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#1099688 - 11/02/06 05:16 PM Your feelings on learning more than one piece at a time?  
Joined: Feb 2005
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Ratdart Offline
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Florida
Do you view pieces of music like some people do books? Can't start one without finishing the other? I think I get too excited and start 5 at the same time and pick which one I like the best then work my way down the list. I need to break this habit because I end up fiddling with the other ones when I should focus on one! What about you?

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#1099689 - 11/02/06 05:18 PM Re: Your feelings on learning more than one piece at a time?  
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Monica K. Offline

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Lexington, Kentucky
I have the same bad habit, ratdart. Well, maybe not QUITE so bad. But I tend to be actively working on learning 2 or 3 pieces at any time.

I don't think it's that bad, actually. Some pieces go better and faster than others, and it's nice to feel like I'm making progress on SOMETHING when I'm stalled on a given piece.


Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica
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#1099690 - 11/02/06 05:20 PM Re: Your feelings on learning more than one piece at a time?  
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Ratdart Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by Monica Kern:

I don't think it's that bad, actually. Some pieces go better and faster than others, and it's nice to feel like I'm making progress on SOMETHING when I'm stalled on a given piece.
Exactly!! I might get stuck, go to a different piece, and when I go back to my original piece it sometimes just works! Feels good to make a bit of progress once in a while.

#1099691 - 11/02/06 05:55 PM Re: Your feelings on learning more than one piece at a time?  
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Euan Morrison Offline
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I'm like a kid in a sweet shop - if I see something new, I tend to grab it quick. Most of the time I don't even finish the one I started. My commitment to a single piece is terrible!

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#1099692 - 11/02/06 06:29 PM Re: Your feelings on learning more than one piece at a time?  
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Astra Offline
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Well, I do more than one piece at a time (btw, was this grammatically correct?) but I dont think thats bad. If I have only one piece to practise it can become boring. So I think its good to have more pieces so you dont become bored, but then again not too many - in that case you probably even dont finish them all.


ex - pian00b
#1099693 - 11/02/06 06:42 PM Re: Your feelings on learning more than one piece at a time?  
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Frank R Offline
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I usually have 2-3 pieces going at a time. one classical, one fake book and one for fun. That gives me some diversity so I don't get board and still can focus on each piece without being scattered. of course there is still technique, theory, scales and chord practice............not a lot of fun, but it's like taking out the trash it has to be done......


Keep a song in your heart!

Frank
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#1099694 - 11/02/06 07:17 PM Re: Your feelings on learning more than one piece at a time?  
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mr_super-hunky Offline
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Okay guys, somebody's got to crash the party so here I come! laugh

Unlike you "normal" people, I learn my music in a totally different fashion. (very weird btw).

I actually can't learn a song in sections- getting back to it at a later time or date.

I MUST get a "feel" for the main melody of the tune and then start playing the song as I hear it in my head..(improvising). I simply choose not to play anything as written as my mind does not work like that.

Once I get the main melody of the song down (usually in a fake-book-ish style of playing), I will re-compose the piece using a kind of indicator sheet or cheat sheet. Since I am usually to lazy to actually re-write the score, many times I will actually deleate most of the notes, (white-out) and just leave the root note per bar in the left hand, and leave a few of the main melody notes in the right. This way I have an extremely easy to read piece of music in front of me (because there is almost nothing on it!!)

When I go and play this newly reformed composition, I just use the root note in the left hand as a guide (just like in a fake book), and I will automatically convert the single right hand notes that I left into it's correct chords/ arpeggios/ whatever sounds good.

Is this method nuts?, maybe, but when I play my music, it is very easy for me to do as I am reading very few notes.

Just think of having a little cheat sheet on your desk while taking an exam... THAT'S what I am doing.! I also lie, steal,loiter, and have even been known to pilfer!

#1099695 - 11/02/06 07:19 PM Re: Your feelings on learning more than one piece at a time?  
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Opus45 Offline
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I'm another one who usually works on 2 or 3 pieces at a time. I also do some shuffling of pieces from time to time...maybe drop something in favor of something else, only to pick it back up later.

Recently, I picked up Solfeggietto again only because someone here started up a study group thread and I was reminded that I wanted to play this piece. So it's currently one of 3 pieces I'm trying to polish up.

I need to add my recital piece to my current group of pieces in progress (it's a fairly simply piece that I only need to polish).

[Edit: simulposting with Mr SH...,]

It's always extremely interesting to read how different folks play the piano, especially those of us who use more non-traditional methods. The more creative non-traditional folks inspire me to "break the rules" sometimes. This morning, I was actually playing parts of the Croatian Rhapsody staccato where it was not even indicated!!! (gasp)...just because I felt like it. It was liberating and exhilarating. I should do that more often wink .


Jeff
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#1099696 - 11/02/06 08:29 PM Re: Your feelings on learning more than one piece at a time?  
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signa Offline
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i always learn at least 2 or 3 pieces at a time. i found it's less boring and more productive to learn and practice music that way.

