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#1084933 - 01/22/09 08:07 AM Absolute beginner - started March 2008
Junior Member

Registered: 01/19/09
Posts: 8
Loc: Philadelphia, PA
Dear all, I just found this forum and would love to hear some feedback about how my experience compares with yours and any suggestions. I promise to read throught the forum and get up to speed. I have a thousand questions as an absolute beginner to piano and reading music.

I have been taking a lesson per week since March 2008 having never played before. I tried several adult beginner books, struggled, and nearly abandoned the process. After about a month, I began the Faber and Faber books for children and have completed the primer level book and level one.

Since November, I started working with the Faber and Faber level two book for kids augmented with the level one Classic favorites Bastien. In the Bastien book, La Musette (Bach) was a bear and took a month to master. Faber's "Playtime Classics" book for children has been with me since June and I have nearly completed memorizing and playing the book. Currently, Mozart's "Andante - opening theme from Piano Sonata No. 11" from "My First Book of Mazart" has been keeping me very challenged for two months. My teacher just started working with my technique and expression, rather than just getting the notes and fingering correct.

How am I doing? A new song can take weeks to master. My teacher tells me not to look in my neighbor's plate. It would be helpful to get a sense of other adult's experience as the school I attend has no adult students. The frustration level at times is daunting, though I feel great to be able to play something that a month or two ago seemed like climibing Mount Everest.

All the best,
Carole Bergen

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#1084934 - 01/22/09 09:00 AM Re: Absolute beginner - started March 2008
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012

Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17948
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Welcome to the forum, CB! \:\) First off, I would not call you an "absolute beginner." Heck, you've been playing nearly a year now. ;\)

Second, it can take me weeks or even MONTHS

If you don't have a way of recording yourself yet, please consider doing so. Digital recorders like the Zoom are now surprisingly affordable and easy to use. You will find it helpful and gratifying to record yourself regularly and track your progress.
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

#1084935 - 01/23/09 11:56 AM Re: Absolute beginner - started March 2008
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4534
The phrase you use "...rather than just getting
the notes...correct." sets off every single alarm
there is in my mind. In piano there is never,
ever going to be anything more important
than getting all the notes correct. Unfortunately,
teachers today apparently think this is
not rarefied enough, and so they spend all
their time emphasizing everything but this,
with the result that the students don't
get all the notes correct, that is, they
can't play worth a damn--this, in my
opinion, is incompetent teaching.

In piano the number one thing is always
going to be reading the score accurately
and then hitting all the right notes in
the right time at speed, because if
you can't do that, then you can't play,
and if you can't play, then you're wasting
your time.

#1084936 - 01/23/09 12:07 PM Re: Absolute beginner - started March 2008
LaValse Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/21/07
Posts: 1225
Loc: Mumbles, Wales

But if that's all you can do, you'll end up sounding like a computer played midi file.

Being emergent from the score, music is so much more than that, hence the teacher working on more than that; makes sense to me...

Making music is about playing what is not written in the score...

#1084937 - 01/23/09 12:20 PM Re: Absolute beginner - started March 2008
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA

No one said anything about not getting all the notes correct. That's a given, but it's not the only important aspect of music-making. The OP said "rather than just getting the notes and fingering correct," after all.



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