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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Well here's another "beginner perspective." I'm still at the level where sight-reading or not, sometimes something I play and then don't care for, still sounds more like "real music" when my teacher plays it. So even if I could sight-read better than Twinkle Twinkle, I'd probably reject every half decent choice of music if I had to solely make a decision based on how it sounds when I play it (never mind, when I sight read it!).

(I'm working on fixing the Twinkle Twinkle thing - now wondering if I need a remedial version of my remedial sight-reading series since I've freshly hit some new difficulties with HT sight-reading. Some sort of remedial remedial sight-reading series - a sort of "Sight-Reading for Real Complete and Total Idiots. Not Joking." blush crazy )


I think I have something similar. I will reach beyond my grasp and never get to where I like the way something sounds when 'I' play it.

This will never happen but I've asked musicnotes if they would allow the preview to mute the 3rd (melody) staff. I would just like to hear what the piano, even if it's just a gross approximation via MIDI, will sound like. That would help me a lot when considering purchasing their music.

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TomInCinci #2823140 03/05/19 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by TomInCinci
Let me ask you folks, if you see an unfamiliar piece of music, can you hear it in your head or hum it?

No! And I don't think I'll ever be able to do that. It is a sad truth that I have accepted a long time ago. wink


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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
now wondering if I need a remedial version of my remedial sight-reading series since I've freshly hit some new difficulties with HT sight-reading. Some sort of remedial remedial sight-reading series - a sort of "Sight-Reading for Real Complete and Total Idiots. Not Joking." blush crazy )


If you have arrived at a chapter of your sight-reading book that is too difficult for you, put the book on the shelves. You are not there yet. Find easier scores to sight-read, and half a year from now, check again to see if you can do it. whistle


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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Well here's another "beginner perspective." I'm still at the level where sight-reading or not, sometimes something I play and then don't care for, still sounds more like "real music" when my teacher plays it. So even if I could sight-read better than Twinkle Twinkle, I'd probably reject every half decent choice of music if I had to solely make a decision based on how it sounds when I play it (never mind, when I sight read it!).

(I'm working on fixing the Twinkle Twinkle thing - now wondering if I need a remedial version of my remedial sight-reading series since I've freshly hit some new difficulties with HT sight-reading. Some sort of remedial remedial sight-reading series - a sort of "Sight-Reading for Real Complete and Total Idiots. Not Joking." blush crazy )

I can sight read HT, only when both staves have exactly the same patterns. Otherwise I mess up bad.


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Animisha #2823161 03/05/19 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Animisha
Originally Posted by TomInCinci
Let me ask you folks, if you see an unfamiliar piece of music, can you hear it in your head or hum it?

No! And I don't think I'll ever be able to do that. It is a sad truth that I have accepted a long time ago. wink


I probably should accept it but I've seen enough other people do it to give me hope.

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I used to be able to sight sing a little, but now that ability is almost gone because I never practice it. It is a skill that needs a lot of practice for most people. Probably if you learned it really well when young it might stay even without regular practice. But I was always too lazy to do that, it was so much easier to just pick some instrument and play the melody. After I heard ot once, I would remember it easily.

TomInCinci #2823194 03/06/19 02:25 AM
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Originally Posted by TomInCinci
Let me ask you folks, if you see an unfamiliar piece of music, can you hear it in your head or hum it? If I could get to the point where I could do this my piano life would be so much nicer. ...


It's how I started, but it's not really that great. When I got a piano as a child, our gr. 3 teacher had just taught us to sing movable Do solfege. I sang my way up and down from "Do" since I had no teacher. When I see diatonic music, I can hear it in movable Do. I'd often play in the wrong key, and it messed me up in other ways. That's why when I got a piano again decades later, I worked to learn to read music the real way.

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Originally Posted by TomInCinci
Let me ask you folks, if you see an unfamiliar piece of music, can you hear it in your head or hum it? If I could get to the point where I could do this my piano life would be so much nicer. ...


Yes I can, not perfectly but well enough. Like some others this is mostly down to sight-singing training as a child, singing in choirs, etc. I also used to play the violin seriously alongside the piano, and I think that requires this ability more than the piano because you always have to make your own notes.


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TomInCinci #2823210 03/06/19 03:41 AM
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Originally Posted by TomInCinci
Let me ask you folks, if you see an unfamiliar piece of music, can you hear it in your head or hum it?

I definitely can't. My wife though says that solfège training was an integral part of her piano lessons at her music school in Moscow. In the first year (age 7), there were 4 hours of solfège practice a week, and this ramped down in subsequent years. However, thereafter, when she'd make a note error on the piano, the teacher would sing the correction in solfège in catching the error. And she was expected to "sing" the correct note in response and then play it. I guess solfège is just another way of hearing the melody. This training might also have been intended to improve sight-reading skills, almost like playing by ear.


