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Re: Feels like I didn't learn much
WeakLeftHand #3023976 09/11/20 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by WeakLeftHand
Hi Sebs, I agree with those that suggested doing exams especially if you’re the type of person who likes to know more definitively that you’ve learned a certain set of skills periodically. That’s why I do it. For me, it’s a way to measure progress. And for me, looking back on my 18 months’ journey, my progress is pretty clear. It also helps me set a goal and achieve it. Every level is a goal to achieve in my piano journey.
It's always a great idea to set goals. My goals are typically something like I want to play these 3 pages without mistakes, with good musicality, and in perfect rhythm by (Date). I've learned to take speed out of my goal setting wink

I test myself by sight reading easier pieces and then observing how long it takes me to clean up the piece to reasonable level. My last piece was Rachmaninoff's transcription of the Star Spangled Banner. It was a fun fairly easy piece to learn after a few tries. It's fun self tests like these that keep me going.


Last edited by Jethro; 09/11/20 11:32 AM.

Working on:

Bach/Busoni Chaconne in D minor BWV 1004
Preludio: Bach/Rachmaninoff E Major Sonata for Violin
Chopin: G Minor Ballade


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Re: Feels like I didn't learn much
Jethro #3023980 09/11/20 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Jethro
Originally Posted by WeakLeftHand
Hi Sebs, I agree with those that suggested doing exams especially if you’re the type of person who likes to know more definitively that you’ve learned a certain set of skills periodically. That’s why I do it. For me, it’s a way to measure progress. And for me, looking back on my 18 months’ journey, my progress is pretty clear. It also helps me set a goal and achieve it. Every level is a goal to achieve in my piano journey.
It's always a great idea to set goals. My goals are typically something like I want to play these 3 pages without mistakes, with good musicality, and in perfect rhythm by (Date). I've learned to take speed out of my goal setting wink

Funny you mention speed. It is almost like my pet peeve (I hate it). I refuse to set a deadline for my piano goals. I get there when I get there. I know many people assign a deadline to goals but I don’t do it for piano, since it is a hobby. I sign up for exams when I’m ready. I go to the next level when I’m ready.

Deadlines are for work endeavours not leisurely pursuits.

Last edited by WeakLeftHand; 09/11/20 11:36 AM.

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Re: Feels like I didn't learn much
Sebs #3023987 09/11/20 11:57 AM
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Sounds like if you were to yelp your last teacher, she would not get 5 stars. As with everything, can be hit or miss. In this case, no damage has been done so don't get bummed out. Even doctors can miss a diagnosis or botch a procedure and the consequences are worse. It's not always possible for the non professional to assess what is happening. I'm sure there was some progress. And you still have all your fingers in tact :-) Hope your new teacher works out!

Re: Feels like I didn't learn much
WeakLeftHand #3023991 09/11/20 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by WeakLeftHand
Originally Posted by Jethro
Originally Posted by WeakLeftHand
Hi Sebs, I agree with those that suggested doing exams especially if you’re the type of person who likes to know more definitively that you’ve learned a certain set of skills periodically. That’s why I do it. For me, it’s a way to measure progress. And for me, looking back on my 18 months’ journey, my progress is pretty clear. It also helps me set a goal and achieve it. Every level is a goal to achieve in my piano journey.
It's always a great idea to set goals. My goals are typically something like I want to play these 3 pages without mistakes, with good musicality, and in perfect rhythm by (Date). I've learned to take speed out of my goal setting wink

Funny you mention speed. It is almost like my pet peeve (I hate it). I refuse to set a deadline for my piano goals. I get there when I get there. I know many people assign a deadline to goals but I don’t do it for piano, since it is a hobby. I sign up for exams when I’m ready. I go to the next level when I’m ready.

Deadlines are for work endeavours not leisurely pursuits.
I try to set loose deadlines so that I have some sense of a timetable to reach. But I don't always meet these goals because of work obligations. I don't beat myself up though and my tests are my own. P or F and I'm the grader smile. I try to keep myself accountable and that's one of the reasons I have a teacher. To make myself accountable to her and not waste her time. Often times my lessons begin with an apology for my limited time available to practice. I work 10 hour days and travel an hour each way. She understands and she knows I try. I think our lessons together are a little bit of a break for her from her younger students and their parents and we enjoy our weekly lessons.


Working on:

Bach/Busoni Chaconne in D minor BWV 1004
Preludio: Bach/Rachmaninoff E Major Sonata for Violin
Chopin: G Minor Ballade


Shigeru Kawai SK2
Kawai VPC-1
Re: Feels like I didn't learn much
wszxbcl #3024080 09/11/20 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by wszxbcl
Sounds like if you were to yelp your last teacher, she would not get 5 stars. As with everything, can be hit or miss. In this case, no damage has been done so don't get bummed out. Even doctors can miss a diagnosis or botch a procedure and the consequences are worse. It's not always possible for the non professional to assess what is happening. I'm sure there was some progress. And you still have all your fingers in tact :-) Hope your new teacher works out!

hahah 4 stars. It was still a learning experience either way. Built up some skills and know more of what I want from a teacher. I wasn't putting the teacher down just wasn't a fan of their approach and I was so patient voicing what I like dislike and think. I mean 8 weeks on some very simple etudes, I know you can still go faster, add dynamics but lets do that on something new.

