2022 our 25th year online!

Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 3 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments.
Over 100,000 members from around the world.
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Shop our online store for music lovers
SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Pianoteq
Steinway Spiro Layering
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Wessell Nickel & Gross
PianoForAll
Who's Online Now
61 members (anotherscott, 36251, bob@pei, bobrunyan, Andrew E., accordeur, BravoRomeo, 13 invisible), 673 guests, and 314 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Page 1 of 12 1 2 3 11 12
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 2,393
eweiss Offline OP
2000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 2,393
I sometimes wonder why people even bother taking piano lessons. I suppose the hope is that one day, with a lot of practice, they too will be able to play Beethoven, Mozart, etc.

The idea of creating one's own music seems to be a foreign notion to most piano students. They believe it is beyond their ability. And with this belief they limit themselves.

In fact, I think music may be the only area where students are not encouraged to be creative. Not only that, but the majority of piano teachers want you to learn how to note read before you learn how to play chords - that is, if they teach you chords at all.

You see, classical piano teachers can stretch their curriculum out forever. You could literally spend 10 years learning how to play other peoples music. And while there's no denying this music is "good," it's also been played and recorded by people who have dedicated their entire life to getting it right.

Contrast this with visual artists. Do you think someone studying watercolor will spend years learning how to create another artists picture? It's ridiculous right? Yet this is what is done in the music world over and over again.

A student interested in learning how to paint in watercolor does not want to spend time learning how to paint the "masters." They want to be able to create their own beautiful paintings. So why should music be any different? It certainly isn't any more difficult than learning how to paint.

Personally, I have nothing against people who just want to play from fake books or learn the classics to perform for family and friends. I just wonder why the desire to create one's own music is so distant for most.

(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 10,856
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 10,856
Originally Posted by eweiss

Personally, I have nothing against people who just want to play from fake books or learn the classics to perform for family and friends. I just wonder why the desire to create one's own music is so distant for most.
Yeah, and while you're at it throw that old Van Gogh print away! Slap something on some card'n hang that up. (and while we're at it - you don't need all those old books!)

Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 244
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 244
What an intriguing question.

First thoughts: Watching somebody paint is not what people usually do. It's the painting itself you watch. When it's ready you can look at it. That's how people usually 'enjoy' that particular type of art.

The creation process, the actual composing of a piece of music is in a similar way usually not the thing people watch or enjoy as an audience. They want the 'finished product'. Only 'problem' with music is that unlike a painting that you can hang on the wall & look at, for a piece of music you need a 'performer'. Somebody that turns the sheet music into something that you can listen to. I guess that's why 'performing music' has become a real 'occupation' Something somebody can learn to do. As a prefession or a hobby. It's a different thing then 'creating music'. Just like in the middle ages whan writing was not a common thing to do, you had people whose job was basically telling stories that had existed for ages. Just to make sure the were shared & not forgotten.

You might say that with the invention of the record and the CD the real 'need' for music performers isn't there anymore. But IT'S FUN! And live music is still better then any recording.

But still it's an interesting question whether a 'performer' should always figure out whether he could be a 'creator' as well. Although I must admit that there's so much beautiful music that one could play, that I am tempted to just use what's there. leave it to the experts. But I'm interested where this discussion might be going...

Ingrid



Last edited by IngridT; 02/11/10 05:22 PM.
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 621
J
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
J
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 621
You wouldn't be trying to drum up business for your own lessons/website, would you?


Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 403
D
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
D
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 403
It this a genuine thread or an infomercial for making Musak?

Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 71
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 71
Personally, creating my own music is why I started playing piano just over a year ago. I figure it'll still take me a while to get the basics down before I can really give it a go.


Now we dolly back
Now we fade to black
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 131
U
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
U
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 131
I don't really care if there is an ulterior motive to this post.

I think it's a very interesting question, and I'm sorta pissed at myself that I didn't think about this until now. Not that I'm ready to ditch everything and start blazing my own trail. But it is a compelling question.

Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 162
C
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
C
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 162
Quote
Contrast this with visual artists. Do you think someone studying watercolor will spend years learning how to create another artists picture? It's ridiculous right? Yet this is what is done in the music world over and over again.


Actually, this is a critical component of atelier-style training for visual artists.


Ignorance is not a point of view.
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 87
K
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
K
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 87
It is silly to pit one kind of music making against another.

Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 684
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 684

I think in many cases parents are a driving force behind many students taking lessons. They see piano lessons as another form of discipline. They are quite happy to fork out the cash and the money spent is justified by certificates and graded exams.

I personally found that I had too many ideas of my own to slot into the lesson discipline. When my teacher had me harnessed and playing Canon in D, all I wanted to do was play by ear and develop my own style and technique.

Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 684
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 684
I think in many cases parents are a driving force behind many students taking lessons. They see piano lessons as another form of discipline. They are quite happy to fork out the cash and the money spent is justified by certificates and graded exams.

I personally found that I had too many ideas of my own to slot into the lesson discipline. When my teacher had me harnessed and playing Canon in D, all I wanted to do was play by ear and develop my own style and technique.

Ooops - double post!

Last edited by Ragtime Clown; 02/11/10 05:36 PM.
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,515
T
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
T
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,515
This is an interesting point and it has many perspectives. David Sudnow, in one of the earlier versions of his piano course, addressed this issue in his own unique way. He said that if you want to be a painter, you can go off on your own and just slap paint around on a canvas and VERY EVENTUALLY, something might emerge that makes sense. The alternative, he said, is that you can study the works of those who have gone before you and get a good idea of what it is you are trying to do.

Unless you are making up a completely new style of music that nobody has ever heard before, you are most likely working within the stylistic domain that somebody has done before. So, for example, if you are playing "new age" piano, then most likely, you are following the path that others have already laid out. Players such as George Winston, David Lanz, Michael Jones, etc., have already done it many times. You might create something uniquely yours, but it will fall within the stylistic mannerisms of those who already "been there, done that".

The problem I do have with what I hear from people who do just "go off by themselves and slap paint on a canvas" without studying what came before, is that the music just doesn't seem to go anywhere. It seems like a music texture that just kind of stops when the player does, rather than being like a well-written poem or article or book that one can follow, and it starts somewhere, takes you on a journey, and then resolves into an ending that is satisfying. That takes some awareness of how others have done that successfully, culling what you like and don't like from that, and then creating your own material. New age seems particularly prone to this. I personally like the music of David Lanz because it always DOES go somewhere and "reads" like a well written short story. Why? Because he spent YEARS playing in bar bands and learning the CRAFT rather than looking for the "easy way out" that is not worth its own effort in most cases.

Jazz players continually make up their own music as they go. This "composing in real time" is called improvising. People who do it well have spent a lot of time "woodshedding" and "paying their dues", and it doesn't come cheap or easily, but the results are well worth the effort. People who put in the time, most often learn from others off of recordings in addition to learning the tools of the craft such as the applicable theory and how to utilize it, along with the technique that allows them to execute what they hear in their head. That is standard fare in the development of a jazz musician, and all the biographies of such musicians are full of descriptions of these efforts.

My experience to date has been that very little that is truly worthwhile in life comes for nothing. So I would suggest that, while it may be worthwhile to consider creating your own music, I would also suggest that there are paths to that end that can yield results that are worth the effort expended, and that all those fakebooks and recordings and learning materials point the way.

Regards,

TonyB



Roland V-Grand
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 1,171
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 1,171
I think learning and playing existing music is essential to learning how to play the piano. What else would one play? (besides only exercises, which would force me to become institutionalized very quickly, and I'm sure others as well.)

I think it's different with painting (not that I'm an expert at either painting or piano grin ). One learns a certain painting technique, and then tries it out while trying to paint a banana, fruit basket or whatever. The end result might not look so nice, but the technique was practiced and all is well.

I couldn't imagine doing this to a person in the process of learning to play piano. "So, that's the technique. Now make up a song and play for me while I eat these grapes!" It doesn't make sense when there is already so much available - and much better sounding than most could come up with - especially in the early stages. smokin


ETA: much better said by Tony above. blush

Last edited by BenPiano; 02/11/10 05:45 PM.

