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#1014243 - 07/09/04 09:45 AM Classical Piano Lessons
Barfo Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/23/04
Posts: 6
Loc: California
I am searching for a piano teacher. I like classical piano. Are all piano lessons basically the same at the start? How does learning Classical Piano actually differ from basic piano? I am in a quandry as to which way to go..I have one potential teacher say start at basic piano and you can go in any direction after that.

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#1014244 - 07/09/04 10:01 AM Re: Classical Piano Lessons
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8483
Loc: Ohio, USA
aren't all piano lessons starting from paino basics? if you would go for classical, you might look for a teacher who specifically classifies him/herself in classical music.

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#1014245 - 07/09/04 10:06 AM Re: Classical Piano Lessons
jdsher Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/04
Posts: 643
Loc: Plano, Texas
I am no expert, but what I can tell you is that my adult beginners book included both classical and modern pieces. I think most teachers teaching adults will realize that they are not going to be concertizing, so they allow the adult student to direct the type of music that the student wants to play. One of the reasons that alot of teachers who teach adults try to put in some modern pieces is that alot of classical music is difficult and can literally take years of training before you can attempt it. If a student comes to them and says, "teach me to play classical piano" teachers understand that some students won't stick with it for the lenght of time it takes to really learn enough to start to play classical piano. The most important thing to remember when you start is to have fun and realize that it will really take a long time before you can play complicated pieces, but that doesn't mean you can't play easier stuff while you're getting there.
Jon
_________________________
"In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." Albert Einstein

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#1014246 - 07/09/04 10:16 AM Re: Classical Piano Lessons
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8483
Loc: Ohio, USA
i am not sure what you said is entirely true. there are many easy original (not easy arrangement) classical pieces that a teacher could start with an adult beginner. for example, some pieces from Bach's Anna Magdelena's Notebook are quite easy for beginners to start from after a couple of months learning piano basics perhaps.

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#1014247 - 07/09/04 11:56 AM Re: Classical Piano Lessons
Mikester Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/17/04
Posts: 1254
Loc: Minneesooota
barfo, that depends where you want to take your piano escapades. There's a difference between wanting to play a few showtunes and wanting to become a competent classical pianist.

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#1014248 - 07/09/04 02:50 PM Re: Classical Piano Lessons
Jeffrey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/04
Posts: 2948
Loc: New York
Mike - But at the beginning, any piano skills will help in the future. Not all good music is classical, and there is really very little good classican music that can be played with feeling in the first 6 months to a year or so (we know them all Bach's Minuet, a simplified Fur Elise, maybe Mozart's "Twinkle Twinkle." - that's it.) Starting anywhere is good.

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#1014249 - 07/09/04 02:57 PM Re: Classical Piano Lessons
Christopher James Quinn Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/15/03
Posts: 2299
 Quote:
Originally posted by Jeffrey:
and there is really very little good classican music that can be played with feeling in the first 6 months to a year [/b]
I don;t agree with this. A few of the Chopin preludes are exquisitely musical and playable inside of a year, as well as many of the Scriabin preludes.

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#1014250 - 07/09/04 04:51 PM Re: Classical Piano Lessons
Jeffrey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/04
Posts: 2948
Loc: New York
CJQ - Perhaps we could get/ develop a list of the easier Chopin preludes that can be played "early'? I recall only one or two from "Playing Piano for Pleasure". I am not familiar with Scriabin at all. My post reflected some frustration as well. I think the Adult Beginner Forum could use such a list.

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#1014251 - 07/09/04 06:32 PM Re: Classical Piano Lessons
Christopher James Quinn Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/15/03
Posts: 2299
 Quote:
Originally posted by Jeffrey:
CJQ - Perhaps we could get/ develop a list of the easier Chopin preludes that can be played "early'? I recall only one or two from "Playing Piano for Pleasure". I am not familiar with Scriabin at all. My post reflected some frustration as well. I think the Adult Beginner Forum could use such a list. [/b]
Chopin op 28 Preludes: 4, 6, 7, and maybe 15 and 20 should be playable by a dedicated student in the first year. Dan M (with the new CW190) has played a couple of these and I know that I was playing 4 and 6 very early on.

Scriabin wrote hundreds of 1 and 2 page preludes throughout his life. Within the Opus 11 preludes, I believe there may be one or two that are playable fairly early on.

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#1014252 - 07/09/04 11:13 PM Re: Classical Piano Lessons
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8483
Loc: Ohio, USA
 Quote:
A few of the Chopin preludes are exquisitely musical and playable inside of a year, as well as many of the Scriabin preludes.
i wonder if a beginner can play any Chopin at all within a year. op.28.7 is perhaps his easiest prelude, but i tried it after 2 year playing and had to give it up for a while because of the difficult chord on bar 12 which was unplayable for me at the time. i guess Chopin should be put on the 2nd-3rd year's repertorie to say at least.

