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Re: Insecurities with expressive playing
Richrf #2765409 09/14/18 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Richrf
My heartfelt advice would be to get rid of your teacher, practice on your own, expressing yourself as you wish. All you need to do is relax, feel comfortable the music, and let your body express your feelings. Ber own navigator in life. It's a great skill in itself to develop.

Do you think Irina Gorin didn't have a teacher? Or that her student's are better off quitting and going on their own? Because I see you posting a number of videos from a piano teacher. Or is it that adults are different than children and adults should just not have teachers and go on their own? Or is it that no other teacher including the OP's would favorably compare with Irina Gorin so therefore there is no point in having a teacher? LOL


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Re: Insecurities with expressive playing
Tyrone Slothrop #2765415 09/14/18 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by Richrf
My heartfelt advice would be to get rid of your teacher, practice on your own, expressing yourself as you wish. All you need to do is relax, feel comfortable the music, and let your body express your feelings. Ber own navigator in life. It's a great skill in itself to develop.

Do you think Irina Gorin didn't have a teacher? Or that her student's are better off quitting and going on their own? Because I see you posting a number of videos from a piano teacher. Or is it that adults are different than children and adults should just not have teachers and go on their own? Or is it that no other teacher including the OP's would favorably compare with Irina Gorin so therefore there is no point in having a teacher? LOL


Learning to navigate ones own path is a skill worth having, possibly even more so than piano playing. Everyone is their own best teacher.

Re: Insecurities with expressive playing
pianosuzemn #2765427 09/14/18 10:19 AM
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Learning to navigate ones own path is a skill worth having, possibly even more so than piano playing. Everyone is their own best teacher.

In partnership with a good teacher that is part of the equation.

Re: Insecurities with expressive playing
keystring #2765487 09/14/18 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by keystring
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Learning to navigate ones own path is a skill worth having, possibly even more so than piano playing. Everyone is their own best teacher.

In partnership with a good teacher that is part of the equation.


No, when I say by oneself, i mean exactly that. Self-reliance is a valuable skill in many ways. For one thing it teaches that you don't need a teacher, it is optional. Pretty much handles the insecurities issues in life.

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Re: Insecurities with expressive playing
Richrf #2765492 09/14/18 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Richrf


No, when I say by oneself, i mean exactly that. Self-reliance is a valuable skill in many ways. For one thing it teaches that you don't need a teacher, it is optional..

I agree, you don't need a teacher for anything, not even to read & write.

So, why are you learning from teachers?


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Re: Insecurities with expressive playing
pianosuzemn #2765521 09/14/18 05:04 PM
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If you are watching videos of others playing and teaching piano, then aren't you learning from someone else, and not teaching yourself??


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Re: Insecurities with expressive playing
pianosuzemn #2765526 09/14/18 05:18 PM
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C’mon, guys. There is an old southern US saying: ‘don’t beat a dead horse’. Isn’t that what we’re doing here? Everyone who has been on this forum for 24 hours knows that Rich does not believe in piano teachers, dven though he chooses YouTube teacher-based learning. nothing will change his mind.

Maybe it’s time to stop beating the horse....

Re: Insecurities with expressive playing
pianosuzemn #2765549 09/14/18 06:29 PM
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Once again, thank you to everybody! I have started reading the book by Westney on my kindle, and I ordered the Inner Game of Music. And I am feeling SO much better about this whole issue. I have tried some exaggerated playing, and it's actually OK to do on my own. I am determined to just bite the bullet and do it for my teacher next week as well. It's just good to know that others have experienced something similar. With respect to videotaping or recording myself, I know I should get back to that.
Thanks again, everyone!


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Re: Insecurities with expressive playing
pianosuzemn #2765564 09/14/18 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by bennevis

I agree, you don't need a teacher for anything, not even to read & write.


I nevah had a teechar wen i lernd to rite and it nevah did mee anee hahm.

Re: Insecurities with expressive playing
bSharp(C)yclist #2765569 09/14/18 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by bSharp(C)yclist
If you are watching videos of others playing and teaching piano, then aren't you learning from someone else, and not teaching yourself??


There is a qualitative difference between someone learning and someobe being taught what they should do. It's a big difference.

Re: Insecurities with expressive playing
dogperson #2765570 09/14/18 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by dogperson
C’mon, guys. There is an old southern US saying: ‘don’t beat a dead horse’. Isn’t that what we’re doing here? Everyone who has been on this forum for 24 hours knows that Rich does not believe in piano teachers, dven though he chooses YouTube teacher-based learning. nothing will change his mind.

