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Re: Learning on my own - need some input [Re: Morten Olsson] #2750365
07/09/18 08:14 AM
07/09/18 08:14 AM
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Posts: 95
Romania
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Mosotti Offline
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If money is not a problem, I think you should really try to get a teacher. If there's no one there to correct you (and the books and youtube won't correct you), you will develop some nasty habits which will be very hard to get rid off. I also have a small kid, he was 2 months old when I started with the lessons, but I found a teacher close to work, so I just make a detour on the way home.

You can also try these:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0793551218/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0793525675/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0793525578/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Also you should really stop learning pieces by looking at hands and Synthesia and crazy scrolling apps that teach you piano in "3 weeks" and start learning to read smile

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Re: Learning on my own - need some input [Re: Mosotti] #2750380
07/09/18 09:04 AM
07/09/18 09:04 AM
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,794
Italy
sinophilia Offline

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Italy
Originally Posted by Mosotti
...you will develop some nasty habits which will be very hard to get rid off.


Please, this is a myth that gets perpetuated ad libitum, but it's not necessarily true - certainly not for everyone. And there are a lot of people who studied with teachers all their life and still have so-called bad habits.

Defining bad habits is another challenge in itself, because we're all different and in the end, all that matters is that it sounds good and it doesn't hurt. Maybe we should focus on good habits, good advice - and there's plenty of that out there, from teachers and other fellow students.

Of course having a (good) teacher is better. But nasty habits? Honestly I don't think I have any. Maybe normal human tendencies that prevent us from doing what's best all the time. But you keep yourself in check and you'll be fine.


Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW
To create a beautiful sound, one must imagine it at first and then learn to produce fluid physical motions that breathe life into music. (Shirley Kirsten)
http://soundcloud.com/sinophilia - http://youtube.com/sinophilia
Re: Learning on my own - need some input [Re: sinophilia] #2750386
07/09/18 09:32 AM
07/09/18 09:32 AM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 3,795
Florida
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Originally Posted by sinophilia
Originally Posted by Mosotti
...you will develop some nasty habits which will be very hard to get rid off.


Please, this is a myth that gets perpetuated ad libitum, but it's not necessarily true - certainly not for everyone. And there are a lot of people who studied with teachers all their life and still have so-called bad habits.

Defining bad habits is another challenge in itself, because we're all different and in the end, all that matters is that it sounds good and it doesn't hurt. Maybe we should focus on good habits, good advice - and there's plenty of that out there, from teachers and other fellow students.

Of course having a (good) teacher is better. But nasty habits? Honestly I don't think I have any. Maybe normal human tendencies that prevent us from doing what's best all the time. But you keep yourself in check and you'll be fine.


Although I’ve always had a teacher, I would agree with this post. In order to succeed as a self learner, you need to have discipline to learn skills in a systematic way. Sinophilia has done that. Be patient, learn skills, record yourself visually and audiotally....., and be critical.

I would use the technique books of Hanon, Czerny and Schmidt with caution. Poor technique can lead to injury


"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: Learning on my own - need some input [Re: Morten Olsson] #2750423
07/09/18 11:18 AM
07/09/18 11:18 AM
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Posts: 95
Romania
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Originally Posted by sinophilia
Originally Posted by Mosotti
...you will develop some nasty habits which will be very hard to get rid off.

Please, this is a myth that gets perpetuated ad libitum, but it's not necessarily true - certainly not for everyone. And there are a lot of people who studied with teachers all their life and still have so-called bad habits.

It is not a myth, and what you say, that people studying with a teacher might also develop bad habits is not an argument. The role of the teacher is to correct those things, but it's up to the student to apply the teacher's advice.

Originally Posted by sinophilia

Of course having a (good) teacher is better. But nasty habits? Honestly I don't think I have any.


Was this confirmed by an experienced piano teacher / player? I'm not a teacher, I'm a poor beginner, but looking at your videos I can say that your fingers are too flat and you play too close to the keyboard margin. Because of that you don't properly articulate your fingers and you don't press the keys with the tip of the fingers but in most cases with the whole front of the finger. Please compare your fingers in your Traumerei video with this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHlfNYY1YIY

Ignore that it's Lisitsa (I just got the first result) and look for example where her thumb touches the keys and where your thumbs are touching the keys (almost falling off the keyboard). Also observe how she presses the keys, especially the black ones, with the tips of her fingers. This creates better control and a better sound quality. Look at her hand form and then check your hands, see any difference? It's not very visible in your videos but it seems that you play a lot from the wrist and not using the fingers.

