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A question on "seriousness" #2915315 11/23/19 06:26 AM
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Manne janne Offline OP
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Hi!
I have a question on teaching piano:
I know one person who likes music very much. He likes piano music. He doesn't want to become a person who practice. One day I found him at a piano in a music room. He was trying to figure out how to play an accompaniment (based on arpeggios) to a pop/rock tune. I told him trying to figure out stuff won't work. It is better if I could help him play Twinkle twinkle little star. I could not get him to practice this tune. Some people just do not want to do it the correct way. I, myself, have such a motivation that I am ok with practincing stuff like 2 octave F majord chord arpeggios.
Taking piano lessons is a very serious thing. You cannot just go to lesson and then practice 2 other days for 30 minutes each. A child must practice at least 30 min every day according to some teachers.
What about those who just feel like playing for fun?
How do we deal with them?
I am no piano teacher at all but I am learning about the pedagogy.

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Re: A question on "seriousness" [Re: Manne janne] #2915424 11/23/19 11:40 AM
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How do you deal with them? You don't.

You can only plant the seed. You can suggest to them that doing some formal training is more efficient in the long run, but after that there's nothing more you can--or should--do. The rest is up to them. They have to have the inner drive to put in the time and effort to learn.

Adults get to choose what they will or will not do. They will find their way, one way or another, whether it's going forward with a teacher, with self-teaching, or giving up on the idea of playing.


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Re: A question on "seriousness" [Re: Manne janne] #2915429 11/23/19 11:53 AM
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I would like to add two thoughts: many casual players play by experimenting with what they have heard and adding some sort of bass; it may not be efficient but it can work. I don’t understand why you didn’t help him with this limited goal. Maybe it would have led to bigger things—- or maybe not. Many casual pianists go not take lessons but learn other ways—- with varying degrees of success.

I am not a teacher, but what seems to be true is that most students do not practice 30 min per day. Teachers deal with what they get or decide to drop the student at some point.


"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: A question on "seriousness" [Re: Manne janne] #2915433 11/23/19 12:02 PM
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I like students who want to experiment with sound and find chords. The end goal is that students take ownership of their learning process. Playing Twinkle Twinkle is just copying the score, a type of paint by numbers. For most students, that is sufficient, essentially rendering some other composer's work. But I give kudos to people who are trying to figure out how music is put together.

Re: A question on "seriousness" [Re: Manne janne] #2915471 11/23/19 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Manne janne
He was trying to figure out how to play an accompaniment (based on arpeggios) to a pop/rock tune. I told him trying to figure out stuff won't work.


Yes it will, for many people. There are many different paths to becoming a musician.

Re: A question on "seriousness" [Re: johnstaf] #2915644 11/24/19 12:16 AM
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Originally Posted by johnstaf
Originally Posted by Manne janne
He was trying to figure out how to play an accompaniment (based on arpeggios) to a pop/rock tune. I told him trying to figure out stuff won't work.


Yes it will, for many people. There are many different paths to becoming a musician.


+1 !

It might not work _for you_, but it might work for him. People were learning music (and copying other players) long before we had systems of notation.

Actually, Manne janne, your answer makes me want to ask a question:

. . . Can you play simple melodies _by ear_ ?

. . . Can you figure out simple harmonies _by ear_ ?

Thanks --


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Re: A question on "seriousness" [Re: Manne janne] #2915653 11/24/19 02:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Manne janne
Some people just do not want to do it the correct way.

Can you define this "correct way"?

Re: A question on "seriousness" [Re: Manne janne] #2915663 11/24/19 04:08 AM
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I actually know how to play by ear as well.
Twinkle twinkle little is a tune have to play by ear. The melody is out there in the song books but it is hard to find an accompaniment written down.
So I made up my own with the help of my teacher.

The correct way? Does it exists?
I am aware of the fact that we have many ways of learning piano. The wrong way would be, at least according to me, trying to figure out stuff and just hoping you'll suceed.
The so called self-taught musicians often were taking advice from other people.
The correct way is about analysing how you play and deal with it in the way you think. would be good.
Most people who just hope they will suceed by just putting their hands on a piano never suceed.
You need to analyse your playing. Finding out what could work for you by being aware of your playing.
This is why Jerry Lee Lewis could learn to play.



