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Originally Posted by bennevis
[...]
I normally tell them I forgot my reading glasses, and so decided to play from memory instead..... wink


Now, how can I turn that around: "I forgot my memory, so I played from the music." No? smile

Cheers!


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Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Originally Posted by itsfreakingmeout
My teacher pushes that on her students. Her philosophy is that you don’t really know the piece unless you can play the left hand by itself, and the right hand by itself.

This is nonsense


Your reply is nonsense. If you want to criticize the methods of my teacher that’s on you and however you choose to spend time on your instrument is your business. I was simply sharing. Some of the people on here need to have several seats in regard to their “I know what’s best for everybody” attitude.

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Originally Posted by bennevis
I practice chess HS. thumb

The same hand has to be used to move the chess piece as press on the button on the chess clock that stops your clock and starts your opponent's after you've moved. You have no say in whether the clock is positioned on the side of your dominant hand - after all, if you and your opponent are both right-handed (which the law of handedness dictates would be 9/10 x 9/10 = 81/100 = 0.81 i.e. > 4 out of five times), something (or someone) has to give.

Therefore in time trouble, you need to be able to move your hand - either hand - at lightning speed (= 220 million miles per hour) to ensure you don't lose on time, and that requires practice wink .
But I don't think many or perhaps any of the best blitz players in the world play with the hand closest to the side of the board the clock is on.

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Originally Posted by itsfreakingmeout
Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Originally Posted by itsfreakingmeout
My teacher pushes that on her students. Her philosophy is that you don’t really know the piece unless you can play the left hand by itself, and the right hand by itself.

This is nonsense


Your reply is nonsense. If you want to criticize the methods of my teacher that’s on you and however you choose to spend time on your instrument is your business. I was simply sharing. Some of the people on here need to have several seats in regard to their “I know what’s best for everybody” attitude.


I agree with you. I had a teacher that shared this philosophy (obviously, apart from pieces that have a line distributed between the hands, like the un sospiro example someone gave earlier). You should know what each hand has at all times. Why wouldn't you? Why in the world would that ever be a bad thing?



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Originally Posted by Midlife_Piano


My struggle is that after spending so many days/weeks memorizing a piece, I perform it with OK result. However, a few weeks/months later I already forgot lots of it and could not play the piece from memory anymore. Not being able to maintain the memory is extremely frustrating for me. Not sure what other people do to improve this.



Be able to play each hand from memory wink
Kidding aside, it really does make a difference. I'm not saying to learn the hands separately, but to be ABLE to play them from memory. It won't mess you up - quite on the contrary, it will make sure you know it better. What do you do when you lose concentration for a second, let's say the RH fudges a little. If the LH relies on the RH and isn't independently secure, it won't be able to recover well with a slip of the RH. It's no different than knowing/being able to sing different voices of a fugue, or knowing/being able to sing someone else's lines from a chamber/vocal work.



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I can definitely understand why some pianists would agree with the idea of being able to play each hand separately or actually memorizing each hand separately. I don't know what percent of professional pianists like Pogorelich use this approach and would be interested to find out.

Whether this approach is appropriate or one of the better memory aids for amateur pianists may be a separate question. I think a critical question is which are the best or most efficient memory aids, and the answer may depend very specifically on each person. As others have said, knowing each hand separately also gives greater musical understanding of a piece separately from any memory issue.

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I am new here to the forum, and have been playing instruments other than the piano by ear for many years. I am trying to get back into classical piano and playing from the score after a > 40 year hiatus. Artur Pizarro has adamant opinions about this topic. He requires his conservatory level students to learn HS first. A good video to watch, no matter where one stands on the HS/HT spectrum. My apologies to all who are familiar with this video, already:



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I usually do a lot of learning hands separately, but I don't generally have a problem joining the hands together. Some people have to relearn the piece after learning it hands separately, which doesn't strike me as very efficient. Now I'd never learn the piece from start to finish hands separately, but a few bars RH and a few LH, and then put them together.

I think at this stage I just know when to switch between hands together and hands separately in order to make the most of my time. The issue, I think, is finding a way to build up a mental picture of the work, and hands separately is just one way of cutting up a piece up into more manageable chunks.

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I find that learning HS is a waste. My brain discards it all and starts over from zero when I try to put the hands together. Initially, HS is only useful for working out fingerings for the hard parts.

However, once I have something HT, playing part of it HS is easy, and pretty much harmless, though probably a waste of time.


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Depends on the piece you are learning. Some pieces has a straight-forward melody and a few notes or chords as fill-in so it wouldn't take much effort to learn with both hands together.

I get into playing Baroque music and a lot of Bach pieces has 2 or more melodic parts (counterpoint) running along each other. If you're playing a Bach 2-part Invention, every teacher in town would say learn the L & R separately before putting them together. And a piece like the Well-Tempered Clavier Prelude in C you wouldn't separate the 2 hands and shouldn't. The first line C1-E1-G1-C2-E2-G1-C2-E2 you notice right away these are the notes of a C major arpeggio. The L part is just the first 2 notes C1-E1 and the rest G1-C2-E2-G1-C2-E2 is with the R. If you learn the 2 hands separately and then put them together you may get a choppy run. You need to get all 8 notes to play smoothly as 1 phrase.

A piece that involve a simple L part with single notes or chords I'd learn the R first and just fill in the L part as I go. Doesn't take a lot of effort to read through the L part once I learned the R. I recently submitted a Handel Sarabande to Recital #53. The big chords are all on the R. The L are single note fill-ins. I learned the R part and then read through the L. After the Sarabande, there are 2 Variations. V.1 the notes are very close together and at times you have phrases that are played with 1 hand and then continue to the other. It's more natural to practice slowly but both hands together from the beginning. And when I got to V.2 you can hear the L has a melodic line all the way through. The R are just chords filling in the piece. I'd practice the L first and then read through the R. The sample video of the piece:
Sarabande from Keyboard Suite in D minor HWV437 - GF Handel (full version)

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