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
59 members (BravoRomeo, alexii, Bill McKaig,RPT, Adem, Brendan, 13 invisible), 904 guests, and 291 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Page 1 of 2 1 2
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 34
E
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
E
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 34
Starting a new topic, a spin-off from my original. At the 3 year mark, I have complete Alfred For Adults Levels 1, 2 & 3. I know how to read notes (or most of them), I know how to interpret the rhythm and all of the myriad of musical notations (or most of them). I can learn a song on my own (or most of it) to a certain level of imperfection with a certain level of enjoyment and satisfaction (depending on how many glasses of wine I've had). OK, just kidding, I struggle enough without any induced brain impairment. I play a few songs across a variety of music genres, classical, pop, rag, rock, classic rock, standards, big band. A month worth of weekly lessons costs more than my TV/Internet/Phone bill, and yearly more than my health insurance deductible which went through the roof with Obamacare. Thank you very much. My musical taste is more in Classic Rock and Easy Listening, but basically any well-known song in any genre I like, especially if I can play it and make it sound like something someone might like to hear. I'm interested in anyone's suggestions or experiences with what value continuing the lessons would bring (I know there is but I'd like some specifics). Any suggestions of learning materials, books, exercises, etc. I don't want to have another year of just learning songs from reading the music. I can do that on my own (for the most part). I guess I am asking what is left to be taught? Thanks!

Last edited by eighty80eights8s; 01/03/16 12:58 PM.
(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 17,390
M
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
M
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 17,390
-How are your practice skills? This is huge and is a process that you learn as you are faced with different challenges in your music.
-Can you play in all keys?
-How are your scales, chords, and arpeggios?
-Can you improvise a melody over a chord progression?
-How is your rhythm? Much of what you want to play, even from sheet music, will have complex, syncopated rhythms
-Can you harmonize to a given melody?
-How is your sight reading?
-Can you play from lead sheets?

These are just a few things that you can learn from continued lessons that apply directly to the style of music you enjoy playing. Whether or not your current teacher and do these things for you, I can't answer.

When was the last time you discussed your goals with your teacher? It sounds like it may be time to revisit what you want to do and see if your teacher can accommodate those goals.


private piano/voice teacher FT

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,515
T
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
T
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,515
Originally Posted by eighty80eights8s
Starting a new topic, a spin-off from my original. At the 3 year mark, I have complete Alfred For Adults Levels 1, 2 & 3. I know how to read notes (or most of them), I know how to interpret the rhythm and all of the myriad of musical notations (or most of them). I can learn a song on my own (or most of it) to a certain level of imperfection with a certain level of enjoyment and satisfaction (depending on how many glasses of wine I've had). OK, just kidding, I struggle enough without any induced brain impairment. I play a few songs across a variety of music genres, classical, pop, rag, rock, classic rock, standards, big band. A month worth of weekly lessons costs more than my TV/Internet/Phone bill, and yearly more than my health insurance deductible which went through the roof with Obamacare. Thank you very much. My musical taste is more in Classic Rock and Easy Listening, but basically any well-known song in any genre I like, especially if I can play it and make it sound like something someone might like to hear. I'm interested in anyone's suggestions or experiences with what value continuing the lessons would bring (I know there is but I'd like some specifics). Any suggestions of learning materials, books, exercises, etc. I don't want to have another year of just learning songs from reading the music. I can do that on my own (for the most part). I guess I am asking what is left to be taught? Thanks!


You might want to take a serious look at this:

www.udemy.com/the-complete-piano-course/learn/#/

The course is normally $197, but there are a bunch of Udemy courses on sale right now for $10. This course is no BS type of self-study course. This guy really takes you through what you need to develop facility, interspersing serious drilling on scales, chords, and arpeggios in all keys along with some tunes and improvisation (i.e. making up your own music). One thing he does not focus on is reading music. The guy is an accomplished player. You can hear his music here:

www.youtube.com/user/ZiomaMusic (his channel)
www.youtube.com/user/ZiomaMusic/videos (his music)

I just found this and have started on it. I know that is a bit early to be saying anything. There really is a sort of BS quality to most posts I have both created myself and read by others on these forums about the latest self-study course craze, because they all seem to follow the same pattern: a post filled with excitement about this wonderful new course, and then silence. I know of very few people who ever finish one of these things, probably 1 in 100,000 (and I am as guilty as the next person).