Now this is a problem I also have and I try to correct it, but in my case is mostly because I have a digital piano where it's much harder to press between keys and also the black keys are hard to press. I've ordered a better digital piano with a better action (hopefully) smile

Originally Posted by Mosotti

Defining bad habits is another challenge in itself, because we're all different and in the end, all that matters is that it sounds good and it doesn't hurt. Maybe we should focus on good habits, good advice - and there's plenty of that out there, from teachers and other fellow students.

It's not hard to define bad habits. Here's the definition: bad habits are those habits that will prevent you to progress at some point or even worse, will have your hands severely damaged.

Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by sinophilia
[quote=Mosotti]...you will develop some nasty habits which will be very hard to get rid off.

I would use the technique books of Hanon, Czerny and Schmidt with caution. Poor technique can lead to injury

You don't injure yourself if you follow the teacher's advice. For example the first advice I got was to stop everything if I feel any pain. That is a good advice, right? smile

Re: Learning on my own - need some input [Re: Mosotti] #2750437
07/09/18 12:25 PM
07/09/18 12:25 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 24,587
New York City
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Originally Posted by Mosotti
Originally Posted by sinophilia
Originally Posted by Mosotti
...you will develop some nasty habits which will be very hard to get rid off.
Please, this is a myth that gets perpetuated ad libitum, but it's not necessarily true - certainly not for everyone. And there are a lot of people who studied with teachers all their life and still have so-called bad habits.
It is not a myth, and what you say, that people studying with a teacher might also develop bad habits is not an argument. The role of the teacher is to correct those things, but it's up to the student to apply the teacher's advice.
I certainly agree with this. The degree of "nastiness" is not that important. It's pretty unlikely that one will not learn some incorrect ways of playing without the help of a teacher, especially in the first few years. So if one can afford it and has sufficient time to practice it makes a lot of sense IMO.

The YT performance of Traumerai mentioned by Mosotti does show some very basic things that might have been corrected by a good teacher. The first one I would mention is the rhythm.

Re: Learning on my own - need some input [Re: sinophilia] #2750440
07/09/18 12:38 PM
07/09/18 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by sinophilia
Originally Posted by Mosotti
...you will develop some nasty habits which will be very hard to get rid off.


Please, this is a myth that gets perpetuated ad libitum, but it's not necessarily true - certainly not for everyone. And there are a lot of people who studied with teachers all their life and still have so-called bad habits.



Of course having a (good) teacher is better. But nasty habits? Honestly I don't think I have any. Maybe normal human tendencies that prevent us from doing what's best all the time. But you keep yourself in check and you'll be fine.

I disagree. But that's also tempered with what you hope to achieve.

I know of only one person who's played for decades, and never had a teacher. He can't read music, and plays entirely by ear, and by copying others by rote. His technique wouldn't pass muster in the ABRSM grade 1 exam: he cannot play a simple scale evenly, at any speed, because he has to twist awkwardly to get his thumb beneath.

Does that matter? Not to him - what he can't play, he simply doesn't. His rep is almost entirely RH melody (using almost exclusively fingers 1, 2 and 3: he shifts his whole hand across) and LH chords.

And he's never had any injuries. So, he's fine, by any standards.......


"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: Learning on my own - need some input [Re: Morten Olsson] #2750445
07/09/18 01:09 PM
07/09/18 01:09 PM
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 2,057
Midwest USA
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Certainly having a teacher is no guarantee of not developing bad habits, but self-teaching and not developing bad habits is the exception, in my opinion. With self-teaching, in order to not develop some poor habits (poor technique), you need to have a fair amount of knowledge about playing before you even start. Few beginners have this (or even know to look for it).

Before getting a teacher, I self-taught for several years using Alfred's AIO, and, yes, I have some bad habits that still haunt me. I regret now that I waited so long to get a teacher.


Three method books for self-teachers have had regular followers here on the ABF. One is the Alfred Adult All-in-One books, another is the Faber Piano Adventures series, and a third is Fundamental Keys. Any of these will teach you the basics in a graded manner (the pieces get harder as you move through the series). None is perfect; using several of them together is not a bad idea. Learn to read music notation. It will open up a world of music. Learn to hear music. It will open up a world of music as well. Above all, don't be in a hurry and do strive to enjoy the process. Best wishes on your progress!


