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Topic Options
#1270528 - 09/18/09 01:29 PM At what AGE should you introduce Hanon if at all?
chasingrainbows Offline
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Registered: 09/19/06
Posts: 1214
Loc: NJ
I have a 6 year old student who is starting PA level 2. His previous teacher assigned Hanon 1 to him. In my opinion, at age 6, with such small underdeveloped hands, I think that is too young to start on Hanon. I remember some of the exercises caused me strain as a teen, so I am apprehensive about giving him Hanon at this time. I really appreciate your expertise! I'd also like to know if you even use Hanon any more with the volume of technical etudes, repertoire out there. Thanks.

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#1270532 - 09/18/09 01:38 PM Re: At what AGE should you introduce Hanon if at all? [Re: chasingrainbows]
Morodiene Offline
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Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12205
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
I'd wait until his hands are more developed. He should be working on exercises that are more doable: scales and chords. I generally don't bother with Hanon at all, actually, for the same reason you had trouble as a teen. It is *so* repetitive that it is very hard to do well.
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#1270676 - 09/18/09 05:08 PM Re: At what AGE should you introduce Hanon if at all? [Re: chasingrainbows]
Jennifer Eklund Offline
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Registered: 07/16/09
Posts: 162
Loc: SoCal
Nope. Scales, arpeggios, and repertoire = all the technique work you need.
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#1270760 - 09/18/09 08:04 PM Re: At what AGE should you introduce Hanon if at all? [Re: Jennifer Eklund]
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
I find the first 6 Hanon's valuable for control, strengthening, and fluid playing. I think Hanon also adds physical endurance and stamina to young bodies and minds. If nothing else it's an achievement in keeping a long line of 1/8 notes going according to the plan in the first measure.

Perhaps this is the first attempt many students find in their ability to concentrate start to finish to pull off something that sounds challenging. Like 5 times around the track is to sports.

These exercises show students the value of curved knuckles and efficient finger movement. At the same time we can address unnecessary tension as we see it building. The "L" of the arm can be addressed, the posture on the bench. Every thing is needed to pull the "Hanon 1-6" off.

This is not for 6 year olds. I think the student needs to be around 10, but 12 is better as they approach at least 5' tall. Size wise matters in all ways - physics at it's best.

Betty

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#1271233 - 09/19/09 06:41 PM Re: At what AGE should you introduce Hanon if at all? [Re: Betty Patnude]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3187

What the heck happened to all the posts on this thread?


Edited by rocket88 (09/19/09 06:57 PM)
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#1271254 - 09/19/09 07:36 PM Re: At what AGE should you introduce Hanon if at all? [Re: rocket88]
chasingrainbows Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/06
Posts: 1214
Loc: NJ
Thanks Betty and Morodine and if there were other posts, I seem to have missed them! Were there more? Bummer, I really wanted to get everyone's opinions.

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#1271284 - 09/19/09 08:30 PM Re: At what AGE should you introduce Hanon if at all? [Re: rocket88]
keystring Offline
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Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11843
Loc: Canada
Could it be because of duplication - is someone (admin) planning to merge threads? There an "at what age" and an "at what level" thread about Hanon.

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#1271300 - 09/19/09 09:03 PM Re: At what AGE should you introduce Hanon if at all? [Re: keystring]
rocket88 Offline
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Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3187
Thats where they are. My mistake. Thanks, keystring.
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#1271314 - 09/19/09 09:38 PM Re: At what AGE should you introduce Hanon if at all? [Re: rocket88]
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
I have a copied emmail of Rockett 88's post in this topic because I was watching the topic at my home computer. This is what Rocket 88 posted at 5:26. It represents much of what was previously said.

[color:#FF0000]This is the content of that email

Hi Betty Patnude,

rocket88 made a new post at Piano World Piano Forums

You can view the post by clicking this link. The post contents are shown below:



rocket88: Re: At what level do you introduce Hanon?
Here they are in all their controversial fullness:



Originally Posted By: Minniemay
It depends on the the student and what the purpose is. For me, each exercise provides the opportunity to teach a different physical gesture. Number one helps you practice what I call "out-around" -- using the wrist to circle around, keeping the arm behind the hand. Some of the exercises are perfect for teaching rotation.

