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Bernhard’s Tips #2852628 05/27/19 07:18 AM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 3,662
cmb13 Offline OP
Silver Level
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Silver Level
3000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 3,662
I came across this list of tips on Piano Street while reading Holly’s practice thread. Be careful, you could get lost in here for weeks!.

Bernhard’s Tips



Steinway A3
Boston 118 PE

YouTube

Working On
Chopin Nocturne E min
Bach Inventions

"You Can Never Have Too Many Dream Pianos" -Thad Carhart
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Re: Bernhard’s Tips [Re: cmb13] #2852629 05/27/19 07:20 AM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 3,662
cmb13 Offline OP
Silver Level
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Posts: 3,662

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,2714.msg23310.html#msg23310
(how to teach/learn a piece form scratch using as example J. S. Bach’s invention no. 1)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,3561.msg31700.html#msg31700
(7 X 20 principle, how do you know when you mastered a section, when to use the methods, and when they are not necessary – investigating the reasons for difficult)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,4689.msg44184.html#msg44184
(7 X 20 minutes – practice starts when you get it right – definition of mastery : learned – mastered – omniscience – Aim for easy – final speed in practice must be faster than performance speed – Example: Chopin Op. 10 no. 2 – outline – repeated note groups – HS x HT)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,4710.msg44538.html#msg44538
(7 x 20 minutes – Progress is the ultimate decider – How to break a piece in practice sessions – Example: Satie gymnopedie – importance of planning – aim at 100 pieces per year – Example: Bach Cm WTC 2 -)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,4750.msg45125.html#msg45125
(more details: learned – mastered –omniscience – why repertory must be paramount – how to work on 20 pieces per month – a case for easy repertory – importance of discipline and of having a plan – analogy of mastering a piece and making wine – musicality is ultimately good taste – Example: Beethoven op. 49 no. 2- A list of progressive repertory to lead to Rach prelude op. 32 no. 5 – mastery is when it is easy)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,4797.msg45744.html#msg45744
(No skipped steps - usual places where students go wrong – Ht x HS)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,4858.msg46087.html#msg46087
(Paul’s report on B’s method. Feedback from Bernhard including: HS x HT – Example: Lecuona’s malaguena – 7x20 – need to adjust and adapt – repeated note-groups – importance of HS – hand memory – 7 items only in consciousness – playing in automatic pilot)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,3917.msg35495.html#msg35495
(How to improve left hand – dropping notes for coordination)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,4004.msg47440.html#msg47440
(3 correct X wrong attitudes when practising)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,1825.msg13858.html#msg13858
(Accommodating practice times – 10 minute sessions – some mention on mental practice)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,1844.msg13949.html#msg13949
(Overpractising – stopping at the last perfect rendition).

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,1867.msg14268.html#msg14268
(Getting technique from pieces – hand memory, dropping notes, repeated note-groups)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,1651.msg14344.html#msg14344
(How to gain hand independence – dropping notes)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,1894.msg14707.html#msg14707
(mental practice – Glenn Gould interview)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,2053.msg16886.html#msg16886
(How should an adult beginner practice? Chang and practice spot)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,2061.msg17178.html#msg17178
(how to deal with boredom)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,2082.msg17230.html#msg17230
(how to concentrate).

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,2097.msg17480.html#msg17480
(imitating pianists)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,2075.msg17593.html#msg17593
(silent practice and its advantages – Good post by faulty damper about unenthusiastic parents)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,2173.msg18976.html#msg18976
(dropping notes)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,2241.msg19043.html#msg19043
(short attention span)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,2255.msg19129.html#msg19129
(practising long pieces – Good discussion if one should or should not listen to CDs - Slow motion practice, comparison with walking/running)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,2298.msg19672.html#msg19672
(Practice environment – Virgil Clavier)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,2355.msg20277.html#msg20277
(common mistakes made by students)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,2265.msg20306.html#msg20306
(How much practice a day?).

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,2368.msg20470.html#msg20470
(Virgil clavier & silent practice – Ted gives some good information)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,2429.msg21061.html#msg21061
(Technical studies x pieces – the genesis of Studies and how Czerny derived his exercises from Beethoven sonatas - why scales are useless and at the same time essential – Chopin x Kalkbrenner story – Unorthodox fingering for scales).