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Re: Learning on my own - need some input [Re: Morten Olsson] #2750513
07/10/18 02:33 AM
07/10/18 02:33 AM
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,794
Italy
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Italy
Whatever. You made it, you turned this thread into the same old argument about teacher or no teacher!

The OP just asked advice on how to learn without a teacher, is it so hard to understand?


Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW
To create a beautiful sound, one must imagine it at first and then learn to produce fluid physical motions that breathe life into music. (Shirley Kirsten)
http://soundcloud.com/sinophilia - http://youtube.com/sinophilia
Re: Learning on my own - need some input [Re: Morten Olsson] #2750533
07/10/18 06:23 AM
07/10/18 06:23 AM
Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 3,758
Ireland (ex England)
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Originally Posted by Masotti
I'm a poor beginner, but looking at your videos I can say...
And going by what you said, you know nothing about playing the piano! Or watching videos! Most of your post is just wrong - all, in fact, except the bit about ordering a better digital piano, which I can't verify.

I'll charitably assume you misunderstood the defining bad habits part.

I played piano for around ten years before getting a teacher, I had no issues that needed correcting and I reached Grade 8 (ABRSM) within a few short years.

Having a teacher speeds up the rate of learning and may include (depending on the teacher) some postural benefits, a wider variety of technical solutions and better musicianship. It does not reduce the frequency of bad habits or poor playing. In many cases it takes the problem solving out of the student's hands and makes them teacher dependent, reducing their ability to advance on their own.

I'm not against having a teacher, per se, and Mrs Crotchet down the road might be fine for the average child beginner but the better you are at applying intelligence and discipline to the problem the better the teacher needs to be to make a good match.

Hanon, Czerny and the like are the sources of many unhealthy playing techniques. Only a fool would recommend them to someone self-teaching. They are better aimed at those with already good technique, aiming at a conservatory or potential career on the platform and with appropriate teachers behind them.

There's an active post in the forum now about a Pischna study. It has taken a potentially difficult passage from a piece of music and changed it into a repetitive, mind-numbing exercise on the stupid belief that frequent repetition up and down the keyboard will fix the problem. Many teachers use the same formula. That's no way to solve problems. Piano playing is a mental activity not a fingers game.

A wide ranging repertoire is the source of good piano technique for the first few years at which time technique can be bolstered with scales and arpeggios - though not all piano styles will benefit from them equally.


Richard
Re: Learning on my own - need some input [Re: zrtf90] #2750565
07/10/18 09:10 AM
07/10/18 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by zrtf90
Originally Posted by Masotti
I'm a poor beginner, but looking at your videos I can say...
And going by what you said, you know nothing about playing the piano! Or watching videos! Most of your post is just wrong - all, in fact, except the bit about ordering a better digital piano, which I can't verify.

I'll charitably assume you misunderstood the defining bad habits part.

I played piano for around ten years before getting a teacher, I had no issues that needed correcting and I reached Grade 8 (ABRSM) within a few short years.

Having a teacher speeds up the rate of learning and may include (depending on the teacher) some postural benefits, a wider variety of technical solutions and better musicianship. It does not reduce the frequency of bad habits or poor playing. In many cases it takes the problem solving out of the student's hands and makes them teacher dependent, reducing their ability to advance on their own.

Not for the first time, you're talking a load of tosh.

Just because you've been lucky, and probably have some inherent talent, doesn't mean that everyone else will. Extrapolating your own experience to everyone else is simply idiotic.

A good teacher will ensure that any bad habits are nipped in the bud before they have time to get ingrained - like those of my friend that I mentioned earlier. Fortunately for him, he has no interest in classical music. But what if I had gone the same way as him and then discovered in my middle age that I've developed a love for Mozart? I well remember my first teacher having to correct my finger & hand positioning several times over many lessons and giving me specific pieces to develop 'weak' fingers. All things I'd never have known was a problem.......until I started playing more advanced pieces, and realised her wisdom.

Of course, I don't have your musical and technical talent. I'm sure you always know when you're about to become sloppy, and nip yourself in the bud before that happens. Or you're so talented that you never come close to developing sloppy habits, because you're able to analyse yourself constantly.

