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Re: Bit of a shock [Re: jonwatt] #2674639
09/12/17 05:12 AM
09/12/17 05:12 AM
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Posts: 104
Estonia
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I was like you until I got a teacher as well. laugh It's very common among self taught people it would seem (based on threads I've read). It is good to find the humility to admit that and get a teacher, really. Not everyone does that and they'll be stuck at that plateau (or progress slower) than others. Good luck!


"My dear hands. Farewell, my poor hands."
-Sergei Rachmaninoff

Estonia 190, Roland F-130R
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Re: Bit of a shock [Re: JoniD] #2674653
09/12/17 07:01 AM
09/12/17 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by JoniD
Originally Posted by Moo :)
My ability to memorise pieces is quite poor but I cant see what the benefit would be.

Why do you think concert pianists always memorise pieces they play? When you don't have to think about what to play you can concentrate on how to play.


Isn't it a little more complicated than concert pianists just think they can concentrate better on the music without the score? Playing without the score was a trend that was started by Liszt; prior to him, it was actually considered insulting to play from memory. While this is still a predominant expectation, some notable concert pianists have been lately performing with the score rather than without.

As adults who are studying piano, without the thought of much public performance, it is really a personal preference whether you spend the time to memorize or whether you play with the score. Some choose not to memorize anything, as you can learn my repertoire that way. .... and some pick and choose what to memorize.


"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

It’s ok to be a Work In Progress
Re: Bit of a shock [Re: dogperson] #2674660
09/12/17 07:39 AM
09/12/17 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by dogperson
it is really a personal preference whether you spend the time to memorize or whether you play with the score.

Actually, I don't spend any extra time to memorize what I play. It happens by itself after a several repetitions. Anyway, there are many teachers who do not think that memorising is bad and should be avoided by all means. Take for example the book Fundamentals of piano practice which has been many times praised on this forum.

Re: Bit of a shock [Re: jonwatt] #2674663
09/12/17 08:07 AM
09/12/17 08:07 AM
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From my own experience .... I think memorizing music begins early for self-teaching players because it is too hard to play while looking at the music.

Beginners (myself included) will memorize which keys to press because they can learn to play those simple pieces quicker that way.

Then, it becomes a matter of deciding whether they wish to take a step back and learn to play while looking at the music or keep memorizing which keys to press.

Many opt to keep memorizing.

Then, the next step is to come to the realization that they have difficulty keeping all those pieces at the ready in memory without playing them frequently.

So, they then decide to work on playing while reading.

How successful they are will determine how far they advance as players, in many cases.

I got tired of trying to retain all the memorized music and I wasn't up to gaining the skill of playing while looking at the music ....

So .... I switched genre's .... to jazz/cocktail piano.

It still contains an element of memorization but not as meticulous (note by note).

The use of leadsheets also aids in remembering what comes next.


Don

Kawai MP11SE, Edifier R1850DB Active Bookshelf Speakers, Yamaha HS8S Powered Subwoofer, SennHeiser HD 559 Headphones, Pianoteq and numerous other VSTs
Re: Bit of a shock [Re: dmd] #2674664
09/12/17 08:16 AM
09/12/17 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by dmd
Beginners (myself included) will memorize which keys to press because they can learn to play those simple pieces quicker that way.
Then, it becomes a matter of deciding whether they wish to take a step back and learn to play while looking at the music or keep memorizing which keys to press.
Many opt to keep memorizing.
Then, the next step is to come to the realization that they have difficulty keeping all those pieces at the ready in memory without playing them frequently.

Playing and sight-reading are two different skills and they are developed in parallel - the same idea can be found in music exams like ABRSM or Trinity Guildhall. Most music exams have special sight-reading part. Teachers often say that one should be able to sight-read pieces two grades below their current grade.

Re: Bit of a shock [Re: JoniD] #2674665
09/12/17 08:31 AM
09/12/17 08:31 AM
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Italy
sinophilia Offline

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Originally Posted by JoniD

Actually, I don't spend any extra time to memorize what I play. It happens by itself after a several repetitions.


I don't know anything about you, but I assume that the pieces you are learning are short, and possibly quite simple. When things get longer and more complicated, memorization might not happen by itself. Anything longer than 2 or 3 pages will need some effort to be memorized securely. It's just so much easier to keep the score on the piano, if only to help you remember the sequence and structure of the piece.

Re: Bit of a shock [Re: sinophilia] #2674669
09/12/17 08:51 AM
09/12/17 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by sinophilia
Originally Posted by JoniD

Actually, I don't spend any extra time to memorize what I play. It happens by itself after a several repetitions.

