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How long did it take you to work up Moonlight 3rd mvt? #2771659
10/11/18 09:41 PM
10/11/18 09:41 PM
Joined: Oct 2015
Posts: 45
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brassplyer Offline OP
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brassplyer  Offline OP
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From the first time you laid eyes on it how long do you estimate it took you to play it at an acceptable performance speed/accuracy? How advanced a player were you when you first tackled it?

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Re: How long did it take you to work up Moonlight 3rd mvt? [Re: brassplyer] #2771679
10/11/18 11:49 PM
10/11/18 11:49 PM
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Posts: 21,775
Victoria, BC
BruceD Offline
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Not to be flippant - although it may appear so - it takes as long as it takes.

There are too many variables to answer that question reasonably, and since everyone will have a different answer what is the purpose of the question?

"first laid eyes on it"? - but had I heard it before? a few times? many times? how familiar was I with it?
"acceptable performance"? - what is "acceptable"? by whose standard? "performance"? public? private? for whom?
"how advanced a player"? - criteria for "advanced" can be all over the map.


BruceD
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Estonia 190
Re: How long did it take you to work up Moonlight 3rd mvt? [Re: BruceD] #2771687
10/12/18 12:41 AM
10/12/18 12:41 AM
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brassplyer Offline OP
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Originally Posted by BruceD
Not to be flippant - although it may appear so - it takes as long as it takes.

There are too many variables to answer that question reasonably, and since everyone will have a different answer what is the purpose of the question?

"first laid eyes on it"? - but had I heard it before? a few times? many times? how familiar was I with it?
"acceptable performance"? - what is "acceptable"? by whose standard? "performance"? public? private? for whom?
"how advanced a player"? - criteria for "advanced" can be all over the map.

First laid eyes on the printed music with the intent of learning it regardless of how long one has been listening to it.

Whatever is the most accurate answer any who answer it can give. By whose standard - yours. "Acceptable" doesn't have to rival Valentina Lisitsa.

Quote
everyone will have a different answer


That's fine - answer with whatever qualifiers you feel are needed.

Last edited by brassplyer; 10/12/18 12:44 AM.
Re: How long did it take you to work up Moonlight 3rd mvt? [Re: brassplyer] #2771692
10/12/18 01:15 AM
10/12/18 01:15 AM
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New York
Mark_C Online content
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I hesitated to say something because of things like what Bruce said, but since you're wondering, and really, it's not an unreasonable question, even if only for curiosity....

I don't remember. ha

Not exactly. But best I remember, I'd say it was about a week -- provided we define "acceptable" loosely.

If we define it stricter, the answer would be never. smile

Which is part of why it's so hard to answer, the rest of it being that everyone is different.

Also, regarding how quickly I sort of learned it, it's important to note that I had heard the piece a gajillion times, and knew very well "how it goes." That makes a big difference. As to what my level was, I guess you'd say 'advanced amateur.' I had worked on many other pieces of comparable and greater difficulty.

Re: How long did it take you to work up Moonlight 3rd mvt? [Re: brassplyer] #2771699
10/12/18 01:54 AM
10/12/18 01:54 AM
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Posts: 7,790
Orange County, CA
AZNpiano Offline
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AZNpiano  Offline
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I've never played it as a student, but I've taught it a few times. The students are already advanced, and they took approximately 2 months to learn the notes and play to an acceptable level. One of these students polished the piece for approximately a year and played it at a competition and won first place.

But by "advanced," I mean they have already been playing piano for more than seven years and made tremendous progress. Players who are less than advanced should stay away from it.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Re: How long did it take you to work up Moonlight 3rd mvt? [Re: AZNpiano] #2771747
10/12/18 07:28 AM
10/12/18 07:28 AM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 1,274
Tyrone Slothrop Online content
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Tyrone Slothrop  Online Content
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
The students are already advanced, and they took approximately 2 months to learn the notes and play to an acceptable level. One of these students polished the piece for approximately a year and played it at a competition and won first place.

I have a question about this. Clearly Movement 3 is very advanced - I see in the McGrath guide, it is marked as a Grade 10 and AGME lists it as a Grade 9. The professionals I've heard on Youtube... example:

...play it a lot better than the self-taught amateurs I've heard on Youtube, including Pizza Dude wink... example:

...or even piano students who could not possibly have been practicing it more than a few months because of their age such as:

Clearly, even as a non-professional, I myself can already hear differences in tempo, smoothness, rubato, dynamics, articulation, etc., between these three examples.

So you said, "play to an acceptable level". What does a piano teacher consider "acceptable" level when an amateur or student plays such an advanced piece that professionals even still make recordings of it? Can you give us your definition of "acceptable" for students and amateurs on such a piece as this? For example, taking as given the first example is of course acceptable, would either of the latter two examples above from students/amateurs be considered acceptable to you? Or did you mean "acceptable" to be a relative term based on the grade level of the student playing it?


across the stone, deathless piano performances
Re: How long did it take you to work up Moonlight 3rd mvt? [Re: AZNpiano] #2771757
10/12/18 07:50 AM
10/12/18 07:50 AM
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Posts: 1,274
Tyrone Slothrop Online content
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Tyrone Slothrop  Online Content
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
I've never played it as a student, but I've taught it a few times.