Learning to play since June 2009.
My piano diary on You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/user/afpaSTU1096
[Linked Image] <- 10+ ABF recitals
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 55
G
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
G
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 55
I am sorry but I find you a little bit out of tune. Please compare things that can be compared.

I find normal to use other peoples songs to learn to play the piano. And I find quite normal to use known songs to express miself thru a piano. Like I could buy and hang someone elses picture at home...

I am sorry to say, but most of the time you are paying a piano teacher to teach you to use a piano proficently. If you want to learn to write songs maybe you need to look somewhere else, or maybe not if you talk with your teacher.

But playing piano is something that needs a lot of time invested to be able to express something with it. And you pay a teacher to help you get there. If you want something else, you will have the tool you can not have wihtout practice.

Anyway, good luck.



Yamaha CLP 320

"The maze was so small that you got lost looking for it." by Terry Pratchett.
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 131
U
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
U
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 131
Originally Posted by BenPiano
I think learning and playing existing music is essential to learning how to play the piano. What else would one play? ...


That's the point. You would go off and play whatever you wanted to play. You would create it - yourself.

I'm not saying that the result would light the world up, or be music that would stand the test of time, but it would be yours, created by you, as opposed to you copying someone else's creativity.

I'm also not saying that the usual study of classical piano music is in some way diminished in this discussion. Rather, it's an interesting exercise to run with this idea and see what thoughts and ideas result.

Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 3,842
C
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
3000 Post Club Member
C
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 3,842
Originally Posted by eweiss

In fact, I think music may be the only area where students are not encouraged to be creative. Not only that, but the majority of piano teachers want you to learn how to note read before you learn how to play chords - that is, if they teach you chords at all.


I think your observation applies only to classical piano music instruction. Certainly not to all music instruction or even most music instruction.

For example most guitar students are shown how to improvise over a blues scale very early on. Many teachers will cover basic chords even before learning to read notes.

An even more extreme case is the way electric bass players are taught. Even first month beginners are told "your job as a bass player is to think up and play bass lines that bridge harmony and a beat." But bass player do spend time listening to the great players. They have to learn this skill because bass lines are almost never written out and the bass player is typically left to figure it out.

I think art students do spend some time studying art history and artists. Art teachers do use example painting to show technique, use of color and so on. But you are right that students would never copy a famous work.

You are right that Classical solo piano is all about playing the piece as written. You don't add or subtract notes to Chopin or improvise over his themes. The range for interpretation is very narrow. But it is there.

But there is Jazz Piano and that is also seriously taught and it's all about NOT playing the notes as written.

Your complaint applies only to one genre of piano music. Today I'd bet a lot that the majority of keyboardist don't play classical music. Just turn on the radio and listen.

Joined: May 2007
Posts: 6,296
C
6000 Post Club Member
Offline
6000 Post Club Member
C
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 6,296
Originally Posted by ChrisA
I think your observation applies only to classical piano music instruction. Certainly not to all music instruction or even most music instruction.
It doesn't apply to all classical music intruction either. There are some of us who teach improvisation as part of understanding the language of music - and encourage composition (either of the spontaneous kind, or the thoughtfully written kind, or both).


Du holde Kunst...
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 769
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 769
Me too. But I want to play others people pieces properly. Create music is not easy if you don't have some technique, all the musical ideias you have you lose a great deal of it if you cannot try them on the piano.


Originally Posted by Leon Shuffle
Personally, creating my own music is why I started playing piano just over a year ago. I figure it'll still take me a while to get the basics down before I can really give it a go.

Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 1,935
I
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
I
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 1,935
Originally Posted by eweiss
I sometimes wonder why people even bother taking piano lessons. I suppose the hope is that one day, with a lot of practice, they too will be able to play Beethoven, Mozart, etc.

The idea of creating one's own music seems to be a foreign notion to most piano students. They believe it is beyond their ability. And with this belief they limit themselves.

