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Topic Options
#1104089 - 10/03/08 04:13 PM No wrong notes allowed!!
al_spinner Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/21/05
Posts: 129
Loc: San Francisco
I've been reading some piano books from my local library, as well as some "practice tips" articles online, and it seems that a lot of them advocate the "Do it right from the beginning" theory when it comes to learning a piece.

While I do think it goes without saying that you should TRY to get it right as soon as possible, how on earth does one avoid making the inevitable mistakes?

For example, as an adult beginner I frequently forget my accidentals or hit the wrong key due to reading a note wrong. Sometimes at the end of the day when I'm quite tired, a whole series of wrong notes can pop out unawares. Oops!! :rolleyes:

I would love to hear anyone's input on this, as well as how successful it is/isn't.

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#1104090 - 10/03/08 04:23 PM Re: No wrong notes allowed!!
GreenRain Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/08
Posts: 888
Loc: Somewhere in Europe
Its waste of time to learn piece so well, that you could play it at performance level, except if you are going to become Horowitz 2.

But its good to learn piece well.

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#1104091 - 10/03/08 04:26 PM Re: No wrong notes allowed!!
Kymber Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/25/08
Posts: 1348
Loc: MA
I've read this too and that statement always made me a little anxious thinking I could never make a mistake. Obviously we want to strive for accuracy but of course we will get notes wrong while we are learning.

I think the idea is not to committ any wrong notes to memory.
_________________________
“The doubters said, "Man cannot fly," The doers said, "Maybe, but we'll try,"
And finally soared in the morning glow while non-believers watched from below.”
― Bruce Lee

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#1104092 - 10/03/08 04:28 PM Re: No wrong notes allowed!!
Kymber Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/25/08
Posts: 1348
Loc: MA
Also, if you make a certain mistake regulary you might want to mark that in your music as a reminder so when you get to it you will do it the right way.
_________________________
“The doubters said, "Man cannot fly," The doers said, "Maybe, but we'll try,"
And finally soared in the morning glow while non-believers watched from below.”
― Bruce Lee

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#1104093 - 10/03/08 04:38 PM Re: No wrong notes allowed!!
TTigg Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/07
Posts: 873
Loc: Southern California
I'd be tempted to agree with Green... it's going to be different for most of us but for me here is what I am aiming for when I look at pieces, Alfred books and outside..

1. Learn RH (Melody)
2. Learn LH (chords, accompliment)
3. Learn to put them both together
4. Learn the pedals and dynamics of the song
5. Practice and learn the "touch" of how to play it

Once I'm happy I can play it to a certain degree then I move on. As my journey continues I can see that I am going to be spending more of 4/5 on various pieces and I can't wait.

I'm just over 1/2 through learning Forest Gump (Feather) following the above, should have it down pretty soon and hopefully "touched" by Xmas when I go home..

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#1104094 - 10/03/08 04:39 PM Re: No wrong notes allowed!!
agraffe Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/08/08
Posts: 132
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Hi al_spinner,

You might want to check out _The Perfect Wrong Note_ by William Westney. There's plenty in that book to put to rest the "Don't make a mistake" myth of piano practice.
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#1104095 - 10/03/08 05:14 PM Re: No wrong notes allowed!!
DragonPianoPlayer Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/06
Posts: 2368
Loc: Denver, CO
Both "the perfect wrong note" and "Improve your piano playing" give great tips. I don't have the author of the second book at the moment - maybe John Mellon?

A key point in perfect... Is that focusing too hard on not making any mistakes can increase tension. The trick is to identify and solve the problems causing the mistakes as early on as is possible.
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#1104096 - 10/03/08 05:19 PM Re: No wrong notes allowed!!
BearLake Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/16/08
Posts: 144
Loc: SE Idaho
Playing the piano has a rhythm to it. I like to compare it to walking. If something in the road (piece) trips me, I learn to recover and keep going. I feel the same challenges with a piano. I try to keep a steady rhythm where I feel secure. I don't stop and fret over a wrong note.

There is a excellent book, "improvising, How to Master the Art" by Gerre Hancock. He has two practice tips that apply here.

