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I just started with Piano Marvel a week ago, and I like it. Actually I like it very much for sightreading (which is why I registered), and enough for ear training (which could be fantastic if the note stems did not give clues about the pitches frown )

However I am confused with everything else: some things (e.g. in technique) appears to be cobbled together, some others are separate in a different section (method). Note that I am already a late/beginner or early/intermediate player with human a teacher (who is not using Piano Marvel) and I was wondering how you guys are using it.

I have not read all the almost 100 pages of this thread, but I have read some and it seems that most messages are about the mechanics of doing this vs doing that, rather than the bird's view I'm asking about here.

Thanks!

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Originally Posted by Del Vento
I just started with Piano Marvel a week ago, and I like it. Actually I like it very much for sightreading (which is why I registered), and enough for ear training (which could be fantastic if the note stems did not give clues about the pitches frown )

However I am confused with everything else: some things (e.g. in technique) appears to be cobbled together, some others are separate in a different section (method). Note that I am already a late/beginner or early/intermediate player with human a teacher (who is not using Piano Marvel) and I was wondering how you guys are using it.

I have not read all the almost 100 pages of this thread, but I have read some and it seems that most messages are about the mechanics of doing this vs doing that, rather than the bird's view I'm asking about here.

Thanks!

I think as you progress through PM, the difference between 'Method' and ‘Technique' becomes more apparent.
Method is mainly comprised of pieces of music whereas Technique is generally more aimed at learning scales, chords and arpeggios.
I found it best to do both in parallel as there is usually a connection between a level in Method and the same level in Technique.
As I had already learned my scales, I progressed quicker in Technique which worked well.
Now due to the difficulty level in Method, I’m considerably further in Technique.
For me, having the two sections has been beneficial as I’m always learning two things at any one time and if I’m stuck on a piece in one section I may be able to progress to a new exercise in the other.


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Originally Posted by treefrog
I think as you progress through PM, the difference between 'Method' and ‘Technique' becomes more apparent.

Thanks, that makes sense. My problem is that I am in a really weird spot.

For example, let me describe to extremes. I can do all the scales (major, harmonic and melodic) four octaves, parallel motion, contrary motion, in thirds and in sixths, well above the speed of the "advanced" scale ninja section (well below the "pro" speed, though). On the other hand, my sight reading score is just above 400, so really poor in comparison (and in absolute terms too, besides the very beginners).

As such, I'm trying to figure out how to best use the site. For the time being I'm using everything as a different kind of sight reading exercise.... we'll see how it goes.

Thanks again!

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Originally Posted by Del Vento
Originally Posted by treefrog
I think as you progress through PM, the difference between 'Method' and ‘Technique' becomes more apparent.

Thanks, that makes sense. My problem is that I am in a really weird spot.

For example, let me describe to extremes. I can do all the scales (major, harmonic and melodic) four octaves, parallel motion, contrary motion, in thirds and in sixths, well above the speed of the "advanced" scale ninja section (well below the "pro" speed, though). On the other hand, my sight reading score is just above 400, so really poor in comparison (and in absolute terms too, besides the very beginners).

As such, I'm trying to figure out how to best use the site. For the time being I'm using everything as a different kind of sight reading exercise.... we'll see how it goes.

Thanks again!

Hey there, maybe you should come and join the Piano Marvel Studio Class! You sound like a pretty motivated player and I think something like the Studio Class could help you 😊 You can read about it here and if you would like to sign up just send me an email at: josh@pianomarvel.com

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Be aware, PM is having a Black Friday sale at 20% off the regular pricing. Mine expired in mid-October and I didn't renew it, but at $88/yr on sale I bought it today.
So if you are going to expire in the near future, you can buy an add-on year to your expiration date for the Black Friday price. Not a bad deal at all, averaging just a bit over $7 per month.


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That is a great tip! Thanks, extended my subscription for another year.

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I’m really enjoying playing ‘Tarantella' in 5-D.

It sounds nice and feels very natural and comfortable under the fingers.

It also ends with a nice arpeggio.


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Originally Posted by treefrog
I’m really enjoying playing ‘Tarantella' in 5-D.

It sounds nice and feels very natural and comfortable under the fingers.

It also ends with a nice arpeggio.

Sometimes that happens... with some pieces you feel like your fingers are in a knot, and with others it comes naturally. That's nice.


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I just subscribed to 1-year piano marvel.
I've found there is Alfred-all in one.
3 things method, technique, and Alfred. Which one do you prefer to the most priority?

