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Piano lessons #2847482
05/12/19 06:37 AM
05/12/19 06:37 AM
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Manne janne Offline OP
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What do you think about this?

The purpose of piano lessons is technique and memorization. Understanding the musical language is not something that is focused on.
This is problemstic as I hate not understanding the music I am playing. I am now learning Abide with me and I can honestly say that I cannot play it without understanding it. I am not neccesarily speaking of a deep theoretical understanding but more of basic understanding of what is going on. I just dont really like repeating notes with no undeestanding. It is a wonder to me that people actually like playing piano without understanding the musical language.

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Re: Piano lessons [Re: Manne janne] #2847486
05/12/19 07:12 AM
05/12/19 07:12 AM
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If all you are doing in your piano lessons is technique and memorization, then your lessons are not like my lessons. We also talk about the structure of a piece, how it is constructed, how to play it musically and how to achieve my vision for the piece...

Sam

Re: Piano lessons [Re: Manne janne] #2847487
05/12/19 07:26 AM
05/12/19 07:26 AM
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My teacher is always willing (or insisting) to discuss the music, not just teach me basic skills. Maybe you just do not have the right kind of teacher.

Re: Piano lessons [Re: Manne janne] #2847488
05/12/19 07:34 AM
05/12/19 07:34 AM
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I get very little time with my teacher, but even in that much time he makes sure to explain all the theoretical aspects required for a piece. The way he analyses a piece helps me in doing the same, when I pick one on my own. Then sometimes he will play a familiar song with a similar chord progression to give me an idea. Many other things of this nature.

Perhaps you should tell your teacher that you'd like to better understand the underlying structure, and then he/she can incorporate that as well in your lessons. Good luck!


Think Twice, Play Once
Re: Piano lessons [Re: Manne janne] #2847494
05/12/19 08:27 AM
05/12/19 08:27 AM
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Oh, by the way, my lessons are not at all focussed on memorisation. Maybe this will be covered later on, if it's required for something specific. But not yet.


Think Twice, Play Once
Re: Piano lessons [Re: Manne janne] #2847499
05/12/19 09:29 AM
05/12/19 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Manne janne
What do you think about this?

The purpose of piano lessons is technique and memorization.



I have never had a teacher encourage me to memorize music.

Especially at the beginner stages where you appear to be.

At a more advanced stage of playing memorizing may become more useful but not as a beginner.

The focus has always been …. play while looking at the music.

Has your teacher specifically told you to memorize or do you just do it because you find it easier than playing while looking at the music ?



Last edited by dmd; 05/12/19 09:30 AM.

Don

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Re: Piano lessons [Re: Tech-key] #2847501
05/12/19 09:45 AM
05/12/19 09:45 AM
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Manne janne Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Tech-key
I get very little time with my teacher, but even in that much time he makes sure to explain all the theoretical aspects required for a piece. The way he analyses a piece helps me in doing the same, when I pick one on my own. Then sometimes he will play a familiar song with a similar chord progression to give me an idea. Many other things of this nature.

Perhaps you should tell your teacher that you'd like to better understand the underlying structure, and then he/she can incorporate that as well in your lessons. Good luck!

I guess I am talking about getting to know a language.
Not many teacher teach accompaniment. It is mostly about just repeating what is written in the score. I have never met a teacher who did explain how 2-part harmony works. I was just given Bwv anh 114 without getting help with learning 2-part harmony.
Did you actually get to learn 2-part harmony?
I want to be creative like a child gets to be created when learning a language.
Classical musicians often just play from written score. Organist on the other hand ard often good at playing without a written score.
Maybe I just have a deep need for being creative whereas teachers just want you to play from a written score.

Re: Piano lessons [Re: Manne janne] #2847502
05/12/19 09:50 AM
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My teacher explains the music to me very thoroughly. I would think it would be really hard to play well if you don't have any context for the piece you're playing.