1. Never stop, keep playing.
2. Remember salvation from hitting a wrong note is only a half step away.

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#1104097 - 10/03/08 05:55 PM Re: No wrong notes allowed!!
Serge88 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/27/06
Posts: 775
Loc: Canada
In jazz wrong notes are call improvisation.

Serge
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-Keith Richards


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#1104098 - 10/03/08 07:38 PM Re: No wrong notes allowed!!
Euphonatrix Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/14/06
Posts: 518
Loc: Hessen, Germany
Practice and playing/performance are two different things. As a consequence, mistakes should be dealt with in different ways, too.

In practice one should strive not to practice mistakes, i.e. to learn a piece as accurately as possible (taking care of rhythm, notes, accidentals, key signatures etc.) Mistakes should be analysed and corrected immediately.

In playing, mistakes will occur, too. As others have already pointed out, one should not bother too much and let the nagging inner voice take reign, but keep playing instead.
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#1104099 - 10/03/08 07:47 PM Re: No wrong notes allowed!!
saerra Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/28/07
Posts: 842
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Another vote for: _The Perfect Wrong Note_ by William Westney - awesome book!

I understand the principle of not practicing things wrong, but I think the way it comes across is really detrimental for some of us (like me!) - I'm already a tense, stressed out, perfectionistic mess - I hesitate too much because I worry that I'll make a mistake and I want to "get it right". To me, the idea of "you MUST get it right or you'll ruin the piece forever!" ;\) is REALLY counterproductive.

I do see the value in trying to get it right from the start (to not confuse your muscle memory) - but for me personally, too much focus on getting everything perfect all the time... is just not helpful.

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#1104100 - 10/03/08 08:23 PM Re: No wrong notes allowed!!
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
saerra, I can understand your comment, really!

But, there are many piano students who are more scientific or mathematical in nature (consider them the accountants, the engineers, the launchers of things NASA, the builders of airplanes, the jigsaw, crossword, suduko (spelling?).

While being so very cautious is someone's best game, it would be someone else's frustration.

Another thing counterproductive that you mentioned is, to me, the elusive field of "perfectionism". I could scream, but I don't when all the interruptions of a perfectionist keeps a musician from making progress. THey just have to agonize about every step they take.

Somewhere is the risk taker who plays, assesses what he observed, knows how to fix it, and does. Then he goes on the the next occurance of a mistake. It's like he has a fly swatter, swings when needed and says "Got it!"

Getting it right from the start can happen without the anxiety - it's just allowing your self to move more slowly through the formative getting acquainted part of the music, the observation of the difficulty factor.

Getting it right from the start is also allowing yourself to make make mistakes without dramatizing their existance. Noticing them is enough. On the next pass, you give your attention to the problem area and work it out more carefully in your mind and fingers.

On to productivity with a little bit of adjustment to what you allow yourself to think when you are practicing.

And done forget to praise the good, smooth moves you do - maybe even with a grin. SOme of my younger elementary students burst out in self applause when they know they have played a song well, and boy do they get enthusiastic when they think they did a super job on it.

William Westney's "The Perfect Wrong Note" is subtitled "Learning to Trust Your Musical Self".
He also proposes you will set your own musicality free from reading and following his writing.

"The Perfect Wrong Note" is $17.95 from:
www.halleonard.com
It is listed as an essential book for piano teachers in the advertising. It is more directed to classical study, performers, teachers, and students working on higher levels of music.

It probably is not meant for someone in early study of piano where there is still much learning of basic skills and notational reading foundations being developed.

There is a "mindset" to piano study that "serious" students reach, then they are ready for the next steps which are usually about intellectual understanding and details of using the self - mind - body to enhance your piano performance. The contents of lessons and books such as this "mindset" require would add to confusion, I think. When you are ready for this level, everything written will make sense to you and be helpful, or it will be near understanding.

That's why so many books have primary, preparatory, early elementary, elementary, late elementary, early intermediate, intermediate, late entermediate, advancing, professional labels on the books.

This run though of levels always reminds me of Julio Gallo saying "No wine before it's time!"

Did you find some things to enjoy or inspire you in his book?

I haven't read it yet.

