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At the two and a half year mark, those who initially exhibited "tone deaf" characteristics can now sing on pitch with piano accompaniment, and the now 6th grader is experimenting with music composition. If you've been discouraged because you think you aren't a "gifted" or "talented" musician, complete poppycock. You weren't exposed to the right teaching methodology.

2. Warm Up

For better or worse, this is our family's best attempt to make available to future generations of music students what was once available to us. View 2 comments. Dec 27, Tom Rose rated it did not like it. I find it hard to credit that anyone can think this is a good book.

Review: Fundamentals of Piano Practice, 2nd Edition

I have given it one star, but only because I was not sure that you can give zero stars. Perhaps those that have written positive reviews are unfamiliar with the huge existing literature on piano playing. It is dreadfully written, in a verbose, rambling style, and hopelessly laid out. Full of weird and unhelpful analogies memory buckets anyone? It is true that it contains many true observations I find it hard to credit that anyone can think this is a good book. It is true that it contains many true observations and correct advice, but they are so mixed up with huge doses of nonsense and irrelevance that they might as well not be there.

The person at whom, this book is aimed cannot be expected to reliably separate the sensible stuff from the errant nonsense, and the more advanced student, that can already see which is which does not need this book. On top of that is the amazing arrogance of the author. He claims that his is the first and only book that explains the correct way to practice. What rubbish. There are dozens of older books that describe effective practice methods. Then there is the idiocy of presenting his method as the ONLY correct way.

There are MANY effective ways to become a proficient pianist. Different methods work for different people.

The 10 Best Piano Practice Tips to Remember

What is more, what is effective changes as the pianist becomes more skilful. The kind of work that a beginner needs to do is very different from that of someone in the mid-grades, which is very different again from the way that a competent concert pianist learns a new piece. And most ridiculous of all is the claim that you will learn up to x faster with his method than that terrible "intuitive" method that he rails against but was nevertheless good enough for that excellent pianist Ruth Slenczynska.

But what am I saying? Even more ridiculous are the calculations of the economic value of the time that could be saved by using his methods! What I can say for sure is that anyone that could learn x faster than I learned would go from beginner to a professional standard in less than a week! I guess the get-out clause is that little weasel phrase "up to".

Fundamentals of Piano Practice, 2nd Edition by Chuan C. Chang

I am left with the impression of an author with a monstrous ego, and a lack of critical faculties. He claims to be a physicist. I only hope that his research papers are better written than this book. My advice to any wannabee pianist is to stay away from this book and buy yourself a good classic book instead, from someone that knows what they are talking about, and has some of the humility that is so sadly lacking in this book. If they are also recognised as an outstanding pianist than that would be a bonus. Something like Kendall Taylor's superb "Principles of Piano Technique and Interpretation" would serve most learners far better than this pretentious, jumbled mess.

View 1 comment. Apr 13, Scott Hayden rated it it was amazing Shelves: education , music , reference. If only I knew these things before I went off to college to be a music education major, maybe I would have stuck with the program.

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I'd had several years of piano lessons, and 6 years experience accompanying choirs. Despite my poor audition with, a university piano professor saw past my very limited technique to my strong sense of musicality and admitted me to the program. Two hours of practice a day and more challenging music wasn't enough to overcome my subconscious realization that my piano pr If only I knew these things before I went off to college to be a music education major, maybe I would have stuck with the program.

Two hours of practice a day and more challenging music wasn't enough to overcome my subconscious realization that my piano practice was ineffective. Progress painstakingly slow.

How to Play the Most Fundamental Rhythm Patterns on the Piano

I left the music program. Fast forward about 17 years. My dad mentions this book by C. It's amazing!

Dr. Chuan C. Chang on Fundamentals of Piano Practice

Not a light read, but thorough and practical. He draws from notes he took while his children took lessons from a piano instructor in the lineage of Debussy, from his technical background as an engineer, and from voluminous reading. To put the major methods of this book to the test, I selected about 32 measures from Rachmaninoff's 2nd piano concerto, a soaring melody with complex inner fingerings and left hand arpeggios that I had always wanted to learn.

By following Chang's methods, I had the excerpt comfortably under my hands within weeks. That's a HUGE key -letting my separate hands take turns to avoid fatigue I might have avoided wrist problems in college had I known -memorizing the problem spots as soon possible -memorizing the excerpt hands separately weird, but it creates a stronger memory trace -cycling -making the last practice of a problem spot slow and soft -practicing mentally when not at the piano My test with Rachmaninoff convinced me that the methods worked.

Next, to tackle a whole piece. I had always, always wanted to learn Gershwin's 3rd piano prelude, but it had always been beyond reach. Not anymore. By first analyzing the piece for structure and repetition Chang's project management approach , I discovered the parts that would need the most problem solving and repetition right away and began working on these first thing. This piece had a lot more technical difficulties and took longer, BUT my progress was obvious from the start.


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Now even though my daughters have a stellar piano teacher, I'm letting them in on the Chang's secrets. They make huge differences. May 09, Jonathan rated it liked it. First things first: this book's writing style is almost impenetrable. Paradoxically, a book written with the goal of making it simpler to learn complicated, difficult piano pieces utterly fails to communicate simply.

There are dozens of rambling pages promising unrealistic results and declaring the total superiority of the author's methods. I eventually took to skimming them to try to find what those methods actually were. When I finally found them, it was no surprise to discover that the author First things first: this book's writing style is almost impenetrable.

When I finally found them, it was no surprise to discover that the author's claims of superiority were based on his own theories, which, while credible and plausible-sounding, are not based on real-world studies or observable results. That said, there are indeed studies which have borne out some of the author's points. While much of this book is rambling and overwrought, many of the author's points have been borne out by recent research into deliberate practice, a term now used so heavily it is occasionally granted capitalization or abbreviation as DP. Here are a few of my own takeaways from the book, which may save you the trouble of wading into its logorrheic waters if you just want the high points: - When you practice, work hard on improving something specific you're having trouble with.

They are, of course, the parts you will need to practice the most. You can attempt them over and over very quickly, saving time compared to starting all over again. Jan 13, Anushka Aritri rated it did not like it Shelves: non-fiction-read. There are, at most, 50 sentences in total that give you the actual tips and rules to follow. It's a book where you are sorely tempted to just read the words in bold.

The main problem, I felt, was that they were too focused on just validating WHY this book is something that you need.

It builts you up to the tips, like a tease that takes it too far, and you are no longer interested in what said tease has to offer. Far from being attracted, it has the opposite effect: they irritate you and you just There are, at most, 50 sentences in total that give you the actual tips and rules to follow.

Far from being attracted, it has the opposite effect: they irritate you and you just want to snap at them to stop or move on already.