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#1248730 - 08/13/09 08:20 PM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: HeirborneGroupie]
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
In two different posts that you made, I found something to be inconflict because 3 completed years of lessons would be about 120 lessons over this time - either of half hour lessons, making it 60 total lesson hours, or 120 hour lessons making your investment of time and expense in your piano lessons 120 lesson hours. You certainly have been paying for results, don't you think? Have you been getting results?

When she says you are among her most advanced students, and you say you use the Alfred 2nd level book at lessons, there is a warning sign. An adult with 3 years would most likely be in music literature - pops - classical and fairly independent in their reading of music and their accomplishment levels. THe theory and the technique would begin to be in place so that artistry and interpretation of pieces would be included. You would certainly need an hour lesson by now and your assignment would be full of things to do. An adult can handle all scales and chords, inversions, arpeggios with 3 years under their belt. This is different that being able to read music in all of the key signatures but you should be comfortable in reading music in keys of C,G,D and F and Bb, I would think. This is 2 #'s and 2b's. You should have memorized a number of pieces that you enjoy playing for yourself and others by this point. You should be able to play music with a variety of tempos, your beat should be steady throughout anything you play, and you should have established accuracy with playing rhythms.

Above all your teaching should be teaching you to think and observe and sound like a musician. If you feel your playing is lacking and your lessoning has been incomplete and that you know more than your teacher in some areas it is time for you to find a better teacher.

www.learningmusician and www.getlessonsnow are music teaching directories that you put your zip code and your instrument (piano) in the search and names of those listed with the service appear with a profile and information about the teacher you are considering.

When you make an appointment for an interview and you play for the teacher, ask them what they see and hear in your playing and how would they begin instruction with you in the short term, and what would their long term goals be for you. Do they have a program in mind for you? Ask about their education and musical experiences in teaching adults. You need to be assured that you are making a good choice for yourself. Find the best teacher who fits the budget you have for your lessons.

If you aren't moving ahead at the pace that you feel you are capable of, it definitely is time to part with your present teacher. If you are merely comfortable with a predictable learning situation, think what you could do with a vibrant and exciting, inspiring, motivating teacher who understand your needs and know how to guide you on the way to musicianship.

Sticking with an inadequate teacher is what will set you back. Having opportunity to work with more than one teacher during your piano student years could be the best thing that ever happened to you. And, if you have a totally competent teacher to work with as your first teacher, the same would be true, he or she could be the best thing that ever happened to you. But what you have described does not seem to be working for you.

From my expectations of myself as a teacher, I would feel that I had failed you miserable if you were talking about me as the teacher you are thinking of leaving after 3 years. It would have been a "sin" to take your money and not deliver everything you needed and were capable of doing.

This is a serious business that piano teachers are in: the best critique of a teacher is to listen to the students they produce. It tells the tale over and over about competency and music literacy. The only questions people seem to ask are: "Where are you located?" and "How much do you charge?" These are relevant but inadequate questions to ask someone you are trusting will bring you to musicianship. Ask better questions! Expect better answers! You are in the driver's seat as being the one to find your best solution.

Good luck to you.

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#1248735 - 08/13/09 08:33 PM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: Betty Patnude]
jagshrink Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/11/09
Posts: 43
Loc: OH--IO
Betty,
On behalf of all adult beginners, thank you for this wonderfully articulate, informative, and well thought out posted response.
jagshrink


Edited by jagshrink (08/13/09 08:33 PM)

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#1248782 - 08/13/09 09:42 PM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: jagshrink]
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Thank you for your kind and enthusiastic comment, jagshrink.

I am really an advocate of music literacy and capable musicianship for all who seek it. I would like to be able to assure all who enter piano study that their experiences with their teacher will be wonderful. However, I can't do that. I have to advise about being cautious and deliberate in choosing a piano teacher. There are ways to find answers to questions and to build confidence toward making a decision about who to study with.

Choosing a marriage partner is a big decision.
Choosing which real estate to buy is a big decision.
Choosing which college to attend is a big decision.
We make major decions fairly often in our everyday lives.

Choosing a piano teacher is no less important that any of the above. It is your musical future that you are investing in and gathering information is among the most important things to have available to you. If you want a happy outcome you have to pay attention to the details before the decision is made. This is not an impulse choice of what's behind door #3 - the decision making of finding a good piano teacher affects the outcome greatly.

Caveat Emptor applies here. "Buyer beware!"

Things will go better for you when you make a qualified decision.

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#1248783 - 08/13/09 09:44 PM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: Gary D.]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12076
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
The problem is that any beginner, starting with no knowledge of piano at all, may be the rare future piano major, and then everything that was taught from day one becomes critical.

