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#2114492 - 07/08/13 03:32 AM The Ten Musical Commands
JosephAC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/23/12
Posts: 168
Loc: Melbourne Australia
Today, I was at my local music shop to buy the next level piano book for my son and I came across a tiny book titled 'on piano teaching and performing' by fanny waterman
and I thought I share the following 10 musical commands as spelled out by this well known teacher. Let me know what you think and whether to add to his command list:

1 Keep your back straight and your fingers rounded,
2 Practice regularly every day
3 Before you start playing any unfamiliar music, clap the rhythm counting the beats aloud
4 Choose fingering most suited to your hand, write it down on the music in pencil and try not to change it
5 Hands separately before hands together
6 Practice slowly before playing up to speed
7 When practicing, correct any mistake on the spot and play the passage several times correctly before going on or back
8 Play any piece with a strong pulse throughout first, before introducing any rubato or rhythmic freedom
9 Follow all the composer's markings, making the difference between the six dynamic levels (pp, p, mp, mf, ff)
10 Listen to every sound you make on the piano, and strive for the most beautiful sound

Source : on piano teaching and performing by fanny waterman

Joseph


Edited by JosephAC (07/08/13 03:34 AM)

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#2114520 - 07/08/13 06:20 AM Re: The Ten Musical Commands [Re: JosephAC]
earlofmar Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 1118
Loc: Australia
reflects many of the teachings I have read, a good set of rules to play by
_________________________
I thought I understood endurance sport; then I took up piano
XXXIII-4-XXX

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#2114531 - 07/08/13 06:57 AM Re: The Ten Musical Commands [Re: JosephAC]
Michael_99 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 935
Loc: Canada Alberta
JosephAC, I have read your post, here:

Today, I was at my local music shop to buy the next level piano book for my son and I came across a tiny book titled 'on piano teaching and performing' by fanny waterman
and I thought I share the following 10 musical commands as spelled out by this well known teacher. Let me know what you think and whether to add to his command list:

1 Keep your back straight and your fingers rounded,
2 Practice regularly every day
3 Before you start playing any unfamiliar music, clap the rhythm counting the beats aloud
4 Choose fingering most suited to your hand, write it down on the music in pencil and try not to change it
5 Hands separately before hands together
6 Practice slowly before playing up to speed
7 When practicing, correct any mistake on the spot and play the passage several times correctly before going on or back
8 Play any piece with a strong pulse throughout first, before introducing any rubato or rhythmic freedom
9 Follow all the composer's markings, making the difference between the six dynamic levels (pp, p, mp, mf, ff)
10 Listen to every sound you make on the piano, and strive for the most beautiful sound

Source : on piano teaching and performing by fanny waterman

Joseph

_________________________________________

I am a beginner so I defer to everyone else -

1 Keep your back straight and your fingers rounded,
2 Practice regularly every day

* I always read through any piece to make sure I know the notes - because not knowing a note is a show stopper - meaning any notes that are above ie or below a staff (ledger lines) and any chords that you can't read instantly being able to play them.

3 Before you start playing any unfamiliar music, clap the rhythm counting the beats aloud
4 Choose fingering most suited to your hand, write it down on the music in pencil and try not to change it

* I think it should be said. Only look at the music, never look at your hands.

* I read in one of the 2 piano magazines where some famous person said in a interview to play hands separately and then the play with hands together and I posted this - here - and people said that is not right - and I realize that now that I have been playing for a year. I always try to play the music with both hands together and have no problems - and so you don't want to practice with your hands separate because it takes away from your brains memory of playing the hands together. I would say and probably others would, too. That only if a measure is impossible to play, would you break down the music and play the measure, hands separate after you are unable to play it hands togeather. And I would add, that I would probably not do that either, I would just play it so slowly note by note ( slow motion) that I walk through the notes of the measure, finger down/beat 1, pause, finger down beat 2, pause - etc - that slowly fingers in mid air as I play it that slowly without a mistake.