Re: Piano lessons [Re: Manne janne] #2847503
05/12/19 10:01 AM
05/12/19 10:01 AM
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There are 2 ways to learn songs: by reading or by ear.

If you get in Suzuki music, their teachers make you memorize the entire Book 1 songs before learning to read a single note. Ear training is important. And so is reading. Many teachers would introduce reading the Treble & Bass Clef from day 1.

There are many students who posted their playing online. You can find people playing all the pieces in Alfred's Basic Piano 1 & 2 from cover to cover and just use YouTube demos to learn your pieces without any reading. On the other hand, you can read through all your songs but doesn't mean you know the music theory behind the arrangements. You see C-E-G on the L part played 1 note after another you may not automatically think these are the notes of the C major chord played as an arpeggio. All you do is read a note, play a note. Once you learn enough theory behind the pieces, you can recognize chord patterns, scale runs quickly without having to read every note.

In a performance whether you read your pieces or play from memory the audience is not going to care. As long as you play all the right notes.

Re: Piano lessons [Re: Manne janne] #2847508
05/12/19 10:50 AM
05/12/19 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Manne janne

I guess I am talking about getting to know a language.
Not many teacher teach accompaniment. It is mostly about just repeating what is written in the score. I have never met a teacher who did explain how 2-part harmony works. I was just given Bwv anh 114 without getting help with learning 2-part harmony.
Did you actually get to learn 2-part harmony?
I want to be creative like a child gets to be created when learning a language.
Classical musicians often just play from written score. Organist on the other hand ard often good at playing without a written score.
Maybe I just have a deep need for being creative whereas teachers just want you to play from a written score.


I identify with this point of view completely. There are definitely numerous pieces that I just want to learn to play well. But like you, I am also interested in “getting to know the language.”

Ultimately, if we want to learn the language, we probably need to start doing some composition.

Maybe we need two teachers, a traditional piano teacher and a composition teacher …


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Re: Piano lessons [Re: thepianoplayer416] #2847511
05/12/19 11:00 AM
05/12/19 11:00 AM
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Manne janne Offline OP
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Originally Posted by thepianoplayer416
There are 2 ways to learn songs: by reading or by ear.

If you get in Suzuki music, their teachers make you memorize the entire Book 1 songs before learning to read a single note. Ear training is important. And so is reading. Many teachers would introduce reading the Treble & Bass Clef from day 1.

There are many students who posted their playing online. You can find people playing all the pieces in Alfred's Basic Piano 1 & 2 from cover to cover and just use YouTube demos to learn your pieces without any reading. On the other hand, you can read through all your songs but doesn't mean you know the music theory behind the arrangements. You see C-E-G on the L part played 1 note after another you may not automatically think these are the notes of the C major chord played as an arpeggio. All you do is read a note, play a note. Once you learn enough theory behind the pieces, you can recognize chord patterns, scale runs quickly without having to read every note.

In a performance whether you read your pieces or play from memory the audience is not going to care. As long as you play all the right notes.

This is the problem. I want to test things out. Try different ways of doing things. I just dont want to follow what some other person told me. When I learn Abide with me I really have to try figuring out the voice leading. Not just by using theory but my own understanding as well.
I want to try different ways of playing it.
Even the bwv anh 114 must be understood. If I dont know how the voice leading or chords works I just wont learn it. I am not a jukebox.
What do you think?

Re: Piano lessons [Re: Manne janne] #2847514
05/12/19 11:03 AM
05/12/19 11:03 AM
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Like you said classical music is played from score. Maybe you could try non classical music, jazz or blues if you want to improvise or pop music if you want to build your own arrangement.