In fact, I think music may be the only area where students are not encouraged to be creative. Not only that, but the majority of piano teachers want you to learn how to note read before you learn how to play chords - that is, if they teach you chords at all.

You see, classical piano teachers can stretch their curriculum out forever. You could literally spend 10 years learning how to play other peoples music. And while there's no denying this music is "good," it's also been played and recorded by people who have dedicated their entire life to getting it right.

Contrast this with visual artists. Do you think someone studying watercolor will spend years learning how to create another artists picture? It's ridiculous right? Yet this is what is done in the music world over and over again.

A student interested in learning how to paint in watercolor does not want to spend time learning how to paint the "masters." They want to be able to create their own beautiful paintings. So why should music be any different? It certainly isn't any more difficult than learning how to paint.

Personally, I have nothing against people who just want to play from fake books or learn the classics to perform for family and friends. I just wonder why the desire to create one's own music is so distant for most.


As a piano player yourself who teaches piano, how can you make such a statement wondering why people take piano lessons???

In order to create one's own music, wouldn't there be some type of teaching involved in order to acheive some type of structure, rather than simply stringing notes together?

Where did you get the slippery concept that music may be the only area where students are not encouraged to be creative? From your own experience? Even in classical music, creativity is built into interpretation and expression.

Any teacher can stretch their curriculum out forever, not just classical teachers. Who is ever done learning, experimenting, regardless of the type of music?

Visual artists? You trying to make a statement that, for example, all the impressionist painters came up with all those styles on their own? No, they copied each other to learn, then they expounded on these themes and created their own niche.

JS Bach paved the way for most every keyboard player that came after him.

Just like some folks want to play new age music, they might want to learn to play classical music, jazz music, learn to free-play, learn country, blues, etcetera et.

No question some folks have not thought about sitting down to create music on the fly and for that I applaud you for your post, but you might be missing many of the points you bring up ~~ hence, all the replies in such a short period of time. Nice going - it gets people thinking, and it seems that might have been your only intention.


[Linked Image]
A Bit of YouTube
PTG Associate Member
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,663
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,663
I agree, there are all different aspects of creativity with music. Bach was great at improv (probably would be a top jazz player if around now), and I've read somewhere (probably here) that Chopin didn't really like his music to be published because he played his compositions a little differently each time. There are so many ways to be creative. Not many are great at coming up with new memorable melodies, but you can always make your own arrangements of your favorite tunes or just noodle around with them. Teachers and courses can also be helpful in learning various techniques for playing in different styles, new age, jazz, cocktail, classical, etc.

I think, as mentioned, it'd be great if most teachers concentrated more on teaching chords/harmonization/theory rather than strict sight reading. I had about eight years of the standard classical training as a kid, then learned electric organ and took lessons from a great jazz piano player as a teenager, and it was certainly a joy to finally start being creative with music. I still enjoy trying to play some classical pieces as written, though, not to be perfect but to try to capture their essential beauty and energy.

Lots of musical artists these days fuse classical and contemporary styles creatively. I've always loved the classical theme from Polovetsian Dance (Stranger in Paradise), so I took that melody and made up my own arrangement/transcription, which was a lot of fun. smile
Stranger in Paradise

Page 1 of 12 1 2 3 11 12

Link Copied to Clipboard
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
Piano Buyer - Read the Articles, Explore the website
(ad)
PianoDisc

PianoDisc
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
(ad)
Mason & Hamlin Pianos
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Tuning Yamaha CP-70
by MSnow - 05/23/22 09:38 PM
Recording myself for immediate playback
by GregR - 05/23/22 07:57 PM
Yamaha sound - am I being fair?
by GregR - 05/23/22 07:46 PM
Deposit placed on new Sauter
by pianomanatee - 05/23/22 07:25 PM
Kawai GL30 or Boston 156?
by Emeraldwynn - 05/23/22 05:06 PM
Download Sheet Music
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
Forum Statistics
Forums43
Topics213,200
Posts3,193,992
Members105,349
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers

Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads



 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | MapleStreetMusicShop.com - Our store in Cornish Maine


© copyright 1997 - 2022 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5