammer has hit.  Mostly finger work is just that though.  The arm is being supported.
Thank you for your very helpful insight.  However, there is more, much more to this, and that includes the (Alexander Technique) that a Certified Teacher, by the name of Dr. Thomas Mark, extensively references in his book "What Every Pianist Needs To Know About The Body."

Next, there is the Rachmaninoff technique associated with  "Speed Practice," which utilizes arm weight, and then some.

Finally, my Concerto Coach has taught me things about scale/arpeggio practice that I never even new existed.  At the age of 66, I am playing at a level that I never thought imagined (both Concerto and Solo Repertoire).

Thank all of you who have responded for your insights.

Offline mrcreosote

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Re: Arm Weight and Flat Fingers, ppp, and...
«Reply #19 on: February 28, 2018, 12:43:49 AM »
I'm going to buy the Thomas Mark which happen to be my First and Middle names (!)

NOTE:  I've heard so much talk about pain and injury from playing piano and how to address by eliminating tension.  I've played since 6 (am 65) and never experienced pain - soreness in shoulders but never pain anywhere. 

Could that be from my incessant practice of practicing with as much finger strength as possible?  (I can "cock" my middle finger and render a blow strong enough to cause pain in my fingertip - a skill perhaps I should not be proud of...)  Perhaps the "instruction" I've received in my early years while wrong, spared me injury... 

Offline hardy_practice

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Re: Arm Weight and Flat Fingers, ppp, and...
«Reply #20 on: February 28, 2018, 06:21:43 AM »
  Perhaps the "instruction" I've received in my early years while wrong, spared me injury... 
Or, more likely, you were spared a professional shedule?
B Mus, PGCE, DipABRSM

Offline mrcreosote

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Re: Arm Weight and Flat Fingers, ppp, and...
«Reply #21 on: February 28, 2018, 08:19:47 AM »
Good point.  I only put in 1-2 hours a day.


Offline louispodesta

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Re: Arm Weight and Flat Fingers, ppp, and...
«Reply #22 on: February 28, 2018, 11:47:22 PM »
I'm going to buy the Thomas Mark which happen to be my First and Middle names (!)

NOTE:  I've heard so much talk about pain and injury from playing piano and how to address by eliminating tension.  I've played since 6 (am 65) and never experienced pain - soreness in shoulders but never pain anywhere. 

Could that be from my incessant practice of practicing with as much finger strength as possible?  (I can "cock" my middle finger and render a blow strong enough to cause pain in my fingertip - a skill perhaps I should not be proud of...)  Perhaps the "instruction" I've received in my early years while wrong, spared me injury... 
Thank you for "finally" baring your soul.  It took a great deal of courage, which most pianists do not have (due to a lack of cognizance).

So, I do not know where you reside, but first you need to visit Thomas' website (www.pianaomap.com) which includes a tremendous amount of free information.  This was painstakingly well thought out by a man who has 3 Degrees in Philosophy from Columbia, University USA.

After all of this, if you wish a coaching session with one of the top piano technique teachers in the world, then please let me know.  It will, as I experienced twice, be the piano lesson of a life-time.

Thank you for your interest.

Offline dogperson

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Re: Arm Weight and Flat Fingers, ppp, and...
«Reply #23 on: March 01, 2018, 01:35:05 AM »


After all of this, if you wish a coaching session with one of the top piano technique teachers in the world, then please let me know.  It will, as I experienced twice, be the piano lesson of a life-time.

Thank you for your interest.


 Louis, I think I must be misunderstanding your post. It reads as if you are the contacting point for any lessons with Thomas Mark.  The ‘contact me’ works perfectly well on his web site, and no one needs an intermediary. 

Offline hardy_practice

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Re: Arm Weight and Flat Fingers, ppp, and...
«Reply #24 on: March 01, 2018, 05:06:45 PM »
Besides, I find What Every Musician Needs To Know about the Body the superior book (which Thomas Mark seems to have ripped off).
B Mus, PGCE, DipABRSM

Offline louispodesta

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Re: Arm Weight and Flat Fingers, ppp, and...
«Reply #25 on: March 01, 2018, 11:50:00 PM »


 Louis, I think I must be misunderstanding your post. It reads as if you are the contacting point for any lessons with Thomas Mark.  The ‘contact me’ works perfectly well on his web site, and no one needs an intermediary. 
1)  Okay, I tell you what: Contact Thomas Mark on your own, and you may succeed and you may not.