I assume here you meant that you have played it / do play it now but didn't play it as a student. But it seems like it is possible to teach it without ever having played it oneself for some teachers (0:52):

Perhaps this is a question for the teachers forum, but how can it be possible to teach a difficult piece that one has never played oneself before? Doesn't the act of teaching such a piece even already partially, mentally train oneself on the piece even without laying fingers on the keyboard?


across the stone, deathless piano performances
Re: How long did it take you to work up Moonlight 3rd mvt? [Re: brassplyer] #2771774
10/12/18 08:24 AM
10/12/18 08:24 AM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 3,795
Florida
dogperson Offline
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Florida
Hi Tyrone
It is a common misconception, but It is not possible, nor needed, for a good teacher to have played the particular advanced music in order to teach it. ... and teach it well. My musical preferences are not those of my teachers, so they have only played about 25% of what I learn, but have no problems teaching all of the repertoire equally well. It is probably more mental work for them, but the lessons are seamless.

Re: How long did it take you to work up Moonlight 3rd mvt? [Re: dogperson] #2771789
10/12/18 09:04 AM
10/12/18 09:04 AM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 24,229
New York City
pianoloverus Online content
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Originally Posted by dogperson
Hi Tyrone
It is a common misconception, but It is not possible, nor needed, for a good teacher to have played the particular advanced music in order to teach it. ... and teach it well. My musical preferences are not those of my teachers, so they have only played about 25% of what I learn, but have no problems teaching all of the repertoire equally well. It is probably more mental work for them, but the lessons are seamless.
I certainly agree because the teacher is still bringing all their general musical understanding, interpretive ability, familiarity with the composer's other music, ability to solve technical problems, etc. to the table. OTOH I also think that the teacher will bring even more insight into a piece if they have played it.

Re: How long did it take you to work up Moonlight 3rd mvt? [Re: brassplyer] #2771864
10/12/18 01:54 PM
10/12/18 01:54 PM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,790
Orange County, CA
AZNpiano Offline
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AZNpiano  Offline
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Orange County, CA
Let's put it this way: Is it possible for a piano teacher to know EVERY piece in the standard repertoire? Let's take Scarlatti as an example. He wrote over 550 keyboard sonatas. How many people on Earth have actually played all of them? And that is just one composer.

When you teach many advanced students, it is impossible to play everything they play. However, as a teacher you should know how to tackle each piece and figure out solutions to technical and interpretive problems. There are so many "death traps" in Moonlight 3rd movement, I can't imagine any sane person playing it (nicely, musically) until advanced level.

FWIW, I can play the movement, not at a super fast tempo, but sufficiently well to negotiate the difficult spots and overcome the difficult passages. This is one movement that requires precise fingering. There are some spots that have more than one possible fingering, and the student should try different combinations to see which one works best. There's also a spot where students with small hands cannot play the trill as written, so a musical alternative must be sought.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Re: How long did it take you to work up Moonlight 3rd mvt? [Re: brassplyer] #2771866
10/12/18 01:55 PM
10/12/18 01:55 PM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,790
Orange County, CA
AZNpiano Offline
7000 Post Club Member
AZNpiano  Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,790
Orange County, CA
Let's put it this way: Is it possible for a piano teacher to know EVERY piece in the standard repertoire? Let's take Scarlatti as an example. He wrote over 550 keyboard sonatas. How many people on Earth have actually played all of them? And that is just one composer.

When you teach many advanced students, it is impossible to play everything they play. However, as a teacher you should know how to tackle each piece and figure out solutions to technical and interpretive problems. There are so many "death traps" in Moonlight 3rd movement, I can't imagine any sane person playing it (nicely, musically) until advanced level.

FWIW, I can play the movement, not at a super fast tempo, but sufficiently well to negotiate the difficult spots and overcome the difficult passages. This is one movement that requires precise fingering. There are some spots that have more than one possible fingering, and the student should try different combinations to see which one works best. There's also a spot where students with small hands cannot play the trill as written, so a musical alternative must be sought.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Re: How long did it take you to work up Moonlight 3rd mvt? [Re: brassplyer] #2772451
10/14/18 04:07 PM
10/14/18 04:07 PM
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dolce sfogato Offline
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it took me a week to play it from memory at speed, it took me years to play the whole sonata, I forget it all the time, but now, when ever I have to prform it, it takes a day or 2.


Longtemps, je me suis couché de bonne heure, but not anymore!
Re: How long did it take you to work up Moonlight 3rd mvt? [Re: brassplyer] #2772689
10/15/18 10:13 AM
10/15/18 10:13 AM
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cardguy2.0 Offline
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I love the little kid! Holy crap. Of course it's pretty ragged, but I can't conceive someone at such a young age playing like this. Yes, yes, child prodigies are nothing special in that there seem to be more and more of them. Still, it's pretty damn amazing. What could he be? 4? I need a drink.


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