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Re: Endless Debates / Hijacked Threads [Re: keystring] #2901693 10/18/19 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by patH
I'm not a newbie to this forum but I have no idea what W&P means.

I'm guessing that it's a game that has its own forum, and has nothing to with piano, but maybe about how forums can go. I'd ignore it. (I did.)

Not a game. Very serious stuff. One of the top ten pieces of literature of all time. We have, in our midst, a Professor of Russian Literature. So we’re reading and studying the novel together in the remote off topic section.


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Re: Endless Debates / Hijacked Threads [Re: cmb13] #2901695 10/18/19 01:52 PM
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Thanks for the clarification.
I don't speak Russian.


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My other Yamaha is an XMAX 300.
Re: Endless Debates / Hijacked Threads [Re: cmb13] #2901698 10/18/19 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by cmb13

Omg isn’t it obvious? War and Peace!! smile

Ah, yes, akin to P&P, also known as IIATUA. thumb


"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: Endless Debates / Hijacked Threads [Re: cmb13] #2901705 10/18/19 02:05 PM
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I just wrote out, with difficulty and effort, a summary of thoughts on the topic. If this is going to digress toward a book and game, that would be disappointing.

Re: Endless Debates / Hijacked Threads [Re: keystring] #2901707 10/18/19 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by keystring
I just wrote out, with difficulty and effort, a summary of thoughts on the topic. If this is going to digress toward a book and game, that would be disappointing.

Disappointing perhaps, but it's actually a rather apt exemplification of the reason for this thread in the first place - a demonstration of one of the two phenomena in the subject line.


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Re: Endless Debates / Hijacked Threads [Re: keystring] #2901720 10/18/19 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by keystring
I just wrote out, with difficulty and effort, a summary of thoughts on the topic. If this is going to digress toward a book and game, that would be disappointing.


It's a thread about hijacked threads, fercryin'outloud!

Just clear your throat ( Ahem or ER--HEMMM!!) and drive the topic back where you want it.


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Re: Endless Debates / Hijacked Threads [Re: cmb13] #2901724 10/18/19 02:36 PM
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Me and my attention span are like a cat or a bird fascinated with bright shiny objects. My head turns and so does my focus. I can easily be distracted by trivia, especially OT trivia. I’m fairly sure I have many PW friends who suffer this same condition. To me, that’s the cause of endless debates and hijacked threads.
So I’m self admitted to my weakness, does that mean I’m on the road to recovery? laugh


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Re: Endless Debates / Hijacked Threads [Re: keystring] #2901727 10/18/19 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by keystring
I just wrote out, with difficulty and effort, a summary of thoughts on the topic. If this is going to digress toward a book and game, that would be disappointing.

What game? I don’t think there’s a game in this thread.


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Re: Endless Debates / Hijacked Threads [Re: patH] #2901728 10/18/19 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by patH
Thanks for the clarification.
I don't speak Russian.

No problem. It’s been translated. We are reading the English version.


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Re: Endless Debates / Hijacked Threads [Re: cmb13] #2901743 10/18/19 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by cmb13
Originally Posted by keystring
I just wrote out, with difficulty and effort, a summary of thoughts on the topic. If this is going to digress toward a book and game, that would be disappointing.

What game? I don’t think there’s a game in this thread.


War and Peace does not have a game? What kind of a book is it anyway? wink

Oh, btw. sorry for hijacking the thread with an OT. Now back to some endless debating.


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Re: Endless Debates / Hijacked Threads [Re: bennevis] #2901744 10/18/19 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by bennevis
But if you want to play classical to a high standard, you definitely need a good teacher - from day 1. You need to get everything done properly right from the start, and in the right order (i.e. not running before you can walk - very important to avoid tension problems, injuries, ingrained technical deficiencies etc) - not just understanding music notation and learning to read music, but also counting beats aloud (rhythmic acumen is all-important), and developing your ears as well as both hands and all fingers equally well. You also have to learn theory. And be prepared for many years of regular (preferably daily), focused practicing.......

Does anyone have any objections to the above? smirk


Yes! (maybe you are joking, but I guess ranting on page 7 of the tangential thread is passable)

This should a myth #..something in piano practice. Nobody in real world learns on a perfect linear path from beginner to advanced. In 15 years or so it takes to get to an advanced level everyone will take some wrong turns, get bad instruction, read wrong books, but it doesn't mean you can't get back on track. During that time even the understanding and trends in what is considered good pedagogy will change. Research and trends how classical repertoire should be played will change.

