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#1090593 - 08/07/04 07:58 PM What's the very first piece you learned?
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8483
Loc: Ohio, USA
just want to see what's the first original piece everyone ever learned when you start playing (any Hanon or others' exercises are not included)?

for me, it's Fur Elise, but i only learned the first part (till repeat bar) then. i guess many people start on this piece, and we'll find out...

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#1090594 - 08/07/04 08:35 PM Re: What's the very first piece you learned?
HappyGoLucky Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/07/03
Posts: 295
Loc: Arlington, VA
I think my "first" was Glinka's "The Lark"
Virginia (from Virginia)

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#1090595 - 08/07/04 09:54 PM Re: What's the very first piece you learned?
Bob Muir Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/01/03
Posts: 2653
Loc: Lakewood, WA, USA
If you're talking about classical, I haven't learned one yet. If you're talking about a piece that's not just an exercise in a method book, my first "piece" was Silent Night.

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#1090596 - 08/07/04 10:27 PM Re: What's the very first piece you learned?
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8483
Loc: Ohio, USA
maybe i should clarify the words of 'original piece' little bit more: which should mean any piece written or transcribed for piano solo originally, not a simplified version of such a piece/song, whether it is classical or not.

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#1090597 - 08/08/04 06:19 AM Re: What's the very first piece you learned?
HermanM Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/08/04
Posts: 117
Loc: Newport, VA
For me, its a Minuet in G from the Anna Magdalena handbook. My teacher has me in the final stages now - I've got it memorized, and we're working on hand motions, specifically getting some upwards motion at the end of phrases and what not. I"ve also been working on playing it with my eyes closed. Its the first piece I've played worthy of such attention. Already started on another Bach Minuet, quite a bit more challenging for me than the first. Good stuff, that. I have taken a look at Fur Elise, but its way over my head at this point I'm sorry to say. Perhaps next year.

HM
_________________________
I played it better at home.

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#1090598 - 08/08/04 09:41 AM Re: What's the very first piece you learned?
teachum Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/19/04
Posts: 2913
Loc: idaho
Fur Elise - all of it.
_________________________
You will be 10 years older, ten years from now, no matter what you do - so go for it!

Estonia #6141 in Satin Mahogany

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#1090599 - 08/08/04 09:44 AM Re: What's the very first piece you learned?
folly Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/29/04
Posts: 19
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
My first piece (just recently learned) is Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven, which I learned with my second piano teacher. I am so glad to be an adult and be able to play whatever I want now. Before, my first pieces consisted of Schaum arrangements of classical pieces. While they did introduce me to pieces I'd like to play later, it is an accomplishment for me to say, "Hey, I can play something real" \:\)

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#1090600 - 08/08/04 10:15 AM Re: What's the very first piece you learned?
ChickGrand Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/02/03
Posts: 3204
Loc: Midwest U.S.
I was going to save myself retyping the answer to this question by finding my old post in P.C. and link to it, but the search function is not all it should be.

The question perhaps needs clarification--first piece "learned" as in started and understood, or first piece brought to performance level? My answers would be different either way.

I am the original idiot. I decided to teach myself piano as a freshman in college with access to a herd of new Steinway grands. So I went out and bought Ernesto Lecuona's Andalusian Suite and started with "Malaguena". It didn't dissuade me in the least to have other students comment, "Have you met the idiot who's starting with Lecuona's 'Malaguena'?" But lack of access to a piano DID dissuade me the next year. When I bought myself a new piano several years later (my first ever installment purchase), I picked up right where I left off, with the Lecuona. While I could read it and finger it all, some of it rather well, there were portions of it where an upright just didn't cut it--those two pages of fast quintuplets on pages 2 and 3--the upright couldn't return the hammers fast enough. Nor generate the complexity of building tone I was after. So I worked on other things in the little time I had available for practice for about a year. Until the working world and a 100-hour per week job killed all practice time.

