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Re: Nothing is too easy - A Beginner's Journey [Re: Keselo] #2647504
05/27/17 03:37 AM
05/27/17 03:37 AM
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Keselo Offline OP
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I spend my time on three different books, which all complement each other in many ways.

Bartók’s Mikrocosmos (book 1) is what my practice and progress is completely based around. My teacher uses the first two books with all her students, and students who enjoy Bartók will also work on 3 and 4. The pieces in this book are very much about introducing new concepts. Its pieces are the most complex, and my progress through this book is the bench-mark for other material that I play. My current works in progress teach playing intervals bigger than 2nds and playing separate melodies with both hands. At first glance, the pieces don’t seem very musical, but many of them are still very beautiful.

Mikrocosmos has taught me legato playing in both hands, repeated notes in one hand and legato playing in the other hand, simple counterpoint, imitation in canon form, not panicking when a piece is in a different key than C major, remaining in control when reading music and learning how to read in intervals.

Gurlitt’s The First Lessons (Op. 117) was added to my practice around 3 weeks ago. It’s a work from the Romantic period, and as such contains different elements compared to Mikrocosmos. It’s much more focussed on playing broken chords, the melody is more often in the right hand (though not exclusively), and it provides me with the practice of 8th notes and 2 note chords (dyads?). The material is quite a bit easier than Mikrocosmos; the patterns are more predictable, and it feels like both hands work towards the same goal. The pieces sound good, but oftentimes sound a bit too much like études for my liking.

The reading in intervals as learned in Mikrocosmos, carried over very well into the Gurlitt. I’ve felt in control reading broken chords, something which caused internal panic as little as a month ago. Quickly reading and recognizing chords is another thing that Gurlitt teaches me. It’s not an easy thing to do, but the way it introduces this concept is very well paced.

Kabalevsky’s 24 Little Pieces (Op. 39), I started work on just this week. It is more like the Gurlitt book than Mikrocosmos, and it’s the music that I enjoy listening to the most out of the three. It’s very heavy on staccato playing, which was a new concept, but I’m not having too many issues with it.

Kabalevsky just benefits a lot from the work I put into the other two. I’m not sure how far I can progress through it just yet, as I feel the progression curve is a bit steeper than the other two books.

My current practice pieces, as I will practice in the coming day, are as follows.

New: Mikrocosmos No. 33, Kabalevsky Op. 39 No. 3, Gurlitt Op. 117 No. 11.

Needs work: Mikrocosmos No. 32, Kabalevsky Op. 39 No. 2, Gurlitt Op. 117 Nos. 6, 9, 10.

Good enough: Mikrocosmos Nos. 29-31, Kabalevsky Op. 39 No. 1.

Future repertoire: Mikrocosmos Nos. 16, 22, 23, 26, (29, 30, 31).

It’s worth noting there’s usually more material at the ‘good enough’ tier. Over the last two days, I’ve recorded 7 pieces which were at this point, which frees up quite a bit of time for other things. That’s why I’m adding three new pieces today. The Bartók piece uses many of the same concepts of No. 32, and I had a lot of trouble with that, so it might take the full three days to get to a point where I can play it start to finish. Kabalevsky No. 3 is very similar to No. 2, and I didn't have much trouble with that, so that might get to 'needs work' within a day. I'm reserving judgement for the Gurlitt piece. It doesn't look too spectacular in terms of difficulty, but repeating chords with the left hand while right plays 16th notes might pose quite a challenge.

I’ve been using this method for a month now, and so far, the results are pretty damn excellent. Listening back to my recordings, a very steady progress is easily identified, which truly encourages me to go on like this.


Tim

Started playing January 2017

Nothing is too easy is where I keep track of my progress.
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Re: Nothing is too easy - A Beginner's Journey [Re: Keselo] #2648042
05/28/17 11:51 PM
05/28/17 11:51 PM
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This has been a handy read. I myself have been learning with lessons for just over a year now and will be curious to follow your progress. My teacher and I just decided to ditch the Alfred's Adult All-In-One and start working through easier Beethoven/Jazz/Classics by the Masters and introducing Bartok's Mikrocosmos for reading (volume 1/2) and technique using volume 3/4 pieces. My time is far more limited than yours so I haven't put enough focus into it but I plan to start now.

I did find however, using a similar method to yours, that I hit a wall at about 7 months using the Alfred's AIO due to its difficulty curve. I don't think it leaves enough time with easier pieces to let technique and reading become ingrained and I didn't use supplemental material soon enough to catch up. Hopefully this wall doesn't affect you!

Re: Nothing is too easy - A Beginner's Journey [Re: Keselo] #2648046
05/29/17 12:30 AM
05/29/17 12:30 AM
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Keselo Offline OP
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I'm glad that you enjoy it, Doc!

I've had the same issues with Mikrocosmos that you had with Alfred's AIO. I didn't quite feel like I'd hit a wall, but the difficulty of the pieces kept on increasing while I still felt that the easier concepts needed work. There might be a wall that I hit in the future, but I do feel like one can be avoided by pacing yourself with suitable supplemental material.


Tim

Started playing January 2017

Nothing is too easy is where I keep track of my progress.
Re: Nothing is too easy - A Beginner's Journey [Re: Keselo] #2649152
06/01/17 09:15 AM
06/01/17 09:15 AM
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Keselo Offline OP
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Monthly Review – May 2017

I think it would be fun to give you a monthly progress report, in which I talk about everything that comes to mind about my practice for the previous month. I’ll review what I’ve worked on, look back at the progress that I made, and formulate what I want from the near future.

May 2017 was the month of Bartók’s Mikrokosmos, book 1 to be specific. It’s what my teacher uses with all her students who are new to the piano, and I must say I can see why. It’s a very thorough introduction to playing the piano, and focuses on teaching a new student many of the concepts that are absolutely essential to playing the piano.

I did get bored of just playing Mikrokosmos, though. I did enjoy the music, I still do, but I need to be able to change things up. Luckily, I didn’t have to search in my quest for supplementary material. I’d been working from Gurlitt’s Op. 117 (The First Lessons) before, and the first four pieces looked similar in difficulty to Mikrokosmos. The book introduces new concepts like broken chords, 8th notes, and chords, and, like Bartók, introduces all these concepts in a very gradual manner.