Betty

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#1104101 - 10/03/08 09:25 PM Re: No wrong notes allowed!!
Akvarn Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/26/08
Posts: 35
Loc: Norway
I keep telling myself "Go slow and you will go fast". Since we rely on muscle memory it is important to repeat the right movements, otherwise the muscles will remember the wrong ones (or remember nothing at all). To do this I always practice at a very slow tempo. Then it is only :rolleyes: a matter of repeating it at a manageable tempo and everythig will speed up as muscle memory takes care of the rest.

During this process there are always parts that cause "problems". As soon as I have identified them (there are many) I isolate each part and practice it separately until it feels more natural. This is the way I play the guitar as well, and guitar and piano teachers have pointed out to me the importance of going slow enough.

How picky one wants to be is a personal choice. However - expecting perfection or something close to it will probably at some point take away the joy. I never force myself to practice. If I'm not sure I sit down and fool around with the keys for a couple of minutes. If I'm in the mood I get caught in it, if I'm not I find something else to do.

Until I can play well at my preferred tempo I constantly fight the urge to go too fast and sometimes I give in . But based on my experience it is true - go slow and you will learn faster.

Not sure this is a good response to the OP, but I felt like sharing my experience.

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#1104102 - 10/03/08 10:03 PM Re: No wrong notes allowed!!
Schubertian Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 937
Loc: Dallas, TX, US
spin
I dont know what books and on-line references you have seen but a common theme that I see from time to time is the idea that a single mistaken note is to be avoided at all cost because - and I have to fill in here because the reason is never very clearly stated - because somehow that note gets imprinted into your brain circuitry and it will be a big effort to undo it.

If that is the line of reasoning behind this 'perfect every time' fetish I have to say that it does not correspond with my experience at all. In the initial stages of learning a piece I try to hit the right notes but I don't become overly concerned if I hit a few klunkers. The errors help me find out where my trouble spots are because usually those errors happen repeatedly. Most often they can be corrected by a change of fingering or getting an errant finger out of the way in time or something like that.

After several weeks of repeat practicing and drilling the errors gradually become corrected. My hands have learned to feel the passages correctly.

It is only in the late stages of playing a piece where my focus is on playing from beginning to end and getting the melodic and harmonic lines singing and expressive that I aim for no errors. At that point the momentum of the musical expression seems to sweep everything along with itself and the notes take care of themselves - based upon weeks of correct practicing.

I dont think the brain operates on this 'perfect every time fallacy'. WHen my daughter was learning to walk she certainly spent months taking mis-steps and falling and wobbling but that did not get imprinted. She DID learn to walk and I wonder of all the errors helped her brain sort out the algorithms it needed to walk correctly and effortlessly.

Not to mention the level of anxiety that such a high bar would place one you would seem to kill any enjoyment of what you are doing, and also stifle any creative or expressive elements that would come along later.
_________________________
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#1104103 - 10/03/08 10:18 PM Re: No wrong notes allowed!!
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5834
Loc: Down Under
 Quote:
Originally posted by Betty Patnude:
William Westney's "The Perfect Wrong Note"
...
It is listed as an essential book for piano teachers in the advertising. It is more directed to classical study, performers, teachers, and students working on higher levels of music.

It probably is not meant for someone in early study of piano where there is still much learning of basic skills and notational reading foundations being developed.

I haven't read it yet.

[/b]
Well I have read it, and I wouldn't really say it's directed to those working "on higher levels of music", or that it's not meant for someone in early study of piano. William Westney says who it's for in his preface:

Whether you are a student (of any instrument including the voice, at any developmental point from beginner to advanced), a teacher, a parent, a professional musician, or an ex- or would-be musician of any age...

He addresses the situations of child beginners, adult beginners, all the way to professional performers. Not everyone will agree with him, especially if your ideas of how things should be done are fairly fixed, but I think especially for adult beginners what he says can be transforming. I can understand how saerra found it helpful.
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#1104104 - 10/03/08 11:14 PM Re: No wrong notes allowed!!
saerra Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/28/07
Posts: 842
Loc: Atlanta, GA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Schubertian:
...
I dont think the brain operates on this 'perfect every time fallacy'. WHen my daughter was learning to walk she certainly spent months taking mis-steps and falling and wobbling but that did not get imprinted. She DID learn to walk and I wonder of all the errors helped her brain sort out the algorithms it needed to walk correctly and effortlessly.

