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Self learning #2921877 12/11/19 10:37 AM
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JacoV Offline OP
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Hi Everyone,
As mentioned in a previous post, I am in the process of immigrating, our plans have had to be moved on slightly due to some delays on projects I am busy completing, we will now be moving towards end of January Beginning of February.

This got me thinking again about self learning.
I have been taking lessons and plan to start again in the UK.

Are there any really good DIY courses available?
At what point do you stop taking lessons?
After you finish all the levels? Before? Or do you keep taking lessons beyond that to get better? Do you take lessons on specific parts of your playing you or someone else feel is lacking?

I like the thought of playing Piano, and enjoy playing even the simple stuff I currently play.

I would love to play the really impressive stuff, Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ItSJ_woWnmk
always comes to mind, would this ever be possible?
For anyone I mean? Not performance brilliance, but acceptable? I know acceptable is different for everyone but I think you know what I mean?

I have listened to people play more modern music and they claim to have only achieved gr2 on Piano at 8yrs old and then started playing again at uni, but they certainly don’t play at gr2 level, I can hear some missed keys etc but most don’t notice.

Hope my rambling makes sense?




Last edited by JacoV; 12/11/19 10:41 AM.
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Re: Self learning [Re: JacoV] #2921883 12/11/19 10:49 AM
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JavoV
Most of these questions about when or if to stop lessons is truly a personal decision. I can only give you mine but I cannot make a decision for you. My decision is that even though I have reached what was is considered a relatively high level, I still take weekly lessons at one hour and a half per week and still learn things every single week that I take. It might be something that I don’t hear, it might be a different way of practicing, or a different fingering. I also go to adult Piano camp at least once a year. But that is just me, personally. I have no plans to quit

It might be that you can answer your question when you get to that point in time. Keep taking as long as it is useful to you.

Others can address the self-learning classes. There are good ones but I like the personal interaction with a teacher.


Last edited by dogperson; 12/11/19 10:55 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: Self learning [Re: JacoV] #2921887 12/11/19 10:57 AM
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Daniil Trifonov, who won the Tchaikovsky Competition, so he plays the concerto very well and is widely regarded as one of the world's greatest pianists, still gets lessons. Evgeny Kissin was still taking lessons decades after becoming a global star. I'm sure these lessons are more like great minds exchanging views, but still...

Alfred Brendel gave up lessons fairly early on.

There isn't a simple answer to the question.

Regarding being able to learn the Tchaikovsky, yes it's possible, but the difficulties are extreme, to put it mildly.

Re: Self learning [Re: JacoV] #2921890 12/11/19 10:59 AM
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Just to be able to play a concerto with some sense of comfort (ie without struggling or being paralysed by stress) would mean you already have a level far above that. Also personally i do not think that targeting an acceptable level is a good target. One should target to play really well pieces at whatever level they can. If one achieve to play musically a piece, even if that piece is really easy, that is a great satisfaction. The level that you will be able to reach is something you will discover by yourself along the way and depends on many factors, of which the amount of time you can spent practising everyday.

Re: Self learning [Re: JacoV] #2921898 12/11/19 11:15 AM
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There is an easier version of the Tchaikovsky for piano solo sold by Peters. It could be very enjoyable to play, and might be a good preparatory study as the harmony etc. is the same. I ordered it by mistake, so I haven't really looked at it, so I don't know how good it is.

Re: Self learning [Re: JacoV] #2921900 12/11/19 11:16 AM
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I know a few people who can play the piano, and when they stop taking lessons, it is never because they feel they have learned enough. It may be because they are not (or no longer) satisfied with their teacher, but more often life takes them into a different direction and they don't have the time or the motivation any more for practising as much as is needed to get value from the lessons.

Originally Posted by JacoV
Are there any really good DIY courses available?

My personal opinion is that no completely DIY course can be really good, because you'll need feedback from a teacher. And yes, there are really good DIY courses that do have the possibility of feedback. But because of the feedback maybe you wouldn't call them DIY....


Playing the piano is learning to create, playfully and deeply seriously, our own music in the world.
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... feeling like the pianist on the Titanic ...
Re: Self learning [Re: JacoV] #2921924 12/11/19 12:06 PM
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Sure you can, I played that when I was a beginner. It was a solo version for beginner, it included only the intro.



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

Re: Self learning [Re: JacoV] #2921927 12/11/19 12:10 PM
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No matter which course you choose, with or without a teacher, you will need to practise every day, month after month, year after year.



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

Re: Self learning [Re: dogperson] #2921949 12/11/19 01:14 PM
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Jethro Online Content
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Originally Posted by dogperson
JavoV
Most of these questions about when or if to stop lessons is truly a personal decision. I can only give you mine but I cannot make a decision for you. My decision is that even though I have reached what was is considered a relatively high level, I still take weekly lessons at one hour and a half per week and still learn things every single week that I take. It might be something that I don’t hear, it might be a different way of practicing, or a different fingering. I also go to adult Piano camp at least once a year. But that is just me, personally. I have no plans to quit

It might be that you can answer your question when you get to that point in time. Keep taking as long as it is useful to you.