Another thing that I gained from Gurlitt’s book, is my (growing) ability to judge the difficulty of material relative to my own ability of playing. During my initial scan of a piece I first look for concepts that I’m familiar with. I then look for any new concepts that the piece might introduce.
If a piece has no new concepts, I’ll just try sight-reading the piece. More likely than not, I’ll trip up here and there, which means that I can learn something from the piece. A piece like this usually doesn’t take very long to learn, anywhere from 5 to 10 days, start to ‘good enough’. Most of the challenge with these pieces, is the matter of expressing musicality.
If a piece does have a new concept, I’ll first tackle that, before working on the piece as a whole.
Because I’m playing so much different material, I constantly expose myself to new music, and for each piece I first judge the difficulty. This is one of the most important things that you can learn as a beginner, as the ability to pick appropriate material is the first step in continually making progress.
I always ask my teacher before I start something new, as there occasionally are new concepts which I don’t see, and that’s one of the examples where having a teacher pays off tremendously.

I added Gurlitt to my routine on 4 May, and my practice was a balance of Mikrokosmos and Gurlitt. Mikrokosmos was still my main project, and Gurlitt filled any blanks that Mikrokosmos left, reinforcing older concepts along the way.

It was three weeks before I added yet another work to my practice. I felt like I was still limiting myself by only playing the works of two composers. I bought a bundle of Kabalevsky’s works, and his Op. 39 (24 Little Pieces) was added to my routine. Where Bartók provides progress and Gurlitt provides études, Kabalevsky provides just delightful music. In terms of concepts it’s a lot like Gurlitt Op. 117, but it sounds a lot more like music than the first pieces in Gurlitt do.

On 28 May, my last new work was added: Diabelli Op. 125, The First Lessons. It’s a useful little thing, but also my least favourite. I’ll probably still complete it, as it’s giving me too hard a time to ignore, but it will take some time. The progression in this book is tremendously fast, as Diabelli doesn’t shy away from adding multiple new concepts every piece.


Repertoire

Mikrokosmos No. 16 was the first piece which really made me feel like I was making music. I can see myself playing this for a long time, for it is very beautiful despite, or maybe because of, its simplicity.



Mikrokosmos No. 22 made me realize that you can play counterpoint without remaining in a state of constant panic. Bartók wanted me to play it faster, but I liked it nice and slow.



Mikrokosmos No. 23. I liked this one, then I recorded it, and stopped liking it. I’ve learned from it what I could, but I’ll probably let it slip out of my repertoire.




Looking forward

June will bring me a lot of new music. The average difficulty will definitely increase, but I hope my average time spent on finishing a piece stays roughly the same. Time will tell.

I’m hoping to complete Mikrokosmos book 1 to the point where all pieces are at least recorded once. It doesn’t feel like an impossible task, given that there’s three pieces left to start with.

I will continue my progress through Kabalevsky Op. 39 and Gurlitt Op. 117. There’s still loads more to do with both books, and the increase of difficulty in these works suggests that they might be completed along with Mikrokosmos book 2. Luckily, the pieces in Gurlitt Op. 117 are getting better and better. I’m already starting to enjoy some of them, and I will definitely have some of the pieces in my repertoire by the time I’m done with it.

It’s unlikely that I’ll start on more than one piece out of Diabelli Op. 125, because, as mentioned, the difficulty increase is just too damn high.

New additions in June will be Kunz Op. 14 and Beethoven WoO 86 (Ecossaise in E flat). Kunz wrote an excellent bundle of 200 small canons, which seems like it’s excellent supplementary material for Bartók and even better preparatory material for Baroque music. This book will provide me with practicing material for at least the rest of the year, probably even longer.

I’ll leave you with a little segment of graphs and numbers, because those two are among my favourite things in the world.


May By The Numbers

[Linked Image]

Good enough means I’ve got an initial recording, and stopped playing the piece. Future repertoire means that I want it to become repertoire, but it’s not there yet. Repertoire is anything that I have memorized, made a second recording of and can currently play. There are pieces which are still in progress, which eventually will become repertoire.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Last edited by Keselo; 06/01/17 09:29 AM.

Tim

Started playing January 2017

Nothing is too easy is where I keep track of my progress.
Re: Nothing is too easy - A Beginner's Journey [Re: Keselo] #2649217
06/01/17 11:48 AM
06/01/17 11:48 AM
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What a detailed report! I enjoyed reading it, and also learned about new composers and their works while reading it. Thank you for sharing!

Re: Nothing is too easy - A Beginner's Journey [Re: mel_lem] #2649230
06/01/17 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by mel_lem
What a detailed report! I enjoyed reading it, and also learned about new composers and their works while reading it. Thank you for sharing!

Thank you for reading, Melanie. I'm glad you enjoyed it. smile


Tim

Started playing January 2017

Nothing is too easy is where I keep track of my progress.
Re: Nothing is too easy - A Beginner's Journey [Re: Keselo] #2649233
06/01/17 12:45 PM
06/01/17 12:45 PM
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Hi Keselo ....

I enjoyed your music.

I noticed that you are playing without the music on the piano.

Do you play like that when you take your lesson ?

I would have thought your instructor would like you to play while reading the music.


Don

Casio PX-160, Mix 5 Five-Channel Compact Mixer, DR 880 Drum Machine, Spacestation v.3 Powered Stereo Monitor
Re: Nothing is too easy - A Beginner's Journey [Re: dmd] #2649237
06/01/17 01:07 PM
06/01/17 01:07 PM
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Keselo Offline OP
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Originally Posted by dmd
Hi Keselo ....

I enjoyed your music.

I noticed that you are playing without the music on the piano.

Do you play like that when you take your lesson ?

I would have thought your instructor would like you to play while reading the music.


Hi Don. All the other pieces I play while reading the sheet, but these three are my repertoire pieces. I memorized them so I could fully focus on the musicality. You can't see it, but I play these pieces with my eyes closed. That way, I feel somehow more aware of exactly what my hands are doing, and I feel like I can better produce the sound that I want.

During my lessons my teacher asks me to play any new repertoire pieces, as a warm-up. She judges my technique and tone of playing from these pieces. The rest of the time, I'm playing while reading.


