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6th lesson today.

Yestoday I asked him online if today he could demostrate measure 19-22 from bach 2part invention #13. So when I met him today and give him the score. He sight-readed it from the beginning, which I was pretty surprised about 2 things: 1. he can sight read it to an effect of me practicing it for 2-3 months. 2. He told me he never played this piece. I though all WTC and inventions are breads and butter for piano students from conservatories. Not to mention he got a Master's degree and he never played it?

I asked how can I improve my sight reading. He explained the cliches and told me what accidentally caused him to increase this particular ability greatly about 10 years ago ------ He was in conservatory and was tasked to accompany various voice students. There are 500 songs to be accompanied and he only had 1 month to prepare everything. That is 15 songs per day. We are not talking bout christmas hymms, we are talking about Schuberts, Mahler's , etc.

Today he asked me a very important question, "do you want to emphasize technical side of piano playing or musical side."
I was delighted and told him that I wanted to tell him that I want the technical side badly, i just didn't tell him because I don't want to let my philosophy get into his way. He continued " actually the techincal side isn't all that departed from musical side, they are developped together in most cases".

The majority time spent, or the rest of the lesson are to address the problems I had on the 3 homework pieces, beyer 50,52,55. I performed #55 pretty badly so this piece will be performed again at next lesson.

Homework today is Beyer #58,59,60,62. These 4 are really long pieces compared to previous homeworks and they are much more difficult compared to previous ones, including one polyphonic piece.

I felt a little strange today, actually, starting from last lesson: Are my lessons just to learn new pieces and correct the musical/technical side of these pieces? Is this how I am supposed to learn piano? Maybe it is?

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Originally Posted by 24000rpm
I felt a little strange today, actually, starting from last lesson: Are my lessons just to learn new pieces and correct the musical/technical side of these pieces? Is this how I am supposed to learn piano? Maybe it is?

For me, it is an important part of my lessons, even though there are other parts as well, such as the analysis of each piece that I learn, and of course, scales and sightreading.
But what is your confusion? What had you expected that your teacher doesn't teach you?


Playing the piano is learning to create, playfully and deeply seriously, our own music in the world.
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Originally Posted by 24000rpm
Yestoday I asked him online if today he could demostrate measure 19-22 from bach 2part invention #13. So when I met him today and give him the score. He sight-readed it from the beginning, which I was pretty surprised about 2 things: 1. he can sight read it to an effect of me practicing it for 2-3 months. 2. He told me he never played this piece. I though all WTC and inventions are breads and butter for piano students from conservatories. Not to mention he got a Master's degree and he never played it?


I felt a little strange today, actually, starting from last lesson: Are my lessons just to learn new pieces and correct the musical/technical side of these pieces? Is this how I am supposed to learn piano? Maybe it is?

Maybe he never actually "played" it, but if he is a teacher, he must have come across it before. In any case he certainly read it before. But even if he did not, the structure is very similar to some other inventions or other 2 voices pieces.

For your lessons, there is so much that you can do in just one hour per week. The time factor limits the scope and depth of topics that you can cover. But if there are specific topics you are interested in, you may discuss that with him.

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Animisha and Sidokar
thank you for your reply.
THe confusion all comes down to: I don't know what learning piano is all about. My amatuer mind would think that the most important aspect is to be able to sight read things or otherwise learn a difficult piece in a matter of hours and after a few days to recital level, that's probably the ultimate goal? I don't know.

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Originally Posted by 24000rpm
THe confusion all comes down to: I don't know what learning piano is all about. My amatuer mind would think that the most important aspect is to be able to sight read things or otherwise learn a difficult piece in a matter of hours and after a few days to recital level, that's probably the ultimate goal? I don't know.

For me, this is not my goal at all. I won't ever be able to learn a difficult piece in a matter of hours and after a few days to recital level. Actually, I think only professionals can do this, most of them people who have learned to play the piano since they were very young, and who are very talented. All of us others will need a lot of time to be able to learn to play a difficult piece well.
When it comes to sight reading, some are better at this than others, but the level of pieces that you can sightread is below the level of pieces that you can play after practising them.

My goal is to learn how to play pieces of my choice as beautifully and expressively as I can, and to enjoy doing this. So far, I have never practised a piece for more than two months, so that is a limit to how difficult these pieces can be.


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The professional's job is to read and play music. When it's your job, and that's what most of your time is put into, you're naturally pretty good at it, even if you're mediocre relative to the Other-Professionals.

On the Hobby end, it's possible to approach professional playing, but the time has to come from somewhere to reach certain milestones.