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,2411.msg21202.html#msg21202
(Alkan op. 39 no. 4 – outlining as the best strategy to deal with this piece).

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,2449.msg21204.html#msg21204
(repeated note-groups as a way to tackle Czerny op. 740 no. 2)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,2458.msg21365.html#msg21365
(Mental practice – tips for fingering)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,2485.msg21499.html#msg21499
(How to keep a piece in the repertory – learn/forget/relearn)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,2526.msg21829.html#msg21829
(how to organise piano practise in short/medium/long term – Principle of memory retention – Principle of 15 minute sessions – stopping when you achieve your goals. Teachers should teach how to learn)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,2599.msg22431.html#msg22431
(How long does it all take? – self-taught students - the cake analogy - criticism of ABRSM for expecting people to reach grade 8 in 10 years - learning is not gradual - comparison to reading - different ways of learning - the dispersive method of teaching).

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,2615.msg22522.html#msg22522
(Piece analysis – delay going to the piano and spend most time analysing – Comparison with the process of film making)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,2611.msg22637.html#msg22637
(Slow practice – Glenn Gould’s finger tapping)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,2720.msg23353.html#msg23353
(How to practice aim and accuracy – looking at the LH and giving verbal instructions to the RH – Full discussion on left and right brain).

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,2802.msg24467.html#msg24467
(When to join hands)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,2864.msg25252.html#msg25252
(how everyone in the forum practises – the scientific method to decide what practice routine is good and which is not. Comments on Chang book)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,2916.msg25572.html#msg25572
(Bad habits when playing/practising)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,3002.msg26246.html#msg26246
(When to use the metronome)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,3039.msg26525.html#msg26525
(how big are your hands, and does it matter? 7 x 20 minutes – exercise/activities to strengthen the playing apparatus – ways to deal with wide chords – the myth that Richter was self-taught – 3 stages of learning – Example: Chopin militaire Polonaise- scientific principles for testing practice methods – Example: Prelude in F#m from WTC1 – when to join hands and why HS – practice is improvement – the principle of “easy” – Example: Chopin’s ballade no. 4 – repeated groups)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,3064.msg26866.html#msg26866
(Repeated note-groups applied to Gottschalk)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,3085.msg27140.html#msg27140
(Hands together: when and how – dropping notes)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,3371.msg30141.html#msg30141
(zoom-zoom – all about speed playing)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,3625.msg32673.html#msg32673
(PPI – comparison with body building – brief mention of movement and intellectual centre – comparison with babies walking and coma patients- muscle tension and nerve inhibition – how to investigate and test practice ideas – How to teach by using progressively difficult repertory)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,3833.msg34775.html#msg34775
(analysing pieces)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,3778.msg35061.html#msg35061
(Speed: discussion about gradually speeding up with a metronome or using Chang’s approach)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,4105.msg37603.html#msg37603
(Does age and practice time matter? Summaries of the 7 x 20 approach – averages and standard deviations are given for the several numbers – need for a practice diary – how to deal with mastering something and forgetting it next day – what exactly is mastery – the 3 stages of mastery)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,4123.msg37829.html#msg37829
(several ideas are re-explained and reinforced in this thread – How to investigate the best movement pattern: Example Scarlatti sonata K70 – How to work out the best fingering. Example: CPE Bach Allegro in A – Slow x slow motion practice – HS x HT – practising for only 5 – 10 minutes)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,4168.msg38569.html#msg38569
(Keeping pieces polished – learn/forget/relearn)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,4244.msg39203.html#msg39203
(How long to practice – having an aim, achieving it and moving on – How to define aim)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,4322.msg40260.html#msg40260
(mental practice)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,4429.msg41217.html#msg41217
(differences between practice and performance)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,3085.msg44855.html#msg44855
(Hands together – dropping notes – when to learn HT and when to learn HS)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,4954.msg46883.html#msg46883
(mental practice)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,1034.msg47320.html#msg47320
(summary of links)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,4851.msg47341.html#msg47341
(Practising for speed – Example: Beethoven Op. 49 no. 2)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,4988.msg47452.html#msg47452
(Summary of links to optimise practising and planning)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,2153.msg18525.html#msg18525
(Fingering for chromatic scales)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,2313.msg19807.html#msg19807
(Speed of scales – factors in speed playing and an alternative fingering for scales).

