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Re: I must say thanks to my teacher ... but ... [Re: keystring] #2030619
02/10/13 05:05 PM
02/10/13 05:05 PM
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 2,572
France
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landorrano Offline
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France
Originally Posted by keystring

Since I did not say anything about his teacher's approach,


Well then all the better!

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Re: I must say thanks to my teacher ... but ... [Re: Tidal] #2030639
02/10/13 05:34 PM
02/10/13 05:34 PM
Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 529
Reno, Nevada
JeanieA Offline
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Tidal, landorrano, I apologize if I offended; my post was not meant to be a discouragement nor a criticism.

I do admit that I wonder how one can talk in absolutes (students always pass exams) when working with something as non-absolute as an individual's learning style. I understand how some folks might need the deadline of an exam or recital for the motivation to practice, some people thrive on taking tests to demonstrate their skills. I am not one of those; the mere mention of an exam or recital gives me hives. wink

I measure my learning, slow as it is, in small bits. Such as at tomorrow's lesson I'll be able to show (if I don't choke - that happens at lessons!) I've finally nailed the fingering on the three tricky measures of the Fats Waller piece that I've been working on for a month, now I can go tackle the next couple of troublesome bars there and that I actually managed to memorize the first movement of a Clementi sonatina we've been working on. I'm afraid I'm about as far from a musical prodigy as you can get and try to make up for lack of natural talent with a lot of practice - sometimes I think my teacher suspects I may not practice as much as I say I do, but he's kind enough not to say so!

But if you are basing your entire worth as a piano player/student/teacher on the outcome of an exam, or to structure lessons for nearly a year around an single exam, that doesn't seem like much fun. If you have those pieces polished perfect at the end of the year, great! I wish you the best of luck with the exam.

I have a close relative who has played all her life, she's nearly 80 now. She has a repetoire of about 15-20 pieces memorized. She is awe-inspiring when she plays; note perfect, expressive, simply beautiful. But she has nothing beyond these memorized songs, she has not learned anything new in 40 years, is a terrible sight reader, and has no theory. So, based on hearing her play her 30 minutes or so of memorized stuff, you'd assume she's a terrific pianist. But, is she really? I feel a broader spectrum of instruction makes for a better result, but again, that is my opinion and you need to approach your studies in the manner that works best for you.


Collector of sheet music I can't play.
Re: I must say thanks to my teacher ... but ... [Re: Tidal] #2030678
02/10/13 06:29 PM
02/10/13 06:29 PM
Joined: Feb 2006
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France
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landorrano Offline
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France
No offense taken, JeanieA. Still, in my opinion there is nothing in Tidal's two posts that allows one to think that either the teacher or Tidal are basing their entire worth on an exam, or to evaluate the teacher's approach.


Re: I must say thanks to my teacher ... but ... [Re: landorrano] #2030731
02/10/13 07:53 PM
02/10/13 07:53 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 16,701
Canada
keystring Offline
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Originally Posted by landorrano
Still, in my opinion there is nothing in Tidal's two posts that allows one to think that either the teacher or Tidal are basing their entire worth on an exam, or to evaluate the teacher's approach.

Good. Since nobody said such a thing. I'm glad you agree. smile

Last edited by keystring; 02/10/13 07:53 PM.
Re: I must say thanks to my teacher ... but ... [Re: Tidal] #2056653
03/30/13 03:19 AM
03/30/13 03:19 AM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 22
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Tidal Offline OP
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My progress updated:

I have completed playing the first piece and my teacher appraised me that it is fine. Now I'm working of the second piece, which requires more technical skills. I have also found out that my scale ability is still flaw that there is still an unevenness. I'm trying now practising it in a slow tempo, trying not to embold thumbs. It is very hard to control. And at the slow speed I also find out that my fourth and fifth fingers generate some sort of irregular rhythm that I don't know how to correct them. Overall I realize that I am far from perfection, which I am keen to get near. The more I practice, the more flaw I see.

Should I give up and just try to take the lower grade such as three or four? Also, should I change my piano teacher?

I have a dream and a list of pieces that I want to play in my lifetime. One of them is Schubert Impromptu Op.90-3. I could play it now but it will be rubbish. So I have to hold my breath, wait and practice. Maybe 10-20 years, I don't know. I'm 22 years old now and there isn't much time for practice due to my profession. I am very angry with myself why the heck in the past I gave up piano. Why don't I play it a lot and choose a pianist as a profession. I don't know.

