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#1020641 - 05/04/08 03:17 AM Are the adult beginners here even interested in classical music?
Mr. Gould Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/01
Posts: 1111
Hello everyone.

I am a student living in Canada. Piano is my one true passion. I am currently developing an online lesson website that will teach you from the ground up all the basic theory knowledge required to play classical piano. From what I've seen there will be nothing like it on the internet currently.

However I'm curious, after watching many youtube videos and looking at many websites I realized that people who are interested in self learning piano are not interested in classical music. But with simple, chords, pop "songs" like Elton John or Maria Carie, and simple jazz melodies.

Now I'm wondering, am I just wasting my time? Will people just be bored by my website and skip to to other websites that teach them pop songs? Or are there actually people out their who wish to learn classical piano the Traditional way, but don't have the time or money to find a teacher, these are the people who my website will benefit! But do they only exist in minuscule numbers?

Any thoughts? Thanks!

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#1020642 - 05/04/08 03:40 AM Re: Are the adult beginners here even interested in classical music?
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
You mean.., you know how to teach classical piano the PROPER way?
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#1020643 - 05/04/08 03:41 AM Re: Are the adult beginners here even interested in classical music?
Akira Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/27/07
Posts: 1645
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
If you visit the Pianist Corner forum, I'd venture to guess that 95% of the members who regularly participate there are classical enthusiasts. I hardly post there, because often times, I haven't a clue what they're talking about. Most of them seem like non beginners, but would say that wasn't always the case. So if you're asking if there is a market for people wanting to learn beginning classical piano, I would say yes.

Perhaps you have stumbled upon an underserved niche market that might be a good opportunity for you.

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#1020644 - 05/04/08 04:06 AM Re: Are the adult beginners here even interested in classical music?
huami Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/18/08
Posts: 59
Loc: byron bay, australia
i say go for it. I'll take a look & be grateful.

in the meantime, it is fun to just play around with sounds also.
_________________________
tricia

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#1020645 - 05/04/08 07:24 AM Re: Are the adult beginners here even interested in classical music?
Orez Eno Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/23/08
Posts: 179
Loc: New England
 Quote:
Classical Player wrote:[/b]
Will people just be bored by my website and skip to to other websites that teach them mindless pop songs for their easy fix?[/b]
In my opinion no person’s taste in music, not even an ancestral drumbeat, should be referred to as a mindless easy fix. It is my experience that self-professed teachers who speak condescendingly of popular forms of music know very little about music and should not be teaching the subject. The irony is that what is often described as classical music is really popular music from a different era, as exemplified by the thousands of people who attended Beethoven’s funeral. He was a rock star in his time. Besides, strictly speaking the classical era is only the period between 1750 and 1825. My own preferences are in the romantic and impressionistic eras, which came later. Am I just out for a mindless, easy fix?
 Quote:
Classical Player wrote:[/b]
I realized that people who are interested in self learning piano are not interested in classical music. But with simple, chords, pop "songs" like Elton John or Maria Carie, and simple jazz melodies.[/b]
It is my experience that most of the piano method books used by self-learners do contain a considerable amount of classical material. Almost every one contains the theme from Beethoven’s Ode to Joy in the very early lessons. In fact, I am a self-learner, and the method that I follow, which I consider to be quite typical, contains pieces from all eras by Bach, Mozart, Handel, Beethoven, Chopin, Strauss, Haydn, Massenet, Burgmuller, Kabalevsky, Dvorak, Schumann, Bizet, Pieczonka, Liszt, Rimsky Korsakoff, Bartok, Tschaikowsky, Rachmaninoff, Stravinsky, and many more. It also includes some more contemporary popular and jazz pieces. I think all of it is wonderful music. My only regret is that most of this material is still beyond my playing ability - but I’m working on it.

Perhaps I’m not learning the PROPER way? I encourage you to setup your website so I can learn what that really means.
_________________________
Don't believe anything you hear and only half of what you see.

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#1020646 - 05/04/08 09:26 AM Re: Are the adult beginners here even interested in classical music?
TrapperJohn Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 3539
Loc: Chocolatetown, USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Classical Player:


Now I'm wondering, am I just wasting my time? Will people just be bored by my website and skip to to other websites that teach them mindless pop songs for their easy fix?
[/b]
Yes and Yes.

