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Help With Method Book #2795800
12/27/18 02:29 PM
12/27/18 02:29 PM
Joined: Oct 2018
Posts: 34
B
Brian Sweeney Offline OP
Full Member
Brian Sweeney  Offline OP
Full Member
B

Joined: Oct 2018
Posts: 34
I’ve been playing one year. I know all my major scales, been practicing Hanon and can read due to my history with woodwind. My teacher has had me all over the place though, even giving me Moonlight Sonata, some Bach minuets and some jazz pieces from the Real Book but I really don’t know my chords so this makes it very difficult because I have to arduously and painstakingly trudge my way through each one learning the chords as I try to learn the piece. I think this stuff is above my head and has taken the fun out of it.

So what I think I need is a method book. Can anyone recommend one? I think I need to work from one, learn my chords, work on reading and maybe some blues. Does this sound like a good plan? Thank you all. Brian

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Re: Help With Method Book [Re: Brian Sweeney] #2795889
12/27/18 06:50 PM
12/27/18 06:50 PM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 8,229
Orange County, CA
AZNpiano Offline
8000 Post Club Member
AZNpiano  Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 8,229
Orange County, CA
Are you still in severe pain from doing all those Hanon exercises???

I think you should change teachers soon. If your teacher has been giving you pieces way over your head, you should speak up.

A method book is not going to solve your problems. Get a really good piano teacher.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Re: Help With Method Book [Re: Brian Sweeney] #2795909
12/27/18 07:53 PM
12/27/18 07:53 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 17,019
Boynton Beach, FL
Morodiene Offline
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Morodiene  Offline
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How much of a say have you had in what your have learned with your teacher?

Did you ask to learn the Moonlight Sonata, or did your teacher give you music that you thought too easy and requested something more difficult?

What were the requests that you had of your teacher when starting out?

All of these answers would give us more insight into what goals you have, and perhaps why the teacher has assigned these pieces.


private piano/voice teacher FT

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Re: Help With Method Book [Re: Brian Sweeney] #2796144
12/28/18 12:51 PM
12/28/18 12:51 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 17,207
Canada
keystring Offline
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I suspect that I know what is going on, Morodiene. We can start here:
Quote
.... due to my history with woodwind.

It is a familiar pattern. An adult who plays another instruments starts piano with a teacher. The teacher sees this student "already knows" how to play music, so doesn't go through the routines he would for a (child) beginner - or may not quite know which way to go. He doesn't want to insult the student with baby stuff. And he is fooled by what he hears. It is silly to assume that the breath into a wind instrument will translate into dexterity on a keyboard instrument - but that is what happens. At some point the student, getting no order or direction from the teacher, will seek out that order in, for example, method books.

Some extra sides to this. If you already play an instrument, the notes of similar music are rather easy to find on the piano. If you play a wind instrument, you will have a "singing" manner to your music which piano-only students struggle to get a handle on. Moonlight is an obvious choice for a teacher banking on strengths he can assume. All of what you can already do fools such a teacher into not getting what you do not yet have - and which can be masked by what you can do. This is what often happens.

When you do get that method book, what do you do with it? Do you work on it in parallel, while trying to do the random and advanced-ish pieces your teacher gives you? Do you try to get your puzzled teacher to start using a method book? If he goes with it, maybe he has an idea of methodical instruction and just didn't dare to give it, and something more orderly and foundational will kick in. Or he'll go through the motions, skim through it, and miss the whole substance of it. If a student has to provide order and direction to his studies, shouldn't that come from the teacher? If the teacher can't provide it, will this kind of compensation (which it will be) work?

To the OP: have you ever had a moment to establish what the goals of your lessons are? Would you be able to define them? (esp. to your teacher).

Re: Help With Method Book [Re: AZNpiano] #2796222
12/28/18 03:22 PM
12/28/18 03:22 PM
Joined: Oct 2018
Posts: 34
B
Brian Sweeney Offline OP
Full Member
Brian Sweeney  Offline OP
Full Member
B

Joined: Oct 2018
Posts: 34
I was never in pain, just numbness and yes, it’s still there. I was diagnosed with a pressure on my median nerve in my wrist and mild carpal tunnel in my left hand. I took one lesson from John Bloomfield from the Golandsky Institute who corrected a couple of things. John explained to me that I shouldn’t curl my fingers and I agree with him. I gotta tell you, he was really great. He’s a very, very nice man, caring and thoughtful and he really cares about his work. Brian

Re: Help With Method Book [Re: Morodiene] #2796228
12/28/18 03:29 PM
12/28/18 03:29 PM
Joined: Oct 2018
Posts: 34
B
Brian Sweeney Offline OP
Full Member
Brian Sweeney  Offline OP
Full Member
B

Joined: Oct 2018
Posts: 34
She pretty much let’s me do whatever I want. I suggested Moonlight Sonata and asked her if it would be too hard for me and I brought in the Real Book. I never had any requests of her I just wanted to learn how to play. I’d like to be able to read classical pieces and lead sheets and maybe improvise.

It’s been a real struggle for me but I’ve been pulling it off through sheer tenacity but now I’m getting discouraged because it’s just gotten too hard so I think I need to start over with a method book. Is there a standard method book folks use please? Brian

Re: Help With Method Book [Re: Brian Sweeney] #2796246
12/28/18 04:16 PM
12/28/18 04:16 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 17,207
Canada
keystring Offline
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keystring  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 17,207
Canada
Brian, you may want to sit down with your teacher and consult about this. Establish new goals. Probably that you want to get the foundations of both technique and some practical sides of theory. If you studied your woodwind instrument formally, you will understand things such as time signatures, key signatures, musical form, and be especially adept at the horizontal melodic form of things. Chords would be less familiar. Chords appear in theory as I IV V7 I progressions, as C F G7 C,in block form and inversions. They also appear on piano as black-white piano key patterns; inversions; arpeggios. Your teacher should know how she builds these things fro beginners, and maybe adapt something for you - including that method book.

A few of us have had to deal with this mixed bag. Some of us have opted to go up through the ranks of whatever is usually taught in each grade level; if it turns out to be mastered, you skip past it; if there is a "hole" you work with it.

If your teacher is letting you do whatever you want, and neither of you has a plan, then at this juncture it would be a good idea to forge one. It is not an easy position.

Re: Help With Method Book [Re: Brian Sweeney] #2796268
12/28/18 05:14 PM
12/28/18 05:14 PM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 8,229
Orange County, CA
AZNpiano Offline
8000 Post Club Member
AZNpiano  Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 8,229
Orange County, CA
Originally Posted by Brian Sweeney
I was never in pain, just numbness and yes, it’s still there. I was diagnosed with a pressure on my median nerve in my wrist and mild carpal tunnel in my left hand. I took one lesson from John Bloomfield from the Golandsky Institute who corrected a couple of things. John explained to me that I shouldn’t curl my fingers and I agree with him. I gotta tell you, he was really great. He’s a very, very nice man, caring and thoughtful and he really cares about his work. Brian

Well, you are in a unique position. Most people who sought out re-training have been playing "wrong" for decades. You should seek out John again and maybe ask to be re-trained. The process takes several months, and it will completely change your way of playing piano.

This is not something that can be fixed quickly.

You can worry about note reading later.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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