Motto: In our mind & body entirety exist some powerful mechanisms that determine our possibilities to achieve the real success in musical studies. Few of them are likely visible...
(I just think so...)
Technique of teaching and playing the piano: the visible elements.
The Rule: a Player and the Instrument are the Parts of Assembled and (it should be so...) very Harmonious System; therefore full compatibility between these both elements of this entirety must be seen as the most important factor that actually decides quality of its acting.
The Truth: to produce a sound on the piano one need likely not much physical work; in any case pianists should rather use less PHYSICAL energy than any other instrumentalist; look at the picture above and compare the samples A, B and C.
One should keep such wisdom in ones mind:
It is the same if we need grams or kilograms to produce the piano sound; happily we do not must use so much raw power of ours muscles, because the hand's weight could actually always act as the main source of a power here.
We need of course ours fingers' energy, activity and mobility, that is the self-evident truth. Though, again: we do need rough power of our muscles truly rarely! In this matter Chopin was of the same opinion as Prof. Neuhaus, and as Mrs. Dorothy Taubman as well, too. The keyboard of the piano greatly helps the pianists; unfortunately only few of us [teachers] know - how could be possible to practically employ this miraculous assistance in playing...
But before all: the pianists need truly much mental (intellectual as well as emotional) POWER to complete their artistic plans because the piano keyboard due to its highly sophisticated nature likely separates them from the "natural sound"... To win that battle against very specific unnaturalness of the piano, the pianists must invent and use such a technique that could provide their "undamaged thought" straight to the piano strings, likely as the whole keyboard's mechanism would not exist at all...
The comments (1):
1. Actually seen: any compatibility is NOT possible in case the parts of the two-sided system, as the pianist & his instrument - work on completely different tension's level.
2. Natural passive resistance of the piano keyboard truly needs not much external energy to produce a beautiful piano sound. Even freely fall of the child's hand indicates enough much energy to produce the singing mezzo forte. We have to take into consideration ONLY ONE, still the EXCESSIVE CONDITION: the pure "fall", unfortunately, can produce the crude sound only! Therefore, firstly, we probably should have a look at the drawings that teach and, after then – Welcome! – take into our consideration a wisdom of the invisible elements!
Let you have a look at the pictures below:
B. ... D.
However, I guess, our Honorable Guest (sample B) did not even heard about the Five Great Bonuses (at the sample D one can see only the Four of them, I am sorry!), he still uses them in the same way a fish uses water or the bird uses air. These Great Bonuses represent the noblest forms of naturalness & easiness in playing the piano! That's all!
3 x why?
1. For completely inconceivable reason many pianists permanently use very highly tensed hands even to implement actually "innocent", truly easy piano technical tasks...! It happens in their playing continuously! Ever, ever and ever! Still - WHY?
2. For the completely inconceivable reason many pianists perform every piece of music in possible high emotional tension. Their interpretations become passionate and dramatic in the same way in spite if they play Bach, Mozart or Scriabin. Ever, ever and ever! Still - WHY?
3. For completely inconceivable reason many piano players try to play every piece of music without any emotional tension. They play always in genuinely displeasing and unattractive manner. Ever, ever and ever! Still - WHY?
The comments (2):
1. Actually seen: the positive technical compatibility within the System is possibly only in case the both parts of such a Bilateral Complex (the instrumentalist & his instrument) are working on the similar tension's level. The keyboard, essentially said, cannot change its own tension at all! It means: the pianist must become the active and flexible part here...
2. It actually is uneconomic to use very highly tensed hands to implement even truly easy piano technical tasks, and especially - to play continuously in such the anti-ergonomic way, ever!
3. It is truly wrong to fulfill every phrase with extremely high emotional tension and to play all the time so passionately!
4. It is truly wrong to play always without ANY emotional tension - so, without any personal exciting and/or engaging, really!
5. Luckily, the real pianists are truly interested in what happens BETWEEN Too Much and Too Less in the dynamic, emotional and coloristic scale, which makes theirs style individual and, besides, that sales theirs artistic production very well!
The Conclusion: not only younger pianists might seriously be helped studying the Idea we actually are speaking about...!
Especially all they, who really need in the concrete help in theirs fundamental piano troubles, maybe, ought to ask for such help immediately. I am sure, the proper address could easily be found...!
At the last end of all these explanations I would like to maintain that a person, who in time of the high school represents rather low level of musicality – in time of the academic studies suddenly experiences enormous artistic growth and even do some kind of a career.
Thinking about career it would be better to NOT think about the own villa at the Côte d’Azur, instead it would be much better to think about a little bit more minor success in ones life, as of any kind of material and mental stabilization, for instance. The most fundamental thing is the instrumental mastery yet, even in its very primary level. After David Oistrakh I must say that the instrumental technique should mean: the possibility to complete the concrete ARTISTIC goals. Maestro Oistrakh was of the opinion, the real TECHNIQUE is - without any discussion - a SYSTEM: the next element must logically follow the former one and the real Master exactly knows, which INSTRUMENTAL way he must go along seeking for the most adequate realization of the artistic Idea, he actually thinks about.
The very interesting aspect of the whole matter is that the instrumental (the vocal one as well) technique cannot remember the "general technique" at all: I mean – engineering mechanics, especially if understood in truly simplified way. Many novice piano thinkers interpret the technique of playing the piano as the subject that much enough is to actually analyze, divide into specific parts THAT could be "polished" and after just put together. How deeply naive idea...!
And how brutally incompetent thinking...! It remembers the faith in possibility to CREATE a flower via studying its physiology and anatomy. Here does not exist any shadow of interest toward circumstances, the flower could grow and become mature in. And here does not exist any shadow of interest toward the background mechanisms, which factually decide the quality of the whole growth.
Majority of miraculous piano technical ideas had been born on such a defective basis, too: they saw fingers, muscles, bones, joints and their reciprocal relations. When "they" started to think about anatomy, physiology, weight, gravitation and something of that kind, they thought: it’s scientific now, means, at last – this is READY.
How brutally incomplete thinking – again! All of such "schools" focus their interest on purely material aspects of the matter and, which was the most worse here, they promise the really great success to everybody IF he/she would like to practice his/her HANDS for the adequately long time daily, and for – unfortunately – endless amount of years. The results were and are the pains only, physical and psychical, unfortunately – as well.
In the Chopin’s and Neuhaus’ formula the situation is of the categorically different character: one becomes informed just at the beginning that in our World truly DOES NOT exist any schooling system that could change anybody into piano Master of Argerich’s or Lang Lang’s quality.
The Idea-Image-Technique Method still gives the guarantee:
1. One would never experience any sign of physical discomfort in practicing and playing the piano.
2. Ones memory would work much better and the performance stress would occur in truly insignificant intensity.
3. This Method takes away all the habitual manual and mental disturbances the pianists experienced for, at least, the last 150 years. In the formula based on the Chopin’s and Neuhaus’ piano pedagogic systems, this whole everyday ballast becomes thrown away and the pianists start to be able to get in touch with the much better, more creative and more benevolent part of his own Ego. In the very special way that system, maybe, even remembers this famous Method of schooling the actor...? Yes, the pianists as well should "research the situation created by the script, break down the text according to their character's motivations and recall their own experiences, thereby causing actions and reactions according to these motivations."
Maybe, the amount of personal joy that obviously erupts when the adept is finally "finding his own voice" at the piano, is much more worth than so-called "common career"?
Or – why not – it is the very considerable step toward the real artistic success?
Let you try to consider all the written above and, maybe...
Yours truly – S. K.