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Originally Posted by Albunea
[quote=gingko2]

bennevis has forgotten to tell us this time about his learning as a student, picking up all the books in the school library and reading through them. If you ask me, I'd say bennevis is best of all at your First Teacher's method (keep sailing ahead!). Am I wrong, bennevis?


Oh, forgot this.

Yes, that is a different activity. It's reading music, not practicing and learning it for technical and musical proficiency.

It's great to do both. They are different skills which complement each other. (However, I think the nitty-gritty practicing makes "reading" increasingly difficult music possible.)

You can spend all your piano time reading music. That's a choice and you should be able to find a teacher who will work with you on this!


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Originally Posted by gingko2


My problem with my previous teacher is that she had me in "performing mode" too early-- "the cart before the horse." I couldn't do it because I didn't spend enough time in the learning phase.


Have you considered you were more ready to learn now because of what you learnt with your previous teacher? I think some students have it difficult to do a run through. You can because you learnt to.

That paragraph I quoted now is very interesting. Haven't we said that performers chunk? laugh I mean, I consider myself in learning mode. Should I be chunking in learner mode or is chunking for performance?

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Originally Posted by gingko2

Yes, that is a different activity. It's reading music, not practicing and learning it for technical and musical proficiency.



Ok, on this I have to give in. I accepted playing some stretch pieces that force me to chunk some because I considered my technique was not improving accordingly. So maybe chunking helps technique?

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Originally Posted by Albunea
Originally Posted by gingko2


My problem with my previous teacher is that she had me in "performing mode" too early-- "the cart before the horse." I couldn't do it because I didn't spend enough time in the learning phase.


Have you considered you were more ready to learn now because of what you learnt with your previous teacher? I think some students have it difficult to do a run through. You can because you learnt to.

That paragraph I quoted now is very interesting. Haven't we said that performers chunk? laugh I mean, I consider myself in learning mode. Should I be chunking in learner mode or is chunking for performance?


No, I was frustrated with my previous teacher and my playing. Thought about quitting again. Every piece we worked on, too fast, felt like another piece lost (and again, my musical standards aren't THAT high). It was difficult because I really liked her as a person.

Conversely, because of learning to chunk, I READ music better than before. Chunking does develop technique.

Chunk at the initial learning and any time after that when something is not easy.

Again, it's fine to spend your piano time reading music! Read music like you'd read a text. You should be able to find a teacher who will work with you.

And, as you just posted, with a stretch piece, chunking is an efficient tool.


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gingko2, I can understand your first teacher rushed you too much and you are now enjoying your present pace. Are you learning pieces that you can read easily or stretch pieces?

Learning stretch pieces frustrates me some... frown

I think the general learning style in Spain is with Stretch pieces. When I had just bought my piano I went to a group class (4 people) one day. Before I entered the class, and not having talked much, the boss told me "You are a self-learner, aren't you?" LOL I had not started learning (maybe one month or so) but for some reason she thought I wouldn't stay. She was right. I didn't stay. I've told my present teacher that I'll give it a try for a year (he knows his style is not the style I've been learning by myself). I am a difficult student. laugh

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Originally Posted by Albunea
gingko2, I can understand your first teacher rushed you too much and you are now enjoying your present pace. Are you learning pieces that you can read easily or stretch pieces?

Learning stretch pieces frustrates me some... frown

I think the general learning style in Spain is with Stretch pieces.



We do both. It's good to have different types of "practice." I work on one or two stretch pieces at a time, one or two less difficult pieces, and the "40 piece challenge," usually easy pieces and mostly just past reading without too many errors.

I think doing lots of stretch pieces is very common. Too many stretch pieces can be very discouraging, though some people thrive on them. You may ask your teacher that you do only one stretch piece at a time and spend more time practicing reading with easier pieces.

I'll leave it as Whizbang said at the beginning: Porque no los dos?


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Originally Posted by gingko2
You may ask your teacher that you do only one stretch piece at a time and spend more time practicing reading with easier pieces.



I'm not sure only one stretch piece is a good idea, because I just can't keep at the same piece for long or I make more and more mistakes, and I'll feel compelled to practice whatever it is that he tells me to. I'll keep with my books as well, and he encouraged me to, but by myself.


¿Por qué no los dos? Sí, imagino que es mejor utilizar los dos métodos. laugh smile

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I love playing things all the way through. But I don't think of that as "practice" or "learning" -- I call that rehearsal, or just plain fun.

I learn in "chunks" -- but the important thing is to get the chunk boundaries right. Music consists of phrases. Each chunk should consist of a phrase or two, maybe in some cases three, plus the first note of the next chunk. You want to start at a natural phrase beginning, and end just after the end of a phrase.

The little bit of overlap works wonders when it's time to put the whole thing together.

Each chunk entry point gives you a recovery point where you can jump back in if you goof up while playing. That's one reason why you want to pick natural phrase in-points.

Once I can play something all the way through, I get lazy and just do it, and forget the chunks.


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Originally Posted by Albunea


LOL Gary. I am a teacher myself (not piano, of course). I pity my piano teacher because I can imagine how bored he is… but I am sure he is going to be bored with my playing no matter if I learn it as a whole or in chunks. laugh

Any good teacher will be pleased about anything that speeds up the learning process, as you yourself would be.

Chunking, if you do it right, will speed up your learning. That's win for you, a win for your teacher.

It helps my slowest students, the ones who struggle the most, but it also completely changes the playing of my best students.

The problem is that most people don't do something right for the first time until doing it wrong five, or 10, or 50 times. That's the main obstacle in learning anything.

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Originally Posted by JohnSprung

I love playing things all the way through. But I don't think of that as "practice" or "learning" -- I call that rehearsal, or just plain fun.

I learn in "chunks" -- but the important thing is to get the chunk boundaries right. Music consists of phrases. Each chunk should consist of a phrase or two, maybe in some cases three, plus the first note of the next chunk. You want to start at a natural phrase beginning, and end just after the end of a phrase.

The little bit of overlap works wonders when it's time to put the whole thing together.

Each chunk entry point gives you a recovery point where you can jump back in if you goof up while playing. That's one reason why you want to pick natural phrase in-points.

Once I can play something all the way through, I get lazy and just do it, and forget the chunks.


John, what you describe is rock solid.

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Originally Posted by JohnSprung

I love playing things all the way through. But I don't think of that as "practice" or "learning" -- I call that rehearsal, or just plain fun.


Usually, I call it goofing off, but it is more focused on actual playing than hanging out in forums.


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Thank you for the comments. smile

I don't have more arguments right now, but can leave a thread that deals with the topic of chunking: Forum Thread

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