Re: I must say thanks to my teacher ... but ... [Re: Tidal] #2056677
03/30/13 05:30 AM
03/30/13 05:30 AM
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 1,393
Cameron Park, California
Bobpickle Offline

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Bobpickle  Offline

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Joined: May 2012
Posts: 1,393
Cameron Park, California
Originally Posted by Tidal
I have also found out that my scale ability is still flaw that there is still an unevenness. I'm trying now practising it in a slow tempo, trying not to embold thumbs. It is very hard to control.


It will get easier with practice, but only if you work at a very slow tempo like you're trying (if you can't succeed, go slower).

I recommend this strategy:

Originally Posted by Ernest Dras ("Slow practice will get you there faster")
: The elder Mozart would place ten dried peas in his son’s left coat pocket, and for each successful attempt at a difficult passage, Mozart would move a single pea to his right pocket. When he failed on any piece, even if it was the tenth repetition, all the peas had to be placed back in his left pocket — Wolfgang had to begin anew. What usually happens when using this method is that the student slows down his tempo in order to play the passage perfectly.


"[The trick to life isn't] just about living forever. The trick is still living with yourself forever."
Re: I must say thanks to my teacher ... but ... [Re: Tidal] #2057141
03/30/13 11:19 PM
03/30/13 11:19 PM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 22
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Tidal Offline OP
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Thanks, Bobpickle. Maybe I should find a teacher who use this peanut methods. Very interesting!

Now I'm doing scales at 72bpm. I would like to capture a video of me doing the scales (and possibly the piece), upload at youtube and post a link here, but I'm not sure that it is appropriate or not. I am keen to listen a criticism and recommandation. Finally I know that the atypical way I choose (skip basic conventional books, pieces and initial grade examinations) would ruin my overall skills, but I don't know what they are and where to begin to fix them. This make me feel that my teacher truely overestimate me a lot, and I would like to have someone to get me fixed.

Any idea?

Re: I must say thanks to my teacher ... but ... [Re: Tidal] #2057198
03/31/13 04:32 AM
03/31/13 04:32 AM
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 1,393
Cameron Park, California
Bobpickle Offline

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Bobpickle  Offline

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Joined: May 2012
Posts: 1,393
Cameron Park, California
You should talk to your teacher about your concerns. Tell them that you want to learn the skills necessary to be a well-rounded musician, and that passing grades or tests, is of secondary concern (you seem to have little desire for the examinations and this is fine, but make it clear to your teacher; we don't play for the reason of examinations, do we?).


Oh, and posting youtube videos of your playing seeking helpful criticism is in no way frowned upon here.

Last edited by Bobpickle; 03/31/13 04:33 AM.

"[The trick to life isn't] just about living forever. The trick is still living with yourself forever."
Re: I must say thanks to my teacher ... but ... [Re: Tidal] #2057573
03/31/13 10:29 PM
03/31/13 10:29 PM
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 5,446
Philadelphia
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Derulux Offline
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Philadelphia
Originally Posted by Tidal
My progress updated:
It is very hard to control. And at the slow speed I also find out that my fourth and fifth fingers generate some sort of irregular rhythm that I don't know how to correct them.

Is it safe to say this error is more pronounced on the way 'up' than on the way 'down'?


Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.
Re: I must say thanks to my teacher ... but ... [Re: Tidal] #2057715
04/01/13 10:13 AM
04/01/13 10:13 AM
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 75
Toronto, ON, Canada
Quarkomatic Offline
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I find it interesting that many posters seem to think working toward an exam is at odds with becoming a well-rounded musician. Exams are specifically designed to test a wide range of skills. In addition to testing your performance skills, technique, sight reading, theory knowledge, and aural ability are usually assessed. Normally the repertoire must include selections from a few different lists to ensure variety.

I think one would be unlikely to exercise such a wide variety of skills in their piano study if not working toward a specific goal. Granted, one might play fewer pieces while preparing for an exam, and other skills like improvisation or composition may be neglected, but I think the time invested in ensuring one's foundational skills are up to a certain level will be beneficial in the long run.

I haven't taken any exams yet, but I am thinking about starting this fall to prepare for an exam next spring. I don't think it's something I will want to do every year, but I think it will bump up a few of my skills. If nothing else, a successful result would definitely be a confidence booster. Maybe then, when asked about my piano playing, instead of responding "I try" or "I'm just a beginner" I'll be able to confidently answer, "Yes -- I just passed my Grade N exam!"

Re: I must say thanks to my teacher ... but ... [Re: Quarkomatic] #2058274
04/02/13 11:44 AM
04/02/13 11:44 AM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 22
T
Tidal Offline OP
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Yes, I have to agree with you. That is my concept of taking an exam rightnow, in addition to a good quality of exam pieces.