There is some kind of weird idea that the first few years don't matter that much. That if a well-intentioned teacher who has only very limited knowledge is kind and enthusiastic, *that* somehow is going to avoid major "fixing" some time down the road.

This is a great point. A beginner teacher still needs to be excellent, and even if they're not up to teaching difficult advanced rep, they still need to know enough about good technique to install good habits in their students.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
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#1248986 - 08/14/09 09:44 AM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: Morodiene]
HeirborneGroupie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/05/09
Posts: 223
Loc: Florida
Thanks for all the great responses.

After my lesson yesterday it is now clear to me that this relationship is not going to work. So, I have decided to start looking for a new teacher. I tried the two sites that Betty suggested but the closest teacher to me is 30 miles away. This is the problem I had in the beginning. It was just by chance that someone gave me my current teachers business card. I know there are teachers here but I can't seem to find them.

Betty,
Thanks for your advice. You are right. I can't let my fondness for someone hold me back from accomplishing my goals.

I will continue to search for a teacher and hope I can find one soon.
_________________________
Carol
Kawai RX 2


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#1248989 - 08/14/09 09:53 AM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: Betty Patnude]
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17788
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Originally Posted By: Betty Patnude

Choosing a marriage partner is a big decision.
Choosing which real estate to buy is a big decision.
Choosing which college to attend is a big decision.
We make major decions fairly often in our everyday lives.

Choosing a piano teacher is no less important that any of the above.


Ummm.... while I agree with your general take in this thread, I can't help but think that choosing one's spouse is just a tad more important than choosing one's piano teacher. wink Actually, I think *all* of the examples you posted are more important than the choice of one's piano teacher.

Heirborne Groupie, are you located near any colleges or universities with music departments? Perhaps you could call them up and see if they have any referrals for good teachers in your area.
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Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#1249005 - 08/14/09 10:20 AM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: HeirborneGroupie]
Hop Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/08
Posts: 654
Loc: Hudson, FL
Originally Posted By: HeirborneGroupie
Thanks for all the great responses.

After my lesson yesterday it is now clear to me that this relationship is not going to work. So, I have decided to start looking for a new teacher.

I will continue to search for a teacher and hope I can find one soon.


You made this decision prior to my being able to suggest that you do. Based on what I see here, this is pitiful.

Approximately one year ago, I "fired" my teacher because I too saw little progress. I have been self-study for about a year, making mjuch more progress.

I just found about about a a new teacher who sounds good. I plan on stating my objectives, and insisting on a program of study (like a syllabus) so that I can see how he plans to guide me to accomplish my goals and objectives. While I may ask for an estimate of time that it should take, I intend to be quite flexible about that, as I intend to enjoy the journey while working hard to get to the destination.

Hop
_________________________
HG178, Roland FP-5, Casio PX 130

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#1249006 - 08/14/09 10:21 AM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: Monica K.]
Ebony and Ivory Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/05
Posts: 1179
Loc: Minnesota
Check the local schools too. I keep business cards at the elementary, middle and high schools. A lot of my students found me this way. You know they'll be close by if you call schools near you. You could also check the Community Education offerings. It sounds off-the-wall, but you could also call your local senior center. These seniors are very active in the communities, and know a lot of people.

I agree with Monica that a teacher isn't as important as a spouse, house, or college unless you want to be a concert pianist.
_________________________
It is better to be kind than to be right.

Professional private piano teacher since 1994.

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#1249027 - 08/14/09 10:46 AM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: Monica K.]
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
HeirbourneGroupie,

Try Google: Another way to find a piano teacher may be to enter your zipcode/or your city into google and the words piano lessons or piano teacher.

The site mentioned are pretty dependable for coming up with candidates for teachers but if you are in a smaller town at a distance to bigger cities your more local piano teachers may operate totally by word of mouth. This would mean calling a music store or your local church musicians or your local school district and individual schools to see if they have list of piano teachers in your area. If there are community or 4 year colleges in your vicinity there is another source. Do you have a local www.craigslist? Where is your closest piano retailer? Is there much arts activity near you? Brainstorm for ideas of where to look. It may seem like looking for the needle in the haystack!

I would also suggest that you use the www.mtna.org (Music Teachers National Association) which will have a state affiliate (Florida) and a list of NCTM's (Nationally Certified Teachers of Music). This is a list of very professionally prepared teachers who have academic credentials or have tested to be qualified at teaching at the highest levels of piano study. This level of teaching may not be what you are interested in at this time. However, you could ask for referrals to teachers in your area should you be able to contact a NCTM who might be able to give you some assistance. If you determine that there is a chapter of music teachers in your area of Florida - you will be able to find any local teachers who are members. There are approximately 24,000 members of MTNA across the US. Here in Washington State there are between 1000-1200 - I don't know the statistics on Florida.

