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As a passing observation this thread has gone straight from a hunch to designing a statistical research project without collecting and analysing the anecdotal evidence Joe mentioned. That may be all that is necessary.


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Last edited by Withindale; 03/30/21 06:20 AM.

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Originally Posted by Withindale
As a passing observation this thread has gone straight from a hunch to designing a statistical research project without collecting and analysing the anecdotal evidence Joe mentioned. That may be all that is necessary.

Can I offer "That may be all that is realistically possible" ?

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Originally Posted by Withindale
Joe has certainly identified a problem.
If you were to remove the cause of the problem (poor regulation and maintenance of good pianos) you would reduce the frequency of injuries. What, if any, are the types of injury you would eliminate?
I'm sure that the idea that poorly regulated pianos could contribute to injury did not originate on this thread. Since a study about this has not been done, we don't know that having well regulated pianos would "reduce the frequency of injuries'.

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Yes, I omitted the word "practical".


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Well for a start has anyone spent a reasonable amount of time playing on a piano which made them feel uncomfortably
while playing ? Did it hurt while playing that piano ?

I think relating actual experiences can be helpful.

Does anyone suffer from pain while or after they have practiced ?

Last edited by Lady Bird; 03/30/21 12:06 PM. Reason: missing text
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we might actually have a problem finding a piano student who doesn't have an existing injury, or at least some problems with tension and fatigue....


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Sometimes the student's injuries are caused by the teacher or the academic milieu.


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Originally Posted by BDB
Sometimes the student's injuries are caused by the teacher or the academic milieu.

Sad but true.


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Originally Posted by BDB
Sometimes the student's injuries are caused by the teacher or the academic milieu.
Yes and I believe many performers make some of the worst teachers.( from what I have been told and what I have read ) If a frustrated performer has no patience with his students , yes unnecessary tension will arise.
Perhaps with Covid 19 the typical piano teacher down the road will disappear. Then we shall see what develops from many music pupils learning online, with online teachers.
Covid 19 is not over just because suddenly everyone is getting vaccinated.( at least in some countries)

Do university departments not have auditions anymore for young people who want to study the piano as a major part of
a degree program???
When you cannot find evidence for bad pianos causing injuries you seem to just want to turn your attention to music teachers. This is just so "airy fairy"
I thought your thesis is about "unregulated pianos causing injuries ?"

Last edited by Lady Bird; 03/30/21 09:17 PM. Reason: missing text
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Originally Posted by Joseph Fleetwood
we might actually have a problem finding a piano student who doesn't have an existing injury, or at least some problems with tension and fatigue....
I have no idea about what you mean you may have a problem finding a piano student who did not have an existing injury...
...what do you mean.. ?
No one can possibly play a piece without any tension at all !
That is not possible. One would be like a jellyfish. The point is to to learn where to relax , whether that is at a rest or the end of a phrase. This now will be the begining of a big debate. Please just argue among yourselves. This is just a waste of time.

Last edited by Lady Bird; 03/30/21 09:38 PM. Reason: missing text
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There is a trend for smaller pianos to have lighter hammers.

What is ridiculous in the piano making business is when a maker makes a larger piano, they almost always increase the hammer weight. Yet the strings in all sizes of pianos are all tuned to the same pitch.

The sign of this is the "deader" treble tone larger pianos often have compared to the same builder's smaller ones.

It is also can be part of the reason so many concert grands are more difficult to control.


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Joe
Excuse me if I seem rude.This is my proffesion we are talking about .I have spent most of my life teaching music. I was trained in how to do that. Many of us have admired your playing. I just think the direction this thread has now taken is not totally unfair.
While there may be validity in what you are saying, there is a generalization in what you are saying as well , which find unfair and to a degree untrue. At least that is how I feel. Not only your feelings matter , other's matter as well.

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Originally Posted by Lady Bird
Originally Posted by Joseph Fleetwood
we might actually have a problem finding a piano student who doesn't have an existing injury, or at least some problems with tension and fatigue....
I have no idea about what you mean you may have a problem finding a piano student who did not have an existing injury...
...what do you mean.. ?

I can't speak for Joe, but I assumed he meant that most students at the university level are playing and practicing so much that they already tend to be pushing these injury-prone boundaries.


