How Can I Pin Point My Success, Rather Than Just Accidentally Arrive?


As far as I am concerned, very few people who reach great heights in life, in terms of career success, love, business, wealth building, and almost anything else you can think of, arrive by accident. I know that some people fall in love with the idea that they will go where fate leads them, but to me, that is a cop out. In fact, forgive my bluntness, it's just ridiculous. Certainly, the piano is no different, and you are well aware that much effort is required to reach the level of success and professionalism you desire.

I know I am occasionally very direct, but let me tell you, if there is anything that I can convey to you, it's this: Anything worth having is worth working for. I am including the entire gamut of forms of effort to reach your real goals here. I am talking about

  • Aiming high, as you have a greater chance to get there if you're aiming for it
  • Being clear in your desired result
  • Being prepared to persevere, even when you have failed before
  • Persisting, even when everyone else says you can't do that because of…
  • Constantly going over the above list, and being so determined, you continue to persevere.


I know that it is very easy to generalise about these things, but in all truth, no matter who you are, where you come from, I have found that these points apply to any serious and long term success. I know you might tell me that if wealth is your dream, you could get there by winning the lottery. Now, as it turns out, the chances of that are somewhat limited. You also have a greater possibility of becoming successful on your own merit, and on top of that, you will be more likely to hold on to your wealth, as your mind will be developed, or trained for success. I have read of many people who have not understood or known how to handle money, and lost it all, and more, after a big lottery win. My point here is to do all you can to develop your mind.

I know that people can have lucky streaks, and so on, and certainly, I advocate working smarter, rather than just harder, but over all, it is still about having steeled determination, and grit to get through all the failures and rejection. To give you another example, I use article marketing for many of my various websites, as this has proven to work for me. However, I can also tell you that I did not get the hang of it on my first attempt. On a number of occasions, I had difficulty coming up with titles that worked, or even, developing my writing style. That took time, with trial and error. If I allowed the first rejection to get me down, I may have given up, and not seem the results I now have. Hence, this is another example. Be determined and treat each failure as a step to something bigger. When I was looking for work, I also went through countless numbers of rejections. However, I knew it was just preparation for a better, and more rewarding and meaningful position elsewhere.

I know that most of us want the results of our efforts today, if not even the results without the effort. However, there are a few proven strategies, that do take time, that will however, help you reach your desired destinations more quickly, and surely.

There are methods of thinking to substantially help you focus, and reach the life success, you would like to see. It is about the way that you think, and train your mind to solve problems, and face challenges.

Tendonitis and Piano Playing – How Can Tendonitis For Pianists Be Resolved or Dealt With Appropriately?


It is no secret to just about any long term pianist that occasional pain and muscular discomfort may occur from time to time, during their playing careers. Effectively, this is the result of repetitive strain injury. Many serious or professional pianists will typically practice for around seven hours a day, and over a period of a number of years, will add up to a long term pressure on the joints and muscles of the arm, hand and wrist.



As with any sporting activity, it is encouraged to ensure that a thorough warm up session be undertaken first, and then too, a cool down session, to slowly relax the body prior to the cessation of exercise. The same can be applied for pianists, as this will contribute to less chance of injury. Now, I am not going to suggest that playing scales and arpeggios before you launch into the Beethoven Pathétique Sonata is going to cover you against all and sundry injuries. However, it certainly is an important part of your playing regimen.

However, let's consider the actual forces and strain that are going on with the arm, and hands, let alone the wrist and fingers. As far as the arm is concerned, many pianists extend the arm in such a way as to apply considerable force to the wrists ad tendons, as they play, and this can certainly be sustained for a period of time,. However, given the nature of the work in question, some pianists will start to notice pain if they are stretching their fingers considerably (when the hands are small, and the notes spread widely over the keyboard). The preceding example is by no means the only possible scenario, but certainly a common one, amongst others.

There are a number of possibilities to undertake to resolve the problem, and for some, that includes attending physiotherapy clinics. They certainly have their place, and some are undoubtedly very good. In fact, some have an excellent reputation. A question that I would ask however, is to perhaps see if we can find a way to eliminate the problem form developing in the first place. Is such an option available to pianists? The short answer is yes, although it is dependent on the teacher, and student adopting a different method of playing, which like any new endeavour, will take time to master, but ultimately, bring forth greater rewards to the pianist, as well as the pleasure of an improved sound. You might well ask, "How can dealing with tendonitis improve the sound?"

The sound itself, is the result of the quality of the playing. When a pianist is able to play with less fear due to a greater relaxation at the keyboard, and a technique that allows a greater freedom of movement in the hand and fingers, as well as positioning relative to the keyboard, the strain can be greatly minimised on the tendons. Whilst some people may try to convince you that you can cure the problem in a few days, I personally believe that to be irresponsible, and dangerous. If you play on through a damaged tendon, you will likely do more damage. You are better off resting the injury till it heals, and then applying a technique that has been proven, like the Bowman method.

