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BachScholar aka Cory Hall #2867880
07/10/19 05:38 AM
07/10/19 05:38 AM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 81
NY, USA
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attaboy Offline OP
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I've seen a lot written about him here, and at least some of it is negative. It angers me a bit.
My experience with Cory has been very positive. The man has produced a vast amount of valuable information covering a wide spectrum of piano music and technique. This has been very helpful to me. He's been criticized for bland playing. LOOK!! The man is primarily a teacher!!, presenting the music in a way that a wide audience can grasp. I don't feel it should be stylized. What he plays is accurate, at appropriate tempo, and in a way that the viewer can best receive it for transfer into his own manner of playing.
He recently produced an exhaustive work of progressive pieces emphasizing sight reading and harmony. It is so good that even his competitor, another leading all star in online piano teaching, went out of his way to commend it highly. We are fortunate to have two men of such high quality within our ranks. They appear to have a healthy attitude toward each other, something rare in today's cut throat world.
Some have said his claims are over the top. Well if they are, he's earned the right to make those claims IMO. Lets see some of you detractors come even close to giving the piano community what Cory Hall has given us.

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Re: BachScholar aka Cory Hall [Re: attaboy] #2867958
07/10/19 11:19 AM
07/10/19 11:19 AM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 9,423
Phoenix, Arizona
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I really don't see much point in starting a "discussion" of this issue. Your post encouraged me to seek out Dr. Hall's bio and look closely at his youtube channel - whereas in the past I've simply watched select videos of his playing. Dr. Hall is currently making a living providing resources to the amateur piano community. If some find his videos and publications useful, that's great. If others don't agree with his approach, then they can simply move on to something else.


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Re: BachScholar aka Cory Hall [Re: attaboy] #2867989
07/10/19 12:50 PM
07/10/19 12:50 PM
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 2,966
SE USA
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Cory Hall presents pieces at "practice tempo," which is very useful to some students. What tends to bother people is that he plays them with little inflection. However, if one exaggerates "musicality" too much at slow tempo, it can sometimes lead uneven, gooey playing up-to-speed, which I think is the reason he plays with a certain amount of interpretive disengagement.

Another controversial YouTuber is Wim Winters, who advocates that historical tempos were slower, yet DOES play with musicality.

These are observations, not (public 🤫) condemnations. Just be aware that, in BachScholar's case, those should be regarded as practice-tempo videos with much more work for the student to do.


WhoDwaldi
Howard (by Kawai) 5' 10"
Re: BachScholar aka Cory Hall [Re: attaboy] #2867992
07/10/19 12:59 PM
07/10/19 12:59 PM
Joined: May 2019
Posts: 8
Alabama
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Interestingly enough, he seems to play Ragtime with much more expression and enthusiasm. Maybe he’s more into Ragtime? He’s a great Ragtime pianist. I think I read (heard on a YouTube video?) that he plays Classical in the way he believes they were played back then (after years of studying classical music of that period). Maybe we are all playing with too much expression? (Semi-kidding)

Re: BachScholar aka Cory Hall [Re: MarlaJackspiano] #2867999
07/10/19 01:21 PM
07/10/19 01:21 PM
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 2,966
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Originally Posted by orangecrush
Interestingly enough, he seems to play Ragtime with much more expression and enthusiasm. Maybe he’s more into Ragtime? He’s a great Ragtime pianist. I think I read (heard on a YouTube video?) that he plays Classical in the way he believes they were played back then (after years of studying classical music of that period). Maybe we are all playing with too much expression? (Semi-kidding)


Or lyricism. 🙂 Yes, not everything from Cory that I have sampled has been practicing-ish. Not everything is too slow, per se--but it can still come across like trudging. The problem is that students won't know the difference strictly from random vids.


WhoDwaldi
Howard (by Kawai) 5' 10"
Re: BachScholar aka Cory Hall [Re: attaboy] #2868059
07/10/19 04:50 PM
07/10/19 04:50 PM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 345
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There are many recordings he posted that are played at a perfectly regular tempo even sometimes faster than some pro, like his Chopin. I do not know if his teaching is good or not but his recordings are below the level of any good proficient teacher with a conservatory degree. Whether that is done on purpose or not, I would not know but the interpretation is scholar with no soul and even technically wise quite average. Same for most of his baroque recordings of Scarlatti and Bach. Indeed when he plays rag or jazz on the other hand it works very well, so for me it seems clearly that he is simply not connected with clasical music and his technic is suffisiant to teach students but not to get to a top level interpretation. That said he can be an excellent teacher.

Re: BachScholar aka Cory Hall [Re: attaboy] #2869043
07/13/19 05:24 PM
07/13/19 05:24 PM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 3,145
Florida
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I find his videos a little .... annoying and usually move on to another. Hey, you brought it up!