2)  Contact any major piano teacher on the planet earth by yourself with no prior introduction, and see where that gets you, accordingly.

3)  Either you want to have an (Open-ended lesson) with one of the greatest technique teachers in the world, or you do not.  My bet is that you will not.

Offline dogperson

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Re: Arm Weight and Flat Fingers, ppp, and...
«Reply #26 on: March 02, 2018, 12:17:08 AM »
1)  Okay, I tell you what: Contact Thomas Mark on your own, and you may succeed and you may not.

2)  Contact any major piano teacher on the planet earth by yourself with no prior introduction, and see where that gets you, accordingly.

3)  Either you want to have an (Open-ended lesson) with one of the greatest technique teachers in the world, or you do not.  My bet is that you will not.



Ok Louis. I’ll call your bluff.   I did contact Thomas Mark on my own, and he was very quick to reply. 

And by the way, I did not reference your name.

Offline mrcreosote

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Re: Arm Weight and Flat Fingers, ppp, and...
«Reply #27 on: March 03, 2018, 01:55:01 AM »
...the horror of finding a good teacher...

Back in 1964 when I was 12, I had to audition to get piano lessons at Seton Hill College - a small college in the next town.  It was even worse if you wanted lessons from a larger college. 

Today, college Community Outreach Programs will take anyone as long as they have money.    They usually let you select the instructor or simply assign one.  You could be starting for the very first time or a concert pianist - it would make no difference.  It's all on you to pick the instructor.

And then I have no idea how the first lesson would be handled.  I would hope it would be like going t a doctor for a physical - they check you out, see what's wrong and prescribe solutions.  My gut tells me that doesn't happen.  I've thought about requiring at a minimum a teacher that has a better technique than mine while aware that a good Olympic's coach with a good eye can't come close to do what he is instructing.  Argh.....

And for me, a single session with someone good who could straighten out a few issues would be ideal for me.  If given some good knowledge, I could work on that for months before needed further instruction.

Referrals?  I've got one I need to pursue...   

Offline marik1

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Re: Arm Weight and Flat Fingers, ppp, and...
«Reply #28 on: March 03, 2018, 07:26:57 AM »
I'm a firm believer in AW.  

However, I simply cannot believe people react full arm weight when playing ppp - having 95% of the finger load on the supporting fingers and not the playing ones challenges my mechanical engineering expertise.

I'm also guessing AW is not used with Flat Fingers.

I also find that when using full AW, I will get tension in my hands (not fingers or wrists).  Even if a perfect arch is maintained from the finger tips to the elbows, muscle force is still required because the arch does not have "buttresses."

The term 'arm weight' can be extremely confusing, with a lot of misconceptions. Also, it is just a small part of entire system of different mechanics involved into piano playing, where aligning of entire body and sound production/touch and complete control on physical relaxation are by far more important. That's what I'd suggest concentrate. Once you master those, the concept of AW will be much more clear.

Best, M

Offline marik1

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Re: Arm Weight and Flat Fingers, ppp, and...
«Reply #29 on: March 03, 2018, 07:47:07 AM »
"Is full AW used when playing ppp (legato)?"  NO, AW is reduced to get the amount of pianissimo desired.

"Is AW used with Flat Fingers?"  Never full. MAX AMOUNT:  Less AW is used than if w/o FF.  MIN AMOUNT = Zero

To both questions--yes--everything depends on the type of music and desired sound you'd like to produce. But then all depends on how relaxed your entire pianism is and how sensitive is your touch.

Best, M

Offline louispodesta

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Re: Arm Weight and Flat Fingers, ppp, and...
«Reply #30 on: March 03, 2018, 11:26:26 PM »
...the horror of finding a good teacher...

Back in 1964 when I was 12, I had to audition to get piano lessons at Seton Hill College - a small college in the next town.  It was even worse if you wanted lessons from a larger college. 

Today, college Community Outreach Programs will take anyone as long as they have money.    They usually let you select the instructor or simply assign one.  You could be starting for the very first time or a concert pianist - it would make no difference.  It's all on you to pick the instructor.

