Month: April 2010

Case Scenarios 例子

[anti-rclick]Some of you might wonder what exactly Piano Clinic is. I would like to explain to you in further details here. Let me give you some examples:
你們可能對鋼琴診所很好奇。我想在這裏給你一些例子以作更多說明。

Case Scenario I 例子一
A PIANO STUDENT CASE

My student’s friend came to me for some lessons on grade 8 aural test. She was a quick learner, and had quite a good ear, so she did well even just for a few hours of this rather difficult aural training (especially the harmonic progression part). Then she asked for my advice on her grade 8 pieces. So I listened to her playing, and was horrified to find she play this first piece incredibly fast. I asked her why she took such a quick tempo. She replied that her teacher told her it was a dance piece so it should be played as fast as possible (apparently Prestissimo was not even fast enough!).

一名學生的朋友來找我上一些八級聽力測試的課 。她學得很快,並有相當不錯的耳朵,所以雖然她在這個相當困難的聽力測試中(尤其是和絃部分)只有幾個小時的訓練,但仍然表現出色。接著她懇求我給她有關三首八級考試曲目的意見。於是,我聽了她的彈奏,卻吃驚地發現她將第一首樂曲彈得令人難以置信的快速。我問她為什麼要彈奏到如此快的程度。她回答說,她的老師告訴她,這是一個舞蹈作品所以應該盡可能地快(顯然而見, Prestissimo這般的瘋狂快版是尚未達標的,因為此乖巧學生還一面慚愧地說她還沒有達到老師要求的速度!)。

The piece is a Baroque sarabande. Indeed it is a dance piece, but a slow one! In Baroque era, dance pieces were popular, and they were grouped as sets of dance suites. For instance, in the keyboard works of J.S. Bach, there are French Suites and English Suites. Each suite consists of several numbers of dance pieces, e.g. Allemande, Courante, Sarabande, Gigue etc. Under the specified name there is a set style and tempo, that means “Gigue” is definitely a quick dance, while “Sarabande” is a slow one. If the girl played that exam piece at such a fast speed, she would for sure fail. It was fortunate she could change the way she had been playing for a year in a few days, and eventually she was awarded grade 8 proficiency with merit. I could tell she could have gotten distinction should she study with a well-informed teacher.

該作品是巴洛克式的薩拉班德舞曲 (sarabande)。的而且確,這是一個舞蹈作品,但它郤是一個慢版的舞曲!在巴洛克時代,舞蹈曲式是十分流行的,他們還會被歸納為組曲 (dance suites)。比如,在J.S.巴赫的鍵盤作品中,我們便找到法國組曲和英國組曲。每套組曲包括若干數量的舞蹈小品,如:阿勒曼德舞曲 (allemande),庫朗特舞曲 (courante), 薩拉班德舞曲 (sarabande),基格舞曲 (gigue) 等。指定的名稱下有一個特定的風格和速度,例如基格舞曲 肯定是一個輕快的舞曲,而薩拉班德舞曲則是優雅而拍子方面比較緩慢。如果上述學生在考試中彈奏這樣一個快的速度,她肯定會不合格的。幸好她在數天內改變了她已經習慣了一年的彈法,最終她亦得到優良(merit)的成績。我深知她是有能力獲得優異(distinction)的分數的。

Case Scenario II 例子二: A PIANO STUDENT CASE

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Case Scenerio II 例子二

[anti-rclick]A NON-PIANO STUDENT CASE
There was a student who played a wind instrument needed my help for aural training and piano accompaniment for her graded exam. She seemed to feel pretty confident in her preparation. We started our practice with the first piece; however I found she was not that well prepared: the tempo and pulse were unsteady. I thought okay at least this song could be fixed in a short period of time (the exam was due in ten days!). As we proceeded to work on the second piece, I realized the way she played one repeated rhythmic pattern was just plain wrong. It was a regular two-quaver rhythm, but in this particular song, the composer indicated in the score that it was a “swing” rhythm, that means the first quaver should be played double the length as the second one, and therefore, we could view the whole rhythmic pattern as a triplet, so that the first note was a crotchet and the second note a quaver. Or in simple language, the first note should be played longer than the second one.
有一個吹奏管樂樂器的學生找我教授聽覺訓練 (aural test) 和為她的分級考試作鋼琴伴奏。她對自己的準備似乎感到非常有信心。於是我們開始練習第一首考試樂曲,但我發現她並沒有像表現那樣充分的準備:節奏和速度都很不穩定。好吧,至少我可以在短期內改善好這首歌罷(考試就在十天後發生)。然後我們開始練習第二首樂曲,我發現她對一個重複節奏的演繹方法是完全錯誤的。這是一個普通的兩個八分音符節奏,但在這個特定的歌曲中,作曲者已經在樂譜上清楚地表明這是一個 『摇擺』 (“swing”) 的節奏,這意味著第一個八分音符的長度為第二個的一倍,因此,我們可以將整個節奏模式當作為三連音,把第一個音符看成四分音符,第二個為八分音符。簡單來說,我們應把第一個音符彈得較第二個長。