As someone who has been listening to and enjoying many different kinds of music for many years let me tell you that there is as much, if not more, "mindless" Classical music as there is "mindless" pop music. But more importantly, there's alot of good music in both categories (and many other genres that we like to play on the piano). You definitely need to open your ears and mind and broaden your musical horizons!
Good Gravy!

Regards, JF
_________________________
Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on. Frederic Chopin

As good at piano as I am at golf - very high handicap!

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#1020647 - 05/04/08 11:55 AM Re: Are the adult beginners here even interested in classical music?
Coolkid70 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/27/08
Posts: 378
Loc: Irvine, CA
I'm actually eighteen - so I may be on the borderline of being an "adult".

I'm actually quite an enthusiast of all classical music. I really enjoy studying the history and development of music through the times. So, about three months ago, I made it a goal to learn how to play the stuff to gain a better understanding of what was going on (and maybe learn a thing or two about virtuosity, down the line). So I did hire a teacher and we've been working since.

I have heard quite a bit of popular piano - I can see why it is appealing to a lot of people since it is easy to listen to. There is usually a very simple theme which is repeated and developed slightly throughout the entire piece. But I personally do not like this style for this very reason - it sounds repetitive. Additionally, I'm a little hard pressed to find any variety in the genre, unlike classical, where many composers of each genre are doing their own thing (taking in mind, of course, that there are other lesser-known composers which are just copycats).

So, to give a short answer to your question, I am working very hard at the piano because I love the classical genre.


EDIT:

I wanted to add, briefly, that I am not attacking lovers of popular music. Please do not take it that way.
_________________________
Kawai K-3 (2008)

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#1020648 - 05/04/08 12:00 PM Re: Are the adult beginners here even interested in classical music?
liszt's pinky Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/04/08
Posts: 64
I would not say that it's completely true that adult beginners are uninterested in classical music.
I am an adult beginner and I prefer classical music. I would rather play just about anything other than "Erie Canal" or "The Entertainer". I got enough of that crap being in band for 5 years.

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#1020649 - 05/04/08 12:04 PM Re: Are the adult beginners here even interested in classical music?
liszt's pinky Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/04/08
Posts: 64
By the way, I have a large selection of adult beginner books and classical selections are definitely in the minority. Perhaps it's become a misconception that adult beginners prefer popular tunes.

A far as contemporary pinao, some of it is quite lovely---but basically for adult beginners , they stick you with "Over the Waves" and "Down in the Valley". BOO!

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#1020650 - 05/04/08 01:04 PM Re: Are the adult beginners here even interested in classical music?
piano_deb Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/26/05
Posts: 787
Loc: Memphis, TN
Classical Player, I noticed that you're in the "1,000 Post Club" and that you spend most of your time in the Pianist's Corner. You might want to visit the ABF more often, and listen to our monthly "piano bars" and quarterly recitals, to gain a better appreciation for the variety of music that adult beginners enjoy.

FYI, our upcoming May 15 recital has 23 entries so far, including performances of Liszt, Chopin, Haydn, Beethoven, Grieg, Diabelli, Mayer ... All "classical" composers, to use that term in the way in which you seem to intend it: i.e., not popular/modern music.

I'd be interested in visiting your theory-teaching site when it's up. If it's as unique as you say, it could be a great addition to other online tools and venues. Are you planning to offer the content to visitors for free, or is this a profit-making venture?
_________________________
Deborah
Charles Walter 1500
Happiness is a shiny red piano.

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#1020651 - 05/04/08 01:09 PM Re: Are the adult beginners here even interested in classical music?
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8482
Loc: Ohio, USA
it's not that people who're interested in classical don't like taking lessons online, but online learning is a relatively new thing and people are not customed to it yet.

have anyone ever visited Wiziq site?

http://www.wiziq.com/

which has online classroom with video and audio live transmission capacity and a white board to write on or upload pdf files (including music score), quite good. even though 2 way video screens are small, but audio quality is fantasitc. i tested it with my teacher and everything turns out good. my teacher is open to online teaching as well. in case he leaves here (which seems inevitable in near future), i would be able to take lessons online with him again.

btw, i'm only interested in classical, and if my teacher finds such online learning thing is doable, yours would be too. it's just going to take some time for some people to actually try it.