Keep asking for referrals. The 30 mile away teacher may know others who live closer to you. Call around and ask who is experienced in teaching adults and advancing students. Someone who accepts only beginners is not going to be a candidate for you.

Another thought is that teachers usually make their whereabouts know for September enrollment - back to school is always a big month to acquiring new students.

Again, continued good luck to you!

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#1249059 - 08/14/09 11:49 AM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: Betty Patnude]
HeirborneGroupie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/05/09
Posts: 223
Loc: Florida
Thanks for all the ideas!!! smile I have left a bunch of messages all over town based on those ideas. I have emailed teachers that are too far away to see if they have referrals, I have left messages at both Community Colleges in my area and at my local piano retailer.

I'll let you know what happens.

Thanks again everyone.
_________________________
Carol
Kawai RX 2


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#1249062 - 08/14/09 11:53 AM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: HeirborneGroupie]
Ebony and Ivory Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/05
Posts: 1179
Loc: Minnesota
Fabulous! You'll certainly have luck now smile smile
_________________________
It is better to be kind than to be right.

Professional private piano teacher since 1994.

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#1249136 - 08/14/09 01:25 PM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: Ebony and Ivory]
Piano Again Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/12/04
Posts: 1162
Loc: Washington metro
I just stumbled across this organization:

http://www.musikalessons.com/howitworks.htm

Has anyone tried this?
_________________________
Recovering cellist, amateur pianist.


Check out my blog !


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#1249220 - 08/14/09 03:17 PM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: Piano Again]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12076
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: Piano Again
I just stumbled across this organization:

http://www.musikalessons.com/howitworks.htm

Has anyone tried this?

I've never heard of them and there's not one in my neck of the woods (WI). I would think, like anything, you won't have a guarantee of a good teacher or a great match. The only way to know is to interview with them. Certainly try out a teacher or two in this organization along with your other candidates.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#1249230 - 08/14/09 03:25 PM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: EDWARDIAN]
TimR Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3232
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: EDWARDIAN
They help with good fingering, musical theory, knowing your way around the keyboard, etc. And NO, you do not use the exact same fingering in all of them!!!
Joan


You don't? I pretty much do. I use 1231234 for them all - of course I don't start on the same finger for all, but after the start the pattern is the same.

Maybe you mean you don't use the exact fingering while playing repertoire. That I'd have to agree with. It's fairly rare to have more than a scale fragment in the music, and above beginner level you're probably playing more than one note at a time with that hand, so scale fingering can't transfer.

We just had a long thread about the value of scales, and while there was minor disagreement, consensus supported the value of practicing them. However, the benefits that were listed, that most people did agree with, could be obtained without learning 12 scales. Most of them could be had learning one scale well. (Be a little boring for me. That's why I add one flat or sharp a week when I do mine.)

I think gyro's probably right this time.

Probably also this teacher is a bad fit for this student. I hate to say he or she is a bad teacher. They exist, but rarely do we have enough info to be sure. But often we can say with confidence the fit isn't working.
_________________________
gotta go practice

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#1249434 - 08/14/09 09:25 PM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: TimR]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/24/09
Posts: 2464
Originally Posted By: TimR
Originally Posted By: EDWARDIAN
They help with good fingering, musical theory, knowing your way around the keyboard, etc. And NO, you do not use the exact same fingering in all of them!!!
Joan


You don't? I pretty much do. I use 1231234 for them all - of course I don't start on the same finger for all, but after the start the pattern is the same.

Maybe you mean you don't use the exact fingering while playing repertoire. That I'd have to agree with. It's fairly rare to have more than a scale fragment in the music, and above beginner level you're probably playing more than one note at a time with that hand, so scale fingering can't transfer.

We just had a long thread about the value of scales, and while there was minor disagreement, consensus supported the value of practicing them. However, the benefits that were listed, that most people did agree with, could be obtained without learning 12 scales. Most of them could be had learning one scale well. (Be a little boring for me. That's why I add one flat or sharp a week when I do mine.)

I think gyro's probably right this time.