You should try many different things, make some mistakes on the way and use your own brain to try to understand what works for you and what doesn't, and especially why. With understanding you might even become the rare person who actually creates something new. The target cannot be to become a copy of your teacher parroting The Right Way of Learning to Play the Piano with no understanding why that is the right way.

It's a depressing thought (and untrue) that everything you learn is permanent and if you learn something wrong the first time it will stay wrong forever. More properly it's so that you first leaned one way of doing things. Later you'll learn a different way to do the same thing. Maybe you like the second way better, but then you know two ways of doing the thing, can apply both and can understand why one is better.

Also, average teacher is average. Unfortunately you can't tell if you got proper instruction from the beginning as a beginner. Self teaching or getting instruction from subpar teacher up to early-advanced level is OK. At that point you should have an idea if you have the will and patience to become an advanced classical pianist and you'll also understand what kind of teacher, if any, you should get at that point to continue your journey. If you can't fix your mistakes at that point you wouldn't have made it to advanced level anyway. If you quit because of few "wasted" extra months to re-learn some technique, you definitely wouldn't have made it to an advanced level.

Re: Endless Debates / Hijacked Threads [Re: Cocorbett] #2901747 10/18/19 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Cocorbett
It's a depressing thought (and untrue) that everything you learn is permanent

Speak for yourself! For me, 95% of what I learn is permanent. And yes, I do remember it wrong. For example, for some reason, I learned (from another child) that nickels (US $0.05 coin) are more valuable than dimes (US $0.10 coin) because the former was physically the larger coin. Well, of course I learned it right soon enough when I told this to my teacher, but to this day, I remember having learned it wrong and even the circumstances of this errant knowledge. Sigh. (Of course this wrong knowledge doesn't interfere with the right knowledge, in this case, thank goodness!)


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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: Endless Debates / Hijacked Threads [Re: malkin] #2901751 10/18/19 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by malkin
Originally Posted by keystring
I just wrote out, with difficulty and effort, a summary of thoughts on the topic. If this is going to digress toward a book and game, that would be disappointing.


It's a thread about hijacked threads, fercryin'outloud!

Just clear your throat ( Ahem or ER--HEMMM!!) and drive the topic back where you want it.

I asking that my post be read, that's all. Do I have to be pushing and repost what I posted? That seems rude.

Ok, maybe a link will do the trick.
http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...ebates-hijacked-threads.html#Post2901681

Re: Endless Debates / Hijacked Threads [Re: keystring] #2901770 10/18/19 04:25 PM
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I did read your post before, but I didn't have much of a useful response. But, here you go. Here's my not very useful response. FWIW. At any rate, it does demonstrate at least a rudimentary ability to maintain topic, which as many of you have surely noticed, I rarely exercise.

Originally Posted by keystring
(edit / added: Bennevis and I wrote concurrently. This is not a response to the previous post. the order is coincidental)

The topic isn't teachers or not, which is why I've stayed away from that.

As I understand it, the topic is threads that go off topic or devolve and get bogged down in issues where people express their strongly held but polarized opinions.[/quote]

Originally Posted by keystring
I'll try to explore it with its various sides as well as I can.

I gather that the "it" you are exploring is the point made in the OP of this thread. I think you are describing the correct way to respond to basic questions from new members.

Originally Posted by keystring
Newcomers can be any of these: they've never played any musical instrument; they have played (a) musical instrument(s); they were taught well for a few years on piano and/or another instrument (as children); they were not taught well - and may not know it since you'll only find out when you've seen the alternatives. They may have (started with) a teacher. That teacher may be instructing them appropriately but they're confused because it's not what they pictured and the gap can't be communicated. The teacher may also not know what they are doing, have wrong ideas about teaching adults, there's a mess, the student doesn't know there is, but gut feeling says something is off, or may be following instructions diligently that will dig them ever deeper in a hole.

This is our opening scenario of possibilities. You can't just say, "Aha, that's one of those." and dash off some response, sometimes sadly sarcastic or accusatory. Especially for the confused mistaught student who will crawl into a hole, assume he's wrong and just lacks talent and has an attitude problem. Unless through the manner in which things are stated it's clear that the asker is on top of it and knows what they are asking, you may want to feel your way in .............. or ignore the question if it irks or confuses you.


If someone posts a question in an online forum and crawls into a hole after receiving a snarky response, I hope the hole has some kind of block to prevent access to internet forums as well as some ointment or self-help books to develop a slightly thicker skin.