Last edited by Manne janne; 11/24/19 04:10 AM.
Re: A question on "seriousness" [Re: Candywoman] #2915666 11/24/19 04:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Candywoman
I like students who want to experiment with sound and find chords. The end goal is that students take ownership of their learning process. Playing Twinkle Twinkle is just copying the score, a type of paint by numbers. For most students, that is sufficient, essentially rendering some other composer's work. But I give kudos to people who are trying to figure out how music is put together.


Is Twinkle twinkle litlle star just about copying the score?
Then singing is all about copying the score as we singers (I am also taking singing lessons) sing the melody. The melody is in the score. Are you really saying that playing or singing a melody is just as simple as playing from a written score? The sheet music is a help but not much more.

Re: A question on "seriousness" [Re: Manne janne] #2915763 11/24/19 12:23 PM
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Well, due to the inherent problems with internet communication, and language differences, we may not be on the same page.

In some sense, singing is all about painting by numbers too. I have taken singing lessons at university and realized everybody ended up really sounding the same. The pure tone of female opera singers makes them hard to distinguish one from the other. Everybody ends up doing the same sorts of things, like closing on consonants on the second note of a leap or making sure your vowel is pure. For the male singers, I can pick out Pavorotti from Carreras and Domingo but they too are trained about the same.

My own belief is that self-taught musicians are never as good as trained musicians who are also creative.

Many pianist play from the score in a paint-by-numbers sort of way. They haven't a clue what creates a unique interpretation. They stop thinking once they have the notes and timing correct with a few dynamics in place.

Last edited by Candywoman; 11/24/19 12:24 PM.
Re: A question on "seriousness" [Re: Manne janne] #2915855 11/24/19 03:50 PM
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On self-taught. I was forced, as a child, to be self-taught. I was given a keyboard (1960's version of portable organ) and a 12 page book meant for adult autodidacts; later a piano and an 1890's edition of sonatinas to work through. I was 8 with the toy organ and book. We'd just had movable Do solfege so I sang my way into the music.

So what happened with that:
- I'd break off and explore things. I created music that went from A down to E and back up again because that's how far my fingers would go. I explored intervals; fell in love with M6 and found all the M6's I could. The organ had air flowing over fine metal wingy things and had a delicious vibrato on that M6. m2 set my 8 year old teeth on edge.
- I got a sense of Tonic-Dominant and some voice leading long before I knew they existed, because of So-Do (V-I) - and because Ti wanted to go to Do, and Fa seemed to want to settle down to Mi. It took 30 years to discover that I had been singing in "just intonation".
- All that Clementi gave me a sound sense of "rounded binary form", and the bare bones of "sonata allegro form", since Clementi writes without imagination, according to formula. I didn't know any of that. It was like a child picking up speech patterns. The music went from Do Re Mi to an undefined tra-la-la (i.e. the transitional part), to a "new Do"i.e. it had modulated to the Tonic.
- The few bits of music that I invented: and kept in memory my whole life: fit totally within what is taught in basic music theory. Children absorb patterns and imitate.
- Clementi's incessant predictable Alberti bass gave me a map of basic chord progression before I knew there was such a thing.

I ALSO:
- Had no idea how key signatures worked. I spent 30+ years playing mostly music in C, G, and F major, because after "finding Do" I had to juggle all the "wrong sounding notes" Such as, in D major, C#.
- was firmly locked in a Common Practice, diatonic world, which teachers won't catch on to since beginner music is often of the same ilk; anticipating how that simple music goes so you don't know you can't really read. (took almost 3 years of violin lessons for that to come out)
-Returning to piano after 35 years, knowing about technique, discovering I had stiff, angular, round-hammer-finger motions - the white key repertoire back then did me no favours; and starting with a child-size organ instead of piano didn't help matters either. There's been a mess to undo.

By way of summary:
- I learned and gained things during that self-taught period. I also never learned to be anxious, fear doing the wrong thing, or giving the wrong answer - I learned that music is a thing to explore as freely as playing in the sand on the beach. When I discovered that I didn't really know notes, I asked (the violin time) to do theory, and started from scratch with the main notes on the treble clef. BUT- everything I learned was also "real" for me; just names for familiar things, so that I progressed very fast. I did the Intermediate theory exam after 3 months, didn't realize the exam was 2-sided until there were 15 minutes left, dashed off the other half and still got a grade of 99.95%. The theory is all based on Common Practice - Diatonic - so my old world.