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,2533.msg21955.html#msg21955
(an structured plan to learn scales and arpeggios – includes description of repeated note-groups and other tricks)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,2619.msg22756.html#msg22756
(the complete unorthodox fingering for all major and minor scales plus an explanation)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,2701.msg23134.html#msg23134
(Teaching scales – the cluster method and why one should start with B major).

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,2758.msg23889.html#msg23889
(scales & compositions – the real importance of scales is to develop the concept of key, not exercise)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,2920.msg25568.html#msg25568
(how to play superfast scales)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,2983.msg26079.html#msg26079
(Best order to learn scales – what does it mean not to play scales outside pieces)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,2998.msg26268.html#msg26268
(why and when to practise scales HS and HT – Pragmatical x logical way of teaching – analogy with aikido – list of piano techniques – realistic x sports martial arts – technique and how to acquire it by solving technical problems – Hanon and why it should be avoided - Lemmings)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,3499.msg31548.html#msg31548
(using scales as the basis for free improvisation)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,2893.msg25500.html#msg25500
(how to teach/learn Schubert’s Impromptu op. 142 no. 2 and discussion of Burgmuller studies – Lots of practice tricks – discussion of the pragmatical x logical approach)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,1871.msg14384.html#msg14384
(Reading notation – Richmann’s book – Cambridge word scramble example)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,1976.msg15962.html#msg15962
(Sight reading – Richmann’s book)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,2406.msg20820.html#msg20820
(the grand staff)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,2577.msg22247.html#msg22247
(Keyboard topography – how to find notes by touch)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,2713.msg23282.html#msg23282
(Teaching bass clef – explanation for the grand staff)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,2751.msg23710.html#msg23710
(detailed explanation of the sight-reading process)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,3205.msg28255.html#msg28255
(how not to look at the keys – Richmann’s reviews)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,3334.msg29381.html#msg29381
(Reading both staffs as a single grand staff - Reasons for working on scales - Detailed discussion of Richmann’s book)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,4461.msg41580.html#msg41580
(Looking at the keys: Good or bad? exercises to help finding notes by touch. Good contributions by Chang).

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,4506.msg42967.html#msg42967
(accompanying to teach sightreading)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,5090.msg48850.html#msg48850
(the score is tabs for piano)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/board,4/topic,4880.3.html#msg46319
(how to acquire technique and what technique actually is)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,1918.msg15015.html#msg15015
(Thumb under/over – Fosberry flop)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,2024.msg16583.html#msg16583
(how to aim the pinky – using the arm to move the fingers)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,2033.msg16635.html#msg16635
(finger strength)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,2076.msg17157.html#msg17157
(Speed – the3 most important factors)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,2079.msg17335.html#msg17335
(Hand tension)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,2106.msg17587.html#msg17587
(developing both hands equally – website for left handed pianos)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,2163.msg18345.html#msg18345
(Colour – overtones)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,2359.msg20442.html#msg20442
(Fingering placement on the keys)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,2230.msg20686.html#msg20686
(Octaves and fast octaves – excellent post by Robert Henry)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,2477.msg21403.html#msg21403
(Double thirds)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,2502.msg21594.html#msg21594
(Independence of the 3rd and 4thfinger – it is impossible; one should work towards the illusion of independence: it is all arm work)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,2507.msg21688.html#msg21688
(Round fingers – the role of fingers)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,2552.msg22037.html#msg22037
(Accuracy – the causes for inaccuracy – One possible solution: repeated note-groups, explained here in detail)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,2581.msg22252.html#msg22252
(Question on piano height, octave playing, wrist movement, etc. – Anda gives some good suggestions).