And then I have no idea how the first lesson would be handled.  I would hope it would be like going t a doctor for a physical - they check you out, see what's wrong and prescribe solutions.  My gut tells me that doesn't happen.  I've thought about requiring at a minimum a teacher that has a better technique than mine while aware that a good Olympic's coach with a good eye can't come close to do what he is instructing.  Argh.....

And for me, a single session with someone good who could straighten out a few issues would be ideal for me.  If given some good knowledge, I could work on that for months before needed further instruction.

Referrals?  I've got one I need to pursue...   
Thank you so much for your personal experience post.  My recommendation is that we or you post this as new separate item on this Forum.

When my video states that "Your Piano Teacher Taught You Wrong," it is only the tip of Iceberg relative to overall piano pedagogy.  Please contact me by PM because through our collective experience we have met multiple teachers who could not even remotely do what they said they could accomplish.

Is it important for the adult, especially adult beginners and adult returned students?  Yes, it is because that is the largest group/percentage of "new" students that any piano teacher has.

Offline keypeg

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Re: Arm Weight and Flat Fingers, ppp, and...
«Reply #31 on: March 04, 2018, 05:19:17 PM »
Louis, I wish you would not write in such generalizing ways that seem absolute because it takes away from things.  The real and important things are that there are things that should be learned and therefore taught, which in some quarters may not be taught and therefore learned.  The important thing then is: what needs to be learned and taught.  When you write about "wrong teachers", this in no way contributes or adds that information.  It is simply a turn-off.

The reason it's a turn-off is because some people reading this will have teachers who do not teach remotely like how you describe.  If the issue is what you think ought to be learned, why go there at all?  How would you feel reading that title, while thinking of your teacher T Mark, with someone telling you that T Mark "taught you wrong"?  And I mean this literally, how would you feel?  Otoh, if someone wrote "These are some important things that ought to be taught." then you'd look at what T Mark taught you and say "Hey cool - this fellow is on the right track!" and you'd be willing to read on.  But if your teacher - a good teacher - is attacked - you can only read ahead with some aversion.

The other reason is that the language is reminiscent of things I see on the Internet: sell whitening strips and "Your dentist will be furious." - diet hacks "Your doctor will be furious." - magic cures for diabetics "Your doctor told you wrong."  We get advice to "sell ourselves" in this manner because it "gets views", but it is wrong advice.  The language is a red flag for charlatans, and the wrong people end up reading the information.  The style you have adopted takes away from your message.

-----
Thinking about this part:
Quote
through our collective experience we have met multiple teachers who could not even remotely do what they said they could accomplish.....
I was trying to look back at what teachers I studied with said they could accomplish.  I'm not sure that any of them did say anything about what they could accomplish.  The first one just started to teach, going through a well-worn routine.  There was one who did: that's the one who said loudly, "All the other teachers are wrong.  I have the only right way."  I almost got ruined by that one, including in destructive ways that went past technique.

The teachers I work with now -- one permanently, and others less permanently but with that teacher's approval --- does not make claims.  Some of the best teachers are the ones who say "I don't know" and then turn out to know a great deal: their opposite are the ones who want to be omniscient, and that wish for omniscience becomes blinding tunnel vision.

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Please contact me by PM ...
And that will help forum members how?

Quote
Is it important for the adult, especially adult beginners and adult returned students?  Yes, it is because that is the largest group/percentage of "new" students that any piano teacher has.
Yes, it is important for adults.  That is how I got involved in all this.  However, here you have another generalization.  No, adults are not the largest percentage of group that "any" piano teacher has.  I've been following this among several teachers with whom I am in contact.  They are also teachers who teach well, and who can handle teaching adults in a real way.  I'd say 25% at most.

It also does not matter to the student seeking a teacher about these percentages.  What matters to a student seeking a teacher is finding a teacher.

Offline louispodesta

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Re: Arm Weight and Flat Fingers, ppp, and...
«Reply #32 on: March 05, 2018, 12:17:16 AM »
Keypeg  thank you so much for your candor.  In response, I will share my personal experience, in terms of piano pedagogy.

1)  Every piano teacher I had as a child was a very bad joke, and it got even worse when I discovered that I could memorize any new piece for the next lesson.  That is why I had to teach myself to sight read at the age of 54.

2)  That was after having HRH Dr. Jean Barr of Eastman, who personally counseled me to change my major to something other that music after a class session.  That is why to this very day I am eternally grateful for her total ignorance of "sight-reading pedagogy."