I have the problem in a descending scale, especially on the left hand side.

Re: I must say thanks to my teacher ... but ... [Re: Tidal] #2185636
11/20/13 12:07 PM
11/20/13 12:07 PM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 22
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Tidal Offline OP
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The result was submitted to me few days ago.
I just passed the sixth grade of Trinity with Merit.
This is beyond my expectation because I was very nervous at the time and made so many mistakes. By the way I am very relieved.

Re: I must say thanks to my teacher ... but ... [Re: Tidal] #2185671
11/20/13 01:09 PM
11/20/13 01:09 PM
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 301
Austin, Texas
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ajames Offline

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A

Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 301
Austin, Texas
Congratz! thumb


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Re: I must say thanks to my teacher ... but ... [Re: Tidal] #2185688
11/20/13 01:34 PM
11/20/13 01:34 PM
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,872
Philadelphia, PA
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jdw Offline
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Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,872
Philadelphia, PA
Congratulations! Glad to hear they have the judgment to award merit in spite of mistakes.


1989 Baldwin R
Currently working on:​
Schubert, Op. 90 no. 2
Sinding, Frühlingsrauschen (Rustle of Spring)
Beethoven, Sonata no. 14 in C# minor (Moonlight)
Re: I must say thanks to my teacher ... but ... [Re: Tidal] #2185737
11/20/13 02:47 PM
11/20/13 02:47 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,363
Portland, OR
tangleweeds Offline

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Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,363
Portland, OR
Congratulations! Great work! Clearly you are your own worst critic wink


Please step aside. You're standing in your own way.
Re: I must say thanks to my teacher ... but ... [Re: Tidal] #2186104
11/21/13 05:17 AM
11/21/13 05:17 AM
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 2,182
The Netherlands
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WimPiano Offline
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Posts: 2,182
The Netherlands
Congrats and "Thank you teacher of Tidal ;)"

Re: I must say thanks to my teacher ... but ... [Re: Tidal] #2187193
11/23/13 08:18 AM
11/23/13 08:18 AM
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Posts: 22
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Tidal Offline OP
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Thank you everyone. This is my first examination. I would take it as a first step of my piano journey. My dream is to be a fair amateur pianist. Possible or not, I will carry on. I am at mid-twenty now, my hands and arms are ergonomically poor and my profession does not allow much time and relaxation due to severe workload and mental stress.

Re: I must say thanks to my teacher ... but ... [Re: Tidal] #2187201
11/23/13 08:46 AM
11/23/13 08:46 AM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,714
Boynton Beach, FL
Morodiene Offline
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The Twinkle variations (Ah vous je dirais) aren't really that bad, except for the last variation. However, even with your practice time, I think you can be smart about it.

Practice the most difficult parts ONLY. Do not waste time playing the things you can already play. Get the hard parts up to the same level of ease as the easy parts. Play through the entire piece once every couple of days until it's all worked out. Then work with a metronome to gradually increase the tempo to where you need it (playing straight through the pieces now).

Also, you may want to try getting up earlier in the morning or staying up a little bit later - even an extra 15 minutes can make a difference here.

When at your lessons, ask your teacher for help in specifics on how to work out the issues you are having. For example, your LH being too loud, what can you do to make that softer? I have some suggestions, but it's much better if you go to your teacher for this.

I think this is a great opportunity for you. It's not a competition where there's a winner or loser, right? It's more just a personal goal to help jump start things a bit. I'm guessing your teacher sees a lot of potential in you, but it's unrealized because you're not as serious as you could be, and this is one way of getting you there. When you really stretch yourself, you can make great strides.

On a side note, not being able to play a scale doesn't necessarily mean you aren't good enough to play. You just probably haven't practiced scales enough to be good at them. It is worthwhile, however to be able to do and will help your Mozart pieces as there are scales all over the place. Use a scale as a warm-up and play through them hands separately at least once every day. If you mess up, start over and go slower until you can play it - no matter how slow. Then when separate is easy (however many weeks that takes), put hands together. You'll get there.

edited to add: well, this is embarrassing. I didn't realize this was an old thread. I'll leave the above up for some other poor soul in a similar situation though. Congrats on your results smile

Last edited by Morodiene; 11/23/13 09:04 AM.

private piano/voice teacher FT

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Re: I must say thanks to my teacher ... but ... [Re: Tidal] #2188590
11/26/13 12:00 PM
11/26/13 12:00 PM
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Tidal Offline OP
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Morodiene, you're very generous to give me the comment.
Thank you.

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