However, this course is very straightforward in what it provides, so you can readily see in the lesson plan exactly what he will be taking you through. There is absolutely no fluff (well, there are a couple of videos at the beginning about what the different types of piano are and how to buy one, including discussion of electronic keyboards and digital pianos). This is really akin to a sort of "boot camp" and he uses this stuff in his own practice. He makes no claims about the amount of work or the time to complete other than that it takes time and consistency. As far as whether the course "works" or not, he says that it is a distillation of the things that really helped him in his own formal piano studies.

There is very little printed material, and you really don't need it anyway since the whole thing is in the videos. The course is divided into three levels - beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Each has a scales section, a chords section, an arpeggios section, and an improvisation section using what you learned in that section. The earlier sections also have a couple of well know tunes that he walks you through in the videos without sheet music.

This isn't a "play by ear", "learn piano overnight", or anything like that. It is about learning how to fluently get around on the piano via chords, scales, and arpeggios, (all very standard stuff - no claims about any "magical" method, system, or shortcut) and the application in each section is focused on making your own music via improvisation, though that is not what the course is really about. This makes sense, since most of what he has on Youtube are his own compositions, with just a couple of "covers" of other people's music.

I am not sure how long the sale lasts, but $10 is a pittance to try something that may very well be the next step. This is a big course, with something along the lines of 22 hours of video instruction. If you post a question to the instructor, he will respond. It is certainly cheaper than more books or DVDs. If you choose to go to a live teacher instead, then you will be getting this material from him or her, making this course unnecessary.

Tony





Last edited by TonyB; 01/03/16 03:16 PM.

Roland V-Grand
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,515
T
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
T
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,515
One other comment I wanted to make is that I have tried various self-study methods and have found that there is no getting around having to be fluent in scales, arpeggios, and chords in their inversions and in all keys to play by ear or improvise. Since my focus is not on being tied to sheet music, I can't really comment on that musical direction. It is really rather embarrassing to have spent much time finding this out for myself. However, it is likely I would not have listened, had somebody simply told me this ahead of time.

The problem is that this stuff is not easy and it takes daily attention. This is the stuff that many people who took piano lessons as kids and got away from it, cite as what they didn't like about their lessons, scaring the rest of us away from this approach. In some ways, this stuff is treated by self-study courses much the same way politicians tiptoe around the real, painful issues that need to be resolved but are just no fun (real health care reform, Social Security, etc). So most self-study courses provide some sort of method or short cut so you are playing songs right away without having built the foundation common to everything you could ever think of playing on the piano.

I found one other self-study course that focused in part on getting these three elements in hand, except that the student is pretty much left to his or her own devices as to how to finger all of this and ways to approach it efficiently. The course I mentioned earlier in this thread seems to provide that level of direction, making it very doable, and in incremental fashion with guidance all along the way because these three elements ARE the focus of the course - all 180 lessons.

Tony


Last edited by TonyB; 01/03/16 04:00 PM.

Roland V-Grand
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 3,390
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 3,390
You might be ready to go on hiatus from lessons and play on your own for a while. Either you'll have the same amount of fun for less money and be happy, or you'll discover things after a while that you want to go consult a teacher for.

Some people find that they just need the lessons to stay motivated to practice. (That's a lot more expensive than motivating yourself, but if that's what it takes, it's worth it.)

Some people hit a wall where they want to play more advanced music than they have the skills for, or they're trying to play in an unfamiliar genre and getting stuck. A teacher can help with providing a new skill set.

Some people (like me in my late 20s) are happy with their playing... until they aren't. I went back to a teacher just after age 30 because I knew I wasn't getting better, and even though I wasn't having trouble finding work, I wanted to play better than I was.