3)  In the last two years, I have had three teachers that I was soliciting for Concerto Coaching.  The first two had Masters Degrees and a total of 50 plus years of so-called experience, and I fired both of them.  The third (who has a DMA) is currently on the fence because Louis is very, very, very tired of teachers "Winging it" when they show up for a lesson.

4)  That is the point, "Keypeg."  Most teachers do not prep for their lessons, and with an experienced pianist, it shows!

That, Sir, is unfortunately the "Real World" of piano pedagogy.

Offline marik1

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Re: Arm Weight and Flat Fingers, ppp, and...
«Reply #33 on: March 05, 2018, 04:48:07 AM »
That is why to this very day I am eternally grateful for her total ignorance of "sight-reading pedagogy."


What is "sight-reading pedagogy"?

3)  In the last two years, I have had three teachers that I was soliciting for Concerto Coaching.  The first two had Masters Degrees and a total of 50 plus years of so-called experience, and I fired both of them.  The third (who has a DMA) is currently on the fence because Louis is very, very, very tired of teachers "Winging it" when they show up for a lesson.

It is hard to understand what does it mean "Winging it"... Other than that, often the talent of the teacher has nothing to do with MM, DMA, or combined years experience. It is very easy to find a good teacher--just go to a local piano festival, or competition, listen, watch--and you will know immediately. Otherwise, you get what you pay for (or just overpay). Also, good teachers usually booked and there is a long waiting list.

4)  That is the point, "Keypeg."  Most teachers do not prep for their lessons, and with an experienced pianist, it shows!

I find this statement bizarre. None of the good teachers I ever knew (and I knew quite a few) never ever would prep for their lessons. Their preparation was done way before--exhaustive and fundamental training from early age and deep understanding of music and all physical and mental elements and processes of its interpretation, which is way beyond level of any 'experienced pianists'.

That, Sir, is unfortunately the "Real World" of piano pedagogy.

Just out of curiosity, why would you assume Keypeg is a "Sir"? That very well might be possible that Keypeg is a "Lady", wouldn't you think so?... of course, unless you know it for sure...

Best, M

Offline keypeg

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Re: Arm Weight and Flat Fingers, ppp, and...
«Reply #34 on: March 05, 2018, 06:25:04 AM »
This is one I cannot agree with:
It is very easy to find a good teacher--just go to a local piano festival, or competition, listen, watch--and you will know immediately.
The only thing that I can tell by watching students perform at such events is that a student seems to be playing that particular piece well.  That is assuming that I have enough knowledge and experience to be able to know what I'm hearing.  I will not know:
- whether that student has learned to read music
- whether that student has learned to understand music to be able to interpret it on his own
- or whether, instead, the playing that I'm hearing has been heavily choreographed and guided by the teacher, perhaps over a long period - perhaps has only played very few pieces the entire year in order to be able to play this polished piece

If I am after getting skills and knowledge from a teacher, I do not think I can find that out by attending a festival.  This is especially so if I am after basics, including and especially if I have to get remediation as a recovery from poor teaching.  The teachers who produced spectacular performances in students who shine at festivals may be those who select students who already have good foundations from a previous teacher, and don't know how to deal with these kinds of things.

Offline marik1

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Re: Arm Weight and Flat Fingers, ppp, and...
«Reply #35 on: March 05, 2018, 07:09:45 AM »
This is one I cannot agree with:The only thing that I can tell by watching students perform at such events is that a student seems to be playing that particular piece well.  That is assuming that I have enough knowledge and experience to be able to know what I'm hearing.  I will not know:
- whether that student has learned to read music
- whether that student has learned to understand music to be able to interpret it on his own
- or whether, instead, the playing that I'm hearing has been heavily choreographed and guided by the teacher, perhaps over a long period - perhaps has only played very few pieces the entire year in order to be able to play this polished piece

I judged NUMEROUS festivals and competitions from local to International levels. What I can tell
one could always recognize a good teacher by consistency of musical and pianistical goals, regardless of age category. A professional can always tell if it is a good or not good pedagogical work regardless of the student level or talent and can clearly see that the teacher was able to pull out the student the best quality and give correct tools to express those. When a student is sensitive, plays with deep feeling of music, has well aligned technical approach and relaxed reflexes I don't care what kind of work it took to achieve those. But if that's the case, MOST likely that student had a good teacher. Other than that, I am yet to see a good teacher, whose students play advanced repertoire and do not know how to read music.