Tim

Started playing January 2017

Nothing is too easy is where I keep track of my progress.
Re: Nothing is too easy - A Beginner's Journey [Re: Keselo] #2649474
06/02/17 06:08 AM
06/02/17 06:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Keselo

- One must play relatively hard material to improve as a player.
- Separately practicing arpeggios, scales, chord progressions, and similar things is a necessity to improving as a player.


1 - I adhere to those words like bible, however, it varies from person to person and their priorities.
I intend to play piano professionally one day and I started late (At around 16) so I have already wasted quite a lot of crucial years. I feel like I need to get up there, and get up there fast. That is why, over the 2 years that I have been playing, and much longer periods of research, I've definitely concluded that the more difficult you go, the faster you'll climb the ladder up top. The simple reason is, the more you demand from your body, the more it has to provide, before it gives up. I've always kept my primary pieces way out of my league and spent hours and hours taking up their demands.

Now, there are a lot of ambiguities that I need to clear up whenever this topic arises.
- Tackling harder pieces always means a piece a few notches above your current level. Something you can imagine yourself playing.
- By the time you are done with that piece and have decided to move on to something else, you should be able to play the whole thing easily and know it like the back of your hand. Don't move on to something else if you're still sloppy with it or don't have control over the dynamics. Keep at it, even for a 15 mins a day. It'll come, eventually. The only valid reason for quitting a hard piece is that after trying it, you decide that you won't manage to master it after all, with your current level.

I honestly believe that anyone who says aiming for relatively higher pieces leads to a lot of gaps in technique probably hasn't done that right. When you dedicate yourself to a piece and make sure that every nook shines, you leave no holes in anything.
The simple answer is (competitively, of course), if we've both spent XX hours practicing on the instrument and if my technique is more advanced, i.e, I can perform more challenging pieces than you (of course, with the same finesse), then I've utilized my time more efficiently. Period.

Stretch your limits. Aim high and be dedicated enough to get there. The life is really short and there's a lot of extremely difficult music waiting for you out there. How will you advance if you stick to basics for months and years?

Exception - If you play challenging material consistently while at the same time enjoy basic easier pieces for honing your technique, then I think that's the most well rounded approach.

2 - The pieces will teach you everything you need to know if you keep at them. None the less, knowing your scales and being able to improvise arpeggios is a great skill to have. Much recommended. At least get the scales fluent, both hands, staccato and legato.
You'll learn arpeggios in your pieces. It's upto you how high you aim when it comes to arpeggios.

Re: Nothing is too easy - A Beginner's Journey [Re: luckiest_charm] #2649486
06/02/17 07:35 AM
06/02/17 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by luckiest_charm
I've definitely concluded that the more difficult you go, the faster you'll climb the ladder up top. The simple reason is, the more you demand from your body, the more it has to provide, before it gives up. I've always kept my primary pieces way out of my league and spent hours and hours taking up their demands.

Now, there are a lot of ambiguities that I need to clear up whenever this topic arises.
- Tackling harder pieces always means a piece a few notches above your current level. Something you can imagine yourself playing.
- By the time you are done with that piece and have decided to move on to something else, you should be able to play the whole thing easily and know it like the back of your hand. Don't move on to something else if you're still sloppy with it or don't have control over the dynamics. Keep at it, even for a 15 mins a day. It'll come, eventually. The only valid reason for quitting a hard piece is that after trying it, you decide that you won't manage to master it after all, with your current level.

I honestly believe that anyone who says aiming for relatively higher pieces leads to a lot of gaps in technique probably hasn't done that right. When you dedicate yourself to a piece and make sure that every nook shines, you leave no holes in anything.

Exception - If you play challenging material consistently while at the same time enjoy basic easier pieces for honing your technique, then I think that's the most well rounded approach.

A student who employs a 'stepwise approach' (with a good teacher) by learning new skills and mastering them step by step (using a judicious choice of music - pieces that push his current skill level in some aspect, but not to the extent of being insurmountable within a few weeks) will always have a more rounded technique than someone who chooses pieces well over his level and keeps plugging away at them, and nothing else. Like choosing an advanced (or even intermediate-advanced) piece when he's only just developed hand independence. There have been such students who've posted here, and they all fell by the wayside, without ever completing what they started. I remember at least one who never posted in PW again, and another who resurfaced years later admitting that he'd given up piano because of injuries.

I also know a few people personally, who have glaring technical deficiencies because they only ever learnt a few advanced pieces they liked, took years over them, and can't play anything else. Sure, they eventually could get around most of the notes, but it wasn't difficult to hear what the problems were: inadequate finger agility and fluency (difficulty with trills, and especially ornaments, poor articulation etc), poor chord technique (notes in chords not reliably sounding together, voicing all over the place, notes 'disappearing' etc), 'weak fingers' with uneven passagework.

Quote
2 - The pieces will teach you everything you need to know if you keep at them.

No single piece encompass everything. Not even a selection of ten pieces, unless (probably not even if) they vary wildly in era and style - and if a student chooses the pieces himself, it's not likely that he'll have everything from Bach to Bartók via the Classical and Romantic in his selection. (Quite a few people here have very narrow repertoire range and keep learning pieces in the same style, for example).

Quote
None the less, knowing your scales and being able to improvise arpeggios is a great skill to have. Much recommended. At least get the scales fluent, both hands, staccato and legato.
You'll learn arpeggios in your pieces. It's upto you how high you aim when it comes to arpeggios.

Definitely, scales & arpeggios are the backbone of a lot of music, especially classical (with a small 'c'). Without decent fluency in them, a student will always come up against brick walls in piano pieces that's been composed for piano/keyboard (i.e. not arranged), unless he only ever plays what he can play.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Nothing is too easy - A Beginner's Journey [Re: bennevis] #2649494
06/02/17 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by bennevis

I also know a few people personally, who have glaring technical deficiencies because they only ever learnt a few advanced pieces they liked, took years over them, and can't play anything else. Sure, they eventually could get around most of the notes, but it wasn't difficult to hear what the problems were: inadequate finger agility and fluency (difficulty with trills, and especially ornaments, poor articulation etc), poor chord technique (notes in chords not reliably sounding together, voicing all over the place, notes 'disappearing' etc), 'weak fingers' with uneven passagework.


No such issues here.
I am keen to learn beautiful intermediate pieces as well.