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,2740.msg23635.html#msg23635
(Staccatto x light accents)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,1808.msg23879.html#msg23879
(Ultra fast arpeggios – slow practice x slow motion practice – good post by Herve – Abby whiteside is also mentioned)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,2814.msg24872.html#msg24872
(How a student’s physicality affects teaching – discussion on arm x fingers – moving from the centre: tantien and taichi – Seymour Fink gets discussed as well)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,2809.msg25013.html#msg25013
(Body movement – comparison of piano playing with the martial arts)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,2948.msg25927.html#msg25927
(Czerny x Scarlatti to acquire technique – Ted gives an excellent contribution)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,2973.msg25970.html#msg25970
(How to create a cantabile effect – several approaches: creating a mental image, outlining, the three basic ways to bring out a melody)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,3036.msg26638.html#msg26638
(trills and melody in the same hand)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,3100.msg27113.html#msg27113
(thumb over – hand displacement – practising with awareness – awareness is not thinking – learning by imitation)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,3530.msg31559.html#msg31559
(how to bring out a melody – 3 different ways – Importance of a mental representation: hear in your mind and the fingers will comply)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,3726.msg33453.html#msg33453
(playing with curved fingers)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,3987.msg36197.html#msg36197
(etudes and alternatives to them)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,4082.msg37362.html#msg37362
(you cannot learn technique in a vacuum. At the same time you cannot simply play pieces – comparison with tennis)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,4182.msg38775.html#msg38775
(Hanon: pros and cons – Robert Henry’s opinion)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,4164.msg39149.html#msg39149
(CC Chang and relaxation for playing fast passages)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,4282.msg39831.html#msg39831
(How to increase speed: slowly using metronome x fast with chord attack – analogy against slow practice using juggling and skiping rope as examples)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,4144.msg40259.html#msg40259
(improving speed of LH – moving the whole LH not only fingers)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,4385.msg41226.html#msg41226
(technique is personal and relative to the piece – Fosberry flop – the best books on technique)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,4734.msg44770.html#msg44770
(how to acquire virtuoso technique – aiming at 100 pieces in five years)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,4880.msg46339.html#msg46339
(definition of technique: quotes from Fink, Sandor and Pires – Example of the A-E-A arpeggio)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,4887.msg47334.html#msg47334
(more on Hanon)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,5034.msg47829.html#msg47829
(The finger strength controversy –some excellent posts by xvimbi)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,1936.msg15691.html#msg15691
(Chords and how to practise them – basic books)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,2109.msg17715.html#msg17715
(how to practise chords using the cycle of 5ths – comparison with language)

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,665.msg25125.html#msg25125
(how to read different clefs – the history and the solution: the grand staff )


Steinway A3
Boston 118 PE

YouTube

Working On
Chopin Nocturne E min
Bach Inventions

"You Can Never Have Too Many Dream Pianos" -Thad Carhart
Re: Bernhard’s Tips [Re: cmb13] #2852637 05/27/19 07:46 AM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 9,414
Tyrone Slothrop Offline
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Posts: 9,414
Originally Posted by cmb13
I came across this list of tips on Piano Street while reading Holly’s practice thread. Be careful, you could get lost in here for weeks!.

Bernhard’s Tips


Wow. These threads are all 15+ years old! From the infancy days of PW. CMB- you are tickling a super zombie thread. grin

The thing I wonder is how many of the adult beginners that these threads were obviously intended for are still playing the piano after 15 years? confused 10%? 15%? Maybe only 5%?


[Linked Image]
across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Bernhard’s Tips [Re: cmb13] #2852646 05/27/19 08:11 AM
Joined: Jun 2018
Posts: 998
Animisha Offline
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Posts: 998
Such a lovely collection for everyone who rather reads about practising than practises! laugh
I am sorry CMB - really, this is great!


Playing the piano is learning to create, playfully and deeply seriously, our own music in the world.
*
... feeling like the pianist on the Titanic ...
Re: Bernhard’s Tips [Re: cmb13] #2852650 05/27/19 08:19 AM
Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 148
H
HollyBytheLake Offline
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H
Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 148
CMB, you're a rockstar! Thank you, thank you, thank you!


but think how good I could be in five years...
Re: Bernhard’s Tips [Re: Animisha] #2852656 05/27/19 08:29 AM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 3,662
cmb13 Offline OP
Silver Level
3000 Post Club Member
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Joined: May 2013
Posts: 3,662
Originally Posted by Animisha
Such a lovely collection for everyone who rather reads about practising than practises! laugh
I am sorry CMB - really, this is great!


