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Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach #2808661
01/30/19 03:20 PM
01/30/19 03:20 PM
Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 160
New York, NY, USA
AnthonyPaulO Online content OP
AnthonyPaulO  Online Content OP


Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 160
New York, NY, USA
Hello everyone!

I'm a 45-year old man and I've always fancied the idea of playing the piano, and back in 2012 I was inspired by Bruce Hornby's video "The way it is"... that song is simply gorgeous, and the way he plays seems like so much fun to me, so I went out and purchased a Kawai MP6 and Rocket Piano with the intention of learning it but then I had two kids and I came up with excuses to procrastinate. Fast forward to this week where just a couple of days ago I came across a YouTube video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AqsibzAiIBs, or search for 'Adult Beginner Piano Progress - 1 Year of practice' posted by Brandon Hawksley) showing time-lapse snippets of a guy's progress over the course of a year, on approx. 2 hours practice per day, from zero to hero, and on week three he's playing Fur Elise and my mind is blown, because I'm thinking if he can do it in three weeks then I can do it, and I would sell my soul to play Beethoven. At month 6 he's playing a RagTime tune and I'm thinking, what in the world?! There's a slew of comments on YouTube from experts saying that it's not possible, he must have had some background despite the guy's claims that it's his first time, no background, and there's also comments saying that it's definitely possible. Who to believe? I don't know, but it's inspired me to make time and see if I can do it in the same amount of time he did, so here's a few questions for you experts :

1) Assuming this guy is not lying, is it fair to base my own expectations on his progress, or is he a prodigy whose rate of progress lies outside the normal distribution and therefore I should not expect to learn at this pace any more than I would expect to learn at Mozart's pace?

2) My actual goal is to learn "The Way It Is" but first I'd like to see how fast I can learn Fur Elise since I'd like to gauge my progress against the YouTube guy. I'm looking for optimized learning techniques to make the best of my time and came across Piano University's "Supercharge Your Piano Practice" course so I'll probably pull the trigger on that one. He also has something for Music Theory so I'll go with that as well since I read elsewhere on this forum that I shouldn't learn by ear and need to learn how to read music. I've also downloaded a couple of music theory learning and practice apps on the iPhone so I can learn during my commute to/from work (Piano Notes, Music Tutor, and Aural Wiz). My question is : should I get myself a piano teacher (I'm thinking the answer is 'yes') and if so, how do I find a really good one that will help me fulfill these goals? (I live in Brooklyn NYC) What should I look for, are there any qualifications they should have, what are reasonable rates, etc...

3) Given my eventual and actual goal of learning to play "The Way It Is" with the same style and grace as the venerable Bruce Hornsby, who according to ever article I've read seems to have his own style that is unorthodox, what are your recommendations? Any advice is greatly appreciated!

Thanks in advance,

Anthony

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Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: AnthonyPaulO] #2808665
01/30/19 03:26 PM
01/30/19 03:26 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 3,847
Tyrone Slothrop Online content
Tyrone Slothrop  Online Content


Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 3,847
Originally Posted by AnthonyPaulO
I'm a 45-year old man and I've always fancied the idea of playing the piano, and back in 2012 I was inspired by Bruce Hornby's video "The way it is"... that song is simply gorgeous, and the way he plays seems like so much fun to me, so I went out and purchased a Kawai MP6 and Rocket Piano with the intention of learning it but then I had two kids and I came up with excuses to procrastinate. Fast forward to this week where just a couple of days ago I came across a YouTube video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AqsibzAiIBs, or search for 'Adult Beginner Piano Progress - 1 Year of practice' posted by Brandon Hawksley) showing time-lapse snippets of a guy's progress over the course of a year, on approx. 2 hours practice per day, from zero to hero, and on week three he's playing Fur Elise and my mind is blown, because I'm thinking if he can do it in three weeks then I can do it, and I would sell my soul to play Beethoven. At month 6 he's playing a RagTime tune and I'm thinking, what in the world?! There's a slew of comments on YouTube from experts saying that it's not possible, he must have had some background despite the guy's claims that it's his first time, no background, and there's also comments saying that it's definitely possible. Who to believe?

Welcome to PW Anthony!

Brandon Hawksley already played an instrument before he started (flute) and so he could already read music, of at least one clef. Also, Brandon Hawkley was accepted to two UK universities as a piano performance major, after his 'mad dash.' I think he is obviously a unique and unusual case. Trying to emulate him will likely result in disappointment. I think you should not try to plan for something like this. You should learn piano at your own pace, not Brandon's pace. It will ultimately be more rewarding.


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2808673
01/30/19 03:39 PM
01/30/19 03:39 PM
Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 160
New York, NY, USA
AnthonyPaulO Online content OP
AnthonyPaulO  Online Content OP


Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 160
New York, NY, USA
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by AnthonyPaulO
I'm a 45-year old man and I've always fancied the idea of playing the piano, and back in 2012 I was inspired by Bruce Hornby's video "The way it is"... that song is simply gorgeous, and the way he plays seems like so much fun to me, so I went out and purchased a Kawai MP6 and Rocket Piano with the intention of learning it but then I had two kids and I came up with excuses to procrastinate. Fast forward to this week where just a couple of days ago I came across a YouTube video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AqsibzAiIBs, or search for 'Adult Beginner Piano Progress - 1 Year of practice' posted by Brandon Hawksley) showing time-lapse snippets of a guy's progress over the course of a year, on approx. 2 hours practice per day, from zero to hero, and on week three he's playing Fur Elise and my mind is blown, because I'm thinking if he can do it in three weeks then I can do it, and I would sell my soul to play Beethoven. At month 6 he's playing a RagTime tune and I'm thinking, what in the world?! There's a slew of comments on YouTube from experts saying that it's not possible, he must have had some background despite the guy's claims that it's his first time, no background, and there's also comments saying that it's definitely possible. Who to believe?

Welcome to PW Anthony!

Brandon Hawksley already played an instrument before he started (flute) and so he could already read music, of at least one clef. Also, Brandon Hawkley was accepted to two UK universities as a piano performance major, after his 'mad dash.' I think he is obviously a unique and unusual case. Trying to emulate him will likely result in disappointment. I think you should not try to plan for something like this. You should learn piano at your own pace, not Brandon's pace. It will ultimately be more rewarding.


Ahh yes, you're right, he has some small background in that he did Flute for a few months back when he was really young but dropped it. I'll take this into account but I'd imagine that an adult with a mind to do it and the proper motivation can learn that faster than a child who lacks that motivation. However, you do say he's a unique case so I guess that answers my question regarding him being a prodigy. I will greatly appreciate, however, answers to my other questions regarding an optimized path towards achieving my goals.

Thanks!

Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: AnthonyPaulO] #2808680
01/30/19 03:52 PM
01/30/19 03:52 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 3,847
Tyrone Slothrop Online content
Tyrone Slothrop  Online Content


Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 3,847
Originally Posted by AnthonyPaulO
Ahh yes, you're right, he has some small background in that he did Flute for a few months back when he was really young but dropped it. I'll take this into account but I'd imagine that an adult with a mind to do it and the proper motivation can learn that faster than a child who lacks that motivation. However, you do say he's a unique case so I guess that answers my question regarding him being a prodigy. I will greatly appreciate, however, answers to my other questions regarding an optimized path towards achieving my goals.

Thanks!

I'm too much of a beginner myself to be able to offer advice on your other questions, but there are many experienced members here who will probably step in with some advice.

I did want to make one more comment on Brandon-like performance. It's possible that Brandon will struggle when he is at the university because of the way he learned, the short period of time, and that he isn't well-rounded and experienced. One the PW members, vervurka, recently pointed out in a Reddit discussion that in her university class, there was classmate who famously got admitted with only 2-3 years of piano experience, on the strength of wiring his recital pieces. But the result of that was he was struggling to graduate and if you were in a group with him, it was a sad thing because everyone knew he would be the slowest to learn his parts and struggle over them. She said that he ended up graduating with the lowest possible marks in every subject.

My point of retelling her story about this fellow being that I don't think you "really" want to be like that. Trying to crunch through as much material as possible, and you might end up as a "one trick pony." On Reddit, there are a number of young people posting their virtuoso piano pieces they learned from Synthesia, as the small handful of piano music they know at all.


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2808692
01/30/19 04:33 PM
01/30/19 04:33 PM
Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 160
New York, NY, USA
AnthonyPaulO Online content OP
AnthonyPaulO  Online Content OP


Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 160
New York, NY, USA
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
[quote=AnthonyPaulO]
My point of retelling her story about this fellow being that I don't think you "really" want to be like that. Trying to crunch through as much material as possible, and you might end up as a "one trick pony." On Reddit, there are a number of young people posting their virtuoso piano pieces they learned from Synthesia, as the small handful of piano music they know at all.


I agree with you 100% in that I don't want to learn in a way that will retard my future development. To your point, this morning I was reading a post in the "Piano Teachers Forum" titled "AT a lost with a student" (http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2800124/at-a-loss-with-student.html) and in there they talk about their experience with other students who come in with pretty impressive skills who ultimately fail at developing further due to the bad habits they've accumulated. I'm so glad I read this because that thread is the main reason why I'm posting here asking for advice on how I should go about accomplishing my goal, otherwise I would have simply gone out and tried to do it by ear and probably screwed myself up for good. Good advice Tyrone!

Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2808697
01/30/19 04:52 PM
01/30/19 04:52 PM
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 1,654
Warsaw, Poland
Qazsedcft Offline
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Qazsedcft  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 1,654
Warsaw, Poland
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
My point of retelling her story about this fellow being that I don't think you "really" want to be like that. Trying to crunch through as much material as possible, and you might end up as a "one trick pony." On Reddit, there are a number of young people posting their virtuoso piano pieces they learned from Synthesia, as the small handful of piano music they know at all.

I was going to say the same thing. That song by Bruce Hornsby might be cool to play but do you really want to be a "one trick pony" as Tyrone puts it? Wouldn't it be nicer to be able to play a bunch of music or perhaps even improvise in the same style rather than play one piece that you'll get tired of pretty quickly?

As for rushing to learn pieces that are intermediate/advanced before being ready will probably result in frustration. I think getting a teacher would be a good idea.


[Linked Image]
Working on:
Tchaikovsky, The Seasons op. 37 - October
Rameau L'Egyptienne
Haydn Sonata Hob.XVI:37
Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: Qazsedcft] #2808701
01/30/19 04:59 PM
01/30/19 04:59 PM
Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 160
New York, NY, USA
AnthonyPaulO Online content OP
AnthonyPaulO  Online Content OP


Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 160
New York, NY, USA
Originally Posted by Qazsedcft
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
My point of retelling her story about this fellow being that I don't think you "really" want to be like that. Trying to crunch through as much material as possible, and you might end up as a "one trick pony." On Reddit, there are a number of young people posting their virtuoso piano pieces they learned from Synthesia, as the small handful of piano music they know at all.

I was going to say the same thing. That song by Bruce Hornsby might be cool to play but do you really want to be a "one trick pony" as Tyrone puts it? Wouldn't it be nicer to be able to play a bunch of music or perhaps even improvise in the same style rather than play one piece that you'll get tired of pretty quickly?

As for rushing to learn pieces that are intermediate/advanced before being ready will probably result in frustration. I think getting a teacher would be a good idea.


Sorry, I don't mean to give the impression that I only want to play "The Way It Is" by Bruce Hornsby, just that it was my inspiration for buying the piano and buying the Rocket Piano course, sort of that nudge that started me in this direction, even though it took me until now to blow the dust off my piano and actually start learning. I would surmise that if I can play this song at the same proficiency level as Hornsby himself then I am more than capable of playing a vast repertoire of other songs that I love. It is precisely because I want to avoid becoming a one-trick-pony that I am asking for advice here.

Thanks!

Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: AnthonyPaulO] #2808704
01/30/19 05:00 PM
01/30/19 05:00 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 22,419
Victoria, BC
BruceD Offline
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BruceD  Offline
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Joined: May 2001
Posts: 22,419
Victoria, BC
Originally Posted by AnthonyPaulO
[...] and I would sell my soul to play Beethoven.


Surely, your soul is worth more than that!

Originally Posted by AnthonyPaulO
[...]1) Assuming this guy is not lying, is it fair to base my own expectations on his progress...


In a word: No!

Originally Posted by AnthonyPaulO
first I'd like to see how fast I can learn Fur Elise
[...]


Not a good first goal. Fur Elise is not as easy as it may sound or look. You need some basic technique before attempting it, and attempting it without technique can be both discouraging and disastrous.

Originally Posted by AnthonyPaulO
[...]that I shouldn't learn by ear and need to learn how to read music.


Definitely!

Originally Posted by AnthonyPaulO
should I get myself a piano teacher (I'm thinking the answer is 'yes')


Yes, the answer is "Yes."

Originally Posted by AnthonyPaulO
and if so, how do I find a really good one that will help me fulfill these goals?


You need to find someone to whom you can articulate your goals and who will listen and understand those goals. Make sure you find a teacher who is comfortable, willing and able to teach adult students.[...]

Originally Posted by AnthonyPaulO
Given my eventual and actual goal of learning to play "The Way It Is" with the same style and grace as the venerable Bruce Hornsby, [...]


My take on this - and you can tell from the above responses that I am very much in the traditionalist camp - is that you shouldn't have as a goal learning to play a particular piece like someone else. Get involved in a musical journey with a good teacher who will help you develop your own style. You may find that, as you progress, Hornby's style may no longer be your primary focus.

Regards,


BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190
Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: AnthonyPaulO] #2808708
01/30/19 05:10 PM
01/30/19 05:10 PM
Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 122
Madison
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HollyBytheLake Offline
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Madison
Just to say you're not the only one on loving "That's Just the Way It Is."

I don't happen to like much pop written for early levels so I'm putting off even looking at it for a few years in terms of learning strategy and focusing on baroque, classical, romantic and 20th cent. composers who wrote for beginners.

Your journey may be completely different, so I agree with most of the advice above on finding a teacher sympatico to your goals if you don't know where to start.