Quote
There's an active post in the forum now about a Pischna study. It has taken a potentially difficult passage from a piece of music and changed it into a repetitive, mind-numbing exercise on the stupid belief that frequent repetition up and down the keyboard will fix the problem. Many teachers use the same formula. That's no way to solve problems. Piano playing is a mental activity not a fingers game.

A wide ranging repertoire is the source of good piano technique for the first few years at which time technique can be bolstered with scales and arpeggios - though not all piano styles will benefit from them equally.


Again, you're talking through your hat.

Piano playing is a technical activity, not a mind game. Do you know of anyone who learnt to play piano simply by thinking or meditating? Did anyone ever learn to play fluent scales by thinking about them? Many of the world's great virtuosi past & present developed great technical skills (and revelled in them) long before their musicianship caught up, and that's the way it has to be if you want to reach the top. (Neuhaus mentioned that Richter was a 'banger' in his youth). How can one apply musicianship (whether innate or acquired) if one doesn't have the technique to express it? Gaze up at the ceiling in rapture while playing sloppily? Write a book? (Er, yes. There're quite a few of those around).

"The technique is the expression" - Horowitz.

All teachers stress focused practicing (and time spent on it) - lots of it, consistently, daily - at the piano. Some famous ones even advocate mindless practicing for specific technical problems in order that they can be executed easily without having to think about them.

And scales & arpeggios are an important part of classical technique, therefore they should be started quite early on if classical music is one's goal (and of course, with a teacher). Within the first few months of starting piano, in fact. All reputable piano exam boards for classical music - ABRSM, Trinity, AMEB, RCM - require them from the earliest grades. Do you know better than them?

On the other hand, if you just want to play what you can play, forget all that.......


"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: Learning on my own - need some input [Re: Mosotti] #2750591
07/10/18 11:43 AM
07/10/18 11:43 AM
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Canada
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Responding mostly to Mossotti

First, the idea of a teacher must be tempered with the idea of a suitable, competent, good teacher. The really good ones seem to be an exception rather than a rule. Even if you talk to people who ended up becoming professional pianists and/or teachers, is very rare that they didn't have to fix what was mistaught by at least one teacher, or what a teacher failed to teach. If you do get misguided or poor teaching, it can be more harmful than self-teaching. Why? Because if you teach yourself and something doesn't seem to be working or hurts, you're likely to check what you're doing and find something better. But if it is coming from a supposed expert, you will question that pain or lack of progress, blame yourself, and continue doing the wrong thing that you are told to do. You will find such stories both from folks here who were poorly taught as children, or with their first teacher(s) as adults.

Next, you have judged Sinophilia's playing according to criteria that you have been learning as a student. If your teacher is guiding you and it is working, definitely stay with that. But know that you are only getting a small part of the picture and as yet lack the broader perspective. There are ideas out there about the fingertips needing to be a certain angle: that motion comes primarily from the arms, or shoulders, or rotation, or fingers - the truth is that it varies constantly according to the music and other things. With an astute teacher, s/he will balance out advice according to where the student is at - the totally arm-person may be guided toward more hands and fingers, and vice versa, etc. etc. etc. Advice about technique will also depend on the repertoire.

The most harmful teachers that I have run across has been those teachers who have one single formula: they are wedded to a specific idea or philosophy. That philosophy may not suit the student they are teaching, but they will push it anyway. Students of such teachers may also end up thinking that there are set ways of playing and doing things.

I would not judge anyone's playing. Even experienced teachers will be very careful about that; I'm a student who has been learning things about piano pedagogy: that is not enough. But if you are going to try to get an idea, then also listen. What I read was about which rules of playing were not being followed, such as you learned them; I did not read anything about what was heard. With the PRECAUTION: my ears are not that weak, but they are not fine enough for me to try to assess anyone. Above all, a student --- because a judicious teacher will know where that student is on his or her journey. Something that may seem "not perfect" may be ideal for this particular stage. A good teacher will know what the next step will be.

As a kind of conclusion: Having a competent and good teacher to guide you along is definitely an advantage. Doing things on your own will definitely land you in potholes that you won't be aware of. But that isn't possible for everyone: and imho, poor teaching is worse.

Btw: Many "self-taught" students these days are not totally self-taught, because there are a lot of resources out there. In some cases they include feedback.
In fact, in violin forums I have run into students who have private teachers who simply assign them pieces and tell them to make it sound nice: they are getting theory and technique through the on-line sites and teachers while their private teachers still think "adults don't want theory, or technique, or work hard" --- all the while wondering why this particular student is doing so well. No guff! It is not at all black and white. There are many shades of gray.