I noticed this before from a few of your previous posts regarding doing the entire ABRSM grade course from 1-8, sequentially with an year for each grade.
Taking that fact into consideration, I can conclude that you prefer the methodical and the supposedly 'well rounded' approach. That's perfectly fine if it works for you but to be frank, it never worked out for me. I live for a challenge. I love playing things out of my league and the sheer satisfaction of getting it right consistently is well worth the efforts.

Never had an issue with injuries. My hands stay extremely relaxed at all times with not a hint of tension (I consciously work on it should I ever feel tensed) while practicing, know the groundwork and got over it long ago. At this point, the scope of injuries is minimal to negligible, about the same as when doing anything else. It all depends on the mindset of a person. If I find a brickwall in a piece, I make every effort to get over it, by slowing down to a a crawl, by varying the rhythm of that tricky section, by isolating hands, by repetitions, and/or by just calling it a day and attempting it the next day. It has always worked out for me so far and I have consistently been able to conquer pieces well beyond my caliber. The improvement is swift, even if I have to drop a piece in rare cases because of it being just too difficult to manage, I've learned quite a bit from it and managed to come back to it and get it done. As of now, I have no dropped pieces in my repertoire and for someone who just got regular access to piano only an year ago, I got a decent number of pieces under my belt as well. I'm extremely satisfied so far.

Now, I will definitely consider your words regarding the scope of dropping out of piano in future due to some catastrophe, or about the people who gave up for some reason, if you care to elaborate why exactly?

-------------------------

That aside, I regularly transcribe music by ear, and I spend quite a bit of time everyday doing that. I love transcribing music. Do you think I would have to go through a period where my "repertoire" is "limited"? Where I spent a few years doing only a few hard pieces and ignoring everything else? I'm not strictly a classical pianist going "only" by sheet music.

As I said, the best approach is to aim high by keeping a primary difficult piece for practice, and balance it out by playing whatever else you want to play, an intermediate ballade, a soft waltz, a movie song, or just transcribe in your free time to widen your exposure beyond the shell. It's what I do and follow. Actually, I'm considering learning Shostakovich's 2nd Waltz once I find some time.. It's really catchy!

I still believe nothing boosts technique and technical skill more than a hard piece can. I then use the same things I learned from that piece in my own transcriptions, or other pieces. A win win situation.
Anyways, I await your response regarding the possible future events that would supposedly lead to an adverse impact on my piano playing, after considering what I wrote above.

Last edited by luckiest_charm; 06/02/17 08:14 AM.
Re: Nothing is too easy - A Beginner's Journey [Re: luckiest_charm] #2649646
06/02/17 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by luckiest_charm

I noticed this before from a few of your previous posts regarding doing the entire ABRSM grade course from 1-8, sequentially with an year for each grade.
Taking that fact into consideration, I can conclude that you prefer the methodical and the supposedly 'well rounded' approach. That's perfectly fine if it works for you but to be frank, it never worked out for me. I live for a challenge. I love playing things out of my league and the sheer satisfaction of getting it right consistently is well worth the efforts.

Actually, if you go further back in my posts, you'll know that when I was a student, I had (from the time I could read music well enough to do so) regularly picked out pieces to learn by myself, with no regard for their difficulties. Like Chopin's Heroic Polonaise, when I had no chord technique, let along octave technique.

They were what I regarded as my 'fun' pieces, that I was trying out in my spare time (alongside playing pop songs by ear, improvising, playing chamber music with friends etc), not music I was going to keep plugging away at bar by bar regardless of how laborious they turned out to be. I was learning piano with my teacher all that time, spending much more time on what I should be learning (and those pieces were all chosen by my teacher to help me improve my skills). BTW, I soon realised that Op.53 was way, way beyond me, and so I put it to one side, and periodically brought it out again to see if I could get further with it as my skills improved. After some three years, I was able to play it reasonably well from beginning to end (by which time I'd developed a strong chord and octave technique from many other pieces and octave scales etc).

To put things another way, all my learning & practicing was with pieces I was learning with my teacher - pieces which were progressively harder and/or which contained stuff I needed to master. They could be anything, ranging from complex polyrhythms & cross-rhythms to voicing techniques to finger agility in 4th & 5th fingers to fast chords to advanced pedal techniques. As for the ABRSM exams, I had no talent (and knew I had none), and my teacher never suggested skipping grades, so that possibility never occurred to me. I followed my teacher's advice in everything - after all, she had been teaching successfully for decades. I did know that a couple of my friends were doing two grades a year, but they were far better than me.

Whereas the pieces I was trying out on my own were purely for my own satisfaction and enjoyment, and ranged from the fairly easy (which I'd probably just sight-read rather than learn) to the impossible. At my high school, I had easy access to volumes of music scores, which any music student could borrow. There was everything from Bach's Magdalena Notebook to big concertos (in full score as well as piano reductions) to Stravinsky's Le sacre du printemps for piano duet, and I read through almost all of them volume by volume, and picking out pieces that I liked, to learn by myself. Or tried to.



Quote
Now, I will definitely consider your words regarding the scope of dropping out of piano in future due to some catastrophe, or about the people who gave up for some reason, if you care to elaborate why exactly?

There were people who posted enthusiastically here about wanting to learn something (like Chopin's Ballade No.1), then finding things very difficult, and then no further posts about their progress. Or just stopped posting altogether.

-------------------------

Quote
That aside, I regularly transcribe music by ear, and I spend quite a bit of time everyday doing that. I love transcribing music. Do you think I would have to go through a period where my "repertoire" is "limited"? Where I spent a few years doing only a few hard pieces and ignoring everything else? I'm not strictly a classical pianist going "only" by sheet music.

As I said, the best approach is to aim high by keeping a primary difficult piece for practice, and balance it out by playing whatever else you want to play, an intermediate ballade, a soft waltz, a movie song, or just transcribe in your free time to widen your exposure beyond the shell. It's what I do and follow. Actually, I'm considering learning Shostakovich's 2nd Waltz once I find some time.. It's really catchy!

I still believe nothing boosts technique and technical skill more than a hard piece can. I then use the same things I learned from that piece in my own transcriptions, or other pieces. A win win situation.
Anyways, I await your response regarding the possible future events that would supposedly lead to an adverse impact on my piano playing, after considering what I wrote above.