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#1020652 - 05/04/08 01:23 PM Re: Are the adult beginners here even interested in classical music?
Furtwangler Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 1476
Loc: Danville, California
I am an adult beginner - started a year ago at age 61.

I am almost exclusively interested in classical music.

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#1020653 - 05/04/08 01:35 PM Re: Are the adult beginners here even interested in classical music?
Orez Eno Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/23/08
Posts: 179
Loc: New England
 Quote:
Originally posted by Coolkid70

I have heard quite a bit of popular piano - I can see why it is appealing to a lot of people since it is easy to listen to. There is usually a very simple theme which is repeated and developed slightly throughout the entire piece. But I personally do not like this style for this very reason - it sounds repetitive.[/b]
If my memory serves me right, Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony goes something like this “Ta, ta, ta, tuummm.” about a million times. It is exactly as you say, “a very simple theme which is repeated and developed slightly throughout the entire piece.” Yet most people would call this a “Classical Piece”, not a popular one. I bring up this example not to criticize your taste in music, or to brag about my own. But rather I want to make the point that many of the techniques of one genre (like repetition for example) are common to both classical and popular compositions. Indeed, they are not techniques of any particular genre at all. They are simply techniques of music, and in each case they can be done well or done very badly. I like the point that JohnFrank![/b] made, that there is good and bad music in all genres. When you consider the millions of pieces that were written and the relatively few that remain in the popular repertoire, I guess you'd be forced to admit that most of the music that was ever written in all genres is of a pretty poor quality.

Repetition is of course a very important concept in music. Some of the greatest pieces of music repeat a particular theme throughout, each time with slight variation. A Chopin Nocturne would not be a Chopin Nocturne if each section had no resemblance to any of the others. You might not prefer popular music, but to explain your preference I would look for a different reason besides repetition of a simple theme. Indeed, repetition is a commonly used technique in the very genre of music that you claim to prefer.

I think the reason this thread is attracting attention is because music instills such deep feelings in all of us, feelings that are very close to our emotional hearts. It is natural for us to identify with our favorite pieces of music, sometimes to the point that we believe them to be a part of ourselves. That is why I think it’s prudent to refrain from using descriptive terms that are condescending when comparing the different genres. Calling the music anyone listens to crap (as liszt's pinky [/b] did) is like calling them crap , and I don’t think anyone would like that. And of course it is only fair to not stereotype one particular genre as having particular techniques when in reality those techniques are common to all music.

Like you, and like “Classical Player” who started this thread, I listen more to what most people generally refer to as “Classical” music than to other genres. So, we all share the same musical interests. However, we don't share the same philosophical reasons for our mutual appreciation.

 Quote:
liszt’s pinky wrote:

By the way, I have a large selection of adult beginner books and classical selections are definitely in the minority.[/b]
Out of curiosity I checked the Michael Aaron, Adult Piano Course, Book 1. It has beginner level arrangements of “Waves of the Danube” (often called Danube Waves) by Inanovici, Leibestraume by Liszt (you should like that one), and Romance by Rubinstein. What’s wrong with that? Of course it has some popular pieces as well, and in my opinion so it should. And, how many method books have the JS Back Minuet in G Major? Plenty. Check out “Progressive Class Piano, A Practical Approach for the Older Beginner”, by Elmer Heerema (an Alfred publication). Yes, there are other method books, like the Alfred Basic Adult Piano Course, which is so popular at this site, that contain less Classical themes. You may be correct when you say that most method books are non-classical. Perhaps I've tended to collect the more classical oriented ones because of my own interests. Thankfully classical method books are still numerous enough to satisfy my needs.

