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Re: So, what does it really take?
PianogrlNW #2637204 04/28/17 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by bennevis
You don't seem to understand what people here are saying.


I think people are saying: Richrf seems to post the same thing everywhere. People think it's a highly inaccurate way of describing how to reach their own piano goals. They think it minimizes in an insulting way what goes into reaching their own ideals for artistic achievement. They're afraid it will mislead beginners.

What have I missed?


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Re: So, what does it really take?
PianoStudent88 #2637205 04/28/17 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by PianoStudent88

What have I missed?

The message that you'd already asked me on PM.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: So, what does it really take?
bennevis #2637207 04/28/17 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by bennevis
Originally Posted by PianoStudent88

What have I missed?

The message that you'd already asked me on PM.


And if he asked a question on PM, why do you assume he would want it mentioned here, publicly? I wouldn't.

Re: So, what does it really take?
dogperson #2637211 04/28/17 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by bennevis
Originally Posted by PianoStudent88

What have I missed?

The message that you'd already asked me on PM.


And if he asked a question on PM, why do you assume he would want it mentioned here, publicly? I wouldn't.

I didn't say what the question was, nor my answer.

But I also wanted to make it plain here that I'd already answered the question.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: So, what does it really take?
PianogrlNW #2637215 04/28/17 08:48 AM
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Actually, I'm a she.

Apparently then I did not understand the PM exchange either, if bennevis thinks I've missed a point from it in my précis here.

That's ok. I won't press for further explanations, since bennevis has already expressed himself on the matter.

I think what I'm missing is understanding why the opposition to Richrf's posts takes such heated form. But I don't expect anyone to be able to explain that to me more than is laid out in the OP of this thread, so I'll live with being bemused by it.


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Re: So, what does it really take?
PianogrlNW #2637224 04/28/17 09:05 AM
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Clearly this has created an environment not conducive to relaxation.

I do not have issues with Richrf sharing his enthusiasm to his approach to the arts. If that is what gets him through his day, more power to him. There are now two threads dedicated to the "relaxation gesture." If there are users interested in this approach, these threads are perfect places where mindful discussion can take place.

My concern is that a beginner student of piano is coming across as a teacher of technique in piano. And I do believe that is the issue that always needs to be addressed on these forums. Any and all posts, including my posts, always need to be vetted.

So for me, I try to be open to new approaches. Not every approach works for me, so they get put away for good or until I have a better understanding. I have have been taught, from my piano teacher, that it is not about relaxation, but the absence of tension (which is not the same as relaxation) in all areas, muscles and the brain. And finally, do not let anyone tell you that piano is not hard work, piano is not just an art, it also a physical and intellectual endeavor.


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Re: So, what does it really take?
PianogrlNW #2637235 04/28/17 09:33 AM
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I'm with you on this war, Richrf. laugh Even though I am going to see a piano teacher today!

Before you came to this forum, too many threads had two possible replies:

1. If you don't have a teacher, get one.
2. If you have a teacher, ask your teacher.

Now we have some talking of water and drawing. laugh smile


I have problems with tension and I think it will be difficult to solve by a teacher, but I'm going to give it a try. But I believe I should need some other type of relaxation other than good technique, in the style of what Richrf shares here with us.

Re: So, what does it really take?
PianogrlNW #2637242 04/28/17 09:54 AM
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Let me quote from the introduction of "Drawing From Within" by Meglin:

"Talent is subjective, and like all subjectivity, remains relative, not factual. Talent for drawing, music, writing, cooking, or bungee cannot be measured by scientific standards".

"What can be measured is personal satisfaction. How we feel. Fun. And that's what drawing (music, writing, cooking, bungee jumping, etc.) should be all about. It is certainly what this book is about."

"Drawing can be a deeply satisfying, personal experience if we let it be just that. We often bring to this experience so many outside considerations that unfortunately, the pure, simple pleasure of self-expression becomes muddled and complex. We make the mistake of looking outside ourselves for validation of what is, in fact, an inner experience. We look for others for approval, for them to tell us how good our work is before we can feel good about having done it. In other words: We draw for others."

"Drawing From Within" is a process by which we can combat the pressures, accomplish goals, and maximize creativity. .. You will have an opportunity to experience the process and discover how it can be manifested in your own self-expression, be it drawing, music, writing, cooking, or bungee jumping!"

Was it a coincidence that I opened up to this page this morning of this library book? Or was it synchronicity? In any case, there is a world of arts that is fun, relaxating, and creative and free of tension and stress and that is the world that I'm in.

Last edited by Richrf; 04/28/17 10:03 AM.
Re: So, what does it really take?
PianoStudent88 #2637244 04/28/17 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by PianoStudent88
Originally Posted by bennevis
It's the mind-numbing repetition of his mantra - his all-encompassing "solution" to every pianist here with any questions, or asking for help.


