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About advanced pieces...
I did check my piece and its under rcm level 1 (Mozart KV 3) And I also did play it as slow as I once did.
So hope non is offended. Even though I past on from that level so long ago.
I loved that piece cause when I was a kid and played it - it was the first I chosed myself and first time I felt I played something "real".

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There are no "recital police", thank God. Every performer has to make up their own mind about what a "beginner piece" is. Looking back through history, that has changed a lot. Bach's kids certainly had a steep hill to climb. Did Beethoven really give his nephew the op 49 "easy" sonatas to play? I think only in the last 70 years or so has piano pedagogy progressed to the point that the needs of beginners have been understood. Now we have lots of composers that are making a living writing graded piano music.

Now I'm going to raid Tootles stash of Martha Maier pieces and find something else to play for the recital...

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Well in Bach's case, he wrote those pieces for his kids, not the neighbor's kids ha


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Originally Posted by Sam S
There are no "recital police", thank God. Every performer has to make up their own mind about what a "beginner piece" is. Looking back through history, that has changed a lot. Bach's kids certainly had a steep hill to climb. Did Beethoven really give his nephew the op 49 "easy" sonatas to play? I think only in the last 70 years or so has piano pedagogy progressed to the point that the needs of beginners have been understood. Now we have lots of composers that are making a living writing graded piano music.
I don't think that's true. Lots of composers before the 20th century wrote pieces for beginners - Schumann, Tchaikovsky, Czerny, even as far as Couperin and Telemann. What I think happened is that music education transitioned from training professional musicians to recreational music making. In Bach's time you were expected to follow your father's craft and he clearly prepared his children for that starting at a young age. They likely spent many hours per day learning music (not just keyboard skills) and likely progressed much faster than anyone in this age of TV/internet/mass entertainment ever could. Therefore, they likely reached the stage of playing inventions very quickly when they were still seen by Bach as "beginners" because relatively speaking (the aim being to become a professional musician) they were.

That all changed in the 19th century when pianos and music making became a home entertainment activity and even further in the 20th century when approaches to pedagogy changed.

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Originally Posted by Qazsedcft
Lots of composers before the 20th century wrote pieces for beginners - Schumann, Tchaikovsky, Czerny, even as far as Couperin and Telemann. What I think happened is that music education transitioned from training professional musicians to recreational music making. In Bach's time you were expected to follow your father's craft and he clearly prepared his children for that starting at a young age. They likely spent many hours per day learning music (not just keyboard skills) and likely progressed much faster than anyone in this age of TV/internet/mass entertainment ever could. Therefore, they likely reached the stage of playing inventions very quickly when they were still seen by Bach as "beginners" because relatively speaking (the aim being to become a professional musician) they were.

That all changed in the 19th century when pianos and music making became a home entertainment activity and even further in the 20th century when approaches to pedagogy changed.

Thank you Qazsedcft, that was very interesting! I wonder when the phenomenon of adult beginners started. My father was still in his thirties when he got a burnout and had a lot of time on his hands. He loved music, and listened to records all day and night. But it never ocurred to him to start practising an instrument. The only people he knew who played an instrument, were those that had learned as a child.
Even now, when a friend of mine bought a piano for her children, I asked her if she also wanted to learn to play the piano. Is that even possible? she asked me.


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If we're playing more than 1 piece, combining the video / audio into 1 file with a small break between pieces would work. Play all the pieces 1 after another and combine them in a sound or movie editor so there will be just 1 submission.

When it comes to beginner pieces, not sure how far we can go. The first month or 2 the easiest pieces under 1 page. A lot of pieces involve 2 hands alternating playing 1 note at a time. Many of us are already passed that point.

The piece I worked on the day before is probably too complicated and the recording will be posted in a future recital. The piece I worked on yesterday is just 1 page posted by a student a few weeks ago which is more appropriate.

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Originally Posted by Animisha
I wonder when the phenomenon of adult beginners started. My father was still in his thirties when he got a burnout and had a lot of time on his hands. He loved music, and listened to records all day and night. But it never occurred to him to start practicing an instrument. The only people he knew who played an instrument, were those that had learned as a child.
Even now, when a friend of mine bought a piano for her children, I asked her if she also wanted to learn to play the piano. Is that even possible? she asked me.

I started late because I was in a midlife crisis / stress at work. At the time I already had a few years playing the violin so I'm not learning music theory from scratch. Picking up basic piano techniques takes time but enjoyable.

A friend of the family bought a piano a few years ago for their son who was enrolled in the Yamaha music program. The mother accompanied him to his lessons and she was required to learn his pieces as a mentor at home. In 2 years the son lost interest and quit. Don't think the mother has an interest in music besides what she was required to do as the son's mentor. The piano sits at home as a piece of furniture.

Another family 2 kids left home. Both daughters took lessons on the same piano. The father listens to Classical music all the time. I'm sure he knows as much or more about Classical music than his daughters. A retired man in his 70s with a good ear he'd be able to learn piano easily. The 1 thing keeping him away is the old attitude people need to start at a young age so the piano sits at home with nobody playing. People feel they don't have many years left to get a teacher and start from the beginning. On the other hand, someone who starts piano at age 70 and lives to 90 have 20 years to enjoy playing music.