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TomInCinci #2823227 03/06/19 05:46 AM
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Originally Posted by TomInCinci
Let me ask you folks, if you see an unfamiliar piece of music, can you hear it in your head or hum it? ...

Ineptly and not very quickly. My teacher nursed a forlorn hope he would make a professional out of me and tried to have me do it. It was one more musical ability I conspicuously lacked. Fortunately the skill is superfluous to creating music through improvisation, which is just as well for me. In any case, I seldom use written music now.

Last edited by Ted; 03/06/19 05:46 AM.

"We shall always love the music of the masters, but they are all dead and now it's our turn." - Llewelyn Jones, my piano teacher
Animisha #2823255 03/06/19 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Animisha
Originally Posted by TomInCinci
Let me ask you folks, if you see an unfamiliar piece of music, can you hear it in your head or hum it?

No! And I don't think I'll ever be able to do that. It is a sad truth that I have accepted a long time ago. wink


Luckily, yes for me. I can hum it out loud, usually.



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NobleHouse #2823290 03/06/19 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by NobleHouse
Originally Posted by Animisha
Originally Posted by TomInCinci
Let me ask you folks, if you see an unfamiliar piece of music, can you hear it in your head or hum it?

No! And I don't think I'll ever be able to do that. It is a sad truth that I have accepted a long time ago. wink


Luckily, yes for me. I can hum it out loud, usually.


Me too. That said I played a number of instruments during my youth, when I was very young and I had an excellent teacher, he made me tackle the reverse, write down the score of simple pieces played (in chunks). The only thing given would be the starting note, seeing most people don't have absolute pitch. I don't believe this is done in any of the examination boards, well, it wasn't in my country at the time (Netherlands), but my teacher made me do it anyway.

Best ask a teacher, but I do wonder if you have a sense of relative pitch I don't see why you couldn't develop the skill. Lets say, in a C triad, can you hum or hear the individual notes in that chord ? can you hum a scale when you see the notes etc ? If yes, reading music is just an extension from that, with timing.

I suppose it is easy to say when you already have the ability, I don't actively recall developing it. When I started again on the piano after a good 20 year break of not actively playing anything, that skill was already there. Of course, it depends on complexity, I have limits, but the earlier grades, no problems at all, I never had to think about what a melody sounds like.

That being said I am not a good ( prima vista ) sight reader, neither have I tried to work on it much. I know what the notes are easily enough at pieces below my level well ahead of time, it is knowing what fingering should go where that causes me to trip up. For very easy pieces that is not a problem, often times, but as the difficulty goes up, it gets worse.

Interesting thread, I enjoyed it.

Cheers.

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NobleHouse #2823291 03/06/19 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by NobleHouse
Originally Posted by Animisha
Originally Posted by TomInCinci
Let me ask you folks, if you see an unfamiliar piece of music, can you hear it in your head or hum it?

No! And I don't think I'll ever be able to do that. It is a sad truth that I have accepted a long time ago. wink


Luckily, yes for me. I can hum it out loud, usually.


I am so envious of that ability.

Recently I was sitting in on a group piano class that I considered joining. I was really curious how such a thing would even be run. They had put a LOT into it. There were 12 digital pianos, another for the teacher, and a huge TV hanging from the ceiling as monitor. Everyone wore headphones and the teacher had full control over who could hear what. We were playing some simple scales and all you could hear was your own doodling. Then she put up a new score and said we would work on this one together. I don't think I ever in my life wished for invisibility more than I did then. Between not having much natural musical talent and everyone being 1/3 my age I was feeling pretty awkward. Of course she called on me 2nd. (During these exercises everyone hears the victim's playing.) It was in C, common time, all quarter notes. I had no earthly idea what I was looking at. I started playing it and it was Mary Had a Little Lamb.

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It was in C, common time, all quarter notes. I had no earthly idea what I was looking at. I started playing it and it was Mary Had a Little Lamb.



Aural skills can be developed, just like musicality.

They are part of most grade exams, including ABRSM. It's easiest to start with C major, and use 'movable do' solfège, as is taught here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drnBMAEA3AM

Therefore, when you see a piece in C major, sing the scale of 'do-re-mi' aloud, then sing the first note of that piece (E = mi in Mary Had a Little Lamb). Happy Birthday would start with G (= so).

What would Twinkle, Twinkle start with?


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ShyPianist #2823509 03/06/19 09:19 PM
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ShyPianist, the important thing is that you are moving forward. I am 58, dropped out of college the first time, then went back and at the age of 54 obtained a PhD. Could of had all this done by 30, if I had not been so stupid in my 20s. Now, I do not want to have regrets, as to often I see people that do as they age, saying "I wish I would have." For me, I wish I would have continued the violin and piano since child hood. Started piano at 5 played about 5 years, then playing violin for 8 to 18. Had private lessons all those years. Now I focus on one instrument the Piano. I also wish I continued, but as a teenage you never do what your parents want you to do. I now realize they were smarter than me. If I could go back in time the outcome would be different. Since that is impossible, move forward and follow your dreams. Lots of people don't.