Heather W. Reichgott, piano

Working on:
Beethoven - Diabelli Variations Op. 120
Beethoven/Liszt - Symphony no. 7
Tommy (whole show)

I love Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and new music
Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 266
N
Silver Subscriber
Full Member
Online Content
Silver Subscriber
Full Member
N
Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 266
I take the Pianist magazine and when I read the tutorials on the pieces of music published in the magazine, I realize how much I have left to learn. Sometimes I feel as though my head will explode. Pick up this magazine on rhe newsstand and you begin to see that hitting the correct notes with the right rhythm is barely scratching the surface of the music.

Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 6,929
C
6000 Post Club Member
Offline
6000 Post Club Member
C
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 6,929
Quote
. . . I guess I am asking what is left to be taught? . . .


Get a copy of Tim Richards' "Improvising Blues Piano", and start working through it. You'll find out, pretty quickly, what skills you lack, and start to develop them.

It'll cost you about 1/2 of a lesson.

If that's too easy, there are any number of "jazz piano methods", which are applicable to pop stuff as well as jazz.



. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 1,654
8

Gold Supporter until July 22 2015
1000 Post Club Member
Offline

Gold Supporter until July 22 2015
1000 Post Club Member
8
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 1,654
Originally Posted by eighty80eights8s
I'm interested in anyone's suggestions or experiences with what value continuing the lessons would bring (I know there is but I'd like some specifics).


I believe the answer needs to be self-apparent. That's to say, taking more lessons for me is different than taking more lessons for you. We know that everyone, at some point, stop taking lessons, regularly.

Ultimately, you have to be the judge what is sufficient for you. To me, the 3 Alfred books are just the beginning, maybe just the bread before the appetizer and soup, but that's because I'm into classical music. Ask a rock pianist how many years of lessons he's had, I wouldn't be surprise to hear "lessons, what lessons?"

Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 4,041
E
4000 Post Club Member
Offline
4000 Post Club Member
E
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 4,041
I do wonder if you might have Alfred's fatigue, I actually contracted it much earlier (after a year) and moved onto pieces I actually like. I know you are not really into classical but right now you are ready for early Chopin pieces and Bach Preludes (should have done some of this in Alfred advanced section), Satie, etc the list is just endless.


As to cost, having a hobby is expensive but the alternative is not to have one and feel something is missing. Compared to previous hobbies I have had, my weekly one hour piano lesson is cheap.


Originally Posted by 8 Octaves
To me, the 3 Alfred books are just the beginning, maybe just the bread before the appetizer and soup


"What is left to be taught" is how to express yourself musically and right now it is still a long journey to find your voice. As 8 Octave says (and I agree after recently notching up three years) you are just at the beginning. If you want to continue to just learn notes then you don't need a teacher but if you want to learn how to play so that it moves you and others then I see a teacher as a necessity.






Surprisingly easy, barely an inconvenience.

Kawai K8 & Kawai Novus NV10


13x[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 6,272
6000 Post Club Member
Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 6,272
Originally Posted by earlofmar
I do wonder if you might have Alfred's fatigue...


lol!



Originally Posted by 8 Octaves
To me, the 3 Alfred books are just the beginning, maybe just the bread before the appetizer and soup


To me the Alfred books are like preheating the oven and setting the table. Not even the fun of cooking and certainly not enjoying the meal.






Learner
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 2,488
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 2,488
Originally Posted by Charles Cohen


Get a copy of Tim Richards' "Improvising Blues Piano", and start working through it. You'll find out, pretty quickly, what skills you lack, and start to develop them.


+1

I have been (slowly) working my way through this book for a few months, hoping to identify a path to improv and lead sheet skills. And, as Charles says, I am quickly finding which skills are not in my arsenal after six years of classical oriented lessons.


Prelude Gmin op23 no5-Rachmaninoff
Standchen-Schubert/Liszt arr
Sonata Pathetique-Adagio LVB
Estonia L190 #7284[Linked Image][Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,129
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,129
Originally Posted by malkin
Originally Posted by earlofmar
I do wonder if you might have Alfred's fatigue...