You have to decide on your own priorities about what you want to do now, and a few years down the line, which way you want to take your piano playing. And how much time and effort you are willing to give to each aspect.

My student years were mapped out for me by my teachers: I learnt everything they gave me to the best of my ability, while I was also doing stuff by myself (and with friends) that I never told them about. (Things were pretty straightforward for all music students - everyone was expected to do ABRSM exams and attain Grade 8 before they finished with high school. The teachers there only taught to Grade 8, so lessons ceased once you'd reached it.) As far as I was concerned, what I did in my 'spare time' was my own business. Just like I wouldn't tell my English teacher that I was reading adventure books in my spare time, while also studying Shakespeare and Wordsworth........ grin


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Nothing is too easy - A Beginner's Journey [Re: Keselo] #2649858
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Beethoven Ecossaise in E flat WoO 86. The easiest piece written by Beethoven, from what I’ve seen of it, it shouldn’t give me any trouble.


I may or may not have said this in my latest FOYD update, and this goes to show either:
-How terribly easy it is to overestimate yourself, or
-How terribly hard it is to accurately judge the difficulty of a piece.

Let us have a look at the piece that is Beethoven’s Ecossaise in E Flat. See if we can find exactly what makes the piece harder than it initially looks, and why I thought it would be easier.


The key

It is written, as the name of the piece kind of gives away, in the key of E flat major. At this stage in my piano playing journey, any key other than that of C major mustn’t be underestimated. It isn’t terribly hard to get used to playing in a different key, especially once you figure out the logic behind which keys are flat/sharp in the different keys, but it is something time must be spent on. I would tackle this by improvising for a few minutes every day in the key of E flat major.


The black keys

Up until now, most my key presses are those of white keys. There is the occasional black key, but it isn’t the norm. So, along comes this Ecossaise, in which Beethoven requires you to use a key with three black keys. These black keys make the fingering fairly awkward; it isn’t at all as intuitive as the Bartók pieces are.


The right hand

There’s two different kinds of measures for the right hand in this piece. There’s the quarter note followed by two 8th notes, and there’s four 8th notes. That’s all I looked at before deciding the right hand wouldn’t give me any trouble. After trying to play this for 20 minutes, however, difficulties arose.
-The right hand doesn’t stay set during the piece.
-The fingering of the 8th notes can be awkward.
-Me wanting to play legato wherever possible is a huge crutch, and limits mainly my ability to smoothly play these 8th notes.


The left hand

I saw a two-note chord followed by a single quarter note, and, again, thought that it would be easy. I didn’t consider that the chords move down, but the quarter note stays put(most of the time). This considerably limits my ability to play these notes legato.


The tempo

I was unable to tell this by looking at the sheet, but every performance of the piece that I could find was played very fast. So fast, that I have doubt in my own ability to produce a similar tempo within a reasonable amount of time.


The verdict

At first glance, this piece introduced no new concepts. After further analysis, this piece introduces at least four new concepts, which is simply too many. These concepts are more of a continuation on previously learned ones. Regardless, it’s a lot to keep track of. I will wait at least two more weeks before re-evaluating my ability to start work on this piece. I don’t mind a challenge, but right now the challenge that this piece brings me is too big.

Luckily, some of the difficulties that this piece has, will come back in other pieces that I will start work on the coming days. Kabalevsky Op. 39 No. 5 has moving hands. Kabalevsky Op. 39 No. 4 teaches me to not play everything legato. When I can sufficiently play these pieces, the difficulties of the Beethoven piece will be brought back to two new concepts, which should be a lot easier to tackle.


Tim

Started playing January 2017

Nothing is too easy is where I keep track of my progress.
Re: Nothing is too easy - A Beginner's Journey [Re: bennevis] #2650003
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@bennevis - This was a much better response as compared to your initial one. I find your approach towards piano a particularly good one and it's bound to give great returns if done right. Playing heroic with expression is something extremely commendable to say the least.

What I do with my approach is to go with what gives maximum current yield. If and when something feels like it's not working, I quickly change it with something which does, so at the end of the day, I play purely by my logic and what I feel should do the trick. Varying my technique for every single passage of every single piece. The approach is always different for me, depending on the piece in question.

So far it has worked brilliantly and I'm hoping it will in future as well.

On a concluding note, I would like to remark that your reference towards the players who chose extremely difficult pieces (Chopin's ballades) while being beginners themselves is incorrect here, because I never choose a piece way too difficult for me to manage. I wouldn't even go as far as certain Chopin's nocturnes, let alone the ballades. I even mentioned clearly in my initial post (point #2) that one should always choose a piece which he can actually, realistically imagine himself playing in near future and not choose a difficult piece just because it sounds good. Or we'd have a lot of La Campanella beginners roaming around, ha?
None the less, was great trading punches with you (can I call it that? wink).

Last edited by luckiest_charm; 06/03/17 01:25 PM.
Re: Nothing is too easy - A Beginner's Journey [Re: luckiest_charm] #2650007
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Originally Posted by luckiest_charm
So far it has worked brilliantly ....


You know, Lucky ... what would go a long way toward showing that your methods are working well is demonstrating how you have learned the piece you mentioned about intending to work on in your very first post ..... Minute Waltz ....

If you can play that, you are indeed, doing very well and no question should be made of your methods.

So ... how is that coming ?


Don

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Re: Nothing is too easy - A Beginner's Journey [Re: luckiest_charm] #2650222
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Originally Posted by luckiest_charm
.... That is why, over the 2 years that I have been playing, and much longer periods of research, I've definitely concluded that the more difficult you go, the faster you'll climb the ladder up top. The simple reason is, the more you demand from your body, the more it has to provide, before it gives up. I've always kept my primary pieces way out of my league and spent hours and hours taking up their demands
.......................

Stretch your limits. Aim high and be dedicated enough to get there. The life is really short ....

2 - The pieces will teach you everything you need to know if you keep at them. ....

It is a mistake to equate things in this way. Kesolo is describing what is being taught by his teacher. That teacher has a plan. A teacher who is a full and well rounded musician, as well as competent in teaching, will be picturing everything that is needed to become a good pianist. The first thing that exists is that inner map carried in the head of the teacher, of what needs to be learned and developed, and how it fits together. Then the teacher designs what she will teach, what she will have her student do and how, and what material she will use. The chosen pieces are the material, the teaching is done through the material, and then what the student is asked to focus on - how to practice etc. All of that goes into the original map carried in the head of the teacher.