Not to mention the level of anxiety that such a high bar would place one you would seem to kill any enjoyment of what you are doing, and also stifle any creative or expressive elements that would come along later. [/b]
Thanks Schubertian, you said what I was thinking much more elegantly re: anxiety caused by thinking you can not make a mistake.

And the example about your daughter (great example!) is the type of thing that Westney describes in his book. (He also talks about babies learning to feed themselves, and how at first - they are just as likely to get the food on their nose as in their mouth - but the body's feedback system corrects for it, and eventually their aim improves!)

Alot of what I got from the book was - piano has a physical component, like a sport, and our bodies have to do physical learning. Rather than beating ourselves up when we make mistakes, or thinking we shouldn't have made them ("I practiced that all week, how could I mess it up now?!") - we should relax and trust that our bodies our doing what they need to to sort out the physical information.

And that *sometimes* we may even need mistakes to learn what we're doing.

Maybe not for everyone, but I found it useful.

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#1104105 - 10/04/08 02:52 AM Re: No wrong notes allowed!!
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Nicely put Akvarn and welcome to the forum. I think there is a little cross talk going on here i.e it is the making not the mistake that's the problem. If you don't fix that (its cause) the mistake will either repeat or surface elsewhere.
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#1104106 - 10/04/08 04:38 AM Re: No wrong notes allowed!!
Akvarn Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/26/08
Posts: 35
Loc: Norway
Thanks. \:\)

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#1104107 - 10/05/08 03:18 PM Re: No wrong notes allowed!!
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
I'll make sure it's on my read list.

I was listing from a page of advertising in Oct/Nov 2008 American Music Magazine and the wording led me to believe that it is not a beginner read....

So, I'll have to set myself straight before I feel comfortable recommending it again.

Thank you currawong, and saerra.

Betty

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#1104108 - 10/05/08 07:55 PM Re: No wrong notes allowed!!
jotur Online   blank
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5283
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
 Quote:
Originally posted by Betty Patnude:
saerra, I can understand your comment, really!

But, there are many piano students who are more scientific or mathematical in nature (consider them the accountants, the engineers, the launchers of things NASA, the builders of airplanes, the jigsaw, crossword, suduko (spelling?). . .

Betty [/b]
Hm. saerra says she's tense/a perfectionist about making wrong notes, so, with the word "but" I can't quite tell if Betty means that folks with scientific, etc, natures are also perfectionists, or if she thinks they're different, and don't sweat the wrong notes.

So I'll check in as someone who is 5 out of the 8 things Betty mentions, and, in performance, I don't sweat the wrong notes \:\) The point for me, as several other folks above say, is to play right thru the "wrong notes", such as they are. I do, indeed, try to practice to the point I am extremely familiar with the sound/shape of my piece, but fortunately, the kind of music I play not only doesn't require note perfect, it's considered to be good form to play a piece differently each time through. It's one of the (many) reasons that I don't prefer classical - temperamentally I am much more improvisational.

So I'm on the side of "practice to do as well as you can on your type of music, but make music, not 'every note the right note'."

Cathy
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#1104109 - 10/05/08 09:03 PM Re: No wrong notes allowed!!
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Jotur - You have me laughing!

How fortunate that the kind of music you play not only doesn't require note perfect, it's considered to be good form to play a piece differently each time through. That's a real advantage to a musician when there is nothing to sweat!

And, I'm curious about "the 5 out of 8" which you are.

The science and math people I mentioned were to explain where the "nit pickers" of music making are coming from - their skills are exactness, rules, engineering, specifics, dimensions, accountalility and responsibility toward their work definitions.

We can live in dualities and have some of the characteristics of many different discriptions - such as random - abstract - concrete - sequential. It would depend on the task and our experience with it.

When the check book needs balancing, it is best to send the concrete-sequential part of you to do the task,

When it's time to spend the money impulsively, a "fix" for the shopaholic, it's best to be a random, abstract. Etc.

The random - abstract is probably going to take risks when cooking and throw in a bunch of stuff without referring to a recipe or measuring ingredients.

The concrete - sequential will follow every work in the recipe checking twice (or more) to verify, and then carefully follow, with time constraints and deadlines, the exact recipe. The concrete - sequential probably has a thermometer hanging in the oven permanently, and wipes every spill up as it occurs.