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I bought a three month access to PM (with lifetime access to their video master class series as part of their cyber week sale). I had lessons as a child, then again as an adult, and reached an intermediate level with some recitals and church performances (and even one dinner music gig for a charity dinner!). I do a lot of improvisation and whittle away on pieces such as Satie’s Gymnopédies and Dave Brubeck’s Nocturns.

Anyway, I’m finding PM a useful tool to backfill some method and technique that I’ve neglected over the decades, such as scales, chord progressions, and even just being forced to play all of the correct notes to a metronome and accompaniment is helpful. I decided to start with 1A and currently working my way through the end of level 3.

While the exercises below my current skill set seem simplistic, I still try to learn from them or work on something, like being mindful of my posture, evenness of tone, striking chords with precision, playing musically, and even just imagining that I’m playing as an example for a beginning piano student or recording it for a video lesson. That said, every now and then I come across a simple exercise that is devilishly difficult to get right.

I do hold myself to high standards, but also treat myself as a human. I allow myself to move on even with imperfections. Part of the art of piano is gracefully recovering from the inevitable goofs and enjoying the meaning of the music. If I feel like I learned from the lesson and performed it well, then it’s time to move on. I can always revisit something later, which is a great way to reinforce a new skill anyway.

I would like to see PM include some coaching on efficient ways to learn, such as taking breaks, letting a lesson gel in the mind, etc… and most importantly, that piano is a journey, not a destination.

Interesting thread. Thanks to all who have contributed their thoughts and experiences!


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Originally Posted by AOMMY
I just subscribed to 1-year piano marvel.
I've found there is Alfred-all in one.
3 things method, technique, and Alfred. Which one do you prefer to the most priority?

They are all useful. Personally, I would start fresh on technique, then method (it is important that they run in parallel) And after half an hour, learn some Alfred as a reward.


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https://www.facebook.com/groups/PianoMarvelUsers

Welcome to the newcomers. I don't know if you use facebook, but there is a Piano Marvel user group. Very very interesting. Piano Marvel staff are also available there for any questions about technical or general issues.


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My best wishes to all PM users.





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I know this thread isn't super active, but I thought I might give it a shot and ask here anyway. Does anyone have some tips to get from 600 to 700 in the SASR? It seems to get much harder and I'm not sure what I can practice to improve.

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Originally Posted by ranjit
I know this thread isn't super active, but I thought I might give it a shot and ask here anyway. Does anyone have some tips to get from 600 to 700 in the SASR? It seems to get much harder and I'm not sure what I can practice to improve.

I finally made it all the way to the end of the thread! It was really frustrating when I had to resist the temptation to reply to something that someone posted like three years ago so I apologize in advance that this post is a bit of a brain dump smile

I certainly can't help with getting from 600 to 700 in SASR considering I'm stuck in the low-to-mid 300's. I started PM mostly to work on sight reading skills, which were basically nonexistent for me despite being able to play some moderately complicated pieces by memory (and looking at my hands the whole time of course). The problem was that I couldn't keep more than a couple of pieces memorized at any given time or for very long without constant practice. It also makes it very tedious and slow to learn if you can't read very fast.

It was kind of humiliating that even though I've studied a ton of music theory I wouldn't even think about the key or time signature (let alone chord analysis) when it came to learning to play a piece. I actually went through the whole Berklee College of Music online master certificate program on Theory, Harmony, and Ear Training a few years back (9 full college semester classes with tons of homework) with almost a perfect GPA but I find that the knowledge is almost useless if it's not so ingrained that it's completely automatic.

The thing I don't get about PM and most other methods I've seen is how they train you to think in terms of fixed hand positions and finger-to-note assignments for so long and then you're supposed to throw that all out and learn to think a completely different way? It makes it almost harder than if you were starting all over from scratch. I can memorize a piece where my hands are moving all over the place but it's a totally different story when you're trying to sight read without looking at your hands.

I do ok on the SASR tests as long as they stick to a few basic hand positions but after that it's hard to imagine how it's even possible to figure out the fingering for a piece you've never seen before in just 20 seconds. Going through all the pieces in basic fixed positions actually makes it harder to shift modes once you get to the ones that aren't in simple fixed positions. The fingering hints in the sheet music don't even help much because a fingering hint doesn't necessarily indicate a change in hand position and the absence of a hint doesn't mean that there isn't a change in hand position.

Even if one manages to rewire their brain to think in terms of relative intervals instead of absolute finger-to-note relationships, I'm not sure how that's supposed to work in any key besides C (or A minor, D dorian, F lydian, etc.) since you still need to be aware of where the sharps and flats are for the key you're in at all times. That means you definitely need to be aware of where you are in an absolute sense and not just relative. The other problem with thinking purely in relative terms is that once you make a mistake on one note then you're off on every single note after that as well.

