Instructor profile

When it comes to actually taking lessons, I am very concerned about what kind of instructor will take the lessons. Among the many experienced teachers, I would like to introduce Dr. Myers in particular.

Thalia Myers Award ceremony 1.jpg

Personality :​ He has a great laughter and has the theory that "a good pianist laughs a lot!" A passionate pianist who teaches lessons without receiving tuition fees from students in needy families. He had a problem with weakness himself, and started researching weakness training at the age of 26, and is now active as an expert in weakness training.

Dr. Celia Myers

He was educated in music at theRoyal College of Music in London and later studied under Ilona Kabosu and Peter Feuchtwanger. He has been invited to numerous master classes in the UK and abroad in parallel with his many world-class concert activities. He also actively works internationally with conservatoires and university composers, promoting projects with the University of Toronto, the Royal College of Music and Drama, the Royal College of Music in London, the Trinity Laban, and the Royal Academy of Music. ..

 

At the Royal College of Music, he served as the director of the piano department for about30 years at theRoyal College of Music Junior Department , a program for the early development of professional musicians, and undertook the entrance audition for the piano department, which is said to be extremely difficult. This piano department is said to be a must-have for students who want to become a concertpianist in the UK. It is the highest music university in the UK that produces like this.

 

Dr. Myers is very well known in the British piano world, has been active as a pianist and chamber musician in more than30 countries, and has held many premiere and premiere broadcasts around the world, including theBBC British Public Broadcasting. Haydn and Chopin'sCDs have also been released, and he has a deep knowledge of all eras of classical music, but it is worth mentioning that in order to spread contemporary music to the world, a project to discover the next generation of young composers, edit their works and send them out to the world. The point that I have been doing it for a lifetime. Since1996 , he has released more than180 songs from the Royal School of Music (ABRSM) as a composer of contemporary music in the series, and the works in them are the "ABRSM" that many students who are learning British pianists aim to learn. It is a theme song of ".

 

The Ivors is one of the most prestigious awards in the British music world as the 10 performers who have contributed to the British music world in recognition of their long-standing contributions to the British music industry. Received theAcademy Gold Badge 2019 .

Myers feels

Harmful effects of piano gifted education and auditions

Weakness and viper fingers

 

 In the Junior Division of the Royal College of Music, children from 8 to 18 years old, who are called "school pianists" and "prodigies" not only in England but also from all over Europe, are studying. Students study at a local regular school on weekdays and spend all Saturdays studying music in London to balance their studies with music. Aiming to become a professional musician, you have the option of entering a boarding school such as an elementary school or junior high school that specializes in music from a young age, but if you can enroll in the junior division, you will continue to study professionally to become a professional musician. It is very popular because you can extend the choice of whether or not to become a professional in the end until you are 16.7 years old.

 

Because it is popular, it also has harmful effects. Recently, I sometimes see small children playing Rachmaninoff and Liszt in videos. Adults around me believe that "I have to play that level of super-technical songs to pass," and even when my hands are still small, I give my child a song with a series of octaves and big jumps, and let them play at the audition. ..

 

I don't know if that's the reason. There are many pianists who have put a load on their fingers because they are practicing for a long time, or have practiced for a long time and ruined their fingers. However, as a result of neglecting the bad habit of devoting myself to teaching difficult songs in a hurry, for example, playing with the wrist fixed, or the hands and fingers do not yet have the correct muscles. I sometimes meet children (at auditions and competitions) who play with their hands (commonly called "mamushi fingers") without weakening.

 

Since I was little, I spent a daunting amount of time practicing to play difficult songs, and while keeping my shoulders and arms in an unreasonable posture, I repeated the practice like a machine so as not to miss the sound. As a result of doing so, some children (some of the children I meet at the audition) look like robots playing elaborate pianos.

Perhaps their piano teachers are trying to fix it every day. Even if you practice with such a bad habit, even if you improve to a certain extent, you can hardly expect growth from there. But I can't. You may think that you have to continue practicing to win the competition. These kids are also pianists with great potential who have already mastered great skills, so I asked them, "Let's learn weakness without practicing the piano for a few months, get the muscles you need. If you suggest, "Let's put it on, let's fix the pit viper finger", "If you do that, you will completely drop out of the pianist course! You may feel that. Therefore, as the same educator, it is very clear that the immediate priority will be prioritized and the long-term goal will be postponed.

