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#1118689 - 11/22/08 11:02 PM Why do you want to learn the piano? What is your goal?
megrenk Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/18/08
Posts: 30
Loc: Brisbane, Australia
Hello Good People,

This is my first post on this forum. It's not an excuse for my probably silly question, but let me explain:

I had a busy life, always wanted to play the piano, changed my life style and can now afford and enjoy spending time learning it.

My tutor asked me what my goals where, and I had no answer, apart from wanting to learn it.

I see learning the piano as a journey and apprenticeship. In the latter a lot of independent basic skills are acquired and practised, and then combined and enhanced. No different to learning the piano (as I see it). During an apprenticeship there is not neccessarily the need to know the specialised field one wants to end up pursuing. Same with piano?!

In more piano speak: whether I go classical or end up contemporary or jazz is something I feel I do not need to understand right now -- on the premise of the common understanding that a classical piano education lays the solid foundation and theory for any piano playing (style).

I have started with a classical tutor in June 2007, and have recently (June 2008) added a jazz / contemporary music tutor.

What I learn from each tutor is completely different! But, the teachings complement each other, so I found. I love it! But I can't tell yet, whether I want to go classical or contemporary (for a better word).

I don't feel I don't need to know... and that I can make this decision whenever I feel ready.

The questions for you:
a) Do I sound goal-less?
b) Is my thinking flawed?

A spin could be: "whatever makes you happy" \:\) but I am curious whether any fellow Adult Beginner faced the same questions... whether they cared about an answer... or what happened...

Thanks,
Max
_________________________
"Happiness is a matter of traveling, not a destination to arrive at!"

Music makes me happy: www.max.grenkowitz.net/

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#1118690 - 11/22/08 11:24 PM Re: Why do you want to learn the piano? What is your goal?
ll Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/08
Posts: 1101
a) What's the purpose of a goal when you are doing something you enjoy? "My goal is to learn the piano. Why? Because I like the piano and playing it." It's as simple as that.

b) Your thinking is fine. I've personally wanted to play the piano since I was a child. Do you think I had a reason when I was 5? I doubt it was anything "good."

Just enjoy playing, play for yourself, and you will go far. It's all about the journey anyway--goals indicate an end. I'd hate to think that way.

Welcome to the forums, hope you like it here as much as I do \:\)
_________________________
II. As in, second best.
Only lowercase. So not even that.
I teach piano and violin.
BM, Violin & Percussion Performance 2009, Piano Pedagogy 2011.

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#1118691 - 11/23/08 04:00 AM Re: Why do you want to learn the piano? What is your goal?
Ken. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/07/08
Posts: 286
I also think about these things from time to time. Why play piano? What is my goal?

The reason I started playing piano and taking lessons since early this year is that I am a woodwind player and learning some piano is a good thing to do. A lot of horn players do this for their musicianship. Some say if you want to be a better horn player take up piano. I also started doing arranging again this year and so learning some piano skills would help there as well. I also notice a lot of the great composers played piano.

Also for me it's kind of an insurance policy, if for some reason I can't play horns any more (arguably blowing a horn is more physically demanding than piano), or if one day I decide to focus more on arranging/composing than playing. It's also nice to be able to be your own band.

So those are basically the reasons why I decided to start playing piano.

My current teacher is a classical teacher even though I am more on the jazz side but at this stage that doesn't matter because my goal for the next year is to get some basic keyboard skills down. I plan on taking it year by year. Next year I may decide to cut back on my already minimal practice (since it is a second instrument), or carry on, or change to a jazz teacher, or continue learning by myself on a reduced practice schedule. For me it will depend on motivation, and time available.
_________________________
Monk - Think of One
Bach - Two Part Invention No.12

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#1118692 - 11/23/08 05:46 AM Re: Why do you want to learn the piano? What is your goal?
Euan Morrison Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/05
Posts: 1588
Loc: Edinburgh
 Quote:
Originally posted by ll:
a) What's the purpose of a goal when you are doing something you enjoy? "My goal is to learn the piano. Why? Because I like the piano and playing it." It's as simple as that.

b) Your thinking is fine. I've personally wanted to play the piano since I was a child. Do you think I had a reason when I was 5? I doubt it was anything "good."

