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#1475701 - 07/16/10 05:34 PM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: moscheles001]
ten left thumbs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3328
Loc: Scotland
OK, just thinking about this the other way. In what way would it be helpful to hear from a teacher 'You're progressing, but not as fast as the average student'. ????

Why would a teacher say such a thing? How would it be helpful to hear that your progress is faster and slower than some particular benchmark? Why be measured in this way?

Would it even be helpful to hear 'you're progressing faster than I've ever seen' ????

I mean, so what? How would it help?
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#1475774 - 07/16/10 07:57 PM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: keyboardklutz]
kurtie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/06/10
Posts: 195
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
Originally Posted By: John Frank
Originally Posted By: Crit

Along the same lines:

There are two categories of people: those who categorize people and those who don't.


Thus, placing yourself in the 1st category...

JF
You don't get it. It's a kind of logical fallacy (does it have a name?) used as a joke. My favourite is in Life of Brian. Brian says to a crowd 'You are all different' One person says 'I'm not'.


Yes, I think that it fits as a 'self-referential paradox' (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_paradoxes). Another example would be the Barber paradox: An adult male barber shaves all men who do not shave themselves, and no one else. Can he shave himself?

Going back on topic, I am also a 'self-taught' adult beginner piano player ... Now I am finishing the first Alfred's Basic and AIO Adult Piano. Well, I don't plan to be self-taugh forever and I would like to take lessons in a mid-term future when improving will be harder... for now it seems that going on the self-taught route is working good enough. A good thing of being a beginner is that you improve fast at first.

Surely I would advance faster with a good teacher, but I am not in a hurry and my main objective is to enjoy playing piano, even when practicing... so I am taking it easy, without rushing.

I would like to take the improvisation and jazz route, but I think that won't be able to self-teach that, so my plan is to look for a teacher in the future... somebody that would show me how to advance when I will be lost... and I will be blush, as I've been before smile. For now I've found a path to follow with Alfred's AIO.

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#1475935 - 07/17/10 03:03 AM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: kurtie]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Thanks kurtie.
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#1475938 - 07/17/10 03:20 AM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: keyboardklutz]
tangleweeds Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 11 2012


Registered: 12/21/08
Posts: 1269
Loc: Portlandia
Hey kurtie, if you've finished the first volume of Alfred's, you should ready to start with Tim Richards' Improvising Blues Piano, which apparently prepares one for his 2-volume Exploring Jazz Piano. I'm working from _Improvising Blues Piano_, and I think it's the single best example of music instructional media I've ever run across. I've been having great fun with it.
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#1475943 - 07/17/10 03:29 AM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: tangleweeds]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Registered: 05/21/07
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Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
I attended Tim's class at Goldsmith's years ago. Teaching something that's traditionally self taught is challenging.
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#1475982 - 07/17/10 07:01 AM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: keyboardklutz]
Cobra1365 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/11/10
Posts: 261
I am at the point in my self teaching to realize the keyboard I have has accomplished it's goal...to get me hooked and now needs to be replaced.

I bought a simple Yamaha Introductory level keyboard (61 YPT 220) and it has served it's purpose. I am now looking at the YPG-635...much nicer 88 key weighted keyboard. A friend has one and wow what a difference and still within the budget.
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#1478396 - 07/21/10 09:41 AM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: mom3gram]
moscheles001 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/13/08
Posts: 751
Loc: Northeast Pennsylvania
Geez, what happened? Does everybody else have a teacher now except me?

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#1478406 - 07/21/10 10:08 AM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: moscheles001]
wower Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/13/10
Posts: 242
Loc: Calgary
I don't have a teacher. Never plan to have a regular teacher. I can see getting a one-shot lesson if I bring a piece to near-polish and would like a teacher to help do a final tuning of the piece. That greatly appeals to me. If its a Beethoven sonata one could try to find a high-level teacher that has a background in Beethoven. That would be insightful. Rachmaninoff piece, teacher, etc. Teachers absoltely have their place, even for those that are supposedly self-taught. Furthermore, I greatly respect a number of teachers in the piano teacher forum with mad pedilogical skillz.

x2 on what Kreisler said eailer in this thread. That everyone is self-taught basically but teachers can bring more structure and support to those that want it. I enjoy playing the pieces I want in an unrushed manner. Maybe giving them a break for 2 weeks when my attention wanes only to bring them back when I want to prove something to myself. I'm a self-taught runner, swimmer, kendama player, badminton player, writer etc. For some reason I need very little stucture and have oddles of self-motovation to sit down for years on end to learn and master something.
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#1478745 - 07/21/10 09:05 PM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: wower]
tangleweeds Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 11 2012


Registered: 12/21/08
Posts: 1269
Loc: Portlandia
What I find most fascinating and satisfying about self-directed learning is being free to follow my intuitive sense of what I am ready to learn more about in any given point in time. There are so many different aspects to music making, so many layers of skill and awareness to cultivate, so much to learn more about, but my time and mental absorbency are limited. Choosing what to work on when can be gratifying, when some new or familiar aspect of playing decides to blossom into a whole new level of detail in my mind, and I am free to take a sudden left turn and immerse myself in a period of accelerated learning on that particular topic.