Case Study

Performance of children with various problems

 

 An 8-year-old boy came to audition. I played a difficult song with a small hand, but it wasn't the performance that caught my heart, but the pit viper's fingers and the force of the pit viper like a stick, and even my arms could move freely. It was an upper body that I couldn't do. I decided to undertake and educate myself because I thought, "I think this child will not grow up in the next few years. I'm sure he will suffer from tendonitis and back pain in the near future." It was so terrible that it caught my eye (laughs).

 Performance at the same time as the audition examination. You can see that the upper body is quite strong with the shoulders raised. The arm cannot be moved freely with it attached to the armpit.

The finger of the left hand is a pit viper finger whose base is dented. When playing, both little fingers could not support the weight of the hand, and there was a habit of the hand falling down to the little finger side, and the thumb often hung down under the keyboard without force. Every time I jumped or played a difficult phrase, I got a lot of power, so it was painful to distort my face.

The sound was much weaker than that of children of the same age, and I was in a vicious circle where I put more effort into making up for it.

Start with flexible exercises without playing the piano for 3 months

 

 For the first three months, I banned playing difficult songs like I used to, and started playing only very short and simple Czerny etudes as slowly as possible. At the same time, we continued to train whole body and arm weakness patiently for 30 minutes to 1 hour every day, and in weekly lessons we only checked if those trainings were done correctly at home. After the three-month training period, I played a Burgmüller song for about half a year. There are no technically difficult songs, so you can concentrate on wrist flexibility, body balance, posture, hand shape, etc. even while playing, and repeat "If you can do one, move on to the next training". rice field. These trainings continued for about two years, even if he started playing his favorite songs.

 It's been 4 years since the training started. There was a tendency to "move the body (especially the head) too much" probably because of the reaction of training that emphasized the flexibility of the body. It became a habit to shake his head up and down, and the sound often came off when he jumped, and it often affected the strength of the sound.

The fingers and wrists have improved considerably, but the movement of the upper body is still stiff and the weakness is not perfect. It was a time when I was instructed to start training for weakness and wrist flexibility again.

The idea that "when you grow up, you will heal naturally" and "you will be able to do it if you practice more"

 

 For those who are growing and playing difficult songs at the moment, "I will practice only simple songs that I can play at first sight for a year", the students said, "I'll fix anything! It will not be established without a strong will. If you keep playing a difficult song in hiding, it will not heal in the end, and you will have to start over again when you grow up (which will be harder to heal).

 

When I was 26 years old ... I was already active as a pianist after graduating from music college ... I had a passage that I couldn't play, so I consulted with the teacher at that time. The answer is, "Then, practice more." It was a shocking word to me, who had already spent a considerable amount of time on the passage to get there.

 

At that time, I thought that the fundamental problems that I had somehow felt for a long time were "the force is applied during the performance" and "the movement of the wrist is awkward". I wasn't sure if fixing this would make it possible to play difficult and fast passages, but I did my own research on weakness training with the feeling of praying.

 

It is very difficult to do this kind of training while continuing to perform. Therefore, it took a very long time to overcome it. I have a strong feeling that I don't want other students to experience the bitterness I experienced, and even at the audition, I really notice that point (laughs).

 

It is sometimes said that even with a pit viper finger, it will heal naturally as the hand grows larger, and that if you practice more, you will be able to weaken. It may be cured, but it may not be cured like me. At least if you are weak, you can expect steady improvement and avoid finger damage. Exactly "  Haste makes waste ”.

The longer you play difficult songs in your own way, the longer it can take even a small child to correct. This child took a long time to correct, but the results are still a successful example. Every time I listen to the performance of this "boy with many problems", when he is small, I can see in my mind that he was playing with tears in his eyes and enduring the hated Czerny (laughs). I hope they will pass on this training to the next generation.

 It's been eight years since I first met at the audition. With a stable position where the shoulders hardly move up and down, it has become possible to control passages, which is extremely difficult. As the technique improved, the expressiveness that used to be a problem has grown dramatically.

In addition, the habit of moving the body and putting the whole weight on the wrist to force the sound, which had been in the early stages, has been cured, and the sound can be heard in every corner of the venue.

With weakness, flexible wrists, and ideal muscles on the fingers, even if you continue practicing in difficult areas for a long time, you will not have tendonitis as in the past.

Musical Notes

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