Piano Research Faculty

New project: Piano Research Faculty (PRF)


Wolfgang Ellenberger in his teaching room


dear music colleagues, to whom it may concern,

my gratitude to the state of Hamburg and the Federal Republic of Germany is very great that they have carried the immense costs for my triple studies in Hamburg. As you can see from my resume I had a special permission from the Hamburg Music Academy to make a parallel study of medicine (University of Hamburg) and a piano diploma with music therapy courses at the Music Academy of Hamburg.

After 18 years as a free professional concert pianist with international concert activity I have been working working as TTT TrainTheTrainer in a world market leader Fresenius (FMC known from the German DAX) in the world-wide implementation of an innovative web-based software for dialysis treatment. After two years of international project management I went back to medicine and I am now working in medicine near my hometown.

My approach to teaching piano is sort of a multi-sensorial synthesis of my music knowledge and medicine and music therapy. There are several different and similar approaches but I think it should be hard to find this type of completeness of “separately” known familiar elements.

Maybe somehow and somewhere there is a way to bring back this richness to the people who are searching their way into piano playing and music. Otherwise this capital would be taken into my grave and I would have given my to the world “outside” the music world.

It would mean a unique occasion to fulfill and lead together different resources and different faculties to a totally unique and new faculty which I would call

Piano Research Faculty (PRF)

In Hannover and other vities in Germany as well as in different unversities in the United States there are centers for music medicine which search for treatment of typical musicians´ illnesses. But the accent of my conception is far more directed to get a higher output for ELITE pianists (as if it would be a specialized sports training center for Olympic sports people who want to get gold medals!). So it is NOT (only) music-medicine.

It would use up-to-date-knowledge of learning psychology and physiological learning techniques to get the maximum result.
In a loose order I would like to talk about several episodes of my life and what departments of this PianoResearchFaculty I would create:

The application of music-therapy (as a great German newspaper “DIE WELT” said it at times of my piano diploma)
came late when I worked as an assistant doctor in the Rendsburg/Germany psychiatric department.
In the PRF this would mean a self-experience-group with music-therapy-improvisation to enlarge the point of view of instrumentalists on the communicative aspects of music. In the extreme I would integrate the experience in fluctuating situations like trade shows or open-air as the toughest test for this necessary communication ability.

Coming from my music therapeutic work with an autistic girl (daughter of a Hamburg Music Academy professor)
and from my decades of teaching the piano I developped what I call the Relativity Formula Of Piano Playing. The essential overview in the internet HAS TO BE VERY LIMITED. Once I could present this concept to Prof. Asmus Hintz, president of the Yamaha-Music-School Hamburg-Pöseldorf (at the link you see our co-production of a big concert in the CCH  (1982-12-11-YAMAHA-CCH-HH-Konzert at CongressCenterHamburg). He experienced it being the “student” and following my suggestions. Later he scheduled me as main speaker in the European Yamaha Music Teachers convent but for tragical reasons I had to cancel this appointment. On the music trade show 2003 in Frankfurt he agreed to give his testimony if needed.

Briefly about the “Relativity Formula”:
Two main areas, a) music sheet programming scheme and b) three-dimensional movement analysis with body.

a) wants to find an optimal way of physiological programming of the brain and the muscular system – a multi-sensual approach even more precise than neurolinguistic programming.
b) splits the three dimensional movement into three partial vectors (a we may know it from vector analysis). With three elementary exercises in these partial levels ANY TECHNICAL PROBLEM can be resolved easily.
A consequent application of this method in the professional area would make it possible to create a pianistic ELITE and create a PIANISTIC REVOLUTION if the pianist colleagues professors allow it (and not defend their position of “power”….)

The integration of computer pianos in the standard piano lesson would be an absolute MUST in the PRF. Imagine that only a third of German academies do have one! As in medicine the invention of the microscope created a new faculty  -histology-  I assume that by consequent use of computer pianos a new discipline of Micro Pianistics will be born.
The PianoDisc system from Sacramento/California will be used as the primary system since it has MIDI formate with all of its tremendous options for the broad-band use on the basis of the unique TFT recording system.
The Bösendorfer SE-system, now CEUS from Vienna/Austria is the utmost of precision and will be used as a top-system for special productions at the highest technical standard in a non-MIDI formate.
As well as profound understanding of computers (and several music-related software) a profound knowledge of piano constructions (using a mechanics model in EVERY teaching room!) will be obligatory. Singers do have anatomy lessons, or not?

With a computer piano the tele-teaching function (PianoLink system) would be used as it is done today by the Helsinki Academy in Finland. I had the pleasure to present this PianoLink system on the Frankfurt music trade show for two times. This would create a tele-teaching structure between several Music Academies and pianists.

A further extraordinary application of computer technique is a complete filmed 3D analysis of piano players´movements as I did it together with the Sports Department of the Magdeburg University. Using the software of SIMI-Motion there could be proved a significant context between the body movements of a pianist and a dancer in certain body areas. We lectured about this experiment in several international sports congresses.
Such experiments could create pedagogical films of high interest. I could gather a lot of knowledge as a maestro of the Scala of Milano working at the ballet (also with Rudolf Nureyev). 1989-04-28-MailaenderScala-Raymonda-Plakat

Point 1 a of the music sheet programming scheme is the piano fingering. Here the unique fingering edition was created. The basic article had been published in the nmz (neue musik zeitung, one of the two big German music journals). Now it is sold online world-wide over www.fingering.name . Apart from the enlargement of the fingering edition with the help of the PRF students this un-loved part of the pianistic work would be professionalized a bit. It is un-loved because it costs the utmost self-superation to really define an exact fingering!

Based on my experience with more than 30 master-classes from 1991 to 2000 with medical doctors and pharmacists from all over Germany the PRF concept is made available with master-classes as in Vienna – hosted by the Bösendorfer company.

For over 18 years I run a concert service (see also client list!) and gathered a lot of marketing knowledge which should be taught possibly in connection with an existing management course. As the only person world-wide I could handle a 290cm/630 kg Bösendorfer-Imperial concert grand ALL ALONE with a special one-man-logistic which I developped and made the setup in 8 minutes. This area of a pianists work is neglected too much at the academies before letting them on the free market after the studies. PRF should create special courses for all pianists of the academy about Internet-Marketing, piano-Logistcs, Aquisitation, Marketing for Pianists.
This I offer as “Live-from-music-studies“!

RPF would have as a standard to make a live stream in the internet of all events besides detailled pages about the other activities.

Even an innovative concept of an “Alternative Piano Competition” using computer technology and working in a wide area (maybe all over the US?) could be realized and handled by the PRF.

Taking use of the practice in the USA fundraising would be done from several commercial products created by the PRF. Target would even be making profit! This should be absolutely discussed.

There are several years left up to my “normal” retiring age. This should be more than sufficient to build up the concept of PRF and make myself replaceable.

Let us realise this vision together!

Yours sincereley

Wolfgang Ellenberger