So many times it seems students that come to me with Hanon from their previous teachers simply have just played the exercises with no technical instruction to back it up. That makes no sense to me.
Originally Posted By: Betty Patnude
After a student can do the parallel C 5 Finger Position of "walking around the keyboard", we do the C Major Chord, then break it into a short arpeggio, followed by a long arpeggio.
Then the next thing we do is add the Hanon #1 behind the C 5 Finger Position. I'll write this out here:

1 2 3 4 5 4 3 2 1
C D E F G F E D C - - -
5 4 3 2 1 2 3 4 5

Chord:
All notes played simultaneously (together)(Whole note count)
LH:5-3-1 RH:1 3 5 (LH:CEG RH:CEG)

Short Arpeggio: (triplets - counting "chocolate,chocolate, TA)
C E G C E G C
LH: 5 3 1 RH 1 3 5 LH 2

Long Arpeggio:
C E G C E G C E G C E G C
LH: 5 3 1 RH 1 3 5 LH: 5 3 1 RH 1 3 5 LH 2
(triplets - counting "chocolate,chocolate,"chocolate,chocolate, TA)

Then the combined exercise of 5 Finger Position and Hanon #1:

C D E F G F E D C E F G A G F E
D E F G A G F E D F G A B A G F
E F G A B A G F E G A B C B A G
F etc

Fingering:
RH 1 2 3 4 5 4 3 2 1 2 3 4 5 4 3 2LH

The student is ready to do this series of "basic tricks" when the curved hand shape can be maintained and the student can keep a steady TA beat.

I supply the music page to the student, but we work first on the keyboard with the above instruction sheet combining these basic concepts of Position, Chord, Arpeggios, and Exercise. Then we move through the rest of the 12 5 Finger Positions as music assignments and literature progresses into new keys.

An older student can do all 12 soon for development and exercise, but the younger students have no need to know all of these these positions until they can read all notes on the music staff and find the assigned key location. Not to overload the student but to prepare just enough to make his positions on the keyboard known and accessible to him.

Betty


Originally Posted By: Kreisler
I do it around Faber Level 2B - after all the 5-finger patterns are learned and when we've started scales (which I start hands together.)
Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad
I think I introduced my son to Hanon after he had been playing for perhaps two or so months. He liked challenges (still does) and I felt that he could handle it. I thought it would help him develop his basic technique, and it did. Almost immediately he began to 'get' the ideas of finger independence and hand coordination. Once he swallowed Hanon #1 he wanted to push himself forward. Each new exercise became a little goal. To her credit, his teacher saw what we were doing, saw that it was working, and then incorporated it into his training during the first year or so.
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
The vast majority of my technical work in students is done through the repertoire and scales, chords & arpeggios practice. If I have a student that has a desire to do more technical exercises, or if there's a particular Hanon that would help them with an issue in a piece, then I'll assign it.

I think so much of this depends on our own preferences and how we learned. I often feel akin to a hamster on a wheel when playing them, and I don't find them to be something necessary to give to every student.
Originally Posted By: rocket88
Originally Posted By: Morodiene

I think so much of this depends on our own preferences and how we learned. I often feel akin to a hamster on a wheel when playing them, and I don't find them to be something necessary to give to every student.


That is so interesting... one person's trash is another person's treasure. Morodiene, I am not saying you think Hanon is trash...I just could not think of another quote along those lines

I was taught with Hanon, and my teacher used its repetitiveness not as an liability, but rather as an asset. She said that, by repeating the same pattern over and over, I did not have to focus so much on what notes to play, because it was repetitive.

Instead, I could point my focus on the actual finger movements themselves, and work out how to play them in a technically correct manner, improving perhaps with each repetition, in what we now would say is a Zen-like way.

As for the OP's question, I use Hanon and scales as early as possible, which depends on the person's age, hand size, and ability. (sorry, not a very helpful answer!)






Originally Posted By: BSP
thanks, everyone..

Betty, I most certainly appreciate your writing out that lengthy exercise.. omg!
Excuse my ignorance, but what does "TA" mean??

thanks,
BevP
Originally Posted By: Betty Patnude
TA TA TA TA are what some music counting systems use in a syllable counting system where the quarter notes equal TA.

In my studio, I call this "Magic Counting" as I do not begin students with metric counting: 1-2-3-4 or 1-2-3 or 1-2-3-4-5-6.