Conversation snapshot for a good 4 weeks in a row. Not even joking.
Me: "I'm burnt out on this piece and got plenty out of it, can we stop playing it?"
Teacher: "Ok lets get out that piece and play it"

laugh laugh

Re: Feels like I didn't learn much
WeakLeftHand #3024083 09/11/20 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by WeakLeftHand
Hi Sebs, I agree with those that suggested doing exams especially if you’re the type of person who likes to know more definitively that you’ve learned a certain set of skills periodically. That’s why I do it. For me, it’s a way to measure progress. And for me, looking back on my 18 months’ journey, my progress is pretty clear. It also helps me set a goal and achieve it. Every level is a goal to achieve in my piano journey.

I see ABSRM theory, practical, and performance coming soon and also theory and practical for RCM. Where does one even begin? When preparing for an exam and you have to select 3 pieces typically how long should those pieces take to be exam ready? Such as I assume you dont want to try to prep for a grade to far beyond your reach where you're spending tons of time to prep the pieces.

Re: Feels like I didn't learn much
Sebs #3024088 09/11/20 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Sebs
It's refreshing to hear something like this... As I notice it's common where most are always siding with the teacher and dismissive of the student (but probably for good reason). Too often I was not enjoying the lessons or material. No regrets, I simply think my time could have been spent a little better.

A lot of advise here is
- get a teacher
- get a teacher
- get a teacher

As beginner it would be just as useful to have
- this is a good teacher if....
- abandon the teacher you have if.....


Quote
For example, now I have a habit where I'm saying somehitng like this to my new teacher "We can spend weeks on this part it's ok who cares if we take forever" and my new teacher is more like "no we want to learn it but be efficient and keep moving forward". As my previous teacher we would spend tons of time on the same exact thing and she would say who cares how long we spend on it and I do. Im an adult learner we only have so much time.

Yes, how I reason too - have something at horizon even, and then getting intermediate pieces and excersises with explanations what this will bring.
- this would make you patient
- but always a connection to target piece you really want to master

- insert this excersize with metronome at 60 bpm at first
- and increase bpm in steps of 5 as you feel you do it well
- this will bring this..... and this....

- then do this part of target piece and see how it goes
- focus on .... at first

- see you next week


I'm still looking for such a teacher.

Teachers don't look for challenge, they seem to like pieces they know inside out from start.
God forbid they have to excersise anything.

I can understand as a kid how one student is more inspiring and motivated than the next, but that is their profession - always adding what the student might need to be more motivated.

The two years in school I did - it was a single piece that I enjoyed a bit, felt like music. No wonder I dropped it.

These teachers at school were on a monthly salary for sure, and if taking students that pay $100 each lesson is a different connection for both parties. So I expected a lot more as adult taking lessons like this.

I emailed teachers having ads out explaining
- I am of age
- and like this pianoplayer
- this album at Spotify is what I want long term

Reply is mostly - first lesson is free - kind of thing.
Some are at difficult locations where hard to get car parking.
Some have constantly different locations, one time this and one time that location.
Some are a bit long travel each time 2x120 km each time etc
Some you have to keep the digital piano really low volume, because you hear a saxophone lesson next door etc.
One teacher just fed me this jazz stuff, not being favorite material
One teacher meant I was a bit difficult finding pieces for, being intermediate something.

There are all kinds of people teaching, and we are all kinds of students - a match is not that easy.
And some are really to stay away from.

I am retired and have all the time in the world so that part is covered for me.
But I want to improve on all instruments involved in arrangements for songs/music I make.


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Re: Feels like I didn't learn much
Sebs #3024116 09/11/20 10:14 PM
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Piano progress is on the whole slow. I would not overthink it too much.

Re: Feels like I didn't learn much
Moo :) #3024135 09/12/20 01:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Moo :)
Piano progress is on the whole slow. I would not overthink it too much.

I agree with this. And 95% of progress is down to yourself, how much time and effort you’re prepared to put into practice. Blaming the teacher is a bit of a cop-out.


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Re: Feels like I didn't learn much
scirocco #3024169 09/12/20 06:33 AM
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Originally Posted by scirocco
Originally Posted by Moo :)
Piano progress is on the whole slow. I would not overthink it too much.

I agree with this. And 95% of progress is down to yourself, how much time and effort you’re prepared to put into practice. Blaming the teacher is a bit of a cop-out.
.