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Debussy Clair De Lune
Bach Inventions
Grieg Sonata - Andante molto

"You Can Never Have Too Many Dream Pianos" -Thad Carhart
Re: BachScholar aka Cory Hall [Re: attaboy] #2869084
07/13/19 09:02 PM
07/13/19 09:02 PM
Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 626
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I find you pays yer money and takes yer choice with him. I get some useful stuff from his vids. Not my favourite, but watch him nevertheless.

I like his version of Scott Joplin's Crush Collision March.

Re: BachScholar aka Cory Hall [Re: cmb13] #2869523
07/15/19 12:48 PM
07/15/19 12:48 PM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 81
NY, USA
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attaboy Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Zaphod
I find you pays yer money and takes yer choice with him. I get some useful stuff from his vids. Not my favourite, but watch him nevertheless.

I like his version of Scott Joplin's Crush Collision March.


Who is your favorite?

Re: BachScholar aka Cory Hall [Re: cmb13] #2869524
07/15/19 12:49 PM
07/15/19 12:49 PM
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Posts: 81
NY, USA
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Originally Posted by cmb13
I find his videos a little .... annoying and usually move on to another. Hey, you brought it up!


Could you provide some detail on why he's annoying to you?

Re: BachScholar aka Cory Hall [Re: cmb13] #2869557
07/15/19 02:45 PM
07/15/19 02:45 PM
Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 173
Long Island, NY
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Originally Posted by cmb13
I find his videos a little .... annoying and usually move on to another. Hey, you brought it up!


you arent the only one. I think he does a good job at what he aims to do (present tutorials with accurate notes/rhythms in a practice tempo), but his voice and mannerisms are grating on me for some reason. I think its also the somewhat overly laid-back pace of his teaching/talking style that annoys me. I don't feel that way when watching Josh Wright - mostly because his videos are specific to issue spots where I just want the nugget of wisdom and then I can just move on.

