Put away studies by Czerny. Put him and the others into a closet and turn the key. Instead, use these passages from music you intend to play-music by master composers-as building blocks for technique and musicianship. Suppose for a moment that we don't accept the tion that a good pia technique requires strength training, or that it is even really possible to strengthen the fingers to any ticeable degree, in the way that authors of yore would have us believe. Those concepts indeed have long ago been discredited. Suppose, too, we discard the tion that independence of fingers is a physical action and t instead a musical objective. Well, you might ask, for what then do we train? Let's use our kwledge of how the hand was designed to work in order to train for refined coordination. In this volume you will find ample material for just such a study. Here are threads of Bach Inventions, early Haydn episodes and mainstream Mozart. Here are passages from the grandeur of late Beethoven and the Romantic exuberance of Schumann and Chopin. Here are morsels from standard repertoire that, if used as part of your daily regimen, will at the very least provide a colossal head start on the building of skills, musicianship and a catalog of music you want to perform.
Unlike life, playing the piano is easy and doesn't hurt. This mantra has carried Neil Stannard through what might seem to others like several lifetimes-performing as a collaborative pianist, occasional soloist, symphony bassist and, through it all, a dedicated teacher. He has performed in international venues with such artists as David Shifrin, Hermann Baumann, Eugenia Zuckerman, Leona Mitchell, Clamma Dale and Christiane Edinger, appearing in all 48 of the contiguous United States, across Canada and in many of Europe's important concert centers from London to Moscow, including Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the White House, Vienna's Musikverein, Berlin's Hochschule and Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow. He has taken part in the Great Performers at Lincoln Center series, the Berlin Festival, the Vienna Festival, Tage Neue Musik (Bonn), Marlboro and the Newport Festival. After graduating cum laude from the University of Southern California, a scholarship student of Muriel Kerr, Jacob Gimpel and John Crown, he received a Naumberg scholarship to play double bass at the Juilliard School (M.S.), during which time he performed in the American Symphony with Leopold Stokowski and in the Marlboro Festival Orchestra with Pablo Casals (Columbia Records). It was also during this time that he made his New York recital debut at Carnegie Recital Hall as a pianist with violinist Christiane Edinger, leading to a lifetime of exploration at the piano. In the mid 1970s he took part in the first Dorothy Taubman Institute at Rensslaerville, NY, and studied privately for five years with Edna Golandsky. Later, he studied piano on a German government grant with Gerhard Puchelt at the Hochschule fur Musik in Berlin, completed a doctorate in piano at the University of Arizona with Nicholas Zumbro and for 13 years taught graduate and undergraduate piano at the University of Texas at El Paso, where he was a tenured professor. He now teaches, writes, paints and attempts to capture the world in photographs in Los Angeles, where he also plays the cello in the Santa Monica Symphony.