I am yet to see a bad teacher, whose students could polish a piece even after a year of 'heavy choreography'. The bad teaching still will be seen in awkward physical and technical approach, and musical choices.

If I am after getting skills and knowledge from a teacher, I do not think I can find that out by attending a festival.  This is especially so if I am after basics, including and especially if I have to get remediation as a recovery from poor teaching.  The teachers who produced spectacular performances in students who shine at festivals may be those who select students who already have good foundations from a previous teacher, and don't know how to deal with these kinds of things.

I am yet to see a student with a good foundation who would ever go to a lesser teacher. Even it that's the case the student would not be able to show "spectacular performance".

Best, M

Offline keypeg

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Re: Arm Weight and Flat Fingers, ppp, and...
«Reply #36 on: March 05, 2018, 08:45:18 AM »
Marik, how would you be able to tell, by judging a festival, what skills a student may have which are not essential to playing a piece well?  I have spoken at length with several teachers about their experience of getting a new student who plays impressively, but then cannot find middle C or read any new piece on their own.  At a festival you do not require students to do such a thing.

Quote
I am yet to see a student with a good foundation who would ever go to a lesser teacher.
Of course a student with a good foundation is able to be accepted by a good teacher, and will also be able to tell.  However, I was referring to a student with a poor foundation - the opposite scenario.  I believe that this is also what Louis was talking about. 

Offline marik1

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Re: Arm Weight and Flat Fingers, ppp, and...
«Reply #37 on: March 05, 2018, 09:34:26 AM »
Marik, how would you be able to tell, by judging a festival, what skills a student may have which are not essential to playing a piece well?  I have spoken at length with several teachers about their experience of getting a new student who plays impressively, but then cannot find middle C or read any new piece on their own.  At a festival you do not require students to do such a thing.

I spend in this industry most of my life and know very well that if a student plays impressively it means that student received a good and well rounded schooling. If the student at the age of 11-12-13 plays Chopin Etudes, Liszt Rhapsodies it means the student can read music and there is a good chance that student probably just forgot where middle C is))). After all, to teach to read the music requires the least of professional effort from the teacher.

Of course a student with a good foundation is able to be accepted by a good teacher, and will also be able to tell.  However, I was referring to a student with a poor foundation - the opposite scenario.  I believe that this is also what Louis was talking about.  

I thought the question was about bad teacher, rather than bad student... In fact, there are no bad students, there are only bad teachers... With a good teacher it is normal for normal (not exceptionally talented) kids by the age of 12-14 to play big repertoire, like Rachmaninov/Grieg Concerti, Chopin Scherzi, or Ballades, Prokofiev Sonatas, etc. on a high professional level.

Best, M

Online outin

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Re: Arm Weight and Flat Fingers, ppp, and...
«Reply #38 on: March 05, 2018, 11:00:52 AM »
In fact, there are no bad students, there are only bad teachers... With a good teacher it is normal for normal (not exceptionally talented) kids by the age of 12-14 to play big repertoire, like Rachmaninov/Grieg Concerti, Chopin Scherzi, or Ballades, Prokofiev Sonatas, etc. on a high professional level.

I guess you do realize that you move in quite different circles than most of those on this forum? :)
Pieces under work now: Franck op 18, Bach Sinfonia nr 9 and P&F a minor book 2.
Wait...no Scarlatti? Must add something soon...

Offline keypeg

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Re: Arm Weight and Flat Fingers, ppp, and...
«Reply #39 on: March 05, 2018, 08:22:27 PM »
Marik, I don't have time atm to do this conversation justice.  We are missing each other big time and that is due to background.  I hope to be able to clear up just this one thing....
I thought the question was about bad teacher, rather than bad student...
The scenarios I was thinking about were things that occur here in the West, in N. America (maybe Europe too - dunno), and probably not where you are.  Some examples - all of transfer students:
- a student who was superficially and poorly taught, the "teacher" going through grade level pieces, teaching them superficially, maybe by imitation, maybe with the student copying what he hears in recordings; student might not really read, be winging it, not know notes or what chords are - but has played more advanced music
- a student started off self-teaching, some of the above
- an adult who has been listening to classical music for years and so has an advanced amateur ear; or the adult has played another instrument, maybe without instruction, maybe with instruction (which may likewise be shoddy), and now starts piano

These students will have holes and weaknesses, esp. in fundamental areas, and those holes may not be readily apparent.  They are not "bad students" - just poorly taught students or students who are missing things.  The teacher who takes on students who have been properly taught with good foundations, in order to work on more advanced things, is used to building on those skills - he assumes that they are there.  This is not a teacher who will know how to build fundamental skills, find and patch holes.