Good point! I guess after 5 years, I'm wondering whether could be doing better, or whether there are more efficient ways of practicing. I can't spend any more time at the piano than I already do (1-1.5 hrs during week, 2-3 on weekend). Making the best use of this time becomes more important. I've had a lot of successes, but there are things I wish I could do better at this point also. I'll bet there are some real gems in these links.


Steinway A3
Boston 118 PE

YouTube

Working On
Chopin Nocturne E min
Bach Inventions

"You Can Never Have Too Many Dream Pianos" -Thad Carhart
Re: Bernhard’s Tips [Re: HollyBytheLake] #2852657 05/27/19 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by HollyBytheLake
CMB, you're a rockstar! Thank you, thank you, thank you!


Found via your thread! I have read some of his posts in the past though.


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Re: Bernhard’s Tips [Re: cmb13] #2852659 05/27/19 08:32 AM
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Verrrry easy to get lost in Bernhard's posts. Here are Bernhard's practice tips from 2006.

He has (imo) some very useful things to say about learning how to play the piano. Where things fall down is that many (most?) people experience a loss of discipline and persistence when they set out to follow his "plan." Here is Paul's Plan to Try It Himself. I got the impression from his last post (and lack of follow-up posts) that he had abandoned his plan. There was someone here on PW who set out to follow Bernhard's plan, but I don't think that person ever reported back on how it worked out for them.

But that doesn't invalidate Bernhard's many useful observations and tips. You take what is useful and what works for you.


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Re: Bernhard’s Tips [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2852661 05/27/19 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by cmb13
I came across this list of tips on Piano Street while reading Holly’s practice thread. Be careful, you could get lost in here for weeks!.

Bernhard’s Tips


Wow. These threads are all 15+ years old! From the infancy days of PW. CMB- you are tickling a super zombie thread. grin

The thing I wonder is how many of the adult beginners that these threads were obviously intended for are still playing the piano after 15 years? confused 10%? 15%? Maybe only 5%?

Let's touch base in 2034!


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Re: Bernhard’s Tips [Re: Stubbie] #2852668 05/27/19 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Stubbie
Verrrry easy to get lost in Bernhard's posts. Here are Bernhard's practice tips from 2006.

He has (imo) some very useful things to say about learning how to play the piano. Where things fall down is that many (most?) people experience a loss of discipline and persistence when they set out to follow his "plan." Here is Paul's Plan to Try It Himself. I got the impression from his last post (and lack of follow-up posts) that he had abandoned his plan. There was someone here on PW who set out to follow Bernhard's plan, but I don't think that person ever reported back on how it worked out for them.

But that doesn't invalidate Bernhard's many useful observations and tips. You take what is useful and what works for you.

Well, Bernhard was/is a piano teacher. So presumably, unless he's proposing things he's never tried with students, these are all ideas he has tested out on students.

Of course, I could be presuming too much! laugh laugh


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Re: Bernhard’s Tips [Re: Stubbie] #2852689 05/27/19 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Well, Bernhard was/is a piano teacher. So presumably, unless he's proposing things he's never tried with students, these are all ideas he has tested out on students.

Yes, ideas that he tested on his students, and none of them complied!! laugh laugh
So he got so frustrated that he needed to write hundreds of postings about these great ideas when...
Originally Posted by Stubbie
many (most?) people experience a loss of discipline and persistence when they set out to follow his "plan."


When the same happened on the forum, he couldn't take it anymore and decided to switch career. laugh


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Re: Bernhard’s Tips [Re: Animisha] #2852692 05/27/19 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Animisha


When the same happened on the forum, he couldn't take it anymore and decided to switch career. laugh


Do you know that to be true? The rumor I heard was that he got tired of posting and repeating the same responses, but not that he quit teaching pianists. That would be a shame!


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Re: Bernhard’s Tips [Re: cmb13] #2852726 05/27/19 11:06 AM
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I too have come across Bernhard’s posts and have been wading through them. There are an insane amount of posts but there is a lot of repetition so you won’t need to read them all. A common recurring topic in many of those posts are references to a book called Fundamentals of Piano Practice by Chuan Chang. Has anyone here read that book and if so would you care to share your thoughts?


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Re: Bernhard’s Tips [Re: dogperson] #2852727 05/27/19 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by Animisha


When the same happened on the forum, he couldn't take it anymore and decided to switch career. laugh


Do you know that to be true? The rumor I heard was that he got tired of posting and repeating the same responses, but not that he quit teaching pianists. That would be a shame!