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DFSRN #2823529 03/06/19 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by DFSRN
ShyPianist, the important thing is that you are moving forward. I am 58, dropped out of college the first time, then went back and at the age of 54 obtained a PhD. Could of had all this done by 30, if I had not been so stupid in my 20s. Now, I do not want to have regrets, as to often I see people that do as they age, saying "I wish I would have." For me, I wish I would have continued the violin and piano since child hood. Started piano at 5 played about 5 years, then playing violin for 8 to 18. Had private lessons all those years. Now I focus on one instrument the Piano. I also wish I continued, but as a teenage you never do what your parents want you to do. I now realize they were smarter than me. If I could go back in time the outcome would be different. Since that is impossible, move forward and follow your dreams. Lots of people don't.

Deb, I guess I never noticed you spent 10 years learning/playing violin, twice the time you spent on piano. You even quit piano when you were two years into violin. Why did you decide violin was better for you back then, and what do you think changed for you as an adult that made those two flip? Because I suppose given your obviously higher violin level, if you decided to take that up again as an adult, you might even be further along today (just a wild guess on my part).


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TomInCinci #2823670 03/07/19 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by TomInCinci
Recently I was sitting in on a group piano class that I considered joining. I was really curious how such a thing would even be run. They had put a LOT into it. There were 12 digital pianos, another for the teacher, and a huge TV hanging from the ceiling as monitor. Everyone wore headphones and the teacher had full control over who could hear what. We were playing some simple scales and all you could hear was your own doodling. Then she put up a new score and said we would work on this one together.

It sounds like an excerpt from a sci-fi book. Very interesting,

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Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
I think one of the most important things for efficient practice is to learn to enjoy playing in slow tempo, listening to and enjoying every single note and chord. When I discovered the beauty of slow playing at some point in my life, it changed my practice dramatically.

I have been thinking about that recently and I would like to change my statement.


I think the most important thing for efficient practice is to learn to enjoy every activity at the piano. Playing piano should be a pleasure both physically and mentally at every moment. If it is not, the causes of the discomfort should be identified and eliminated.

There may be different causes like physical and mental tension, inappropriate repertoire, a lack of knowledge how to do things properly. But now, having read this thread, I come to conclusion that the most widespread and detrimental cause is really a lack of confidence in one's abilities. It's a lack of self-confidence that makes practice hard and inefficient.

If I think that I can never bring fragment X to tempo Y, the practice becomes a struggle and a pain. If I think that it is undoubtly possible, the practice becomes a joy, because I practice in a relaxed, confident manner, not hurrying, not blaming myself, just playing. And this is the practice that brings the best results.

I've read this thread carefully, it's so full of doubts and uncertainty, "I think I'll never be able to do this, I'll never be able to do that..." frown I'm pretty sure that just a little bit of faith in oneself could help many posters greatly! My best wishes to all of you! wink

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[/quote]
I think the most important thing for efficient practice is to learn to enjoy every activity at the piano. Playing piano should be a pleasure both physically and mentally at every moment. If it is not, the causes of the discomfort should be identified and eliminated.[/quote]


I really think that is the key. Learn and enjoy every activity at the piano!



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Originally Posted by DFSRN
ShyPianist, the important thing is that you are moving forward. I am 58, dropped out of college the first time, then went back and at the age of 54 obtained a PhD. Could of had all this done by 30, if I had not been so stupid in my 20s. Now, I do not want to have regrets, as to often I see people that do as they age, saying "I wish I would have." For me, I wish I would have continued the violin and piano since child hood. Started piano at 5 played about 5 years, then playing violin for 8 to 18. Had private lessons all those years. Now I focus on one instrument the Piano. I also wish I continued, but as a teenage you never do what your parents want you to do. I now realize they were smarter than me. If I could go back in time the outcome would be different. Since that is impossible, move forward and follow your dreams. Lots of people don't.


Interesting. I studied piano and violin too, each to a similar level, started piano at 5 and violin at 8 but continued them both well past 18. Now I find I have far too many wrist problems to be able to comfortably play the violin for more than a few minutes, and I find I especially love the piano. In some ways I wish I'd focused more on just piano in my youth, but I know my parents wanted me to do the whole social thing with the violin, orchestras etc. and it was a fine experience that I wouldn't undo. My problem, I think, was actually that I DID do what my parents wanted me to do and it damaged me for a long time. I'm still working through that, but as you say I'm moving forward now. :-)

Quote

I think the most important thing for efficient practice is to learn to enjoy every activity at the piano. Playing piano should be a pleasure both physically and mentally at every moment. If it is not, the causes of the discomfort should be identified and eliminated.


Yes!


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