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Originally Posted by thepianoplayer416
Originally Posted by Animisha
I wonder when the phenomenon of adult beginners started. My father was still in his thirties when he got a burnout and had a lot of time on his hands. He loved music, and listened to records all day and night. But it never occurred to him to start practicing an instrument. The only people he knew who played an instrument, were those that had learned as a child.
Even now, when a friend of mine bought a piano for her children, I asked her if she also wanted to learn to play the piano. Is that even possible? she asked me.

I started late

I also started late, but I wondered more about when it became much more common for adults to start learning an instrument, from scratch, as fresh beginners. As far as my husband and I remember, not during the seventies, not during the eighties. Did it start during the nineties, when digital pianos slowly got better and became more affordable, and also people who live in apartments could practise?


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I have my fingers crossed I can get a good recording of my pieces at my next piano lesson! I'm also playing them in another (in person) recital next month. Wish me luck!

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Playing with crossed fingers, that would be quite a challenge! But I do wish you luck Emily. smile


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I just recorded the Beethoven Sonatina in G (Anh 5/1), just curious if my ancient Zoom H1 is still working (it's 11 years old!). Well, it's still working but maybe there's dust or something, the left channel sometimes has slight buzzing/distortion. Would this be too annoying to post?


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Originally Posted by cygnusdei
I just recorded the Beethoven Sonatina in G (Anh 5/1), just curious if my ancient Zoom H1 is still working (it's 11 years old!). Well, it's still working but maybe there's dust or something, the left channel sometimes has slight buzzing/distortion. Would this be too annoying to post?

Hi Cygnusdei, a slight buzzing would not annoy me, but it is hard to judge without hearing this, so I think you need to decide this for yourself. cool


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Recorded four preludes by Barbara Arens. She is another of the modern composers writing graded piano music. They were very interesting - sort of following the Bach prelude "formula" but with a modern feel. They are from the collection "21 Amazingly Easy Pieces". Lots of fun!

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Originally Posted by Animisha
Hi Cygnusdei, a slight buzzing would not annoy me, but it is hard to judge without hearing this, so I think you need to decide this for yourself. cool
So I submitted it but immediately upon reviewing the mp3 I realized I had learned some notes wrong ha So maybe I'll try vacuuming the mic chambers before attempting a do-over.

About the Beethoven Sonatina in G, Anh. 5/1: Henle rates it a 3, while it rates the Minuet in G (BWV Anh. 114) a 1. But it seems that the Suzuki Piano School splits the difference as both pieces are in Volume 2, back to back even.


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Originally Posted by Animisha
Playing with crossed fingers, that would be quite a challenge! But I do wish you luck Emily. smile

I remember a 'beginner piece' around the same technical level as 'Chopsticks'. Part of it was played by rolling your fist across a black key group. I don't remember the name of that one, but it was a popular fun thing to do on the piano when I was a kid.

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Originally Posted by Animisha
Playing with crossed fingers, that would be quite a challenge! But I do wish you luck Emily. smile
You got that right Animisha, that's why I really need the luck!

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When I was 11, a cousin tried to teach me beginner songs from a book on a piano. There was a piece that has the name "Indian Dance" or something similar. It has only 2 lines with LH chords repeated over & over. Just playing 3 notes together was enough to keep me away from playing for several decades. For some reason I didn't find the pieces in the book easy to learn. Today a piece like that would take me 5 - 10 min. to read through.

Certain songs being associated with "fun" didn't cross my mind in my younger days. An easy song is a stepping stone to eventually moving up to various conservatory grade levels. Everybody in the family tried an instrument at some point including recorder, violin, guitar, accordion & piano. Nobody thought music was "fun". We learned from teachers. My parents think that if anybody is good enough, he/she would make it as a serious Classical pianist. Playing as a hobby wasn't something we're supposed to do but today there are many retired people playing just for fun.

Yesterday I recorded a piece (around 1 min.) for submission. It's out of a book posted online recently by a beginner just started learning it. Don't think it's a piece someone would play in the first month of learning but within half a year definitely. Don't find the piece challenging at all but maybe for the lady who posted a copy of the piece with the letter names of the notes written all over. And don't think marking up the whole page necessary. Going to play a few more pieces while there is still time.

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Originally Posted by cygnusdei
About the Beethoven Sonatina in G, Anh. 5/1: Henle rates it a 3, while it rates the Minuet in G (BWV Anh. 114) a 1. But it seems that the Suzuki Piano School splits the difference as both pieces are in Volume 2, back to back even.

I find this quite surprising. I recently worked on this sonatina and find it to be considerably more difficult than that minuet.


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Originally Posted by Talão
Originally Posted by cygnusdei
About the Beethoven Sonatina in G, Anh. 5/1: Henle rates it a 3, while it rates the Minuet in G (BWV Anh. 114) a 1. But it seems that the Suzuki Piano School splits the difference as both pieces are in Volume 2, back to back even.

I find this quite surprising. I recently worked on this sonatina and find it to be considerably more difficult than that minuet.

I do too. The Sonatina is RCM 5, the Minuet is RCM 3. Perhaps it's a modified arrangement?


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Originally Posted by bSharp(C)yclist
I do too. The Sonatina is RCM 5, the Minuet is RCM 3. Perhaps it's a modified arrangement?
Not arrangement, but both pieces are RCM Level 3 in the 2015 syllabus though? Unless it has changed


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