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#346096 - 12/19/07 07:18 PM What do you think?
CC2 and Chopin lover Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/06
Posts: 1981
Over the time that I have been a member of this forum, I have come across many questions regarding pain and injuries related to piano playing. Being a Physical Therapist, Pianist and Piano Technician, I feel I have a unique perspective on these questions. Often, as I am answering people's concerns using sound science and medical/rehab practices, I witness many others giving advice which, to be kind, is something less than evidence based. This started me thinking about what kind of interest there might be, in the piano community, for a booklet that would show the do's and dont's of posture and body mechanics when at the piano, along with information on critical anatomy and typical injuries that can occur. Before I put forth the time, effort and expense it would take to put such a booklet together, I was wondering what other pianists thought? Do you think there would be a market for such a piece of informational literature, and, if so, what would be a fair price to charge, in your opinion?
Piano Technician/Tuner

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#346097 - 12/19/07 09:38 PM Re: What do you think?
RachOn Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/11/07
Posts: 88
Loc: W. Pa.
CC2 -- such a book would be a great service. I don't know if there's anything else out there like it, but if not, it's over due!
Would you consider releasing it in electronic form so as to reduce your overhead?
Estonia 190; Yamaha U1

#346098 - 12/19/07 09:45 PM Re: What do you think?
CC2 and Chopin lover Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/06
Posts: 1981
Yes, I was thinking of a PDF format. Thanks for your response. A lot of folks on the beginners forum are saying that there's plenty of information of this sort already out there on the internet for free, so I don't know that the effort would be worthwhile.
Piano Technician/Tuner

#346099 - 12/19/07 11:11 PM Re: What do you think?
apple* Offline

Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
would i pay for something knowing who you are and what you've posted in the past?


would i pay if i hadn't a clue as to who your were?

accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, ├Ľun (apple in Estonian)

#346100 - 12/19/07 11:32 PM Re: What do you think?
Kreisler Offline

Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13837
Loc: Iowa City, IA
It's difficult to say, as there are already a few books on the market that cover the subject.

What you might consider instead is giving a presentation at a state or national convention, or at a local university (is SUNY Stony Brook in your neighborhood?)

If you built up a bit of a reputation, or even if the institution has some money, you may receive an honorarium for your services.

Both the MTNA and WPPC conferences love to have people from the wellness community present, and it's something of a hot topic these days.
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)


#346101 - 12/20/07 06:55 AM Re: What do you think?
CC2 and Chopin lover Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/06
Posts: 1981
Hi Kreisler,
I actually teach in the Stony Brook University Physical Therapy program as an adjunct professor. While my lectures are not directly related to the piano there, I do certainly emphasize the connections between poor postures, body mechanics and repetition and the chronic injury of soft tissue structures. Given the general trend of the responses I've received so far on both this and the beginner's forum, I am less inclined to make the effort this would entail. Seems most people are convinced there is enough out there already on this subject. Thanks, all, for your input.
Piano Technician/Tuner

#346102 - 12/20/07 10:06 AM Re: What do you think?
Phlebas Offline

Registered: 01/02/03
Posts: 4654
Loc: New York City
That type of this would be useful, although like Kreisler said, there are other books that cover this.

Also, keep in mind that there is not universal agreement in every area of the topic.

I am with you in cringing when I hear some of the misinformation posted here and elsewhere though.

#346103 - 12/20/07 10:33 AM Re: What do you think?
tomasino Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/24/05
Posts: 2039
Loc: Minneapolis, Minnesota
"A booklet," and "a piece of informational literature." That could be anything from a 3 panel fold out to somethng of about 24 pages stapled together.

Doesn't sound to me like you're dreaming quite big enough.

You have to assess yourself what is out there already, as only you know what you have in mind for a book. But I wouldn't let the idea go with a response from the forum based on your proposal. The best people to make a final assessment before committing to write or publish, are publishers of these kinds of books. They would know what's out there in a collated form, and why it is selling or not selling, and some idea as to why or why not.

I think you should conceive of something that would have enough heft to make you the authority on the subject: a book, preferably with a hard cover, of at least 150 pages of detailed, authoritative information, complete with well done illustrations and photographs. It has to trump anything else that is out there.

Book agents like to have a one page "book proposal" that they show to publishers, that states the authority of the author--degrees and experience, publishing history, the possible buyership of the book, who are they, how many of them are there, as well as the content of the book. That may be enough for established authors, but a "mock-up," or prototype is needed for an unknown writer.

If you're motivated enough, you might mock the idea up. Write a single chapter in detail, and sketch out the other chapters. Then collect the photos and illustrations for the one chapter, and have a first class graphic designer put it together. Print it out and bind it.