There's also something weird about the way the SASR tests are scored. I normally start out at the beginner level in which case it takes a whole bunch of pieces to get the score up to the 300 level. if I mess up a piece then I have to go through several more pieces where a perfect score barely has any impact on the SASR score. But once I started at the intermediate level just to see what would happen. I got a couple easy pieces to start with and my score was already well up in the 300's. Then I failed three pieces in a row miserably but it still added lots of points to my SASR score for the failures. I think I got around 30% on my third strike and it added like 50 points to my final SASR score. I scored in the mid 400's which was about 100 points higher than any of my previous scores. I just considered it invalid and deleted it. Now I'm back to starting at the beginner level even though I feel like it's just reinforcing the fixed hand position mentality which is counterproductive.

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Originally Posted by ranjit
I know this thread isn't super active, but I thought I might give it a shot and ask here anyway. Does anyone have some tips to get from 600 to 700 in the SASR? It seems to get much harder and I'm not sure what I can practice to improve.

Use the Sight-Reading Samurai books in the library. They go from level 1 to 18 and are a good preparation for the SASR.


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Originally Posted by kanefsky
[quote=ranjit]
Even if one manages to rewire their brain to think in terms of relative intervals instead of absolute finger-to-note relationships, I'm not sure how that's supposed to work in any key besides C (or A minor, D dorian, F lydian, etc.) since you still need to be aware of where the sharps and flats are for the key you're in at all times. That means you definitely need to be aware of where you are in an absolute sense and not just relative. The other problem with thinking purely in relative terms is that once you make a mistake on one note then you're off on every single note after that as well.

I totally relate with your experience, I could have written the same post you did word-for-word, exactly same from goals to results.

The only small differences are that I do not have a Music School a certificate, but I do know plenty of music theory and (contrary to what people say, and like you say) it's useless for the task. I also know all the major, minor harmonic and minor melodic scales and can play them from memory without effort, so I "supposedly" have a edge on what your hands position should be. Does not help a bit either.

My speculation is that "there is more" that is needed by people who can read (not necessarily sight read, just plain read) decently. Probably nobody knows what this "more" is consciously, hence nobody tells, and we poor souls without it struggle. I am experimenting with Phil Best's play piano fluently which is a *very* odd approach, but it might be that "more". If there are other people doing that, we can start a separate thread about it? Actually, to avoid hijacking this thread with a separate topic, I started one. If not relevant for PM too, just reply there: http://forum.pianoworld.com//ubbthreads.php/topics/3185646.html

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Originally Posted by Sarah65
Use the Sight-Reading Samurai books in the library. They go from level 1 to 18 and are a good preparation for the SASR.

How much does the material in these books overlap with the actual SASR test material? I wouldn't want my SASR scores to improve simply because I've practiced most of the pieces on the test before. One of the tips PM gives for improving SASR scores is to take the test every day. I did that for several days but then I decided that there are probably better ways to practice sight reading and that taking the test over and over would probably improve my scores more because of becoming familiar with the test material than anything else. I've been exploring some other materials like PM Boot Camps, Sight Reading Factory, Mikrokosmos, Bach Scholar, Sound of Emotions, etc. but I'm not sure what will work best for me yet.

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Originally Posted by kanefsky
Originally Posted by Sarah65
Use the Sight-Reading Samurai books in the library. They go from level 1 to 18 and are a good preparation for the SASR.

How much does the material in these books overlap with the actual SASR test material? I wouldn't want my SASR scores to improve simply because I've practiced most of the pieces on the test before. One of the tips PM gives for improving SASR scores is to take the test every day. I did that for several days but then I decided that there are probably better ways to practice sight reading and that taking the test over and over would probably improve my scores more because of becoming familiar with the test material than anything else. I've been exploring some other materials like PM Boot Camps, Sight Reading Factory, Mikrokosmos, Bach Scholar, Sound of Emotions, etc. but I'm not sure what will work best for me yet.

For me it was Mikrokosmos and Bach Scholar. But I think it's normal that you regularly encounter a plateau in the SASR test. It also depends on what you do further from method and technique. And how often you take a book just to read music notes.


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Originally Posted by ranjit
I know this thread isn't super active, but I thought I might give it a shot and ask here anyway. Does anyone have some tips to get from 600 to 700 in the SASR? It seems to get much harder and I'm not sure what I can practice to improve.

I've been stuck in the 650-700 range forever it seems like.
Let me know if you find a solution...


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Took lessons from 1960 to 1969, stopped at age 16.
Started again in July 2020 at age 67. Lots more fun now!
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