Good luck with your journey.


but think how good I could be in five years...
Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: AnthonyPaulO] #2808719
01/30/19 05:43 PM
01/30/19 05:43 PM
Joined: Jul 2017
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There is a 30 minute Q&A video now. I'm glad he presented the video of what he did. He is at an uni studying in UK studying a foundation year at university. This is like an access course. It is specifically for people who do not have the background to straight get in to the course. I think given the very short time it should be highly commended and he will be able to start next year the first year of the degree. I am not sure why he had so much hate against him. I think there was too much hype about it. He is not at a piano conservatory . I am sure he would not have not got it as there is a lot of people with much more experience he could never compete against. He is preparing for Grade 8 and he seems a nice guy. I wish him well.

Last edited by Moo :); 01/30/19 05:49 PM.
Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: AnthonyPaulO] #2808722
01/30/19 05:48 PM
01/30/19 05:48 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 16,701
Canada
keystring Offline
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Canada
I noticed that the gentleman has created a 30 minute video explaining the background of his progress. I only flipped through a little bit, but that was enough to suggest it might be good to go through it.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MyB6_wRtomY&feature=youtu.be

Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: AnthonyPaulO] #2808775
01/30/19 08:47 PM
01/30/19 08:47 PM
Joined: Jun 2018
Posts: 221
Southeast USA
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Progman Online content
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Hi Antony - Welcome to the forum! I totally get where you are coming from - my dream song is 'Firth of Fifth', a famous 70's progressive rock song. I am 59 and piano is my big retirement activity - I am starting from scratch. One thing you notice at this forum is there are generous experienced people that share their knowledge - take heed, this is one way that you learn faster. But there are no short cuts and piano is challenging to learn. Anybody can learn but you have to have patience and diligence....and having a good teacher is priceless to making the process go smoother in my opinion.

Hey at 45, your a relatively young guy and in ten years you can be a very good player. You might be surprised at how much joy the process of learning brings you and how much it improves other parts of your life. Good Luck!


Progman
Baldwin Console + Kawai ES100
Alfreds bk 1 + Teacher
Long Live ELP
Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: Progman] #2808785
01/30/19 09:29 PM
01/30/19 09:29 PM
Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 160
New York, NY, USA
AnthonyPaulO Online content OP
AnthonyPaulO  Online Content OP


Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 160
New York, NY, USA
Originally Posted by Progman
Hi Antony - Welcome to the forum! I totally get where you are coming from - my dream song is 'Firth of Fifth', a famous 70's progressive rock song. I am 59 and piano is my big retirement activity - I am starting from scratch. One thing you notice at this forum is there are generous experienced people that share their knowledge - take heed, this is one way that you learn faster. But there are no short cuts and piano is challenging to learn. Anybody can learn but you have to have patience and diligence....and having a good teacher is priceless to making the process go smoother in my opinion.

Hey at 45, your a relatively young guy and in ten years you can be a very good player. You might be surprised at how much joy the process of learning brings you and how much it improves other parts of your life. Good Luck!


Haha, thanks Progman! I agree, there are no shortcuts, and I hope I haven't given the impression that I'm looking for something analogous to a "get rick quick" scheme. What I'm aiming for is a style of learning best suited for my goals and optimizing my learning so that I'm working smarter rather than harder, so to speak, which will result in learning more given the same amount of effort. I guess I'm harping on this (and particularly sensitive to it) because I work in the programming field where I see people spending 100% of a day's effort on a problem that will only result in at most a 1% gain in performance when they could have spent 10% of a day's effort on a different problem that will result in a 200% gain in performance; now that's bang for the buck! Whatever I do I will tackle with gusto and determination but I want to make sure I'm spending it on all the right things for all the right reasons. I plan on 2 hours a day and I'm currently creating a schedule to work around my job, wife, and kids; I hope that's enough to make me proficient within my lifetime!

Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: AnthonyPaulO] #2808791
01/30/19 09:48 PM
01/30/19 09:48 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 3,847
Tyrone Slothrop Online content
Tyrone Slothrop  Online Content


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Posts: 3,847
Anthony, For a very systematic piano learning approach, take a look at Keselo's own piano learning approach for himself, which is also documented in his progress thread on ABF from almost the beginning of his learning two years ago. I think his approach is pretty powerful and systematic and makes a lot of sense. It also doesn't waste a lot of motion.


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: AnthonyPaulO] #2808794
01/30/19 10:07 PM
01/30/19 10:07 PM
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Posts: 512
Virginia
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DFSRN Offline
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Virginia
Anthony, you can't compare yourself to others, the learning journey is individual. Look at your progress from one year to the next. You seem motivated, so don't be discouraged if learning the piano takes years of practice. I look at my 27 year old teacher and think I want to play like that (I am 58). However, 5 years of lessons is not getting me there, to think I am going to play like him is unrealistic (unless God just gives me the talent), and I will set myself up for failure. The man has a masters in music and has been playing multiple instruments since the age of 5. Statistically considering your life expectancy you will end up playing well, you have a lot of years to learn. I agree get a teacher. I have taken both piano and music theory. Taking theory has helped me progress.


Deb
"A goal properly set is halfway reached." Zig Ziglar
Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: AnthonyPaulO] #2808821
01/30/19 11:34 PM
01/30/19 11:34 PM
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As others have suggested …..

The best is to get a teacher ….. try to explain the type of music you would like to play and let the teacher decide what to do next.

If you do that …. you have time (years) to get there.

If you look for "your way" for whatever reason …. you may never get there.

Or if you do it will take you much longer.

Now …. in fairness … I should add …

You certainly can do stuff (youtube videos, online courses, DVDs, etc …) on your own and just have fun doing it … but do not expect rapid results …. it will be much slower.

And it is very possible you will never attain the level needed to play those pieces you mentioned.

You have to understand that you are not going to see yourself "making progress" every day ….

You just keep at it …. a little bit each day …. and one day ….. years from now …. you will notice that you have made progress.

You are going to have to enjoy that …"little bit each day" …. part, because that is all there is for a long while.

I compare it to reading a lengthy novel … Let's use Crime and Punishment as an example.

If you decide to read it and you read a little bit each evening and read it slowly and thoroughly enjoy that time in the story … when you reach the end, you will have enjoyed many evenings with that book.

If, on the other hand, you are reading fast and trying "get done" you may not be getting enjoyment out of your reading each evening. When you finish, it will probably feel like a relief because you are "done" … instead of realizing all the enjoyment you experienced while reading it.

AND …. if you have a teacher …. it will happen much faster.

Good Luck


Last edited by dmd; 01/30/19 11:41 PM.

Don

Kawai MP11SE, Edifier R1850DB Active Bookshelf Speakers, Yamaha HS8S Powered Subwoofer, SennHeiser HD 559 Headphones, Pianoteq and numerous other VSTs
Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: AnthonyPaulO] #2808848
01/31/19 02:54 AM
01/31/19 02:54 AM
Joined: Nov 2018
Posts: 402
Ireland
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Ireland
Just wanted to say, welcome to the lovely forum madness, which I’ve only discovered a few months ago myself. And “The Way It Is” is a beautiful song and definitely doable if you take the time to practice and learn. I suspect that along the way, you’ll discover so much more to make you stick with it, the joy of learning, the beauty of other pieces you’ll be playing... It’s a very rewarding experience altogether!

Otherwise, Bruce has said it all smile

Progman: Good old Genesis!! I think I know what I’ll listen to later.

Last edited by Sibylle; 01/31/19 02:54 AM.

Sibylle

My piano background

"Not a shred of evidence exists in favour of the idea that life is serious." -Brendan Gill
Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: AnthonyPaulO] #2809817
02/02/19 12:46 PM
02/02/19 12:46 PM
Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 160
New York, NY, USA
AnthonyPaulO Online content OP
AnthonyPaulO  Online Content OP


Joined: Jan 2019
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Thanks to all for the advice! I went to my first piano lesson last night, she didn’t want me to study anything before hand, catch me raw and green under the ears to see how I learn. Started by writing down some notes and showing me what they mean and having me play them, c d and e, and the fractional notes (don’t know what the proper terminology is but there’s four of them from quarter note up), first with right hand then with both bass (left) and right. It was only 15 minutes worth on the piano but at the end she said I learn fast and that I can skip about 6 months worth of lessons. She gave me some homework and I’ve signed up for long term lessons, half hour long once a week. I’m excited!

She did, however, at the very beginning before even testing me, dash my dreams of seeing how fast I can do fur Elise like that guy in the video at 3 weeks; I was really looking forward to that challenge even though I know it’s unrealistic. She said that there’s more to just learning to play those notes, that there’s so much more that I should learn as a foundation before I should tackle that, and that fur Elise would be something that should be tackled around the 2 year mark, not because it’s technically difficult (she said it’s not hard) but that there’s a lot more involved that I’m not aware of to perform it properly in a way that would not insult heir Beethoven himself. She’s a traditionalist and I respect that, but I wish there was a way I could learn the right way *and* try my hand at matching the YouTube guy’s progress. Maybe it’s a stupid male testosterone challenge kind of thing going on but it does serve as fuel for the fire, lol!

Anyway, I’m really excited, I purchased the adult adventures in piano workbook and some flash cards so let’s see what happens. I plan on reading theory and practicing it during my train commute using iPhone apps and the flash cards, but I was wondering if there’s a mini keyboard that you guys use to practice during commutes, something really small and practical. I remember the Casio PT-1 keyboards back in the 80s and that seems to be perfect; what do you guys use nowadays?

Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: AnthonyPaulO] #2809831
02/02/19 01:29 PM
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Anthony:

It is good to hear that you have taken the advice given by many here and secured a teacher.

And while enthusiasm is not bad, in itself, it can lead to depression when enthusiastic expectations are not realized.

With the help of your teacher and regular practice, you are going to make very good progress.

You may not know it because you have nothing to compare it to.

The danger is to have expectations of how fast you should be able to do things.

That can cause you to be disappointed and start thinking "there must be a better way".

There isn't. Just keep at it and try not to judge yourself or your progress. It will happen.

Try to take pride in how well you do the material you are working on today (assigned by your teacher) and tomorrow will take care of itself.

Good Luck


Don

Kawai MP11SE, Edifier R1850DB Active Bookshelf Speakers, Yamaha HS8S Powered Subwoofer, SennHeiser HD 559 Headphones, Pianoteq and numerous other VSTs
Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: AnthonyPaulO] #2809846
02/02/19 02:00 PM
02/02/19 02:00 PM
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Maybe a keytar is the answer for your commute. If nothing else, it will definitely will be a conversation starter.



[Linked Image]


It’s never too late to be what you might have been. -George Eliot
Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: AnthonyPaulO] #2809848
02/02/19 02:02 PM
02/02/19 02:02 PM
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In the Ozarks of Missouri
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Originally Posted by AnthonyPaulO
Thanks to all for the advice! I went to my first piano lesson last night, she didn’t want me to study anything before hand, catch me raw and green under the ears to see how I learn. Started by writing down some notes and showing me what they mean and having me play them, c d and e, and the fractional notes (don’t know what the proper terminology is but there’s four of them from quarter note up), first with right hand then with both bass (left) and right. It was only 15 minutes worth on the piano but at the end she said I learn fast and that I can skip about 6 months worth of lessons. She gave me some homework and I’ve signed up for long term lessons, half hour long once a week. I’m excited!

She did, however, at the very beginning before even testing me, dash my dreams of seeing how fast I can do fur Elise like that guy in the video at 3 weeks; I was really looking forward to that challenge even though I know it’s unrealistic. She said that there’s more to just learning to play those notes, that there’s so much more that I should learn as a foundation before I should tackle that, and that fur Elise would be something that should be tackled around the 2 year mark, not because it’s technically difficult (she said it’s not hard) but that there’s a lot more involved that I’m not aware of to perform it properly in a way that would not insult heir Beethoven himself. She’s a traditionalist and I respect that, but I wish there was a way I could learn the right way *and* try my hand at matching the YouTube guy’s progress. Maybe it’s a stupid male testosterone challenge kind of thing going on but it does serve as fuel for the fire, lol!

Anyway, I’m really excited, I purchased the adult adventures in piano workbook and some flash cards so let’s see what happens. I plan on reading theory and practicing it during my train commute using iPhone apps and the flash cards, but I was wondering if there’s a mini keyboard that you guys use to practice during commutes, something really small and practical. I remember the Casio PT-1 keyboards back in the 80s and that seems to be perfect; what do you guys use nowadays?


Sounds like you found a good teacher for yourself! Good Luck and enjoy your journey!


[Linked Image]
Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: AnthonyPaulO] #2809852
02/02/19 02:08 PM
02/02/19 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by AnthonyPaulO

Haha, thanks Progman! I agree, there are no shortcuts, and I hope I haven't given the impression that I'm looking for something analogous to a "get rick quick" scheme. What I'm aiming for is a style of learning best suited for my goals and optimizing my learning so that I'm working smarter rather than harder, so to speak, which will result in learning more given the same amount of effort.


You hit the 'nail on the head'. One of my goals for this year is to become really excellent at practicing. All that information is on this forum. As mentioned previously take a look at Keselo's 'nothing is too easy' and also check out Holly's Practice Diary (both on ABF). I was astonished to learn the technique of alternating your practice pieces every other day for more efficient learning - it totally makes sense. It will take months at least for you figure out what works best for you - just remember to enjoy the process as you go along.

With that being said, Keselo is right on that nothing is too easy, but if you are patient and persistent you will be a raving success in due time! I will mention one of the things you want to work hard on for the first months is learning how to count out loud while you play (especially when you get to eighth notes). That is how you get rock solid rhythm which is quite important - a key foundation. Good Luck!


Progman
Baldwin Console + Kawai ES100
Alfreds bk 1 + Teacher
Long Live ELP
Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: AnthonyPaulO] #2809853
02/02/19 02:10 PM
02/02/19 02:10 PM
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New York, NY, USA
AnthonyPaulO Online content OP
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Originally Posted by John305
Maybe a keytar is the answer for your commute. If nothing else, it will definitely will be a conversation starter.


Hahaha! No no no, it has to be small and practical to lug along, lol! Seriously though, I’m surprised they don’t make mini keyboards with a few programmable keys so you can practice during commutes. The pt-1 is the only one I can find that has a headphone jack and is small enough to tote around. I see some modern midi keyboards that would fit the bill but they don’t work standalone.

Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: AnthonyPaulO] #2809856
02/02/19 02:22 PM
02/02/19 02:22 PM
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Tyrone Slothrop Online content
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Originally Posted by AnthonyPaulO
Hahaha! No no no, it has to be small and practical to lug along, lol!

Here! Problem solved!

Besides, look how versatile it is:



across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: AnthonyPaulO] #2809859
02/02/19 02:27 PM
02/02/19 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by AnthonyPaulO
[...] it has to be small and practical to lug along, lol! Seriously though, I’m surprised they don’t make mini keyboards with a few programmable keys so you can practice during commutes. [...]


Enthusiasm noted and appreciated. I think you have to give some more serious thought to how impractical this idea really is.

Regards,


BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190
Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: AnthonyPaulO] #2809865
02/02/19 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by AnthonyPaulO
[...] She said that there’s more to just learning to play those notes, that there’s so much more that I should learn as a foundation before I should tackle that, and that fur Elise would be something that should be tackled around the 2 year mark, not because it’s technically difficult (she said it’s not hard) but that there’s a lot more involved that I’m not aware of to perform it properly in a way that would not insult heir Beethoven himself. [...]

That's about the best advice you could wish for. A teacher is not there to tell you what you want to hear, but what you need to hear. The fastest way to progress is what may feel like the slowest way.

Learning to play the piano is not a race and it shouldn't be about "I want to match X and do Y after Z months". It should be about playing beautiful music, about setting yourself up for success. If you keep at it and diligently work on your basics, you'll get to play Fur Elise in due time (if you still want to by then). You'll also realize at that point how limited that guy's performance of the piece really is. The only thing it has going are the bragging rights of "I played Fur Elise after 3 weeks". Nothing else.


I've started playing January 2017, Nothing is too easy is where I keep track of my progress.

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Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: Keselo] #2809871
02/02/19 02:51 PM
02/02/19 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Keselo
The only thing it has going are the bragging rights of "I played Fur Elise after 3 weeks". Nothing else.

I think it would be ironic if his teacher in his university preparatory class were to make him relearn it to play it properly! laugh


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: BruceD] #2809880
02/02/19 03:06 PM
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AnthonyPaulO Online content OP
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Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by AnthonyPaulO
[...] it has to be small and practical to lug along, lol! Seriously though, I’m surprised they don’t make mini keyboards with a few programmable keys so you can practice during commutes. [...]


Enthusiasm noted and appreciated. I think you have to give some more serious thought to how impractical this idea really is.

Regards,


Hey Bruce! Would you kindly elaborate? I used the PT-1 when I was a child, it's very small, I can sit down on a bus or train and place this on my lap and practice. It obviously won't give me the practice I need for dealing with weighted keys and finger stretching, but it should help with the rest. Am I missing something?

Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: AnthonyPaulO] #2809887
02/02/19 03:16 PM
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If you have an iPad you can use the keyboard on GarageBand.


It’s never too late to be what you might have been. -George Eliot
Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: John305] #2809894
02/02/19 03:31 PM
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AnthonyPaulO Online content OP
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Originally Posted by John305
If you have an iPad you can use the keyboard on GarageBand.


That's true, but I draw the line there, need some tactile feedback. However, I can imagine something along those lines, integrating software with a small device like the PT-1 and a built-in screen so that you can learn to play notes through some Guitar-Hero-like game and other types of lessons/games. I would think this would open up piano playing to the masses since such a device would be perfect on long train/bus commutes. Sit down, put keyboard on lap, plug in the headphones, and get your daily practice during your 1 or 2 hour commute. When you get home you incorporate the proper stretching and finger pressure on a real piano or digital piano with weighted keys and voila! As a software engineer the idea is intriguing but I leave it to you veterans to see if the idea actually has any merit, perhaps I'm missing something.

Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: AnthonyPaulO] #2809914
02/02/19 04:29 PM
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Anthony:

What I and others are trying to say is …..

Your enthusiasm is great and understandable but misguided.

You are best served with by attending your lesson each week, going home and practicing on your piano at home for a bit each day and leave it at that.

You are bubbling over with ways in which you can increase the rate at which you progress.

Stop doing that.

It may lead to disappointment and depression when your progress does not match your expectations.

Try to make learning to play piano just another thing you are doing with your life …. not the cornerstone of your existence.

Set aside time each day for practice and then live your life in an otherwise normal fashion. (i.e. cool it)

If you do that, I think you will be pleasantly pleased in 6 months / 1 year.

Good Luck


Don

Kawai MP11SE, Edifier R1850DB Active Bookshelf Speakers, Yamaha HS8S Powered Subwoofer, SennHeiser HD 559 Headphones, Pianoteq and numerous other VSTs
Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: AnthonyPaulO] #2809917
02/02/19 04:37 PM
02/02/19 04:37 PM
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Welcome to the board! You are a fellow New Yorker (I took lessons at the Bklyn Conservatory of Music in my teens and now live and work on Long Island), so having a teacher is really a great idea. I am more of a lurker than postere here on PW (so many of my questions are already answered once I do a forum search).

I agree going with a keyboard for now is a good start, once you get more experience playing on different pianos, you may want to upgrade to an acoustic which is really one lf the bestways to polish those skills with dynamics and tone.

Last edited by AssociateX; 02/02/19 04:38 PM.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Completed:
1. Schubert -Moments Musicaux #3
2. Bach- Prelude & Fugue (F Minor - WTC 2)
Next Project:
1. Rachmaninoff- Prelude op 32/5
2. Chopin Nocturne op 48/1
*************************************
My YouTube Channel:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNj0Yha5exOWuJMTezV3t8Q
Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: dmd] #2809924
02/02/19 05:09 PM
02/02/19 05:09 PM
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AnthonyPaulO Online content OP
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Originally Posted by dmd
Anthony:

What I and others are trying to say is …..

Your enthusiasm is great and understandable but misguided.

You are best served with by attending your lesson each week, going home and practicing on your piano at home for a bit each day and leave it at that.

You are bubbling over with ways in which you can increase the rate at which you progress.

Stop doing that.

It may lead to disappointment and depression when your progress does not match your expectations.

Try to make learning to play piano just another thing you are doing with your life …. not the cornerstone of your existence.

Set aside time each day for practice and then live your life in an otherwise normal fashion. (i.e. cool it)

If you do that, I think you will be pleasantly pleased in 6 months / 1 year.

Good Luck



I don't understand why I'm being shut down here. If the concern is that I will become depressed at my progress not matching my expectations then please remove that from your system because it definitely will not happen to me. I'm a 45 year old extremely practical and logical/rational adult that is not given at all to flights of fancy or bouts of depression. Please do not worry about my mental welfare, trust me, I'm a rock, I'll be fine, and I understand that my goals will most likely take many years to attain, so if I set myself some impossible challenge it is something I relish despite not being able to achieve it and does not in the least bit dampen my spirits. On the other hand, if I achieve the impossible then I'll feel great that I've achieved the impossible.

That being said, is there no room here for improvement? Is there no way to improve our methods of teaching/learning? Should we stop looking at innovation that's been made possible due to advances in technology that did not exist before? I feel that this question is being ignored and overlooked in light of my "irrational exuberance and cute but misguided enthusiasm" as a piano neophyte so I ask that we all play along with me for a while.

Pretend that I'm not a piano neophyte; instead, I'm a 45-year old software engineer that's been programming since the age of ten and can develop all manner of software for desktop and web over a variety of operating systems and computers. Imagine that I'm a tinkerer able to create hardware/software utilizing micro-controllers such as the arduino, raspberry pi, and teensy and can invent all sorts of devices. Imagine also that this tinkerer's latest project is taking a run-of-the-mill Keurig coffee machine and hacking it so that it can respond to voice commands and serve multiple servings of whatever beverage you ask for by plucking the correct k-cup from a custom k-cup dispenser using a custom robotic arm, automatically feed it into the keurig, and serve the beverage on a custom carousel that rotates so that you can serve up to 8 servings of different flavors at a time; all this without user intervention, all by voice command. Imagine that this tinkerer comes along to your forum and reads your conversations regarding the current state of teaching/learning on the piano and wants to start a conversation on how he can apply his skills to improving what we already have and potentially come up with a new device that will help people utilize their commute time more efficiently by allowing you to practice during these long commutes.Would you tell this tinkerer that there is no need for this as we have already reached the pinnacle of piano learning/teaching? Or would you say that there's potential here and sit down and have a conversation? If there's no potential here then I can accept that, but please don't mistake me for some naive young man that's overly enthused with some new toy and thinks he can move mountains with his bare hands.

Any thoughts? laugh

Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: dmd] #2809939
02/02/19 05:55 PM
02/02/19 05:55 PM
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Long Island, NY
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Originally Posted by dmd
Anthony:

What I and others are trying to say is …..

Your enthusiasm is great and understandable but misguided.

You are best served with by attending your lesson each week, going home and practicing on your piano at home for a bit each day and leave it at that.

You are bubbling over with ways in which you can increase the rate at which you progress.

Stop doing that.

It may lead to disappointment and depression when your progress does not match your expectations.

Try to make learning to play piano just another thing you are doing with your life …. not the cornerstone of your existence.

Set aside time each day for practice and then live your life in an otherwise normal fashion. (i.e. cool it)

If you do that, I think you will be pleasantly pleased in 6 months / 1 year.

Good Luck



This is rather harsh. When starting to learn a new instrument, its is natural to feel excited and a little bit unprepared for where the journey takes you. When I took up piano lessons again 2 years ago at age 40, I was so excited I went and bought 10 new Henle piano books (including Chopin Polonaises, Ballades amd Debussy Estampes) and sure there are 2 which I have yet to sight read for fun but I know they will be there when I have my technique up to that level. Maybe you have seen plenty of beginner piano students lose motivation or experience frustration when learning to play, but this is an aspect every pianist has encountered and will continue to encounter as they progress with technique and skills. Perhaps you assume too much with Anthony. He is excited and I think he is in the right board to post and seek feedback on his journey. There really is no reason for this negativity!!!

Last edited by AssociateX; 02/02/19 05:58 PM.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Completed:
1. Schubert -Moments Musicaux #3
2. Bach- Prelude & Fugue (F Minor - WTC 2)
Next Project:
1. Rachmaninoff- Prelude op 32/5
2. Chopin Nocturne op 48/1
*************************************
My YouTube Channel:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNj0Yha5exOWuJMTezV3t8Q
Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: AnthonyPaulO] #2809947
02/02/19 06:37 PM
02/02/19 06:37 PM
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Tyrone Slothrop Online content
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Originally Posted by AnthonyPaulO
Any thoughts? laugh

Yes. How can I get one of those universal beverage machines?


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: AssociateX] #2809949
02/02/19 06:41 PM
02/02/19 06:41 PM
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New York, NY, USA
AnthonyPaulO Online content OP
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Originally Posted by AssociateX

This is rather harsh. When starting to learn a new instrument, its is natural to feel excited and a little bit unprepared for where the journey takes you. When I took up piano lessons again 2 years ago at age 40, I was so excited I went and bought 10 new Henle piano books (including Chopin Polonaises, Ballades amd Debussy Estampes) and sure there are 2 which I have yet to sight read for fun but I know they will be there when I have my technique up to that level. Maybe you have seen plenty of beginner piano students lose motivation or experience frustration when learning to play, but this is an aspect every pianist has encountered and will continue to encounter as they progress with technique and skills. Perhaps you assume too much with Anthony. He is excited and I think he is in the right board to post and seek feedback on his journey. There really is no reason for this negativity!!!


That’s all right, I understand where he’s coming from and I know he said it with good intentions, and I’m sure I gave the wrong impression at some point so I deserve it, but I hope I’ve clarified my position.

Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: AnthonyPaulO] #2809951
02/02/19 06:42 PM
02/02/19 06:42 PM
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FWIW, The Way It Is was on my list, but my musical focus and goals have changed as I've been learning. Maybe I'll get back to it one day, but for now I'm focusing on pieces that further my musical education rather than just for fun. As I've learned, I've really shifted my focus to classical music, and btw, I began at the same age you are now, about 4-5 years ago.

Your teacher sounds good, reasonable, and focused in the right direction. Good luck, and welcome to the forum!


Steinway A3
Boston 118 PE

Working On
Chopin 28:15
Tchaikovsky Seasons: October

"You Can Never Have Too Many Dream Pianos" -Thad Carhart
Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2809953
02/02/19 06:52 PM
02/02/19 06:52 PM
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New York, NY, USA
AnthonyPaulO Online content OP
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by AnthonyPaulO
Any thoughts? laugh

Yes. How can I get one of those universal beverage machines?


ROFL! Sorry, only one exists on this planet, but I would love to commercialize a version with a streamlined feeding mechanism that doesn't require a robotic arm.

Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: AnthonyPaulO] #2809968
02/02/19 07:33 PM
02/02/19 07:33 PM
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Tyrone Slothrop Online content
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Originally Posted by AnthonyPaulO
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by AnthonyPaulO
Any thoughts? laugh

Yes. How can I get one of those universal beverage machines?

ROFL! Sorry, only one exists on this planet, but I would love to commercialize a version with a streamlined feeding mechanism that doesn't require a robotic arm.

Rats!

Well, then I'll just have to make do using more traditional methods until you commercialize.

If you are as willing to experiment on yourself as you obviously are on your coffee machine, there are those who have tried applying machine learning and optimization methods to learning piano. One example is baudelairepianist on this PW forum. You can read about his self-invented methods here:
Notable milestones showing example results using his methods from his Youtube channel include: (ignore the out-of-tune piano - this piano in a university practice room is obviously not being well-maintained)

Chopin, Prelude No. 8 Molto agitato, in F# minor, Op. 28, which he recorded at the 3-month point of his experiment in piano learning:



Chopin, Étude in C Major "Waterfall," Op. 10 No. 1, which he recorded at the 4-month point:



Liszt, Consolation No. 3, Lento placido, in Db Major, S.172, which he recorded at the 5-month point:



He's not as active on this forum, but if you want to discuss further his methods with him, you can PM him over on Reddit where he posts regularly on Reddit's r/piano subreddit.