Paul Barton is another I enjoy watching a lot too - even though when his speaking style is so peculiar sounding to me (robotic?).


~~~~~~~
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2. Beethoven Sonata Op 2/1 (1st mvmnt)
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2. Schubert Impromptu Op 90/3
3. Misc nocturnes/Liszt Liebestraume 3
*****************
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Re: BachScholar aka Cory Hall [Re: attaboy] #2869607
07/15/19 05:32 PM
07/15/19 05:32 PM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 3,145
Florida
cmb13 Online content

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Originally Posted by attaboy
Originally Posted by cmb13
I find his videos a little .... annoying and usually move on to another. Hey, you brought it up!


Could you provide some detail on why he's annoying to you?

Honestly it’s been a while since I started bypassing his videos. Just not my favorite to watch. Mechanical, contrived, lacking depth, boring...these are terms that come to mind.


Steinway A3
Boston 118 PE

YouTube

Working On
Debussy Clair De Lune
Bach Inventions
Grieg Sonata - Andante molto

"You Can Never Have Too Many Dream Pianos" -Thad Carhart
Re: BachScholar aka Cory Hall [Re: AssociateX] #2869609
07/15/19 05:35 PM
07/15/19 05:35 PM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 3,145
Florida
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Originally Posted by AssociateX
Originally Posted by cmb13
I find his videos a little .... annoying and usually move on to another. Hey, you brought it up!


you arent the only one. I think he does a good job at what he aims to do (present tutorials with accurate notes/rhythms in a practice tempo), but his voice and mannerisms are grating on me for some reason. I think its also the somewhat overly laid-back pace of his teaching/talking style that annoys me. I don't feel that way when watching Josh Wright - mostly because his videos are specific to issue spots where I just want the nugget of wisdom and then I can just move on.

Paul Barton is another I enjoy watching a lot too - even though when his speaking style is so peculiar sounding to me (robotic?).

I watch Josh Wright and Paul Barton also. Much more dynamic and effective teaching, at least to me. There are others also. Cedarville, Allyssia, Pianist Magazine, Aimee Nolte for Jazz.


Steinway A3
Boston 118 PE

YouTube

Working On
Debussy Clair De Lune
Bach Inventions
Grieg Sonata - Andante molto

"You Can Never Have Too Many Dream Pianos" -Thad Carhart
Re: BachScholar aka Cory Hall [Re: attaboy] #2869650
07/15/19 08:58 PM
07/15/19 08:58 PM
Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 626
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Zaphod Online sad
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Originally Posted by attaboy
Originally Posted by Zaphod
I find you pays yer money and takes yer choice with him. I get some useful stuff from his vids. Not my favourite, but watch him nevertheless.

I like his version of Scott Joplin's Crush Collision March.


Who is your favorite?



I assume you mean favourite youtube piano teacher person as opposed to favourite person who plays Crush Collision March (sorry, I'm a pedant :D)

So far, John Mortenssen (Sp?) and Josh Wright is pretty good as well.

Re: BachScholar aka Cory Hall [Re: attaboy] #2869681
07/15/19 10:54 PM
07/15/19 10:54 PM
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 998
Pacific Northwest
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PianogrlNW Online content
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When you post negative comments about a person on this site they probably will see it (think Google). I learned some useful practice techniques about Bolcom’s Graceful Ghost Rag from Cory’s tutorial. Maybe the rag style is his specialty. Also a shout-out to Josh Wright for his tutorial on how to practice the Chopin Ballade #1. At $9, it was definitely worth the investment.



Re: BachScholar aka Cory Hall [Re: PianogrlNW] #2869714
07/16/19 04:21 AM
07/16/19 04:21 AM
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 308
Tallahassee, FL
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Originally Posted by PianogrlNW
When you post negative comments about a person on this site they probably will see it (think Google).


So will the people who you post positive comments about smile Do you think they actually obsess enough about their reputation to google their name regularly? shocked

I too like Josh Wright, Paul Barton and John Mortensen, their videos are insightful and worth watching. I find BachScholar's playing and talking dry, unimaginative, academic, boring...one thing I enjoyed though was his tutorial on how to approach polyrhythms.

Josh Wright - still has that spark of youth and cares enough to reveal (his) various tricks for better technique. It's like peeking under the hood. Unfortunately, full videos are behind a pay wall, but I think if I really felt an urge to listen to all the tips, it seems definitely worth to pay for.

John Mortensen - very bright and rather sarcastic, yet caring, personality which I enjoy. I especially love his remarks like "call BS on fingerings that do not work" or "...how can you even call yourself a serious pianist, if...?" (insert favorite piece of mockery). He also talks a lot about professional pianists; while I'm too old to be considering piano anything more than a hobby, it's still something interesting to listen to (similarly like people who wouldn't consider doing anything sciencey listen to physicists talk about popular topics in physics and even about how it feels to be a professional physicist or a college student of physics - maybe there is something inherently attractive about professional level of anything, really, not just music).

Paul Barton - the most mysterious of them all. I love the way he thinks about pieces and practical implementation of technique. He literally strips a piece down to bits to reconnect them in a way that works comfortably and enables the pianist to maintain a full control over every little detail. Has a super cool soothing voice. I can still remember his potato peeling video on the Winter Wind etude. I wonder what's his real affliation is...being a YouTuber is probably not his full-time job, neither is playing piano for elephants...? Is he a professional piano player? A piano teacher? If that's the case, it's amazing he is actually putting all the secrets "out there" smile

Re: BachScholar aka Cory Hall [Re: attaboy] #2869720
07/16/19 05:04 AM
07/16/19 05:04 AM
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I understand the points in respect of Bachscholars playing and I too think he seems to be more connected with ragtime. I can't say that I find his voice or teaching annoying. Paul Bartons speaking style is rather odd but perhaps that's just how he speaks in a video/teaching format. We don't all speak in that manner around these parts! I'm pretty sure he was born within a few miles of myself.

Re: BachScholar aka Cory Hall [Re: attaboy] #2869721
07/16/19 05:14 AM
07/16/19 05:14 AM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 4,550
Florida
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Paul Barton
My understanding is that he was a concert pianist who no longer wanted to be a concert pianist, but I am not sure of the source for that, so it could certainly be incorrect. He is a Feuruch artist. I have no idea about his source of income, but he is an accomplished artist as well and his wife a sculptor. I have not heard him mention private teaching in his videos or bio.

I would add Graham Fitch to the outstanding tutorial list. The videos are so full of information that I use them for intermittent reference.


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
" I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

It’s ok to be a Work In Progress
Re: BachScholar aka Cory Hall [Re: attaboy] #2869793
07/16/19 10:44 AM
07/16/19 10:44 AM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 81
NY, USA
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attaboy Offline OP
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I'm glad I started this thread. The replies were interesting. Please understand that I'm a retired old guy with over 30 years of experience as an R&D chemist in small industries where I had to deal a lot with marketing/sales personnel. Though the latter were overall a positive part of my experience, at the same time I saw a lot of what I'll call charisma (for lack of a better word) that far too often substituted for solid contribution to the industry. I'm only really quite familiar with 2 of the many excellent online teachers mentioned in this thread (Robert Estrin is another excellent online teacher, IMHO, BTW). Of those two, Cory and Josh, Josh has a special gift. His persona is such that I can readily understand why most people would prefer his videos. Now I'm a super fan of both these men, but the Josh charisma, for me at least, sometimes gets in the way of just giving us the meat of what is being presented. Its occurred to me that many may feel a need to be entertained along with being fed the facts. Is this true?? At any rate, after the industrial experience I had many years ago, and tired of all the BS that went on in the process, and able to see through it, I have a great appreciation for the approach Cory uses in his videos.

Re: BachScholar aka Cory Hall [Re: attaboy] #2869795
07/16/19 10:45 AM
07/16/19 10:45 AM
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Posts: 81
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attaboy Offline OP
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Oh, and BTW, thanks to all who have contributed to this thread so far.

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