Show that around and see what people think. Find a book agent--at the University of Minnesota, we had a book agent on staff for awhile, (she was a friend of mine, that's how I know something about this stuff), who had established relationships with publishers, and pitched books to them on behalf of the faculty. You might check into that possibility. Or mail it to publishers yourself. Even if you're thinking of self-publishing, which, aside from distribution and marketing of the book, is very doable these days, the exercise would be helpful to you.

"Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do so with all thy might." Ecclesiastes 9:10

#346104 - 12/20/07 12:25 PM Re: What do you think?
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 14918
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
This is very helpful information! I wrote my master's thesis on using improvisation and composition in a traditional piano lesson and I was encouraged by my committee to get it published. Do you know of any good resources that go into detail on this subject?
private piano/voice teacher FT

#346105 - 12/20/07 12:58 PM Re: What do you think?
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 24539
Loc: Oakland
I think that no matter what you recommend, especially what you recommend not to do, you will always find a famous pianist doing exactly the opposite.

As Kreisler pointed out, there are lots of books on the subject already. The one that I have that goes into the most anatomical detail is the one by E. Robert Schmitz. It gained enough popularity at one time that there were editions of music printed using his terminology. But who knows about it these days? Schmitz taught around here, which is probably why I have been able to pick up some of this material. I knew one of his students which made it attractive to me. But I have to confess, I have not read through it all. His student did not teach the original material, but used the methods in his teaching. His students probably know little if anything about Schmitz. This is the fate of all teaching methods, probably.
Semipro Tech

#346106 - 12/20/07 03:52 PM Re: What do you think?
CC2 and Chopin lover Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/06
Posts: 1981
Thanks for the detailed info on getting published. Truth is, it is not a dream of mine to write a book on this subject. Quite frankly, between all the other things I am currently devoted to and involved in, it would be a challenge, logistically, just to create a small booklet on the subject. The idea occurred to me only because I find myself frequently reading, or answering, concerns from injured pianists on this forum. I do know that the same types of things that cause repetitive stress injuries in the general population are those that cause injury in pianists. BDB, you are absolutely correct that there are many examples of less than desireable postures and body mechanics being utilized by great pianists with no apparent ill effect. I guess we can chalk that up to the same idiosyncrasies that allow some people to smoke for 60 years without ever developing lung cancer or emphysema.
Piano Technician/Tuner

#346107 - 12/21/07 02:07 AM Re: What do you think?
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
CC2 and Chopin lover,

I think you should do it - especially as it's a specific to piano injury.

There is lots of activity on medicine and injury in workshops and research and speakers going on. Perhaps you could also list organized resources by state or country.

Dr. Frank Wilson and Vicky King are the first who come to mind as being piano specific. American Music Teacher (MTNA) has articles and advertising from time to time. I'm sure I could resource others in this field.

The effort is worthwhile because it is probably part of your purpose in life, combining Physical Therapy, professorship, pianist, and piano techician should be very convincing. I would be grateful to read it from your point of view.

I have had physical therapy treatment many time for chronic problems that have limited my lifestyle and piano playing. I've taught for 37 years, and have had physical limitations for the past 4 1/2 years. I have had a gifted therapist during this time. But, nothing has helped my desire to get seriously back on the piano bench and play in a thrilling and sensitive way. You can see that I would welcome your expertise. By the way, my biggest problems are from accidents, and arthritis.

You might survey the piano teachers forum.

Encouragement to you!


#346108 - 12/21/07 07:49 AM Re: What do you think?
CC2 and Chopin lover Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/06
Posts: 1981
Thanks to all for your input, insight and encouragement. I will have to explore this further to determine what kind of committment will be required to do what I would like. In the meantime, I wish you all excellent health, well being and the joy of playing your piano this holiday season and all year long.
Piano Technician/Tuner

#346109 - 12/21/07 02:38 PM Re: What do you think?
lilylady Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 4983
Loc: boston north

Doesn't matter 'who else' has done 'what else' in the past.

Your contribution to this would be much appreciated as well as being needed.

Go forth with it.

"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything."

#346110 - 12/21/07 09:27 PM Re: What do you think?
Thefiredigger Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/20/06
Posts: 45
Loc: USA
I second lilylady's motion. I am very interested to know how the combination of knowledge from the three different fields has given you insight to each other. I don't know of any Piano Players who are also Technicians and Physical Therapists who have written books on the subject. Hence I would tend to think that the insight you have would be unique. The knowledge of anatomy is something that pianists do not have. Even pianists who are writing books on the subject. Besides that Knowing how the Piano works is essential to knowing what physical ingredients are needed to play.

So yes, Please go forward!
Piano Technology Student NBSS '09


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