It's like I taught grade 2 public school, and my students learned the concept of what addition and multiplication were.  A physics professor relies on the fact that his students understand and can manipulate numbers.  He is an expert in his field of physics, where the physics lead in areas such as engineering, but he is not an expert in learning processes, the building of basic first concepts.  They are both very different specializations.  In the same way the advanced music teacher relies on what the first teacher built in the student, and takes this for granted.

I don't know if you have taught transfer students from such scenarios.  You have only written about observing performances.  These things may be quite foreign to you.

I suspect that Louis was seriously mistaught in his first years, and that is why he is up in arms as he is.  Often his generalizations are too broad and sweeping, which may be a communication problem, but in this area I have my own experiences and observations.  Had I known this was not straightforward, I would not have helped hijack the thread. ;)

Offline keypeg

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Re: Arm Weight and Flat Fingers, ppp, and...
«Reply #40 on: March 05, 2018, 10:20:05 PM »
I spend in this industry most of my life and know very well that if a student plays impressively it means that student received a good and well rounded schooling.
My problem with this is that it does not jive with what I've been hearing from teachers here.  (I also don't know where "there" is for you, which makes communication difficult).  For example, a teacher will tell about getting a transfer student, and that student blows her socks off when playing some of his recital pieces - just marvelous.  But as the teacher probes further, she discovers that the student has a small repertoire, because the lessons with the previous teacher were spent polishing those few impressive recital pieces.  The teacher puts new music in front of the student, and he cannot read the music, or does so painfully slowly, labourously.  The previous teacher had fed the notes into the student, gotten the student to copy videos, things of that nature.  This is the kind of thing we hear of here .... and not infrequently.

You mentioned Chopin etudes. I'm in an odd position, because I'm an older adult who was given a piano and some old books as a child, abandoned piano for 35 years, got back to it at a ripe age and looked for proper instruction.  I have an excellent and well suited instructor.  Part of what we do is remediation, part is advanced, part is patching holes in the beginning.  I'm working on two Chopin etudes, but not for playing them at tempo for performance (at this stage), but for what I can learn for some technical things.  It means I'm familiar with Op. 10 no. 1 and Op. 25 no. 14.  While my teacher pushes reading skills and I have those skills, I can easily see how both of these etudes could be learned without much reading abilities.  There are a lot of predictable patterns.  They are easy to memorize. ........... Music can be memorized and music can be learned without much reading abilities if done through improper teaching and improper learning.

Offline marik1

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Re: Arm Weight and Flat Fingers, ppp, and...
«Reply #41 on: March 05, 2018, 10:52:56 PM »
Hi Keypeg,

I am in Mid West part of US and had taught wide range of students from 4yo, or adult beginners, to graduate college and winners of International Competitions levels. I had 'transfer' students--the worse were from Yamaha and Suzuki schools--it took years to fix bad habits--it is much easier to teach right way from the very beginning than fix problems of bad teaching--old problems always show up one way or another.

So I know the situation very well. What I am saying there are teachers who have knowledge of how to work and deal with such students and there are teachers who do not. The art of piano teaching is a system and good and knowledgeable teacher will always see the "fundamental holes" (they are apparent to a professional) and will always know how to address those. Other than that I am not sure what else to say...

Best, M


Offline louispodesta

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Re: Arm Weight and Flat Fingers, ppp, and...
«Reply #42 on: March 06, 2018, 12:16:51 AM »
What is "sight-reading pedagogy"?

It is hard to understand what does it mean "Winging it"... Other than that, often the talent of the teacher has nothing to do with MM, DMA, or combined years experience. It is very easy to find a good teacher--just go to a local piano festival, or competition, listen, watch--and you will know immediately. Otherwise, you get what you pay for (or just overpay). Also, good teachers usually booked and there is a long waiting list.

I find this statement bizarre. None of the good teachers I ever knew (and I knew quite a few) never ever would prep for their lessons. Their preparation was done way before--exhaustive and fundamental training from early age and deep understanding of music and all physical and mental elements and processes of its interpretation, which is way beyond level of any 'experienced pianists'.