(You probably already note obvious difficulties in the videos above with technique, rhythm, musicality, etc. However, some of these are because he has really restricted his personal choices by, for example, refusing to learn musical notation including even simple dynamics and articulation, choosing to not focus on musicality in the initial phases of his experiment, etc. These are some examples of experimenter bias, not necessarily limitations of his methods nor what they might be used to achieve in other hands.)


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: AnthonyPaulO] #2809997
02/02/19 08:40 PM
02/02/19 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by AnthonyPaulO
perhaps I'm missing something.

Yes, you seem to be missing one key distinction about this forum. This forum mostly isn't about music as an art form. It is about music as a competitive sport. To maintain fairness in the piano competition everyone agrees to compete using the piano technology as it stood at the end of XIX century.

In your initial posting you linked to the video of Bruce Hornsby playing somewhat complicated arpeggios on the acoustic piano. Now answer this question: your goal is to:
  • look like B.H. playing piano when somebody watches your hands over the keyboard;
  • sound like B.H. when playing live using the modern keyboard technology?

The same question could be re-phrased into: do you wan to:
  • learn to play arpeggios by hand on an acoustic piano or similar digital equivalent;
  • learn how to program the arpeggiator on a modern instrument that would sound similar but demand much less from the pianist technique?

It is really you who needs to make that choice.

Also, please answer why you bought rather dumb instrument like Kawai MP6 to learn playing the keyboard? Have you researched what instruments B.H. played during that time? It wasn't only Steinway D, it was also Oberheim OB-X and Korg M1. Have you read the thread on this forum from 2006 about his keyboard setup:

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/273148.html

Why you didn't buy a Korg Kronos/Kross/whatever else is the modern keyboard workstation that the players like B.H. use live? Did you actually read the liner notes on his CDs that typically enumerate what instruments everyone was playing, especially the keyboards where the technological progress was the most obvious?

Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: 90125] #2810006
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Originally Posted by 90125
Originally Posted by AnthonyPaulO
perhaps I'm missing something.

Yes, you seem to be missing one key distinction about this forum. This forum mostly isn't about music as an art form. It is about music as a competitive sport. To maintain fairness in the piano competition everyone agrees to compete using the piano technology as it stood at the end of XIX century.


I had no idea, I thought this was a piano forum where anything piano was open for discussion. I'm not looking to compete.

Originally Posted by 90125

In your initial posting you linked to the video of Bruce Hornsby playing somewhat complicated arpeggios on the acoustic piano. Now answer this question: your goal is to:
  • look like B.H. playing piano when somebody watches your hands over the keyboard;
  • sound like B.H. when playing live using the modern keyboard technology?

The same question could be re-phrased into: do you wan to:
  • learn to play arpeggios by hand on an acoustic piano or similar digital equivalent;
  • learn how to program the arpeggiator on a modern instrument that would sound similar but demand much less from the pianist technique?

It is really you who needs to make that choice.


None of the above! I think you're reading too much into this, it's actually very simple. I loved the song, I saw the video, I saw how much fun he was having playing it, I looked at the way he played and it looked like he was just toying with the keys at times with his left index finger and having total mastery over it, almost effortless... I would love to be able to play like that, that's all; it was my inspiration to buy the MP6, though it took until now for me to actually start learning.

Originally Posted by 90125

Also, please answer why you bought rather dumb instrument like Kawai MP6 to learn playing the keyboard? Have you researched what instruments B.H. played during that time? It wasn't only Steinway D, it was also Oberheim OB-X and Korg M1. Have you read the thread on this forum from 2006 about his keyboard setup:

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/273148.html

Why you didn't buy a Korg Kronos/Kross/whatever else is the modern keyboard workstation that the players like B.H. use live? Did you actually read the liner notes on his CDs that typically enumerate what instruments everyone was playing, especially the keyboards where the technological progress was the most obvious?


I purchased the Kawai MP6 because at the time it was the digital piano most like a piano without taking up a huge amount of real estate.I wanted something of quality that felt just like a piano and that I can move around or stow away if necessary. I never researched what instruments Hornsby used because I knew that buying his instruments wasn't going to make me a great musician nor turn me into a Bruce Hornsby. I already know I will never be as good as Hornsby, he has devoted his life to this and for me this will be a hobby not a career. It will be many years before I can even attempt to perform that song the right way, and honestly I don't know if I will ever achieve such mastery over the instrument to play it with the non-chalance he seems to be able to play it, but I can always dream.

Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: AnthonyPaulO] #2810011
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Tyrone, the pieces are simply too hard for him. Some of the pieces I would consider the method perhaps. The Mendelssohn, he has seemed to got the basic rhythm and fingers are good. The pedal he cannot use. It is completely blurred but this is fixable. The finger legato is not there but again a skill you can learn. Overall passable and very very good for a beginner. The Listz however when the basic, 4:3, is incorrect throughout, it is a painful listen. He is rushing and its far too hard. What a shame.

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Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: Moo :)] #2810015
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Originally Posted by Moo :)
Tyrone, the pieces are simply too hard for him. Some of the pieces I would consider the method perhaps. The Mendelssohn, he has seemed to got the basic rhythm and fingers are good. The pedal he cannot use. It is completely blurred but this is fixable. The finger legato is not there but again a skill you can learn. Overall passable and very very good for a beginner. The Listz however when the basic, 4:3, is incorrect throughout, it is a painful listen. He is rushing and its far too hard. What a shame.

Oh I know Moo. I am really only talking about his experimental method of learning. Not about the specific results he has achieved. I think he picked pieces which are too hard to use his learning method on, and he further crippled himself by insisting on not learning any musical notation and not wanting to follow any of the composer's directions (e.g., articulation, dynamics, etc.). It reminds me of the recent machine learning programs that strive for world champion strength in a game after only learning the rules of that game. Not sure this knowledgeless learning technique is as effective when used for an aesthetic activity such as music making/piano. But I can certainly imagine his basic techniques used in combination with some of the elements that he shunned to actually be rather effective.


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Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: AnthonyPaulO] #2810016
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Whatever he is doing, this certainly is a skill. I myself have never 'memorised' anything and can only play Fur Elise from memory. I perhaps think the piece choice is wrong. Does he have a teacher or is this all solo ?

Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: Moo :)] #2810022
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Originally Posted by Moo :)
Whatever he is doing, this certainly is a skill. I myself have never 'memorised' anything and can only play Fur Elise from memory. I perhaps think the piece choice is wrong. Does he have a teacher or is this all solo ?

He flies solo using Synthesia as at least an initial guide. See the PW thread(s) I linked where he describes his methodology that he invented for himself.


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: AnthonyPaulO] #2810027
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See, this is what I'm talking about. Here's an area where someone is experimenting with a new way to learn and has made remarkable progress in a short amount of time. I do not have the ability to say whether or not it's good, and a couple of you guys have mentioned mistakes and issues with the playing, but nonetheless you both agree this is phenomenal progress for a beginner. I wonder if ideas like this, paired with a really good teacher, would revolutionize the learning process.

Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: AnthonyPaulO] #2810038
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The Chopin Etude which has up down pattern is very good for the experience. I dont think I can play this piece and dont think I could do much better with about 14 years lessons. I suspect his method may work for this sort of piece where the difficulty is a fast finger pattern. However the Listz and the quite a lot of the other pieces have some fundamental major problems with the basics. I would think it would be better to pick simpler pieces and polish them properly. I dont understand the logic or the rush to play hard pieces not well. I'll keep an open mind and sent him a message on reddit. Should be an interesting discussion if there is a response.

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Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: Moo :)] #2810039
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Originally Posted by Moo :)
I'll keep an open mind and sent him a message on reddit. Should be an interesting dicussion if there is a response.

I also sent him an email and asked him to join us in this thread.


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
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Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: AnthonyPaulO] #2810042
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Well I think I'm right, piece choice is the problem.

The first half is absolutely fantastic.



Second half - without pedal - would also be fantastic.

Lets hope there is a response.

Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: Moo :)] #2810045
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It should be noted that the instruments and the recording device are of poor quality.
It is far more difficult to play "musical" when playing from memory.
Most of the pieces were learned and performed in 2-3 weeks from memory.

It's a bit unfair to compare the quality to others who have spent far more time per piece.
My method is far faster than traditional methods in getting a piece to 80%
The last 20% is simply a matter of more hours/experience polishing each piece on an expensive grand piano

Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: AnthonyPaulO] #2810049
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Hello, thank you for joining smile

I didnt mention the piano or the device, I dont own an expensive piano or expensive recording devices either, this was Tyrone.

Are you dead set on your method then and so not open to any suggestions ?

Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: AnthonyPaulO] #2810052
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There definitely is a lot of inefficiency in the traditional methods :

music sheets ~ Synthesia is far faster
scales/exercises ~ irrelevant since technique is relative to the piece
slow practice with gradual metronome ~ results in speed walls and wastes more time/effort per piece

Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: AnthonyPaulO] #2810055
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I think as a beginner yes you can perhaps learn faster your way synthesia way as learning to read music can be difficult. However you may never learn to read music you will never learn how useful it is. Once you can do it, you can pick up and learn pieces instantly. I flick through books and just play them. Its a very nice skill to have.

I think scales and arpeggios I'm not sure about. I have not practised these at all in several years but I grew up on them. I do think perhaps my faster scale and arpeggios are a bit weak now because I never practice them. I tend to learn from pieces now but I wouldnt suggest for a beginner.

Slow practice is very good for accuracy. You iron out the problems. But yes gradual increase with metronome I've never used that. I think I had a metronome as a child but it was one of the big tick tock ones and used to annoy me. I increase the tempo by feel. We had a video the other week for the techniques we use to develop speed.

Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: Moo :)] #2810061
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I am open to suggestions and would love answers to question such as...

What type of repetition is best suited for:

speed/accuracy
memorization
musicality


What are efficient ways of:

working through the piece
preparing a recital such as the 24 Chopin etudes


Regarding my recording of Liszt consolation 3,
I prefer the faster tempo
I only spent about 5 hours total (2-3 weeks)
When I record the piece I am more focused on hitting the right notes and buffering the next measure while keeping track of the section.

I will polish the pieces in the future since it is more important to build a repertoire.

Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: Moo :)] #2810063
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The main reasons why I didn't bother learning to read sheets were

I only want to perform from memory.
I want to play pieces I like.
I don't care to perform a Urtext rendition.

thus Synthesia is more efficient

Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: AnthonyPaulO] #2810064
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Originally Posted by AnthonyPaulO
Originally Posted by John305
If you have an iPad you can use the keyboard on GarageBand.


That's true, but I draw the line there, need some tactile feedback. However, I can imagine something along those lines, integrating software with a small device like the PT-1 and a built-in screen so that you can learn to play notes through some Guitar-Hero-like game and other types of lessons/games. I would think this would open up piano playing to the masses since such a device would be perfect on long train/bus commutes. Sit down, put keyboard on lap, plug in the headphones, and get your daily practice during your 1 or 2 hour commute. When you get home you incorporate the proper stretching and finger pressure on a real piano or digital piano with weighted keys and voila! As a software engineer the idea is intriguing but I leave it to you veterans to see if the idea actually has any merit, perhaps I'm missing something.


You can go with a portable wireless MIDI keyboard (like AKAI LPK 25, or its equivalent - I believe there is a ton of them around). You can pair it with your iPhone/iPad, install some piano sampler and you can put it on your laps and play while you are taking a subway train.

However, I can agree that it does not make too much sense. Playing piano is not just about stomping the keys. When you play a more or less serious piece, you want not just "take a note A", but have the piano to sign it, moan it, whisper it or shout it. In other way, finding a location of a particular note on a keyboard is just 10% of success, the remaining work is to play this note in the way you need. It is a big difference if you hit a key with a finger or move your finger to the key and transfer the weight of your hand to it.

On a cheap MIDI keyboard no matter how you play, it will sound more or less the same (maybe you can control the volume, but not the sound). Another problem is when you put it on your laps, you won't be able to place your hands properly.

So it can help you finding proper notes more or less quickly, but I believe in several months you won't have this problem. In this case, you may want to look for the keys which size is more or less close to your piano.

I am from the software engineering industry too, so I understand the desire to go a geeky way. Maybe it will be helpful for you to get a portable keyboard, learn how to use it with iOS devices, etc. It may be useful in future if you decide to learn how to record your music and stuff like this.

Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: baudelairepianist] #2810071
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Originally Posted by baudelairepianist
I am open to suggestions and would love answers to question such as...

What type of repetition is best suited for:

speed/accuracy
memorization
musicality


What are efficient ways of:

working through the piece
preparing a recital such as the 24 Chopin etudes


Regarding my recording of Liszt consolation 3,
I prefer the faster tempo
I only spent about 5 hours total (2-3 weeks)
When I record the piece I am more focused on hitting the right notes and buffering the next measure while keeping track of the section.

I will polish the pieces in the future since it is more important to build a repertoire.


Baudelairepianist -

I cannot answer the questions you posed. However, I have to admit I'm impressed with your ability given the limited time you state you've put into piano and into these pieces - did you say 5 hours to memorize the entire Liszt piece? That's really remarkable; you must be of superior intelligence to have learned the entire thing without even understanding the piece, in terms of chord structure, key modulation, etc.

I would suggest, if you're open to suggestions, that a little effort into musicality can really transform your playing from hitting the right notes into beautiful music. A teacher could help you with this, or some forum members could offer some suggestions to tweak the musicality. It's up to you.

Finally, I would like to present you with a perspective on sheet reading you may not have considered. Learning to play a complicated piece without learning to read sheet music is like memorizing a Shakespeare play like Hamlet without knowing how to read. It can be done, but if you want to learn another one, say Macbeth, you have to begin the process again from scratch. When you learn to read sheet music, you can play anything you'd like to, just as you can now read any book you'd like. That's what Moo was getting at....I'm not there yet, but moving along.


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Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: Andrey@Siberia] #2810072
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Originally Posted by Andrey@Siberia
On a cheap MIDI keyboard no matter how you play, it will sound more or less the same (maybe you can control the volume, but not the sound).