#1099697 - 11/02/06 08:46 PM Re: Your feelings on learning more than one piece at a time?  
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Serious music students learn many pieces at the same time. I would imagine a dozen or even more. Not all to the same degree of polished perfection to be sure, but these people must develop a basic familiarity with a breadth of literature. I don't mean this to denigrate anyone here. Heck, I'm certainly not working all that many pieces. But the point is that when you are spending several serious hours per day working at the basic skills of musicianship, once you have achieved a certain level of proficiency you can handle a broad workload and make progress on them all. Variety becomes spice. This is a long way to say ....Signa's right. laugh

#1099698 - 11/02/06 09:13 PM Re: Your feelings on learning more than one piece at a time?  
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stephenc Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by Mr Super Hunky: Once I get the main melody of the song down ....
I've been trying to understand your method Mr S-H...is it truly improv? Maybe you 'decompose then recompose' and memorize your pieces? I am discovering that true improv requires knowledge of scales, chords, keys and inversions, minors, majors diminshed chords, harmonics etc etc all at the same time, this is a wealth of music knowledge gathered over, I suspect many years.

Maybe your method is another monster all together? I would love to hear one of your own compositions, though I suspect we all here glimpses in your interpretations anyway?

#1099699 - 11/02/06 09:16 PM Re: Your feelings on learning more than one piece at a time?  
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signa Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by Piano*Dad:
once you have achieved a certain level of proficiency you can handle a broad workload and make progress on them all. Variety becomes spice. This is a long way to say ....Signa's right. laugh
very true, piano*dad, you just said something i didn't know how to say. thanks!

#1099700 - 11/02/06 10:01 PM Re: Your feelings on learning more than one piece at a time?  
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I'm working on 5 at the moment. But, I didn't start 5 at the same time. I will usually have 1 or 2 that I'm polishing up little spots, 1 or 2 where I'm breaking down sections a little more, and then 1 that I'm trying to get under fingers. Then, everything rotates every couple of weeks. If I had everything new, I'd pull my hair out. If I could play everything, it would be boring.

#1099701 - 11/02/06 11:36 PM Re: Your feelings on learning more than one piece at a time?  
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mr_super-hunky Offline
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Stephenc:

You hit the nail 100% on the head Mister. I "de-compose" a piece, then "re-compose" it to my liking, then play it until I ultimately memorize it...(usually). That is exactly it.

I do not take lessons and have absolutely no idea about scales, chords, timing, inversions etc....nothing; I just play!

It's not as crazy as it sounds as I think that it is a much eaier way to learn a tune and lets you "interpret" the piece in your own unique style, as you hear it.

Since I am ultimately going off of a very simple piece of music (my re-composed cheat sheet), It is always very easy to follow along at any time.

It's kind of like sight reading and improvising (or add-libbing) all rolled into one easy to read and understand version.

People have told me that in order for this method to work, you must be able to think outside the box. As totally nuts as this may sound,...rules can actually get in the way! (at least the way I look at it.).

You ask to hear a version of my own interpretation of a song. I can't think of anything better than my final contest version of Jim Brickmans "Lake Eerie Rainfall".

I know you can play this piece as written very well. You see Stephen, I hear a very different version of this song in my head. I don't know if it is better, worse, or just different, but its the only version I hear!! (sounds nuts, but please understand!)

Here is my final version of this song which I entirely re-wrote the left hand the way I now hear it. I was given a great tip by Hobie several months ago and incorperated it into my playing style.

Here it is (never before released!!..woo hoo!)

www.pinnaclepeakllamaranch.com/Lakeeerierainfallcontestwinner.mp3

#1099702 - 11/02/06 11:42 PM Re: Your feelings on learning more than one piece at a time?  
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Monica K. Offline

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Monica K.  Offline

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Joined: Aug 2005
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Lexington, Kentucky
super-hunky, Lake Erie Rainfall will *always* be my favorite piece of yours. And this latest version is the best of them all. If you don't win that contest, it will be because Life Ain't Always Fair.

p.s. Is this recorded on your Roland or the BB?


Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica
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#1099703 - 11/03/06 12:04 AM Re: Your feelings on learning more than one piece at a time?  
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Thanks Monica,

you probably know that posting this song was just another shameless plug by me, but, in actuality, your comments mean a lot to me as this really is a very special piece (at least for me )if you knew all the history behind it.

I really worked very hard at re-learning the entire left hand notes. Most of the stuff I throw out is just a quick whip up of whatever I can come up with, but this song I am probably most proud of.

Thanks.

BTW, Is'nt it after midnight in KY right now!!

P.S, the "BB"

#1099704 - 11/03/06 03:54 AM Re: Your feelings on learning more than one piece at a time?  
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Ragnhild Offline
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Posted by Piano*Dad
Quote
Serious music students learn many pieces at the same time. I would imagine a dozen or even more.
I feel very serious, I think I work on about 25- 30 pieces, because i get easily bored with the same piece.

