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#1533968 - 10/12/10 02:15 PM Learning piano without a teacher  
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 14
Voyaging Offline
Junior Member
Voyaging  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 14
Hi, I am pretty much a beginner to the piano, and was wondering what the best way to learn without a teacher is. A certain book, video, method?

To clarify, I AM GOING TO GET A TEACHER EVENTUALLY. It's just that I can't immediately and I want to at least make as much progress as possible until that point.

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#1534037 - 10/12/10 04:20 PM Re: Learning piano without a teacher [Re: Voyaging]  
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,590
ChatNoir Offline
1000 Post Club Member
ChatNoir  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,590
Encino, California
Learning without a teacher is dangerous.
As Anna Russell says about "Singers who can't count": You can drag out the interesting parts and skip over the boring bits as much as you want!
And that's what one tends to do without proper tutoring. Ask me, I know, growing up without proper instruction and thinking I was just fabulous. Until, at age 40, I got a teacher. She promised me that I would play quite nicely once I learned to hit the right keys. And learn to count. And use the pedal. Etc, etc, etc.......


Some men are music lovers. Others make love without it.
#1534047 - 10/12/10 04:39 PM Re: Learning piano without a teacher [Re: Voyaging]  
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 6,390
jotur Offline
Gold Level
jotur  Offline
Gold Level

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 6,390
Santa Fe, NM
Many of us here are learning without formal lessons. You might check the Alfred's threads here on the ABF - there's one for each level of book.

Physically, the most important part is to play without tenseness. Tenseness can cause tendonitus, carpal tunnel, and some damage to the nerves in the palm of your hand. That's one of the things a teacher can spot that is perhaps more difficult to spot by yourself.

But there's a lot you can learn without a teacher. Again - check out the Alfred's threads here, and ask any questions you want - there's lots of people who will help!

Cathy


Cathy
[Linked Image][Linked Image][Linked Image]
Practice what you suck at - anonymous
#1534216 - 10/12/10 09:24 PM Re: Learning piano without a teacher [Re: Voyaging]  
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 6,390
jotur Offline
Gold Level
jotur  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 6,390
Santa Fe, NM


Cathy
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Practice what you suck at - anonymous
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#1534846 - 10/13/10 05:24 PM Re: Learning piano without a teacher [Re: Voyaging]  
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 88
kdi Offline
Full Member
kdi  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 88
Central Fl
If you can afford it start lessons at the very beginning. You won't regret it.

#1535011 - 10/13/10 11:02 PM Re: Learning piano without a teacher [Re: Voyaging]  
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 111
AllShookUp Offline
Full Member
AllShookUp  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 111
Pike County, PA
Do some research on the "circle of fifths" and learn what that's all about. It will be a good start.



[Linked Image]
#1535022 - 10/13/10 11:28 PM Re: Learning piano without a teacher [Re: Voyaging]  
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 107
Infinity Offline
Full Member
Infinity  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 107
West Orange, NJ
I learned without a teacher. Eventually i became a teacher myself. The best way to do it? Hang out with other pianists, and watch and listen!!


Infinity
Pianist and Teacher
West Orange, NJ
www.pianolessonsnj.com
#1535024 - 10/13/10 11:29 PM Re: Learning piano without a teacher [Re: Infinity]  
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 107
Infinity Offline
Full Member
Infinity  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 107
West Orange, NJ
Good Luck!


Infinity
Pianist and Teacher
West Orange, NJ
www.pianolessonsnj.com
#1535100 - 10/14/10 02:03 AM Re: Learning piano without a teacher [Re: Voyaging]  
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 4,289
mr_super-hunky Offline
4000 Post Club Member
mr_super-hunky  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 4,289
A highly motivated student will progress faster without a "teacher" than a poorly motivated student that has one.

In most cases (or at least many of them), having a teacher is probably best. Why try and reinvent the wheel? You simply should be able to learn faster and better with having someone show you how to do it correctly from the start.

Still, not everyone has a teacher yet many seem to progress nicely.

I think it may be more about motivation. Many people find ways to teach themselves to play piano and have done so forever. Some of the greatest musicians are self-taught.

Maybe it's natural talent or possibly relentless motivation but no matter the size of the container, the cream will always rise to the top.

People who are highly motivated to learn a task usually will. However they go about it, it WILL get done.

Many of us here on this forum are self taught, or worse! (no names!) and while we may not be the best, we proudly hold our own. Proud of what we have accomplished all on our own. A personal achievement of sorts.

Your succsess will be almost entirely dependant upon the amount of your desire to learn. The stronger your motivation, the better you will probably become.

Of course, as always, I am making all of this up. I'm probably right though!



Last edited by mr_super-hunky; 10/14/10 02:07 AM.
#1535102 - 10/14/10 02:06 AM Re: Learning piano without a teacher [Re: mr_super-hunky]  
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,325
Frozenicicles Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Frozenicicles  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,325
Canada
Originally Posted by mr_super-hunky
A highly motivated student will progress faster without a "teacher" than a poorly motivated student that has one.

Also, you're better off not having a teacher than having a bad one. Some of the stuff that gets taught is shocking. A GOOD teacher can work miracles.

