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A new blog post.

Thanks for your support!
what-does-it-mean-to-be-a-self-taught-piano-student

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As you say it's an 'infinite number of monkeys and their typewriters' kinda thing. Or put another way, back to culture year zero.

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Good read. Get's me thinking.
It's all about the feedback.
I'm another one that's always contested, "we really do all teach ourselves at some level." It's up to us to heed and absorb what's being given to us. Ah yes, but how can we tell if it stuck? I am also proponent of playing music with others as soon as possible, because, for lack of a better term, you can't throw yourself a curveball.
Plus it's the act of learning by doing. Some things you learn, hit you like a brick. Other things are bit more subtle. Some things our ego can get in the way. On the other hand, in some respects, one must be able to have enough bravado to step up and assist, in the making of the music. What you get, what you respond to is feedback. Feedback works as the governor to your efforts. Keeps things in balance.


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I enjoyed reading this blog post.

One thing that really struck a chord with me (no pun intended) was the last line where the author says the following:

"...I know that I miss being able to discuss the music and the instrument I love with someone, even if it’s for only a half hour once a week."

This is a point that I think many people over look about the importance and benefits of a teacher if they've never had one before.

I have a piano teacher that I see weekly and beyond the teaching of the technique, new methods, etc. the thing I really enjoy most and anticipate all week long is the time we spend simply talking about the piece that we're working on.

I don't have any other friends that play piano and having the ability to converse with my teacher about general musical thoughts about a particular piece is as valuable to me as the technique I learn in the lesson. That shared human connection is very satisfying, even if it is only once a week.


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Originally Posted by chopin_r_us
As you say it's an 'infinite number of monkeys and their typewriters' kinda thing. Or put another way, back to culture year zero.


The idea is that if you took an infinite number of monkeys and an infinite number of typewriters you would end up with an infinite number of broken typewriters?


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Originally Posted by PhilipInChina
Originally Posted by chopin_r_us
As you say it's an 'infinite number of monkeys and their typewriters' kinda thing. Or put another way, back to culture year zero.


The idea is that if you took an infinite number of monkeys and an infinite number of typewriters you would end up with an infinite number of broken typewriters?


or a monkey expert in repairing typewriters?


Surprisingly easy, barely an inconvenience.

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Originally Posted by PhilipInChina
Originally Posted by chopin_r_us
As you say it's an 'infinite number of monkeys and their typewriters' kinda thing. Or put another way, back to culture year zero.


The idea is that if you took an infinite number of monkeys and an infinite number of typewriters you would end up with an infinite number of broken typewriters?


...or, you might end up with one paper worthwhile reading.


Will do some R&B for a while. Give the classical a break.
You can spend the rest of your life looking for music on a sheet of paper. You'll never find it, because it just ain't there. - Me Myself
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Originally Posted by moscheles001
But I know from my own experience as a teacher (college-level English) that a student can’t simply be filled up with knowledge and ability; a student who doesn’t think intensely about what is being learned isn’t being a student, and isn’t learning. https://raballentine.wordpress.com/2015/05/15/what-does-it-mean-to-be-a-self-taught-piano-student/


A very thoughtful blog. In my experience, my English teachers and professors in my life have been the most thoughtful people I've met. I certainly agree with you that having a teacher is not an excuse not to be always thinking, listening, and observing. In fact, the tools that a teacher gives is over time how to become your own teacher. Of course, having another pair of eyes and ears is essential for something as repetitive as piano. You have to be independently motivated. I work on many aspects of my education such as theory, reading, and history on my own while under my teacher's supervision. Piano has a lot homework. You get out what you put in. While my teacher does occasionally still points out mistakes, her job is to point out and discuss interpretive flaws in my playing as I really should not be making mistakes as printed on the page at this point.

In the end, a piano teacher is much more than any other kind of teacher I've known because seldom does anyone have a teacher for the length of time as a piano teacher. I had my first piano lesson with my teacher in January 2010. My piano teacher is much more than the skillful teacher that she is. She is a collaborator on my musical journey, a person who knows me, all my little quirks, a mentor, and a friend who is committed to my musical growth and enrichment. I've had some very good teachers in my life from elementary through graduate school, but a piano teacher is truly special. I know of no other teacher who had taught me for so long, in something so personal and emotional, week after week, for years and hopefully many more years to come.

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Originally Posted by 8 Octaves

In the end, a piano teacher is much more than any other kind of teacher I've known because seldom does anyone have a teacher for the length of time as a piano teacher. I had my first piano lesson with my teacher in January 2010. My piano teacher is much more than the skillful teacher that she is. She is a collaborator on my musical journey, a person who knows me, all my little quirks, a mentor, and a friend who is committed to my musical growth and enrichment. I've had some very good teachers in my life from elementary through graduate school, but a piano teacher is truly special. I know of no other teacher who had taught me for so long, in something so personal and emotional, week after week, for years and hopefully many more years to come.


This is so beautiful. And true. Thank you.


Piano teacher.

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