"The piano keys are black and white but they sound like a million colors in your mind.”
– Maria Cristina

Re: Piano lessons [Re: Manne janne] #2847521
05/12/19 11:30 AM
05/12/19 11:30 AM
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Tech-key Offline
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Originally Posted by Manne janne
Originally Posted by Tech-key
I get very little time with my teacher, but even in that much time he makes sure to explain all the theoretical aspects required for a piece. The way he analyses a piece helps me in doing the same, when I pick one on my own. Then sometimes he will play a familiar song with a similar chord progression to give me an idea. Many other things of this nature.

Perhaps you should tell your teacher that you'd like to better understand the underlying structure, and then he/she can incorporate that as well in your lessons. Good luck!

I guess I am talking about getting to know a language.
Not many teacher teach accompaniment. It is mostly about just repeating what is written in the score. I have never met a teacher who did explain how 2-part harmony works. I was just given Bwv anh 114 without getting help with learning 2-part harmony.
Did you actually get to learn 2-part harmony?
I want to be creative like a child gets to be created when learning a language.
Classical musicians often just play from written score. Organist on the other hand ard often good at playing without a written score.
Maybe I just have a deep need for being creative whereas teachers just want you to play from a written score.

No, this term was never mentioned. Maybe these things will be taught later on. Can’t tell, as I haven’t been taking lessons for too long. I’ve seen him guiding students who are further on, towards composing their own music. If you are not able to find a teacher in your area who are interested in teaching accompaniments, maybe you can look at harmony or composition courses. Perhaps your primary teacher would be willing to help you, if you get stuck somewhere.

You are looking for a creative outlet which is great. Have you considered learning to improvise? Many teachers cover this.


Think Twice, Play Once
Re: Piano lessons [Re: Manne janne] #2847524
05/12/19 11:42 AM
05/12/19 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Manne janne

This is the problem. I want to test things out. Try different ways of doing things. I just dont want to follow what some other person told me. When I learn Abide with me I really have to try figuring out the voice leading. Not just by using theory but my own understanding as well.
I want to try different ways of playing it.
Even the bwv anh 114 must be understood. If I dont know how the voice leading or chords works I just wont learn it. I am not a jukebox.
What do you think?


I see well what you are saying and if indeed understanding the language is your interest, then it requires a special focus. Boethius following the greek platonic concepts classified music into mundana, humana and instrumentalis. The first one understands the true nature of music, the second is the poet who can compose and the third one is the one that has the technical skills to play. For the greek the "mousikos" is akin to a scientific, and music was a branch of the science like arithmetic vs the "techne" the technician. Nowadays the same person can be a mix of the three at various degrees.

Most people have only one hour per week with their teacher, which is not nearly enough to both tackle the piano learning and the musical theory and language. That would mean study with dedicated teachers, like in a conservatory. Also bear in mind there is not one language but multiple. Bach compositions do not follow the same compositional rules than classic or romantic music (I am not speaking of style or structure but also the fundamental elements of voice leading and harmony). Early baroque is even more different. Romantic compositions like Schumann sonatas already use a different tonal language than Mozart or Beethoven and so one. To understand all this requires solid knowledge of several elements and also practice in composition.

Re: Piano lessons [Re: Manne janne] #2847528
05/12/19 11:58 AM
05/12/19 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Manne janne
...The purpose of piano lessons is technique and memorization. Understanding the musical language is not something that is focused on.
This is problemstic as I hate not understanding the music I am playing. I am now learning Abide with me and I can honestly say that I cannot play it without understanding it. I am not neccesarily speaking of a deep theoretical understanding but more of basic understanding of what is going on. I just dont really like repeating notes with no undeestanding. It is a wonder to me that people actually like playing piano without understanding the musical language.

Originally Posted by Manne janne
..........This is the problem. I want to test things out. Try different ways of doing things. I just dont want to follow what some other person told me. When I learn Abide with me I really have to try figuring out the voice leading. Not just by using theory but my own understanding as well.
I want to try different ways of playing it.
Even the bwv anh 114 must be understood. If I dont know how the voice leading or chords works I just wont learn it. I am not a jukebox.
What do you think?
The purpose of lessons includes technique and understanding musical language (by musical language I take it to mean how music is put together, which is a huge subject). A teacher might give you tips about memorization, but that is not one of the fundamental purposes of lessons.