If there's a poster whose posts you find consistently boring or insulting, put them on ignore. If someone writes asking for advice, post your own suggestions. The nature of asking for help on the internet is inevitably that the asker must do their own work to identify which of the many approaches offered, they wish to follow.

There are some longtime posters on PW that I find mind-numbingly repetitive (and even condescending and demeaning). If I'm not in the mood for their oh-so-predictable message, I skip their post.
I agree. I repeat myself a lot on things. "Get a teacher" to name one LOL! wink

I'm concerned about this thread which appears to be intended as an attack on a particular member of the forum. Let people have their say, and you can counter-blanace what they say if you disagree ad nauseum.


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Re: So, what does it really take?
Albunea #2637246 04/28/17 10:04 AM
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In my former days, this "war" would have been something I would have jumped into. I do have an opinion, but I come back to Rule #1:

No one wins an argument on the Internet

I'm not necessarily describing this as a flame war. In general, flame wars are a waste of time and pollute otherwise useful forums. A flame war usually involves a small group debating the same points over and over, neither ever moving more than an inch from their position.

The other thing to remember is "don't feed the trolls." If no one responded, or kept it to one short response a thread, there would be no "war." At this point, mostly people are repeating the same points over and over. No one on the "other side" is moving.

The third thing, for beginners especially, if piano is your interest, your time is better spent with the piano, or studying theory, or history, or appreciation. Participating in these online "wars" tends to be a negative, not a positive. Ten or more posts a day on the same topic, like some are currently doing, I categorize as a waste of time. Understand that after a point, you aren't convincing anyone of anything, other than that you have a lot of free time, and enjoy repeating yourself.

Re: So, what does it really take?
PianogrlNW #2637250 04/28/17 10:08 AM
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There is always group pressure to conform wherever one may go. It is the entrance fee for acceptance. And there are always the enforcers who step in when one doesn't conform. But then in the process of conforming all creativity and all art is lost, and for me music is an art.

It is also just one if the many arts I study and will be studying, and in all cases I enjoy them in exactly the same manner for exactly the same reasons: creative expression, exploration, learning, fun, and relaxation. For without relaxation, the creativity and fun is gone.

Last edited by Richrf; 04/28/17 10:09 AM.
Re: So, what does it really take?
PianogrlNW #2637252 04/28/17 10:12 AM
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And to add one more thing: I wonder what this supposed "beginner" that everyone talks about who is getting mislead has to say. There are many who seem concerned about this person, and yet, I have not seen anyone posting about how confused they are by Richrf's posts.

I have seen a lot of information posted here over the years that any beginner could misunderstand and take to an extreme on their own. The internet is a great resource for information, but not all of it is true, not all of it is of value to the individual, and not all of it can be conveyed in a manner that is accurate. So for anyone coming on here looking for info on playing piano, they will have to sift through and figure out on their own what to follow and what to ignore. And what is followed or ignored will be different depending on the person. That does not mean that only one viewpoint should be expressed, or some told not to be expressed.


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Re: So, what does it really take?
Richrf #2637255 04/28/17 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Richrf
pressure to conform
I don't believe anyone is asking you to conform. I don't believe you have to pay any type of fee. I think the "request" is to scale it back. That's it, no big deal. I could very well be wrong here as I don't want to speak for anyone.


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Re: So, what does it really take?
Morodiene #2637256 04/28/17 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Morodiene
this supposed "beginner" that everyone talks about who is getting mislead
I agree, to H E double hockey sticks with 'em!


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Re: So, what does it really take?
scorpio #2637259 04/28/17 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by scorpio
Originally Posted by Morodiene
this supposed "beginner" that everyone talks about who is getting mislead
I agree, to H E double hockey sticks with 'em!
Then you do not agree, since that is not at all what I said. Since you clearly did not understand, here is the TL;DR version:

Anything that has been said on this forum can be misunderstood, but that is not a good reason to not say it at all.


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Re: So, what does it really take?
Morodiene #2637261 04/28/17 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Morodiene
Originally Posted by scorpio
Originally Posted by Morodiene
this supposed "beginner" that everyone talks about who is getting mislead
I agree, to H E double hockey sticks with 'em!
Then you do not agree, since that is not at all what I said. Since you clearly did not understand, here is the TL;DR version:

Anything that has been said on this forum can be misunderstood, but that is not a good reason to not say it at all.

I'm so sorry. I was joking, tongue in cheek. I should have stated as such in my post. My sarcasm does not translate well on the internet.

Quite honestly, I have my own (stuck in a long rut) playing and practicing to worry about. This discussion is part amusing, and I am sorry I got involved.