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OK yet if he is laying these injuries purely at the door of ordinary piano teachers. I do find it extraordinary and probably untrue.
When I was at university although I did a teaching program. I did have to perform for 4years at quite a high level .Everything in my curriculum related to music. Our teachers were concert pianists.For the performers degree there were about 3 or 4 for piano students. I knew them , I do not beleive one suffered a performance injury !
There was one girl who would suffer a kind of anorexia, where she would be hospitalized before her exam.She eventually got through her degree and graduated .This was obviously a nervous problem or perhaps because the one piano professors was known to take her frustrations out upon her students. ( thank goodness she was not my teacher)

Yes practicing and studying for B.Mus is exhausting. However I never heard from any of the students or saw any evidence of any hand or arm injury.
So yes I find this difficult to believe. There is also an implication and it was even said by BDV that TEACHERS caused these injuries. I presume earlier teachers before the student enrolled at the university. ( certainly according to Joe )
As I have said I taught a few pupils who did grade 10 RCM exams .Three of these reached a high enough mark in their practical work to work on the ARCT performers exam. This is a proffesional performers diploma. ( which I do nor teach )
None of these students developed any kind of injury or abnormal, unresolved tension that I was aware of .
Yes I understand that amount of work at the piano. As far as I was concerned I gave as much as I could that I learned under my Italian lady piano professor that I studied under at university.
I hope since you see his point of view , you can see mine as well.

Last edited by Lady Bird; 03/31/21 01:37 AM. Reason: missing text
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He said "sometimes". So not all teachers. And of course there is rarely just one cause for problems in real life but usually an interaction between multiple factors. There are poor souls with a genetic predisposition for joint problems who compete by excessive practicing to become the worlds best pianist, on a fully inert, poorly regulated 9 foot post-WWII grand, under the supervision of a tyrannical teacher. And the are young, healthy, lazy hobbyists with excellent and empathetic teachers, who also happen to have a medical degree in hand physiology, playing predominantly Satie on a very well maintained and regulated smaller Grotrian upright. And there is everything in between in all dimensions.

The OP wants to factor out the potential piano-based contribution to the problem.

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Teachers with a medical degree ..in..hand physiology, and predominantly playing Satie on ...well maintained regulated smaller Grotrian..... Well you never know ?

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wink I may have exaggerated slightly.

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LadyBird,

You have made a decision to feel attacked and to be offended by what I have said. You have decided to take something personally, something that was not polemical, something that was not pointing the finger of blame at you or anyone else for that matter, and you're back to spouting your poison on the forum yet again, as you did to Sam Bennett on another thread, which you'll remember got you banned for a while.

To clarify:

I haven't said that you don't need some tension to play the piano. Of course you need some tension. You need tension to do anything. I said "problems with tension or fatigue". If your doctor says to you that you have breathing problems, does that mean that you should stop breathing? If you have blood pressure problems, does that mean you should have no blood pressure? No. It doesn't. By tension problems I simply meant overly-tense, or even under-tense, in fact I'm writing a paper on the subject for pedagogy just now, based on the work of Joan Last who speaks about just such things. I'm not going to bother explaining myself to you further because you were so rude, Ladybird.

You seem to forget that I am also a piano teacher, I am as involved in this as anybody else, and over the years I have taught many beginners and continue to do so, before you tell me that my level is too advanced to understand beginner to intermediate playing, as you have said to me before.

Is this thread laying the blame at teachers? Certainly not. Is there bad teaching that encourages injury? Yes. Is it widespread? Yes. Are YOU, Ladybird, responsible for some of that bad teaching? How on earth do I know? I know nothing about your teaching and I barely even know your first name.

Music students have to perform a lot of recitals, concertos, chamber music, and they have to practice for hours a day. They often practice far more than is healthy for them, playing way past the point of fatigue. That in itself is enough to cause injury. You don't need to play the piano to know this. Anybody who has worked out in a gym will know that by the end of their work out they'll be mismanaging muscle tension and running the risk of tendonitis. Anybody who has typed long hours knows the same.

This thread, Ladybird, is actually about whether or not playing on poorly regulated instruments brings you to that point of fatigue sooner, or if it has no effect. It might be that we find that the instrument has no effect, and therefore we should look elsewhere. Is there a problem with repetitive strain injury in our profession? Definitely. Absolutely. Before we even think about students who had it, we can look at great pianists - Schnabel, Rachmaninoff, Gould, Horowitz, Lang Lang, Yuja Wang, Leon Fleischer, I could go on. They were playing on the best pianos they could get at the time, for sure.

Am I saying that ONLY instruments cause injury? Or ONLY teaching? Or ONLY practice technique? NO! I'm not. I'm saying that there is a group of contributory factors. Of the external factors, the instrument is one possibility.

As a piano teacher yourself, rather than feeling threatened and being rude, why don't you help us find a solution?


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The other thing is, LadyBird, before you hit out at me like that, remember that I am using my own name on this forum. You are hiding behind a handle, a fake name. At least sign your own name in posts so we can talk it out properly.


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