Fast forward 20 years to quitting that job and buying a concert grand and devoting myself to piano full-time after 20 years of not playing a single note, literally. So out comes the old yellowed and dog-earred Lecuona. Only now, the piano can deliver what my mind and fingers want on those fast quintuplets with contol at PP and every shading I'm after while building to those FFFF crescendos. Meanwhile, while working that piece regularly, I committed Satie's 6 most common Gnossiennes and Gymnopedies to memory and consistent performance level. And finally worked up the nerve to tackle the 3rd Mvt. of LVB Op 27, 2. (I'd done 1 & 2 on the upright and refined them enormously on the grand). And on a good day, that's performance level as well (enough to fool neighbors they're hearing a "great CD"). And I can wing my way through a sizeable number of other things as well.

But I'm still working on polishing the Lecuona. I did play it once, but only once, that satisfied me absolutely. That left me exhilarated. But most other days, I can only come close, but see very specific elements I could have done better (always those quintuplets--maintaining speed and uniformity until the right gets a rest on page four is demanding). But I still put in the patient and focused practice time each week to make it more consistent eventually.

So I have not truly left my beginning behind even yet, though I've learned a lot alongside that effort. I'm just not that linear, I guess. And no one ever accused me of being reasonable about expectations or demands.

So after I finally "finish" that "first" piece, I'll tackle the next, "Rhapsody in Blue", which I went out and bought a half-hour after the grand was delivered.

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#1090601 - 08/08/04 10:20 AM Re: What's the very first piece you learned?
Evan70 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/18/02
Posts: 100
Loc: California
Bach's fugue in C from WTC book 1. I know I set my sights kinda high, but I was absolutely obsessed with Bach and the WTC in college. It was also the 1st piece I learned when I started playing again after a 20 year break. (Why did I ever quit?)

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#1090602 - 08/08/04 10:30 AM Re: What's the very first piece you learned?
DR LO Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 98
Loc: Southwest Iowa
If with folly on this one, I also learned moonlight sonata, but just the first movement. Didn't really like the second and the third is too hard so maybe later.

--DR LO

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#1090603 - 08/08/04 10:36 AM Re: What's the very first piece you learned?
Hammerklavier Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/12/03
Posts: 46
Allegretto in C by Diabelli.

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#1090604 - 08/08/04 02:18 PM Re: What's the very first piece you learned?
Cindysphinx Offline


Registered: 02/14/03
Posts: 6416
Loc: Washington D.C. Metro
First original piece learned: A Bach minutet.

First performed: Chopin Mazurka in G minor, Op. 67, No. 2

If I had it to do over, I wouldn't have gone with that particular Chopin piece. There are easier ones in my Chopin book that sound just as nice. Live and learn, I guess.
_________________________
Vote For Cindy!!

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post...QvjrL_blog.html

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#1090605 - 08/08/04 02:30 PM Re: What's the very first piece you learned?
teachum Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/19/04
Posts: 2913
Loc: idaho
 Quote:
Originally posted by HermanM:
For me, its a Minuet in G from the Anna Magdalena handbook. My teacher has me in the final stages now - I've got it memorized, and we're working on hand motions, specifically getting some upwards motion at the end of phrases and what not. I"ve also been working on playing it with my eyes closed. Its the first piece I've played worthy of such attention. Already started on another Bach Minuet, quite a bit more challenging for me than the first. Good stuff, that. I have taken a look at Fur Elise, but its way over my head at this point I'm sorry to say. Perhaps next year.

HM [/b]
Herman - I started laughing when I went and found the Bach Minuet in G - I love it when I already know a song - for us oldies - "How gentle is the rain? That falls softly on the meadow?" What is it? - Toys 1967? Don't despair - Fur Elise isn't that bad - I bet you'll be at it before you know it.
I have only recently begun to play any Bach at all and I really like him - I think there's a lot of good learning in his music, for me anyway. I'm currently working on a Prelude in D Major that is driving me nuts! Holding the voices while playing others at totally different counts is really hard. I don't know why this particular one is giving me such fits.

Has anyone else done this piece? Am I just brainless or is it really hard?
_________________________
You will be 10 years older, ten years from now, no matter what you do - so go for it!

