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Sandeep Offline OP
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hi guys,
so im a 40 year adult, and just starting to learn (probably as a consequence of the lockdown). I'm also based in India, where formal western classical piano teaching is not so common.
I have been learning using SimplyPiano and I have been enjoying it a LOT. Its very Matrix-y. Unconsciously - I started to read notation in about 2 weeks !

I have been stalking these forums for past few weeks to understand the path forward. I have learnt about the importance of interval/landmark based learning, etc. I have been exploring Piano Safari Older Beginner program, Alfred's Premier Express, etc.
I also looked up some popular recommendations here like "Journey Through the Classics", etc

It seems to me that NONE of them are intended for self learning. They are all intended for teacher-supervised learning. And very few of them are intended for portable devices (like Android/Ipad tablets). I dont even know where to put a CD now! This is important for me, because it is very hard to ship these paper books (even before the international ban on shipping during lockdown).

Does it mean that the best method for self-learning is either Piano Marvel or Playground Sessions ? But what happens after that - are any of the books like Czerny, etc intended at all for self-learning ? What's the 2 year self-learning path here ?

P.S. yeah our estimated ETA to get vaccines is July 2022 frown

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Hi Sandeep!

Welcome to piano world!

An important part of playing the piano is not only to press the right keys at the right moment, but to make this sequence of notes sound as music. And unless you have a lot of musical talent, you cannot do that without the instructions and feedback of a teacher. Furthermore, even if you would feel perfectly happy with the music that you are making, there is the risk that you don't relax your hands and wrist in a proper way, and which means a repetitive strain that can cause injuries.

Therefore basically no method is intended for self learning. However, there are online programs with teachers' instructions and feedback, and that might be the best way for you.

Animisha

PS I am very sorry about your vaccination situation.


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Well, you have to start with goal setting. What kind of music do you want to play? How important to you are the different aspects like reading music, playing by ear, improvising? When you answer these questions we can make recommendations.

Some publishers have downloadable books and audio files but these are still less common than the traditional hard copy. However, if you just want audio examples of the pieces in your books you can probably find almost everything on YouTube these days.

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Welcome Sandeep! If you are new to reading/playing music, I think those apps will be helpful to get you started. At the very least, it will help you learn music notation and rhythms. But Animisha gave a great writeup on the limitations. Hopefully you can find either an online teacher (there are many these days) or a video review program that suits your needs.

If you have an iPad, check out the ForScore app for sheet music (I know there are others...this is the only one I have experience with). You can find tons of older music for free on the IMSLP website. You can import this, as well as anything else you have purchased/scanned into the app.

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Welcome to the forum and to piano! Sorry to hear about estimated time of arrival for vaccines, I hope you stay safe and the timeline comes much sooner.

I think all apps such as Piano Marvel, Playground Session, Simply Piano all have something to offer but like others have said it's not the same as a teacher. If you don't plan to get a teacher which many do, I would suggest using the app you enjoy the most and supplement it with a book such as Alfred's Adult Piano Book 1 or Faber's Adult Pianos Adventures Book 1. For me it was Piano Marvel and Piano Adventures when I started. My advice would be to go through the lessons slowly and don't just try to check it off and move on but rather make sure you grasp the concept fully and then drill it some more.

Last edited by Sebs; 05/12/21 12:19 PM.
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Originally Posted by Sebs
Welcome to the forum and to piano! Sorry to hear about estimated time of arrival for vaccines, I hope you stay safe and the timeline comes much sooner.

I think all apps such as Piano Marvel, Playground Session, Simply Piano all have something to offer but like others have said it's not the same as a teacher. If you don't plan to get a teacher which many do, I would suggest using the app you enjoy the most and supplement it with a book such as Alfred's Adult Piano Book 1 or Faber's Adult Pianos Adventures Book 1. For me it was Piano Marvel and Piano Adventures when I started. My advice would be to go through the lessons slowly and don't just try to check it off and move on but rather make sure you grasp the concept fully and then drill it some more.

hey thanks, this was very helpful. For many reasons, a teacher is not an option right now. And yes - i do realise that a teacher is very important, but current life situation means no piano versus (possibly) half baked piano. I'll take half baked piano!

what was your learning path in Piano Marvel ? did you get to a certain stage before using Piano Adventures? what would you have done differently..now that you know ? assume no teacher for a long period of time.

thanks!

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Originally Posted by Sandeep
Originally Posted by Sebs
Welcome to the forum and to piano! Sorry to hear about estimated time of arrival for vaccines, I hope you stay safe and the timeline comes much sooner.