We use TA to train eye movement on the page and to establish a steady beat. "Twinkle, Twinkle" is an example of this because it uses TA and HALFNOTE.

Twink-le Twink-le Lit-tle Star
TA TA TA TA TA TA HALFNOTE
o o o o o o o o
(I should have used blue color here to identify what I call "blue dots" moving on the page to show steady tempo and equidistance between note heads.)(edit)

If you clap along you hear how this all works as the syllables you say are exactly how long the note value is being held.

No ignorance involved, Bev, just a different system which I love and have used for about 15 years. I've adopted it in my "Piano Power" method because it functions so very well.

Betty
Originally Posted By: Jennifer Eklund
Never. Scales, arpeggios, and repertoire = all the technique work you need.
Originally Posted By: Betty Patnude
Rich,

That wasn't me. Who was it?

Betty
Originally Posted By: DragonPianoPlayer
Originally Posted By: Betty Patnude
Rich,

That wasn't me. Who was it?

Betty


I'm not finding the reference. I remember it was a teacher who was very analytical about how they worked through these technique books. Schmitt up to a certain exercise in all keys (primarily the parts that are five finger exercises), then into Hanon and then on from there. I found a few familiar names that seem to like Schmitt from my searching: John Citron, pianobuff, and nuteachr are the ones I recognize the most.

Rich
Originally Posted By: Betty Patnude
Rich,

I looked this up by searching with the spelling Schmidt and the following came up:

Questions about Hanon exercises June 17, 2009
BruceD
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Registered: May 26, 2001
Posts: 10679
Loc: Victoria, BC

Hanon exercises have to be put into a context of one's own practice routine tempered with some common sense and one's ability to do them without going brain-dead.

If one regularly practices for five or six hours a day, then perhaps a virtuoso might run through the first 60 Hanon exercises as a warm up. But if you are human and have some kind of life with a practice routine of no more than two to three hours daily, then a sensible routine comprised of a little Hanon, a good run through a number of scales and arpeggios and some Schmidt, Philip and/or Dohnanyi rotated throughout the week - all condensed into no more than 30 minutes a day should suffice.

If, on the other hand, you are not a virtuoso but you are an advanced student preparing for an advanced examination where technical exercises are part of the examination, then you'd do well to devote an appropriate amount of time to perfecting the exact requirements of the examination without giving too much time to M. Hanon.

Hanon isn't the only exercise trainer on the block, and there are some who are considered better. It's a matter of preference, needs, endurance and what works for the individual. I wouldn't, however, put all my potential technique under the direction of M. Hanon, but would vary his exercises with those of others.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD


Originally Posted By: Kreisler
Originally Posted By: Jennifer Eklund
Never. Scales, arpeggios, and repertoire = all the technique work you need.


You mean:

"Scales, arpeggios, and repertoire - all the technique work *some people* need."

I need a lot more.
Originally Posted By: Jennifer Eklund
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
Originally Posted By: Jennifer Eklund
Never. Scales, arpeggios, and repertoire = all the technique work you need.


You mean:

"Scales, arpeggios, and repertoire - all the technique work *some people* need."

I need a lot more.


Nope I'm not going to qualify that statement. Hanon and other mind-numbing activities do not have "real-world" applications in standard repertoire.
Originally Posted By: abcdefg
I use Hanon to help with 4th and 5th finger strength and coordination of all fingers. I don't remember playing a lot of Hanon when I was young so I am interested in Minniemay's purpose for each exercise. Can you tell us more?

This past summer I played 12 Hanon exercises a day and got through the book in 5 days. On the weekend I would try to play through the whole book in two days. I noticed a difference in my playing. Especially octaves, I have small hands and they have always been challenging for me. Now that school and lessons have started I am trying to find time to continue with that part of my practicing.
Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad
Originally Posted By: Jennifer Eklund
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
Originally Posted By: Jennifer Eklund
Never. Scales, arpeggios, and repertoire = all the technique work you need.


You mean:

"Scales, arpeggios, and repertoire - all the technique work *some people* need."

I need a lot more.


Nope I'm not going to qualify that statement. Hanon and other mind-numbing activities do not have "real-world" applications in standard repertoire.



