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Practising Hanon,and Czerny Exercises= A waste of time ?

Discussion in 'Technique' started by Bubbles, Apr 24, 2009.

  1. Bubbles

    Bubbles New Member

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    Who else thinks Practising Hanon,and Czerny Exercises are a waste of time?
    There are now two schools of thought: those who think that the practising Hanon exercises are helpful and those who think they are a waste of time.

    Hanon makes some surprising claims in his introduction with no explanation or experimental evidence. This is exemplified in his title, "The Virtuoso Pianist, in 60 Exercises".

    Many advanced Piano teachers have told me that This approach to acquiring technique is amateurish and would not work. However, most advanced pianists agree that Hanon is not for acquiring technique, but might be useful for warming up .
    Hanon implies that the ability to play these exercises will ensure that you can play anything !
    I have to say, I disagree with this statement.
    What about you?
    your thoughts and Opinions about this?

    My teacher used to make me play Hanon when I was in Grade 4 and now I'm in Diploma- She still makes me play Czerny School of Velocity OP 299! Do you think She is wasting my time?

    PLease Share your experiences!
     
  2. juufa72

    juufa72 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hanon is a waste of time because for 90% if the exercises the key stays the same. I think playing actual music is enough to build skill and technique. Forget Hanon.

    Czerny I cannot say because I never even looked at it.
     
  3. nathanscoleman

    nathanscoleman New Member Piano Society Artist

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    acc. to hanon ... you're supposed to transpose exercises to all keys ... i use hanon for mindless warmups. but just 1 and 3 ... the lack of imagination gets to be a bit much after a while.
     
  4. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    I've never practised any of these (except for the mandatory Czerny in early piano lessons, which I hated). But I would not want to condemt them. Whether you benefit by these would depend on what you want to achieve, I think. If you want to be a virtuoso that can toss of double octave scales in any key with your eyes closed at any speed required without even thinking, this is surely the stuff you need to practice daily. But you learn only what you practice.... If you just want to make beautiful music, I think you can do without them - but will occasionally regret it when the piece at hand requires sheer mechanical proficiency.
     
  5. Horowitzian

    Horowitzian New Member

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    Hanon is great, if you think about it. The minute Hanon becomes mindless, it's worthless. If you dedicate a bit of time every day to playing Hanon with accuracy and precision, and in all keys, the benefits are enormous. The best thing about Hanon is easy memorization so you can really pay close attention to your fingers. Of course, one must strike a balance because you certainly do want to be spending the bulk of your practice on repertoire.
     
  6. sarah

    sarah New Member

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    I worked through all of the Hanon exercises, along with a good dose of Czerny and dash of Clementi, when I was a young child and never questioned their legitimacy as a path to technical proficiency... that's what I was told, therefore I practiced them religiously. I don't know if it helped my technical equipment or not. Don't think it hurt, though. I do seem to be able to handle most technical situations, but then again, that might have been able to have been achieved just through a thorough studying of various pieces and their challenges. I do wonder if those types of technical exercises might help one but hurt another.
     
  7. johnmar78

    johnmar78 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Sorry folks, I am being away and study chopin sonata op58...give me sometime...2 more years and I will return for more fun with you guys.

    meanwhile, as a pianist youself, if not...look into future, any classical works or exercise YOU should go thru them and understand what they designed for AT THAT PEROID OF TIME. But this does not mean you have to do it everyday or even part of your warm up exercise. As technology changes.
    Some of these exercise not need to be overly practiced(some do diagree with me i know).

    There are many ways of warm up.....my way -no hanon exercise or any other excirse..but rather FEEL THE KEY and play it gently....
    Save your time and us eyour time wisely.

    CU later my piano friends....
     
  8. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Juufa72 wrote:
    I have practised very much Czerny-etudes when I was between 11 and 16 years old, because my first teacher favoured them. I think, it was totally a waste of time, because it has nothing to do with music. All my musical and deeper playing I developed independent from these etudes together with the real pieces of music, I was gald, when I had not to play anymore this bullshit.
    I like Chopin-etudes, of course, which are much more than etudes and I like Brahms, 55 etudes (though I have to admit, that I haven´t done for a longer time one of this). Most of them are really music because of their structure.
     
  9. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    johnmar78 wrote:
    Hi John, nice to hear of you again. :)
     
  10. Syntaxerror

    Syntaxerror New Member

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    I studied the first 20 or so Hanon exercises when I started playing the piano. I would say they can be helpful, but only for an absolute beginner, to get a basic strengthening of the weaker fingers. But I wouldn't call that development of technique. Acquiring technique means being able to play certain (technically demanding) pieces -- so, to my mind, technique can only be acquired by (carefully!) studying challenging pieces.
     