Just enjoy playing, play for yourself, and you will go far. It's all about the journey anyway--goals indicate an end. I'd hate to think that way.

Welcome to the forums, hope you like it here as much as I do \:\) [/b]
My thoughts exactly! And welcome to the forums, Max!

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#1118693 - 11/23/08 09:30 AM Re: Why do you want to learn the piano? What is your goal?
Debbie57 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/27/07
Posts: 258
Loc: Kansas
Welcome to the group Max,

I agree with others. Having a specific goal at this point isn't really important and in my year of re-learning, I've found the lessons a journey of discovery. I had a 40 year gap between limited childhood lessons and re-starting a year ago. My goal is vague - I want to learn and have fun doing it.

Debbie
_________________________
A Hero is one who hangs on one minute longer. Author: Unknown

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#1118694 - 11/23/08 10:59 AM Re: Why do you want to learn the piano? What is your goal?
Ivory Dreams Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/12/08
Posts: 210
Loc: Central NC
Welcome Max,

I suppose your goals could be complicated, it is all a matter of perception.

MY OWN GOAL: To play the music that I like to listen to. Which is a fairly broad spectrum. So.... I suppose my goals are also broad.
_________________________


You can own a Chickering, Christifori, or Steinway, but if you can't play it.... It is just a piece of eye candy.

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#1118695 - 11/23/08 12:06 PM Re: Why do you want to learn the piano? What is your goal?
Dave123 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/24/08
Posts: 203
Loc: Canada
I learn for my on personal enjoyment, if that is a goal, then it is my goal. I am thinking the term 'goal' has become nothing more than a cliché in many aspects of life. The moment I start to look at playing piano as a goal will probably be the day I move onto something else

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#1118696 - 11/23/08 07:12 PM Re: Why do you want to learn the piano? What is your goal?
NancyM333 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/06
Posts: 1547
Loc: Roswell, Georgia
Welcome, Max! I don't think you sound goal-less at all; some people work well with specific goals, and some totally miss the journey if they pick a dream piece to work toward.

I think jazz and classical are so totally different that it's almost like trying to decide between two instruments. If you can afford the time and money to keep both, that's great. Otherwise talk to both tutors about which one you should do first and why. Most people start with classical as a good base, but many jazz teachers do a terrific job with chords and theory so that you could also start there.

Good luck!

Nancy
_________________________

Estonia 168, Yamaha UX3

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#1118697 - 11/24/08 05:26 AM Re: Why do you want to learn the piano? What is your goal?
megrenk Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/18/08
Posts: 30
Loc: Brisbane, Australia
Hello Good People,

Thank you very much for the warm welcome and all the replies!

The replies make an interesting read and confirm my thinking: learning the piano is a journey, and it needs to be an enjoyable one too!

II: I agree; though a goal can be a milestone, not necessarily an end \:\) , such as doing a Grade x exam, being able to play a certain piece, etc.

Ivory Dreams: same here, I always wanted to learn the piano from an early age... hmm, you edited that out?? Anyway, I remember agreeing to your spin \:\)

Dave123: I hear you... I am goal-driven to the point that I want achieve certain things at a certain timeframe. The time is set realistically, and the goal keeps me striving. At the same token, I am rather on a journey that a fixed schedule.

NancyM333: I think my tutor was bit disappointed when I said the pieces I am going through are just waypoints to eventually play something socially presentable (if this makes any sense).
I agree with your 2nd paragraph... maybe not as different as two instruments, but the styles are certainly different.

All: And this is part of the reason why I asked my questions in the first place: I started to learn, and basically had no clue as to where I wanted to go. A year into tuition I was very confused as to whether I was on the right track at all... and as it was slowly sinking in how long this journey really is. \:\) Then anxiety crept in: am I on the right track?

The good thing was: when I contacted the jazz tutor with my confusion, he strongly suggested to stick with the classical tuition... and further said: feel free to approach me for lessons anytime, subscribe to as many or few as you like and check it out... adding: the stuff I will be covering will not interfere with your classical tuition.