That doesn't mean that both aren't happy in the kitchen.

Doing as well as you can is all anyone can ask for and expect.

Betty

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#1104110 - 10/06/08 09:00 AM Re: No wrong notes allowed!!
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
William Westney
Will teach “Basic Gestures: Healthy, Artistic, and Easy to Teach” - Mini Session
Friday 3:30pm-4:30pm
At the "Back to Basics" World Piano Pedagogy Conference - Dallas Texas,
October 22-25, 2008

Most recently, Westney’s book The Perfect Wrong Note – Learning to Trust Your Musical Self was released by Amadeus Press to critical acclaim.

Westney holds two endowed faculty positions at Texas Tech University, as Distinguished Professor and Artist-in-Residence. Winner of the Geneva International Competition, he has soloed with such orchestras as l’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and Houston Symphony. A popular speaker and clinician, he has also been honored with many teaching awards, and his unique Un-Master Class performance workshop, which has been featured in The New York Times, is increasingly in demand in the U.S. and abroad.

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#1104111 - 10/06/08 12:53 PM Re: No wrong notes allowed!!
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17698
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
 Quote:
Originally posted by Betty Patnude:
We can live in dualities and have some of the characteristics of many different discriptions - such as random - abstract - concrete - sequential. It would depend on the task and our experience with it.

When the check book needs balancing, it is best to send the concrete-sequential part of you to do the task,

When it's time to spend the money impulsively, a "fix" for the shopaholic, it's best to be a random, abstract. Etc.

The random - abstract is probably going to take risks when cooking and throw in a bunch of stuff without referring to a recipe or measuring ingredients.

The concrete - sequential will follow every work in the recipe checking twice (or more) to verify, and then carefully follow, with time constraints and deadlines, the exact recipe. The concrete - sequential probably has a thermometer hanging in the oven permanently, and wipes every spill up as it occurs.
[/b]
A friendly note of caution... these terms ("random-abstract" and "concrete-sequential") come from a pop psychology approach proposed by Anthony Gregorc, and they don't have any basis in empirical personality psychology. (A search of the psychology literature reveals only two academic publications by Gregorc, one being his dissertation and the other being a 1984 article in a second-tier journal.) The dominant paradigm in personality psychology today is the Five Factor Model, which adopts a dimensional approach to understanding human personality rather than a typology.

The system Gregorc advocates is often popular in a lay setting because it is simple and can be explained easily, and it is fun to pigeonhole people and professions into one of a small subset of groupings. Unfortunately, there are no empirical data in the peer-reviewed psychology literature to back up those groupings.
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#1104112 - 10/06/08 11:35 PM Re: No wrong notes allowed!!
jotur Online   blank
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5283
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
 Quote:
Originally posted by Betty Patnude:
And, I'm curious about "the 5 out of 8" which you are.

The science and math people I mentioned were to explain where the "nit pickers" of music making are coming from - their skills are exactness, rules, engineering, specifics, dimensions, accountalility and responsibility toward their work definitions. . .

Betty [/b]
Well, the "5 out of 8" was the counter example to the "science and math people" being characterized as "exactness, rules, engineering, specifics, dimensions, accountability and responsibility toward their work definitions" (tho I'm not sure what you mean by "work definitions"). If I am 5 out of the 8 professions/interests you mentioned - more than half - and I'm not primarily a personality with the attributes you assign to those professions/interests, then perhaps the suggested correlation between the professions/interests and the attributes needs to be rethought.

I've mentioned math specifically before, and will do so again here. It is not possible to describe all mathematicians as being alike, of course. Many, many of them are highly creative people and their original work is generally not, until the very final paper they publish, exact (and sometimes not then \:\) ), or by the rules, nor engineered. I'm really not sure what the "accountability and responsibility towards their work definitions" means at all! As with professional and amateur pianists, professioal and amateur mathematicians share some characteristics. I find them to be best captured in jokes \:D

I suspect it's not likely I can convince you that mathematicians aren't, as a class, primarily the kind of people you describe them as, but perhaps I could recommend some biographies of mathematicians:

Hodges, Andrew: Alan Turing, the enigma
Ulam, S.M.: Adventures of a Mathematician
Wiener, Norbert: I Am A Mathematician
Halmos, Paul: I Want To Be A Mathematician
Kanigel, Robert: The Man Who Knew Infinity, A Life of the Genius Ramanujan
Singh, Simon: Fermat's Enigma (the story of Andrew Wile's proof of "Fermat's Last Theorem". Fermat formulated the theorem 356 years before Wiles proved it. Not a very sequential process \:\) )
Nasar, Sylvia: A Beautiful Mind, a biography of John Nash

Monica, thanks for that research. When I looked at Gregorc's website I didn't see any mention of research which would support his concepts of random-abstract-concrete-sequential being the basics of learning styles, and I was curious if it existed. Apparently not \:\) Perhaps it is an interesting viewpoint, but it seems to me there's a lot more to learning styles than what I saw here.

At any rate, I, and I suspect many others, don't fit the categories in Betty's post. It's a wonderful life -

Cathy
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#1104113 - 10/07/08 01:30 AM Re: No wrong notes allowed!!
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Geeeesh, you win!

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#1104114 - 10/07/08 07:38 AM Re: No wrong notes allowed!!
Debbie57 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/27/07
Posts: 258
Loc: Kansas
 Quote:
While I do think it goes without saying that you should TRY to get it right as soon as possible, how on earth does one avoid making the inevitable mistakes?

I can't. Well, I can but it generally after the piece has been assigned for my lesson. Often if I'm frustrated with my lesson piece/pieces, I play backward to things I really enjoyed and firm them up. I've been told by my teacher several times that I strive too hard to be note perfect and it creates an un-natural plunky sound, the tension mentioned earlier. A year into my lessons, we are really working on technique - how my fingers are moving, how is the touch, is it pleasing to listen to??

Yes, I do try and get my lesson assignments done as well as I possibly can, the "get it right the first time" concept, but I'm finally starting to become more forgiving of myself. I know I spent a long time struggling with an adult idea of wanting an A on my paper, so to speak. It's *hard* for me to let go of not trying to be note perfect and keep trying remind myself that the lesson is for the learning - not graded and no expectation of performance level perfection.
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#1104115 - 10/07/08 07:11 PM Re: No wrong notes allowed!!
Akvarn Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/26/08
Posts: 35
Loc: Norway
I'm by no means an advanced musician, but I feel there's an element missing here: The nature of music. I haven't read any of the books mentioned above, but judging by the comments it seems the goal for some players is to avoid mistakes.

Music on the other hand, is about feeling the piece and is a much more positive approach. My guitar an piano tachers kept reminding me to feel the music and strive to liberate myself from the written notes. They did this on a very early stage (I couldn't read sheet music properly, much less find my way around the fret board or keyboard \:\( ) and I enjoy practice much more that way - it's a different world. Even practicing scales is fun. It is a process of internalization, not merely a mechanical thing.

My experience is that this mindset, which focuses less on the mistakes, helps eliminating them more quickly. Probably because the mind is too busy trying to get into the comfort zone and leaves less space for counterproductive impulses.

Just my two cents. :rolleyes:

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#1104116 - 10/07/08 07:39 PM Re: No wrong notes allowed!!
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Some of our reactions to what is going poorly in the music, cripple us in our thinking.

We do need to be doing our best work, and to be in music literature that is in the realm of possibility in the current level of which we play.

The agony is that our dreams take us to music for which we are not completely prepared.

I say, as a teacher, that if you can't begin to sightread through it, you certainly should not be approaching it at this time.

We want the music to flow from us - they the music we work on has to fit a criteria matching somewhat what we have established we can handle.

Expectations, intentions need to be treated respectfully. You can't produce what you don't yet have in your being. So why waste time complaining and dithering over why there are mistakes (still!) and get on to buckling down to work on pieces that are part of the platforming that takes you from one level upward to others. You can't leap and bound without having the resources.

And focusing less on mistakes, is deception. Focus enough to eliminate them, then you have a clear path ahead of you in confidence and ability.

I can really understand wanting to be flowing in your music, and getting away from stiltedness and inconsistancies.

There is no shortest path, but there are smart paths.

Betty

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