There is a fundamental wrong idea out there. Pieces don't teach. Syllabuses don't teach. It's not what you play, but what you learn and what you do. If you are with a good teacher, the teacher - not the piece - teaches. An excellent teacher will draw things out of any repertoire, to give you what you need. A lousy teacher can take the best material out there, and ruin your learning.

When you are against step-wise programs: you are not actually comparing two opposites. It's the same thing. If you are talking about pieces doing the teaching, then whether you talk about step-wise programs, or getting at advanced material early, it's still the wrong premise of "pieces do the teaching". What we really want to get after are things like skills and knowledge. The knowledge includes understanding genres, learning to listen and to hear, a million things.

Kesolo is at the beginning of his journey with this new teacher. When we are students, we draw conclusions about what we're doing and what is working. Several years down the line we may have different insights. And when you talk to seasoned professionals, they may muse "So that's what my old teacher was really doing!" In fact, in your own journey, you may have new views in retrospect ten years later. I have no doubt that you are learning from what you are doing, because of the care you are taking. But advanced material as the only road to growth is not a sound idea, imho.

Re: Nothing is too easy - A Beginner's Journey [Re: Keselo] #2650224
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I think it's the concepts that these piece contain which make you better as a piano player, not the pieces themselves. It's also important to realize that coming across a concept once, doesn't mean you can play it in any variation, in any context. Repetition and exposure to many different ways of doing one thing, is what makes sure that it sticks with you. After all, when we learned math in school, we didn't advance to the next concept after we'd solved one problem. There was always repetition, and even when new concepts would stick their head around, the old concepts were still used (thus, reinforced, but also required).

I usually don't like comparing playing the piano to math, as that sparks all kinds of discussion about how playing the piano should be science-free, but in terms of learning they are very much alike.

Quote
When we are students, we draw conclusions about what we're doing and what is working.


That's well put, and you're definitely right in me doing this. I know I have for the last 5 months, so chances are I still do. I do not feel like I'm very far from the truth with my 'theory of concepts', to call it like that. It's also what I read in your post, keystring, just worded a bit differently.


I'd also quickly like to add that I do find this discussion very interesting, but I didn't react up until this point, because I didn't feel I could contribute to it much. I disagree with luckiest_charm's way of doing things, but I can't be certain from personal experience that my way is any better. As such, I decided to keep on the sidelines, and just read it all.


Tim

Started playing January 2017

Nothing is too easy is where I keep track of my progress.
Re: Nothing is too easy - A Beginner's Journey [Re: Keselo] #2650231
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As there are quite a lot of posts after mine, I won't quote but reply in a general sense.

First of all, regarding the minute waltz. The progress since I uploaded it for the most recent recitals is quite a lot. I feel more confident. The entire mid cantabile section is much more intuitive by now and is up to speed. I added the grace notes to it and the stumbling moments have gotten much rarer.
Overall, if you sit down by me, I can play you a halfway decent version of the whole piece right now. Give me a week to hammer out a few chinks here and there (mostly related to phrasing) and get a little more confidence in my fingers and I'll record my best version for a comparison since the recitals.

Now, my teacher is a really unique guy as well. All he ever really taught me that made sense was how to extract as much information from a piece as possible, and then adding my own taste to it.
He just showed me that every single piece out there wants to tell you something and got me capable enough to learn from a sheet of music myself, for he said he won't be with me forever.
90% of our conversation is, "This is what this section wants to tell you. I highlighted it for you. You couldn't see it 2 minutes ago, can you see it now? If such a situation arises again, will you be able to make it out yourself then?"

After enough exposure to his ways of teaching, I've gotten more self reliant and in a way, the piece itself teaches me everything I need to know about it by now. I listen to different renditions of it by performers to get a feel for it's atmosphere and get in. That's all.
Granted, it would be impossible if my teacher only taught me how to play every piece note by note. But whenever he is teaching me, he always plays a section as a whole 3-4 times and expects me to do everything else by myself without ever coming back to it, moving on to the next section. The whole thing overwhelmed me more times than I can count and he was blazing fast most of the time, at concert speed, but by now, I'm glad he did.

I got quite a lot to say about Kesalo's review of the Beethoven's piece in question, but maybe some other time. The only little thing I'll point out - C major is the hardest key to play music in (to me and I think to the majority here as well), precisely because of absence of any black keys. Db major or Ab major (more black keys) are much more intuitive and easier. Try playing a beginner piece in one of these keys to know the difference, of course after consulting with your teacher. I don't mean to affect the path she envisioned for you.

Re: Nothing is too easy - A Beginner's Journey [Re: Keselo] #2650232
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When I've got a piece to the point where I can play it without the sheet, then it doesn't matter how many black keys there are in a piece. When I'm actively reading the piece while playing it, and the piece is in a different key than C major, there comes an aspect of quickly identifying which notes on the sheet must be flat/sharp. In that sense it's easier to play in C major, where I know the only sharps or flats that I must play are accidentals, and those don't give me any trouble.

I have played some pieces in different keys, and these have all taken longer than average to get decent at, precisely because of the added difficulty of having to actively consider the key in which the piece is written.


Tim

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Nothing is too easy is where I keep track of my progress.
Re: Nothing is too easy - A Beginner's Journey [Re: luckiest_charm] #2650236
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Originally Posted by luckiest_charm
As there are quite a lot of posts after mine, I won't quote but reply in a general sense.

First of all, regarding the minute waltz. The progress since I uploaded it for the most recent recitals is quite a lot. I feel more confident. The entire mid cantabile section is much more intuitive by now and is up to speed. I added the grace notes to it and the stumbling moments have gotten much rarer.
Overall, if you sit down by me, I can play you a halfway decent version of the whole piece right now. Give me a week to hammer out a few chinks here and there (mostly related to phrasing) and get a little more confidence in my fingers and I'll record my best version for a comparison since the recitals.

Now, my teacher is a really unique guy as well. All he ever really taught me that made sense was how to extract as much information from a piece as possible, and then adding my own taste to it.
He just showed me that every single piece out there wants to tell you something and got me capable enough to learn from a sheet of music myself, for he said he won't be with me forever.
90% of our conversation is, "This is what this section wants to tell you. I highlighted it for you. You couldn't see it 2 minutes ago, can you see it now? If such a situation arises again, will you be able to make it out yourself then?"