Besides, who says a beginning student, like myself, should restrict themselves to a single method book. I have often used the following site for extra repertoire:

Gilbert DeBenedetti’s site

Many of the themes are classical. The site allows you to listen to each piece being properly played and you can download the sheet music for free. Several pieces appear more than once, each time arranged for a more advanced level student. What’s wrong with that? It's called progressive learning. Yes, he also has the piece “The Entertainer”. But hey, who’s telling you to play it? And who’s forcing you to hear me play it?

My personal feeling is that most method books, including the one that I am following (which as I posted earlier has a very extensive classical and popular repertoire), progress much too quickly. In order to develop real skill, I feel I need much more exposure to a variety of repertoire at each level. For example, recently I have been working on the Clementi set of six sonatinas on the advice that doing so will improve my playing skill.

By the way, I never heard of “Over the Waves”. Could it be the same piece that I mentioned earlier called “Danube Waves”? If so, come on. That’s not so bad, is it?
_________________________
Don't believe anything you hear and only half of what you see.

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#1020654 - 05/04/08 01:56 PM Re: Are the adult beginners here even interested in classical music?
Mr Super-Hunky Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 4199
Loc: Arizona.
Reffering to someone else's taste in music as "mindless pop songs to satisfy an easy fix" has got to be just about the most disrespectful statement I have ever read on this forum.

Why don't you just come out and say "if you don't like what I do, your an idiot"!.

Come on man, this is a place where everyone RESPECTS each others choices and genres of music because we all share a common love for playing the piano while expressing our love for it through the various styles of msuic we play.

The nice thing about the ABF is that we DO have numerous styles of music represented here, not just "vanilla"!.

Variety is the spice of life!, have some tollerance (and respect) for others or take a hike!

Btw, you refer to Elton John as only being able to play simplistic chords and melodies. I've just gotta ask, are you on crack or something?.

You almost refer to Elton as being an untalented hack capable of only constructing the most simplistic chords and melodies. Please excuse my not finishing my thoughts as I have this uncontrollable urge to go beat my head against the wall for some reason! . Maybe someone else with a bit more tact can finish my reply as I'm probably going to regret what I post if I continue.

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#1020655 - 05/04/08 02:14 PM Re: Are the adult beginners here even interested in classical music?
Mark... Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 4372
Loc: Jersey Shore
I hope to play some mindless pop songs some day...

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#1020656 - 05/04/08 02:23 PM Re: Are the adult beginners here even interested in classical music?
gmm1 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/03/06
Posts: 1674
Loc: Spokane WA
Pop songs are mindless??? WHAT?? Why have I not been told this before now?

Everyone here knows I am mindless, yet no one would bother to tell me there is music out there designed for me!!!

I am very disappointed in all of you, keeping this from me.

Now, I must go and find my calling....
_________________________
"There is nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself." Johann Sebastian Bach/Gyro

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#1020657 - 05/04/08 02:34 PM Re: Are the adult beginners here even interested in classical music?
TonyB Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/08/07
Posts: 314
Loc: Twin Cities
OK, let's do this right. From where I sit, the only music worth listening to is the music I listen to. You people (guys and gals) now have to guess what kind(s) of music I listen to so you will know what kind(s) music is (are) worth listening to.

If there really is merit to what I have said (i.e. there is a Universal Truth behind this claim), then you will all have no trouble guessing what kind(s) of music I listen to, and will therefore all guess the same kind(s) of music, which implies we will all be in agreement as to what music merits our time.

I sincerely hope you get it right!! If not, then we will all have to agree to put this line of reasoning to bed once and for all.

Tony
_________________________
my blog: http://ajourneyintomusic.blogspot.com

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#1020658 - 05/04/08 02:56 PM Re: Are the adult beginners here even interested in classical music?
Coolkid70 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/27/08
Posts: 378
Loc: Irvine, CA
In response of Orez,

Yes, I am familiar with Beethoven's Fifth. I did use an important qualifier: "slightly".

I think that the motif in the Fifth is varied in so many ways; it is interesting to try to follow them all. My point was that a lot of popular piano just doesn't really change in ways that I find interesting - maybe "too easy" to follow.