Others can address the self-learning classes. There are good ones but I like the personal interaction with a teacher.


Same here. I decided 2 years ago to start taking lessons again after a 20 year hiatus- partly because I need them and secondly because I don't think we ever stop learning. I was mostly self taught on the piano after 5 years of organ lessons as a child and most of my time in lessons is trying to unlearn bad habits that I taught myself by trying to teach myself. My goal is to play more with my total body in a more relaxed state using my arms and wrists more and being less fingery.


Working on:

Bach/Busoni Chaconne in D minor BWV 1004
Chopin: G Minor Ballade
Schumann/Liszt Widmung

Shigeru Kawai SK2
Kawai VPC-1
Re: Self learning [Re: johnstaf] #2921959 12/11/19 01:44 PM
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JacoV Offline OP
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Originally Posted by dogperson
JavoV
Most of these questions about when or if to stop lessons is truly a personal decision. I can only give you mine but I cannot make a decision for you. My decision is that even though I have reached what was is considered a relatively high level, I still take weekly lessons at one hour and a half per week and still learn things every single week that I take. It might be something that I don’t hear, it might be a different way of practicing, or a different fingering. I also go to adult Piano camp at least once a year. But that is just me, personally. I have no plans to quit

It might be that you can answer your question when you get to that point in time. Keep taking as long as it is useful to you.

Others can address the self-learning classes. There are good ones but I like the personal interaction with a teacher.



Thank you for your reply,
I will definitely keep taking lessons, I still have lots to learn but you have answered my question, keep taking lessons until it feels pointless... or find a better teacher.
I was just not sure what was normal for us normal folk... lol


Originally Posted by johnstaf
Daniil Trifonov, who won the Tchaikovsky Competition, so he plays the concerto very well and is widely regarded as one of the world's greatest pianists, still gets lessons. Evgeny Kissin was still taking lessons decades after becoming a global star. I'm sure these lessons are more like great minds exchanging views, but still...

Alfred Brendel gave up lessons fairly early on.

There isn't a simple answer to the question.

Regarding being able to learn the Tchaikovsky, yes it's possible, but the difficulties are extreme, to put it mildly.


Thank you for your reply,
I can understand that the very best would take lessons, have coaches, but I would imagine they progress beyond their previous teachers, they are not still with their teacher that taught them the C Major scale.
I meant it more in an average pianist kind of terms.

Re: Self learning [Re: JacoV] #2921989 12/11/19 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by JacoV
I can understand that the very best would take lessons, have coaches, but I would imagine they progress beyond their previous teachers, they are not still with their teacher that taught them the C Major scale.
I meant it more in an average pianist kind of terms.

In professional sports you often see this. Professional golfers with swing coaches. Professional tennis players with tennis coaches. Each of these people is probably better than their coach overall, but that doesn't mean the coach has nothing to teach them. I think in piano, it's the same way. Of course not the same coaches in these cases as the ones they started first learning their sport with.


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"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
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"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: Self learning [Re: JacoV] #2922012 12/11/19 03:34 PM
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JacoV Offline OP
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Thank you everyone,
Makes total sense.

Sorry I’m not replying to everyone the delay before next post is a little...
and for practice everyday day after day.

Practice scales etc... or working on pieces of music?
Thank you again

Re: Self learning [Re: JacoV] #2922059 12/11/19 06:08 PM
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Quote
Practice scales etc... or working on pieces of music?


Way back in the day my teacher told me you can practice scales but don't go nuts. He also told me he would have me work on a new scale several weeks before he would assign a new piece of music with the new key he had me learning. I liked that idea for if I had a teacher that had me do only lots of scales I wouldn't of kept with the piano.

Good luck with you move.


All these years playing and I still consider myself a novice.
Re: Self learning [Re: JacoV] #2922065 12/11/19 06:45 PM
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I think to start piano you need to start from the complete basics. You need to find a method book. I was taught a book course by a teacher and very gradually you learn how to positions hands and how to read music. Scales and musical tunes came much later. If you don’t want to do basics then I think you have problems later. I did not learn piano quickly and remember playing the book for months before playing a beginner piece or scales. I think adults learn quicker or rush and skip over the very basics. If you have dreams of playing concertos then these are very much dreams. To get to intermediate to advanced level takes about 10 years lessons and practice. No short cuts I’m afraid.

Re: Self learning [Re: JacoV] #2922067 12/11/19 06:49 PM
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I found online and in person that many adults learners can’t read music. I think it’s a problem from the way they have learnt. I don’t find this happened for those of us who learnt more slowly through the graded system which is the most common system in England.

Re: Self learning [Re: Moo :)] #2922070 12/11/19 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Moo :)
I don’t find this happened for those of us who learnt more slowly through the graded system which is the most common system in England.

Interesting observation. I wonder what the percentage of well-known pop artists from the UK can't read music vs those from the US. Is it about the same or lower?

None of The Beatles could read/write music.