This was very kind, reassuring, and encouraging... I started taking lessons, and so far all is true: completely different, no interference, and best of all I enjoy it.

I still don't know which way to go... I am happy with that and happy to find out over time. And this has been confirmed with this tread: it is a journey, enjoy, and implied is: I shall find out in due course.

Thanks for the enlightenment \:\) I am sure I will participate in this forum in the future.

Cheers,
Max
_________________________
"Happiness is a matter of traveling, not a destination to arrive at!"

Music makes me happy: www.max.grenkowitz.net/

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#1118698 - 11/24/08 07:27 AM Re: Why do you want to learn the piano? What is your goal?
ll Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/08
Posts: 1101
Yes, goals do set milestones and the reason I am going to consider the CM is because of just that--it gives you something to work towards, a schedule if you will.

I just hope you don't let it cloud the true purpose of why you're doing all this--because you want to!
_________________________
II. As in, second best.
Only lowercase. So not even that.
I teach piano and violin.
BM, Violin & Percussion Performance 2009, Piano Pedagogy 2011.

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#1118699 - 11/24/08 08:18 AM Re: Why do you want to learn the piano? What is your goal?
TrapperJohn Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 3574
Loc: Chocolatetown, USA
"Why do I want to learn to play the piano?"

To play the music I love.

"What is your goal?"

To play the music I Love.

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

Current favorite bumper sticker: Wag more, bark less.

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#1118700 - 11/24/08 12:49 PM Re: Why do you want to learn the piano? What is your goal?
Bex Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/19/08
Posts: 95
Loc: Southern California
Max - you're on the right track. Learning classical lays a good foundation for all other music.

And a quick note to Ken: Playing the piano well is very physically taxing once you get to the advanced level.And perhaps even intermediate level.

I was more exhausted after playing a 90-minute solo piano recital (one piece was a Mendelssohn concerto) than I was after running a marathon.
_________________________
On the piano stand:
Widmung
Partita in c minor
Jardins sous la pluie

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#1118701 - 11/24/08 12:55 PM Re: Why do you want to learn the piano? What is your goal?
Kymber Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/25/08
Posts: 1348
Loc: MA
Welcome Megrenk!
I don't think you sound goal-less or that your thinking is flawed. I think we all can learn form your sense of adventure and enjoying the journey. Isn't that what it's all about?

I think some people need goals so they have an idea what to practice and what to work towards. Some teachers might like to know your goals so they know what to gear your lessons towards.

But, I think it sounds like you are really enjoying what you are doing and that is inspirational.
Best \:\)
_________________________
“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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#1118702 - 11/25/08 03:53 AM Re: Why do you want to learn the piano? What is your goal?
IngridT Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/07/08
Posts: 244
Loc: Netherlands
Hmm. goals?

When I started piano lessons 1 1/2 year ago I had no goals, except from the long-existing-but-never-worked-on wish to be able to play an instrument. It was just something I wanted to do. And I chose piano because I love the sound, and because you can easily play it on your own.

After starting I remembered my one of my former classmates and friends palying Satie for us all the time, and I told my piano teacher that that would be one of my goals.

I never dreamt that within 1 1/2 year I would be this far already. Got 5 of the 6 Gnossiennes in my system!

So I think I need another goal already...but that shouldn't be a problem, because the more I am learning, the more I realize how little I know. Cliche, but so very true.

Stylewise I am floating around. I love a lot of different kinds of stuff. Classical, popsongs, jaz/blues, and playing stuff for the kids (X mas, and the dutch 'Sinterklaas' songs.)

I am also having a lot of fun playing together with the kids, and working with them on their pieces.

So all in all I am enjoying the journey very much. Having a goal is nice, but not a prerequisite for enjoying the journey. What I do notice though is that for me lessons (with their very short term weekly goals) is a must. My teacher has been on vacation for 3 weeks, and the I get a lot less done. Okay, I play my songs, but the nasty stuff (etudes, or pieces that I don't like or that are giving me some trouble) very smoothly disappear towards the bottom of the stack of music books...

I'll have some excuses to make this afternoon (first lesson again after 4 weeks)....

Ingrid

PS..and Welcome!! I am new here myself, but it's going to be fun, I know!