No dogperson, I'm sorry. Just joking.


Playing the piano is learning to create, playfully and deeply seriously, our own music in the world.
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Re: Bernhard’s Tips [Re: John305] #2852729 05/27/19 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by John305
I too have come across Bernhard’s posts and have been wading through them. There are an insane amount of posts but there is a lot of repetition so you won’t need to read them all. A common recurring topic in many of those posts are references to a book called Fundamentals of Piano Practice by Chuan Chang. Has anyone here read that book and if so would you care to share your thoughts?

John, you can find this book here.


Playing the piano is learning to create, playfully and deeply seriously, our own music in the world.
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Re: Bernhard’s Tips [Re: cmb13] #2852733 05/27/19 11:17 AM
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I know! Bernhard is Chuan Chang!

(Just joking)


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Re: Bernhard’s Tips [Re: cmb13] #2852737 05/27/19 11:20 AM
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I was very fortunate to be able to have an in-depth conversation with Bernhard a few years ago. It happened when the ABF here become "Bernhardified" in a thread, and some people were very insistent on his ideas being applied to the letter. Something felt off - I wrote a PM - by pure chance he happened to visit PS after a few years and caught my message. Ok, so here goes.

(He told me that) when a teacher teaches, a musician plans, etc., he is drawing on many things at the same time, is aware of many things at the same time. All these things kick in, and you're sort of constantly shuttling, switching, recombining. When teaching an individual student, you are gearing that to this student, at this time, on this day. It is also a moment-by-moment thing.

None of that can happen if you're writing to a forum. Writing itself means you have linear rows of words, one sentence and idea at a time; generalized in a forum. You must "dissassemble" those parts that all work together at the same time in this fluid way, and present them as parts. The student reading this, must be able to reassemble those parts, add a large drop of intuition and uniqueness.

That was not happening. People seemed to be taking each thing literally, "unassembled".

Re: Bernhard’s Tips [Re: John305] #2852739 05/27/19 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by John305
I A common recurring topic in many of those posts are references to a book called Fundamentals of Piano Practice by Chuan Chang. Has anyone here read that book and if so would you care to share your thoughts?

Mr. Chang is a person who could play the piano and must have had decent lessons himself in the past. He sent his daughters to a good teacher, and tried to get behind what her methodology must have been - or what was behind her teaching. He is a physicist, and wrote from the perspectives of a physicist with that background. He also tried to put things into lay people's perspective.

I browsed through the book when I first joined PW. A couple of things were useful. The part about phrases or similar turned something familiar and intuitive into an impossible chain of "stuff". That made me uneasy about the whole thing, because I didn't know enough to be able to judge, so I left the book alone.

Re: Bernhard’s Tips [Re: cmb13] #2852741 05/27/19 11:27 AM
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Can't edit my first post. "a musician plans, etc., " should be "a musician plays, etc."

Re: Bernhard’s Tips [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2852743 05/27/19 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by Stubbie
Verrrry easy to get lost in Bernhard's posts. Here are Bernhard's practice tips from 2006.

He has (imo) some very useful things to say about learning how to play the piano. Where things fall down is that many (most?) people experience a loss of discipline and persistence when they set out to follow his "plan." Here is Paul's Plan to Try It Himself. I got the impression from his last post (and lack of follow-up posts) that he had abandoned his plan. There was someone here on PW who set out to follow Bernhard's plan, but I don't think that person ever reported back on how it worked out for them.

But that doesn't invalidate Bernhard's many useful observations and tips. You take what is useful and what works for you.

Well, Bernhard was/is a piano teacher. So presumably, unless he's proposing things he's never tried with students, these are all ideas he has tested out on students.

Of course, I could be presuming too much! laugh laugh
Oh, I'm sure they worked on his students, at least for the time he had them as students. What I'm questioning is how well one could make this work for themselves, for the long term. Bits and pieces of it, yes, for sure. But lack of long term persistence, especially when Bernhard isn't around to re-inforce it, isn't Bernhard's fault. laugh

The true value of his posts is one of general education, imo. Reading through his posts will give you a lot to think about, and some of it you'll integrate with your teacher's instruction or your self-teaching.


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