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#1244223 - 08/05/09 06:58 PM Adults Don't Have Years to Learn
keyboardclass Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/01/09
Posts: 21
I think the lack of patience in adults learning to play the piano comes from the fact that they cannot afford to put in years of practice and learning, and this is why we are continually searching for that 'quick fix'.

For this reason I find that I need something that will give me the buzz of playing songs. Songs that are instantly recognised and can cause an audience to smiale and sing along.

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#1244246 - 08/05/09 07:37 PM Re: Adults Don't Have Years to Learn [Re: keyboardclass]
Serge88 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/27/06
Posts: 775
Loc: Canada
Children don't have a choice they have to practice no matter if they like it or not because teacher or parent said so. Adult can drop lessons whenever they want.
Me too I need the passion to learn and to play song.

Serge



Edited by Serge88 (08/05/09 07:48 PM)
_________________________

“Being able to hear recorded music freed up loads of musicians that couldn't necessarily afford to learn to read or write music. With recording, it was emancipation for the people.”
-Keith Richards


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#1244474 - 08/06/09 04:55 AM Re: Adults Don't Have Years to Learn [Re: Serge88]
NocturneLover Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/01/09
Posts: 149
Loc: Dantooine
I think most adults wake up a little earlier and practice in the morning because of busy schedules throughout the day. At least the most reasonable time to squeeze in more practice time would be in the mornings. I had a teacher wake up at 4 to practice everyday and she was quite good.

Also, Serge88 is right the discipline factor is mandatory for children while adults can choose to stop playing as much or even quit playing with no one chewing their ear out for it.
_________________________
"...music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy." -Ludwig van Beethoven

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#1244476 - 08/06/09 05:16 AM Re: Adults Don't Have Years to Learn [Re: NocturneLover]
keyboardclass Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/01/09
Posts: 21
I must admit that there is a certain stigma attached to the common piano statement 'I was thinking about quitting lessons'. For me its a reminder of your youth and the disappointment that it caused to both teacher and parents.

I must admit that I am considering quitting to 'go it alone' but its the guilt complex of 'failure' once again haunting me!

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#1244477 - 08/06/09 05:19 AM Re: Adults Don't Have Years to Learn [Re: keyboardclass]
J_N Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/03/09
Posts: 59
Loc: Newcastle, UK
Originally Posted By: keyboardclass
I think the lack of patience in adults learning to play the piano comes from the fact that they cannot afford to put in years of practice and learning, and this is why we are continually searching for that 'quick fix'.


I think it has more to do with not wanting to put in years rather than not being able to afford it... if someone really wants to practice everyday for an hour or 3 for ten years they will find a way to do it...
_________________________
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#1244483 - 08/06/09 05:58 AM Re: Adults Don't Have Years to Learn [Re: J_N]
ten left thumbs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
I think the key is keeping at it.

I can only tell you about my son. His musical ear is pretty bad. He has a vivid imagination. The upshot is, he *thinks* he's good, so he keeps at it. The result? He gets better.

Oh, and kids have brains like sponges.
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#1244584 - 08/06/09 10:07 AM Re: Adults Don't Have Years to Learn [Re: ten left thumbs]
JazzPianoEducator Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/13/09
Posts: 203
Loc: Denver, CO
The routine part of it all is definitely the killer for adults. Busy schedules etc prevent them from daily practice. I try and tell my adult students to think of certain practice like brushing your teeth. You have to do it every day and it doesn't take long. If you can do it every day (even if it's for 5-10 mins) you'll notice improvement. It's better to practice every day for 10 mins than to practice once every two weeks for 2 hours in my opinion. I think once any student begins to see improvement from their steady practicing then they get the inspiration to keep doing it. Soon 10 mins/day becomes 20mins/day...
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#1244632 - 08/06/09 11:03 AM Re: Adults Don't Have Years to Learn [Re: JazzPianoEducator]
Swingin' Barb Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/06
Posts: 889
Loc: North Carolina
IMHO - Unless you are all 98 years old, you do have years to learn. Let's face it, playing piano well is a big skill. There is no "quick fix". Once the thought of "failure" enters the picture, then "failure" it will be in a constant search for that quick fix.

A highly motivated adult will find the correct path....whether it be private lessons, or some type of guided self teaching.

