Originally posted by Wye Mun:
Wow - I would LOVE to be able to play from memory. I can do that for only ONE piece I learnt in childhood, nothing else since.
Given that advanced compositions are very complex and long (and thus very difficult to sight play 'cold' or without a page turner!) wouldn't the ability to memorize a piece accurately (without killing the freedom to express it personally) and quickly simply add to the pleasure of playing the piano?
Why emphasize sight-reading over memorization in the earlier stages of learning? [/b]
(Please note, in the reply when I say you, I mean "you" as in a general populace, and not the OP in particular
Well, does one have to be emphasized over the other? The thing is, it's so easy for a lot of people to memorize music by ear. How many people can actually say it was so easy to learn how to read music fast and accurately?
It seems the trouble a lot of poor readers have is that they memorize things quickly -- that works great when you're learning one, two page pieces but when you're studying longer pieces it's going to hurt you in the end.
I am a very poor reader. It's hurt my ability to learn the more advanced pieces because I read so slowly (very frustrating). It's very tempting to just memorize these hard pieces by ear because it's so much easier, but in the end it'll also be less accurate -- unless you have an amazing sense of rhythm and a very good ear you're not going to be playing something marked as how the arranger or composed has made it.
Yes, you don't want to lose spontaneity, you don't want to lose your own individual style, but you must also respect the intent of the composer, yes?
It's too easy to rationalize not learning to read well (I know this and rue this all too well). My instructor has mentioned that it is very difficult for her to get students to learn arpeggios and other "dull" things because they just want to learn fun pieces and play those. This seems as if it's in the same vein --- I don't think you can ever read music *too well*.
If you have a bad memory, that is a different and unrelated issue to being a good reader -- since when has a good reader of books ever blamed the reading for an inability to memorize a poem or passage?