Re: Learning on my own - need some input [Re: keystring] #2750592
07/10/18 11:48 AM
07/10/18 11:48 AM
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Posts: 2,423
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Originally Posted by keystring
I would not judge anyone's playing. Even experienced teachers will be very careful about that; I'm a student who has been learning things about piano pedagogy: that is not enough.

Yet everyone seems willing to judge Lang Lang and Valentina Lisitsa's technique. LOL. (BTW, I completely agree with you -- just pointing out how many "experts" in technique there are when it comes to judging not a beginner, but professional concert pianists! laugh )


across the stone, deathless piano performances
Re: Learning on my own - need some input [Re: Morten Olsson] #2750600
07/10/18 12:21 PM
07/10/18 12:21 PM
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India
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Hi Morten,

I too, am a self learner. I'm quite happy with my progress over the years. It is entirely possible to be able learn to play the piano competently without having a teacher. The main thing is, you should be prepared for your progress to be a lot slower without a teacher. The progress that one will make with a teacher may be many times as fast as one without a teacher. This doesn't mean it isn't possible to learn without a teacher, especially in this digital age with the wealth of information available on the internet.

I'll tell you some of the worst habits I picked up when starting out. Hopefully, they'll help you out.
The worst habit I picked up as a self learner was to keep repeating mistakes. Lets's say that I made a mistake in bar 10 or 11, I would stop, and then start again from the beginning, only to repeat the mistake. This caused me to reinforce the mistake and always stumble at that point. Once I corrected this behaviour, my playing improved at a remarkably fast rate.
Another bad habit I used to make was relying entirely on muscle memory. So any "wrong" notes that I learned would take a long time to correct. And any lapse would cause me to stumble and be unable to recover. Supplementing it with visual, auditory and keyboard memory helped me a lot in this area.
Another bad habit was to keep playing the same pieces over and over again. This was especially true on days when I was too tired or didn't feel like concentrating on learning something. I would sort of go on autopilot and passively listen to myself play while my mind wandered. It took a lot of concentration and willpower to get over this.
There were a lot more (and probably still are), but these were the worst.

Something that would help you develop musicality is to record yourself playing as much as you can, and then listen to yourself. Eventually, you'll notice the parts of your playing that you like and the parts you don't like. You might not always make these observations while playing, since it takes a lot of concentration to play the right notes at the right time. Also, listening to other people play the same piece will give you a good idea about which parts you would like to improve on.
Also, it would help to record yourself playing on video and then study the video and check for any excess tension. This should help you realise where you're tensing up while playing (which isn't as obvious while playing). As long as you don't get too tense while playing, and as long as you don't try to play something that is far above your level which requires advanced techniques, I don't think there's much of a risk of injury.

These are just my opinions as a self learner. I make no claim of presenting anything I've said as "facts", but these observations have worked out pretty well for me.

It's a very enjoyable journey as long as you are patient. All the best smile

PS: Don't hesitate to post recordings here and ask for feedback. There are many good people here who offer excellent advice. This feedback is the next best thing to having a teacher IMO.

Re: Learning on my own - need some input [Re: zrtf90] #2750612
07/10/18 01:54 PM
07/10/18 01:54 PM
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Mosotti Offline
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Originally Posted by zrtf90

I played piano for around ten years before getting a teacher, I had no issues that needed correcting and I reached Grade 8 (ABRSM) within a few short years.

You make the same mistake as many who achieved something by themselves. You assume that anyone is capable of doing the same thing (using their "intelligence" and their "self analyze" skills lol). But what you don't seem to realize is that you're an exception, not the norm. I'm a senior software developer with no degree. I work on mission critical enterprise software and I've learned everything I'm using daily by myself. Yet I don't go around telling people to drop out of college. You know why? Because I know that the chances of someone to get to the same level by themselves is pretty slim. In fact I've never personally met a self-taught programmer at this level. Of course they exists, but they are rare

Now with music I think it's much harder to do the right thing, because it's not an exact science. If you look something on the internet about specific programming things, there are only a few paths you can go to solve a specific problem. With music, it's practically an infinity of advice and theories. Also on youtube there are some very bad or at least weird and creepy "teachers", which I won't mention of course.