Again, in light of other responses to this thread, I want to reiterate that this is my PERSONAL opinion, and everything I have stated so far are just reasons why I prefer one form over another.
_________________________
Kawai K-3 (2008)

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#1020659 - 05/04/08 02:56 PM Re: Are the adult beginners here even interested in classical music?
loveschopintoomuch Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/05/06
Posts: 4690
Loc: Illinois
You must be kidding, right?

I would say that half of us are. Not to say that many of us like other genre also. I'm a big fan of the golden oldies, for instance...because I am a golden oldie. \:D

But my heart belongs to Chopin as my name implies.

You might notice that the Chopin thread is close to 4,000 posts. Right here on the Adult BEGINNERS'S forum. I believe it is the biggest thread going...anywhere. That, alone, should answer your question. \:\)

Kathleen
_________________________
After playing Chopin, I feel as if I had been weeping over sins that I had never committed, and mourning over tragedies that were not my own." Oscar Wilde, 1891

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#1020660 - 05/04/08 03:03 PM Re: Are the adult beginners here even interested in classical music?
hotkeys Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/07
Posts: 788
Loc: Massapequa, NY
I can understand Classical player's concerns about the type of music people want to learn. A lot of people quit piano lessons after a year or two due to doing nothing but scales, and all they wanted to do is make music. This issue lead to people like Scott Houston and others (btw I would of never touched a piano if it wasn't for him).

There are some beautiful popular pieces as well like Dan Hill's "Sometimes when we touch" which I want to play, as well as the songs by Air Supply. I will need to work out the fingerings as the music is written in Classical notation to enable a pianist to play the same hits.

I believe people quit due to the inability to make music on a piano, and this lead to courses by Scott and others featured on PBS (in the states) and other outlets.

Come listen to the piano bar we have in this forum (as Deborah has suggested). And Monica Kern is putting together our quarterly recital (occurs this month) we have every three months. You will be amazed of the quality of musicianship. Stop by there, you will be pleasantly surprised! \:\)

- Mark
_________________________
...The ultimate joy in music is the joy of playing the piano...

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#1020661 - 05/04/08 03:16 PM Re: Are the adult beginners here even interested in classical music?
ROMagister Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/26/08
Posts: 518
Loc: Bucuresti, Romania
I'm interested in pop AND some classical too. At least what's within my reach now - not much ;-)

Now I can (sort of) play the Pachelbel Canon and Albinoni Adagio in Gm. May try soon Bach "Wachet auf" BWV645, may want to get sometimes to the Little Fugue BWV578 and ultimately to the Toccata and Fugue BWV565...

Yes, I listen much more complex pieces than I ever hope to be able to play with my hands in real time. Chopin is deeply humbling in almost all I heard so far ;-)

There are serious links between modern rock and opera and classical and... You may listen on YouTube Yngwie Malmsteen's Toccata from the Suite for guitar and orchestra (and Japanese choir)...
Emerson, Lake and Palmer's version of Mussorgsky is great !
Anyone listened to the contrapuntal choir of "A Sunday in Battery Park" in "Kristina fran Duvemala" by Benny Andersson from ABBA ?
I've heard classical sounds from Coolio's rap to Leaves' Eyes or Nightwish gothic metal.

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#1020662 - 05/04/08 03:17 PM Re: Are the adult beginners here even interested in classical music?
Mr. Gould Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/01
Posts: 1111
Hey everyone,

Firstly I must apologize for the misunderstanding! The irony is I love Elton John, Beatles and many other pop/rock groups. I'm probably the last person to judge other musical tastes either. Music is music.
After re-reading my post I can see where some of you are coming from. I guess I was tired last night. By mindless I was trying to say that it's is easier to immediately jump to chord learning, and melody copying than it is to first thoroughly review the theory behind the music staff, time signatures etc... And by proper I was trying to imply traditional.

When its made all the content on my website will be free.
If you feel that you learned a lot of valuable things and you would like to give back to the website then it would be appreciated.

I think this will be an interesting experiment.
As I will try to apply the traditional teaching methods of classically trained teachers to an online course.
I'm still trying to decide the best way to teach rhythm. It should be fun \:\)

If you know anything like this that exists on the internet could you provide a link? I've done some searching but could not find anything as comprehensive as I had in mind.

