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Ambition has grown, looking for tips. #2855369
06/04/19 05:46 AM
06/04/19 05:46 AM
Joined: Dec 2018
Posts: 306
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U3piano Online content OP
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So.. smile (whoops, sorry it turned out to be a long read)

After beeing self-taught for some time now, and owning my first acoustic piano for about half a year or so, my ambition has grown, and i have decided i want to start learning to play more seriously, and spend my practise time more effeciently. So im looking for tips, and i must be looking in the right place!

Something about myself:

Im 35 years old, wish i had found out about this passion for piano 30 years earlier, i have a 1985 U3 and an older digital piano (cp33) wich i hope to upgrade to a VPC1 in the future. I practice on the digital (with vst's) most of the time because acoustic is loud and i have neighbours, wich have already complained a few times. I hope to get good results with sound isolation later on, so i will be more free to play acoustic, but I have some other priorities that require attention, time and money first, so that might take a while. Right now, the ability to practice digital and sometimes play acoustic is there, so that's pretty good for now! cool

I have never had musical lessons before, did not grow up with an instrument, i did try 1 or 2 keyboard lessons as a little kid, but i hated it back then because i wasn't great at it immediatly, so i quit that.. i wish i was more motivated back then, that would have helped alot! crazy Anyway, i do think my feeling for music, or musicality, don't know how to call it, is above average. I believe i always loved music more than most people, and i was always busy making music as a kid, making techno and hiphop beats on the computer. I believe i have a good feeling for music, and a creative mind, so that should be a good start.


Right now i learned to play 6 songs, all Yann Tiersen and Einaudi. I love playing them and get better, and I keep improving. Now that i have some experience and a feel for the piano, i feel im done learning music from youtube, and i think it's time for more ambitious goals, like:

- Learn technique and theory, not just songs
- Beeing good at reading music (I can't right now, i just started learning it)
- Playing Chopin, beethoven, etc... i know very little about any of the true classical music yet, but yes i want to play moonlight sonata's and more eventually.
- Beeing able to play good improvising
- Probably even composing, since i like to create, but i don't think this is a realistic goal before i would be quite good at playing and music theory in the first place.


So... where to start? smile

Since i have these goals, i obviously have finally decided to get a teacher. How do i get a good teacher? This is something i wonder, because he or she will be the one with the knowledege, not me, so how will i know it's a good teacher or not?

Any tips are very welcome! Good books, good things to do, scales, whatever, right now im in the dark!

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Re: Ambition has grown, looking for tips. [Re: U3piano] #2855385
06/04/19 08:10 AM
06/04/19 08:10 AM
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John305 Offline
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Video about finding a teacher.




It’s never too late to be what you might have been. -George Eliot
Re: Ambition has grown, looking for tips. [Re: U3piano] #2855391
06/04/19 08:44 AM
06/04/19 08:44 AM
Joined: May 2013
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Florida
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There is a thread in the Piano Teachers Forum right now about questions to ask a prospective teacher....take a look! I take lessons from a professor at a nearby college. Good luck with your search.


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"You Can Never Have Too Many Dream Pianos" -Thad Carhart
Re: Ambition has grown, looking for tips. [Re: U3piano] #2855396
06/04/19 08:58 AM
06/04/19 08:58 AM
Joined: Jun 2017
Posts: 72
Ontario, Canada
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I would recommend a teacher.

If that is out of the question, grab a curriculum book and play with it for a bit.

Often they have downloadable recording codes in them so you know what the pieces sound like.

Read in the beginning for what each piece is an exercise and play to master that skill.


Q
Re: Ambition has grown, looking for tips. [Re: U3piano] #2855400
06/04/19 09:10 AM
06/04/19 09:10 AM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 1,552
Southwest
j&j Online content
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How have you managed to learn six pieces without being able to read music yet? Are you playing by ear? That should be something to discuss with the prospective piano teacher. Adult students learn differently. A good ear for music is very helpful and when combined with learning to read music, it makes learning to play easier and more pleasant. You want to find a teacher that can help you use your “playing by ear” to help you learn to read music. You probably don’t want the old fashion piano teacher that discourages playing by ear and only allows you to read music. Many piano teachers now encourage learning to play with both ear training and music reading training.
Best of Luck!
I force myself to pick out simple tunes by ear but as a kid and still today, reading music for me is much faster. If I could also play well by ear, I’d be in Piano heaven!