Barb
_________________________
A Sudnow Method Fanatic
"Color tones, can't live without them"

To hear how I have progressed since 2006, check out: http://b.kane.home.mindspring.com

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#1244634 - 08/06/09 11:03 AM Re: Adults Don't Have Years to Learn [Re: JazzPianoEducator]
Claude56 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/02/09
Posts: 469
The best way to deal with piano and a full time job is to figure out exactly how you learn, and then only after that, you can never go wrong smile

Very handy when it comes to music, especially when you have a full time job.

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#1244668 - 08/06/09 11:38 AM Re: Adults Don't Have Years to Learn [Re: Swingin' Barb]
keyboardclass Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/01/09
Posts: 21

I regard myself as a highly motivated adult. I have come to the understanding that their is no quick fix to playing the piano which is why my piano lessons are a journey that take me closer to improving each day.

In fact, tonight my teacher is coming round, upon his suggestion, to play two pieces for me that I am working on. He realises that these pieces are being worked on during my summer break with no guidance and he feels that he should call round to 'check' if I am going about the right way.

This shows the dedication and committment on both teacher and student!

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#1244679 - 08/06/09 12:04 PM Re: Adults Don't Have Years to Learn [Re: keyboardclass]
Swingin' Barb Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/06
Posts: 889
Loc: North Carolina
Keyboard...

It sounds like you have a very special teacher. Given what you said in your first post:

"For this reason I find that I need something that will give me the buzz of playing songs. Songs that are instantly recognized and can cause an audience to smile and sing along."

I will assume that your teacher will work with you and the type of music you want to play.

Barb
_________________________
A Sudnow Method Fanatic
"Color tones, can't live without them"

To hear how I have progressed since 2006, check out: http://b.kane.home.mindspring.com

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#1244843 - 08/06/09 02:34 PM Re: Adults Don't Have Years to Learn [Re: NocturneLover]
jotur Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5449
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
Originally Posted By: Thomas Lau
I think most adults wake up a little earlier and practice in the morning because of busy schedules throughout the day. At least the most reasonable time to squeeze in more practice time would be in the mornings. I had a teacher wake up at 4 to practice everyday and she was quite good.


Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha laugh I have a gig coming up in a couple of weeks that's at 11 in the morning. I would be far better off it was at 11 at night :\ My impression is that people vary all over the map about the time of day when it works for them to squeeze in extra practice, and the longer I'm here at PW the more I think that smile

So I think you have to find the motivation,schedule, and rewards that work best for *you* and it turns out, not surprisingly I think, that the answers to those questions are pretty individualistic.

Some adults, as the OP here does, find motivation and reward in playing recognizable songs from the beginning. Mine, when I returned, was in playing accompaniment to fiddles for dancers - it was a long time before I could play the melodies fast enough for dancers, so I was enthralled with oom-pah laugh

So if the OP has found that working with a teacher and learning songs works, that's great! Adults are fortunate to be able to chose those things that work for them.

Cathy
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#1244911 - 08/06/09 05:33 PM Re: Adults Don't Have Years to Learn [Re: Swingin' Barb]
keyboardclass Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/01/09
Posts: 21
Originally Posted By: Swingin' Barb
Keyboard...

It sounds like you have a very special teacher. Given what you said in your first post:

"For this reason I find that I need something that will give me the buzz of playing songs. Songs that are instantly recognized and can cause an audience to smile and sing along."

I will assume that your teacher will work with you and the type of music you want to play.

Barb



Barb, yes he is a very special teacher.

Tonight, he came round and spent a few minutes playing my Roland FP-7 which he really loved. He then asked me to play the pieces I had been working on over the summer break. I also asked him for his opinion on a nice piece called "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square" as arranged in the jazz songbook by Pam Wedgewood.

He thought I was progressing and that it wasn't too dificult for me. He played it through and I was really taken by this beautifl arrangement. I will be working on this un til my lessons resume. I'm really looking forward to the challenge.


Edited by keyboardclass (08/06/09 05:33 PM)

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#1245031 - 08/06/09 08:29 PM Re: Adults Don't Have Years to Learn [Re: keyboardclass]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4414
Loc: San Jose, CA
"I also asked him for his opinion on a nice piece called "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square"..."