Regards,

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#1020663 - 05/04/08 03:21 PM Re: Are the adult beginners here even interested in classical music?
MarkFromNYC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/12/07
Posts: 37
What's especially ironic about the original poster's condescension is the fact that he's setting up a website that purports to teach classical piano the "proper way." He should float that idea in the Teacher's Forum, where I'm sure more than one teacher will haughtily inform him that the serious study of classical piano cannot possibly be addressed by a mere website.

His attitude about any music that's not classical, though, is indicative of a general dismissal of non-classical music by quote-unquote "serious" musicians. I find it strange that otherwise intelligent people would fool themselves into believing that decent music stopped being written around the late 1800s. I personally chalk it up to the sheer "snob appeal" of classical music.

IMO, classical music is fine. But like every other musical genre, it doesn't appeal to everyone. Nothing wrong with that at all.

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#1020664 - 05/04/08 03:33 PM Re: Are the adult beginners here even interested in classical music?
piano_deb Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/26/05
Posts: 787
Loc: Memphis, TN
 Quote:
Originally posted by Classical Player:
I think this will be an interesting experiment.
As I will try to apply the traditional teaching methods of classically trained teachers to an online course.
I'm still trying to decide the best way to teach rhythm. It should be fun \:\)

If you know anything like this that exists on the internet could you provide a link? I've done some searching but could not find anything as comprehensive as I had in mind.[/b]
You might find some useful sites through this Piano World "Links" forum . Also, if you use the search function and look for ABF threads with "online lessons" or "online theory" or "online teaching" in them, you will probably find a variety of references and recommendations.
_________________________
Deborah
Charles Walter 1500
Happiness is a shiny red piano.

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#1020665 - 05/04/08 03:47 PM Re: Are the adult beginners here even interested in classical music?
MarkFromNYC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/12/07
Posts: 37
 Quote:
By mindless I was trying to say that it's is easier to immediately jump to chord learning, and melody copying than it is to first thoroughly review the theory behind the music staff, time signatures etc... And by proper I was trying to imply traditional.
Uh-huh. So basically your belief is that the only real way to study piano or music in general is to learn all the theory first?

I'm with you on the general idea that it's essential to know basic music theory, how to read music, etc.--so many of the "Play Piano In 10 Minutes" courses that rake in the bucks these days ignore all of that, which I think is bad news. But one has to consider why these courses are so popular in the first place: traditional piano instruction is often seen as tedious and incredibly boring. I suspect this springs from an over-emphasis of theory, mechanics, technique, etc. while sacrificing musicality.

The quickie methods provide immediate payoff, but no foundation. The traditional methods stress foundation, but make one wait for any real payoff (which is why many students give up before they can play much of anything). What's really needed is a method that sits in the middle of those two extremes: one that provides some foundation and some payoff at the same time.

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#1020666 - 05/04/08 03:52 PM Re: Are the adult beginners here even interested in classical music?
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 17674
Loc: Victoria, BC
 Quote:
Originally posted by Classical Player:
[...] I am currently developing an online lesson website that will teach you from the ground up all the basic theory knowledge required to play classical piano. [...]I realized that people who are interested in self learning piano are not interested in classical music. [...]Or are there actually people out their who wish to learn classical piano the Traditional way, but don't have the time or money to find a teacher,

Any thoughts? Thanks! [/b]
I have some questions/thoughts, since you ask :

1) What do you consider "all the basic theory knowledge required to play classical piano"? Many student pianists working with a teacher study very little theory, yet get fairly well advanced in the playing of classical music. While I agree that the knowledge ot the basics of theory enhance ones understanding of the structure of music, I am not so sure that "basic theory knowledge" is "required" to play classical piano. Can you give some examples of what you are refering to?

2) The "traditional" way of learning to play classical piano involves regular sessions with a teacher and the primary focus of those sessions is - or should be - feedback on what was instructed, how the instruction was understood and how it was realized in the playing. How is your "traditional" - but non-traditional on-line format - going to replicate the essentials of piano teaching: the teaching of phrasing, dynamics, expression, the use of the pedals, as well as the discussion of interpretive and stylistic questions?