5 Hands separately before hands together
6 Practice slowly before playing up to speed
7 When practicing, correct any mistake on the spot and play the passage several times correctly before going on or back
8 Play any piece with a strong pulse throughout first, before introducing any rubato or rhythmic freedom
9 Follow all the composer's markings, making the difference between the six dynamic levels (pp, p, mp, mf, ff)
10 Listen to every sound you make on the piano, and strive for the most beautiful sound

* well, I guess I would say it this way, It takes a while for a beginner to listen to themselves, but when you listen to yourself - (I) can instantly hear that I have held a note too long or too short - but yes, in the bigger picture you always listen to yourself play so it sounds beautiful.

***** I will just say that I have learned that if I read through a new piece, I do so several times:

1 I read through the measures for note recognition as I said above.

2 I read through the measures to ensure I can play and understand the counting of the notes/note values through the piece measure by measure, ie 2/4, 3/4,4/r, 6/8, etc.

3 and if the key signature is anything with more than 1 sharp or flat, I walk though the measures again making sure I see/know the flats and sharps are known.

Having done all that away from the piano or before playing, there no surprises/show stoppers when playing the piece - or what can happen is that having done that prep work, I begin to play the piece for the first time and I will soon or immediately realize I have missed something that I didn't see that is a show stopper and will go back at look at the measure or measures work through the problem and then I can playing piece slowly without errors gradually increase the speed. Because looking at a piece at the piano hanging over the piano is a waste of time/or tiring trying to figure out all the things that you need to know to play it.




___________________________________________________

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#2114535 - 07/08/13 07:04 AM Re: The Ten Musical Commands [Re: JosephAC]
TrapperJohn Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 3539
Loc: Chocolatetown, USA
They're all good (especially 2, 6, 9 & 10) except 1, which is BS - only teachers who have nothing better to do or teach insist on this posture crap...
_________________________
Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on. Frederic Chopin

As good at piano as I am at golf - very high handicap!

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#2114539 - 07/08/13 07:43 AM Re: The Ten Musical Commands [Re: Michael_99]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11166
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: Michael_99


* I think it should be said. Only look at the music, never look at your hands.

I've disagreed with this before. The idea is to read music, so you don't want to learn to use the hands as a crutch. But it is not bad to look at your hands when you need to for other things like distant jumps, or to be looking for efficient motion in the hands. I am presently learning to look at the hands from time to time. I can catch all kinds of tense and stiff things that can be done differently, and it's also solving back issues since and immobile head from fixing your gaze to one spot isn't that good for you.

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#2114558 - 07/08/13 08:53 AM Re: The Ten Musical Commands [Re: JosephAC]
ElleC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/12/13
Posts: 248
Loc: NJ, USA
I most definitely break rule #5 all the time. Probably not because of bad habit but more on my impatience. Which to think of it, probably slows my progress even more.
_________________________
Adult beginner since January 2013. My only regret is that I didn't learn sooner.

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#2114588 - 07/08/13 10:14 AM Re: The Ten Musical Commands [Re: JosephAC]
jdw Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/04/11
Posts: 799
Loc: Philadelphia, PA
I agree with keystring on looking at hands occasionally--but, that's *after* I had a lot of early training in not looking at them, so my main habit is to look at the music.

I think a lot of these rules only apply at the very beginning of piano study, especially things like #3 and #5. I never do hand clapping. For hands separate vs. hands together, I think it depends on the nature of the piece and how it relates to your level of playing. For instance, I would never think of trying to learn a Bach invention without working out each hand separately. But if I were going to learn a hymn I would probably go straight to hands together.

#7 I think needs to be flexible. Yes, you want to notice and correct mistakes, but it's also important to learn to play without stopping every time you make one. I often find it more useful to take a mental note of the mistake and go back to fix it later.

#4 too--it's nice if you don't have to change your original ideas about fingering, but you have to be willing to change it if it's not working well.

I would see these not as "commands" but as advice that may not apply in every situation, especially as people advance.
_________________________
1989 Baldwin R

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#2114591 - 07/08/13 10:20 AM Re: The Ten Musical Commands [Re: keystring]
Michael_99 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 935
Loc: Canada Alberta
keystring, I have read your post, here:


* I think it should be said. Only look at the music, never look at your hands.