It's not clear to me whether you want "musical language" explained to you from various angles or whether you want to learn how to improvise. Either way you'll need some of the "rules" as a foundation upon which to start. Have you asked your teacher to go more deeply into how a piece is put together? What was the response?


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Re: Piano lessons [Re: Manne janne] #2847540
05/12/19 12:43 PM
05/12/19 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Manne janne
What do you think about this?

The purpose of piano lessons is technique and memorization. Understanding the musical language is not something that is focused on.

. . . .


I think that one of the essential purposes of piano lessons _is_ "understanding the musical language" !

Most teachers understand that "putting the right finger on the right note, at the right time, with the right force" is the _beginning_ of playing the piano (and developing the student), not the end.


. Charles
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Re: Piano lessons [Re: Manne janne] #2847544
05/12/19 12:51 PM
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Quote
. . .
I want to be creative like a child gets to be created when learning a language.


Ahh -- two suggestions:

a) You might start learning theory and composition, in addition to "playing the piano". Maybe from the same teacher, maybe not.

b) You might start learning "how to play from a lead sheet" -- which goes seamlessly into "jazz improvisation".

Jazz isn't a different language from classical music. But (if you stick to linguistic analogies) it's a different dialect.

There's lots of stuff on the Internet on "playing from a lead sheet". And lots of jazz-oriented piano methods, and harmony + improv books. Check out the "Piano- Non-classical" forum for ideas.


. Charles
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Re: Piano lessons [Re: NightTrain77] #2847548
05/12/19 01:08 PM
05/12/19 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by NightTrain77
Maybe we need two teachers, a traditional piano teacher and a composition teacher …

Definitely. I take weekly back-to-back lesson in traditional interpretation and improvisation and I could never go back to studying just one. It’s a very freeing experience. I got lucky with two teachers who work together at the local college, they match the interpretation & improvisation lessons; so while it’s a lot of work; the lessons are very well integrated.


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Re: Piano lessons [Re: Manne janne] #2847629
05/12/19 09:51 PM
05/12/19 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Manne janne
What do you think about this?

The purpose of piano lessons is technique and memorization. Understanding the musical language is not something that is focused on.
This is problemstic as I hate not understanding the music I am playing. I am now learning Abide with me and I can honestly say that I cannot play it without understanding it. I am not neccesarily speaking of a deep theoretical understanding but more of basic understanding of what is going on. I just dont really like repeating notes with no undeestanding. It is a wonder to me that people actually like playing piano without understanding the musical language.


For an adult beginner, surely the primary aim of a teacher should be to enhance enjoyment and love of music, and the act of playing it, by whatever means suit the student's ability, musical aspiration and personality. The variation in these attributes is so wide among people that I fail to see how any rigid directives can possibly exist.


"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
Re: Piano lessons [Re: Manne janne] #2847650
05/13/19 02:08 AM
05/13/19 02:08 AM
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Somebody like myself who is good at memorizing stuff tend to play songs from memory. In my high school days playing the violin I would play entire sections of the pieces the students performed for the parents from memory and only read the connecting bits in between. Not that I can't read music but I feel more secure playing pieces that are in my head.

If you go any further than just reproducing a piece note for note and try to understand how a piece is put together, you can probably enroll with a teacher that teaches composition. A lot of students would only go as far as learning songs either by ear or reading off the sheet. Some students are good at neither while others are good at either memorizing or reading.

When you get down to songs like Christmas carols or church hymns you can get all sorts of different arrangements. A lot of times different versions are in a different Key. And some versions you'd play a few L-hand chords while others are written 4-part harmonies. The only thing in common between 2 version is the top line (melody line). There may be slight variations between different versions of the melody as well.

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