It was easy to recognize the mistake, but difficult to fix it. When a student had worked on something wrong for long time, it would take much longer time and much more effort to correct it and re-learn something right. I did not want to hurt the student’s feeling and confidence, while at the same time I needed to tell her to change almost everything. It was not a smooth path to be taken.
這錯誤很容易發現,但很難去解決它。當學生花了很多時間練習一些錯誤的東西後,她也需要更長的時間和更多的努力來加以糾正和重新學習正確的東西。我不想傷害學生的情感和自信,而同一時間,我需要告訴她去改變一切。這不是任何人想要經歷的事情。

I did not want to venture into fixing the third piece since it was a solo piece without piano accompaniment. But since the student’s parent asked for my advice, I listened to it. I was filled with headache: it was totally under preparation! There was no sense of direction, the notes were crumbled together, the tempo and rhythm were off, there was not much of dynamic contrast, etc. Fortunately, it was not a long piece of music. Still, I worked with the student phrase by phrase, identifying the repeated patterns and sequences she had never recognized before. It was like learning a new piece from scratch.
我本來並不想冒險練習第三首樂曲的,因為這是一個沒有鋼琴伴奏的獨奏樂曲。但由於學生的家長苦苦哀求下,我唯有聽聽。乍聽之下,我頭痛不巳:這是完全地準備不足!沒有方向感,音符們都堆在一起,節奏和拍子十分混亂,沒有任何的音域變化。相對地幸運的是,這不是一首很長的音樂作品。不過,我還是要跟學生逐句練習,識別重複或相類似的模式,而她似乎從來沒有留意過。這就像從頭開始學習一首新的樂曲般困難而漫長。

Here came the best part, or the worst case scenario: scales. The student simply had no idea which ones she should be practising on and therefore the whole time during her practice she had been working on the wrong ones. That was not something I could fix in two days before the exam. The only thing I could do was simply to tell her which ones she needed for the exam and work on them a bit with her in lesson so that she could go practise on her own at home.
最壞的部份還是: 音階(scales)。學生根本不知道哪些是她需要練習的,因此,在她整個時間都一直在努力練習錯誤的音階。這不是我能在考試前兩天可以解決的問題。我唯一能做的就是簡單地告訴她需要為考試練習哪些音階,以便她能在家裡自己練習。

At the end she took the exam, did okay with the pieces and aural test. I also practised sight-reading part with her so she should be fine with it. The scales? We could only did so much with the limited time, hope for the best and wait for the result to arrive…
最後她參加了考試,樂曲和聽覺測試也預備得算不錯。我也為她練習了視奏 (“sight reading”),所以這方面她應該還可以。音階?我們只能在有限的時間做這麼多的事情,所以只能抱着最大的希望,並等待最好的結果來臨 …


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鋼琴技巧 《二》

[anti-rclick]原文: Piano Technique II (2010年1月19日)
中文版: 2010年4月28日

Book Title: “On Piano Playing: Motion, Sound, and Expression”
Author: György Sándor
書名:《論鋼琴彈奏:動作,聲音與表現》
作者: 桑德爾 (國內譯本連結:http://www.pianoweb.cn/eng/apianoworks.htm)


如果你只有時間閱讀一本關於鋼琴技巧書籍的話,那就是它了。 對於想要詳細了解有關鋼琴技巧這題材的任何鋼琴家和鋼琴教師,這本書籍可以說是取之不盡,用之不竭的資源。我高度推薦這本書,作者為蒂.桑德爾先生 (下爲『桑德爾』),一位偉大的鋼琴家和巴托克的學生。


雖然語言並不困難,簡單的文字和清晰的思路,這本書肯定不是一個適合初學者和考試級別的鋼琴手所能明白的。 具有較高水平鋼琴演奏程度的本科大學生和至少文憑級水平的鋼琴學生或會覺得這是有趣而具有挑戰性的閱讀。


很多人誤以為鋼琴技巧是一種可以經過盲目重複一些無聊的手指練習幾千次後便可以獲取的技術。 在這裡,我引用桑德爾的書(17頁):


『手指的獨立性是重要的; 但是試圖通過強迫性和令肌肉僵硬的練習而得到這獨立性,我們去解決技術問題的根本途徑是尋找在正確的位置中運用適當的部份幫助手指獨立工作,為他們提供所需要的力量。』
( 譯文爲本作者提供。)


我非常同意桑德爾的說法。 我們很多人試圖去鍛鍊手指的力量和獨立程度,而經過長時間的練習後,一定有經歴到因過度繃緊的肌肉疲勞甚至疼痛。 這不是因為肌肉薄弱而令我們必須繼續鍛鍊他們、直到他們變得強大。 像桑德爾所說,有助於我們獲得手部的流動性和自由的彈奏,反而是如何正確使用肌肉和它們的協調性。


我們手指的結構和調整決定了我們應該如何使用它們。 我們應用學習如何明智和有效地使用它們以獲得最佳的效果。 每根手指,除了拇指,有三個關節,技術術語是 『指骨』 (“phalanxes”)。 而拇指只有兩根指骨,因此需要特別注意,彈奏的位置也跟其他四根手指不同。 事實上, 運用每根手指時應發揮輕微的調整,和前臂對齊差不多成直線,但由於拇指的結構令其處於一個其他手指完全不同、格格不入的位置 ,拇指這話題是要分開討論的(要閱讀更多關於拇指一題,見第5章的書)。 我仍然聽到一些老師提倡學生把拇指垂直,跟琴鍵成90度的直線來彈奏!這個做法是把拇指放在一個完全不自然的位置,是多麼的錯誤及傷害拇指啊!