One day I've entered by mistake on some piano app channel and I received their stupid ads for like 2 months afterwards. "Hey, look, it's Johnny day 1, look the same Johnny in 3 weeks". What they weren't saying was that Johnny had no idea what he was playing, no idea how to put some life into those note, only banging them.

So kudos to you for your great achievement, but don't expect to apply the same path to all people. In fact, the OP is learning music by watching hands. I would say that's a very bad habit already, and won't get him to any grade 8 in anything, not that grade 8 means something more than a personal achievement. Nobody cares about your grades in music, only about the music. If you want to impress me with something, or maybe better said if you want to bring some joy to me, give me something to listen to, not a diploma.

Of course if one really can't put some effort into it, that is perfectly fine. But chances are that in the future they will regret it. If you do something, you better do it right, even if you're not aiming for the stars. I'm pretty sure that the time he spends staring at some hands to figure out notes could be also spent with a teacher and learning how to read and get much much much better results for the same time spent smile

There's also another great reason to get a teacher: it will motivate you. Not everyone has the drive to practice consistently.

I'm sorry for hijacking the thread into oblivion, but I think beginners should me made aware of better alternatives, not be blindly answered. I was also in the same situation not long ago, between "learning alone" and staring at Synthesia on youtube and getting a teacher. Fortunately my research was greatly in favor of getting a teacher, and I'm very happy I did that. Luckily for me, I didn't do my research in this thread smile

Re: Learning on my own - need some input [Re: sinophilia] #2750654
07/10/18 06:09 PM
07/10/18 06:09 PM
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Richrf Offline
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Originally Posted by sinophilia
Originally Posted by Mosotti
...you will develop some nasty habits which will be very hard to get rid off.


Please, this is a myth that gets perpetuated ad libitum, but it's not necessarily true - certainly not for everyone. And there are a lot of people who studied with teachers all their life and still have so-called bad habits.

Defining bad habits is another challenge in itself, because we're all different and in the end, all that matters is that it sounds good and it doesn't hurt. Maybe we should focus on good habits, good advice - and there's plenty of that out there, from teachers and other fellow students.

Of course having a (good) teacher is better. But nasty habits? Honestly I don't think I have any. Maybe normal human tendencies that prevent us from doing what's best all the time. But you keep yourself in check and you'll be fine.


The only nasty habits I ever developed were from teachers: playing stuff that bored me and 2) playing while stressed that I may do something "wrong" according to the teacher or audience or who ever. Boredom and stress are incompatible with enjoying any art plus it is unhealthy. I love learning on my own.

Re: Learning on my own - need some input [Re: Mosotti] #2750655
07/10/18 06:12 PM
07/10/18 06:12 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 16,435
Canada
keystring Offline
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Mosotti, would you have a chance to read what I wrote addressing your post and maybe respond? smile

Re: Learning on my own - need some input [Re: Morten Olsson] #2750670
07/10/18 06:58 PM
07/10/18 06:58 PM
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filovirus Offline
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I am a self-learner. I am still near the beginning of my process. Here is what I would recommend.

Don't do Faber or Alfred. The music is very uninspiring, bland, and sometimes just plain boring. Someone mentioned Fundamental Keys by Rachel Jimenez. This is good but goes too fast. She tried to fix this but gave up after book one of three.

What I have found works the best are these three sets of books:
1) The Classical Piano Method by Heumann (four books per level).
2) Scales Bootcamp by Johnston (Good for years and years)
3) Sight Reading and Harmony by Hall (Good for years and years)

Re: Learning on my own - need some input [Re: Morten Olsson] #2750675
07/10/18 07:18 PM
07/10/18 07:18 PM
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 1,632
In the Ozarks of Missouri
NobleHouse Offline
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Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is time to return to being CIVIL in these posts. Everyone has their own opinions, thoughts and methods.
There is no need to denigrate another just because their "methods, thoughts and opinions" are different from yours.

Let's be adults!


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Re: Learning on my own - need some input [Re: Morten Olsson] #2750690
07/10/18 09:59 PM
07/10/18 09:59 PM
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 484
Toronto, Canada
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About 6 months ago came across Piano Marvel online self-taught system. Watched a few YouTube videos posted by people using Piano Marvel and they seem to be able to make progress in a short time.

There are a number of online teachers as well such as Piano Lessons on the Web you can easily find video tutorials on YouTube.

