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#934457 - 01/11/09 01:58 AM Re: Method book for serious students? (link to PDF file of the entire book inluded)
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11729
Loc: Canada
AZN, in what manner in particular is Czerny only good for hopelessly remedial students (what is wrong with it?), and why is Hanon superior?

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#934458 - 01/11/09 02:19 AM Re: Method book for serious students? (link to PDF file of the entire book inluded)
AZNpiano Online   sleepy
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5512
Loc: Orange County, CA
 Quote:
Originally posted by keystring:
AZN, in what manner in particular is Czerny only good for hopelessly remedial students (what is wrong with it?), and why is Hanon superior? [/b]
Much of Czerny was quickly written, so they don't have much artistic value. And his fingering indications can get quite eccentric. There are better books for technique (Burgmuller Op. 100 and Op. 109, for example).

The only Czerny volume that I use at all is Op. 599. There are a few nice pieces in there, and the selections are often short enough that a student can play one piece well in a week.

I'm not a huge fan of Hanon, either, but at least it is in one volume, and some exercises I do find quite helpful. I also appreciate the scales and arpeggios. Those are definitely necessary toward building technique. I don't assign much Hanon either. So, I guess it is relative...Hanon is slightly better than Czerny.

I just can't believe I get these transfer students from China who have played several books of Czerny, and all they do is type their music at 100 words per minute.
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#934459 - 01/11/09 02:28 AM Re: Method book for serious students? (link to PDF file of the entire book inluded)
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
 Quote:
Originally posted by AZNpiano:
I just can't believe I get these transfer students from China who have played several books of Czerny, and all they do is type their music at 100 words per minute. [/b]
Good one!
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#934460 - 01/11/09 02:50 AM Re: Method book for serious students? (link to PDF file of the entire book inluded)
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4812
Loc: South Florida
 Quote:
Originally posted by AZNpiano:
Much of Czerny was quickly written, so they don't have much artistic value. And his fingering indications can get quite eccentric. There are better books for technique (Burgmuller Op. 100 and Op. 109, for example).
I'd look for pieces like Kabelevsky's Etude in A minor (his compositions for "children" are often fine for people of any age and any level) and teach 100 more creative things before I'd go near Burgmüller. Talk about boring music with little artistic value. As long as we are throwing around opinions, thought I'd throw that in. ;\)

Let's face it, there are SO many fine compositions that stress technique AND that are of excellent musical value. Certainly some of the easier preludes from the WTC are at the top of the list, the two-part inventions in E, F and A minor have no ornaments and are superb for the fingers, and certain movements of famous sonatas can be taught earlier than the whole sonatas. Even for easier music there are better things for the mind and soul.

But I agree with you, I think, in the most important area—I'm all for repertoire, the sooner the better, any style, any time period, so long as it can be played by my students. I think that was also John's point. There is no reason to teach piano as if the last couple centuries never took place!
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#934461 - 01/11/09 04:14 AM Re: Method book for serious students? (link to PDF file of the entire book inluded)
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
 Quote:
Originally posted by Gary D.:
By now you should know that I don't quite agree all the way with anyone, and many days that includes with myself. Each time I examine what I have considered best six months ago, I find that something has changed.
[/b]
And this is probably one of the reasons why your posts are so well respected. Imagine how different the world would look if you would have been Dubya's piano teacher...
 Quote:
Originally posted by Gary D.:
I'd look for pieces like Kabelevsky's Etude in A minor (his compositions for "children" are often fine for people of any age and any level) and teach 100 more creative things before I'd go near Burgmüller. Talk about boring music with little artistic value. As long as we are throwing around opinions, thought I'd throw that in. ;\)
[/b]
Kabelevsky is good, although the melodies don't have a deep cultural seat for most of us.

If the desire is excercises which are a bit more musical, then Heller of course comes to mind Op. 45, 46, 47.

On the other hand, why not use easier Scarlatti sonatas?

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#934462 - 01/11/09 04:42 AM Re: Method book for serious students? (link to PDF file of the entire book inluded)
AZNpiano Online   sleepy
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5512
Loc: Orange County, CA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Gary D.:
I'd look for pieces like Kabelevsky's Etude in A minor (his compositions for "children" are often fine for people of any age and any level) [/b]
I think for kids Burgmuller Op. 100 is better because those pieces were specifically written for children. The notes fit under the hands quite well, and there are no particularly big leaps or stretches (Think: Arabesque--quite an excellent piece for 5-finger positions). The intervals do not require awkward stretches between fingers, and the fingering is quite logical. I realy like the entire set: beautifully written pieces of etudes-in-disguise.

There are a couple pieces in Kabalevsky Op. 27 that are quite difficult and not accessible to the average piano students. I found similar problems with Bartok's two volumes of "For Children." Lots of awkward fingering there--or, rather, non-traditional, in the non-Germanic sense, of composition. I use the Kabalevsky and Bartok for the more advanced students, but for most average students Burgmuller is the way to go. In fact, this year I'm having five of my students play Burgmuller for their CM test.
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#934463 - 01/11/09 12:27 PM Re: Method book for serious students? (link to PDF file of the entire book inluded)
C.Y. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/30/08
Posts: 391
 Quote:
Originally posted by AZNpiano:
Just because Czerny is readily available in stores does not mean people actually use them. The influx of Asian and Russian piano teachers may keep certain Czerny books in print, but that does not mean Czerny is popular in the US.
There are three music conservatories in Philly main line area that many of my friends go to, one of conservatory has most Russian teachers, the other two are American teachers. They do use Czerny books.