I think all apps such as Piano Marvel, Playground Session, Simply Piano all have something to offer but like others have said it's not the same as a teacher. If you don't plan to get a teacher which many do, I would suggest using the app you enjoy the most and supplement it with a book such as Alfred's Adult Piano Book 1 or Faber's Adult Pianos Adventures Book 1. For me it was Piano Marvel and Piano Adventures when I started. My advice would be to go through the lessons slowly and don't just try to check it off and move on but rather make sure you grasp the concept fully and then drill it some more.

hey thanks, this was very helpful. For many reasons, a teacher is not an option right now. And yes - i do realise that a teacher is very important, but current life situation means no piano versus (possibly) half baked piano. I'll take half baked piano!

what was your learning path in Piano Marvel ? did you get to a certain stage before using Piano Adventures? what would you have done differently..now that you know ? assume no teacher for a long period of time.

thanks!

My path on piano marvel was "hurry and try to fly through each lesson with gold trophy as fast as I can, get frustrated when it takes too long." As I had to idea that it takes much longer to really learn and internalize material. You can jump into those books right away. If I was starting over at day one I would not use any app like piano marvel, simply piano. Reason being while they are great and teach some things they don't teach the underlying concepts such as how a scale is built, the major/minor, etc. I just prefer books and paper over apps but I do a mix with about 90% I do is from paper and books. I would start with Adult Piano Adventures Book 1 or Alfred's Adult Book 1, both are great pick whichever one you want. (there also plenty other options but I believe these 2 are the most recommended and regarded by teachers) I would also get a basic theory book you don't have to study the theory but I believe it helps and is good thing to read/study away from piano even if just a very little bit. The biggest thing I would stress is patience, I'm still a beginner but often I thought "no way I can do XYZ lesson" but what seems impossible today one day will be easy. And there is tons of support here and you'll get a lot of help from other members here that are in the same position and that very advanced too! Don't worry about not having a teacher there's so much out there and you can get very far without one it's not a must have.

What type of music do you want to play?

Last edited by Sebs; 05/12/21 02:34 PM.
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Just don't rush to get to the next level. Piano learning for the vast majority is like the Tortoise, SLOW!

Faber also has a good adult learning series too.

"Faber adult piano adventures"


All these years playing and I still consider myself a novice.
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As far as Apps go. If you like learning that way then go for it. I learned piano back in the pre-internet days. Piano Marvel looks like a nice way to practice, but I still would want to have a book too. Also I will repeat again that you need to take it slow.


All these years playing and I still consider myself a novice.
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What do you want to play ? Western classical, jazz, blues or pop piano music?

There is also PianoWithJonny.



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- Robert Schumann

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I would go here ....

https://www.udemy.com/


And search for beginner piano courses.

The courses go on sale periodically and you should wait for that.

Then they usually cost between 10 and 30 dollars.


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I started by using Simply Piano. After a few months I bought an online lesson package from Piano Lessons on the Web. These held me for about 18 months. My access never ends so I can refer back, pick up the more advanced classes, etc. The site also has music theory classes. I've worked through a few but have neglected that part of my piano education recently.

Like previous posts, I felt I needed to get a unit done ASAP and worried by progress was too slow. But, I learned so much from these lessons it was money well spent.

I'm concerned with technique and I may end up with in person lessons.

Right now I'm working through the books listed in my signature. There are lots of great online tutorials for these books.

Good luck. Welcome. Hope India recovers soon.

Last edited by SunnyKeys; 05/13/21 12:42 AM.

SunnyKeys - from Florida but not the Keys. Learning for 2 years.
Newbie - RCM Level 1 etudes, ABRSM Level 1 2019-20 Exam pieces. Sans exams.

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I would recommend checking out Josh Wright and Graham Fitch on Youtube if you are serious about learning. Denis Zhdanov also has a good channel.

Last edited by ranjit; 05/13/21 01:58 AM.
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Dogperson
Originally Posted by ranjit
I would recommend checking out Josh Wright and Graham Fitch on Youtube if you are serious about learning. Denis Zhdanov also has a good channel.

I would recommend you bookmark these three but they may feel overwhelming if you are just starting

I would definitely start with PianoTV and Piano Career Academy. They both have lessons that are well done but appropriate for someone just starting.


"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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Originally Posted by dmd
I would go here ....

https://www.udemy.com/


And search for beginner piano courses.

The courses go on sale periodically and you should wait for that.

Then they usually cost between 10 and 30 dollars.
I did just now! i chose pianoforall - it seems to have some pretty good reviews. but its for "playing by the ear" primarily.