I’m not sure how you come up with a 95% figure. IMHO, progress takes time regardless of how many hours of practice you do. Of course, you can’t be a slacker but just throwing more time and effort into it doesn’t mean you will soar through learning. Children are patient and have little expectations of how fast they will go. Adults, with many life experiences of quick success, are often not patient enough.

Last edited by dogperson; 09/12/20 06:34 AM.

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Re: Feels like I didn't learn much
scirocco #3024171 09/12/20 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by scirocco
And 95% of progress is down to yourself, how much time and effort you’re prepared to put into practice. Blaming the teacher is a bit of a cop-out.
I beg to differ. Not for a beginner, who has only had one teacher. Looking back on my first year with the piano, I think: "I could have... I should have..." But I didn't know, and I didn't know that I didn't know.


Playing the piano is learning to create, playfully and deeply seriously, our own music in the world.
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Re: Feels like I didn't learn much
Animisha #3024185 09/12/20 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Animisha
Originally Posted by scirocco
And 95% of progress is down to yourself, how much time and effort you’re prepared to put into practice. Blaming the teacher is a bit of a cop-out.
I beg to differ. Not for a beginner, who has only had one teacher. Looking back on my first year with the piano, I think: "I could have... I should have..." But I didn't know, and I didn't know that I didn't know.
I agree. Trying to put an accurate percentage on the teacher and student is not so reasonable, but the teacher is incredibly important. One does not get better just by lengthy practice. One has to know what one should be doing, and that's the job of the teacher even for the time period way beyond beginner level. While I can't put a percentage of responsibility on the teacher,, I can say it is far more than 5%. Some would say closer to 50% and that could even be for conservatory level students.

Re: Feels like I didn't learn much
dogperson #3024190 09/12/20 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by dogperson
Adults, with many life experiences of quick success, are often not patient enough.

That’s exactly my point. It takes the hard yards of time and effort to progress. Of course you need to be practicing the right things, efficiently and with someone to mentor and guide you.

But playing an instrument is a practical activity. It’s not like an academic subject at school. You need to spend a whole lot more time “doing” than “understanding” and having interesting discussions with your teacher.

Guitarists have this romantic ideal thing “play until your fingers bleed”. We have the luxury of nice smooth keytops but the principle is the same.


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Re: Feels like I didn't learn much
scirocco #3024193 09/12/20 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by scirocco
Originally Posted by dogperson
Adults, with many life experiences of quick success, are often not patient enough.

That’s exactly my point. It takes the hard yards of time and effort to progress. Of course you need to be practicing the right things, efficiently and with someone to mentor and guide you.

But playing an instrument is a practical activity. It’s not like an academic subject at school. You need to spend a whole lot more time “doing” than “understanding” and having interesting discussions with your teacher.

Guitarists have this romantic ideal thing “play until your fingers bleed”. We have the luxury of nice smooth keytops but the principle is the same.

I think I did not make myself clear: IMHO, most adults work hard at learning but expect it to be quicker than it can be. Practicing a lot cannot totally compensate that learning the piano is built on layering new skills, on top of each other. It will not be quick no matter how hard you work at it. It takes time and patience. Most adults expect a quick return because they are good at things in their personal and professional lives that have been learned quickly. So therefore what we often perceive as slow progress is not slow at all.


"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

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Re: Feels like I didn't learn much
Sebs #3024194 09/12/20 08:18 AM
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I believe it might be helpful to list a few well-known (mostly) classical pieces and the average time it takes for a learner - from a beginner on piano - to be able to play them successfully. N.B. These are all in their original forms, not simplified. (I have no truck with simplified versions of any keyboard/piano music.)

Diabelli: Bagatelle in C - 1 year
Clementi: Sonatina in C, Op.36/1: I & II only - 3 years
Tchaikovsky: Old French Song, Op.19/16 - 3 years
Bach: Two-part Invention No.1 in C, BWV 772 - 4 years
Bach: Little Prelude in D minor, BWV 940 - 5 years
Bach: WTC, Bk.1: Prelude in C - 5 years
Beethoven: Für Elise - 5 years
Chopin: Prelude in E minor, Op.28/4 - 5 years
Grieg: Arietta & Popular Melody, Op.12/1 & 5 - 5 years
Schumann: Von fremden Ländern und Menschen - 5 years
MacDowell: To a Wild Rose - 5 years
Bach: Two-part Invention No.13 in A minor, BWV 784 - 6 years
CPE Bach: Solfeggietto in C minor - 6 years
Beethoven: 'Moonlight' Sonata (I) - 6 years
Mendelssohn: Songs without Words, Op.19/2, Op.30/3, Op.67/3 - 6 years
Mozart: Sonata in C, K545 (I) - 6 years
Mozart: Fantasia in D minor, K397 - 6 years
Albéniz: Tango Op.165 No.2 - 6 years
Einaudi: I Giorni, Le Onde - 6 years
Beethoven: 'Pathetique' Sonata (II) - 7 years
Chopin: Preludes, Op.28/6 & 15 - 7 years
Mendelssohn: Venetian Gondola Songs, Op.19/6, Op.30/6 - 7 years
Liszt: Consolation No.3 in D flat - 7 years
Satie: Gymnopédie No.1 - 7 years
Ginastera: Danza de la moza donosa - 7 years
Bartók: Merry Andrew (Mikrokosmos, Vol.5) - 7 years
Mozart: Rondo alla turca - 7 years
Joplin: The Entertainer & Magnetic Rag - 7 years
Joplin: Maple Leaf Rag - 8 years
Bach: Goldberg Variations - Aria & Var.1 - 8 years
Debussy: Arabesque No.1 - 8 years
Debussy: Clair de lune - 8 years
Tchaikovsky: The Seasons - January, March, June, October - 8 years