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#1118703 - 11/25/08 04:04 AM Re: Why do you want to learn the piano? What is your goal?
megrenk Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/18/08
Posts: 30
Loc: Brisbane, Australia
Thanks Guys and Gals \:\)

I can summarise: "learning the piano is a journey". While there are smaller goals (such as playing a particular piece), the larger (rather non-specific) goal is playing and learning to get better at it.

Ingrid: Satie is next on my list; after I've done my Grade 1 exam on Dec 7th \:\)

I have dared to provide my tutor with this thread and hope it sheds some light on the issue of "do I need a goal"...

Thank you all for your help!

Cheers,
Max
_________________________
"Happiness is a matter of traveling, not a destination to arrive at!"

Music makes me happy: www.max.grenkowitz.net/

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#1118704 - 11/25/08 06:44 AM Re: Why do you want to learn the piano? What is your goal?
njmeisje Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/23/07
Posts: 36
Loc: New Jersey
This will sound silly....I started playing at 42 years old. My only goal was - I wanted to be able to play a few classic Christmas songs. Silly, I know. Well, I had low expectations of myself. It has been a year since I started - and well, this week------I played O Holy Night for my teacher. We both clapped and cheered when I was done. It was funny, and touching at the same time. I'm in love with the piano, and while my only goal is to please myself --- who knows how much I might be able to learn. It will be fun finding out.

Enjoy,
Diane
_________________________
The most frustrating and exhilarating thing I have ever tried to do

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#1118705 - 11/25/08 11:18 AM Re: Why do you want to learn the piano? What is your goal?
melwig Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/18/08
Posts: 94
Loc: California
My goals for the piano are simply to play better tomorrow than I play today. That of course includes the physical ability as well as the theory knowledge. It's a journey, not a destination.
_________________________
Keep it fun, and stay motivated!

If you can achieve something without a struggle, it's not going to be satisfying.


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#1118706 - 11/25/08 12:23 PM Re: Why do you want to learn the piano? What is your goal?
Kymber Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/25/08
Posts: 1348
Loc: MA
njmeisje.
That's great. Congratulations!
_________________________
“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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#1118707 - 11/25/08 12:31 PM Re: Why do you want to learn the piano? What is your goal?
njmeisje Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/23/07
Posts: 36
Loc: New Jersey
thank you so much Kymber. The little things bring so much joy!
_________________________
The most frustrating and exhilarating thing I have ever tried to do

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#1118708 - 11/25/08 02:44 PM Re: Why do you want to learn the piano? What is your goal?
Ken. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/07/08
Posts: 286
 Quote:
Originally posted by megrenk:
...The good thing was: when I contacted the jazz tutor with my confusion, he strongly suggested to stick with the classical tuition... and further said: feel free to approach me for lessons anytime, subscribe to as many or few as you like and check it out... adding: the stuff I will be covering will not interfere with your classical tuition...[/b]
Interesting. I'm in a similar situation. I'm going to a classical teacher at a very reasonable price and she has me busy working on getting up to speed, but it's tempting to switch to a jazz teacher who in addition to technique would have me doing some jazz as well. Comping is what I would be mainly interested in going to a jazz teacher for.

I will probably reaccess things when we break next summer.
_________________________
Monk - Think of One
Bach - Two Part Invention No.12

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#1118709 - 11/25/08 04:37 PM Re: Why do you want to learn the piano? What is your goal?
TTigg Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/07
Posts: 873
Loc: Southern California
 Quote:
Originally posted by John Frank:
"Why do I want to learn to play the piano?"

To play the music I love.

"What is your goal?"

To play the music I Love.

Regards, JF [/b]
Pretty much sums me up also. For years I kept telling myself "I'd do it". Then before you know I'm knocking on the door of 40 so it was time to stop talking about it and to start doing it.

There are many tunes and genres that I enjoy listening to. My Goal? I guess it would be to ensure I have the basics down of understanding music (reading etc) so I can break down any piece I purchase the music for. Then add this to my library of songs to learn and then play on a regular basis..

Eventually I hope to also train my "playing by ear" techniques so I can begin to pick out score I hear (TV themes, shows, movies etc) and then play them..