I've disagreed with this before. The idea is to read music, so you don't want to learn to use the hands as a crutch. But it is not bad to look at your hands when you need to for other things like distant jumps, or to be looking for efficient motion in the hands. I am presently learning to look at the hands from time to time. I can catch all kinds of tense and stiff things that can be done differently, and it's also solving back issues since and immobile head from fixing your gaze to one spot isn't that good for you.


___________________________________

Absolutely, keystring, absolutely correct. I usually say except with leaps and jumps and change of hand position, but I was thinking of the commands in terms of beginners who have a tendency to look at their hands and the only jumping around is on the bench and not with their hands.

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#2114598 - 07/08/13 10:37 AM Re: The Ten Musical Commands [Re: JosephAC]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11166
Loc: Canada
Michael99 - we seem to be in agreement. smile

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#2114613 - 07/08/13 11:33 AM Re: The Ten Musical Commands [Re: JosephAC]
floydthebarber71 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/07/12
Posts: 178
Loc: South Africa
Hi, I don't know if this is considered a thread-hijack, but I would like to know more about why it is important to not look at your hands when playing. I have no intention of sight reading pieces and have been comfortable so far to run things from memory, although I'm just a beginner and don't know many songs. I look at the keys I need to play, not so much my hands...? Anyway, I'm keen to understand the importance so I can get working on it now if I need to?
_________________________
Zaahir

Self-taught renegade - Kawai CL-36

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#2114633 - 07/08/13 12:11 PM Re: The Ten Musical Commands [Re: floydthebarber71]
TimR Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3000
Loc: Virginia, USA
One of the stumbling blocks for a beginner is a feel for keyboard geography. (some call it geometry)

If you always find the key by looking for it, you may delay getting the map into your brain. You want to mostly be able to just reach for a key without looking - unless, like keystring pointed out, there are other reasons like leaps or checking form.
_________________________
gotta go practice

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#2114636 - 07/08/13 12:17 PM Re: The Ten Musical Commands [Re: TimR]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11166
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: TimR
One of the stumbling blocks for a beginner is a feel for keyboard geography. (some call it geometry)

If you always find the key by looking for it, you may delay getting the map into your brain. You want to mostly be able to just reach for a key without looking - unless, like keystring pointed out, there are other reasons like leaps or checking form.

It can get weird, TimR. I always reached for the sound and was oblivious to keyboard geography. I had played self-taught as a teen, and was never really aware of 2 + 3 black keys though I did know where to find C. When I relearned, I got at the patterns by touch. Finally when I first tried to look at the keys while playing I got disoriented and had to look away. I also have a slight learning disability in perceiving space visually - like getting lost or reading maps unless they are facing the same way as I'm looking. The symmetry of the keys threw me but only when I was looking at them.

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#2114766 - 07/08/13 04:34 PM Re: The Ten Musical Commands [Re: JosephAC]
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014


Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 1369
Loc: Cameron Park, California
Originally Posted By: JosephAC
Today, I was at my local music shop to buy the next level piano book for my son and I came across a tiny book titled 'on piano teaching and performing' by fanny waterman
and I thought I share the following 10 musical commands as spelled out by this well known teacher. Let me know what you think and whether to add to his command list:

1 Keep your back straight and your fingers rounded,
2 Practice regularly every day
3 Before you start playing any unfamiliar music, clap the rhythm counting the beats aloud
4 Choose fingering most suited to your hand, write it down on the music in pencil and try not to change it
5 Hands separately before hands together
6 Practice slowly before playing up to speed
7 When practicing, correct any mistake on the spot and play the passage several times correctly before going on or back
8 Play any piece with a strong pulse throughout first, before introducing any rubato or rhythmic freedom
9 Follow all the composer's markings, making the difference between the six dynamic levels (pp, p, mp, mf, ff)
10 Listen to every sound you make on the piano, and strive for the most beautiful sound

Source : on piano teaching and performing by fanny waterman

Joseph


Heresy! She forgot to explicitly state to practice in sections - both hands separate and together. cool

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