You can play that? Not bad! It's not exactly your ordinary eight-bar blues, with its beautiful, haunting chord changes and wonderful, truly romantic lyric. I still remember the Manhattan Transfer version--- they tore that stage up with it. And it was featured on an episode of "Torchwood" two seasons ago. The blitz, London: as bombs fell and everyone took shelter in the basement, a woman sang it very affectingly, with the accompaniment of a single clarinet.

Lyric by Eric Maschwitz, music by Manning Sherwin and Jack Strachey. Published in 1940.

As for not having years to learn--- who knows how many years they have. It's beside the question if you play because you love music, and the skill of making it, for its own sake.
_________________________
Clef


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#1245058 - 08/06/09 08:58 PM Re: Adults Don't Have Years to Learn [Re: keyboardclass]
Little_Blue_Engine Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/30/09
Posts: 1233
Loc: Ohio, US
Originally Posted By: keyboardclass
I think the lack of patience in adults learning to play the piano comes from the fact that they cannot afford to put in years of practice and learning, and this is why we are continually searching for that 'quick fix'.

For this reason I find that I need something that will give me the buzz of playing songs. Songs that are instantly recognised and can cause an audience to smiale and sing along.


I think with adults, at least for me, not affording to put in years of practice isn't so much a matter of a lack of time to practice currently but the feeling that there are all those missed years we can never make up for. I don't think the search for the "quick fix" by adults is really laziness so much as a feeling of urgency because we probably won't ever "catch up" with someone our own age who had the benefit of lessons since they were eight. I think that fuels the need for instant gratification. There should be a filter on youtube to prevent adult beginners from watching videos of 5 year-old virtuosos! sick
_________________________
I'll figure it out eventually.
Until then you may want to keep a safe distance.


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#1245212 - 08/07/09 05:38 AM Re: Adults Don't Have Years to Learn [Re: Jeff Clef]
keyboardclass Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/01/09
Posts: 21
Originally Posted By: Jeff Clef
"I also asked him for his opinion on a nice piece called "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square"..."

You can play that? Not bad! It's not exactly your ordinary eight-bar blues, with its beautiful, haunting chord changes and wonderful, truly romantic lyric.


Jeff, I have just stated working on this piece and it is progressing. Normally I work at a few lines at a time and gradually work it up over the course or several days/weeks whatever it takes. I normally select pieces that are at a level slightly out of my comfort zone - otherwise there is no challenge.

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#1245218 - 08/07/09 06:14 AM Re: Adults Don't Have Years to Learn [Re: J_N]
Boira Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/09/07
Posts: 472
Loc: Barcelona
Originally Posted By: J_N

I think it has more to do with not wanting to put in years rather than not being able to afford it... if someone really wants to practice everyday for an hour or 3 for ten years they will find a way to do it...


I couldn't agree more.

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#1245400 - 08/07/09 02:10 PM Re: Adults Don't Have Years to Learn [Re: Boira]
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
If there is a quick fix, of sorts, I think
it would be to develop your own style of
playing. If you're playing from fully-
written-out arrangements of jazz/popular
songs and/or trying to imitate the style
of famous jazz artists, then this is going
to take yrs., and in the end you'll have
achieved a level of playing that is a
a pretty bad imitation of them. What you
want to do is to develop your own style
of playing--whatever that might be--a way
of playing that fits you personally and can't be imitated by anyone.

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#1245616 - 08/08/09 02:39 AM Re: Adults Don't Have Years to Learn [Re: Gyro]
keyboardclass Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/01/09
Posts: 21
Originally Posted By: Gyro
If there is a quick fix, of sorts, I think it would be to develop your own style ofplaying. If you're playing from fully-
written-out arrangements of jazz/popular songs and/or trying to imitate the style of famous jazz artists, then this is going to take yrs., and in the end you'll have achieved a level of playing that is a pretty bad imitation of them. What you want to do is to develop your own style of playing--whatever that might be--a way of playing that fits you personally and can't be imitated by anyone.


Gyro, there is a lot of truth in what you say and it has opened my eyes and ears to ask 'how do I develop my own style of playing?

I can read printed music fairly well but it just takes me forever to get a full arrangement together well enough that I can play it. Having just finished a full term of lessons I also can only play the pieces from memory - I can't sight read them.