One of the least preferred learning approach is the Suzuki method that came out of Japan in the middle of the last century mainly to get young children into Classical music. The key features of the approach is parental involvement (having at least 1 parent present during each lesson) to reinforce the concepts learned. The founder S Suzuki devised a set of song books that hasn't change much in 50 years except for a few fingering changes to playing a song. The songs are not exactly engaging considering that you can find thousands of songs online. They prefer that you work through their song books before moving onto other repertoire. They just recycle the same songs that were compiled over 50 years ago. For a small children and their parents with no music exposure, they would consider getting into a "structured" approach. Every kid is supposed to have the talent for music and you get 50 or more to play "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" at sync just to prove a point. You can get a 5-year old to learn "Mary Had a Little Lamb" and "Lightly Row" but for adults, gets a bit silly to perform these songs in a recital even if you only played for a year or less.

Re: Learning on my own - need some input [Re: Morten Olsson] #2750727
07/11/18 05:15 AM
07/11/18 05:15 AM
Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 3,758
Ireland (ex England)
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Ireland (ex England)
Originally Posted by bennevis
Extrapolating your own experience to everyone else is simply idiotic.
And I didn't - but I'm going to quote this often. I know someone who regularly posts here about his own experience without adding constructively to the conversation.

Originally Posted by bennevis
A good teacher will ensure that any bad habits are nipped in the bud before they have time to get ingrained
A good teacher, maybe. Most teachers, most unlikely. Take any number of similar activities that are best teacher directed, golf, drawing, chess, tennis, and consider how many students are making solid and rapid progress without flaws in the technique. Ask on the Teachers forum here about their transfer students.

While a student spends more time at the piano away from the teacher the chances of building technical flaws increase. Top level pianists go back to teachers, top level golfers, tour tennis players. Why? Because teachers can't work on everything at once but have to pick a few flaws to work on. Everyone has things they need to work on. Everyone.

Yes, a teacher will speed up the process but no, they won't fix everything. Piano playing isn't something you learn quickly, it's done by developing skills over long periods from frequent and consistent practise, mostly done alone. Good habits will develop and bad. And just because a bad habit develops doesn't mean that it can't be fixed in a short time. New habits can take hold in around three weeks.

Often tackling a more advanced piece shows up a flaw in the technique and often a solution presents itself that fixes the issue. A teacher may have done that quicker and may have had a ready solution but it doesn't mean the advancing student can't use his ear, his experimentation and a little research to reach a workable solution. You do need more time but you don't need super intelligence or discipline...Like what I've got laugh

Originally Posted by bennevis
Of course, I don't have your musical and technical talent. I'm sure you always know when you're about to become sloppy, and nip yourself in the bud before that happens. Or you're so talented that you never come close to developing sloppy habits, because you're able to analyse yourself constantly.
Yeah, right! I think I covered that above.

Originally Posted by bennevis
Piano playing is a technical activity, not a mind game. Do you know of anyone who learnt to play piano simply by thinking or meditating? Did anyone ever learn to play fluent scales by thinking about them?
Missing the point! I know of no-one who was successful without applying thought. We don't need to train our fingers. Young children can play fast, loud and well before their fingers have even reached full size. Babies can hold their own bodyweight in one hand. It's our coordination that needs training. That's a mental thing, you need myelin not muscle; we have enough muscle.

Originally Posted by bennevis
And scales & arpeggios are an important part of classical technique, therefore they should be started quite early on if classical music is one's goal (and of course, with a teacher). Within the first few months of starting piano, in fact. All reputable piano exam boards for classical music - ABRSM, Trinity, AMEB, RCM - require them from the earliest grades. Do you know better than them?
Yes, they are important but I don't get the "therefore" clause. Knowing them is the most important thing. Not daily practise of them in the early days. That can come later when the technique is more rounded. They are not so early advised for those self studying, either. Teachers can introduce them sooner. They work only the stronger fingers, in a limited range of attack direction and touches and are frequently subjected to abuse even with teacher guidance. It's the PRINCIPLES of scale playing that need emphasis and daily exercise.

And basing a curriculum on an exam syllabus is not the smartest approach to learning piano. There's too much that's needed but not tested and yes, I think there's too much emphasis on the scales in the earliest grades. And starting scales with C Major is foolish. Chopin, Neuhaus et al thought so, too.


Richard
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