Sorry, but why do you think that B flat minor is harder than D flat major? The passing of the thumb is literally identical in both. Why does merely removing one of the flats make life difficult? If you can see the reason for that added difficulty, you'll soon see why it's worth building up to learning every single scale. The ability to pass the thumb under 3 and 4th fingers is a vital component, but it's not the sole point of scale practise- not by a long shot.
_________________________
http://pianoscience.blogspot.com/

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#1249445 - 08/14/09 09:46 PM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
Kreklewetz Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/01/07
Posts: 17
Loc: Montreal
Unless you happen to already be an advanced music theory specialist looking to learn or improve your piano playing (which I'm assuming you're not), there is absolutely no way a teacher should be able to get away with knowing less than his or her own students. Not only should a well-rounded professional music teacher know more theory than you, the sheer amount of theory knowledge they have should boggle your mind. What they know should seem like quantum-physics to your grade-school math. Even after years of fruitful study, any good teacher should still have an almost limitless amount of knowledge left to teach you.

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#1249448 - 08/14/09 10:02 PM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
Gary D. Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4812
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: Nyiregyhazi

Sorry, but why do you think that B flat minor is harder than D flat major? The passing of the thumb is literally identical in both.

Not true for Bb harmnoic minor, ascendeng. In the RH, the thumb passes from a white to a white, from F to G. As for the LH, it is no longer automatic.

But it is for the natural form.

Just think of the big sweeping Bb harmonic minor scale, both hands, ripping up the whole keyboard in Chopin's Ab Polonaise. Much more difficult than a four octave Db major scale with both hands…
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#1249450 - 08/14/09 10:03 PM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: Kreklewetz]
Gary D. Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4812
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: Kreklewetz
Unless you happen to already be an advanced music theory specialist looking to learn or improve your piano playing (which I'm assuming you're not), there is absolutely no way a teacher should be able to get away with knowing less than his or her own students. Not only should a well-rounded professional music teacher know more theory than you, the sheer amount of theory knowledge they have should boggle your mind. What they know should seem like quantum-physics to your grade-school math. Even after years of fruitful study, any good teacher should still have an almost limitless amount of knowledge left to teach you.

I could not agree more.
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#1249478 - 08/14/09 10:38 PM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: Gary D.]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3167
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
There is some kind of weird idea that the first few years don't matter that much. That if a well-intentioned teacher who has only very limited knowledge is kind and enthusiastic, *that* somehow is going to avoid major "fixing" some time down the road.


Thinking back, I never heard that until I started reading some of the posts on this and the Adult Beginner's Forums. Prior to that, I always thought people sought out the best right from the beginning.
_________________________
Music teacher and piano player.

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#1249648 - 08/15/09 08:48 AM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: Gary D.]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/24/09
Posts: 2464
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
Originally Posted By: Nyiregyhazi

Sorry, but why do you think that B flat minor is harder than D flat major? The passing of the thumb is literally identical in both.

Not true for Bb harmnoic minor, ascendeng. In the RH, the thumb passes from a white to a white, from F to G. As for the LH, it is no longer automatic.

But it is for the natural form.

Just think of the big sweeping Bb harmonic minor scale, both hands, ripping up the whole keyboard in Chopin's Ab Polonaise. Much more difficult than a four octave Db major scale with both hands…


You mean melodic? To be honest, I don't find that one terribly uncomfortable, compared to the alignment required for the harmonic, although it's certainly less natural than D flat.

The harmonic is a particularly good example here though, because the thumbs and adjacent notes are identical. The reason why it's vastly more difficult than D flat lies elsewhere. That's the reason why we learn all scales, not simply how to turn your thumb under. It's about learning to move efficiently in and out of various hand positions- where ever finger is aligned from the earliest available opportunity. Incidentally, B (not B flat now) minor harmonic is one the single most difficult scales for my right hand. Some scales are much more difficult to line up for. The last thing you want to do is learn them from scratch, in the counless pieces where they arise.


Edited by Nyiregyhazi (08/15/09 08:53 AM)
_________________________
http://pianoscience.blogspot.com/

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#1249875 - 08/15/09 04:20 PM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
TimR Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3232
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: Nyiregyhazi


Some scales are much more difficult to line up for. The last thing you want to do is learn them from scratch, in the counless pieces where they arise.


Countless pieces where they arise?

Uhh.....that one's hard to buy. Yes, there are countless pieces where that scale itself is the basis of the harmonic structure.

But pieces where one hand plays octave or bigger scale fragments of those less common minor scales? With the same fingering you'd use when practicing that scale out of context? Without playing any other notes in the same hand, that will force you to change fingering? LOL.
_________________________
gotta go practice

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#1249944 - 08/15/09 06:33 PM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
Gary D. Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4812
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: Gary

Just think of the big sweeping Bb harmonic minor scale, both hands, ripping up the whole keyboard in Chopin's Ab Polonaise. Much more difficult than a four octave Db major scale with both hands…


Originally Posted By: Nyiregyhazi

You mean melodic? To be honest, I don't find that one terribly uncomfortable, compared to the alignment required for the harmonic, although it's certainly less natural than D flat.