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#1245619 - 08/08/09 02:58 AM Re: Adults Don't Have Years to Learn [Re: keyboardclass]
etcetra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
I am always puzzled when people say things like "develop your own style"... how do you exactly go about developing your own style anyways? Is there a method, how do you know when you have actually developed it?

Can you actually come up with something as hip as what Charlie Parker plays on "Just Friends" on your own? Would you actually come up with ways of playing #11 and b9 or learn to play polyrhythm if you just followed our 'own style' whatever it is?

It's like language, how expressive and creative can you be if you have limited vocabulary? shouldn't the focus be more on learning common phrases and idiom if you are learning a new lanugage?

It's like working out, there is no quick fix to getting fit, and the best way to go about it is to treat it as a slow, gradual, life long process, and music is something that is supposed to be enjoyed, no matter what level you are, so have fun and don't worry about how good/bad it is, for now at least smile


Edited by etcetra (08/08/09 03:00 AM)

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#1245638 - 08/08/09 04:12 AM Re: Adults Don't Have Years to Learn [Re: etcetra]
Manachi Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/29/09
Posts: 90
Loc: Sydney, Australia
Quote:
Children don't have a choice they have to practice no matter if they like it or not because teacher or parent said so. Adult can drop lessons whenever they want.


Yes BUT... Adults make the voluntary and explicit decision to seek out and get lessons, or to learn again. It's their choice. Children are forced into it. So while, yes children will learn via brute force, USUALLY their heart isn't in it like an adults is. It's the same as highschool graduates going to college compared to mature age students returning to college. The mature age students often do better because they apply themselves a lot more because they've CHOSEN to take that path. They are there to learn, while the highschool grads have no choice but to go - and will usually socialise, drink and not take it as seriously!

Also I keep seeing mentions of 'quick fix's everywhere. I'm sorry but there just isn't an excuse or a reason to contemplate this idea. It just doesn't exist, forget about it! smile

Also, I definitely don't believe that 'adults don't have the years to learn'. It's like absolutely ANYTHING learned, it takes practise, dedication and persistance. Sure if you'd practised since you were 8 you'd have a lot of years under your belt, but for every player that's practised an entire lifetime, there'd be 10000x more that gave it up, so you're not in a 'disadvantaged minority'. I dont think this excuse should be given much credence smile just keep practising!

PS - I agree with etcetra above about 'developing your own style'. I don't really see how you can do that until you have a solid and vast understanding of the fundamentals etc. You need to do the practise and be proficient before you can know the rules or techniques to add your own flavour/style.

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#1245639 - 08/08/09 04:17 AM Re: Adults Don't Have Years to Learn [Re: etcetra]
marimorimo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/02/09
Posts: 429
Loc: Kingdom of Nodame
I agree with what people have said previously. As adults, we constantly compare ourselves with others, and often we fall short when we compare ourselves to people who have been playing since 3, or to the virtuosos in youtube. Because we're busy, we are often too tired at the end of the day to practice. My best solution for this is to schedule piano practice time beforehand, so it becomes part of a routine. I can't say I follow my schedule religiously, but I follow it most days grin I also cut out other activities to give way to more practice time - the TV and Playstation 2 are gathering dust in my apartment right now. Now all I need is a way to keep myself from being in front of the computer for extended periods! help

When I decided to pick up piano, I made sure that I had the right mindset and realistic expectations from the get-go: 1) Piano is not easy, 2) Piano takes a lot of effort and practice, 3) It would take years for me to be able to play my 'goal' pieces. My previous (very short) stint with piano as a teenager and the folks here at PianoWorld helped me form that mindset. So at times when I feel impatient, I just tell myself that it'll come with time and effort, but I'll get to that point eventally. Maybe it's a bit too early to tell, but right now I can't imagine quitting piano.
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#1246109 - 08/09/09 09:59 AM Re: Adults Don't Have Years to Learn [Re: marimorimo]
Mark... Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 4373
Loc: Jersey Shore
It all depends how much you want it. I practice everyday generally 1-3 hours and have seen gradual improvement (Still a hack though). I am enjoying late beginner early intermediate pieces. And if I keep it up for a few more years I might actually be a real player. It's just about the practice and putting in the time. It doesn't happen over night. No matter how old you are, just practice and play...everyday...and it will happen...


Edited by Mark... (08/09/09 10:00 AM)

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