J & J
Yamaha C3 PE
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Pianos - the reason God made trees!
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Re: Ambition has grown, looking for tips. [Re: U3piano] #2855410
06/04/19 09:40 AM
06/04/19 09:40 AM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 6,945
Tyrone Slothrop Online content
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If you are only interested in pop and contemporary and can't afford a teacher, I suggest that you also take a look at this resource. It will also teach you to read music. Unfortunately, it won't work for your U3 (at least I don't believe it will), but if you have a digital, it'll work.


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
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Ambition has grown, looking for tips. [Re: j&j] #2855444
06/04/19 11:51 AM
06/04/19 11:51 AM
Joined: Dec 2018
Posts: 306
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U3piano Online content OP
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Originally Posted by j&j
How have you managed to learn six pieces without being able to read music yet? Are you playing by ear?


I don't really know what playing by ear means exactly, is it beeing able to figure out how to play a piece just by listening to it? I don't think I can do that (yet?). I learned them by a mixture of watching synthesia video's on youtube, and watching other people play the same pieces on youtube.

I am planning to get a teacher and am mostly interested in classical music.

Re: Ambition has grown, looking for tips. [Re: U3piano] #2855448
06/04/19 12:15 PM
06/04/19 12:15 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
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Originally Posted by U3piano
I am planning to get a teacher and am mostly interested in classical music.

Really? But when you say "classical music," do you mean contemporary classical like how some consider Einaudi to be? Or are you referring to classical classical, like Mozart, etc?


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
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Ambition has grown, looking for tips. [Re: U3piano] #2855455
06/04/19 12:29 PM
06/04/19 12:29 PM
Joined: Dec 2018
Posts: 306
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U3piano Online content OP
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Both!

But from what i have listened to, (wich admittedly is not much yet) I don't think Mozart would be one of my favorite composers. I have listened to some pieces from Chopin and Beethoven that i liked much more. On the other hand, i have not given Mozart a fair chance yet. smirk

Re: Ambition has grown, looking for tips. [Re: U3piano] #2855464
06/04/19 01:09 PM
06/04/19 01:09 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 6,945
Tyrone Slothrop Online content
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Originally Posted by U3piano
Both!

But from what i have listened to, (wich admittedly is not much yet) I don't think Mozart would be one of my favorite composers. I have listened to some pieces from Chopin and Beethoven that i liked much more. On the other hand, i have not given Mozart a fair chance yet. smirk

Well, then a live piano teacher who knows your aspirations, ambitions, and interests would be the number 1 choice and my recommendation, however, for as a 2nd choice consider the two options: PCA or PM. The former is more like traditional piano teacher learning of classical piano playing, but with videos. The latter is more gamified piano learning, but with musical notation and sheet music, unlike Synthesia. There are threads for the former and the latter here on PW.

If you are more patient than most, then there is a Peabody-trained piano teacher who has a video course and who gives personalized feedback on each video you record. She follows closely the Royal Conservatory of Music's 10-level classical piano curriculum/syllabus and prepares students for the RCM exams. However, it appears she can be a hard grader and I've heard about one student quitting after she made him resubmit his piece 6 times due to various weaknesses found each time. Her feedback (which comes most often in written comments but sometimes comes in video form) also takes from 1-7 days, with a median closer to the high end. So only the patient need apply there.


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
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Ambition has grown, looking for tips. [Re: U3piano] #2855497
06/04/19 02:49 PM
06/04/19 02:49 PM
Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 82
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Looks like you have more time behind a piano than I do but maybe I could share what has worked for me.

Being efficient with practice goes a long way, you can make serious progress with just 1-2 hours a day practice by slicing it up and being focused.