Maybe it’s time to stop beating the horse....


The teacher/student/performance angst/drama is quite counterproductive and to my way of seeing things is unnecessary and irrelevant to quality of enjoyment.

Re: Insecurities with expressive playing
Richrf #2765573 09/14/18 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Richrf
My heartfelt advice would be to get rid of your teacher, practice on your own, expressing yourself as you wish.

Originally Posted by Richrf
Learning to navigate ones own path is a skill worth having, possibly even more so than piano playing. Everyone is their own best teacher.

Originally Posted by Richrf
The teacher/student/performance angst/drama is quite counterproductive and to my way of seeing things is unnecessary and irrelevant to quality of enjoyment.

It's one thing to make a personal choice that one doesn't need or want a teacher. It is another thing altogether to recommend that as a one-size-fits-all general approach that will have a better outcome for people in general. Surely you see a contradiction in that the online teachers you appear to respect the most - Ilinca Vartik, Irina Gorin, Irina Lankova - all themselves had teachers! Where do you think they would be today if they had been self taught instead? Do you think it is likely you would still be watching their videos on Youtube to learn piano? If you had a time machine, would you really go back and convince each of them they didn't need a piano teacher, they should just self-learn and learn to express themselves on their own without any guidance?

And why stop with recommending going 'teacher-free' for just piano? Indeed, reductio ad absurdum, why have teachers at all for any subject when there are an abundance of books on virtually any topic with which an autodictact can use to become an expert in any subject from nuclear physics to tennis to sculpture? And today, we can at least get partly there riding the Youtube train.


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Re: Insecurities with expressive playing
Richrf #2765576 09/14/18 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Richrf
Originally Posted by keystring
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Learning to navigate ones own path is a skill worth having, possibly even more so than piano playing. Everyone is their own best teacher.

In partnership with a good teacher that is part of the equation.


No, when I say by oneself, i mean exactly that.

And when I said what I said, that is exactly what I meant. wink

Re: Insecurities with expressive playing
pianosuzemn #2765582 09/14/18 09:23 PM
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The horse has most definitely been beaten to death. In fairness to the OP, who posted a good question and has gotten some outstanding replies, can we get back to helping each other with good suggestions, some of which work for some of us, and others of which work for others of us.

Ghosthand, I too am in awe of "The Perfect Wrong Note". What a treat to get him in person, and thank you so much for sharing your experience. .


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Re: Insecurities with expressive playing
Iaroslav Vasiliev #2765605 09/15/18 03:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
Bach is not about expressiveness. You need to play more of romantic music to boost your expressiveness, or, even better, play some modern tunes that are highly emotional and that touch your soul most deeply.

Concerning psychological aspect (I'm not sure that it's a good place to give this piece of advice, and you may ignore it, of course), but it may be that you need to play a couple of times after a glass of wine or two. Just to let it go. wink


Well, there's your main problem - Bach - (enough to dull anyone's senses) and your best solution - play romantic music. (Classical to Broadway)...and a glass of wine (a fresh Beaujolais warmly recommended) might be just what the doctor would order to loosen one's inhibitions and lubricate one's pent up expressive inclinations...(careful: 2 might get you to the point where you didn't give rat's a** about expressiveness at all...)


John

"Difficulties deferred and challenges unmet will eventually return with a vengeance to bite one in the butt." (paraphrasing Chopin)
Re: Insecurities with expressive playing
Medved1 #2765616 09/15/18 06:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Medved1
The horse has most definitely been beaten to death. In fairness to the OP, who posted a good question and has gotten some outstanding replies, can we get back to helping each other with good suggestions, some of which work for some of us, and others of which work for others of us.



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Re: Insecurities with expressive playing
Tyrone Slothrop #2765639 09/15/18 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by Richrf
My heartfelt advice would be to get rid of your teacher, practice on your own, expressing yourself as you wish.

Originally Posted by Richrf
Learning to navigate ones own path is a skill worth having, possibly even more so than piano playing. Everyone is their own best teacher.

Originally Posted by Richrf
The teacher/student/performance angst/drama is quite counterproductive and to my way of seeing things is unnecessary and irrelevant to quality of enjoyment.

It's one thing to make a personal choice that one doesn't need or want a teacher. It is another thing altogether to recommend that as a one-size-fits-all general approach that will have a better outcome for people in general. Surely you see a contradiction in that the online teachers you appear to respect the most - Ilinca Vartik, Irina Gorin, Irina Lankova - all themselves had teachers! Where do you think they would be today if they had been self taught instead? Do you think it is likely you would still be watching their videos on Youtube to learn piano? If you had a time machine, would you really go back and convince each of them they didn't need a piano teacher, they should just self-learn and learn to express themselves on their own without any guidance?