Originally Posted by 8 Octaves
To me, the 3 Alfred books are just the beginning, maybe just the bread before the appetizer and soup

To me the Alfred books are like preheating the oven and setting the table. Not even the fun of cooking and certainly not enjoying the meal.

Terribly true. Unfortunately classical music has a very steep and high entrance ramp. There is a lot of work that needs to be done before getting a decent amount of repertoire available.
To me, that point is between RCM 6 and RCM 7... when you start having Scarlatti sonatas, Bach little preludes and inventions, Fur elise, some Haydn sonata movement, some Chopin, Grieg, Clementi, Kuhlau, Mendelssohn etc.



Joined: May 2015
Posts: 205
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 205
Originally Posted by Ataru074
Originally Posted by malkin
Originally Posted by earlofmar
I do wonder if you might have Alfred's fatigue...

Originally Posted by 8 Octaves
To me, the 3 Alfred books are just the beginning, maybe just the bread before the appetizer and soup

To me the Alfred books are like preheating the oven and setting the table. Not even the fun of cooking and certainly not enjoying the meal.

Terribly true. Unfortunately classical music has a very steep and high entrance ramp. There is a lot of work that needs to be done before getting a decent amount of repertoire available.
To me, that point is between RCM 6 and RCM 7... when you start having Scarlatti sonatas, Bach little preludes and inventions, Fur elise, some Haydn sonata movement, some Chopin, Grieg, Clementi, Kuhlau, Mendelssohn etc.




Yeah, but the OP said he likes Classic Rock and Easy Listening, so why would he go down the Classical road? I also had Alfred's fatigue after 1 year, like Ataru, but I would think after 3 Alfred's books, one would be ready to strike a path in whatever musical direction one fancies. If 3 years of Alfred's can't lay down a good rudimentary foundation, they need to rethink their series.

Joined: May 2012
Posts: 2,768
G

Platinum Supporter until July 22 2014
2000 Post Club Member
Offline

Platinum Supporter until July 22 2014
2000 Post Club Member
G
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 2,768
Originally Posted by eighty80eights8s

...
I guess I am asking what is left to be taught? Thanks!


It is a vast topic. If you study 8 hours a day for the rest of your life, you may take a noticeable bite out of it.

There is no shortage of what to learn. So far you have scratched the surface of a single genre that you are not even particularly interested in. Now (the next 3 years) would be a good time to start aligning your instruction with what you ultimately want to be playing.

Did anyone see the segment on 60 minutes last night of the 12 year old jazz sensation from Indonesia (well it was last night in Toronto anyway)? Or maybe you had heard about this kid before? I hadn't. Apparently he had tried classical lessons, but it didn't go well as it was too restrictive. He was, or is so far, purely an adlibber. Wynton Marsalis has identified him as a genius and someone to watch. If Wynton thinks so, it is good enough for me. He also however, realizes that as bright as the young man is, he still has a ton of learning to do and is in dire need of direction.

Nobody will figure it all out on their own. Einstein said that he could never understand it all. There will never be a shortage of learning remaining that a teacher can't help you with. The question is, how much of it do you want to understand and have the capacity to take on. Maybe very little with your current teacher, but this does not mean there is very little remaining.

Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 869
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 869
I didn't catch the show but I assume you're talking about this guy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=heIGbOA6Ykw Joey Alexander.

Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,129
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,129
Originally Posted by grace_note
Originally Posted by Ataru074
Originally Posted by malkin
Originally Posted by earlofmar
I do wonder if you might have Alfred's fatigue...

Originally Posted by 8 Octaves
To me, the 3 Alfred books are just the beginning, maybe just the bread before the appetizer and soup

To me the Alfred books are like preheating the oven and setting the table. Not even the fun of cooking and certainly not enjoying the meal.

Terribly true. Unfortunately classical music has a very steep and high entrance ramp. There is a lot of work that needs to be done before getting a decent amount of repertoire available.
To me, that point is between RCM 6 and RCM 7... when you start having Scarlatti sonatas, Bach little preludes and inventions, Fur elise, some Haydn sonata movement, some Chopin, Grieg, Clementi, Kuhlau, Mendelssohn etc.