Originally Posted by dogperson
Dogperson
Originally Posted by ranjit
I would recommend checking out Josh Wright and Graham Fitch on Youtube if you are serious about learning. Denis Zhdanov also has a good channel.

I would recommend you bookmark these three but they may feel overwhelming if you are just starting

I would definitely start with PianoTV and Piano Career Academy. They both have lessons that are well done but appropriate for someone just starting.

correct on this - I do have them bookmarked. In fact i discovered the Taubman technique using some of these. But they are too unstructured for a progressive beginners program. They are good to refer to (when I dont understand something).

Originally Posted by Qazsedcft
Well, you have to start with goal setting. What kind of music do you want to play? How important to you are the different aspects like reading music, playing by ear, improvising? When you answer these questions we can make recommendations.

Some publishers have downloadable books and audio files but these are still less common than the traditional hard copy. However, if you just want audio examples of the pieces in your books you can probably find almost everything on YouTube these days.

Originally Posted by Serge88
What do you want to play ? Western classical, jazz, blues or pop piano music?

There is also PianoWithJonny.


Primarily Jazz and Blues eventually. But I dont mind learning some western classical. I suppose the jazz learning path has to go through a western classical learning path, because all the learning tracks are primarily structured around western classical. Even stuff like arpgeggios, etc.
Right now stuff like playing by ear, etc are not very important. Reading music is also not primary - because i dont think im going to be taking a piece of music and running through it in real time. Its good as a supplementary tool. Neither is improvising. I think all those are things that I may get into after year 2 maybe.

Originally Posted by EPW
Just don't rush to get to the next level. Piano learning for the vast majority is like the Tortoise, SLOW!

Faber also has a good adult learning series too.

"Faber adult piano adventures"

Is it self-learning compatible you think ? I see it accompanied by a "teacher's guide"

Originally Posted by Sebs
My path on piano marvel was "hurry and try to fly through each lesson with gold trophy as fast as I can, get frustrated when it takes too long." As I had to idea that it takes much longer to really learn and internalize material. You can jump into those books right away. If I was starting over at day one I would not use any app like piano marvel, simply piano. Reason being while they are great and teach some things they don't teach the underlying concepts such as how a scale is built, the major/minor, etc. I just prefer books and paper over apps but I do a mix with about 90% I do is from paper and books. I would start with Adult Piano Adventures Book 1 or Alfred's Adult Book 1, both are great pick whichever one you want. (there also plenty other options but I believe these 2 are the most recommended and regarded by teachers) I would also get a basic theory book you don't have to study the theory but I believe it helps and is good thing to read/study away from piano even if just a very little bit. The biggest thing I would stress is patience, I'm still a beginner but often I thought "no way I can do XYZ lesson" but what seems impossible today one day will be easy. And there is tons of support here and you'll get a lot of help from other members here that are in the same position and that very advanced too! Don't worry about not having a teacher there's so much out there and you can get very far without one it's not a must have.

What type of music do you want to play?

Thank you so much for this comment. This is what I feel like as well!
Do you think you would have been able to deal with Faber without the videogame-learning of an app ? like would you have been better if you had started with a book ?
Again, strictly from a self-learning perspective. I'm just concerned I would be too frustrated with being able to take stuff off paper and translate it to a keyboard....versus an app that interfaces directly over midi. SimplyPiano was very accurate in giving realtime feedback when i was hitting wrong keys

Last edited by Sandeep; 05/13/21 05:58 AM.
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Originally Posted by SunnyKeys
I started by using Simply Piano. After a few months I bought an online lesson package from Piano Lessons on the Web. These held me for about 18 months. My access never ends so I can refer back, pick up the more advanced classes, etc. The site also has music theory classes. I've worked through a few but have neglected that part of my piano education recently.

Like previous posts, I felt I needed to get a unit done ASAP and worried by progress was too slow. But, I learned so much from these lessons it was money well spent.

I'm concerned with technique and I may end up with in person lessons.

Right now I'm working through the books listed in my signature. There are lots of great online tutorials for these books.

Good luck. Welcome. Hope India recovers soon.

hey thanks !
you're the first person I know that has a SimplyPiano past! How would you rate "Piano Lessons on the Web"? If you stuck with it for 18 months AFTER SIMPLYPIANO, did you find it easy to comprehend ?

Did you start with your books after "Piano Lessons on the Web", or would you recommend doing them before (let's say just after i complete SimplyPiano) ? Now that you have the advantage of retrospective...what would you advise ?

P.S. when you say books, do you mean this " RCM Level 1 etudes, ABRSM Level 1 2019-20 Exam pieces." ?
Can you link to the tutorials you're using ?
thanks!