Originally Posted by keystring
A good and appropriate teacher is not just for those who want to learn to play classical music at a high level. Enjoyment and independence comes if you know how to move properly; how to produce the sounds you want to produce; how to decipher new music enough that you can get at it relatively easily (whether by reading, by ear, or both). Good music instruction and good music practice is about giving/acquiring ease, and ultimately creating independence in the student. That student won't have to take forever to "learn" each now piece or song.

I agree.

Originally Posted by keystring
Finding such a teacher is not easy.

Maybe. Maybe it is easy or maybe it isn't. Maybe it is always a question of luck. Or privilege.

Originally Posted by keystring
There is also the problem of recognizing whether a prospective teacher is "a good match" for that. Poor or mediocre teaching may be worse than having no teacher. At least when you're on your own and what you're doing is not working, you can get off that hamster wheel and try something else, and research other resources for answers. There are alternatives and there are, in fact, on-line resources these days, that are pretty good. Some are free: some have an annual fee for a platform with a teacher to answer questions and give feedback; and there are teachers who teach on "Skype".

Whatever. If one wants to learn a new skill, one should try something. If it doesn't work, then try something else.

Originally Posted by keystring
And yes, there is the forum for feedback as well - though if the forum is used as "the exclusive teacher" I think people often resent that (?).

I don't know what you are getting at.

Originally Posted by keystring
It's not straightforward or black and white. In fact, I feel a level of absurdity to this post, in even trying to set anything out. wink


Why on earth would there need to be any set out formula to respond to new posters? Internet forums are almost never something set out.


If I didn't screw up any of the quotes in this post, it is a miracle!


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Re: Endless Debates / Hijacked Threads [Re: bennevis] #2901773 10/18/19 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by bennevis
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by bennevis

1) If you don't want a teacher, you don't need a teacher. (But see 5 below).
2) If you are not interested in classical, you don't need a teacher. (But if you want to be able to play well, get a teacher).
3) If you just want to have fun on the piano, you definitely don't need a teacher.
4) If you only want to play what you want to play, you definitely don't need a teacher.
5) But if you want to play classical to a high standard, you definitely need a good teacher....
I don't think #1-4 make much sense.

1. To start #1 has a major qualifier in #5 and should also include if you want to play any type of music to a high standard. It could also include many other qualifiers e.g. "If you don't want a teacher but want to progress rapidly and are not doing so, you need a teacher" etc. "Want" and "need" are not very related.

2. Re #2, a fairly high % of good jazz players started with classical and with a teacher. Even jazz players who had little or no formal training often studied informally with each other. Just playing more than intermediate arrangements of e.g. The Great American Songbook requires a technique many could not easily or quickly learn by themselves. For example, I don't think many could play this without having ever had lessons https://www.youtube.com/watch?reloa...ten32zacdp434fvagfg34uh2nz3yc0y1w03c010c

The Great American Songbook isn't jazz.

BTW, Over the Rainbow is easy enough to learn with Synthesia. It might take a few years, but you don't need a teacher for that....... smirk

Quote
3. Re #4, that would depend on one's definition of "fun".

My definition of fun = enjoyment, amusement, or light-hearted pleasure.

None of which requires studious studying with a studied teacher.


Quote
4. Re #4, if "what you want to play" is advanced you need a teacher.

One group of people who don't need a teacher are those who have studied with a good teacher for a while and are not concerned about reaching significantly higher levels. People who are capable of correctly solving most of the problems in the music they want to play.

Anyone who satisfied with their present level, whether or not they had lessons before, doesn't need a teacher. If one is not satisfied they don't necessarily need a teacher but their progress would usually be slower and more likely to reach a plateau.

I wrote : if you only want to play.....

- which by definition means they're not interested in playing anything else - period. Including beginner pieces, scales or any other stepping stones towards whatever it is the student wants to play.

No teacher worth his salt will try to teach La Campanella or the Hammerklavier to a beginner, so why waste money on one?