Who told you that? It is completely wrong.
Originally Posted by Andrey@Siberia
I am from the software engineering industry too,

Eh, you should've been able to understand the meaning of the velocity in the MIDI note on event.

Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: AnthonyPaulO] #2810075
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[quote=AnthonyPaulO[I purchased the Kawai MP6 because at the time it was the digital piano most like a piano without taking up a huge amount of real estate.I wanted something of quality that felt just like a piano and that I can move around or stow away if necessary. I never researched what instruments Hornsby used because I knew that buying his instruments wasn't going to make me a great musician nor turn me into a Bruce Hornsby. I already know I will never be as good as Hornsby, he has devoted his life to this and for me this will be a hobby not a career. It will be many years before I can even attempt to perform that song the right way, and honestly I don't know if I will ever achieve such mastery over the instrument to play it with the non-chalance he seems to be able to play it, but I can always dream.
[/quote]
Thanks for responding. I now understand your techno-phobia towards the musical instruments. Many people professionally involved in programming or IT look into music as a respite from the technological pressures they face at work. The last thing they need is following the technological developments affecting their hobby.

Last edited by 90125; 02/03/19 12:36 AM. Reason: fixed formatting
Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: AnthonyPaulO] #2810096
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Well, ok, you are right. You may control volume and velocity. Still not enough for the realistic piano performance.

Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: baudelairepianist] #2810148
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Originally Posted by baudelairepianist
I am open to suggestions and would love answers to question such as...

What type of repetition is best suited for:

speed/accuracy
memorization
musicality


What are efficient ways of:

working through the piece
preparing a recital such as the 24 Chopin etudes


Regarding my recording of Liszt consolation 3,
I prefer the faster tempo
I only spent about 5 hours total (2-3 weeks)
When I record the piece I am more focused on hitting the right notes and buffering the next measure while keeping track of the section.

I will polish the pieces in the future since it is more important to build a repertoire.


Well the notes yes in lists are mostly secure. However the piece you have not done the basics. the rhythm in consolation 3 is often insecure. It is a shane. Your right hand is mostly secure. The left rhythm is not. I have played and recorded myself if you want to listen but there are tutorials and threads on this rhythm challenge which I and others have posted f you want to find them on the forum.

Slow practice is what you need for this problem. I often play challenging sections very slowly when I first play or concentrating on s part. I often speed up quickly, I don’t think metronome is as common when you have a good sense of time.

The 4:3 rhythm needs to be very precisely. It is a challenge to most pianists but learn it properly you won’t struggle later on. The piece loses its magic if you rush it. Some of the hard parts you are rushing. Not all the notes are correct in the left. Sorry I’m not so easily impressed. It sounds as if you have rushed it. I am more impressed with the Bach, that first half was excellent. But I don’t think playing fast so early has worked. I would work on the rhythm more hands together at a slower tempo.

The pedal is a bit of an issue. I’m not sure what is wrong but it’s too blurred in the pieces. It could be not lifting properly when changing, changing at the wrong places or not changing enough. Pedal in piano is a skill. You need to pedal all the harmony changes. This is often not regular.

I cannot really answer your question easily. Overall slow practice and focused practice is the best to iron out problems. How you increase speed It depends on the piece and the section what techniques may be best. However rushing and playing Chopin etudes, I would not recommend. I myself find the difference between playing pieces of this sandard and performing very great. I myself cannot play most of Chopin etudes. I guess I’m not your target audience for this.

Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: AnthonyPaulO] #2810153
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What was the reason in the method to play hard pieces so early? Is there a reason for the rush? I think you’d be successful if the choices of pieces were more of a gradual increase in difficulty and you spent longer on them.

Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: Moo :)] #2810228
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I wanted to test my method on a variety of pieces especially the virtuoso ones since I was told it was impossible to memorize/perform without a teacher/traditional-methods.

I will eventually polish the pieces but as of now,
I don't have regular access to a higher quality piano thus cannot properly work on musicality.

Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: cmb13] #2810231
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It's not "superior intelligence"
I just figured out an efficient way of memorization and solving technical problems.

I don't agree with that analogy.
https://youtu.be/ga_7j72CVlc?t=27

Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: AnthonyPaulO] #2810295
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I dont think its healthy to blame lack of musicalness on the piano. You can always always work on the musicality of a piece whatever you play on. Only if its broken then perhaps you can use the piano excuse. I dont even have a piano to practice on and the piano and would love to be able to practice daily on a piano. I practice on a digital piano which has much heavier keys and its not quite the same. I manage fine like this. I would try and wipe this thought from your mind.

Who told you it was impossible to memorise virtuoso pieces without a teacher/traditional-methods ? My 'traditional method', whatever this means, has got me to memorise absolutely nothing at all. I admit I dont have a clue how you can learn to memorise a piece. It looks very hard work to me. I myself dont have the patience for that. I dont think having a lack of this skill has prevented me learning and playing the piano. I seem to be progressing very well and as no teacher in the past has tried to teach me to memorise its never been something I've bothered with.

If you are not going to work on the LIstz again. What is the next piece then? Good luck !

Last edited by Moo :); 02/03/19 05:47 PM.
Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: baudelairepianist] #2810335
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AnthonyPaulO Online content OP
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Originally Posted by baudelairepianist
It's not "superior intelligence"
I just figured out an efficient way of memorization and solving technical problems.

I don't agree with that analogy.
https://youtu.be/ga_7j72CVlc?t=27


I would love to see your method tweaked by a very good teacher that can shore up any flaws. Have you considered collaborating with a good teacher to see how to take this method even further?

Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: AnthonyPaulO] #2810352
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Originally Posted by baudelairepianist

I just figured out an efficient way of memorization and solving technical problems.


I think this is great. Think of how hard people tend to find memorising large amounts of music. For me the way baudelairepianist actually plays is beside the point (I haven't heard him). It doesn't change the fact that he memorised large amounts of music in a fairly short time.

Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: AnthonyPaulO] #2810353
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I sent emails out to several conservatories and local piano teachers but they either weren't interested or saw it as heresy.

At this point I have lost some interest since I've been trying to finding work as a web developer.
You mentioned that you were a software engineer, care to share any career advice or learning optimization methods especially in web development?

Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: baudelairepianist] #2810358
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Originally Posted by baudelairepianist
I sent emails out to several conservatories and local piano teachers but they either weren't interested or saw it as heresy.

At this point I have lost some interest since I've been trying to finding work as a web developer.
You mentioned that you were a software engineer, care to share any career advice or learning optimization methods especially in web development?


You're probably addressing the OP.

I can't see any way of getting your ideas out there unless through a YouTube channel or something like that. Maybe you could discuss things with the Synthesia people.

Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: Moo :)] #2810362
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The instruments were essentially "broken" with malfunctioning pedals and inconsistent key mechanisms.
I practice mostly on a digital weighted Yamaha.
I limited pedal use until the recording stage.

I think these are significant factors to consider though of course I realize that all the pieces need significant further work if I ever want to be considered "great".

Presently, I'm working on :

Chopin ballade 2
Chopin etude 10.12
Chopin nocturne 19
Chopin waltz 6
Chopin prelude 11
Mendelssohn SWW 19.1

Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: baudelairepianist] #2810364
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Originally Posted by baudelairepianist
The instruments were essentially "broken" with malfunctioning pedals and inconsistent key mechanisms.
I practice mostly on a digital weighted Yamaha.
I limited pedal use until the recording stage.

I think these are significant factors to consider though of course I realize that all the pieces need significant further work if I ever want to be considered "great".

Presently, I'm working on :

Chopin ballade 2
Chopin etude 10.12
Chopin nocturne 19
Chopin waltz 6
Chopin prelude 11
Mendelssohn SWW 19.1



I believe these are two different issues. You've managed something that would be a huge step for many pianists.
The fact that your playing many need work, and you haven't got a good piano etc. doesn't change what you have achieved, which is quite a lot.

Last edited by johnstaf; 02/03/19 10:11 PM.
Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: johnstaf] #2810365
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Thank you,
I just wish I could pursue it with more time since I think I was onto something regarding learning optimization that could then be used to rapidly acquire any skill by minimizing time/effort.

Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: baudelairepianist] #2810369
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Originally Posted by baudelairepianist
I just figured out an efficient way of memorization and solving technical problems.



Is there some reason why you are explaining what that "efficient way" is ?

Is it a secret ?

Is it too complicated to explain here ?

If we knew more about it we might be able to judge whether or not it might be useful to someone who aspires to play well.


Don

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Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: dmd] #2810370
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https://www.reddit.com/r/piano/comments/aejzsu/heres_my_practice_method/

also look into my post/comment history on here and on reddit

Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: baudelairepianist] #2810372
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Originally Posted by baudelairepianist
https://www.reddit.com/r/piano/comments/aejzsu/heres_my_practice_method/

also look into my post/comment history on here and on reddit


Thank You


I see now that you actually have a "method" that you follow.

And, it works in so far as being able to memorize which notes to play.

Of course, as others have undoubtedly done …. I raise the question of …. When does it become music ?

I assume you wish to play beautifully, so do you have near term plans to work on something to develop it into a piece of music ?

There is a real danger here that you may be so enamored with your ability to "memorize" that you find reasons/excuses to avoid the real work of learning to play music.

It would be sad if that were to be the case.


Congratulations on the method you have developed and the success you have demonstrated and I now challenge you to take the next step …. beautiful music.

Good Luck


Don

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Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: AnthonyPaulO] #2810375
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Originally Posted by AnthonyPaulO
See, this is what I'm talking about. Here's an area where someone is experimenting with a new way to learn and has made remarkable progress in a short amount of time. I do not have the ability to say whether or not it's good, and a couple of you guys have mentioned mistakes and issues with the playing, but nonetheless you both agree this is phenomenal progress for a beginner. I wonder if ideas like this, paired with a really good teacher, would revolutionize the learning process.


There are so many important things to learn that isolating just one doesn’t create nice music. It just makes sounds. Many of us, myself included, have worked on similar methods of memorization, few measures at a time, then few sections at a time. I am not nearly as good at it as the person above claims to be; not many can memorize and play a complicated piece in just a few hours. However, even if possible, I would recommend as you alluded to pairing this with the study of technique. Otherwise it’s just an experiment.

If you were to follow just this technique, I would suggest adding to it the practice of dynamics, phrasing, learning to keep good time. What good is it to just know which keys to press if it doesn’t sound good? And if you learn a complicated piece and then learn another and another, will you remember the earlier ones in a week? A month? Three months? If not, what have you accomplished?


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Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: cmb13] #2810384
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The last "20%" is simply a matter of more time/effort polishing each piece through re-learning
thus it is more efficient to acquire a repertoire by dropping the pieces at 80% quality so more time can be allotted to new material.

Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: baudelairepianist] #2810391
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Originally Posted by baudelairepianist
The last "20%" is simply a matter of more time/effort polishing each piece through re-learning
thus it is more efficient to acquire a repertoire by dropping the pieces at 80% quality so more time can be allotted to new material.


I am not sure if "simply" is an appropriate descriptive term for the polishing part.

Of course, you will know more after you have attempted that part.

It is all theory at this point.

And …. be aware … there will be a strong tendency to avoid that part and stay with the memorizing phase …. your safe place.

We all like to do what we are good at and avoid things we find difficult.

Good Luck to you


Don

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Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: baudelairepianist] #2810456
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Originally Posted by baudelairepianist
The last "20%" is simply a matter of more time/effort polishing each piece through re-learning
thus it is more efficient to acquire a repertoire by dropping the pieces at 80% quality so more time can be allotted to new material.

What’s the point of amassing repertoire if it’s unfinished? Do you anticipate one day going back to finish these pieces, and if so, at that time, do you think you’ll still have them in memory?


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Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: AnthonyPaulO] #2810468
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The method baudelairepianist is using is not that different to the one I use. It's nothing new. I picked it up from Graham Fitch, Josh Wright, PianoStreet's Bernhard, and many others.

I work on a phrase at a time and memorise before I try it at the keyboard. I continue to work on phrases as units until until they can be joined into two and four bar sections. They'll then stay as section units until all sections are at performance level. On the other hand I've been playing music on piano and guitar for over fifty years and wouldn't learn without musicality. Indeed, finding the musicality helps me memorise music quickly as sound before memorising the notes.

For repertoire pieces I practise only what I can hold in short term memory.

I don't think the difficulty thing is an issue if there isn't a difficulty in realising it. Barenboim's advice was to remember as much as possible before the age of 25. What we learn by then we tend to remember for the rest of our lives. What we learn after that we need to keep relearning.

The difficulty of a piece may well be in realising the music in it. For this, and this is where real technique lies (the rest is just mechanics), easier pieces make bringing out the music more achievable. Chopin's music is hard enough that getting the notes is too hard to allow room for bringing out the music.

The absence of scales and arpeggios is not detrimental at this stage of his practise. Those that know them but don't practise them don't find the need to practise them. Those that practise them every day find they can't do without practising them every day.

Reading music is contentious - which means we don't how right or wrong it may be but...
If memorising is a big thing, memorising relies on contextual information for fast assimilation. Synthesia can't distinguish the musical equivalents of your, you're and yore or of there, they're and their. For me, I couldn't memorise from synthesia at all - let alone as fast as from a score - and I see it as being as hard as reading a sentence where every letter is one letter further on in the alphabet, like reading 'fbtz' for 'easy'.

I don't get Synthesia so it wouldn't be fair of me to naysay it. But I would suggest learning some simple score reading, say single line music from a school recorder tutor, before dismissing it. Distinguishing D# from Eb can make, with a bit of theory, the whole memorising business so much simpler - and memorising is the main issue here for him.


Richard
Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: AnthonyPaulO] #2810514
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Hi AnthonyPaulO and welcome.

When learning to play you have to remember to enjoy the journey. I have met many piano students who "just wanted to play XYZ" (one or more pieces) and what they all had in common was that they quit early. That is a pity. When I first took lessons, that was in the end of the 70's and first half of the 80's, I was indeed more motivated to learn more than "playing Für Elise" etcetera. But still, piano pedagogy was not perhaps what it is today and I although I got proper teaching, I was not taught HOW TO PRACTICE and I quickly adapted the common belief that playing is fun, but practicing is boring. There I also abandoned the ideas of pursuing a pianist career. Playing scales all day was not my idea of having fun, despite that I loved my piano and also loved piano music.