[Linked Image]
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: Self learning [Re: JacoV] #2922075 12/11/19 07:35 PM
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I only know Elton John did grade 7. I really don’t know how I know this information. I think the grade system has slower progress but you learn to read music, the keys and other things. All kids who I know that did the exams can read music in England. I did not know anyone who learnt without exams as kids but everyone who learnt with exams slowly seems to read music relatively well. We don’t have exams that require memorising so I think it’s less common in kids here. It’s only the adults that tend to memorise mostly that seem to struggle with reading. It’s something I never heard of before at school as a kid in gcse music or in others who I knew did lessons. I think it’s a major handicap. I thinks it’s something to do with rushing the very basics. Many here don’t agree.

Last edited by Moo :); 12/11/19 07:41 PM.
Re: Self learning [Re: johnstaf] #2922095 12/11/19 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by johnstaf


Alfred Brendel gave up lessons fairly early on.


I ❤️❤️❤️ him!! And we share the same birthday!


Lisa

Currently working on RCM 7 repertoire
Kawai UST-9, Yamaha CLP565GP, Kawai KDP110

"Sometimes I can only groan, and suffer, and pour out my despair at the piano!" - Frederic Chopin
Re: Self learning [Re: JacoV] #2922100 12/11/19 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by JacoV

This got me thinking again about self learning.
I have been taking lessons and plan to start again in the UK.

Are there any really good DIY courses available?
At what point do you stop taking lessons?
After you finish all the levels? Before? Or do you keep taking lessons beyond that to get better? Do you take lessons on specific parts of your playing you or someone else feel is lacking?

I like the thought of playing Piano, and enjoy playing even the simple stuff I currently play.

I would love to play the really impressive stuff, Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ItSJ_woWnmk
always comes to mind, would this ever be possible?
For anyone I mean? Not performance brilliance, but acceptable? I know acceptable is different for everyone but I think you know what I mean?


If you want to be really good - as good as you can be (whether or not that means Tchaik 1) - you need a good teacher who will make sure you don't miss out any of the basics. And make sure your teacher knows that, and that you're willing to go as slow and steady as you need to. Most adults just want to rush through the basic foundations, and think they can do much more than they actually can, and mistakenly expect to be able to run before they can stand, just because they are adults. Doing the grade exams - at the rate of one grade a year - will ensure you don't miss out on anything, and in the UK, all qualified teachers know all about the ABRSM/Trinity syllabus and exams. And always remember, patience is a virtue when it comes to learning classical piano properly.

I just watched Robin Hood (2010 movie) on TV, and the one line I remember from the movie was Russell Crowe (a.k.a. Robin the Hood) telling King John in front of the crowd: "If you want to build a cathedral, you build it from the foundation up." The crowd cheered. thumb
That's even more true of piano playing, if you're aiming high......


"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: Self learning [Re: bennevis] #2922108 12/11/19 10:50 PM
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Originally Posted by bennevis
Originally Posted by JacoV

This got me thinking again about self learning.
I have been taking lessons and plan to start again in the UK.

Are there any really good DIY courses available?
At what point do you stop taking lessons?
After you finish all the levels? Before? Or do you keep taking lessons beyond that to get better? Do you take lessons on specific parts of your playing you or someone else feel is lacking?

I like the thought of playing Piano, and enjoy playing even the simple stuff I currently play.

I would love to play the really impressive stuff, Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ItSJ_woWnmk
always comes to mind, would this ever be possible?
For anyone I mean? Not performance brilliance, but acceptable? I know acceptable is different for everyone but I think you know what I mean?


If you want to be really good - as good as you can be (whether or not that means Tchaik 1) - you need a good teacher who will make sure you don't miss out any of the basics. And make sure your teacher knows that, and that you're willing to go as slow and steady as you need to. Most adults just want to rush through the basic foundations, and think they can do much more than they actually can, and mistakenly expect to be able to run before they can stand, just because they are adults. Doing the grade exams - at the rate of one grade a year - will ensure you don't miss out on anything, and in the UK, all qualified teachers know all about the ABRSM/Trinity syllabus and exams. And always remember, patience is a virtue when it comes to learning classical piano properly.

I just watched Robin Hood (2010 movie) on TV, and the one line I remember from the movie was Russell Crowe (a.k.a. Robin the Hood) telling King John in front of the crowd: "If you want to build a cathedral, you build it from the foundation up." The crowd cheered. thumb
That's even more true of piano playing, if you're aiming high......

I missed out on much of the basics in regards to piano technique and music theory something I regret and a reason why I always recommend going with a teacher as soon as possible. I mostly played the organ by ear as a child and got away with it even when I was in band playing the clarinet. I taught myself piano never have opened a method book or took an exam my entire life. My theory is lacking. My scales suck. All I did was play pieces I liked, very little classical. All in all I’ve had about 5 years worth of piano lessons in my life but I feel I learned the most during those 5 years although mostly unlearning bad habits. Everything else I did I feel was wasted time and talent. Don’t make the mistake I did and get a teacher!


Working on:

Bach/Busoni Chaconne in D minor BWV 1004
Chopin: G Minor Ballade
Schumann/Liszt Widmung

Shigeru Kawai SK2
Kawai VPC-1
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