The Cowling Institute

Questions on learning to play the piano, and piano music.

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fumbler
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The Cowling Institute

Post by fumbler » 29 Mar 2005, 17:49

Hi,

I think you have to be at least 50 for this one (and probably gullible too). Does anyone remember the Cowling Institute, and their Finger Magic exercises? These were a series of 12 rather poorly printed exercises advertised in the national press and sent by post weekly to the aspiring musician, mainly pianists I would think. They were done away from the instrument, for two sessions of 10 minutes a day.

I sent off my 12/6 or whatever it was in 1974 (no, it must have been decimal then). I'm afraid I didn't complete them as diligently as I should. I still have all the info, so I might start again. I'll let you know if they work, if I get to the finish that is.

Rgds.

FGP
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Cowling Institute

Post by FGP » 08 Jun 2005, 16:36

How can you sign in as 'fumbler' if you have worked through the Cowling system?
Searching through some old stuff I too came across my preserved set of pictures and accompanying instructions (1964) - off I went to cut a pecil to five and three quarter inches length just to see if it might improve my octave playing. In passing the computer I thought I'd try Google with "Cowling Institute" and low and behold it put me quickly to this forum site (but no other so I guess Cowling has long since gone down the plughole).
I found it useful though I'm not much for 'mind over matter' approaches usually. Interestingly I also came across a letter from one 'James Ching - Professional Services' - this too was forty years old. If you can remember James Ching perhaps you went to your cinema to see Charlie Chan now and then?
Best wishes.
Fred.

Andrew Plasom-Scott
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James Ching

Post by Andrew Plasom-Scott » 02 Feb 2007, 19:01

Fred,

My father (the late Peter Scott, an Alexander teacher of some renown) learned piano with (the late) James Ching and I have just had a lovely conversation with his daughter, who still runs James Ching Professional Services mentioned in a previous post.

Andrew Plasom-Scott

FGP
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James Ching Professional Services.

Post by FGP » 06 Mar 2007, 17:39

Dear Andrew Plasom Scott,
I was quite interested in your reply - please forgive my late response, you see, I only rarely look at this forum. For some reason or other, now forgotten, I too was at one time in touch with the James Ching Professional Services (maybe over forty years ago). 'Google' tells me that it is still up and running. Your father's connections with James Ching provide an interesting point of history.
Frederick G Page

frannie
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Post by frannie » 04 Apr 2007, 20:27

Cowling's finger exercises (and photos thereof) are available to download free from the following website: http://www.questx.com/tables/cowling.html

FGP
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Cowling Inst. photos

Post by FGP » 05 Apr 2007, 16:39

Frannie,

I can't get this http://www.questx.com/tables/cowling.html
to open. Is it because every pianist in the land is downloading this stairway to perfect piano playing? Anyone else having similar trouble?
Fred.

Gill the Piano
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Post by Gill the Piano » 05 Apr 2007, 20:42

I can't get into it either, but then I'm a complete div at computers...

West-X
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Magic Fingers

Post by West-X » 09 Apr 2007, 03:32

[quote="Gill the Piano"]I can't get into it either, but then I'm a complete div at computers...[/quote
Hello;

Just the other day I was searching Google for the Cowling Institute lessons and I found this forum. I'm not a pianint, I'm a guitarist. I have gone through the course back in 76?. They heled me out lots. Does anyone have any info on them, that link don't work. Sure hope they are still somewhere and they didn't find that "plughole" I guess that means sinks drain, across the water?

West -X

SirTK
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Post by SirTK » 02 May 2007, 05:49


Don Wills
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Cowling System

Post by Don Wills » 13 Jun 2007, 13:09

SirTK wrote:Try this

http://www.tabmantables.com/cowling.html

Terry

Thank you for the link, some of the exercises are missing from the original course; "THE FIST & THE CLAW" Otherwise its all there.I am a guitarist who was introduced to the Cowling System by a violinist in his seventies, who had amazing dexterity on his instrument for his age. He had sent away for the course in the 1930's. He let me borrow the brown envelope with the photos and instructions. I would, and have recommended this system to anyone wanting to improve their dexterity on any instrument. I have been using the exercises since the 1980's and believe me they work.
I have played guitar since 1964. Self taught, I did a "A" level in music in 1989. I was introduced to the Cowling System by a friend who had the original course and have never looked back.

Gill the Piano
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Post by Gill the Piano » 13 Jun 2007, 16:13

Can't do nos. 6 or 11 with my right hand...! :(

shrimpmummy
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re; THE COWLING SYSTEM IS BACK!! [all of it!]

Post by shrimpmummy » 29 Nov 2007, 19:33

THE COWLING SYSTEM HAS BEEN RECOVERED AND RESTORED, IN FULL!!!

IT IS AVAILABLE IN SPIRAL BOUND MANUAL FORM AT: http://www.cafepress.com/cowlingsystem


thanks - shrimpmummy
you can find THE COWLING SYSTEM at: http://www.cafepress.com/COWLINGSYSTEM

shrimpmummy
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THE COWLING SYSTEM IS STILL IN PUBLICATION, IN FULL.

Post by shrimpmummy » 04 Aug 2011, 20:50

The Cowling System is now available as a downloable ebook [pdf format]! from this link:

http://www.e-junkie.com/shop/product/452756.php

It's still available from CafePress, here:

http://www.cafepress.com/cowlingsystem.181435911

And, If you aren't familiar with the Cowling System and you'd like to know more, here's the website which features it:

http://www.make-music-better.com/hand-s ... tem-2.html

As the other musicians in this thread state: It can definitely revolutionize your technique and ability.. I use it, and yes, it does work. ~ George Hirsch, pianist and guitarist, NYC
you can find THE COWLING SYSTEM at: http://www.cafepress.com/COWLINGSYSTEM

Jonathan the 2nd
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Re: The Cowling Institute

Post by Jonathan the 2nd » 24 Jan 2012, 14:50

I used to use their original cards which worked very well years ago .I never got the complete set then , so I sent off for the modern book form. I wanted to encourage them for a worthwhile idea. Mainly you achieve independant control of fingers more quickly. It won`t turn you into a genius but neither will practising scales. But scales help , so we practise them.Cowling system works too.

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