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#2144652 - 09/05/13 02:09 PM Help me(w/ my Goals and Lessons)
Melga Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/04/13
Posts: 2
Hi everyone, how are you?
I'm 21 years old, and I've been playing piano for 3 years. In my first 2 years, I was with a keyboard teacher, so he didn't teach me alot. Now I'm with a real piano teacher which graduated in music.
Also, I recently became a member of a rock/pop band and I have to write the keyboard parts to the songs they wrote.

So my lessons now are basically reading sheet music, some czerny speed exercises, practicing scales and arpeggios and that's it. I really wanna become very skilled, and I feel like I've been missing something.
My first question is: Is this how a piano lesson is supposed to be?

So, my goals are:
1) Be able to play and understand the theory of a song like this : The Reign of Kindo - Romancing a Stranger: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6rVEy0zDh6E
or this: Jerry Martin - Since We Met https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wuTdtYaHPh4&list=TLOHWW1unPerM
What should I study or practice, so I can be able to play it well?

2) Being able to write keyboard parts for my rock/pop/prog band original songs. Is there such a thing as a teacher that can teach me that, or is it just by playing cover songs with keyboard parts that I'll figure out what to do someday? This song for example, what should I do with the keyboard? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VwSjJ0c-gX4

Thanks a lot, this is an amazing website.

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#2144681 - 09/05/13 03:26 PM Re: Help me(w/ my Goals and Lessons) [Re: Melga]
musdan Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/05/05
Posts: 1228
Hi welcome to Piano World. Have you spoken with your teacher about what you would like to achieve?

Learning to play, theory etc will take time, patience, dedication and for want of better words, hard work to reach your goals.

With time and with your teachers help, I'm sure you get there.

Keep up the good work and let us know how you are doing.

#2144741 - 09/05/13 05:40 PM Re: Help me(w/ my Goals and Lessons) [Re: Melga]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 15459
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Does your teacher know these specific goals you have in mind?
private piano/voice teacher FT

#2158134 - 09/26/13 04:18 PM Re: Help me(w/ my Goals and Lessons) [Re: Melga]
Melga Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/04/13
Posts: 2
So, I spoke to my teacher, and he wasn't able to help me.

I want to become very skilled, and I want to know what I have to do to reach my goals. How the lessons and my practice should be?

Thank you pianoworld.

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#2158140 - 09/26/13 04:34 PM Re: Help me(w/ my Goals and Lessons) [Re: Melga]
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014

Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 1393
Loc: Cameron Park, California
Originally Posted By: Melga
My first question is: Is this how a piano lesson is supposed to be?

Piano lessons - which you pay for - are supposed to be however you want them to be. After all, it's not the teacher paying you for your time is it? That said, once you make it as clear as possible what your goals are (ex. I want to be able to understand how this piece was written in terms of structure/form, chords, scales, and other theoretical knowledge; I want to be able to play pop music like this keyboardist does in this video here...; I want to be able to improvise compelling music in this and/or that style from scratch like so-and-so musician), any honest teacher will be able to tell you straight then and there whether or not they're equipped to help you acquire the skills you desire. If not, they might be able to help direct you towards another teacher more capable in the areas you desire, but should they themselves be able to teach you, they'll immediately start mentally, or literally, writing out a path for you to take based on what they know about you, your tastes, and your desires. The path will be flexible enough that you'll sometimes feel you don't know where you're going or what you're doing, at which point you can and should ask the teacher for clarification, which they'll be able to provide. For this to work, however, you must be able to trust your teacher implicitly. You're supposed to do your homework on whether or not the teacher will be a good fit for you on the first or first several meetings so that you can either settle in and give them your complete trust or move on to try and find another.

From what you've briefly described, I recommend that you either try and start over with the teacher you selected based on some vetting process, hopefully, and ask him whether or not he'll be able to help you get to where you want to go, or move on to someone else.
"[The trick to life isn't] just about living forever. The trick is still living with yourself forever."

#2158159 - 09/26/13 05:38 PM Re: Help me(w/ my Goals and Lessons) [Re: Melga]
Music Me Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/23/12
Posts: 372
Loc: PA
Hello Melga and welcome. A lot of the threads here are wonderful and will help you in your musical endeavors and otherwise.
I am not very clear on what you studied during your first two years of piano. Regardless, know that it is never too late. Go for it. It will take some time, so be open to traveling slowly and evenly from A to Z.
You have to walk before you can fly. Working in a band will be a challenge but it will also be a great way to learn. Couple that with studying piano and music theory and you will be well on your way. It appears from what you have written that you want different instruction than just scales/arpeggios/etc..., however, they play a huge part in your development. What might help would be to learn some of the music you want to along with this. If you can find some piano transcriptions to some solo piano things you like, maybe you could add this to your piano studies already in place. Believe me when I tell you, they are all connected.
I started formally studying piano at the age of fifteen. Much like yourself, I wanted to also play Elton John songs and themes to movies I loved. I would buy the sheet music and take it to my teacher. The deal was that as long as I did everything else, we could work on something I wanted to play. So, I was always working on a classical piece as well as something I wanted to play. Sometimes the sheet music was far from what I heard on a record, so, I would play the chords how I heard them ( I also played by ear, which really helped me with this). Nowadays, the sheet music is pretty on the money from what I have seen.
If your teacher is not willing to work with you, I say get one that will. It will make all the difference in the world.

Good luck to you. Please enjoy your playing and keep going!
...without music, no life...

#2158344 - 09/27/13 12:06 AM Re: Help me(w/ my Goals and Lessons) [Re: Melga]
outo Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/02/12
Posts: 2889
Loc: Finland
Originally Posted By: Melga

So my lessons now are basically reading sheet music, some czerny speed exercises, practicing scales and arpeggios and that's it. I really wanna become very skilled, and I feel like I've been missing something.
My first question is: Is this how a piano lesson is supposed to be?

Are you not interested in playing classical piano pieces at all? Because if not, then you need to make it clear to your teacher. If the teacher feels you must, then it's better to find a new teacher.

I don't think lessons should be ONLY about the things you mentioned above. Scales and arpeggios are important. But you should not be doing "speed exercises" at least not in the early stages. Instead one should learn to play and practice slowly first. Does your teacher show and tell you HOW you should work on the Czerny exercises? Just calling them "speed exercises" sounds like confusion to me...

To make it short, the lessons should be about working on suitable (not too easy and not too difficult) pieces in the genre you are interested in and supplementing that with the things you mentioned based on your individual needs. Working on the pieces means that the teacher helps you study them the correct way both on lessons and while practicing at home.

Edited by outo (09/27/13 12:07 AM)

#2158355 - 09/27/13 12:42 AM Re: Help me(w/ my Goals and Lessons) [Re: Melga]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5446
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: Melga
So, I spoke to my teacher, and he wasn't able to help me.

I want to become very skilled, and I want to know what I have to do to reach my goals. How the lessons and my practice should be?

Thank you pianoworld.

I think this is a big indicator for you. Like everyone else has said, the lessons need to be oriented towards reaching your goals, not your teacher's goals. You may have the best teacher in the world, but if the two sets of goals aren't aligned, you will not have a fulfilling experience.

There are piano teachers out there who teach exactly what it is you're looking for. My first piano teacher did this more so than classical. You're going to want someone who actively plays in a band (in your genre, preferably), and bonus points if they're good at improv (will help you not have to write out lengthy transcriptions.. lead and/or chord sheets, max).
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.


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