dcarlso3 wrote:IMHO...useless. Practice music if you want to play music.
I respect your opinion to determine the use of Kitharologous (or perhaps isolated technique practice in general) useless. I agree that playing music is the end goal. Technical elements can be extracted from pieces and used to develop a particular issue. However, I have two points to offer:
Each learner is different--and each individual may have different learning needs at various times in their development. The demands on the learner's skill base are challenged by their goals. I believe individuals should strive for the best technical development possible but the demands on the technique of a recreational player are different from those of a professional player. They are also judged by different standards.
A year ago I had the opportunity to audition for eligibility for the completion of my music degree. I failed--and miserably. Not because I hadn't practiced endless hours, not because I hadn't performed these pieces in public before but because under the pressure of instense scrutiny, the underlying weaknesses of my technique caused me to lose confidence and it all fell apart.
I have since taken a new look at the application of technique--this includes the use of Kitharologous and Pumping Nylon, Carlevaro and some others. As I fortify my core technique, my playing gets much better. My hands are better synchronized, my left hand (which was tight) is now loose and supple and learning to articulate, my right hand (which was loose) is now more in control and allows me to add dynamics to my playing which I was unable to do well prior to this. I am moving beyond my former tempo barriers and having success playing music at and above suggested tempos. Most importantly, I'm beginning to be able to relax and just enjoy the music while I play. I'm starting to test these things under performance pressure--so far so good. I hope to reapply to school in the spring.
My second point is that as a teacher, having knowledge of how each element of technique is developed is vital. I need to have, at my disposal, an arsenal of tools to help my students progress. If they don't have a problem, then I don't need to fix it--but if they do, I need to help them over the hurdle. I think Kitharologous, in particular, is takes a methodical and gentle approach to the development of technique. If a student can develop skills from the bottom up, it may help them avoid problems later when the music gets harder and the demands increase.
Do I apply this apart from music? No. Each and every "exercise" is used in conjunction with pieces we work on. I point out how the core skills relate to the music and make their playing stronger.
In conclusion, I respect your opinion but I don't think that just "playing music" will work for everybody in every situation.
So much music, so little time.