It may be very well to think you can teach "all the basic theory knowledge required to play classical piano" in an on-line format, but if there is no practical teacher-student follow-up on actual pieces, what will you really be teaching? Isn't "all the basic theory" already in print?

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
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Estonia 190 in satin ebony
Writing from Paris until 15 May, 2014

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#1020667 - 05/04/08 03:56 PM Re: Are the adult beginners here even interested in classical music?
Always Wanted to Play Piano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 674
Loc: Chicago
I am interested in playing real classical music. At this point, being a true beginner, the only classical pieces that are available to me are seriously dumbed-down versions of the real thing. I am impatiently looking towards the day when I can play something like a Bach Two-Part invention, for example. I have read here that many of those are easy, and yet they seem light-years beyond me at present.
_________________________

Casio Ap-200
Almost midway thru Alfred's All-In-One Book Two
Blogging my family's piano learning experiences: http://aw2pp.blogspot.com/

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#1020668 - 05/04/08 04:02 PM Re: Are the adult beginners here even interested in classical music?
Mr. Gould Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/01
Posts: 1111
Essentially yes, I feel that first building a proper foundation is key to the study of piano. (Anything that requires one to read the traditional piano staff.)

I was thinking a program in this order:

1. Learn how to identify notes on the staff and play them on the piano.

2. Learn proper technique, and begin with some simple 1 octave scales.

3. Learn about rhythm, time signatures, key signatures, etc...

4. Learn basic pieces that combine these elements.

 Quote:
I'm with you on the general idea that it's essential to know basic music theory, how to read music, etc.--so many of the "Play Piano In 10 Minutes" courses that rake in the bucks these days ignore all of that, which I think is bad news. But one has to consider why these courses are so popular in the first place: traditional piano instruction is often seen as tedious and incredibly boring. I suspect this springs from an over-emphasis of theory, mechanics, technique, etc. while sacrificing musicality.[/b]
This is precisely why I posted this topic. Finding that middle ground you mentioned in the beginning would be good. Maybe I'll try to make the videos entertaining. :p

Thanks for your input.

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#1020669 - 05/04/08 04:07 PM Re: Are the adult beginners here even interested in classical music?
TonyB Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/08/07
Posts: 314
Loc: Twin Cities
This is something I have been thinking about and is not a response to the OP, though that post and our ensuing discussion leads me to believe that this post is appropriate here.

Many of us have been teaching ourselves to play piano from a variety of directions, and at least as many are taking lesson from various teachers. I find from reading posts across these forums that some people seem to be enjoying themselves whatever they are working on and with, while others seem to struggle with the learning process and doing things the "right" way. In defense of the "right" way, people will bring up how the great composers studied these same things or that these great pianists had to do things this way or that. It seems to me that, as with classical guitar, it is the classical pianists that are more focused on the "right" way than those who are playing other styles of music. But it does seem to me that, from the discussions in these forums, we are most (if not all) focused on playing other people's music rather than creating our own.

As I play piano, I am becoming more and more aware that I am interested in creating my own music rather than having to play what other people wrote all the time. For example, I stated early on in my participation in these forums that I wanted to play along the lines of David Lanz and some of the more advanced new age piano players. I am now more certain that I don't want to play their songs, but instead absorb some of their stylistic phrasing and make my own music.

On the guitar, I spent all my time studying technique, teaching myself music theory and arranging, and then arranging other people's songs. However, in a band situation, I did not seem to have trouble improvising and carrying on a musical conversation with the other people in the band within the context of whatever tune we were playing.

I think that there is a mindset that I get locked into so that if I sit down and say to myself - just make something up, I will have lost touch with the ability to do that (assuming I ever had it).

What this amounts to, at least in my case, is that I "studied away the ability to just play around with music and sound". I am reasonably sure that many of us, including myself, would quickly say that to make our own music, we need to develop facility on our chosen instrument and an understanding of how music is put together. However, the instructional paths I have seen seem to provide that information just fine, but I have yet to encounter instructional materials that go from "now that you know your theory and can get around on your instrument" here is "how to break way from other people's music and forge your own path".

