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#2632766 04/13/17 06:44 PM
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How many years of lessons do you think it takes on average to get to certain levels of playing?

I have a question from a parent who wants to know "how many lessons it takes to learn to play a song" .... The girl is already playing two-line songs in our 1A book, but I know that's not what he means.

So I want to provide some sort of syllabus, AND to prompt them to get her a piano so she will actually progress.

So.. how many years would you say a typical student needs before you..

put them into Level 1 CM

Assign Fur Elise

Assign the Mozart K545

Play Minuet in G

Play Happy Birthday with two hands


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This is what I incorporate into my meet and greets. After I give the usual talk about the necessity of practice for success, etc., I play part of Sinding's Rustle of Spring, which usually impresses them, and let them know that I played at my second recital after 2 school years of lessons, with a practice schedule of 3 hours a day.


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Originally Posted by chasingrainbows
... practice schedule of 3 hours a day.


How do people react to that?!


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I don't have an average as it entirely depends on the studen't work ethic, and talent. I usually answer questions of this nature in such a way, "if you practice every day for an hour (or thirty minutes, or five hours... or whatever) you can probably make it to "goal x" in (insert estimate here).

They need to understand the connection between practice and progress from the very beginning.

Some students are ready for CM 1 during their second year of study. I like to have their primer books completed, their book level 1 completed, and be in book 2 for a CM1 exam. Other teachers might have different strategies. Obviously some students are ready for CM 1 until their 3rd year.


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Originally Posted by hello my name is
How many years of lessons do you think it takes on average to get to certain levels of playing?


So.. how many years would you say a typical student needs before you..

put them into Level 1 CM

Assign Fur Elise

Assign the Mozart K545

Play Minuet in G

Play Happy Birthday with two hands

CM - no idea about CM

Für Elise - 4 years

K545 - 5 years

Minuet in G - JSB (BWV Anh114): 1 year; Luddy (WoO 10 No.2): 2 years; Paderewski (Op.14/1): 7 years.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtZUP7HyD3Y

Happy Birthday: 6 months with single bass line LH; 2 years in Keith Jarrett's arrangement; 10 years in Rachmaninov's arrangement; Never in Denis Matsuev's arrangement:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_DIpcsM2UJM


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Originally Posted by hello my name is
put them into Level 1 CM

Skip it. It's a waste of time.


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Originally Posted by musicpassion
I don't have an average as it entirely depends on the studen't work ethic, and talent.

+1


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Originally Posted by malkin
Originally Posted by chasingrainbows
... practice schedule of 3 hours a day.


How do people react to that?!


Astonished. smile


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Originally Posted by chasingrainbows
Originally Posted by malkin
Originally Posted by chasingrainbows
... practice schedule of 3 hours a day.


How do people react to that?!


Astonished. smile

When my son started lessons, his teacher told him that practising 3 hours a day was ideal, and when I started lessons a few years later with the same teacher, I was told the same thing. It is not that astonishing. However, my son took the wiser route. He looked for the most efficient way possible to get at things. You would hear the improvement over three days, and you would also hear his practice sessions become shorter. I went in circles, and eventually to some extent backward following the time-oriented advice. You do need to spend more time with more advanced music, but effective practising is a big factor to include with that. I can accomplish more in 15 minutes now than I did in 2 hours then.

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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by hello my name is
put them into Level 1 CM

Skip it. It's a waste of time.


What do you start with and at what point in the course of lessons?



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"Suzuki book 1 can take anywhere from 3 months to 5 years. The people who take 3 months generally play another instrument already. The people who take 5 years are generally not the every-day practicers."


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Originally Posted by hello my name is
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by hello my name is
put them into Level 1 CM

Skip it. It's a waste of time.


What do you start with and at what point in the course of lessons?

You can of course teach the material covered in Prep, 1, 2, and 3 without actually having the student sit for the test.

I'm at the point in my career where I would ONLY sign students up for tests if their parents ask for it. I'm certainly not going to impose testing upon everybody, which some teachers seem to do--even with kids who have NO BUSINESS testing.


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Originally Posted by hreichgott
"Suzuki book 1 can take anywhere from 3 months to 5 years. The people who take 3 months generally play another instrument already. The people who take 5 years are generally not the every-day practicers."

I used to take violin lessons with a Suzuki teacher, and this quote definitely suits her mentality to a T. We would spend months and months on ONE piece. She insisted on listening to those stupid recordings over and over and over and over again.

I switched to a traditional teacher and played much better.


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A valid description in my experience - it all depends.


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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
I used to take violin lessons with a Suzuki teacher, and this quote definitely suits her mentality to a T. We would spend months and months on ONE piece. She insisted on listening to those stupid recordings over and over and over and over again.

I interfaced with a fellow student years ago when we were both studying a string instrument. She had been learning with a Suzuki teacher, and was about 4 years in, working on a Bach suite for a higher viola exam. We started to discover the holes at that point. The "listening" had involved blind imitation of recordings, without understanding. It had been more like parroting. It came out when we discussed things like phrasing and other musical things - it had never been listened for.

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Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
I used to take violin lessons with a Suzuki teacher, and this quote definitely suits her mentality to a T. We would spend months and months on ONE piece. She insisted on listening to those stupid recordings over and over and over and over again.

I interfaced with a fellow student years ago when we were both studying a string instrument. She had been learning with a Suzuki teacher, and was about 4 years in, working on a Bach suite for a higher viola exam. We started to discover the holes at that point. The "listening" had involved blind imitation of recordings, without understanding. It had been more like parroting. It came out when we discussed things like phrasing and other musical things - it had never been listened for.


Just like any pedagogical approach, there are good and bad teachers who teach it. We should not assume that this fault is common to all Suzuki teachers.... Based on my teachers Suzuki students, They know more about phrasing, and voicing at a beginner stage than standard students several years into lessons. 'Ghosting' technique for practice? That is an early skill set


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Allright. mad

Last edited by WhoDwaldi; 04/16/17 06:58 PM.

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Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
Weren't a lot of those Suzuki recordings made (sight read) by the legendary David Nadien, one-time concertmaster of the NY Phil?

I'm not catching the implication in regards to pedagogy or learning, of who made the recordings. What does "legendary" mean, and why is this important?

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WhoDwaldi, I appreciated the information. Reminds me to listen to the NY Phil more. And investigate what recordings David Nadien has made.


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Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
Weren't a lot of those Suzuki recordings made (sight read) by the legendary David Nadien, one-time concertmaster of the NY Phil?

The name sounds familiar, a voice from the nostalgic past. grin

I think I used to have a cassette tape of him playing violin bonbons (Kreisler, Sarasate, Wieniawski et al), but somehow the even more legendary Itzhak Perlman took over that genre......


"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."
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