I'd say: You learn things by exploring on your own. When you study formally you wed those things that you learned, to what you are learning. You adjust the things you learned wrong; or you see them from new angles, esp. better ones - or several angles. You discard what you learned wrong: and this part is very HARD. But it is probably even harder if you were badly taught, esp. by a domineering or rushing teacher - because if you're on your own and it "feels wrong", at least you are free to stop.

The best world is a good teacher, good guidance, from the start.

Re: A question on "seriousness" [Re: Manne janne] #2915892 11/24/19 05:01 PM
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Here we go again. I have always studied with a teacher, but I do not agree that it is the right decision for everyone. Not all pianists give a hoot about technique; not all want to read music or learn theory... they just want to play a few tunes either by knowing the melody and hunting for the notes or finding a YouTube video and copying what they see.

Is it the most efficient way to learn? I don’t think anyone here would argue that it is. Will it help them advance the furthest? No But if that method fits their goal, I don’t think we should try to cram them into a mold of what would be right for us.

I will use the example of my brief guitar playing as a kid. I just wanted to learn enough basic chords to strum a few tunes with my friends. Did I really learn how to play? Nope, but I met my goal. Technique? I’m sure it was cringe worthy. I didn’t care. I had a limited goal which I met and it made me happy to strum and croak

And I was a kid that was obsessed with other instruments and took weekly lessons on several.
The OPs question was about a young man who had one simple goal: surely we wouldn’t tell him to get a teacher


"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: A question on "seriousness" [Re: Manne janne] #2915899 11/24/19 05:17 PM
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There's no harm in getting a student who demonstrates an interest in music to take piano lessons. We need the money.

As for whether piano teachers give much thought to dabblers, no. Dabblers usually go nowhere in the least amount of time.

P.S. I don't read long posts, so I didn't read keystrings's post.

Last edited by Candywoman; 11/24/19 05:19 PM.
Re: A question on "seriousness" [Re: Manne janne] #2915900 11/24/19 05:18 PM
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I don't think we're "going again" with anything. Here is a student who is also starting to think about teaching and pedagogy and asking questions. In the teacher forum. It is not a bad thing to do. There is nothing wrong with exploring and asking questions. And ten years from now, if forums still exist, there will be new people asking about things that are brand new to them, and old hat to everyone else. It's the way it is.

Re: A question on "seriousness" [Re: Candywoman] #2915903 11/24/19 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Candywoman
There's no harm in getting a student who demonstrates an interest in music to take piano lessons. We need the money.

As for whether piano teachers give much thought to dabblers, no. Dabblers usually go nowhere in the least amount of time.

What is much worse is dabblers at piano teaching, and the harm they do to students who take them seriously. Therefore someone who is asking about such things early, that has to be a good thing.

Re: A question on "seriousness" [Re: keystring] #2915910 11/24/19 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by keystring
I don't think we're "going again" with anything. Here is a student who is also starting to think about teaching and pedagogy and asking questions. In the teacher forum. It is not a bad thing to do. There is nothing wrong with exploring and asking questions. And ten years from now, if forums still exist, there will be new people asking about things that are brand new to them, and old hat to everyone else. It's the way it is.


Then shouldn’t the message ten years from now be: whether someone needs a teacher to play the piano depends on the person. A teacher is best for some and not best for others. People are not ‘one size fits all’. Find out the pianist’s goals and discuss , present the pros and cons without making assumptions.


"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: A question on "seriousness" [Re: Manne janne] #2915918 11/24/19 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Manne janne
The correct way? Does it exists?

I asked you to define the correct way, because of your OP, where you wrote:
Quote
Some people just do not want to do it the correct way.

So then I asked, how do you picture this correct way. wink

There was this:
Quote
I am no piano teacher at all but I am learning about the pedagogy.

and it was another reason why I answered.

There was a point when I wanted to learn about music pedagogy. I had the advantage of already having a teaching degree and experience, but music teaching one-on-one is a different thing. One of the things I have worked on, primarily with my main teacher, is pedagogy and have done some music teaching on the side.