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Originally Posted by 24000rpm
I felt a little strange today, actually, starting from last lesson: Are my lessons just to learn new pieces and correct the musical/technical side of these pieces? Is this how I am supposed to learn piano? Maybe it is?

I think your confusion is that you feel like you’re learning specific pieces instead of learning piano in general... but you should be able to apply the things you learned in one piece to the next piece, no? When you played Beyer, what kind of problems did he point out for you?


Also, even professionals spend weeks or even months to polish a piece for performance, I don’t think your idea of “learning a difficult piece and be ready for recital in a few days” is realistic.

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Originally Posted by 24000rpm
Animisha and Sidokar
thank you for your reply.
THe confusion all comes down to: I don't know what learning piano is all about. My amatuer mind would think that the most important aspect is to be able to sight read things or otherwise learn a difficult piece in a matter of hours and after a few days to recital level, that's probably the ultimate goal? I don't know.

Well is it piano or music in general ? Everyone has different objectives. But a difficult piece in a matter of hours is something even pros dont necessarily accomplish and it takes way more than a few days to bring a piece to performance level. In addition most pros have also a general and theoretical knowledge far superior to most amateurs. There are many things that contribute to your ability to play well. You dont necessarily have to aim for a superior technical ability, though it can an objective too. It is just a question of understanding what makes you satisfied and what are your areas of interest.

Also, The way I see it is that it is more practical to set some goals within a reasonable time scale, like 3 years. You will see where you are at taht point.

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Originally Posted by 24000rpm
Animisha and Sidokar
thank you for your reply.
THe confusion all comes down to: I don't know what learning piano is all about. My amateur mind would think that the most important aspect is to be able to sight read things or otherwise learn a difficult piece in a matter of hours and after a few days to recital level, that's probably the ultimate goal? I don't know.

I think will learn that it takes more time and effort to learn the piano than you think. As a non-pianist at the time I still remember how proud my young cousin was when she played her grade1 piece to us and, although I managed to keep quiet, I was of course judging her by the professional standards I was used to hearing and not impressed. Now I know better how much work went into that performance I still feel embarrassed and guilty about it.

Different pianists have different goals, some want to have a limited repertoire of pieces that that they play to performance standards, others such as myself just want to be able to play and enjoy a wide selection of music so, relative to my playing level. my sight readings skills are good because I spend a lot of time working on new pieces (and specifically do sight reading exercises with my teacher as well). After a while you may find that you can sight read pieces and 'just play them' provided you do that a lot and provided you are choosing pieces at a level you can play easily (of course when you first start there is no piece you can play comfortably let alone pieces of an easier level that you can easily sight read, but there will be later) If you select a harder piece approaching your top playing ability and want to play it at a good standard it can take many hours/days/weeks/months of work on that single piece depending on how long it is, how difficult it is compared to your level and how close to perfection you need to come.

So, the goals can be many, there is no right answer. Pick and choose :-)

Last edited by gwing; 04/16/21 11:00 AM.
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read all your comments. On a 2nd thought, I think my confusion maybe come from the unclear goal I have, or had.
recenlty, I also employed a music theory teacher and I am starting to learn chords progression principles and music analysis. The fact that I am learning music theory along with piano may be an unconcious desire to become an all-around musician rather than a pianist. A little bit music analysis, a little bit composing, a little bit piano playing, thing like that.

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For me, the reasons I got a teacher were as follows,

Help with technique, correct my mistakes so I don't end up hurting myself. I want to be able to play gracefully as well like I see more experienced players play!

Guidance, without my teachers guidance I would have no idea where to go next. What pieces I need to play and how to generally get better. I'd be stuck at a very low beginner level forever!

Motivation, my teacher keeps me motivated to keep playing by giving me new things to work on each lesson! Without this I would most definitely not have stuck with piano this long! (Only a short time still but I have no plans on stopping 😉). She keeps me interested with music I'd never heard of and would probably never pick for myself. If I was only learning the songs i already know I want to learn I'd be done playing piano pretty quick. Now I'm finding all these new pieces and broadening my scope!

Everyone gets a teacher for different reasons but these are my top picks.

Last edited by Emily2Lame; 04/16/21 12:18 PM.
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Originally Posted by 24000rpm
He explained the cliches and told me what accidentally caused him to increase this particular ability greatly about 10 years ago ------ He was in conservatory and was tasked to accompany various voice students. There are 500 songs to be accompanied and he only had 1 month to prepare everything. That is 15 songs per day. We are not talking bout christmas hymms, we are talking about Schuberts, Mahler's , etc.

This confirms what we've all feared, Pressure makes Diamonds. grin

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