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Joined: Apr 2017
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I'm an adult beginner. I use Piano Marvel to help me learn the staff, but I have a good teacher who uses the Russian Piano Method (she learned in the Soviet Union, and taught at a music school there).

I know that she's going to be great at teaching me the correct way to play, but I'd love to hear some people who started learning as an adult (I'm 51).

What wisdom can you impart that will either make my learning experience easier (and more effective) or, on the flip side, what would you suggest that I NOT do?

Thanks!

MD


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Be kind and patient to yourself in your piano journey. Think "the hare and the tortoise". Slow and steady will win the race. Good luck in your journey! smile


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I sympathize with you, as I began weeks from being 50. And as a complete starter in music... And now, a bit more than two years later, I am delighted I took that decision. So try to practice regularly and be sure progress will happen!


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Be patient, enjoy the learning process and practice everyday.



“To send light into the darkness of men’s hearts - such is the duty of the artist.”
- Robert Schumann

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Age quod agis


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Don't think that you're going to have an easy time of learning the piano. It takes lots of patience and you really need to make sure you practice every day. Better to practice lesser time IMO but to practice every day. I have heard countless stories on here about a few days off ending up being weeks or more.

I'm not trying to discourage you at all and I'm glad you got a teacher. Just remember that piano really takes quite a few years to get to a decent level of playing. Most important thing is to enjoy the ride.

Peace


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As was mentioned earlier. Think of it as a marathon and not a sprint.

At times you will think that you are not making any progress, keep going it is not a linear learning curve.


When you play, never mind who listens to you. R.Schumann.

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Great suggestions. Thanks so much, everyone!

I've already made the mistake of being waaaaay too hard on myself. By lesson 2 (I've had 3), my teacher reprimanded me for not tolerating mistakes while I was trying to sight read a piece that she gave me.

This is definitely going to require rewiring my brain a bit...


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It's a very long, hilly, winding and never-ending road but with lots of beautiful scenic vistas to admire and enjoy along the way.

And the higher you get, the more amazing the scenery......... thumb


"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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Enjoy practicing and eventually you'll play music. Don't expect it to be overnight and don't listen to those who claim that it happens that way.


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Your teacher may be quite fussy about technique since this is quite typical of the Russian School. This is probably a good thing because, with time, it allows you to play pieces many will not be able to play because of limitations in their technique.

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Originally Posted by M Dominic
Great suggestions. Thanks so much, everyone!

I've already made the mistake of being waaaaay too hard on myself. By lesson 2 (I've had 3), my teacher reprimanded me for not tolerating mistakes while I was trying to sight read a piece that she gave me.

This is definitely going to require rewiring my brain a bit...


Then another reminder for you: lessons are not a performance and definitely not a time to impress your teacher with how far you have progressed since your last lesson.

Think of them as a golden opportunity to identify your flaws with a professional available to help you find solutions.


"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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First and foremost, complete relaxation throughout the body.

Second, repetition. Repeat the simplest pieces endlessly.

Quality always over quantity.

At first, it will all seem same, but after 1000s of repetitions you will discover something completely new. This discovery will introduce you to a world of creating sound you had never imagined.

This thread covers my journey. smile

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...an-method-online-course.html#Post2618357

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I'm an adult learner. Even after a few years playing, I'm constantly learning new pieces I haven't played before. The pieces I'm working on is very much within an intermediate level.

Today there are repertoire available online that can be downloaded. You don't need to start with the nursery songs used to put a baby to sleep. I got a book for easy piano a while back and started with "When the Saints Go Marching In" & "Ode to Joy" in day 1. You don't need to practice for a few years to get to a song you like. There are many beginner & intermediate arrangements online.

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I think the best thing I have learned is being patient. I was always racing a clock like "I should have this piece polished by now, I'm too slow, poor me, why can't I do what they do?, etc." I have no idea what the rush was. I recently learned to be patient and this came from my teacher that also has a very similar background to your teacher and we spend tons of time on pieces and technique. This is also my first time having lessons and I would absolutely say keep with a teacher if you can. While the time I had without one was not a waste I definitely take it more serious with a teacher and progress much better. I notice I enjoy the lessons more and more as months go on. So many things they point out and teach that I would never picked up in piano marvel or videos. Have fun and stick with it even if just a few minutes days it sure adds up fast.

