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#500977 - 08/24/07 07:27 PM video -- Frederic Chiu on practicing piano
pianojerome Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868
just added yesterday...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6s7Y7BhG1GM&mode=user&search=

Thoughts? I think we've heard this from him before.
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#500978 - 08/24/07 07:33 PM Re: video -- Frederic Chiu on practicing piano
pianojerome Offline
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Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868
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#500979 - 08/24/07 07:55 PM Re: video -- Frederic Chiu on practicing piano
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
All wise words.
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#500980 - 08/25/07 04:57 AM Re: video -- Frederic Chiu on practicing piano
pianojerome Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868
Heinrich Neuhaus, the teacher of Sviatoslav Richter and Emil Gilels, also used to teach his students about cooking.

Imagine, he would say, that you want to cook some potatos. So you start the water boiling in a pot. You wait, but you get impatient... and before the water has finished boiling, you turn off the burner and go do something else. 10-15 minutes later you come back to finish boiling the water, but -- alas! -- the water has by that time cooled back down.

So this time, you wait a little longer... this time the water actually begins to boil... but you get impatient again and turn off the burner before putting the potatoes in, and you go do something else. When you come back later, the water has cooled down again.

Finally, you realize what is going on... you turn on the burner again and wait very patiently for 15 minutes until the pot of water is in full boil, with water spitting out the sides, and then finally you are able to put the potatoes in and cook them and enjoy a nice meal.


So what does this have to do with playing piano? It takes a long, uninterrupted time just to get the water boiling... just to get to the point where a passage is finally beginning to make sense, and you can play it well without any mistakes. But that is only the beginning... you still have to cook the potatoes. So if you get up and leave before reaching this point in your practice, you will not reap the benefits that you would get if you keep on going.

If the passage is easy, then you don't have to practice it as much. If it is harder, then you have to practice more. But however long it takes, it is going to take even longer if you are impatient and spontaneous about it.
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#500981 - 08/25/07 08:00 PM Re: video -- Frederic Chiu on practicing piano
Bassio Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/24/03
Posts: 2480
Loc: Alexandria, Egypt
 Quote:
Originally posted by pianojerome:
Heinrich Neuhaus, the teacher of Sviatoslav Richter and Emil Gilels, also used to teach his students about cooking.

Imagine, he would say, that you want to cook some potatos. So you start the water boiling in a pot. You wait, but you get impatient... and before the water has finished boiling, you turn off the burner and go do something else. 10-15 minutes later you come back to finish boiling the water, but -- alas! -- the water has by that time cooled back down.

So this time, you wait a little longer... this time the water actually begins to boil... but you get impatient again and turn off the burner before putting the potatoes in, and you go do something else. When you come back later, the water has cooled down again.

Finally, you realize what is going on... you turn on the burner again and wait very patiently for 15 minutes until the pot of water is in full boil, with water spitting out the sides, and then finally you are able to put the potatoes in and cook them and enjoy a nice meal.


So what does this have to do with playing piano? It takes a long, uninterrupted time just to get the water boiling... just to get to the point where a passage is finally beginning to make sense, and you can play it well without any mistakes. But that is only the beginning... you still have to cook the potatoes. So if you get up and leave before reaching this point in your practice, you will not reap the benefits that you would get if you keep on going.

If the passage is easy, then you don't have to practice it as much. If it is harder, then you have to practice more. But however long it takes, it is going to take even longer if you are impatient and spontaneous about it. [/b]
wrong forum??

:p

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#500982 - 08/25/07 08:34 PM Re: video -- Frederic Chiu on practicing piano
pianojerome Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868
\:\/

Did you watch the movies?

:p
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#500983 - 12/05/07 01:25 AM Re: video -- Frederic Chiu on practicing piano
fredericch Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/22/07
Posts: 72
Loc: Westport, CT
I love the Neuhaus story. It is yet another music/cooking metaphor that works perfectly! Where did you get this from? I'd like to use it, reference it.

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#500984 - 12/05/07 04:21 AM Re: video -- Frederic Chiu on practicing piano
pianojerome Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868
It's from his book, "The Art of Piano Playing." (I wish I could give you a page number, but both library copies are checked-out now.)

He mentions a student who absolutely could not progress no matter how much practice time she put in -- until exploring how she was arranging that practice time.
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#500985 - 12/05/07 04:41 AM Re: video -- Frederic Chiu on practicing piano
PoStTeNeBrAsLuX Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/05
Posts: 2618
Loc: Geneva, Switzerland
That is a great book. It has pride of place on the bookshelf in our ground floor "smallest room of thought and reflection." ;\) Whoever translated it seemed to have retained a lot of the author's pithy and humorous ways of expressing things. I specifically recall the section concerning his less experienced pupils' tendency to speed up when note values shorten in a melodic line, and that listening to a good singer or violinist can help in understanding how not to rush and to achieve a good cantabile tone and expression when moving e.g. from quarter notes to eighth notes. He says something along the lines of "these dear little accelerations have caused my liver much damage during my teaching career." \:\)

-Michael B.
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#500986 - 12/05/07 05:05 AM Re: video -- Frederic Chiu on practicing piano
LaValse Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/21/07
Posts: 1224
Loc: Mumbles, Wales
I like the cooking story too. I have been learning a piece recently that has been strongly resisting assimilation - I have been doing exactly what your story describes, giving up too early out of frustration and doing something else, then coming back to it and trying again, and again...

I have that book but have not read it yet... obviously I need to... \:\)
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#500987 - 12/05/07 09:27 PM Re: video -- Frederic Chiu on practicing piano
Palindrome Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/01
Posts: 3914
Loc: Chicago, IL USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by PoStTeNeBrAsLuX:
...and that listening to a good singer or violinist can help in understanding how not to rush and to achieve a good cantabile tone and expression.... [/b]
Reminds me of Chopin's sending his students to hear the operas of Bellini.
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