And why stop with recommending going 'teacher-free' for just piano? Indeed, reductio ad absurdum, why have teachers at all for any subject when there are an abundance of books on virtually any topic with which an autodictact can use to become an expert in any subject from nuclear physics to tennis to sculpture? And today, we can at least get partly there riding the Youtube train.


If ever a person needed to leave a "teacher", this was surely the case.

I observe the piano musicians you mentioned, they don't teach me. They can't. I can only teach myself to be myself. Everyone is different, most especially when it comes to the creative arts. All of these musicians have one thing in common, they all say it comes from within as dies Arrau. That is the most important thing Ib have learned in my life.

Re: Insecurities with expressive playing
pianosuzemn #2765646 09/15/18 11:02 AM
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Are you sure you know how to play expressively on the piano ?

It was something I found very challenging to do on the piano. This is because it is very hard to make a piano, which is like a percussion instrument, to sing like a voice - so this does take years to master !

Most people get taught dynamics and following the score but really much of how to play expressively is not at all written in the score. So unless you know what to do, you wont be able to do it.

The basics that are not written include how to achieve the same sound for different notes. e.g. longer notes must be played louder (as the sound dies quickly on the piano) than shorter notes. Stressing certain beats of the bar. After a loud long note (when the sound is low) dont bash out a short note (you may have to crescendo up). It is hard to specify without a piece but these are skills a pianist can play to other pieces and it is mainly achieved from many years of trail and error.

I found that you need to deviate from the score quite a lot. This is quite a difficult concept to understand when you are starting to play expressively. In the end of a phrase, you often slow down and even maybe have a pause, and then you make it up later. Quite how to make this sound nice is very much an art that is difficult.

It is very difficult so do not put yourself down and it is especially hard as most of playing expressively is not written in the score. This means you have to be taught to some extent in my opinion. I find that I am playing pieces longer to make it sound expressive and you have to use certain techniques to achieve certain sounds so it is harder if you like to play expressively.

As others have said you must try and fail (e.g. go out your comfort zone) to learn this to an extent. I found recording and listening to myself very useful.

PS: How did this turn into a "buy a teacher, dont buy a teacher" thread ?

Re: Insecurities with expressive playing
dogperson #2765659 09/15/18 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by dogperson
Ghosthand
I. too, am a huge fan of Westney’s book, and am quite jealous you had him for a teacher. Kudos to you on what you learned, and one of the truly outstanding posts on PW 👏🏻 We should all bookmark this one


I gratefully bow for these kind words. About Westney, I was indeed a bit nervous before the first lesson, because I had had such great expectations after this book, and I know that if you meet a "celebrity" (authority, expert, or whatever) IRL they sometimes turn out to be ... a bit disappointing. (And I am not much for idolizing, mind you.) But he definitely was a very nice person and also just the incredible teacher I had hoped for. Aaaaand ... we got along so well that we will try to continue the lessons later on. grin Unfortunately it must be online, we live on different continents.

One thing, though - when you read the book you may get a feeling that this teaching is kind of opposite to the rigorous, accurate technique discussions that we traditionally associate with world class piano teaching. Kind of "get hazy", love your mistakes instead of hating them, feel the music inside you, yeah yeah yeah. Well, with one exception I have never met a teacher who have been this picky about details (and I just loved it). God knows how many times I had to repeat the same two-chord combination before he said "there you got it". But it is great to leave a lesson with the feeling that you are a better and more educated pianist now than you were one hour ago. And how else do you define a good lesson?

Re: Insecurities with expressive playing
pianosuzemn #2766411 09/19/18 08:44 AM
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Update—I had a much better lesson yesterday and learned that all this time I’ve been “reading” the crescendo and decrescendo markings incorrectly! I’ve truly never learned how to make music where I pay close enough attention to this, and along with that I’ve been way too uncomfortable with continually increasing the loudness level. I’ve always just seen it as “build up to it, then get loud, and then get softer” but never the idea of “build up to it, then get louder—and then get even louder still, and EVEN LOUDER AGAIN” ...and only after that do I slowly get softer. So regardless of my RCM level on the book I use, I have a lot of gaps apparently. So we are spending time on this and that is just fine with me. And cmb13–Your perspective has helped a lot. I’m no longer thinking of expressiveness, at least not now. I’m just trying to work on what I’m seeing as these other technical aspects of piano playing that I never really learned before. Thanks to everyone again.


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