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Re: So, what does it really take?
scorpio #2637265 04/28/17 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by scorpio
Originally Posted by Morodiene
Originally Posted by scorpio
Originally Posted by Morodiene
this supposed "beginner" that everyone talks about who is getting mislead
I agree, to H E double hockey sticks with 'em!
Then you do not agree, since that is not at all what I said. Since you clearly did not understand, here is the TL;DR version:

Anything that has been said on this forum can be misunderstood, but that is not a good reason to not say it at all.

I'm so sorry. I was joking, tongue in cheek. I should have stated as such in my post. My sarcasm does not translate well on the internet.

Quite honestly, I have my own (stuck in a long rut) playing and practicing to worry about. This discussion is part amusing, and I am sorry I got involved.
I'm sorry too, I don't ever want to be thought of as not caring about people, so I'm overly sensitive. Your sarcasm was there, but my claws were out. wink


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Re: So, what does it really take?
PianogrlNW #2637271 04/28/17 11:04 AM
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I'm obviously one of the people who has written comments here and there. No, it is NOT at all about some strict formal discipline of seriousness or stuff like that. There are a couple of things. I hope I can get them into words.

One is that it's not just someone sharing his own journey: there is a tone of advising - sometimes there is actual advice to beginners asking questions - and it has an authoritative, "this is how things are", kind of feel. This concerns me for any novice coming in. At times I've protested some of dmd's posts - it's the opposite with "get and follow a teacher, and all will be well" feel to it - generalizations with an absolute feel to them bother me regardless of the viewpoint.

Another is the absence of DIALOG, others being HEARD. If there is any emotion leaking through, it's not a hate-fest of any kind, but the frustration of shouting into the wind. Recently what some of us were trying to say was dismissed as "fear of relaxation" - you become a non-person whose reality gets distorted and doesn't count. When that happens, one tends to try harder to be heard.

Dialog means that when another experience is put on the table, it's at least considered. It's not a black and white: one of us is right so the other must be wrong, and thus a contest. It's more like getting a fuller picture.

It might be better to write another post on other related topics.

Re: So, what does it really take?
PianogrlNW #2637277 04/28/17 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by PianogrlNW
An OP who participates in several threads advocates that beginning pianists can become accomplished through relaxation and envisioning the flow of the music, and making certain gestures.


I'm curious if he actually claimed this (becoming accomplished) at all. I must admit I haven't read all his posts, but I got the impression they were more about being self-satisfied with simply playing the piano (at whatever level) rather than being objectively good at it. I can see the attraction for sure, even if it may be a kind of self-delusion in extreme cases. But if playing for your own personal enjoyment is all that's at stake here, then it's hardly a problem if you are having fun. I don't think anyone who wishes to become objectively accomplished is going to be misled or get the impression that it doesn't take a lot of effort to become objectively accomplished. Being relaxed and having a positive mind-set cannot generally be a bad thing either, or can it? lol.


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Re: So, what does it really take?
PianogrlNW #2637281 04/28/17 11:33 AM
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One important element we must stay aware of. Each of us comes in with his or her "priors" and that will colour things. Add to this that we are in a virtual environment of words with names, and we can project our imagination to fill in the blanks, almost need to.

If I remember Richrf's posts (please correct me R if I misremembered), his background involves a lot of disciplined, directed, instructional type of things in the past, and he is happy to break free from that in the opposite direction. In fact, if you've lived one extreme, you should go for its opposite in order to balance yourself out. That same thing may not be good for someone whose past is the opposite of yours. But even more, there is the danger of projection --- that if for example you had oppressive, pedantic type of instruction in some field in your past, that you will imagine that same type of instruction in what I or someone else talk about. Again - dialogue won't happen, which is a sad thing. Projection and/or our own pasts stops us from hearing each other.

What a person has not experienced can also get in the way of dialogue. If I write of working with a piano teacher, you may imagine a given scenario, rather than my reality, and recoil from that scenario. I have seen that in some of responses here and there, where a stereotypical (and maybe common) scenario is reacted against. A mask is put over what a person is saying, that mask being the projection of what is imagined, and again there is no dialogue.

This can go either way. Any of us can read what Richrf has to say, and imagine all kinds of things - delusional imitative gestures with a sound that only immediate family could love, and other stereotypes - I do NOT imagine any such thing. I think that the long practice of Tai Chi has given a sense of body, and unity of body, as well of centredness which are important elements in piano playing; and also an ability to stay focused and in the moment, which is another important element in playing a musical instrument. I'm not projecting anything of any manner onto the scenario. The only way one could picture anything would be by hearing the playing, and I consider that a private thing that nobody should feel obligated to do.

I've tried to address one particular element, and don't know if I managed to, or even if I'm right.

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