此外,我們還必須了解手臂的結構,因為手指是不能自己站著和自己去彈奏的(我時常使用一例子來說明這一點: 在經典電影『愛登仕家庭』中,有一只在木箱中切碎的手可自由活動 ,但我們的手可是連接着手腕和手臂才 可運作的!)。 手指被手、手腕和前臂控制,而前臂亦為上臂及上背部(肩胛骨)所支持。 如果我們繼續濫用小肌肉(手指)而不動用較強的肌肉(前臂,上臂及背部去支持),我們很容易感到疲勞,甚至因為練習很長的時間而弄傷自己的手。


當前臂的上側﹣『伸肌』肌肉﹣ 收縮,手臂的下側﹣『屈肌』肌肉﹣ 便應放鬆。 兩套前臂肌肉不斷交替的收緊和放鬆,令手指不斷產生力量同時又不感到繃緊。 當我們懂得如何適當的使用前臂時,我們就可以避免因過分使用一組特定的前臂肌肉而引起的肌肉緊張。這就是令我們感到疲勞的第一個原因 。


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Positivity

[anti-rclick]April 26, 2010.

Even though we play the piano with our hands, it all starts from our brain. How we think and feel influence and almost determine how we play eventually. Therefore, Parents, please be positive to your children. I know sometimes it is very hard for us- the generation who was probably trained under verbal and corporal punishment when young- to say positive things when we are mad about our children and therefore use negative words to make them alert and realize their mistakes (because we love them and we want the best for them). But Please from now onwards, communicate and instruct with positive comments. For example,

Never say, “You are so lazy!”
Say instead, “Please work a bit harder now.”

Never say, “You are so stupid, how come you don’t get it after these many times of practice?”
Say instead, “I can see you have been working hard, and that’s very good effort. But it seems it is not getting where we want, can we think about why now and try different ways to solve what seems to be the problem?”

Never say, “Oh your playing sounds so ugly!”
Say instead, “Hmm last time you played it sounded a bit harsh. I think there should be something you can do to sound better. Now can you think about what it is? Perhaps try a few different ways to play it and see if you can make it softer?”

Be positive and you will get positive results. Be negative and you might never get there.



Reference book: The Key to Living the Law of Attraction by Jack Canfield and D.D. Watkins


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鋼琴技巧 《一》

[anti-rclick]中文版: 二零一零年四月二十二日
原文: 二零零九年十二月十日 (“Piano Technique I”)

鋼琴演奏技巧對於一個認真的鋼琴家來說是一個至關重要的工具。 這技巧可以幫彈奏者清楚了解自己如何運用手臂的不同部分(手指,腕,前臂,上臂,到肩胛骨)去彈奏每一個音,令彈奏者的演奏提升,讓彈奏者可以最有效的方法,最小的力量和輕鬆的方法彈出所要的聲響和音色。

有些學生(甚至老師或鋼琴家)會說:『這是怎麼一回事呢? 我們是用情感來彈奏的!』事實上,很多學生認為,彈鋼琴是所有關於感覺和情緒,因此他們只是順其自然, 不願了解我與他們分析的所有技巧問題。

我曾經也像我的學生一樣,認為彈鋼琴應該發揮情緒和靈魂,沒有什麼是理性的。 我用盡一切的熱情去彈奏 。 我還曾經以為當我練習很多時, 是應該感到疲倦,甚至痛苦的,這意味著我發揮了很大的努力令音樂變得完美;我誤信我是需要用所有身體上的疼痛和疲勞來表達我對彈鋼琴是多麼投入和認真的。 對從前的我來說, 『技巧』一詞聽起來那麼的科學化,而這是和充滿音樂感的彈奏是對立和產生抗行的。 但漸漸地我發現,即使每天練習幾個小時我也沒有得到所需要的進展時,我就開始去圖書館挖掘了大量的『鋼琴技巧』的書籍。我亦因此在這範疇上閱讀了無數的讀本、不同作家的研究。在芸芸眾書中, 以下兩本我是大力推薦的:

一.”On Piano Playing: Motion, Sound, and Expression” by György Sándor (*看註)

二.”With Your Own Two Hands” by Seymour Bernstein

在之後的文章,我將花更多篇幅討論這兩本書:第一本書很清晰的解說了技術問題相對於手臂不同部份運用的細節,而第二本書對於手指重量運用和鋼琴練習兩方面有獨特見解。

*註: 國內譯名為: 《论钢琴弹奏:动作,声音与表现》,作者為 桑朵尔。以下是我找到有關翻譯版本的連結:http://www.pianoweb.cn/eng/apianoworks.htm

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