In 2012 I started again, now some decades older and wiser, and I was determined not to let it be a whimsical phase again. I read a lot about piano practicing and playing and I also like to study the art of learning itself, the psychology behind it and so on. When I realized that the journey itself was the best part of it, practice never got boring again. I mean, why do people play computer games? To finish them as fast as possible? Are not the challenges and the problem solving entertaining as such? If all we want from piano playing is the ability to perform something flawlessly, then why bother with all that practice, when you can just buy yourself a concert ticket and go enjoying someone who already has done all the hard work? I can listen to a CD if I want a perfect performance. But I happen to like the challenge, I tell my family members that learning is very much like playing a difficult computer game. If something goes wrong, I must find out what, and then find a solution. But the reward is also more than gaining a bucket full of points and go from level 42 to 43. There are moments when I truly enjoy the music I make with my own hands, especially if I get the chance to play on a concert grand in perfect shape - at home my dear digital has to do and it is a nice instrument too, a high-end instrument with properly weighed keys and half-pedal function and a nice baby grand enclosure. But the big concert grands are absolutely wonderful.

I also know there are people who want to master the piano just to show off. Good for them, but I believe there are better and easier ways. I have no need of approval, I will be 53 next month and I don't care about the opinion of others anymore. I am so happy to have piano playing in my life nowadays, it helps me through hard times, it is MY time, my thing, and it will be my faithful friend forever. (Or until I get dementia, at least.) When I listen to a good recital or play myself, I forget all about my ego, about my personal life, my personal issues ... I just get immensed in the musical experience and I feel happy.


To have the best journey possible, I first ask you to forget all about comparisons. Don't give a **** about how others proceed. I have seen plenty of self-appointed prodigies who love to brag about how fast they learn things and then they indeed prove that they have fast fingers and they don't seem to be aware that they DO NOT UNDERSTAND THE MUSIC AT ALL. How fast your learn things is irrelevant . When you go to a concert, no matter what genre, you don't ask how much time they needed to learn this. You just want to hear the end result. So while the journey is interesting to the pianist, it is uninteresting to the audience. Yes, I have also heard prodigies play beautifully and then I admire the beautiful music - I am still not interesting in knowing how fast they mastered this. When you see these guys who learned to play advanced music in just a year etcetera, it may seem very impressing but you know what? After this achievement they will be judged like everyone else who are at their level. They cannot walk out on stage or participate in competitions, shouting "heeeey, I have only studied piano for a year!" That gives no bonus points.

But OK, effective learning is definitely more fun than uneffective dito. I believe that the biggest enemy we all have is impatience. We want to learn fast, so we skip over the mistakes, hope they will vanish by themselves, we play too fast and too long sections because we think that will speed up the learning. Actually it is the opposite. Be patient, work in small, small portions and learn to master them before you proceed. Play slowly enough to be sure what you are doing and also feel that you are in total control.

Then - don't be afraid of making mistakes. Some students think that every mistake is a "failure", something that must not happen, a proof that they suck. No, they are not. To a mountain climber they are indeed lethal, but to a pianist they are friends. They point at the things you need to work with. So. Deal with them, one by one (not ten by ten). Listen to your body - if you start to feel fatigue or pain while you practice, you must stop and find ways to overcome the issues. Again, don't worry about how fast you proceed compared to others. Your relation to the piano is like a love relation, it has to develop in its own pace and in the way that suits YOU.

Keep on learning notes and music theory. It is not difficult at all, so there is simply no excuse for NOT learning to read music, unless you have a special disability. Once you know how to do, you can learn music however you like, but there is no reason not to get this tool in your possession.

Then, go to recitals and concerts, listen to music, read about music, try out pianos, hang out with piano enthusiasts and pianists, enter the world of piano and know it is yours. Have fun!

Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: AnthonyPaulO] #2810666
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@ghosthand amazing reply, very inspiring! Thank you!!

Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: AnthonyPaulO] #2810704
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ghosthand that was well written and pretty much how I feel. I'm playing for fun and enjoyment. This is my hobby. Some people play golf or bridge and while they never get to be an expert at it they enjoy it. I feel the same about Piano.

I like the computer game comparison. I have a game controller with 88 keys and the when I press the right keys at the correct time then beautiful (beginner) music comes out.

Quote
I tell my family members that learning is very much like playing a difficult computer game. If something goes wrong, I must find out what, and then find a solution. But the reward is also more than gaining a bucket full of points and go from level 42 to 43. There are moments when I truly enjoy the music I make with my own hands,


Started Playing October 1, 2017. First Lesson Oct. 17, 2017. Currently in Faber Piano Adventures Book 3a. Yamaha P-115.
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Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: cmb13] #2811050
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Amassing repertoire is more efficient (Top-down processing) than trying to perfect each piece on first trial.

technique/memory => performance (80%) => forgetting => re-learning/polishing => technique/memory => performance (90%)

Forgetting is important for long-term memory consolidation and improving technique/quality.

Roger Chaffin, Gabriela Imreh, Mary Crawford ~ Practicing Perfection Memory and Piano Performance.

Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: baudelairepianist] #2811092
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Originally Posted by baudelairepianist
Amassing repertoire is more efficient (Top-down processing) than trying to perfect each piece on first trial.

technique/memory => performance (80%) => forgetting => re-learning/polishing => technique/memory => performance (90%)

Forgetting is important for long-term memory consolidation and improving technique/quality.

Roger Chaffin, Gabriela Imreh, Mary Crawford ~ Practicing Perfection Memory and Piano Performance.



That may all be perfectly true.

However, in my opinion …. until I hear a "polished" piece of music from you ….. it is all just theory.

As they say …. the proof is in the puddin'.

And the "puddin'" is a completed polished piece of music.

Otherwise, what is the point of all that "efficiency" ?


Don

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Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: AnthonyPaulO] #2814021
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Okay, so I've been spending my time learning up some music theory and trying to memorize the treble scale. I started practicing the treble scale by using an app called "Music Tutor" which lets you pick which parts of the scale to drill on. At the top they present a scale of notes and on the bottom they have a single octave set of keys from C to G, and I've been practicing on this. Then I tried another app called "Piano Notes" and found that it has a two octave set of keys and that this more accurately reflects the real world since in the first app I hit the same key for, say, a bass C and a treble C, which I had to get out of the habit of doing when presented with a fuller set of keys in the second app. So I practiced on this for a while and then I tried it out and home and realized that while it served me well for helping memorize the scale it did nothing for muscle memory since on the iPhone app I use a single digit finger to hit the notes. So now I'm practicing having my thumbs on the mid C and the other fingers on their respective keys. However, I notice in Faber's book that it's switching me to another scheme (not sure what to call it) where your left hand pinky rests on the bass C whereas before the left thumb was on mid C. So now I'm thinking, wait a second... is there any value at all gaining muscle memory that associates fingers to certain keys given that it will shift at any time? I don't see my teacher until Thursday so I'm wondering what the right thing to do is. Should I try and train my right hand thumb to remember it's Mid C, and the next finger D, the middle finger E, etc...? Or should I try to think of it in relative terms instead, that is, try to know what finger is what depending on where the thumb is?

So confused...

Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: AnthonyPaulO] #2814031
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Originally Posted by AnthonyPaulO
...So confused...


I wish there was some way of convincing you that doing those "extra" things (not assigned by your teacher) is not going to result in you moving along "faster". In fact, it might hinder you in that you may spend time doing that stuff instead of more time on your lessons.


But … here goes ….

Please spend your time perfecting the material assigned by your teacher and take pride in doing that instead of being distracted by "in depth" material you find here and there. In my opinion, that is the best plan for effectively gaining skill at playing piano.

Good Luck


Don

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Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: AnthonyPaulO] #2814032
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Originally Posted by AnthonyPaulO
Okay, so I've been spending my time learning up some music theory and trying to memorize the treble scale. I started practicing the treble scale by using an app called "Music Tutor" which lets you pick which parts of the scale to drill on. At the top they present a scale of notes and on the bottom they have a single octave set of keys from C to G, and I've been practicing on this. Then I tried another app called "Piano Notes" and found that it has a two octave set of keys and that this more accurately reflects the real world since in the first app I hit the same key for, say, a bass C and a treble C, which I had to get out of the habit of doing when presented with a fuller set of keys in the second app. So I practiced on this for a while and then I tried it out and home and realized that while it served me well for helping memorize the scale it did nothing for muscle memory since on the iPhone app I use a single digit finger to hit the notes. So now I'm practicing having my thumbs on the mid C and the other fingers on their respective keys. However, I notice in Faber's book that it's switching me to another scheme (not sure what to call it) where your left hand pinky rests on the bass C whereas before the left thumb was on mid C. So now I'm thinking, wait a second... is there any value at all gaining muscle memory that associates fingers to certain keys given that it will shift at any time? I don't see my teacher until Thursday so I'm wondering what the right thing to do is. Should I try and train my right hand thumb to remember it's Mid C, and the next finger D, the middle finger E, etc...? Or should I try to think of it in relative terms instead, that is, try to know what finger is what depending on where the thumb is?

So confused...

Check this thread I started last year on such issues. Personally, since that time, I found a systematic approach to be most helpful in improving my reading skills. See this post and the next two after.


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: dmd] #2814037
02/12/19 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by dmd
Originally Posted by AnthonyPaulO
...So confused...


I wish there was some way of convincing you that doing those "extra" things (not assigned by your teacher) is not going to result in you moving along "faster". In fact, it might hinder you in that you may spend time doing that stuff instead of more time on your lessons.


But … here goes ….

Please spend your time perfecting the material assigned by your teacher and take pride in doing that instead of being distracted by "in depth" material you find here and there. In my opinion, that is the best plan for effectively gaining skill at playing piano.

Good Luck



She hasn't assigned me anything yet because I was still waiting for the Faber book to arrive. In the meantime I'm trying to be productive. I'm aware that without guidance I may develop bad habits which is why I've focused on memorizing the scale, surely there's no harm in this? I'd also like to practice the memorization I've learned, but before I commit to anything physical which will develop bad habits I've come here first to ask questions.

Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: AnthonyPaulO] #2814043
02/12/19 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by AnthonyPaulO
Okay, so I've been spending my time learning up some music theory and trying to memorize the treble scale. I started practicing the treble scale by using an app called "Music Tutor" which lets you pick which parts of the scale to drill on. At the top they present a scale of notes and on the bottom they have a single octave set of keys from C to G, and I've been practicing on this. Then I tried another app called "Piano Notes" and found that it has a two octave set of keys and that this more accurately reflects the real world since in the first app I hit the same key for, say, a bass C and a treble C, which I had to get out of the habit of doing when presented with a fuller set of keys in the second app. So I practiced on this for a while and then I tried it out and home and realized that while it served me well for helping memorize the scale it did nothing for muscle memory since on the iPhone app I use a single digit finger to hit the notes. So now I'm practicing having my thumbs on the mid C and the other fingers on their respective keys. However, I notice in Faber's book that it's switching me to another scheme (not sure what to call it) where your left hand pinky rests on the bass C whereas before the left thumb was on mid C. So now I'm thinking, wait a second... is there any value at all gaining muscle memory that associates fingers to certain keys given that it will shift at any time? I don't see my teacher until Thursday so I'm wondering what the right thing to do is. Should I try and train my right hand thumb to remember it's Mid C, and the next finger D, the middle finger E, etc...? Or should I try to think of it in relative terms instead, that is, try to know what finger is what depending on where the thumb is?

So confused...

Check this thread I started last year on such issues. Personally, since that time, I found a systematic approach to be most helpful in improving my reading skills. See this post and the next two after.


Thanks Tyrone I'll check this out!

Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: dmd] #2814046
02/12/19 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by dmd
Originally Posted by AnthonyPaulO
...So confused...

I wish there was some way of convincing you that doing those "extra" things (not assigned by your teacher) is not going to result in you moving along "faster".

Broad generalization. In fact so broad as to be false.

Applied to conventional learning, this would say that all students learn best sitting in their classroom listening to their teacher and doing what their teacher told them to do. Except we know that isn't true. I myself opted out of my entire middle school and high school program of mathematics and instead went and studied graduate school level math in my teenage years instead. All people are different and depending on the specific things which someone is trying to do, it may or may not be effective. I would say that trying to learn to play piano by oneself is something I tried and it proved to not be effective for me. Learning music theory on my own is proving surprisingly effective. Learning sight reading in the case of AnthonyPaulO could also be effective. I am essentially doing that right now, as I get some guidance from my teacher on my sight reading studies (she assigned the workbook series) but I am doing them myself so that our lesson time can be more focused on the actual learning to play aspects.

Originally Posted by dmd
In fact, it might hinder you in that you may spend time doing that stuff instead of more time on your lessons.

This is very possibly true, but you don't know since AnthonyPaulO has not said how much time he is allocating to his lessons and homework resulting from lessons, nor has he said if studying sight-reading on his own is taking time which he would otherwise spend on his lessons or homework if he weren't trying to learn sight-reading on his own.

Originally Posted by dmd
But … here goes ….

Please spend your time perfecting the material assigned by your teacher and take pride in doing that instead of being distracted by "in depth" material you find here and there. In my opinion, that is the best plan for effectively gaining skill at playing piano.

Good Luck

Needless to say, as mentioned above, I completely disagree as I had a school principal that sounded like you and would not let me graduate early from my school so I could go to college. Fortunately the chairman of the math department of the university decided that I didn't need a school diploma to attend the university and in fact encouraged me to bail out of school by waiving the tuition. Everyone learns differently. AnthonyPaulO has already pointed out in this thread that he is different from the majority (I'm waiting for his universal beverage maker to be commercialized, myself... LOL). I think he should be able to decide what helps him to learn piano and what doesn't, and old saws about listening to one's teacher and being attentive in one's lessons can stay in the closet as he is perfectly capable of deciding when it benefits him to be attentive and learn from his teacher and when it benefits him to "branch out."


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: AnthonyPaulO] #2814059
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I agree with everything Tyrone wrote above!

