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#1000127 - 02/06/06 02:35 PM Good Method/Teacher for Adult Beginner in Oakland  
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 30
sidk Offline
Full Member
sidk  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 30
California
All,

I'm just starting out and would like suggestions on a good method and teacher recommendations for Oakland, CA. I'm the type of person that needs a very structured program and I'm not very musical by nature. Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks

Sid

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#1000128 - 02/06/06 10:26 PM Re: Good Method/Teacher for Adult Beginner in Oakland  
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 3
Kust65 Offline
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Kust65  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 3
Minnetrista, MN
sidk,
I don't know about a teacher in Oakland,(I'm in MN)but the method I'm using is the Alfred adult "all in one" book. The reason I'm using it is I can't afford a piano teacher so I needed a book that would teach me everything! Seems to be a good book so far.Very thorough with the beginning fundamentals such as posture, hand care, reading your first notes of music, etc. Unlike you, I do have alot of music experience from playing another instrument (sax) but I've gone through all the steps anyway and it's been a joy learning. Good luck.
John


John 3:16
#1000129 - 02/07/06 01:07 AM Re: Good Method/Teacher for Adult Beginner in Oakland  
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 30
sidk Offline
Full Member
sidk  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 30
California
John,

Thanks for your input. I will take a look at the Alfred book. Wish me luck.

Thanks

Sid

#1000130 - 02/07/06 01:40 AM Re: Good Method/Teacher for Adult Beginner in Oakland  
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 2,653
Bob Muir Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Bob Muir  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 2,653
Lakewood, WA, USA
What kind of music do you want to play Sid?

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#1000131 - 02/07/06 06:47 AM Re: Good Method/Teacher for Adult Beginner in Oakland  
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 30
sidk Offline
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sidk  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 30
California
Bob, I'd like to play mostly classic rock and pop music.


Thanks
sid

#1000132 - 02/07/06 10:25 AM Re: Good Method/Teacher for Adult Beginner in Oakland  
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 2,653
Bob Muir Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Bob Muir  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 2,653
Lakewood, WA, USA
Rock and popular music is mostly very simple chord based stuff. You might be better off going with a method like Scott Houston who teaches techniques to play from fakebook or PianoMagic that teaches to play by ear.

A fakebook is a collection of what are called lead sheets, which are versions of songs with just the melody note and the chord notation. Chords are generally what you play in the left hand and the melody is generally played in the right. Houston teaches how to do this without any prior training.

Playing by ear is being able to play a tune that you know and can hum at the keyboard without needing fakebooks or music sheets. PianoMagic teaches how to do this without any prior training. (This skill is easily transferred to a fakebook or music score if you don't know the song you want to play.)

If you want to be able to learn how to play a song from a fully arranged score, or if you want to learn to play some classical, then "classical" methods like Alfred's would be the way to go. Even if you just spent six months with Alfred's or a similar classical method, you would at least learn what many of the terms that are bandied about mean. Terms like chord, arpeggio, and key. And you would also learn what the dots and lines on music scores mean.

Good luck!

#1000133 - 02/07/06 12:41 PM Re: Good Method/Teacher for Adult Beginner in Oakland  
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 30
sidk Offline
Full Member
sidk  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 30
California
Bob,

Thanks for the suggestion. The Houston/PianoMagic methods sound pretty tempting. What are the downsides of learning that way? Will I be damaged goods for purposes of learning the "right" way later. Should I have my 5 year old learn the more traditional way?

Thanks

sid

#1000134 - 02/07/06 02:29 PM Re: Good Method/Teacher for Adult Beginner in Oakland  
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 2,653
Bob Muir Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Bob Muir  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 2,653
Lakewood, WA, USA
Quote
What are the downsides of learning that way?
- You don't learn to read music. Although with Houston, you learn to read a fakebook and you can always dig into "real" music later.

- Without a teacher your technique (the way you use your arms and fingers to play the notes and the way your foot uses the pedal) can take a long time to develop.

- Unless someone else can hear what you're playing, you may even be playing things completely wrong for the longest time. Your friends and relatives may be too polite to say anything.

Reading other books (CC Chang's and others), forum posts, and asking questions can overcome most problems.

As for the 5 year old. I think children should learn classically, but they need to have a teacher who is willing to include works that interest the child. If the teacher refuses to help the child learn the occasional Barney or Sponge Bob song, (in addition to the normal pieces of course), then there needs to be a new teacher.

If you find a teacher willing to teach the child to play by ear first, you've found gold!

#1000135 - 02/07/06 08:28 PM Re: Good Method/Teacher for Adult Beginner in Oakland  
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 283
Octavia Offline
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Octavia  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 283
California
sidk, if you're willing to inverview teachers, a ton of them advertise on cragslist.


"These are the good old days" --Carly Simon
#1000136 - 02/07/06 08:29 PM Re: Good Method/Teacher for Adult Beginner in Oakland  
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 283
Octavia Offline
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Octavia  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 283
California
oops...sorry! Make that craigslist!


"These are the good old days" --Carly Simon
#1000137 - 02/07/06 09:42 PM Re: Good Method/Teacher for Adult Beginner in Oakland  
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 14
Califiddler Offline
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Califiddler  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 14
California
If you don't mind going to Alameda, try Steven Berk at (510) 865-5397. I took some lessons with him about a year and a half ago, he is a very nice guy and a good teacher and good with adult beginners. He is classically trained but plays mostly pop/gospel/R&B.

#1000138 - 02/08/06 09:51 AM Re: Good Method/Teacher for Adult Beginner in Oakland  
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 643
jdsher Offline
500 Post Club Member
jdsher  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 643
Plano, Texas
Welcome to the forum Sid. Here is a link to a search engine to find an instructor. MTNA Teacher Lookup Page
Jon


"In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." Albert Einstein
#1000139 - 02/08/06 11:59 PM Re: Good Method/Teacher for Adult Beginner in Oakland  
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 30
sidk Offline
Full Member
sidk  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 30
California
Thanks everyone. Does anyone know anything about the simply music method (simplymusic.com)? It seems like piano magic in that you start out learning to play before learning to read, but has live in person teachers. Any experiences out there?

#1000140 - 02/09/06 01:22 AM Re: Good Method/Teacher for Adult Beginner in Oakland  
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 2,653
Bob Muir Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Bob Muir  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 2,653
Lakewood, WA, USA
The first I've heard of them. (that's not saying much though) I wasn't too impressed with their sample repertoire . At level 3, Greensleeves was just one note at a time melody and single bass note. No harmony. Video Clips

They don't teach how to play-by-ear, (which is what PianoMagic does), they appear to be teaching fairly standard method pieces in a slightly different way.


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