Yeah, but the OP said he likes Classic Rock and Easy Listening, so why would he go down the Classical road? I also had Alfred's fatigue after 1 year, like Ataru, but I would think after 3 Alfred's books, one would be ready to strike a path in whatever musical direction one fancies. If 3 years of Alfred's can't lay down a good rudimentary foundation, they need to rethink their series.

I don't know... to me the elephant in the room is the 3 years to complete the 3 Alfred books... sounds like a little too long, meaning that either the teacher was milking it a little too much, or OP doesn't know how to practice at all. I would suggest a change of teacher at this point and re-asses the situation in 6 months.

Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 869
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 869
I can't speak for the second or third books but from my experience of reading the entire Alfred's Book 1 thread, a year to finish book one seems perfectly normal for the average adult beginner. Seeing as not many teachers teach from method books let alone from Alfred's it's probably one of the best sources in the world to see what the average experience is.

Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 489
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 489
Originally Posted by AndrewJCW
I can't speak for the second or third books but from my experience of reading the entire Alfred's Book 1 thread, a year to finish book one seems perfectly normal for the average adult beginner. Seeing as not many teachers teach from method books let alone from Alfred's it's probably one of the best sources in the world to see what the average experience is.


I'd also tend to agree with AndrewJCW - the first book was just a bit over a year for me to complete. And this was with the assistance of taking weekly lessons with a teacher. I'm continuing on with my teacher using the 2nd book and it will easily be at least another year's worth of material - just roughly estimating. I think the OP has actually done quite well to complete all 3 volumes in 3 years.


Half way through Alfred's Adult All in One - Level 2

https://soundcloud.com/blackjack1777/
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 34
E
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
E
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 34
OP here. Regarding taking 3 years to complete Alfred 1, 2 & 3, I felt it was taking too long myself. My teacher tells me that 3 years wasn't long enough. But I didn't start piano lessons until I was 57 and my brain isn't as fast as when I was younger. Also, in addition to the 3 Alfred books, I learned 50 other songs that my teacher gave me, plus completed 4 Schaum Finger Power books plus one other level 3 exercise book. Regarding knowing how to practice, my teacher has taught me and drilled those methods into my head over and over again, the same methods everyone here suggests. The problem is those methods do in fact frustrate me and even when I use them they don't seem to help my learning curve for any given song. The one drawback from Alfred's plus most of the other song material the teacher has given me is that fingering is spoon-fed and I sometimes find myself looking at fingering rather than notes when I am playing. I have come to realize that fingering is just as important as correct notes. I am hoping to address this is year 4.

Last edited by eighty80eights8s; 01/05/16 10:15 AM.
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 4,291
P
4000 Post Club Member
Offline
4000 Post Club Member
P
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 4,291
Originally Posted by eighty80eights8s
I don't want to have another year of just learning songs from reading the music. I can do that on my own (for the most part).


Some skills that would take you beyond learning songs from reading the music, and fit in with your musical interests:

Playing from lead sheets. Working out the melody by ear and playing from a chord chart. Working out both chords and melody by ear. Improvising over a given chord progression. Creating your own chord progressions and improvising over them.


Piano Career Academy - Ilinca Vartic teaches the Russian school of piano playing
Musical-U - guidance for increasing musicality
Theta Music Trainer - fun ear training games
Page 1 of 2 1 2

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
Disklavier MKII : replace power supply?
by carlspost - 05/26/22 03:33 PM
Sight reading progress
by BlizzardPiano - 05/26/22 03:18 PM
13th Piano Composition Competition Fidelio (Extended!!)
by harmonium53 - 05/26/22 01:20 PM
Is Music Right For You?
by FrankCox - 05/26/22 12:33 PM
Video on avoiding tension at the piano...
by thepianoplayer416 - 05/26/22 11:57 AM
Download Sheet Music
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
Forum Statistics
Forums43
Topics213,251
Posts3,194,713
Members105,376
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