As a result, I find myself headed in that same, comfortable direction on the piano that I went on the guitar. I am playing from sheet music and fakebooks, rather than exploring my own musical voice.

To me it seems that if I can find my own musical voice, the music will come much more naturally. Whereas, when I spend weeks learning a song that somebody else wrote that expresses somebody else's life and experiences, I can mimic that person's voice and the possibility of making an error or forgetting a part of what I had worked so hard on in the middle of playing it for somebody else always looms overhead.

In the music I listen to, regardless of style, there are things that draw me to certain music and things that don't draw me in. Consequently, there are generally some areas of musical style that I don't like because they have much less (if any) of what draws me to that music and other areas of musical style that contain at least some of what draws me in.

To me, it seems that by listening to many kinds of music and identifying in general broad strokes those types of things that draw me in, I could learn how to recreate those sorts of things and create music that not only draws me in, but also therefore more fully expresses me in that music.

I am not saying that playing other people's songs or compositions is wrong or negative in any way. I made a living for a time doing just that on guitar, and all my musical involvement up to this point on both guitar and piano has been in hot pursuit of exactly that.

What I am doing here is thinking out loud and possibly (hopefully) spurring some more constructive discussion about things along these lines in this thread. Why is it that a classical composer could write a piece and then it is expected that thousands of other people have to play it note-perfect? Why is it that Eric Clapton writes a song and then every other guitar player has to learn it instead of writing their own? Why can't we ALL have that part of the fun too?

I don't see any reason why any of us here could not create music that is of interest to others, should we choose to do so (i.e. I don't expect that everybody wants to do that, or should for any reason). But it does seem to me that much of music education, whether formal or informal, seems to not be geared toward doing that. We come to believe or be conditioned to accept that there are only a few gifted people who are capable of creating "good" music, and most of them were dead before 1900. My hope is that this is mere "urban legend" or "cultural conditioning" (i.e. as Sudnow would have said, one of those "obnoxious musical myths" that prevent us from getting where we want to be) that begs to be challenged by the "unwashed masses". \:\)

Tony
_________________________
my blog: http://ajourneyintomusic.blogspot.com

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#1020670 - 05/04/08 04:08 PM Re: Are the adult beginners here even interested in classical music?
Orez Eno Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/23/08
Posts: 179
Loc: New England
Coolkid70[/b]
No offense was taken. I simply wanted to dig a little deeper into the reasons why you prefer classical music over popular.
 Quote:
Coolkid70 wrote:

I think that the motif in the Fifth is varied in so many ways; it is interesting to try to follow them all.[/b]
I think you are approaching closer to the underlying reasons for your appreciation of any music. Over the years I have grown to believe the theory that the best music is that which is both complex enough to intrigue us, while at the same time simple enough to not lose us. The very best music almost, but not quite loses us. And that point is different for each and every one of us. In the old days I used to get goose bumps listening to country and western. Yes, it’s true. Hank Williams really did give me goose bumps. These days it doesn’t do much for me. But I still respect country and western as being a hugely popular genre.

With that said, and just for the sake of analysis, I suggest that over time our brains grow musically and what seems varied and interesting one day can become just overly repetitive, and hence boring the next. I don’t want to gang up on Beethoven here, but it’s a convenient example. After so many years of hearing his fifth, whenever I am subjected to it once again, I find myself saying, “Alright already. You said it already. Please don’t start again.” Especially during those loud parts that you think are so final a statement that you erroneously expect an ending, but it's really a new beginning! Yes, each time the variations are slightly different, but over the years I have grown so used to them that they feel too slight and insignificant a difference to warrant continuing listening to the piece. So you see, what you have said about popular music, has worked its way into my own opinion of some classical music. And once again this demonstrates my point that it is not necessarily the genre of the music, but the way it is written. There is both good and bad music in all genres. Of course it’s natural for everyone to have a favorite genre. But like many things in life, it’s not always as sealed in concrete as we would think. I suspect that someday the same changes of appreciation will most likely happen to you. For me life has not been so simple that it’s one genre and not another. It turns out that there is plenty of both popular and classical music that continues to hold my interest and capture my emotion.
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Don't believe anything you hear and only half of what you see.

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