After enough exposure to his ways of teaching, I've gotten more self reliant and in a way, the piece itself teaches me everything I need to know about it by now. I listen to different renditions of it by performers to get a feel for it's atmosphere and get in. That's all.
Granted, it would be impossible if my teacher only taught me how to play every piece note by note. But whenever he is teaching me, he always plays a section as a whole 3-4 times and expects me to do everything else by myself without ever coming back to it, moving on to the next section. The whole thing overwhelmed me more times than I can count and he was blazing fast most of the time, at concert speed, but by now, I'm glad he did.

I got quite a lot to say about Kesalo's review of the Beethoven's piece in question, but maybe some other time. The only little thing I'll point out - C major is the hardest key to play music in (to me and I think to the majority here as well), precisely because of absence of any black keys. Db major or Ab major (more black keys) are much more intuitive and easier. Try playing a beginner piece in one of these keys to know the difference, of course after consulting with your teacher. I don't mean to affect the path she envisioned for you.


I'm trying to understand your teachers methodology. What I'm reading is he plays it for you three or four times, but he does not ask you to duplicate the section? If I'm reading this correctly, I had difficulties understanding how this would work: at least it would not work for me. I can understand something in theory, but still not be able to execute it myself. For that, I need to execute it for my teacher and receive feedback and maybe repeat demonstration. It may become a problem-solving issue: do I need to curve my fingers more, do I need to change fingering, do I need to play more legato??


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
" I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho
Re: Nothing is too easy - A Beginner's Journey [Re: dogperson] #2650240
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Originally Posted by dogperson


I'm trying to understand your teachers methodology. What I'm reading is he plays it for you three or four times, but he does not ask you to duplicate the section? If I'm reading this correctly, I had difficulties understanding how this would work: at least it would not work for me. I can understand something in theory, but still not be able to execute it myself. For that, I need to execute it for my teacher and receive feedback and maybe repeat demonstration. It may become a problem-solving issue: do I need to curve my fingers more, do I need to change fingering, do I need to play more legato??


I can understand your doubts. Perhaps due to lack of clarity in my previous post.
It went like we started on a section and he would play the whole section for me LH and RH at concert speed 3 or 4 times and expect me to grasp the expression, the thoughts conveyed from the piece, the dynamics, the phrasing and everything else I couldn't figure out by reading the sheet kept in front of us.

Initially, during the "kindergarten" exercises of my first 1-2 weeks, he assisted me with playing the C major scale and other rudiments but beyond that and up until now, he has always followed the above approach. In our half an hour lesson, he would play a section for me about 3 times in a row, I would try my best to keep up with the truckload of information he's trying to throw my way and grasp as much as I can for the 3 or 4 sections we managed to cover in 1 class. Later on, I would recall the feeling he invoked in me with his playing of the sections and try my best to replicate them. While I couldn't exactly copy his playing, this practice encouraged me read the sheet myself for notes, correct any mistakes myself, work on fingerings myself (with exceptions of really tricky fingerings of course), get the dynamics as close to his version as possible and of course, at the end of the day, what I demonstrated to him in the next class was "my" version, because I could never mirror his playing as he never gave secondary repeat demonstrations. If I missed the first 3-4 times, I was on my own, recalling as much as I could from those demos. I never asked him for a 5th demo, and he never provided one either.

This got me really self reliant with everything. I think this is what he wanted from me. It was tight, required extreme concentration and memory from my part, but the results are astonishing.

He still says to this day that he never tried this approach with any other student of his in his 25 years of teaching experience and that I am the first student with whom he experimented such an approach. He still teaches other students every piece note by note and actively monitors them while they try to play the piece in front of him and keeps a check on their hand movements to correct them at an early stage (what you said your teacher does). He never needed to do all that with me.
Part of the reason was my financial instability. I told him after a week of joining that he would need to speed up with me because I can not afford to waste my precious class time by practicing the same thing over and over again in front of him just so he can correct my mistakes. I told him that he can give me much higher loads in a single class and I'll still manage to get it right by next week. That encouraged him to take a wild approach with me.

Last edited by luckiest_charm; 06/04/17 05:23 AM.
Re: Nothing is too easy - A Beginner's Journey [Re: Keselo] #2650241
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Is to play the piano the ability to replicate your teacher, or to find your own meaning in a piece of music and work on expressing that?


Tim

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Nothing is too easy is where I keep track of my progress.
Re: Nothing is too easy - A Beginner's Journey [Re: Keselo] #2650243
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Dear charm
I think you misunderstood my post about what my teacher does to instruct. She does not correct normal notation problems that I can fix on my own by my playing these over and over , but if it is a skill that needs to be learned, or if I'm not executing the section correctly, then we need to figure out why and address it as a problem solving/training issue. I'm not seeing that you're getting that foundation, and I find it concerning. I'm actually fairly self sufficient about learning, but there are skills that I need to learn that require my teacher's education and experience in teaching the skills to me. Maybe I misunderstanding but I don't see you getting that. If you are, my perception does not matter at all.


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
" I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho
Re: Nothing is too easy - A Beginner's Journey [Re: Keselo] #2650244
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Last edited by dogperson; 06/04/17 05:39 AM. Reason: Duplicate

"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
" I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho
Re: Nothing is too easy - A Beginner's Journey [Re: Keselo] #2650246
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Originally Posted by Keselo
Is to play the piano the ability to replicate your teacher, or to find your own meaning in a piece of music and work on expressing that?


The goal should never be to replicate your teacher or any other pianist , but rather to obtain the skills needed to play the repertoire, to work on the expressions of your own within the context of the composer's intent.