Terribly uncomfortable on what level? I've had it in my hands since my early teens, and in the exact context I just mentioned.

But think it through. As is often the case, the default LH fingering is not the one that is theoretically the fastest or easiest for LH alone.

For passage work, using this scale, I would cross with 4 on Db and 3 on A. The reason is simple: when given a choice, it is smoother to cross the thumb with 4, on a black note, and 3 on a white note, which is precisely why the G scale, in the RH, is not normally played with thumbs on G and D for RH only passage work.

However, for ease in getting the hands to work together, C and F are used as default places to use the thumb, and this is the fingering shown in Hanon, for instance.

The point is that mastering as many standard scales (and forms) in all keys provides a very good foundation, but it is only the START of exploring which fingerings work best in passages. Sometimes default scale fingerings, even for major scales, are horrible solutions in all sorts of passages. Very few teachers get into the theory BEHIND the fingerings that are chosen, so students follow them, as they are taught, and get locked into a box.

The harmonic is a particularly good example here though, because the thumbs and adjacent notes are identical. The reason why it's vastly more difficult than D flat lies elsewhere. That's the reason why we learn all scales, not simply how to turn your thumb under. It's about learning to move efficiently in and out of various hand positions- where ever finger is aligned from the earliest available opportunity. Incidentally, B (not B flat now) minor harmonic is one the single most difficult scales for my right hand. Some scales are much more difficult to line up for. The last thing you want to do is learn them from scratch, in the counless pieces where they arise. [/quote]


Edited by Gary D. (08/15/09 06:35 PM)
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Piano Teacher

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#1250009 - 08/15/09 08:42 PM Re: I don't think I have a very good teacher. [Re: Gary D.]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/24/09
Posts: 2464
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
Originally Posted By: Gary

Just think of the big sweeping Bb harmonic minor scale, both hands, ripping up the whole keyboard in Chopin's Ab Polonaise. Much more difficult than a four octave Db major scale with both hands…


Originally Posted By: Nyiregyhazi

You mean melodic? To be honest, I don't find that one terribly uncomfortable, compared to the alignment required for the harmonic, although it's certainly less natural than D flat.

Terribly uncomfortable on what level? I've had it in my hands since my early teens, and in the exact context I just mentioned.

But think it through. As is often the case, the default LH fingering is not the one that is theoretically the fastest or easiest for LH alone.

For passage work, using this scale, I would cross with 4 on Db and 3 on A. The reason is simple: when given a choice, it is smoother to cross the thumb with 4, on a black note, and 3 on a white note, which is precisely why the G scale, in the RH, is not normally played with thumbs on G and D for RH only passage work.

However, for ease in getting the hands to work together, C and F are used as default places to use the thumb, and this is the fingering shown in Hanon, for instance.

The point is that mastering as many standard scales (and forms) in all keys provides a very good foundation, but it is only the START of exploring which fingerings work best in passages. Sometimes default scale fingerings, even for major scales, are horrible solutions in all sorts of passages. Very few teachers get into the theory BEHIND the fingerings that are chosen, so students follow them, as they are taught, and get locked into a box.


Eh? Are we talking about the same thing? The scale that has G natural and A natural is the melodic minor, not the harmonic. I said I DONT find it terribly uncomfortable, whereas the harmonic lies much less easily under my hand (thanks to the third finger which needs to be placed directly between two black keys).

Interesting idea about the alternative fingering though. Personally I would say that my hand would feel more cramped in on the 3, despite the comfort on the 4, but it's well worth experimenting to see what you hand does most comfortably.

However, I really don't see why students should not start with a basic fingering. Except for the most talented, you need a basic fingering. My sightreading of classical repetoire improved immeasurably, since I worked on improving my standard scales. My mind could do the reading in good time but fingers simply would not operate, because they didn't know the patterns well enough. Knowing them better (and having thought about them on the way- rather than merely repeat them) puts me in better stead to experiment with alternatives. The more you understand how routine patterns work, the more you can find your own patterns. Sometime now when I sightread things like Mozart, my fingers fall into patterns that work extremely well but are not part of any conventional pattern. This didn't happen until I improved my basics.

The average student who tries to find his own way for fingerings usually ends up running out of fingers or being forced to cover awkward positions. For anyone less than a genius, the regular patterns are a good way to start out (although I do make an exception for F sharp minor, which I teach with A major fingering in the left).


Edited by Nyiregyhazi (08/15/09 08:43 PM)
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