Estonia #6141 in Satin Mahogany

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#1090606 - 08/08/04 02:32 PM Re: What's the very first piece you learned?
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
Chick I did exactly the same thing to Lecuona while I was in college. Of course I learned Malaguena on the guitar first. \:D
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, ├Ľun (apple in Estonian)

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#1090607 - 08/08/04 04:24 PM Re: What's the very first piece you learned?
Cool Nerd Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/25/03
Posts: 136
Loc: Charlotte, NC
Other than Thompson Method, my first peice was sheet music for "A Summer Place" that I found in the piano bench. It had pretty easy repetitive chords that I labelled on the music. Then I went into a major Bach phase starting with Two-part inventions. Bach rocks.

Julie
_________________________
Member of the Red Piano Club

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#1090608 - 08/08/04 04:26 PM Re: What's the very first piece you learned?
Badger Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/22/03
Posts: 227
Loc: United Kingdom
Rach 3 in a piano showroom.
_________________________
"There's 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

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#1090609 - 08/08/04 05:48 PM Re: What's the very first piece you learned?
ChickGrand Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/02/03
Posts: 3204
Loc: Midwest U.S.
 Quote:
Originally posted by Cool Nerd:
Other than Thompson Method, my first peice was sheet music for "A Summer Place" that I found in the piano bench...[/b]
I found "Meet The Flintstones" blown into my hedgerow one fall. Haven't felt inspired to try it.

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#1090610 - 08/08/04 06:15 PM Re: What's the very first piece you learned?
plays88skeys Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/08/04
Posts: 3091
Loc: Richmond, VA
The first piece I learned as an adult that wasn't in a method book was Tchaikovsky's "June Barcarolle" from The Seasons.
_________________________
There are no shortcuts to any place worth going. - Beverly Sills

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#1090611 - 08/09/04 01:52 AM Re: What's the very first piece you learned?
AnnaMatthew Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/13/04
Posts: 470
 Quote:
Originally posted by teachum:
Fur Elise - all of it. [/b]
Ditto. I played it so much im turned off fur elise for life now.

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#1090612 - 08/09/04 08:15 AM Re: What's the very first piece you learned?
Nina Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/13/01
Posts: 6467
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
 Quote:
Originally posted by Badger:
Rach 3 in a piano showroom. [/b]
:D \:D \:D

I really can't remember what my first piece was. Some of the earliest I can remember playing are: Fur Elise (of course! \:\) ), "Born Free," a series of piano duets from "Sound of Music," and some simplified themes of Chopin's work.

My first "real" pieces were an obscure Bagatelle-thingy by Beethoven (in my book it was named "Farewell to the Piano," with no opus or WoO --note--not "Adieu to the Piano," this was different) and Chopin's Raindrop Prelude. For some reason I was entranced by Clair de Lune and learned that pretty early on as well. Weird, since I don't think I play Debussy all that well today. (I probably didn't play Clair de Lune all that well, but folks loved hearing an 11 year old play it! \:\) )

Nina

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#1090613 - 08/09/04 09:44 AM Re: What's the very first piece you learned?
teachum Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/19/04
Posts: 2913
Loc: idaho
 Quote:
Originally posted by skeletony:
 Quote:
Originally posted by teachum:
Fur Elise - all of it. [/b]
Ditto. I played it so much im turned off fur elise for life now. [/b]
My first piano had to sit in the garage while we finished the room addition. We were living in San Diego so it wasn't a problem. I started on a keyboard and then when I went to my first lesson with my real first teacher the first piece she gave me was Fur Elise. Good thing I had the real piano because there weren't enough E's on the keyboard! I'm sure the neighbors got sick to death of hearing me doodly doo away on Fur Elise - not to mention my husband. Of course I play everything I learn a million times! But I certainly would never put Fur Elise on my cell phone ring. Hmmm that could be a good new topic!
_________________________
You will be 10 years older, ten years from now, no matter what you do - so go for it!

Estonia #6141 in Satin Mahogany

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#1090614 - 08/09/04 09:59 AM Re: What's the very first piece you learned?
pianojuggler Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/16/04
Posts: 1515
I'm still not sure what the question is. The first thing I learned after a C Major scale was something titled "German Folk Song" from the Bastien Older Beginner book 2.