Just out of curiosity, why would you assume Keypeg is a "Sir"? That very well might be possible that Keypeg is a "Lady", wouldn't you think so?... of course, unless you know it for sure...

Best, M
"marik1"
Thank you very much for your multiple posts, which of course are either plagiarized/and or scripted.  It makes no difference.  Your goal is to defend the HA piano teachers of this world, who in a pedagogical sense, are (in my opinion) not qualified to teach someone how to pump gas/petrol.

"I find this statement bizarre. None of the good teachers I ever knew (and I knew quite a few) never ever would prep for their lessons. Their preparation was done way before--exhaustive and fundamental training from early age and deep understanding of music and all physical and mental elements and processes of its interpretation, which is way beyond level of any 'experienced pianists'."

Enough said.  You just admitted that they don't prepare.  Muchisimas gracias!

As a parenthetical post, I was a friend of the late Larry Walz, of the University of North Texas.  And, I will never forget when his (DMA) student Patrick Widhalm came out of a lesson, and he had a major headache.

Patrick, who was learning the Liszt "Totentaz," stated that: he (Mr. Walz) kept going faster and faster, and I felt like the top of my head was going to explode.  I never ever thought I could play that fast.

That, "marik1" is just a small example of what being prepared for a lesson is!

So, as suggested before, there will be a new post on common pedagogical practice from so-called highly qualified/degreed piano teachers.  Thank you, thank you.

Offline marik1

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Re: Arm Weight and Flat Fingers, ppp, and...
«Reply #43 on: March 06, 2018, 05:16:17 AM »
"marik1"
Thank you very much for your multiple posts, which of course are either plagiarized/and or scripted.  It makes no difference.  Your goal is to defend the HA piano teachers of this world, who in a pedagogical sense, are (in my opinion) not qualified to teach someone how to pump gas/petrol.

Ahahahaha! That's a funny one! BTW, what is "HA piano teachers of this world"? If it is some kind of association then I have to disappoint you--never was part of any association of ANY kind...

As a parenthetical post, I was a friend of the late Larry Walz, of the University of North Texas.  And, I will never forget when his (DMA) student Patrick Widhalm came out of a lesson, and he had a major headache.

Patrick, who was learning the Liszt "Totentaz," stated that: he (Mr. Walz) kept going faster and faster, and I felt like the top of my head was going to explode.  I never ever thought I could play that fast.

That, "marik1" is just a small example of what being prepared for a lesson is!

And your point being? This is a standard repertoire, and this is normal for a professor on a college level... Needless to say, to accompany a student is not even a task for a teacher (good or otherwise) at all, so what do you want to say?

Or else (judging by your preaching tone), you wanted to teach me a lesson with a fact that somebody made his student to play fast? Not even sure how serious you are--sorry, I am not impressed. FYI, among other places I studied at the Moscow Conservatory with Lev Naumov (ever heard this name? If not make a search to find out who he was, which perhaps would give you an idea as for the general atmosphere in his class and level of professionalism, musicianship, and just... sheer virtuosity one could ever imagine), so I could also drop quite a few names and give a bit more impressive stories...

"I find this statement bizarre. None of the good teachers I ever knew (and I knew quite a few) never ever would prep for their lessons. Their preparation was done way before--exhaustive and fundamental training from early age and deep understanding of music and all physical and mental elements and processes of its interpretation, which is way beyond level of any 'experienced pianists'."

Enough said.  You just admitted that they don't prepare.  Muchisimas gracias!

Yeah, that would've been nothing more ridiculous to even imagine Naumov preparing for his lessons... at least with Andrei Gavrilov, Alexei Sultanov, Alexander Kobrin, Vladimir Viardo, Lexo Toradze, Sergei Babayan, among others. But then it turns out that perhaps for Louis Podesta he might need to... just to keep up with his high standards...

So, as suggested before, there will be a new post on common pedagogical practice from so-called highly qualified/degreed piano teachers.  Thank you, thank you.

Oh yes! and at that point comes out Louis Podesta telling that all the teachers are crap and only he knows exactly how things should be--that's a nice one--exactly how this thread turned with his well calculated troll...