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Originally Posted by ranjit
I would recommend checking out Josh Wright and Graham Fitch on Youtube if you are serious about learning. Denis Zhdanov also has a good channel.

I am enrolled in Josh's video courses. I highly recommend them. But they're very expensive :-( There's also another caveat: Josh himself recommends that the student self-learn Alfred's Adult Beginner course, before getting into the repertoire lessons. I'm following the same path and I see what he means. The student can benefit from his (pretty extensive and exhaustive) repertoire learning classes, only if they've completed Alfred (or a similar) course themselves. He has put much time and effort into making these video lessons which are highly motivating and encouraging creativity from the student.

Another path I took before arriving at Josh's lessons is to start learning piano repertoire progressing through Keith Snells GP600, GP620 onwards. I did a quick study of music theory by Dr. Brellochs on YouTube prior, and those helped me as well.

I think any and all paths will finally lead you to a teacher based program, but there are many avenues that will prepare you to receive teacher based education when you finally get to it.

I wish you all the best, and I will pray for you and India.

God bless,
Matthew


A man must love a thing very much if he practices it without any hope of fame or money, but even practice it without any hope of doing it well. Such a man must love the toils of the work more than any other man can love the rewards of it.
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Originally Posted by ranjit
I would recommend checking out Josh Wright and Graham Fitch on Youtube if you are serious about learning. Denis Zhdanov also has a good channel.
I found Josh Wright recently. Enjoy his videos. Ill check out Denis Zhdanov. I really like Julian Lambert as well.


SunnyKeys - from Florida but not the Keys. Learning for 2 years.
Newbie - RCM Level 1 etudes, ABRSM Level 1 2019-20 Exam pieces. Sans exams.

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Originally Posted by Sandeep
Originally Posted by SunnyKeys
I started by using Simply Piano. After a few months I bought an online lesson package from Piano Lessons on the Web. These held me for about 18 months. My access never ends so I can refer back, pick up the more advanced classes, etc. The site also has music theory classes. I've worked through a few but have neglected that part of my piano education recently.

Like previous posts, I felt I needed to get a unit done ASAP and worried by progress was too slow. But, I learned so much from these lessons it was money well spent.

I'm concerned with technique and I may end up with in person lessons.

Right now I'm working through the books listed in my signature. There are lots of great online tutorials for these books.

Good luck. Welcome. Hope India recovers soon.

hey thanks !
you're the first person I know that has a SimplyPiano past! How would you rate "Piano Lessons on the Web"? If you stuck with it for 18 months AFTER SIMPLYPIANO, did you find it easy to comprehend ?

Did you start with your books after "Piano Lessons on the Web", or would you recommend doing them before (let's say just after i complete SimplyPiano) ? Now that you have the advantage of retrospective...what would you advise ?

P.S. when you say books, do you mean this " RCM Level 1 etudes, ABRSM Level 1 2019-20 Exam pieces." ?
Can you link to the tutorials you're using ?
thanks!

Yes, i was able to easily understand the information on PLOTW. There was more depth than i found on Simply Piano. I grew frustrated with Simply Piano. I had some technical glitches where the app didn't pick up my play. I will say their tech support was good. My main problem was not being able to play fast enough to keep up and I found no way to back off the speed. Once I transitioned to piano lessons on the web I found out how much more depth of knowledge there was in piano playing and music theory. I can play scales, cadences and arpeggios in 12 keys, learned from PLOTW. Right now Tim is offering a free Home School series using one of the adult beginners books. I think the Alfred's adult book. So you could get page by page instruction. He's on YouTube, or probably available from his website. You can email him questions and he will answer. His package of classes are less than $200. A lot of content. Some of the pieces he chose I didn't like so I found an easy piece in the same key he was using.

It got to the point his lessons were a bit beyond my capabilities and so I switched to the RCM and ABRSM books to work on technique.

Good luck!


SunnyKeys - from Florida but not the Keys. Learning for 2 years.
Newbie - RCM Level 1 etudes, ABRSM Level 1 2019-20 Exam pieces. Sans exams.

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Jazz: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-obvt6Gn0Eef9vKxwcg_pg
Theory: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRwIF4NhKQf6tQpnYDcSC5A
Overall: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUyeh8X37t_xJ77M6gHb1PQ

I'm with pianomarvel and like it a lot. You can have a free month.
I don't use their own material. No opinion if it's good or not I don't know. They have a lot of other material.
I work With BachScolar material, Bartok microcosmos and request sheets If they don't have it. Use it mostly in prepare mode.


I play piano, bansuri flute, guitars and compose meditative relaxing music! :-)
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