I have a clearer question with which I'm thinking of starting a new thread...

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#1090615 - 08/09/04 12:43 PM Re: What's the very first piece you learned?
jdsher Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/04
Posts: 643
Loc: Plano, Texas
The first real, non-arranged piece would be the first part of fur elise. I spent maybe a month on it before I moved on. Unfortunately, it is so over played it has become annoying.
Jon
_________________________
"In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." Albert Einstein

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#1090616 - 08/09/04 02:02 PM Re: What's the very first piece you learned?
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8483
Loc: Ohio, USA
yes, Fur Elise is over played and many people get sick to death of it, but if you think back when the first time you heard it, it was such a striking little piece which seemed having stucked in your mind ever since. that might be why many people start playing piano just to learn to play this one!

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#1090617 - 08/09/04 05:34 PM Re: What's the very first piece you learned?
ChickGrand Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/02/03
Posts: 3204
Loc: Midwest U.S.
 Quote:
Originally posted by jdsher:
The first real, non-arranged piece would be the first part of fur elise. I spent maybe a month on it before I moved on. Unfortunately, it is so over played it has become annoying.
Jon [/b]
And everybody is playing the beginning usually! And it's the middle that's interesting. That piece is definitive Beethoven in Reader's Digest "condensed" form, but only if you realize all the depth is the middle where all that defiance surfaces amid all the mannerliness of the beginning and end. There's some real passion in that middle and it's not even very hard. Great little piece to learn a range of expression.

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#1090618 - 08/09/04 06:45 PM Re: What's the very first piece you learned?
BeeLady Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/02
Posts: 2339
Loc: Massachusetts
CoolNerd! How are you? I have missed you! Is your sister lurking? We would love to include her in any New England PW events!

I don't remember my first piece, I do remember Fur Elise when I was about 13. (All my old John Thompson books have the date written when each piece was assigned..scary! )

As an adult starting over after 25 years, the first piece I felt I "knew" was known as "First Loss" from Schumann's Scene's from Childhood.

While relatively easy technically, this was a difficult exercise in playing musically and learning all the subtle ways to get the sound to speak....My teacher taught me much with that "simple" piece...
_________________________
BeeLady

Life is like a roll of toilet paper...the closer you get to the end, the faster it goes!

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#1090619 - 08/10/04 06:31 PM Re: What's the very first piece you learned?
newpianoplayer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/12/01
Posts: 362
Loc: CANADA
I remember Good King Wenceslas and Little Brown Jug in Alfred's Adult I book. Among my first Classical pieces were the Clementi Sonatinas Op 36 1-3. I'm playing Jig by Archer, Verso in E minor and a Beethoven Sonatina in F in the gd 5 Repertoire. Fur Elise is in the RCM gd 7 Repertoire. I think teachers are avoiding this piece. I haven't heard Fur Elise played in any recitals.
_________________________
Please excuse me. I have to go practice

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#1090620 - 08/10/04 06:33 PM Re: What's the very first piece you learned?
MizMelody2001 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/06/04
Posts: 230
Loc: USA
The first two pieces I ever learned as a child were "Chopsticks" and "The Entertainer." I think that was followed by heart and soul. I think that's one of everyone's firsts!
_________________________
www.mizmelody.clubfreestyle.net

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#1090621 - 08/11/04 07:40 AM Re: What's the very first piece you learned?
mound Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/10/04
Posts: 782
Loc: Rochester, NY
my first piece learned to performance level was Chopin Prelude in Eminor. I still love playing it!
_________________________
"You look hopefully for an idea and then you're humble when you find it and you wish your skills were better. To have even a half-baked touch of creativity is an honor."
-- Ernie Stires, composer

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#1090622 - 08/11/04 08:55 AM Re: What's the very first piece you learned?
nycebo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/27/04
Posts: 23
Loc: New York, NY
Let's get serious folks....you're probably all talking about the first "serious" or "real" piece that you learned. But in so doing, you are overlooking all the joys of the first pieces that many learned as children including "When the Saints Go Marching In", "Big Chief Indian", and "Jingle Bells". Sheesh....Chopin? Beethoven? Gimme a break. Too mature.

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