.... and there are people out there who think it's only economists who disagree with each other .....
Originally Posted By: Barb860
Originally Posted By: Minniemay
It depends on the the student and what the purpose is. For me, each exercise provides the opportunity to teach a different physical gesture. Number one helps you practice what I call "out-around" -- using the wrist to circle around, keeping the arm behind the hand. Some of the exercises are perfect for teaching rotation.

So many times it seems students that come to me with Hanon from their previous teachers simply have just played the exercises with no technical instruction to back it up. That makes no sense to me.


I agree with this completely. Harm can be done when using Hanon exercises, if they are done without understanding and technical instruction, as stated above. Example: playing the octave exercises over and over with tight, stiff wrists. I don't introduce Hanon to my students, we do scales, etudes, and arpeggios. I do not teach advanced students, though. It is my feeling that Hanon could be introduced to advanced students, just my opinion.
Originally Posted By: Betty Patnude
If we find any benefit to any one of the Hanon exercises, we should use it.

If we demonstrate first and oversee how the student approaches the keyboard with any Hanon we would be working on, we improve on the chances of their being injury.

I agree with abcdefg that the 4th and 5th finger exercises do a lot to condition their movement and bring all 5 fingers as closely as possible to dexterity and fluency in movement.

One of the benefits I see is that the first measure as a concept and then used in ascending and descending pattern throughout the C diatonic scale is very helpful in showing students that taking a measure (or a few measures)of difficulty out of content in a piece of literature and working with it on the piano brings very good results.

Hanons system of exercises tells us to isolate the challenge and work it out by repetition.

The degree of these kind of Hanon exercises reminds me of when NYCity firemen do drills carrying equipment on their back and run up the stairs (all floors) of the Empire State Building.

We should be so prepared! Gasp!

Betty

[/color]

Rocket had said: Here they are in all their controversial fullness.

I don't give a blast about controversial. If a teacher sees benefit or merit to any piece of work or any composer they are free to use based on their own decision power. I find some valid things that are useful. I don't do all of Hanor and I don't use it for everybody. It is a select part of my teaching program and used only when I think it is needed.

Let's give everyone the benefit of the way they think of Hanon. I would be the first to agree that we do not want to contribute to any injuries in our students, but those who are earnestly working outside our recommendations, or those self-teaching are going to be the first to do too much, too soon on their pounding way to acquiring skills.

It is very important to know when to teach something and to know when "enough" has been done.

Rocket 88 was that your whole comment about controversy?

Betty Patndue

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#1271345 - 09/19/09 11:14 PM Re: At what AGE should you introduce Hanon if at all? [Re: Betty Patnude]
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5976
Loc: Down Under
Originally Posted By: Betty Patnude
I have a copied emmail of Rockett 88's post in this topic because I was watching the topic at my home computer. This is what Rocket 88 posted at 5:26. It represents much of what was previously said.
Betty, all these posts are in The Other Thread
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#1271346 - 09/19/09 11:15 PM Re: At what AGE should you introduce Hanon if at all? [Re: Betty Patnude]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3187
Actually the controversy did not exist...the "missing" posts are over on the other discussion about Hanon which basically asks the same questions, under the title "At what level do you introduce Hanon", which was running concurrently with this one.

I mistakenly looked here for the posts that were over there. My mistake, and sorry for any confusion.


Edited by rocket88 (09/19/09 11:17 PM)
_________________________
Music teacher and piano player.

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#1271388 - 09/20/09 02:13 AM Re: At what AGE should you introduce Hanon if at all? [Re: currawong]
Roxy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/19/08
Posts: 478
Loc: Whittier, Calif
I agree with Betty I also do not have a certain age to start students on hanon. It depends on their pianistic capabilities and that varies quite widely from student to student and also which hanon exercises you are using and for what purpose. But I also agree with Morodiene that age 6 would be too young. So again this may not be much help to you. Sorry

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#1271444 - 09/20/09 08:11 AM Re: At what AGE should you introduce Hanon if at all? [Re: rocket88]
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Thanks to Currawong and Rocket 88, I realize that I got very mixed up with the two Hanon topics which were similarly titled. I was trying to supply the "missing" entries! Turns out there were no missing entries, they are in the other similar topic.

I feel like I slipped on a banana peel and sprained my eyebrow on the pavement. A crazy making experience! The only remedy for me to to totally ignore what happened. There is no explaining the sequence of events that led up to it.

Betty crazy

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