Much better to stick with Synthesia yippie wow
1. I never said the GAS was jazz although its songs can, of course, be used as the basis for a jazz performance. I gave a specific example in a YT video of a non classical piece that most self taught pianists couldn't learn.
2. Your definition of "fun" doesn't change anything. I one "enjoys" playing a Chopin Etude or advanced non classical piece one will almost always need to take lessons.
3. The question isn't whether or not a teacher would accept a pupil who only wants to play La Campanella. The question is whether someone needs to take lessons to reach that skill level. The answer is yes.
4. In general, you seem to think that becoming a good jazz pianist doesn't require lessons. Very few good jazz pianists learned by themselves. Many started with classical lessons, and even if they had no formal lessons they had informal lessons from their contact with other jazz pianists.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 10/18/19 04:29 PM.
Re: Endless Debates / Hijacked Threads [Re: cmb13] #2901774 10/18/19 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Cocorbett
Originally Posted by bennevis
But if you want to play classical to a high standard, you definitely need a good teacher - from day 1. You need to get everything done properly right from the start, and in the right order (i.e. not running before you can walk - very important to avoid tension problems, injuries, ingrained technical deficiencies etc) - not just understanding music notation and learning to read music, but also counting beats aloud (rhythmic acumen is all-important), and developing your ears as well as both hands and all fingers equally well. You also have to learn theory. And be prepared for many years of regular (preferably daily), focused practicing.......

Does anyone have any objections to the above? smirk


Yes! (maybe you are joking, but I guess ranting on page 7 of the tangential thread is passable)

This should a myth #..something in piano practice. Nobody in real world learns on a perfect linear path from beginner to advanced.

Actually, I did whistle.

It's not luck. The way music education is structured where I learnt piano, all teachers have to be qualified, and everyone followed a set syllabus designed to ensure smooth progression from beginner to advanced (well, advanced enough to tackle any of the WTC and most Beethoven Sonatas etc), as long as the student practiced.

Quote
In 15 years or so it takes to get to an advanced level everyone will take some wrong turns, get bad instruction, read wrong books

Seriously, there's absolutely no reason why any student needs to take any wrong turn if he learns with good teachers, like I did - all four of them over ten years.

I never read any wrong books - my teachers told me exactly what I needed to learn every year to get through my grade exam. I simply did what I was told. (Kids like myself who knew nothing usually do that when they are interested in learning what they are taught.......). I never developed any poor technique or tension problems, nor hit any impasse in all my student years. And neither did any of my peers, in case you think I was just very lucky, or a genius of some sort. smirk


Quote
it doesn't mean you can't get back on track. During that time even the understanding and trends in what is considered good pedagogy will change. Research and trends how classical repertoire should be played will change.

You should try many different things, make some mistakes on the way and use your own brain to try to understand what works for you and what doesn't, and especially why. With understanding you might even become the rare person who actually creates something new. The target cannot be to become a copy of your teacher parroting The Right Way of Learning to Play the Piano with no understanding why that is the right way.

The target is to learn from your teachers all that needs to be learnt, stage by stage (grade by grade), then - when you have enough experience, with several years' learning under your belt - form your own opinions of how to play your pieces. By then, your teacher will be encouraging you to find your own way. There's absolutely no need to "understand" why things have to be done a certain way until you've reached that stage. I never asked my teachers why? why? I just did, did, did.......and kept progressing. Until I was musically and technically mature enough to form my own ideas.

There is no need to "try" all sorts of things and keep making mistakes until you find something that "works" for you if you have a good teacher. Learning piano well is difficult enough as it is without the student having to keep stumbling and correcting all his self-inflicted problems in order to "find" the right way to keep progressing. Retraining a poor technique that was causing injuries is very time-consuming and soul-destroying (often involving rebuilding one's piano technique from scratch): just ask anyone who's had to go through that.

The biggest problem for teachers when teaching adult beginners is that their students think they know more than their teachers (when in fact they know nothing), and keep pushing their own agendas and asking - why do I need to learn/do that? Why not this? etc - until their teachers capitulate and just give them what they want, or let them do what they want. That in fact is the problem adult students find with teachers who assume they don't want to learn everything properly (because they'd get bored) before going on to the next step, and they then end up never mastering anything properly......


"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: Endless Debates / Hijacked Threads [Re: keystring] #2901775 10/18/19 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by keystring
(edit / added: Bennevis and I wrote concurrently. This is not a response to the previous post. the order is coincidental)

The topic isn't teachers or not, which is why I've stayed away from that. I'll try to explore it with its various sides as well as I can.

Newcomers can be any of these: they've never played any musical instrument; they have played (a) musical instrument(s); they were taught well for a few years on piano and/or another instrument (as children); they were not taught well - and may not know it since you'll only find out when you've seen the alternatives. They may have (started with) a teacher. That teacher may be instructing them appropriately but they're confused because it's not what they pictured and the gap can't be communicated. The teacher may also not know what they are doing, have wrong ideas about teaching adults, there's a mess, the student doesn't know there is, but gut feeling says something is off, or may be following instructions diligently that will dig them ever deeper in a hole.