And I want to add, as a beginner, I have just had reason to think through the choice of sticking more with one teaching or mixing in other teachers and other material. I find that it is clearly enriching to drink from many sources. As bennevis pointed out to me, in the beginning you learn the basics: natural arm, hand & wrist movements, nice gently curved fingers, etc. Different teachers and different materials all take a different tack at these, and sometimes your teacher might explain to you something that you don't quite get, and then you watch a video of another teacher and suddenly you have an epiphany - aha, now I understand!


Playing the piano is learning to create, playfully and deeply seriously, our own music in the world.
Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: AnthonyPaulO] #2814065
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Hi Anthony, I started two years ago with Alfred's all in one and did it all wrong, my approach, my expectation.. rushed it... did not work out. In Jan I got the Fabers Piano Adventure and so far I am doing good taking my time and not getting into any rush at all.... Oh, and I'm 56.

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Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: AnthonyPaulO] #2814512
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Originally Posted by AnthonyPaulO
... ...She did, however, at the very beginning before even testing me, dash my dreams of seeing how fast I can do fur Elise like that guy in the video at 3 weeks; I was really looking forward to that challenge even though I know it’s unrealistic. She said that there’s more to just learning to play those notes, ... ...and that fur Elise would be something that should be tackled around the 2 year mark ...


Hi Anthony,

I have read the whole thread and picked up this early message for a comment. Not sure I would be happy taking lessons and being told the above. Especially for an adult learner like you (and me).

Fur Elize is an easy piece relative to most other piano pieces in the first 1-2 years and if you want to play it you should. Where I live, if you venture into any music store you will often hear some little kid playing Fur Elize! Can drive you nuts, but lovely to hear..

Anyway, to help pursue your dream you might be interested in this Tomplay version that will allow you to practice separate hands, slow it down, etc. Given your enthusiasm I am sure you will get it down pretty soon.

https://tomplay.com/piano-sheet-music/beethoven/f-r-elise-piano-score

For inspiration, here's a video of a typical tot playing the tune. smile

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xrkq-yBVcQQ

Never give up. Never surrender! (Galaxy Quest must-see movie quote.)

Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: RichardHK] #2814635
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Originally Posted by RichardHK
Originally Posted by AnthonyPaulO
... ...She did, however, at the very beginning before even testing me, dash my dreams of seeing how fast I can do fur Elise like that guy in the video at 3 weeks; I was really looking forward to that challenge even though I know it’s unrealistic. She said that there’s more to just learning to play those notes, ... ...and that fur Elise would be something that should be tackled around the 2 year mark ...


Hi Anthony,

I have read the whole thread and picked up this early message for a comment. Not sure I would be happy taking lessons and being told the above. Especially for an adult learner like you (and me).

Fur Elize is an easy piece relative to most other piano pieces in the first 1-2 years and if you want to play it you should.

Anyway, to help pursue your dream you might be interested in this Tomplay version that will allow you to practice separate hands, slow it down, etc. Given your enthusiasm I am sure you will get it down pretty soon.


Never give up. Never surrender! (Galaxy Quest must-see movie quote.)

No wonder teachers despair of teaching adult beginners (have a look at the Piano Teachers Forum).

You have to make up your mind: Do you want to learn to play piano properly, or do you just want to be able to show off (Look! I learnt to play Für Elise from scratch in two weeks from being a complete beginner!), just because you believe what some YT "pianists" claim to have done. Do you believe everything on YT?

If you want to develop really bad habits (which will take a good teacher months if not years to correct - if you eventually want to play properly), develop lots of tension (from forcing your fingers to do stuff they just can't do, because the movements are so utterly foreign) and possibly injury.......and then give up piano (after you've done your YT video and boasted about your exploits) because - why would you persist with something that causes lots of pain and aggravation and yet you can't play a simple piece like Für Elise like that whizz-kid on YT, with your rhythms all over the place (assuming you realise it) and random notes sticking out like bulldozers because you have no control over your fingers and......


Rant over & out. You're an adult - do as you please.......


"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: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: bennevis] #2814661
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Originally Posted by bennevis
If you want to develop really bad habits (which will take a good teacher months if not years to correct - if you eventually want to play properly), develop lots of tension (from forcing your fingers to do stuff they just can't do, because the movements are so utterly foreign) and possibly injury.......and then give up piano (after you've done your YT video and boasted about your exploits) because - why would you persist with something that causes lots of pain and aggravation and yet you can't play a simple piece like Für Elise like that whizz-kid on YT, with your rhythms all over the place (assuming you realise it) and random notes sticking out like bulldozers because you have no control over your fingers and......

I just saw this video on Reddit r/piano yesterday and my hands hurt just watching how much tension his hands had. Since he said this is the hardest piece he ever attempted, I'm guessing this is something like the third piece he has ever played in his life smile


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: bennevis] #2814665
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Originally Posted by bennevis

No wonder teachers despair of teaching adult beginners (have a look at the Piano Teachers Forum).



Indeed! I made the mistake of wandering over there a few days ago... :scream

Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: bennevis] #2814778
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Bennevis, I totally agree with you. People need to learn the basics and progress from the fundamentals if they are expecting to play well. Those interested in learning chords just to play songs there are books and videos which would be more cost effective than paying for lessons. Depending on a persons goals what path a person may take. Nothing wrong with just wanting to play, For me, I would like to play well and realize it is a lot of work and expense. My teacher pin points bad habits. He has backed track some, because my counting is not what it should be at this time so I am back to easier music. Even as a child I can remember counting piano music was difficult for me, the violin was only one line to count. He said I was advanced in playing more difficult music, but the counting is off. He makes me count out loud for my 2 hour lesson. He will start out and say see if you can count to yourself, It does not last long. Counting is getting better, if I count wrong he corrects it right away.

I guess, I have been a student myself so long that I am use to taking direction from teachers. If I was an expert in this field of piano music I could intelligently debate issues, since I am not I follow direction and I am progressing. There is really no short cut to playing well, you have to study, practice, and put in time. I understand it is not for everyone. I can't imagine life without learning the piano, it has become part of who I am and one of my life goals.


Deb
"A goal properly set is halfway reached." Zig Ziglar
Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: AnthonyPaulO] #2814833
02/13/19 09:44 PM
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Thanks to everyone who's replied with advice and resources, I have learned a lot so far regarding how I should approach my training. I have given up my Quixotic attempt at competing with the youtube guy; in fact, the first few posts and some google research was enough to change my mind. The rest of the advice since then has served to help steer me as far as how to approach learning. I am definitely not taking any shortcuts, and Tyrone's links regarding relative fingering and learning best-practices have been particularly helpful. For example, I am now very much inclined to go at a slower pace and be extremely aware when it comes to making mistakes during practice since each mistake can create new neuron connections and muscle memory and you will need to invest more time to undo that, so it's better to take it slow and minimize mistakes as much as possible and get it right the first time and subsequent times as much as possible.

I've got to say though, just going through reading music theory and memorizing the Treble scale and seeing how much is actually involved in playing the piano and knowing that this is just the tip of the iceberg is a humbling experience; I am simply amazed and in awe that humans have been able to master all this and be able to sight-read and play with two hands over this enormous 8-octave range instrument when you have only 10 fingers and do so in real-time. I had no idea what went into it, I still have no idea the full extent of it, but the little I am aware of so far has blown my mind. I really should have started this in the womb. Alas, I am no longer that spring chicken of yore...

Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: AnthonyPaulO] #2814842
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Originally Posted by AnthonyPaulO
I really should have started this in the womb. Alas, I am no longer that spring chicken of yore...

Yeah, if he can't make it, what hope does one have who hasn't started in the womb?


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: AnthonyPaulO] #2814952
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Fur Elise (first movement) was actually nearly the first thing I learned on the piano (badly), starting out last year, at the age of 52, while waiting for my beginner books to arrive, from an online teacher teaching beginners note by note, and had a blast! What I got from it, was that I probably can learn to play, I need a teacher, and I need to learn to read music! Seriously I don't regret it, but I don't recommend it. I am not sure how much to trust these videos of people learning advanced pieces in the first year, I watched one where the guy played a Chopin in the first month, and at the end of the year was playing concert pieces..

I think you are on the right track with getting a teacher, and the Faber books. It took me a while to find a good teacher, but my playing has improved a lot since starting with her. I had picked up al lot of bad habits - rhythm, hesitations, articulation etc. while using the Faber and Afred books on my own.

The most important thing is to relax enjoy the process!

Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: Pau Gasol] #2815617
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Originally Posted by Pau Gasol
Originally Posted by bennevis

No wonder teachers despair of teaching adult beginners (have a look at the Piano Teachers Forum).



Indeed! I made the mistake of wandering over there a few days ago... :scream


Absolutely awful there isn't it? Useful though, a quick visit there made me reconsider and delay starting with a teacher for a couple of months while I found out sufficient to not just be a puppet and to very carefully choose which teacher I decided to use. Heaven help any pupils who fall into the hands of some of those teachers.

Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: gwing] #2815636
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Originally Posted by gwing
Originally Posted by Pau Gasol
Originally Posted by bennevis

No wonder teachers despair of teaching adult beginners (have a look at the Piano Teachers Forum).



Indeed! I made the mistake of wandering over there a few days ago... :scream


Absolutely awful there isn't it? Useful though, a quick visit there made me reconsider and delay starting with a teacher for a couple of months while I found out sufficient to not just be a puppet and to very carefully choose which teacher I decided to use. Heaven help any pupils who fall into the hands of some of those teachers.


My guess is that some of the teachers I would never, ever try are someone else's favorites. I really think it's an individual thing.

I read the posts there and just suck it up when they upset me. I think that is a very hard job, I'm glad there are people who want to do it, and I hope there will never be anyone I despise too much to learn a little something from them. I find some of the insights there fascinating.

Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: TomInCinci] #2815643
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Originally Posted by TomInCinci
Originally Posted by gwing
Originally Posted by Pau Gasol
Originally Posted by bennevis

No wonder teachers despair of teaching adult beginners (have a look at the Piano Teachers Forum).



Indeed! I made the mistake of wandering over there a few days ago... :scream


Absolutely awful there isn't it? Useful though, a quick visit there made me reconsider and delay starting with a teacher for a couple of months while I found out sufficient to not just be a puppet and to very carefully choose which teacher I decided to use. Heaven help any pupils who fall into the hands of some of those teachers.


My guess is that some of the teachers I would never, ever try are someone else's favorites. I really think it's an individual thing.

I read the posts there and just suck it up when they upset me. I think that is a very hard job, I'm glad there are people who want to do it, and I hope there will never be anyone I despise too much to learn a little something from them. I find some of the insights there fascinating.


There definitely is a wide range of teachers there. That is why I think it is important to interview each potential teacher.


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Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: gwing] #2815646
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Originally Posted by gwing
Absolutely awful there isn't it? Useful though, a quick visit there made me reconsider and delay starting with a teacher for a couple of months while I found out sufficient to not just be a puppet and to very carefully choose which teacher I decided to use. Heaven help any pupils who fall into the hands of some of those teachers.

I wouldn't worry so much in the UK, where piano education is based on the ABRSM/Trinity syllabus and reputable teachers all have qualifications (teaching diplomas from ABRSM/Trinity etc). In the US, anything - and I really do mean anything - goes. All the teachers who currently post in the Piano Teachers Forum are North American. I wouldn't go anywhere near one or two of them with a barge pole.

Don't even go near anyone who claims to be a teacher and has no qualification. And you might want to find out if your potential teacher has adult students.

You could make a start from this list:
https://epta-uk.org/FindaTeacher

That's assuming you do want to learn piano properly, rather than be a one-YT hit wonder, of course. If you just want to do your own thing, you might be better off learning what you like on your own. BTW, learning from a 'traditional' teacher doesn't mean you have to do exams, or stick with classical - it just means that you're taught all the basics properly, and you can then go off and play pop or whatever, having equipped yourself with the requisite skills. Like Elton John etc.


"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: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: gwing] #2815661
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Originally Posted by gwing
Originally Posted by Pau Gasol
Originally Posted by bennevis

No wonder teachers despair of teaching adult beginners (have a look at the Piano Teachers Forum).



Indeed! I made the mistake of wandering over there a few days ago... :scream


Absolutely awful there isn't it? Useful though, a quick visit there made me reconsider and delay starting with a teacher for a couple of months while I found out sufficient to not just be a puppet and to very carefully choose which teacher I decided to use. Heaven help any pupils who fall into the hands of some of those teachers.


The conclusion I drew was - and to be fair maybe this is just one teacher's opinion - students today are stupider and more distracted than ever before, their parents are dimwitted simpletons, and worst of all, the adult students are unmotivated and prone to taking months off at a time to travel abroad, and only want to learn enough essentials to play a few favorite "songs". "Songs" in quotations marks being my favorite part. Fur Elise obviously is not a "song".

Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: AnthonyPaulO] #2815677
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I wander over to the Teacher forum and enjoy reading all the viewpoints there. In my opinion it’s better to have a mean but effective teacher than a nice teacher who only tells you what you want to hear. Adult piano students are a tough bunch and I admit there are days I go
Home after my lesson thinking my teacher is wrong or I know X better or that my learning is progressing too slow or in the wrong direction etc etc. I see more of “I play better than other people think” mentalities in ABF (and it comes across in the recitals) than “OMG I really am in much more need of professional guidance to help me improve”. I know I am guilty of playing wrong notes and rhythms so confidently that non pianists are in awe but a pianist with trained ears will know immediately what parts of the piece were played incorrectly, what technique is being used incorrectly, what mental blocks the student must still learn and overcome,etc.

I also agree that parenting plays a large role in how younger students learn and approach the piano and the above poster is right on target with acknowledging the problem of technological distractions, parents who don’t encourage effective practice habits at home. Being a good pianist requires years of hard work and sacrifice and it’s not many people who want that path especially when the competition is hard the higher up you go and the financial rewards are a pittance..the latter a key reason why motivation levels are low. Parents are proud to say their child is a doctor, lawyer, Congress person, scientist but not many will say pianist as lessons are expensive and music degrees conferred at colleges and conservatories are a dime a dozen (just look at how many Juilliard graduates end up working in non music industries because there is little demand for cocktail pianists).