An example from my last week's lesson: I viewed a couple of measures as expressing resignation on the part of the composer. The question then for my teacher was 'is this the sense that you got as a listener? What if I accent the first three notes in the measure: what effect does that have? '

There is a statement that has been attributed to more than one concert pianist, but I will attribute it to Horowitz to his student Byron Janis.
'You don't want to play like a bad Horowitz, you want to play like a good Byron Janis'. 😊


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
" I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho
Re: Nothing is too easy - A Beginner's Journey [Re: dogperson] #2650248
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Originally Posted by dogperson
Dear charm
I think you misunderstood my post about what my teacher does to instruct. She does not correct normal notation problems that I can fix on my own by my playing these over and over , but if it is a skill that needs to be learned, or if I'm not executing the section correctly, then we need to figure out why and address it as a problem solving/training issue. I'm not seeing that you're getting that foundation, and I find it concerning. I'm actually fairly self sufficient about learning, but there are skills that I need to learn that require my teacher's education and experience in teaching the skills to me. Maybe I misunderstanding but I don't see you getting that. If you are, my perception does not matter at all.


I believe I am. So far, it's been a smooth sailing.
In the half hour we spend together, he focuses on techniques, exercises, etc as well. He has given me more tips than I can count on how to play something right. He just never demonstrates too much on the piano but gives verbal knowledge. Something along the lines of, "See, this is how I would interpret 45th - 48th measures. *plays it* Notice how I played this pp and got back with a forte for a dramatic comeback. You can take a rubato here if you'd like as well, it gives it a more intimate feel, I think."

I really think he's the best teacher I could ever find. Just tells me what I need to know and leaves everything else up to me to figure out by myself.

@Kesalo - You're correct. But quite a lot of students admire their teachers and do try to imitate their expressions. There are many teachers who force everything on their students until they reach the standards they envisioned, from note accuracy to even the kind of feelings conveyed. It would feel like played by soul to you, but it would all turn out to be meticulously choreographed.

I'm glad my teacher leaves it up to me to deal with all that. Actually, initially I tried to imitate him during the first 2 months, I think. After that, I figured out that after so little exposure I get of his playing, I won't manage to imitate him either way so I gave that up. Now I just take pointers and hints from what I heard of him, and make up my own for the rest.

Last edited by luckiest_charm; 06/04/17 06:06 AM.
Re: Nothing is too easy - A Beginner's Journey [Re: dogperson] #2650249
06/04/17 06:06 AM
06/04/17 06:06 AM
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Keselo Offline OP
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Originally Posted by dogperson

'You don't want to play like a bad Horowitz, you want to play like a good Byron Janis'. 😊


What an excellent quote. This beautifully captures my feelings about what music is all about. Which is why I feel it's so great to work on music that you grasp without needing outside help. My teacher is there to correct technical mistakes, and at most make suggestions (i.e. "Have you considered playing it like this", "What if you accent these notes"). She never plays through a piece to show me how it should sound; everyone is different in that regard and she doesn't want to 'corrupt' me with her interpretations.


Tim

Started playing January 2017

Nothing is too easy is where I keep track of my progress.
Re: Nothing is too easy - A Beginner's Journey [Re: luckiest_charm] #2650268
06/04/17 07:55 AM
06/04/17 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by luckiest_charm
Give me a week to hammer out a few chinks here and there (mostly related to phrasing) and get a little more confidence in my fingers and I'll record my best version for a comparison since the recitals.


That sounds great !!! I look forward to it.


Don

Casio PX-160, Mix 5 Five-Channel Compact Mixer, DR 880 Drum Machine, Spacestation v.3 Powered Stereo Monitor
Re: Nothing is too easy - A Beginner's Journey [Re: Keselo] #2650283
06/04/17 08:57 AM
06/04/17 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Keselo
With this method, I question some widely recommended tips for getting better as a player, these include:
- One must play relatively hard material to improve as a player.
- Separately practicing arpeggios, scales, chord progressions, and similar things is a necessity to improving as a player.
- You improve as a sight reader by playing a lot of different material that you can sight read (relatively) easily. It is important not to play the piece more than once or twice before moving on.
I think you're right to question them. Harder material will test and develop more mechanical or technical ability but actually playing better is what makes us better pianists, regardless of the difficulty of the music. The real question then becomes how to play better.

There typically four kinds of difficulty that I encounter in my music, reading difficulties that can vary between poor print quality or too many notes over too small an area or too many accidentals that aren't clear, without close scrutiny, which notes, usually in a chord, are being altered. Once the number of beams increase within the same phrase it's also difficult for me to read which note the rhythmic change begins on, for example. I don't believe this is a sight-reading issue for it often involves picking up the score to examine closely and using pencil marks to make distinctions.

Then there are mechanical difficulties such as leaps, stretches, rapid weak finger work, finger substitution and awkward configurations, technical issues such as managing different dynamic levels between hands and voices, sometimes between phrases, and bringing out the music or understanding difficulties where the accents shift inside a phrase, for example. This can be as much a listening and hearing issue as a playing one.

There is no doubt that practising some skills in isolation will benefit the playing as a whole but it is difficult to identify where that investment begins to pay back and how much is useful before it takes away time from the very material it's designed to support.

Originally Posted by Keselo
Is to play the piano the ability to replicate your teacher, or to find your own meaning in a piece of music and work on expressing that?
I take it this is in response to how luckiest is learning with his teacher. Imagine looking at a photograph of a face, say, the 1947 portrait of Einstein by Philippe Halsman. You might see a nose and draw it on paper. A teacher might show you, by copying the photo that the right side of the nose isn't visible as a line. On the left side of the nose there is a visible line where it joins the face but if you copy that line as it is, without the shading on the wall of the nose, the nose will look too big.

By copying the drawing of the teacher, in relation to the photograph, you won't be copying the teacher or trying to imitate him, but using that example to see the photograph better. That, I think, is how luckiest's teacher is working. My own teacher used similar methodolgies now and then.

And if luckiest has been playing for only two years he is definitely getting benefit from his instruction. I would currently support his teacher.


Richard
Re: Nothing is too easy - A Beginner's Journey [Re: Keselo] #2650295
06/04/17 09:32 AM
06/04/17 09:32 AM
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Whizbang Online content
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Originally Posted by Keselo
Is to play the piano the ability to replicate your teacher, or to find your own meaning in a piece of music and work on expressing that?


A high value-per-word post !

If you didn't see something in your teacher's playing that you wanted to emulate, why would you study with them?

It's pretty hard to be a perfect clone of someone. Your teacher will put their stamp on your playing, no doubt, but your fortes and foibles will still make your playing yours.


Whizbang [Linked Image]
amateur ragtime pianist
https://www.youtube.com/user/Aeschala
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