Next, are you experiencing or dealing with overcoming piano injury, for the long term?

You will also gain an enhanced comfort and improvement in your playing, with less stress and injury. To learn more, see the therapeutic techniques that are possible for classical pianists.

Can I Overcome Difficult Injuries, and Still Play the Piano at Concert level?

The short answer, in many cases is, Yes. I say this, as many pianists have suffered numerous injuries in the past, typically in the areas of tendonitis or muscular injuries.

However, with the right information, and methodical approach, you can overcome your limitations.4

I know this is a big statement to make, but let me explain it this way…

I was fortunate to have met Professor Lionel Bowman, before he passed away, and also have come in contact with Mr Wallace Tate, a man who studied the methods of Professor Bowman in great detail.

Mr Tate, over a period of several years. monitored the methods that Professor Bowman had created, and utilised his talent for translating complex moves into easy to follow steps, in a manual with fantastic illustration, and example material, to help both the student and teacher, maximise their comprehension, understanding and application of the Bowman playing method.


Mr Bowman experienced great difficulty in his late thirties as a concert pianist, in terms of repetitive bouts of tendonitis and other muscular problems. However, after being unable to play for some months, he took the time to learn the anatomy of the arm, hand, wrist and fingers, and really study, by process, trial and error, the methods that would not only allow him to play again, but to do so pain free. The results were nothing less than astonishing, to say the least.

Whilst the initial point was to be able to play the piano again, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise for all Professor Bowman's students as well, as they have reported massive improvement in their playing as well. Now, more people started to take note.

It was well into the process, that Professor Bowman then gave a master class at the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and had a DVD recording made of the class, which has become an essential element of The Magic Touch Course, presented here.  It is through these methods, and subsequent teaching that Professor Bowman further refined his technique, and most people who have actively utilised his method have had substantial success, not to mention an improved tonal quality to their playing as well as less discomfort.

The method is based on the increase of strength and tone in the fingers. This is explained in this classical piano article.

Note on the Exercises




The exercises are based on what the hand is capable of doing with various passages, i.e. single notes, octaves and chords in their thousands of permutations, which make up what we call music. Once the learning processes are understood, the pianist will find that they are comparatively few, and that they can be adapted and applied to the learning of any passage regardless of style or character.

These basic techniques are learnt through the exercises which are to be practiced daily in the manner prescribed. They provide a therapeutic learning process and are elementary guidelines only to play more comfortably and with greater ease at speed. They also give one the means of cultivating various basic touches.

During the learning process some of the technical movements, muscular conditions, postures, and sounds, are extremely exaggerated, as a good deal of concentrated attention and effort is required. Eventually it will be sufficient to devote a few minutes only to the more essential and representative exercises before regular practice sessions.

The exercises were taught by Professor Bowman by rote: they were not written out for the student. Thus, attention focused on the physical means by which notes were played in order to produce a preconceived type, intensity and quality of sound. As a result, the approach was experimental, somewhat improvisational and rhythmically flexible. The student should keep this in mind when working the exercises as transcribed in this book.






A DVD to illustrate the exercises and examples in this book is available as well, from



It is normally included as part of the book download.

Dedication to Overcoming Trouble and Difficulty in a Pianist’s Career

The Magic Touch…

It gives me great pleasure that Wallace Tate has produced this record of my teaching, a task that has never been attempted before. I heartily endorse The Magic Touch, and hope that pianists will find it both an inspiration and a practical help on their musical journey.

Emeritus Professor Lionel Bowman

Stellenbosch University.

May, 2000

The above are the words of Lionel Bowman, a man whom I hold a great respect for, not least due to his dedication to resolving a deeply troubling issue that he experienced in his late thirties and early forties.

Many pianists have experienced similar problems, over their playing careers, to varying degrees, and I should note, this can apply equally to laymen pianists as well. It is not only an issue for the professional player.

In Lionel's case, he found the pain so debilitating, and the discomfort so great, that he temporarily gave up the piano. However, unlike many who may have given up for good, he took the time and opportunity to study the anatomy of the hand and arm, as well as the fingers, and experimented with various techniques, till he established the 'Bowman Method' that he had been using and teaching ever since.


Whilst it was initially intended only as a way for him to play gain, he found that the sound of the result of his playing was better, and he was able to play pain free as well. Once he then taught the method to his students, their playing had improved as well, and many were able to avoid the problems he had experienced himself.


This was a great inspiration to himself, as well as his students. The work, written by Mr Wallace Tate, a retired Director General of the West Australian Music Board, as a result of countless visits by Professor Bowman to Western Australia, was created as a means to convey the Bowman method to as many pianists and teachers as possible.

The presentation is presented as a manual, substantially illustrated, as well as accompanied by a DVD or online video series. The material is very well presented and aimed at all levels for all piano players. Naturally, the absolute beginner may find it difficult, but there is where the assistance of a good teacher will pay handsome dividends. 

To learn more, see the Manual below.