I don't know anything about you, but I assume that the pieces you are learning are short, and possibly quite simple. When things get longer and more complicated, memorization might not happen by itself. Anything longer than 2 or 3 pages will need some effort to be memorized securely. It's just so much easier to keep the score on the piano, if only to help you remember the sequence and structure of the piece.

Memory is trainable and its capacity grows with the length of pieces. Besides, pieces tend to have some repetetive patterns and obey the laws of harmony which helps a lot.
It was said that memorising is bad. I just do not agree.

Re: Bit of a shock [Re: jonwatt] #2674724
09/12/17 12:20 PM
09/12/17 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by sinophilia
. Anything longer than 2 or 3 pages will need some effort to be memorized securely. It's just so much easier to keep the score on the piano, if only to help you remember the sequence and structure of the piece.


It's the sequence and structure that are the memory problem for long pieces. Cocktail bar players can remember dozens of one and two page songs. Put a set list on the piano, and they can go for hours. Classical players have to keep track of where they are in all the development and variations, which is the hard part -- too much similarity.

Beyond 3 pages, you get into the issue of page turning.


-- J.S.

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Re: Bit of a shock [Re: JoniD] #2674740
09/12/17 02:01 PM
09/12/17 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by JoniD
Originally Posted by dmd
Beginners (myself included) will memorize which keys to press because they can learn to play those simple pieces quicker that way.
Then, it becomes a matter of deciding whether they wish to take a step back and learn to play while looking at the music or keep memorizing which keys to press.
Many opt to keep memorizing.
Then, the next step is to come to the realization that they have difficulty keeping all those pieces at the ready in memory without playing them frequently.

Playing and sight-reading are two different skills and they are developed in parallel - the same idea can be found in music exams like ABRSM or Trinity Guildhall. Most music exams have special sight-reading part. Teachers often say that one should be able to sight-read pieces two grades below their current grade.


Not sure why you are replying to my post with instruction about the difference between Playing and sight-reading. I did not say (or intend to imply) anything about sight-reading. I was simply referring to playing WHILE LOOKING AT THE MUSIC, which is not the definition of sight-reading.


Don

Kawai MP11SE, Edifier R1850DB Active Bookshelf Speakers, Yamaha HS8S Powered Subwoofer, SennHeiser HD 559 Headphones, Pianoteq and numerous other VSTs
Re: Bit of a shock [Re: dmd] #2674780
09/12/17 05:53 PM
09/12/17 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by dmd
I think memorizing music begins early for self-teaching players because it is too hard to play while looking at the music.

Beginners (myself included) will memorize which keys to press because they can learn to play those simple pieces quicker that way.

Then, it becomes a matter of deciding whether they wish to take a step back and learn to play while looking at the music or keep memorizing which keys to press.

Many opt to keep memorizing.


I recognize myself in the depiction you made of the player who takes the habit to rely on memory because of a lack of reading fluency when beginning to learn the piano.

But I haven't yet reached the point where pieces are too long to memorize... Maybe someday? To give you an idea, I played Haydn's sonata in F major a month ago, at a music summer camp ; the piece is 12 pages long, and memory was the least of my concerns. But maybe a sonata is a bad example because the three movements can be seen as 3 separate pieces ?

I think my memory has grown with the habit of soliciting it. I also agree with JoniD who said that studying harmony is a big help for understanding the structure of a piece and learning it. It makes you familiar with your staves, and with the patterns that are common to the language of tonal music.

My teacher doesn't see this as a big handicap, sometimes she is simply impressed to see how fast I memorized a piece, and how little use I make of the score. At other times she urges me to keep looking at the score, not because I'd supposedly gain time reading what I play, but because when looking away from it too soon, I tend to overlook some dynamics or articulation marks.

Re: Bit of a shock [Re: JoniD] #2674786
09/12/17 06:07 PM
09/12/17 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by JoniD
Originally Posted by sinophilia
Originally Posted by JoniD

Actually, I don't spend any extra time to memorize what I play. It happens by itself after a several repetitions.

I don't know anything about you, but I assume that the pieces you are learning are short, and possibly quite simple. When things get longer and more complicated, memorization might not happen by itself. Anything longer than 2 or 3 pages will need some effort to be memorized securely. It's just so much easier to keep the score on the piano, if only to help you remember the sequence and structure of the piece.

Memory is trainable and its capacity grows with the length of pieces. Besides, pieces tend to have some repetetive patterns and obey the laws of harmony which helps a lot.
It was said that memorising is bad. I just do not agree.

Memorising is not bad.

But it's bad if it takes priority over learning to read music, especially if classical music is your thing. It would be like a non-English reader prioritising memorising Shakespeare sonnets and reciting them in public from memory (presumably for the acclaim) over learning to read English and being able to read anything in English. Anything, and everything from The Canterbury Tales to Fifty Shades of Grey....... wink

BTW, as you mentioned ABRSM exams, you should know that they prioritise note-reading, and place no importance at all on memorising pieces. That's why all students play their exam pieces from the music, and why there's a sight-reading component in all the grade exams.