For scales/arpeggios, I focus on one scale a week and have progressed in both scale difficulty and speed every week. So my instructor will assign me f minor harmonic and melodic for the week. I will then have to come back with two hand/two octave harmoc and melodic scales at a reasonable pace. I will also have to display two handed/two octave arpeggios for the scale as well for the week. Scale growth is so important and pays massive dividends. Even when you're learning a new scale, when you go back to your old ones they are much cleaner and faster. I then spend an hour or so every Saturday redoing every scale/arpeggio I know.

For the first month of scale development, my instructor had me heavily press every single note to develop finger strength. I'd also recommend mastering scales that place a lot of emphasis on your fourth finger.

For repertoire, my instructor has had a very aggressive repertoire strategy for me. I had only been playing a month when I first saw him and the first piece he had me learn was Mozart Sonata Facile K545. It was the best thing he could have recommended despite me objecting as I wanted my focus to be on romantic repertoire.

Classical pieces are very important for learning, they are straight forward compared to romantic/baroque and force you to develop a nice and smooth legato.

We do one piece a month and have been focusing on Chopin's Mazurkas as they are short yet challenging. They all have different approaches so you develop different skill sets as you progress. This has been my favorite strategy as I only need a few days to memorize the piece and can then pay a lot of attention on dynamics and musicality.

Recently, we have started doing two pieces at a time. One piece will be a quick one month piece the other will be a more challenging three month piece. So right now I'm wrapping up/polishing Chopin Mazurka op.17 no 2 as the monthly piece and starting Mendelssohn Albumblatt 117 as my quarterly piece.

Doing two pieces at a time helps you maintain momentum as you are always wrapping up something and progressing without getting bored.

I'm about to start my fifth month of learning and am very happy with my progress so far. I'm sure you will be too! It's nice to hear of others that are adult beginners take progression seriously.

Re: Ambition has grown, looking for tips. [Re: U3piano] #2855509
06/04/19 03:48 PM
06/04/19 03:48 PM
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 374
Cheshire, UK
Cheshire Chris Offline
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I'd suggest buying a "method book" such as Albert's Adult Learner's Course. It'll teach you to play in a systematic manner. Get a teacher, too, of course. Without a teacher you'll inevitably acquire bad habits in playing technique and not know about them.


Chris

Yamaha P-515, Yamaha Reface CP.
Re: Ambition has grown, looking for tips. [Re: U3piano] #2855510
06/04/19 04:06 PM
06/04/19 04:06 PM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 1,552
Southwest
j&j Online content
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Originally Posted by U3piano
Originally Posted by j&j
How have you managed to learn six pieces without being able to read music yet? Are you playing by ear?


I don't really know what playing by ear means exactly, is it beeing able to figure out how to play a piece just by listening to it? I don't think I can do that (yet?). I learned them by a mixture of watching synthesia video's on youtube, and watching other people play the same pieces on youtube.

I am planning to get a teacher and am mostly interested in classical music.

People that play by ear learn to map the sound of the note to the keyboard. As they advance, if they can hum a song, they can play it on the piano. I can only read the notes quickly. I’ve mapped the notes on the clef to the piano keys. With watching videos, I guess you’re learning by watching someone else play it on their keyboard and mapping it to the keys on your keyboard. It’s fascinating how differently people learn a skill. Truthfully, however you learn to play is wonderful. As long as you’re comfortable and confident.


J & J
Yamaha C3 PE
Casio Privia PX-330
Pianos - the reason God made trees!
[Linked Image]
Re: Ambition has grown, looking for tips. [Re: U3piano] #2855605
06/04/19 11:54 PM
06/04/19 11:54 PM
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Where to start? Sounds like you have already started! smile You could probably already play the first movement of the Moonlight right now.. These are all great goals you have and altogether they will encompass a lifetime of study. I would certainly reccomend the study of composition. Today it is very rare for a pianist to play their own works but at one time pianists were largely expected to play mostly only their own music. Perhaps that will change in the future. I would just keep at it and see where it all takes you.