Problem is that I will never learn any of them properly frown frown frown

Ragnhild


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#1099705 - 11/03/06 12:32 PM Re: Your feelings on learning more than one piece at a time?  
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John Citron Offline
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I have at least 5 pieces in the works at any given time. Some pieces move ahead faster than others because they have some really complex parts in them that require more work than I may have time for.

One of the things that helps when working on different pieces is to bring them up to a particular sucessful stage, and then put them away before I get bored and trash them. By tucking them away like this, they become future projects that get pushed up to the next higher level, with newer works coming in underneath to be moved on up the ladder. This helps to break the monotony of working on the same things day in and day out.

John


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#1099706 - 11/03/06 12:41 PM Re: Your feelings on learning more than one piece at a time?  
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Phew. I thought I was the only one that skipped around!

#1099707 - 11/03/06 01:02 PM Re: Your feelings on learning more than one piece at a time?  
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Sarah M Offline
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I usually only learn one piece at a time. I can't work on multiple pieces at once because it just gets too frustrating not being able to play any of them decently.

#1099708 - 11/03/06 01:57 PM Re: Your feelings on learning more than one piece at a time?  
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Oh Ragnhild, I love you for saying that! And thanks Piano Dad, you calmed my guilty conscience. Usually, I have 4-5 pieces on my plate, all at different stages of progress, and every once in a while I shuffle the stack. Only that now with Christmas approaching I plunged into last year's songs that I wasn't able to play back then - what a feeling now! And my duet partner & friend insisted that I eventually practice our Schubert march (...) and some Petersburg sleigh ride (total fun!).... Burried under sheet music...

Patty


In love with life
#1099709 - 11/03/06 02:19 PM Re: Your feelings on learning more than one piece at a time?  
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I love being overwhelmed with too much sheet music. I always want more and enjoy sight reading material to determine my interest level. When I take something seriously I will focus on it heavily to get it up to par. Otherwise, I am shuffling close to 50 selections at a time of things I like to play around with. I really enjoy the variety and exposure to many new musical experiences.


Dean
#1099710 - 11/03/06 03:22 PM Re: Your feelings on learning more than one piece at a time?  
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3 or 4 at at time


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#1099711 - 11/03/06 06:28 PM Re: Your feelings on learning more than one piece at a time?  
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Canada
6 or 7 "repertoire" pieces trying to keep fresh.
2 or 3 newly learned - polishing pieces
1 or 2 brand new teacher assigned pieces
1 or 2 brand new self assigned pieces
so.....about 10 or I guess... but in different stages of completion.
then there's those little studies...... and chord, arpeggios, etc...
and the many "above my level" pieces that I fool around with .... so much music.....


It's the journey not the destination..
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#1099712 - 11/03/06 07:10 PM Re: Your feelings on learning more than one piece at a time?  
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U S A P T Offline
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I usually have any number of pieces I am working on at any given time (usually not more than six). I keep notes on memorized pieces on index cards that I keep in a filebox. Once I memorize a piece I don't like to go back to the music. I would rather jot down notes on a card and then put the card on the music desk if I have to.


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#1099713 - 11/03/06 07:23 PM Re: Your feelings on learning more than one piece at a time?  
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Ina Offline
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Since I have a teacher (january 2006), I work on 3 to 4 pieces at a time. Before I would work on something and really never ended the work. It was frustrating, I sight read very fast, but to polish the piece you have to work on it, for me it takes approximately 2 to 3 month just to play it smoothly. I play intermediate pieces. I'm more satisfied today and I can play the "old" pieces and realize, how much have I improved with my new teacher. I'm 39 and I just love to play the piano.



#1099714 - 11/04/06 05:30 PM Re: Your feelings on learning more than one piece at a time?  
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stephenc Offline
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Quote
Here it is (never before released!!..woo hoo!)...
If you don't win with this Mr S-H, I'm sure you'll make Brickman's day with it.
I say bravo for sticking at it for so long AND then changing it totally with the advice you recieved! This is a great one to have in the repertoire.

I think we've come one step closer to understanding your method, just a thought on that, maybe you could write the chords you're playing in the bass on your cheat sheet so you can start memorising their location etc, I plan to start learning these sometime..I'd love to be able to accompany a singer or a band by just banging out some chords without thinking too much.

#1099715 - 11/04/06 08:58 PM Re: Your feelings on learning more than one piece at a time?  
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Kent B Offline
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SuperHunky, Wow! That Lake Eerie song was a real treat to listen to. Thanks for posting it!


A Drummer / Percussionist turned piano player. ...Struggling not to hit the piano strings with sticks.
#1099716 - 11/05/06 10:25 PM Re: Your feelings on learning more than one piece at a time?  
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I currently dont' have a teacher, so I'm just working on one piece at a time. I feel that I make better progress this way since my focus is just on that one piece as oppose to several pieces at once. I also end up leanring a piece quicker. smile


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