"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: Bit of a shock [Re: Fouyaut] #2674794
09/12/17 06:25 PM
09/12/17 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Fouyaut
I recognize myself in the depiction you made of the player who takes the habit to rely on memory because of a lack of reading fluency when beginning to learn the piano.

But I haven't yet reached the point where pieces are too long to memorize... Maybe someday?


I am not sure that the issue is .... too long to memorize.

The issue, for me ... was that I had to keep playing the pieces regularly in order to be able to play them ... on demand.

If I (or you) would become skilled at playing while looking at the music, there was no limit on how many pieces I could play ... on demand.

As long as I had the sheet music, I could play anything within my skill level.

If your playing consists of prepping for an exam or a concert or a recital ... then ... yes, memorizing works great ... but if you are at a friends home and they ask you to play something .... it is likely the only thing you can offer will be what you are currently or very recently were working on.

And, I guess ... that is ok.

So, it is just a matter of how you feel about practicing things for a long time and then a year later ... you can hardly play it, at all ... without sitting down with it again for a few hours and "reviewing".

I did not like that.

But ... as they say ... To each their own ...Whatever you enjoy ..... keep doing it.


Don

Kawai MP11SE, Edifier R1850DB Active Bookshelf Speakers, Yamaha HS8S Powered Subwoofer, SennHeiser HD 559 Headphones, Pianoteq and numerous other VSTs
Re: Bit of a shock [Re: jonwatt] #2674815
09/12/17 06:56 PM
09/12/17 06:56 PM
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I understand your issue better now, thanks for elaborating.
But as you give these precisions on what aim you assign to playing while looking at the score, I see that this aim is quite near the aim of sight-reading : you like to be able to play any piece of your level at any time, especially if you have forgotten it, or haven't played it for a long time, while the goal of sight-reading is to be able to play a piece on demand for the first time.
Maybe it's not that different after all ?

I forgot to add that although my teacher doesn't blame me too much for often looking away from the score, she insists that my memorizing should not be only muscular or auditive, but that I should be able to start playing from any bar of the piece. That requires knowing the score enough to locate what I'm currently playing on it, instead of being lost when looking it back in search of the passage. So even if I leave it with my eyes, I shouldn't leave it with my mind...

Last edited by Fouyaut; 09/12/17 07:09 PM.
Re: Bit of a shock [Re: jonwatt] #2674962
09/13/17 11:08 AM
09/13/17 11:08 AM
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There's quite a difference between playing something the instant you see it for the first time, and having even a few minutes to check it over beforehand. Back in the days of TV and movie scoring sessions, the musicians always had at least a look at the diazo's before recording. Picking something back up after years is also not the same as never having seen it. The brain does seem to re-activate and strengthen old memories.

The ability to look away from the paper and come back to it is well worth having, for checking long leaps, and for page turns. What you have to do is memorize the parts of the music you'll not be looking at, and memorize where on the page your return point is.


-- J.S.

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Re: Bit of a shock [Re: dogperson] #2675574
09/15/17 08:44 PM
09/15/17 08:44 PM
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Virginia
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Thanks you dogperson, I just ordered the book from Amazon. I take 4 hours of lessons a week, 2 for piano and then 2 for another class that I study peddling, the fake book (for chords), and then study rhythm. This book will certainly help, until I get really proficient at reading chord changes it is nice to have markings. I appreciate your time.


Deb
"A goal properly set is halfway reached." Zig Ziglar
Re: Bit of a shock [Re: DFSRN] #2675577
09/15/17 08:58 PM
09/15/17 08:58 PM
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Warsaw, Poland
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Originally Posted by DFSRN
I study peddling

Don't peddle too much. wink


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Mozart Sonata in G major, K. 283
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Re: Bit of a shock [Re: jonwatt] #2675889
09/17/17 03:57 PM
09/17/17 03:57 PM
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South Wales
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[quote][/quote]I am learning piano for about 1 year and every day doing 20min of technical exercises. You can see my progress on my YT channel. I don't know of it is good but I am happy with it.

I may be wrong and perhaps others will agree or not, but looking at your youtube I thought that you could do with raising your seat as right elbow lows too low to me.

As for learning, memorising and practising everyone is different and the requirements are different depending on your level, abilities, time available and motivation. I am 'lucky' in that I have always been very good at sight reading. This had the unfortunate effect when I was young that I didn't really practise properly. Something that I now seek to remedy!


Roland LX7

South Wales, UK
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