#1535218 - 10/14/10 08:09 AM Re: Learning piano without a teacher [Re: mr_super-hunky]  
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,212
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Morodiene  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,212
Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted by mr_super-hunky
A highly motivated student will progress faster without a "teacher" than a poorly motivated student that has one.

In most cases (or at least many of them), having a teacher is probably best. Why try and reinvent the wheel? You simply should be able to learn faster and better with having someone show you how to do it correctly from the start.

Still, not everyone has a teacher yet many seem to progress nicely.

I think it may be more about motivation. Many people find ways to teach themselves to play piano and have done so forever. Some of the greatest musicians are self-taught.

Maybe it's natural talent or possibly relentless motivation but no matter the size of the container, the cream will always rise to the top.

People who are highly motivated to learn a task usually will. However they go about it, it WILL get done.

Many of us here on this forum are self taught, or worse! (no names!) and while we may not be the best, we proudly hold our own. Proud of what we have accomplished all on our own. A personal achievement of sorts.

Your succsess will be almost entirely dependant upon the amount of your desire to learn. The stronger your motivation, the better you will probably become.

Of course, as always, I am making all of this up. I'm probably right though!




I think that having a teacher can be a great motivator, but that isn't always the case. There has to be some inward motivation on the part of the student to succeed and take instruction for it to work. It's teamwork, really. The biggest advantages of having a teacher:
-Material will be presented in an orderly manner. A teacher knows what a students needs to learn next and knows the appropriate repertoire that will help them get there.
-They can also make sure that technical issues are worked out to prevent injury, pain, and poor musical execution of a passage or piece.
-Having a pair of ears listen to your playing to determine how well you're doing or what you may have missed or what might need work is invaluable feedback
-A teacher can give you practice suggestions on how to work certain difficult passages and correct errors. There are so many different ways to practice, that learning these techniques actually makes practicing even more fun, and it will get you results quicker than if you simply keep playing through the passage over and over again.

Having said that, of course someone can learn without a teacher. People do it all the time, and if you are at a point in your life where you can't afford it, then you make the best with what you have. I encourage you to save up or plan in the future to have some lessons, even if it ends up being every other week for a few months. I personally still alternate between taking lessons and working on my own. As a teacher myself, I still need a pair of ears to listen and offer feedback and suggestions. wink


private piano/voice teacher FT

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#1535270 - 10/14/10 09:08 AM Re: Learning piano without a teacher [Re: Voyaging]  
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 1,464
Stanza Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Stanza  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 1,464
Chapel Hill, NC
Here is the thing about a teacher by way of analogy.

My wife and I are both pretty good golfers. We were on a vacation at a golf resort last month. She couldn't hit the ball worth a dam for some reason. So she is trying this and trying that, nothing helped.

Now I know from experience that husbands need to stay away from giving advice to wives on the course, so I generally bite my tongue as long as possible. I finally break down and simply had her adjust her feet and shoulder alignment, and bingo! Long and straight...she played well the rest of the trip.

Same thing with piano, others see and hear what you don't. They can that help you with the proper solutions your obstacles.


Estonia L190 #7004
Casio PX 310
Yamaha NP 30
#1538981 - 10/19/10 06:08 PM Re: Learning piano without a teacher [Re: Stanza]  
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 272
Dror Perl Offline
Full Member
Dror Perl  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 272
NY
From the perspective of a piano teacher, I can say that I think you can learn a lot without a teacher, but it's a lot harder especially for an adult with a busy schedule. I think it's easier to practice and keep motivated with the right guidance and weekly assignments. Of course, certain individuals don't really need the weekly assignment to keep them going...but I think in most cases it makes a big difference.
Having said that, I learned to play the accordion & harmonicas just by watching online tutorials (youtubes, expertvillage, etc) so it's definitely a very realistic possibility and as long as you are excited about it and "hungry" to play & practice I'm sure you can achieve great progress by yourself.

One last thought, why not flipping the order of things? meaning going to take a few lessons, get some good fundamentals, solid base, good posture, and then continue by yourself. it sounds a lot healthier to me than gaining some bad habits and than going to a teacher at a later point...to fix them.

Either way good luck !! I'm sure you'll have fun




Dror Perl. Pianist, Composer, Teacher.

http://www.sheerpiano.com/

Sheer Piano: The First Full Color Piano Music Books




#1539257 - 10/20/10 06:15 AM Re: Learning piano without a teacher [Re: Stanza]  
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 3,605
TrapperJohn Offline
3000 Post Club Member
TrapperJohn  Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 3,605
Chocolatetown, USA
Originally Posted by Stanza

My wife and I are both pretty good golfers. We were on a vacation at a golf resort last month. She couldn't hit the ball worth a dam for some reason.

I finally break down and simply had her adjust her feet and shoulder alignment, and bingo! Long and straight...she played well the rest of the trip.



The unwritten rule of golf, being the game of politeness and courtesy that it is, is to never offer advice unless asked. Did she "man up" and give you credit and thank you for fixing her stroke? And then did she proceed to beat you? Would serve you right - no (unsolicited)good deed ever goes unpunished laugh

JF


Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on. Frederic Chopin

Current favorite bumper sticker: Wag more, bark less.

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