Best, M

Offline louispodesta

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Re: Arm Weight and Flat Fingers, ppp, and...
«Reply #44 on: March 07, 2018, 12:13:41 AM »
Trust me, Buddy, there are a whole lot of pianists who view this website who have spent a lot of money on lessons from somebody (with great credentials/degrees) who "ripped them off" for more than one lesson.

Thank you, thank you, and goodbye and good riddance.

And, when we start the new post, we will of course give you full credit to the hundreds of thousands of piano teachers who will now be subject to a level of scrutiny never before imagined.

Offline keypeg

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Re: Arm Weight and Flat Fingers, ppp, and...
«Reply #45 on: March 07, 2018, 02:23:19 AM »
Hi Keypeg,.... What I am saying there are teachers who have knowledge of how to work and deal with such students and there are teachers who do not. The art of piano teaching is a system and good and knowledgeable teacher will always see the "fundamental holes" (they are apparent to a professional) and will always know how to address those. Other than that I am not sure what else to say...
This part I agree with.  What I did not agree with was the idea that you can tell a good teacher (who can do such things) merely through such things are recitals. That is a different thing, and I would never go that route in trying to find a teacher for myself.

Offline keypeg

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Re: Arm Weight and Flat Fingers, ppp, and...
«Reply #46 on: March 07, 2018, 02:40:03 AM »
I think that our concepts of "preparing for a lesson" (by a teacher) should be defined.
As a parenthetical post, I was a friend of the late Larry Walz, of the University of North Texas.  And, I will never forget when his (DMA) student Patrick Widhalm came out of a lesson, and he had a major headache.

Patrick, who was learning the Liszt "Totentaz," stated that: he (Mr. Walz) kept going faster and faster, and I felt like the top of my head was going to explode.  I never ever thought I could play that fast.

That, "marik1" is just a small example of what being prepared for a lesson is!
Now you have lost me. You have told of a teacher who played a piece super-fast and impressed his student.  This sounds as if the teacher prepared the piece.  To me, preparing for a lesson means preparing to teach.  As importantly, it means to teach that student.

A teacher who prepares to teach a lesson will have planned out how he will bring across what he wants to teach, in a manner that the student can follow.  This will include what actions the student will do during the lesson that will bring this across; what actions (practising) he will have the student do at home, and in what manner, and how he will assess it the next lesson.

"That student" --- if the student has a particular difficulty; or strengths in some areas, weaknesses in others - the teacher may do research between lessons or rack his brain, and use the result of that in the next lesson.  This, to me, is what "preparing for a lesson" by a teacher means.  I am a trained teacher myself, though not a music teacher.  I have done some music teaching under the supervision of my own teacher, however.

I want to go back to this:
Quote
...he (Mr. Walz) kept going faster and faster, and I felt like the top of my head was going to explode.  I never ever thought I could play that fast.
Ok, the teacher kept playing faster and faster, and the student's head felt like it was going to explode (which to me doesn't sound like something good).  DID the student end up learning to play that fast --- or to play faster --- through that teacher? So far I only see that he was impressed by the teacher's playing.  Did he learn anything from this teacher?  Did he improve?  This is what is important in my mind at least.

Offline fftransform

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Re: Arm Weight and Flat Fingers, ppp, and...
«Reply #47 on: March 07, 2018, 09:40:55 PM »
Someone please name a single thing that can 'only' be done with arm weight.


Show me a well-known passage and name a speed; I'll find ten pianists blowing it away with their 'pathetic' finger action.

Offline hardy_practice

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Re: Arm Weight and Flat Fingers, ppp, and...
«Reply #48 on: March 07, 2018, 09:49:36 PM »
Someone please name a single thing that can 'only' be done with arm weight.
A chord.
B Mus, PGCE, DipABRSM

Offline louispodesta

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Re: Arm Weight and Flat Fingers, ppp, and...
«Reply #49 on: March 08, 2018, 12:08:05 AM »
A chord.
Dr. Thomas Mark ("What Every Pianist Needs To Know About the Body"), www.pianomap.com., teaches an Octave Seminar along with his usual lecture recital.

As I have personally studied Octaves with this great teacher, he also teaches the same technique in regards Chords.  It is exactly the same thing, except for the specifics associated with his instruction.

This includes the effectuation of the "natural weight of the arm."  And, that means (along with many other things) an articulation effectuated at the Sternoclavicular Joint, where the Collar Bone joins the Sternum.