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Re: Feels like I didn't learn much
Sebs #3024203 09/12/20 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Sebs
Conversation snapshot for a good 4 weeks in a row. Not even joking.
Me: "I'm burnt out on this piece and got plenty out of it, can we stop playing it?"
Teacher: "Ok lets get out that piece and play it"

laugh laugh


One thing that you should probably keep in mind is that teachers are like sports coaches.

They do not listen to you telling them how well you are doing .... they need to see it.

So, if you wish to move off of a piece of music, show the teacher how well you can play it.

That will work. Telling ..... not so much.


Don

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Re: Feels like I didn't learn much
Sebs #3024241 09/12/20 10:45 AM
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I think many people appear to think that piano progress is very rapid and their slow progress reflects poor teaching or incorrect practice technique. Piano progress is relatively slow even with good teacher and good practice habits. The list of number of years to play the pieces above is reflective of my experience. Some things however just take different people different times to pick up. I found Chopin opus 9 no 2 very difficult and Chopin was very hard to get a nice tone. I have however seen beginners just get the tone very quickly and I'm amazed as it took me many years. I however never had this problem of reading scores that many adult learns mention here. We all have strength and differences. In the end the important thing is if you are patient it can be done.

Re: Feels like I didn't learn much
Sebs #3024262 09/12/20 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Sebs
Conversation snapshot for a good 4 weeks in a row. Not even joking.
Me: "I'm burnt out on this piece and got plenty out of it, can we stop playing it?"
Teacher: "Ok lets get out that piece and play it"

laugh laugh

Ouch!

For me, this is just very insensitive teaching. The least the teacher should do is explain why it would be a good idea to keep on working on this same piece, even though the student feels burnt out on it. Better though, would be to present a new piece with the same challenge that the student still needs to learn from that piece.

This teacher seems to forget that for us, adult beginners, learning to play the piano is a hobby - may be a hobby that has tremendous importance for us, but still an activity done regularly in on our own free time for pleasure.


Playing the piano is learning to create, playfully and deeply seriously, our own music in the world.
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Re: Feels like I didn't learn much
Animisha #3024266 09/12/20 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Animisha
Originally Posted by Sebs
Conversation snapshot for a good 4 weeks in a row. Not even joking.
Me: "I'm burnt out on this piece and got plenty out of it, can we stop playing it?"
Teacher: "Ok lets get out that piece and play it"

laugh laugh

Ouch!

For me, this is just very insensitive teaching. The least the teacher should do is explain why it would be a good idea to keep on working on this same piece, even though the student feels burnt out on it. Better though, would be to present a new piece with the same challenge that the student still needs to learn from that piece.

This teacher seems to forget that for us, adult beginners, learning to play the piano is a hobby - may be a hobby that has tremendous importance for us, but still an activity done regularly in on our own free time for pleasure.


I don’t mean this to be critical of the OP but just a reminder to all of us who are taking lessons as an adult.
There is nothing wrong with asking ‘why’: ‘what else do I need to be learning from this piece?’ ‘is there another piece that will help me develop the same skill?’ I’m not suggesting it is always easy to do, and I certainly agree that the teacher should have explained. Not all teachers are great communicators, so there is no sin is asking for the answers we need when it is not provided.


"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: Feels like I didn't learn much
bennevis #3024276 09/12/20 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by bennevis
I believe it might be helpful to list a few well-known (mostly) classical pieces and the average time it takes for a learner - from a beginner on piano - to be able to play them successfully.

Very important word here is "successfully". You can find the notes to play on a lot of these, you might even think you sound pretty good. If you don't have professional critique, you don't know that you haven't done it. Of course for adults playing for fun at home that's not so important. All your friends will tell you how great you sound. If you post it online, people will either tell you how wonderfully you play or keep their mouth shut. The important thing is that the adult learner enjoys the hobby.

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