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#1014253 - 07/09/04 11:14 PM Re: Classical Piano Lessons
mykinator Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/15/04
Posts: 87
"Starting anywhere is good", says Jeffrey. Well why not start them on a Chopin Etude then? Aside from proper body posture and maybe learning the treble and bass clefs, my personal opinion is classical approach is wholly different from day one. Classical music is eye-and-ear music. Contrast with Jazz, which is mostly ear music. In the first year I would teach jazz scales, chord voicings, and improvisation and accompaniment. I would not teach an aspiring jazz musician how to sight read or work much on technique. If I tried the same with a first year classical student I might as well go ahead fire myself.

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#1014254 - 07/10/04 04:07 AM Re: Classical Piano Lessons
Christopher James Quinn Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/15/03
Posts: 2299
 Quote:
Originally posted by signa:
 Quote:
A few of the Chopin preludes are exquisitely musical and playable inside of a year, as well as many of the Scriabin preludes.
i wonder if a beginner can play any Chopin at all within a year. op.28.7 is perhaps his easiest prelude, but i tried it after 2 year playing and had to give it up for a while because of the difficult chord on bar 12 which was unplayable for me at the time. i guess Chopin should be put on the 2nd-3rd year's repertorie to say at least. [/b]
I do not wish to sound like one of those "I played the Liszt sonata after six weeks of lessons" types who appear on the pianists forum one in a while. But I do ascert that preludes 4 and 6 are playable by a determined beginner. I say this because I learned them early on as well as others. I'd also pointout that I find almost all of Chopin's music unplayable even after 14 years of adult-distracted playing.

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#1014255 - 07/10/04 09:12 AM Re: Classical Piano Lessons
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8483
Loc: Ohio, USA
i was never a 'determined beginner' to start with and never had a teacher. the only advantage i had at the beginning was that i played accordion before, knew music basics and could read music. but still the muscle development for piano playing to me and to many adults is a slow process. i could barely stretch my hand to an octave in the beginning. how on the earth i could play any Chopin by all means? i believe the same situation applies to many adult beginners, unless you are born with a large span of hands or flexible fingers. i found particularly difficult to control my finger touch and evenness during the first 2 years, which is also some beginner's problem too when they are only in their 1-2 year's playing (from ground 0, not retreat ones). i remember i just read from someone's post complaining about not being able to play legato or fast passage after a year. this is what i am talking about. for many adults (not the exceptions such as a few like you), it would take quite a while for playing skills to develop, which is not just one year sort thing and could be much longer. so to play Chopin, even the easiest pieces of his, would pose the tremendous difficulty on the beginners whose hands/fingers are not yet developed to handle such.

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#1014256 - 07/12/04 03:17 AM Re: Classical Piano Lessons
Christopher James Quinn Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/15/03
Posts: 2299
 Quote:
Originally posted by signa:
i was never a 'determined beginner' to start with and never had a teacher. the only advantage i had at the beginning was that i played accordion before, knew music basics and could read music. but still the muscle development for piano playing to me and to many adults is a slow process. i could barely stretch my hand to an octave in the beginning. how on the earth i could play any Chopin by all means? i believe the same situation applies to many adult beginners, unless you are born with a large span of hands or flexible fingers. i found particularly difficult to control my finger touch and evenness during the first 2 years, which is also some beginner's problem too when they are only in their 1-2 year's playing (from ground 0, not retreat ones). i remember i just read from someone's post complaining about not being able to play legato or fast passage after a year. this is what i am talking about. for many adults (not the exceptions such as a few like you), it would take quite a while for playing skills to develop, which is not just one year sort thing and could be much longer. so to play Chopin, even the easiest pieces of his, would pose the tremendous difficulty on the beginners whose hands/fingers are not yet developed to handle such. [/b]
Forums like this a great because we get input from so many diverse people. While no beginner should feel frustrated if they can not play the Chopin preludes (4 and 6) within the first year, the fact that some people can do it should be inspiration to others.

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#1014257 - 07/12/04 07:26 AM Re: Classical Piano Lessons
Mikester Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/17/04
Posts: 1254
Loc: Minneesooota
Once your hands are large enough, your mind experienced enough to understand music, and your understanding of efficient practice deep enough, there are very few pieces that you cannot play. This can happen when you're age 12 or age 60, with 1 year's experience or with 30.

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#1014258 - 07/12/04 09:38 AM Re: Classical Piano Lessons
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8483
Loc: Ohio, USA
yes, Christopher, you are my inspiration! after 2-3 year not so determined playing, i noticed that something happened to me, my hands can stretch much more, better finger control, better speed and it takes much shorter time to learn a piece and even some impossible pieces like Chopin's etudes are becoming the possibility of my next try (although maybe on my 5-10 year list). so, time will change things in one's playing skills and you will be surprised.

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