_________________________
"...I'm out there Jerry and I'm LOVING it!..."

My You Tube | My Box.net

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#1118710 - 11/26/08 04:11 AM Re: Why do you want to learn the piano? What is your goal?
megrenk Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/18/08
Posts: 30
Loc: Brisbane, Australia
Diane: Nothing silly about it! Keep going and enjoy it \:\)

And for all it is worth, I started learning the piano in 2007, aged 50 \:\)

Ken: as we all know there are multiple ways to skin a cat \:\)
Classical is the way to go for a foundation (if you can stand classic of course). It is slow, thorough and rewarding.
The (as I call it) contemporary music education (in my case) started with chords: major, minor, 7th, in all keys, and getting the hang of it, which is automatic mode; writing my own pieces, finding melody notes to chords, additional melody notes to fill in, and so forth... but distinctively different from what (at least) I learn in the classical tuition.

I am sure my seesaw between the two will tip eventually tip to one side. At present I am not sure, and do not care much either, whether it actually "will" tip. \:\)

It is certainly demanding serving two masters... I will assess this situation over the Xmas break.
_________________________
"Happiness is a matter of traveling, not a destination to arrive at!"

Music makes me happy: www.max.grenkowitz.net/

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#1118711 - 11/26/08 12:26 PM Re: Why do you want to learn the piano? What is your goal?
zacster Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 18
Loc: NYC
I have a more basic reason for taking up piano at age 53. My twins have been taking lessons for 6 years now and the teacher recommended a better piano for practice, as they are both quite good. When we finally went to buy one we ended up with a Yamaha G2 5'7" grand that cost a boatload of money (at least to me, if not to a Steinway or other high-end owner). I figured I better learn how to play the thing myself after spending all that!

And I have been learning, doing pretty well for a first-timer.

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#1118712 - 11/26/08 02:41 PM Re: Why do you want to learn the piano? What is your goal?
Ken. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/07/08
Posts: 286
Max, I think that the piano fundamentals are the same regardless of whether you go to a classical or jazz teacher. You're going to have to learn basic keyboard skills first.

The only difference imo is that the teacher may in addition to technique have you either work on some classical pieces, or if a jazz teacher have you playing voicings or learn comping or whatever.
_________________________
Monk - Think of One
Bach - Two Part Invention No.12

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#1118713 - 11/27/08 04:00 AM Re: Why do you want to learn the piano? What is your goal?
megrenk Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/18/08
Posts: 30
Loc: Brisbane, Australia
zacster: LOL -- this is funny! \:\) But yeah, why not \:\)

Ken: Let's say then that my tutors approach it from different angles. I can truely say that one does not teach me what the other does and vice versa.
Never mind, I am loving it \:\)
_________________________
"Happiness is a matter of traveling, not a destination to arrive at!"

Music makes me happy: www.max.grenkowitz.net/

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#1118714 - 11/27/08 04:13 AM Re: Why do you want to learn the piano? What is your goal?
Bart Kinlein Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/08
Posts: 715
Loc: Maryland
Not really a goal, but a side benefit of learning the piano - yesterday my 7 year old grandaughter was sitting at the piano, just fiddling around. I asked if she'd like to learn about playing the piano. Although unenthusiastic, she applied herself to learning the C scale and major chord. She was extremely proud of herself, enough so that she insisted that her 9 year old brother hear her "Performance". Being able to share her joy was reason enough for me to learn to play!
_________________________
Steinway 1905 model A, rebuild started 2008, completed 2012
Yahama CVP-401
Will somone get my wife off the Steinway so I can play it!

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#1118715 - 11/30/08 07:12 PM Re: Why do you want to learn the piano? What is your goal?
piano4 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/21/08
Posts: 358
Loc: Hampton, Virginia
Hi Max! At first, my goal when i started was to play music for the various programs at my church! Wrong, my goals now are just to enjoy the moments while I am working on a piece or two or three, and remaining excited that I am able to play almost anything!

But I tell, don;t just stop making goals; I figure that each time I am introduced to a new piece that is more difficult than the others, my goal is to give it my best shot and enjoy the learning!
_________________________

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