  11. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    And they don't even have to be 'challenging pieces', which to me sounds like something a little scary. Take any piece (long, short, hard, easy) that has things like legato thirds or octaves and you have something to drill on. Also trills - short simple pieces with trills are great for trying out different trill fingering.
     
  12. Biggemski

    Biggemski New Member

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    Waste of time for me, definitely. I am a musician, I am not doing fitness. Never separate mind and body, my people ! Emphasizing technique exercises ( body ) is worthless because mind is stronger and controls the body. Train your mind ! Simple, if you have weak mind, you are unable to overcome fear, you cant concentrate, you experience stagefright, your performance will fail. Choose a piece you like and work on it according to your vision, technique will come.
    Practice Bach, and other great music. Who is Hanon compared to Bach, Mozart, Chopin, Janacek ? :lol: :lol: :lol:
     
  13. Syntaxerror

    Syntaxerror New Member

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    The fundamental problem with Hanon is that you are using both hands together, while my experience tells me that a new technical skill can only be acquired thoroughly when practised with one hand only.
     
  14. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Biggemski wrote:
    Very good! I second this at hundert percent! :!:
     
  15. Bubbles

    Bubbles New Member

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    Yes! I completely agree with you!
    This is Quite interesting:- http://www.pianofundamentals.com/book/en/1.III.7.8
     
  16. Biggemski

    Biggemski New Member

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    I am applying ideas which are much derived from the art of Yoga and - with regard to art of pianoplaying - it fits rather hundred-percently :wink: . Indian wise men explored all these body-mind-health-... things rather thoroughly so I am drawing attention to their teachings and practices. Thats a pity such a knowledge had not significantly penetrated into our supreme :lol: :lol: :lol: rational West!
     
  17. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    In my youth I studied all of Hanon, some Czerny, and most of Alloys Schmitt's independence of the fingers exercises. Here are my thoughts: Czerny was a total waste of time, as there is little identifiable direct carryover into the repertoire realm. Anyone would be far better off learning some concert etudes of Moscheles or Chopin, which can then double as recital pieces, thereby building technique and repertoire simultaneously.

    The "independence" exercises of Schmitt (as well as some of the I. Philipp exercises of this same genre) can be dangerous and even invite injury unless the pianist is very cautious in using them. One is better off devising one independence exercise and sticking with it. I have just one now, and if I find myself getting sloppy holding ties in a piece, for example, I use that exercise to beneficial effect.

    I have some good and bad things to say about Hanon. The good things are that playing several of the five-finger exercises can be a quick fix to ragged playing. We all have an occasional day when unexplained raggedness is a problem. A few of Hanon's five-finger exercises will quickly restore evenness in playing like magic. So that's an undeniable benefit. Also, the scale and arpeggio fingerings are excellent, both for the initial learning experience and as a permanent reference. A negative: I could play Parts I, II, and most of III nonstop; however, I can see absolutely no point to it. So beyond what I mentioned as a couple of pluses, I can think of no other gains to be had in Hanon.

    The last thing I want to emphasize is that one does not develop a technique from any of these exercise books. Instead it is actually gained through solving various technical problems in day-to-day practice of repertoire pieces.

    David
     
  18. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    I'm sitting in the hallway outside my teacher's office because it's the only place in the building I can get online for some reason, and there's a student in there playing Hanon. Or maybe it's my teacher? I'm glad she doesn't make me play that crap!
     
  19. hasekamp

    hasekamp New Member

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    Probably not necessary

    Here are my 2 cents in this interesting discussion:

    My teacher gives me maximum freedom. He - apparently - believes that it is best to enjoy the lessons. But I emphasize that have no ambition whatsoever to become a professional musician.

    When I start a new book or a new piece, I first ask my teacher if he thinks I am able to play it. If he thinks so, I study it and he signals the things that do not go well enough and suggests what I should do to improve them.

    I believe that helps me more than torturing me with Hanon and Czerny. I did some of it, but my teacher suggested that ad-hoc exercises for the problems I encounter would give me more pleasure and would therefore also be more useful to me than the torturing myself with Czerny & Co.

    At the moment I enjoy my lessons tremendously and the pieces I play (at the moment the easier Chopin Walzes) go well. Would they go better if I had studied Czerny, Czerny and Hanon year after year? I doubt it. I also feel that my playing improves.

    But I repeat: I do not play to become a professional. I only play to enjoy it.

    Rene.
     
  20. Horowitzian

    Horowitzian New Member

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    Hence you should practice it hands separately. FWIW, I find the later exercises (after 20) more useful. And the complete Hanon is an easy way to get a refresh of scales and arps. :D
     

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