 Quote:
Originally posted by AZNpiano:
Most teachers I know go from method books directly to one of the repertoire series.
From what I saw and heard, no teacher would just assign technique books like Czerny and no repertoire at all. I guess they just believe Czerny books would help the students to master the repertoire easier.

 Quote:
Originally posted by AZNpiano:
I personally prefer the repertoire-based piano teaching. I won't touch Czerny unless the student is hopelessly remedial.
I hope my son's teacher doesn't think he is hopelessly remedial. \:\)

 Quote:
Originally posted by AZNpiano:
I just can't believe I get these transfer students from China who have played several books of Czerny, and all they do is type their music at 100 words per minute.
If those several transfer students of yours can represent all past and current students that play Czerny, I guess no one in Taiwan, China or Japan can be called pianist.
I guess it all comes down to the teacher's demand. My son's teacher is not just ask him to play those pieces with the right note, rhyme, fingering and tempo. He knows he needs to also do downbeat, shape phrase and play it like it is a repertoire. He has played about 1/3 of Op.599 and so far those pieces sounds pretty good to me, but again I am just a parent without piano background.
With Czerny I notice that he is much better at sight reading now, the new pieces in Faber books (he is almost done 2B books) he can usually sight reading and play it right away.
Another thing I notice is he can move around his fingers comfortably since there are so many moving fingers in Czerny pieces (like 4-5-4, 24-35-24 for the same notes).

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#934464 - 01/11/09 12:32 PM Re: Method book for serious students? (link to PDF file of the entire book inluded)
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Czerny is big here too, also with Russian teachers.
Czerny-Germer collection book is a great way to help shore up technique. I agree, the pieces must always be approached musically. Imagine, if you can make even Czerny sound like music what you can do with real music!

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#934465 - 01/11/09 03:46 PM Re: Method book for serious students? (link to PDF file of the entire book inluded)
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7393
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Gary wrote:
 Quote:
One thing is that since joining this forum I have realized that I have been too lax in covering scales and other things that I now think need to be taught more completely and earlier than I have been doing.
That was certainly one of my more glaring shortcomings, too. I just happened to join Piano Guild, where it's a requirement, a little before becoming active on these forums. But regardless of how we got there . . . .

In re: Burgmuller. I would add to the list, Heller and Bertini as well. Each produced etudes which had real musical value as well as technique development.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#934466 - 01/11/09 10:51 PM Re: Method book for serious students? (link to PDF file of the entire book inluded)
MA Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/27/06
Posts: 302
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
 Quote:
Originally posted by C.Y.:
My son's teacher is not just ask him to play those pieces with the right note, rhyme, fingering and tempo. He knows he needs to also do downbeat, shape phrase and play it like it is a repertoire.

With Czerny I notice that he is much better at sight reading now, the new pieces in Faber books (he is almost done 2B books) he can usually sight reading and play it right away. [/b]
Sounds like my son's teacher. Is your son required to do the Faber books?

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#934467 - 01/11/09 10:52 PM Re: Method book for serious students? (link to PDF file of the entire book inluded)
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4812
Loc: South Florida
 Quote:
Originally posted by AZNpiano:
There are a couple pieces in Kabalevsky Op. 27 that are quite difficult and not accessible to the average piano students.
There is nothing that says anyone has to teach the whole set, or teach them all at the same time.
 Quote:

I found similar problems with Bartok's two volumes of "For Children." Lots of awkward fingering there--or, rather, non-traditional, in the non-Germanic sense, of composition.
There are ALWAYS huge problems in any set of pieces written for children when the composers were (or are) also famous composers in general. I tell my students that the great ones first did not concern themselves very well about what most people can play AND they apparently had very little SENSE of what most people can play. \:\)
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Piano Teacher

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#934468 - 01/11/09 11:01 PM Re: Method book for serious students? (link to PDF file of the entire book inluded)
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4812
Loc: South Florida
 Quote:
Originally posted by John v.d.Brook:
That was certainly one of my more glaring shortcomings, too. I just happened to join Piano Guild, where it's a requirement, a little before becoming active on these forums. But regardless of how we got there . . . .
I draw the line still at introducing anything before I think it is the best time. I think the timing of the PG is sometimes way off. And I still prefer to teach scales, first, as part of music, and cover them "officially" later. For instance, I teach a small piece that uses the C scale, separately, in both hands, the first time descending in the RH, then in the B section, ascending in the LH. I prefer this because it shapes the technique better, at first, tricking the hands into going the easy way first, where there is less chance of exaggerated movements with the cross. By doing this first, I find that I can introduce the scale in one octave and students immediately nail it.

Teaching is all about finding the right time to cover things. I think those of us who are passionate about getting the timing right find we will die long before we get even close. \:\)
 Quote:

In re: Burgmuller. I would add to the list, Heller and Bertini as well. Each produced etudes which had real musical value as well as technique development.
I also like some pieces by Heller. \:\)
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Piano Teacher

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#934469 - 01/12/09 01:15 PM Re: Method book for serious students? (link to PDF file of the entire book inluded)
C.Y. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/30/08
Posts: 391
 Quote:
Originally posted by MA:
Sounds like my son's teacher. Is your son required to do the Faber books?
The teacher started with Faber level 1 books and didn't skip any piece, now he is in the end of 2B books.

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