One thing to consider is that your picture of teaching is coloured by your learning, and as your studies evolve, you will get a different perspective on that learning that you have right now. The two octave scale in major and minor modes plus a piece like Twinkle,and your teacher's help with the chords, will be seen in a different light in a few years - esp. if you learn more about teaching as well.

An experienced teacher, encountering that young man, might listen carefully to what he is doing, and might lead him from his explorations into something real. What if, for example, he managed to find degree chords that fit with the music? Might the teacher lead from there, to something general? Like: that C Dm G7 C you just found is an overall pattern in music that we can symbolize as I ii V7 I -- listen to the Pachelbel Rant. wink

At present we don't know much about the young man, whether he ended up just noodling, or whether he was finding actual patterns.

The TWINKLE .....
Why Twinkle? If he were learning violin, I could see it, because Twinkle is a vehicle for playing on two strings, a lot of open strings, and lifting one finger at a time. That is why it's a staple for Suzuki. But why did you choose it for piano? Because it has a span of 6 notes, one greater than what the hand can encompass in closed position? Did you have a lesson in mind, going somewhere?

"Twinkle", btw, is actually from a set of variations composed by Mozart. This one is with the notes scrolling.


Re: A question on "seriousness" [Re: Candywoman] #2915947 11/24/19 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Candywoman
P.S. I don't read long posts, so I didn't read keystrings's post.
Your loss. Here's an easily digestible bit for you. smile
Originally Posted by keystring
- I learned and gained things during that self-taught period. I also never learned to be anxious, fear doing the wrong thing, or giving the wrong answer - I learned that music is a thing to explore as freely as playing in the sand on the beach. When I discovered that I didn't really know notes, I asked (the violin time) to do theory, and started from scratch with the main notes on the treble clef. BUT- everything I learned was also "real" for me; just names for familiar things, so that I progressed very fast.
This was my experience too, speaking as someone who learned very informally for some years before I had a "real" teacher.
Originally Posted by keystring
I'd say: You learn things by exploring on your own. When you study formally you wed those things that you learned, to what you are learning. You adjust the things you learned wrong; or you see them from new angles, esp. better ones - or several angles. You discard what you learned wrong: and this part is very HARD. But it is probably even harder if you were badly taught, esp. by a domineering or rushing teacher - because if you're on your own and it "feels wrong", at least you are free to stop.
(italics mine)
Originally Posted by keystring
The best world is a good teacher, good guidance, from the start.
I agree. In my case it wasn't a formal teaching situation - but it was certainly good guidance. Thanks, Dad. smile


Du holde Kunst...
Re: A question on "seriousness" [Re: Manne janne] #2916035 11/25/19 03:15 AM
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Thank you, Currawong.

It's a thing I have trouble understanding, actually. There was a time when it was hard to get information, and we had to guess about a lot of things. If one wants to ignore information, and go on speculating and wondering - I don't get that.

One of the side effects was also that theory exam. As a self-taught child I explored intervals, and being exposed to all those sonatinas I picked up musical form. But I barely recognized letter names. When I asked to study theory 35 years later, that theory merged with the concrete experiences and had meaning. I covered 3 years of material in a few months and got top grades in the exams. What if that background played a role? I run into people who studied theory having gone along the formal path, and it's disconnected from music, and a set of rules to memorize for many of them. So just maybe the path that I was on by accident can show a few things? Possibilities?

Re: A question on "seriousness" [Re: Manne janne] #2916052 11/25/19 04:39 AM
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So we're saying learning piano like I do is hard if you do not have a long-term goal in mind.
When we we're kids our parent spoke to us in our mother tongue. We bassically had a long-term goal in mind if we really think about it. Long-term goal: being able to use it in our daily life.
I mean, why would anyone learn much about technique and theory in order to just play a yune they fancy. I wouldn't. I see music more a language.
It is also interesting how I learned about the pronounciation in the English language.
I bought books in which they guided me how to say "I can do it" like "I c'n do it".
There was an extreme motivation. Technique was really important.
Did I not learn this as a Child you ask. No, I grew up in a country wih English on tv and at weekly lessons at school. But I did learn to pronounce English in a simmilar way to how I learned my mother tongue.
So the person we are talking about could have just wanted to learn eg 3 tunes he fancied but had no long-term goal pf playing piano. Had he suceeded with his 3 tunes then he could have changed his motivation.
What do you think?

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