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Welcome to the incredible world of music!

As your teacher I'm sure will tell you, do not burn out on belabouring pieces early on. You can always come back and perfect them later. You will always make mistakes when playing at your level. Later on, those same pieces will be a walk in the park, but you need to keep moving.

Reading notation may seem akin to chewing glass now, but if you get good at it you will be thanking your lucky stars for it later on.

As others have said, it will be a journey, a long one. Make it about the journey, not the destination. Enjoy the music you're playing at the moment, because there is good music at every level. If you get disheartened by apparent lack of progress or slowness, keep coming back to this: you are playing music, now. That's what it's all about. The improvement will come in its own time so long as you keep playing.

Do not get caught up in side distractions and forum minutiae like what is the perfect velocity curve for your VST early on. Get good at playing first.

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I was ten years older than you when I started (from scratch). If I had it to do it over again, I would start lessons from the very beginning. I self-taught for a couple of years and I'm still struggling to fix certain things.

As others have said, it's a journey with no end. Be patient with yourself. You might not see improvement day to day, but over weeks and months and years, you will see that you have indeed come a long way.

Dogperson makes a good point about lessons not being a performance. This is something it took me a long time to internalize (and it still whispers at me over my left shoulder from time to tome). If you have a good teacher, trust that teacher to be your guide. Your teacher knows what you need to know and how to get you where you need to go.

Make use of this forum. The Achievement of the Week thread is a great tool to help you stop and think about what has worked for you recently--and there always is something, even when it feels like you're swimming in a sea of mistakes.


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I started at 54 and now it's already 7.5 years later, but seems like yesterday. I have a few tips but nothing earth shattering.

1. listen to your teacher, never hide anything from them and never try take to short cuts.
2. Practice regularly and be organised, (some people like to keep notes, I like to keep a diary and look back how I was feeling in those early years)
3. Expect the first year to be tough. You might want to give up at times, but stick with it, it gets easier to deal with problems, but piano remains hard.
4. Don't set unrealistic goals, if you think a piece is going to take two months, more that likely its going to take six
5. Progress is made by analyzing problems and doing something about it through practice. Reading books about problems is next to useless
6. Buy the best piano you can possibly afford (I should have remodeled the house to fit in a grand 😁)
7. When listening to new pieces to learn, if it sounds easy it is most likely incredibly hard.
8. Learn from this forum but don't compare yourself to others here, or on youtube, it's your own journey.
9. Anything is possible by very small steps.
10. Enjoy the journey


Surprisingly easy, barely an inconvenience.

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All of the above, plus:

Be aware that we practice while awake (at least I hope so) but we learn while asleep.

Recent research has shown this clearly. New pathways form and are strengthened during certain stages of sleep.

So sleep well and, if possible, have a short nap after practice sometimes.

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Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by M Dominic
Great suggestions. Thanks so much, everyone!

I've already made the mistake of being waaaaay too hard on myself. By lesson 2 (I've had 3), my teacher reprimanded me for not tolerating mistakes while I was trying to sight read a piece that she gave me.

This is definitely going to require rewiring my brain a bit...


Then another reminder for you: lessons are not a performance and definitely not a time to impress your teacher with how far you have progressed since your last lesson.

Think of them as a golden opportunity to identify your flaws with a professional available to help you find solutions.

This point is so important, and one I still fall down at. Last week I relearnt Bach Invention No 8 in a week and I was so so keen to impress my teacher that I had done that that when I came to play it, I could hardly get a note right and I starting getting very nervous. Later in the lesson, she said to me - show me how you were practising by playing until you make a mistake and then show my what you did then. Released with the permission to make a mistake I almost played it right through.

For me, this is expressed the best in the book "The Perfect Wrong Note" by William Westney. Transformational for me.


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