Last edited by AssociateX; 02/15/19 11:24 AM.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Completed:
1. Schubert -Moments Musicaux #3
2. Bach- Prelude & Fugue (F Minor - WTC 2)
Next Project:
1. Rachmaninoff- Prelude op 32/5
2. Chopin Nocturne op 48/1
*************************************
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https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNj0Yha5exOWuJMTezV3t8Q
Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: AssociateX] #2815691
02/15/19 12:00 PM
02/15/19 12:00 PM
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Tyrone Slothrop Online content
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Originally Posted by AssociateX
(just look at how many Juilliard graduates end up working in non music industries because there is little demand for cocktail pianists).

This article on this topic is 15 years old and specifically excludes pianists, but I wonder if anything has changed to make it less true in these last 15 years?


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: NobleHouse] #2815700
02/15/19 12:16 PM
02/15/19 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by NobleHouse


There definitely is a wide range of teachers there. That is why I think it is important to interview each potential teacher.


Amen to that. I have added some questions to my list after reading some things I don't care to experience in person.

I have another hobby, a serious hobby where too many people end up dead, where the instruction is one on one and in close quarters. Most of the teachers do not want to be teachers but are doing it so they can move up the ladder someday while paying the bills today. While I was looking for an instructor I just happened upon the 'hang out table' while a crusty old dude was there. I started talking to him and told him I would like to try him out. He told me that was fine but we would be trying each other out! He didn't need the money or the hours, he just enjoyed teaching people who showed promise. He said I would need to understand that he could fire me at any time. Briefly, we got along great and he became my favorite teacher of all time. But it would suit me just fine if anyone who didn't want to teach me would just tell me to move on...

But that's me, an adult student. I'm not studying piano because my mom wants me to and I wouldn't choose a studio based on how close the nearest Starbucks is. Some of the parent's I see out there, I'm not so sure.

Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: bennevis] #2815729
02/15/19 01:12 PM
02/15/19 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by bennevis
... ...If you just want to do your own thing, you might be better off learning what you like on your own. BTW, learning from a 'traditional' teacher doesn't mean you have to do exams, or stick with classical - it just means that you're taught all the basics properly, and you can then go off and play pop or whatever, having equipped yourself with the requisite skills. Like Elton John etc.


Yes, and for contemporary music the UK has its excellent RockSchool for Piano. My boy went through the ABRSM route right up to LRSM, and did the RockSchool grade 8 in tandem with his diploma work.

Me? Just an adult learner on RockSchool Piano plus other music I like to play, both classic and modern. Dare I say I enjoy learning/playing from the many Richard Clayderman song books available! I wish his stuff was on TomPlay. (I can hear some screams from here now.) Well RC was the highest paid pianist in the world a few years ago, maybe still is. smile

Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: RichardHK] #2815821
02/15/19 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by RichardHK

Me? Just an adult learner on RockSchool Piano plus other music I like to play, both classic and modern. Dare I say I enjoy learning/playing from the many Richard Clayderman song books available! I wish his stuff was on TomPlay. (I can hear some screams from here now.) Well RC was the highest paid pianist in the world a few years ago, maybe still is. smile

No-one who wants to be rich should go into the classical piano business. Instead, they should have cosmetic surgery, dye their hair (if necessary), perfect their smile to the audience, bob their head, and play what the hoi polloi really wants.....

Instead of relying on TomPlay (whatever it is), why not just play Ballade pour Adeline by ear? (OK, it's the only song that he plays that I've heard). Anyone pianist with a basic knowledge of music theory and reasonable aural skills can do it.


"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: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2815871
02/15/19 05:21 PM
02/15/19 05:21 PM
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Owen Sound, Ontario
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by AssociateX
(just look at how many Juilliard graduates end up working in non music industries because there is little demand for cocktail pianists).

This article on this topic is 15 years old and specifically excludes pianists, but I wonder if anything has changed to make it less true in these last 15 years?


Starving artists was not new thing 15 years ago either.

Most classical teaching curriculums are geared towards aspiring professional musicians and concert pianists. It includes everything you'll need to know and better to start young, for the better chance you'll have.

I think a huge opportunity has and still is being missed for adult students that just want to learn to play. There really has not been much available for them. Much the same methods were offered to them if they could hack it and put up with playing nursery rhymes. This is still the attitude of many teachers to this day. If you're not serious enough to do it the right way (whatever that means) then, well sorry but this is all we teach so good luck on your own.

But, then there was the advent of the internet. Lots of people are learning all kinds of stuff at the click of a button. Not surprising really. Some will do extremely well too, in spite of not doing it the right way. It's suppossed to be fun after all.

Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: Greener] #2815892
02/15/19 05:49 PM
02/15/19 05:49 PM
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Tyrone Slothrop Online content
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Originally Posted by Greener
But, then there was the advent of the internet. Lots of people are learning all kinds of stuff at the click of a button. Not surprising really. Some will do extremely well too, in spite of not doing it the right way. It's suppossed to be fun after all.

...and then some of them will end up injured. I think self learning is great, as long as no permanent harm is done along the way. But take a look at this video and tell me this poor fellow isn't likely to end up with an RSI, tendonitis, or worse if he continues this way for the next few years. He would be better off, health-wise, getting bored and quitting piano!

My other hobby has been climbing, where doing "fun stuff" but not the right way could lead to death, even, which is not fun. Years ago, my climbing partner and I had to rescue a firefighter who was injured doing fun stuff, but who if we had been in the domain he was an expert in, would have been the one rescuing us instead.

My only concern when I see videos of people self-learning (something I did also at the beginning) is mainly around piano injuries. If not for that, I think there is absolutely no problem with self learning. I have learned stuff even including astrophysics by myself without an instructor! Lots of hobby activities, I do myself and learn myself without a thought to getting a teacher, even if one is available.

I've shared to with some people on PW some videos on preventing and mitigating piano injuries, and I absolutely do believe that one can prevent and mitigate these on ones own without a live teacher, but I'm not sure I personally can as I seem worse at following video instruction myself than many of those here. Follow the right Youtube videos and you might not end up like this Moonlight3 fellow is headed towards. But there are people who self-train without any concern for the sorts of injuries which might occur, they don't bother with the right videos and only want to watch Synthesia on their favorite piece, and then they post when the injury has already happened.


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: AnthonyPaulO] #2815912
02/15/19 06:13 PM
02/15/19 06:13 PM
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Tyrone, Would you mind reposting those links? Or at least thread names on which to find them?


but think how good I could be in five years...
Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: AnthonyPaulO] #2815916
02/15/19 06:15 PM
02/15/19 06:15 PM
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I'd never even heard of piano injuries until i came here. Not saying they don't happen; but more serious injuries happen at advanced levels. Professional skiers rarely fall but when they do they often break something as they are going faster.

Injuries are rare and over blown if you ask me. Besides, if i really want to learn to play something, though i appreciate the concern, it's my issue how i learn it. If i hurt myself i am sure there is google search result that will remedy that too.

Better yet though would be an abundance of teachers' willing to teach adult students the fundamentals they need to be decent living room piano players without designs on Carnegie Hall. There is something in between full blown classical teaching and going it entirely alone. The internet is capturing this segment because nobody else is.

Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: HollyBytheLake] #2815918
02/15/19 06:19 PM
02/15/19 06:19 PM
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Tyrone Slothrop Online content
Tyrone Slothrop  Online Content


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Originally Posted by HollyBytheLake
Tyrone, Would you mind reposting those links? Or at least thread names on which to find them?

Those who feel a need for such vids should PM me and I'll get them squared away smile


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: bennevis] #2816017
02/16/19 12:44 AM
02/16/19 12:44 AM
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Originally Posted by bennevis
... ...Instead of relying on TomPlay (whatever it is), why not just play Ballade pour Adeline by ear? (OK, it's the only song that he plays that I've heard). Anyone pianist with a basic knowledge of music theory and reasonable aural skills can do it.

Yes, bennevis, thanks. I am Ok with that approach. The thing about TomPlay is the orchestral backing for piano solo that makes it sound like the real thing! wink But when I get my new Roland piano in the near future I can layer strings to achieve a decent sound.

Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: Greener] #2832392
03/28/19 03:01 PM
03/28/19 03:01 PM
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Tyrone Slothrop Online content
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Originally Posted by Greener
I'd never even heard of piano injuries until i came here. Not saying they don't happen; but more serious injuries happen at advanced levels. Professional skiers rarely fall but when they do they often break something as they are going faster.

Injuries are rare and over blown if you ask me. Besides, if i really want to learn to play something, though i appreciate the concern, it's my issue how i learn it. If i hurt myself i am sure there is google search result that will remedy that too.

Injuries do happen


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: AnthonyPaulO] #2832435
03/28/19 05:10 PM
03/28/19 05:10 PM
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KevinM Offline
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They absolutely do.

Especially adult learners. Anything from RSI to tendonitis, pain from arthritis and back problems.

I have had mild tendonitis since I started playing until recently. My hands get a rough deal, I work with computers all day comes with being a programmer and I have had trouble with tendonitis in the past. Adding piano playing to a day of typing and using a trackpad doesn’t help.

How much I have practised has been absolutely limited by what my hands can take, but I am super conscious of the problem because there have been a couple of times in my life from work I have crippled my right hand.

Playing piano requires you to listen to your body and cut back early at the first hint so you don’t have to actually stop, but if do need to stop do so and don’t try and tough it out.

My biggest problem is lubrication of my tendons, a problem that only gets worse with age. For now omega 3 has worked well but it may not in the future.

So I need to get my technique right now, while I can, because if I leave it to when I have pain i can’t manage it will likely be too late.


Learning Mendelssohn Song without Words Op. 19 No. 2, Schumann Bunte Blätter Stücklein Op. 99 No. 1. Jensen Sehnsucht Op. 8 No. 5. Schumann Kinderszenen Op15 No1, Von Fremden Ländern und Menschen.
Digital piano: Casio Celviano AP-470. Headphones: Superlux HD681 EVO
Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: KevinM] #2832537
03/28/19 10:19 PM
03/28/19 10:19 PM
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New York, NY, USA
AnthonyPaulO Online content OP
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Hey Kevin,

I hear the level of your piano to your body might make all the difference. Check to see if it's at the appropriate height, if necessary have someone take a picture of you with you sitting down on it with correct posture and fingers curled on keys and post it so the experts can opine.

Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: AnthonyPaulO] #2832607
03/29/19 06:09 AM
03/29/19 06:09 AM
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Regarding injuries during first months of playing - when they happen we naturally tend to focus on the physical aspect - to heal and nurture damaged body. But I would like to emphasize psychological side of being restricted from playing during time of greatest hype.

Injury happened - you have time, you have instrument, you love music, you urge to play, but you can't as your body "betrays" you.
I can imagine that for some that frustration might be enough to kill the initial spark so very needed to overcome all the hurdles beginner meets during first months of learning.

Even if frequency of injury incidents is overblown, it's worth noting that the time to heal (especially for adults) can be quite long and initial inspiration might not be enough to persist. So sometimes first injury, even recoverable within weeks, might be the end of piano journey.

I don't want it to sound like "play while you can, as you never know when dreamshatering injury may come" advice. I rather encourage to incorporate any available countermeasures (teacher, good advices, self recording, listening to ones body) to enjoy piano injury-free.

Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: AnthonyPaulO] #2832615
03/29/19 06:50 AM
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Originally Posted by AnthonyPaulO
Hey Kevin,

I hear the level of your piano to your body might make all the difference. Check to see if it's at the appropriate height, if necessary have someone take a picture of you with you sitting down on it with correct posture and fingers curled on keys and post it so the experts can opine.


I know the heights are all correct.

My tendonitis problems preceded playing the piano, so far personally I don't have other related issues playing the piano, so my focus is managing my playing and my routine to keep pain free or close to pain free. Pain free since starting the omega 3.

I am playing the piano between 1 and 2 hours a day, mostly 1 1/2 hours broken up into 3 sessions. If I had the time and no sense I would play multiple hours per day but I know this would not good for me.

Anything else related to my playing, injury and technique I will keep to be between myself and my teacher, it is too easy to get conflicting and as a result unhelpful advise.

I was replying here to backup the point we should not be dismissive of injuries from playing the piano, it is all too easy and all too common and many injuries like tendonitis can take months to recover from. Best to avoid injury in the first place.

Last edited by KevinM; 03/29/19 06:51 AM.

Learning Mendelssohn Song without Words Op. 19 No. 2, Schumann Bunte Blätter Stücklein Op. 99 No. 1. Jensen Sehnsucht Op. 8 No. 5. Schumann Kinderszenen Op15 No1, Von Fremden Ländern und Menschen.
Digital piano: Casio Celviano AP-470. Headphones: Superlux HD681 EVO
Re: Inspired to learn! Need advice on approach [Re: AnthonyPaulO] #2832776
03/29/19 04:11 PM
03/29/19 04:11 PM
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The first and the last thing I don't feel there is any piece that is compulsory unless you have a teacher and go by specific repertoire books. A lot of pieces became "standard" repertoire because a lot of students have played them as learning pieces like Minuet in G & G Minor from the Anna M. Notebook, Beethoven Fur Elise & 1st movement from the Moonlight Sonata, Prelude from Bach Well-Tempered Clavier in C, etc.

Nowadays there is a much wider repertoire selection available online. You can find arrangement of Classical, Jazz & Pop pieces. The last book I worked on was an intro book on Jazz/Rock with a lot of similar pieces. It's not Classical but the pieces are written with the bass clef so I use the book to practice counting beats & sight--reading. On the other hand, I'm also working on a few pieces out of keyboard suites by Bach & Handel. The 2 styles of music are more than 200 years apart and their styles are different as night and day. An intro book on Jazz & Pop actually helped with my sight-reading to the point I can sight-read some Classical pieces at a slow tempo reasonably well.

I'm in a group piano class at a local conservatory with 5 others in the same class. The teacher did ask us to buy repertoire books but she also downloads piece off the net. The repertoire is mainly Classical but we do occasionally work on a piece that is Jazzy like What a Wonderful World made famous by Louis Armstrong.

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