This is our opening scenario of possibilities. You can't just say, "Aha, that's one of those." and dash off some response, sometimes sadly sarcastic or accusatory. Especially for the confused mistaught student who will crawl into a hole, assume he's wrong and just lacks talent and has an attitude problem. Unless through the manner in which things are stated it's clear that the asker is on top of it and knows what they are asking, you may want to feel your way in .............. or ignore the question if it irks or confuses you.

A good and appropriate teacher is not just for those who want to learn to play classical music at a high level. Enjoyment and independence comes if you know how to move properly; how to produce the sounds you want to produce; how to decipher new music enough that you can get at it relatively easily (whether by reading, by ear, or both). Good music instruction and good music practice is about giving/acquiring ease, and ultimately creating independence in the student. That student won't have to take forever to "learn" each now piece or song. Finding such a teacher is not easy. There is also the problem of recognizing whether a prospective teacher is "a good match" for that. Poor or mediocre teaching may be worse than having no teacher. At least when you're on your own and what you're doing is not working, you can get off that hamster wheel and try something else, and research other resources for answers. There are alternatives and there are, in fact, on-line resources these days, that are pretty good. Some are free: some have an annual fee for a platform with a teacher to answer questions and give feedback; and there are teachers who teach on "Skype". And yes, there is the forum for feedback as well - though if the forum is used as "the exclusive teacher" I think people often resent that (?).

It's not straightforward or black and white. In fact, I feel a level of absurdity to this post, in even trying to set anything out. wink

Very good post and all valid points. That’s why it’s not so clear cut that “get a teacher” is always the best response, although it is the simplest to type.

The issue, then, is that the OPs question may require clarification to get a better response, more finely tuned to their issue at hand.

My concern, though, is the bearing of the dead horse and infighting that can be a true turn off to the OP, especially if new, and non productive, not to mention redundant.


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Re: Endless Debates / Hijacked Threads [Re: cmb13] #2901776 10/18/19 04:33 PM
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Other thing I wanted so say is that I find it somewhat rude to ask "Why don't you have a teacher?" because it almost always is not a honest question. A fried of mine was preparing a doctoral dissertation on expert decision making conversation analysis (or something similar) and she explained to me that purpose of asking questions in those settings is rarely the wish to gain new information. Instead it's a method to phrase an opinion or directly challenge someone. "Why no teacher?" is a prime example of that. The person asking the question is not expecting to hear a new interesting point why teacher is not necessary and reflect on it. Instead they want to force the self-learner to say something/anything so that they can tear apart the answer and build a stronger case why the person should get a teacher, i.e. argue and derail the thread. A more respectful approach is to accept that the person is self-learning and then either answer the original question or move to the next thread.

Re: Endless Debates / Hijacked Threads [Re: bennevis] #2901782 10/18/19 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by bennevis
I never asked my teachers why? why? I just did, did, did.......and kept progressing. Until I was musically and technically mature enough to form my own ideas.


Well, I guess this is a YMMV issue. For some of us the practice and gradual improvement every day is the hobby and the target. Not so much the idea of being a great pianist some day years from now. For people starting as adult the intellectual challenge and understanding the piano, music overall and the practice methods is part of that and finding the answers to "why" questions can be very rewarding.

Re: Endless Debates / Hijacked Threads [Re: Cocorbett] #2901785 10/18/19 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Cocorbett
Other thing I wanted so say is that I find it somewhat rude to ask "Why don't you have a teacher?" because it almost always is not a honest question.

Why not?

People are curious. It's a natural state for homo sapiens to be curious, otherwise we'd never have discovered that the Earth is round (it isn't, but that's beside the point) and that the Moon isn't made of cheese. wink

But seriously, many, many would-be students have no idea that learning piano is so difficult and takes so long, and have never contemplated getting a teacher (even though they could easily afford one) until they are asked why. For example, the vast majority of guitar players are entirely self-taught (like me), and get by well enough to play anything short of Recuerdos de la Alhambra, so why should piano be any different? If I didn't know any better, how would I know that learning piano is so much more difficult than learning to strum chords on a guitar?

Quote
A fried of mine was preparing a doctoral dissertation on expert decision making conversation analysis (or something similar) and she explained to me that purpose of asking questions in those settings is rarely the wish to gain new information. Instead it's a method to phrase an opinion or directly challenge someone. "Why no teacher?" is a prime example of that.

You're extrapolating from unrelated scenarios.

People here in ABF are students and musicians, and like to help fellow students - newcomers, especially. (At least, most of us do smirk ). When we ask a newbie why, we genuinely want to know whether he/she has thought of it, and if not, why not.


"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."
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