Re: Ambition has grown, looking for tips. [Re: U3piano] #2855643
06/05/19 04:40 AM
06/05/19 04:40 AM
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 512
Just outside London UK
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You can learn to read music very easily. Take a look at this video


Re: Ambition has grown, looking for tips. [Re: U3piano] #2855651
06/05/19 06:05 AM
06/05/19 06:05 AM
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 4,685
Pennsylvania
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All your questions about …. what to do …. are best discussed with your teacher.

Your teacher will watch and listen to you play and then decide where to begin.

Any books you purchase prior to that might not be useful to that teacher.


Don

Kawai MP11SE, Edifier R1850DB Active Bookshelf Speakers, Yamaha HS8S Powered Subwoofer, SennHeiser HD 559 Headphones, Pianoteq and numerous other VSTs
Re: Ambition has grown, looking for tips. [Re: U3piano] #2855654
06/05/19 06:23 AM
06/05/19 06:23 AM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 4,552
Florida
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IMHO
The video ‘learn to play music in 15 minutes’ misses the mark with learning to play: notes(pitch)
Using things like FACE is old pedagogy and not frequently used as it adds one layer between you and playing the note. You need to remember FACE and the that you are on the second letter ‘A’ and then find the note. More lasting and quicker to just learn the progression of the notes on the stave

Rhythm: to state it is less important, that you can just listen to the piece played, or guess based on how the notes are placed on the page leaves me speechless. Oh, he thinks that might take two weeks?????

Learning to play is not a 15 min activity, and anyone who thinks it is will have disappointment and feel inadequate.. I could not stand to listen to the remainder. Would anyone dare to post a video of ‘learn to play golf in 15 minutes’?

Get a teacher and learn to play. Realize it will not be done overnight!

Last edited by dogperson; 06/05/19 06:32 AM.

"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
" I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

It’s ok to be a Work In Progress
Re: Ambition has grown, looking for tips. [Re: U3piano] #2855684
06/05/19 08:49 AM
06/05/19 08:49 AM
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Posts: 268
Chiltern Hills, England.
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There are many musicians and aspiring musicians frightened of reading music because they think it is too hard to attempt. I think his mark is much more limited than 'learning to play' and is rather 'realise that the essentials of reading music are pretty simple and easily achieved' and he hits that mark pretty accurately.

Re: Ambition has grown, looking for tips. [Re: U3piano] #2855704
06/05/19 10:05 AM
06/05/19 10:05 AM
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I don’t use FACE for the treble staff anymore because it’s ingrained in my brain already, but I sometimes will still use ACEG (all cows eat grass) for the bass staff, as well as the F note as a reference note. I know it’s old pedagogy, since I learned it when I was a child, but it’s still taught today and it works for some (many) of us as an aid to remembering notes on the staff. So I wouldn’t dismiss it outright.

And no, learning to read music “in 15 minutes” is a joke, click bait. I hope people don’t actually believe that kind of thing. Maybe a prodigy but the rest of us? Nah.

Getting a good teacher and discussing your goals with her would be a good place to start for sure.

Last edited by WeakLeftHand; 06/05/19 10:06 AM.
Re: Ambition has grown, looking for tips. [Re: WeakLeftHand] #2855708
06/05/19 10:17 AM
06/05/19 10:17 AM
Joined: Apr 2018
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Tyrone Slothrop Online content
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Originally Posted by WeakLeftHand
And no, learning to read music “in 15 minutes” is a joke, click bait. I hope people don’t actually believe that kind of thing. Maybe a prodigy but the rest of us? Nah.

Well, I did learn to read music in about 2 days in February 2018, using a iPhone app which gamified the learning (that is just learned to purely read the musical notation - not learned to play on the piano what I read as some consider playing part of "reading," but I am not referring to playing here). If I used the app more that the 60-90 mins each of those days, I guess I might have learned to read music in 2-3 hours, but not 15 mins.

Actually, I never heard about FACE or All Cows Eat Grass until now since none of the apps or books I've used since then mentioned any mnemonics like that. I don't know if that is good that nothing I was using taught any mnemonics, but now that you mention these, unfortunately, I can't "unsee" it! eek


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
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
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