I wrote about something related to this in another thread

Originally Posted By: "me"
I tend to focus obsessively on one thing at a time, and seem to learn best by allowing myself to do work that way. But I find that the flip side of the coin is that one day I wake up and find myself abruptly DONE with that particular obsession, and to continue with it feels really loathsome.

I've come to accept that as a sign that my brain has absorbed all the new learning it's capable of holding regarding the object of my current obsession, and I need to go focus on something completely different for a while. This is a great time to try out lots of different things, new practice strategies, aspects of my practice which I have been neglecting, projects that have been on the back burner for a while, etc.

So I put the currently loathsome project onto that back burner, and focus on other things for a while. What I discover is that, after I take some time to digest what I so obsessively learned, that when I return to it (and brush off the rustiness), I'm suddenly a big jump ahead of where I left off because of that sense of aversion.

I really think it is my brain's way of taking time to simmer and condense/crystallize all of the skills and information I absorbed during my obsession. It reminds me of when I sleep on a problem, and can feel myself dreaming about it, or feel a need to take a nap after a particularly intense practice session -- but on a longer term scale.


Perhaps because I have been a self-directed learner for so many years, I enjoy the process of following my muse in the learning process. One of my great pleasures in life is the process of becoming fascinated by something, and learning perceive, understand, and/or execute it in finer detail. And there's a particular draw to ideas whose time have come in my mind, a sense of ripeness. I feel a strong hunger for an influx of new information to enhance my growing sense of detail, and a sense of great peace and patience with the process of building a new filing system my brain to hold this new learning. And then after a bit, my brain starts to feel over-full, and I need to back off for a while and digest what I've learned.

My experience has been that teachers prefer to prescribe a steady diet of balanced doses of this and that, and I just don't learn as well that way.
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#1478756 - 07/21/10 09:37 PM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: tangleweeds]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3158
Originally Posted By: tangleweeds

My experience has been that teachers prefer to prescribe a steady diet of balanced doses of this and that, and I just don't learn as well that way.


You are correct. A lot of teachers, including myself, do prefer to provide a "balanced diet" because that has proven to be a good way to "grow" balanced players. That's our job. Certainly the balanced diet is important in the beginning.

However, I have numerous students (mostly teens and above) who, once they have become solid in their playing, choose to explore side-tracks of study, and may stay there for quite a while. And I help them with that. That is also part of my job.

And most students find that, after they have spent that time on the exploration, for lack of a better word, want to go back to the steady diet for a while, probably at a higher level, to continue their growth. And then, after a while, they may want to go back to exploring.

So one does not have to forego piano teachers in order to spend time focusing upon an area of study outside of the traditional areas.

And one can always explore even if their teacher does not want to be involved in that exploration. There is no rule that says that cannot happen.
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#1478768 - 07/21/10 10:03 PM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: tangleweeds]
Michael Darnton Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/17/09
Posts: 243
Loc: Chicago
Originally Posted By: tangleweeds
What I find most fascinating and satisfying about self-directed learning is being free to follow my intuitive sense of what I am ready to learn more about in any given point in time.


You've just had the wrong teachers, that's all. Mine works with me, not against me.
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#1478772 - 07/21/10 10:12 PM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: Michael Darnton]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3158
You said in 15 words what it took me all that above to try to say. laugh
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#1478850 - 07/22/10 12:51 AM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: tangleweeds]
jotur Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5283
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
Originally Posted By: tangleweeds
Perhaps because I have been a self-directed learner for so many years, I enjoy the process of following my muse in the learning process. One of my great pleasures in life is the process of becoming fascinated by something, and learning perceive, understand, and/or execute it in finer detail. And there's a particular draw to ideas whose time have come in my mind, a sense of ripeness. I feel a strong hunger for an influx of new information to enhance my growing sense of detail, and a sense of great peace and patience with the process of building a new filing system my brain to hold this new learning. And then after a bit, my brain starts to feel over-full, and I need to back off for a while and digest what I've learned.


+1

I often start on my own, and after awhile I may take a course at the community college, or a workshop, or something similar, that kind of organizes what I've picked up in a different way than I do - gives me a different perspective, gives me some new facts or ideas. I learned to ski that way, and race, and folk dances, and a lot of other things. I played saxophone in band thru my school years, had two years of piano when I was a teen, sang in choirs, etc, and in some ways that helped - I certainly could read music, and translate dots on the sheet to keys on the piano. My rhythm is good. But I never played music until I played for dancing 30 years later. And the kind of music I play, reading sheet music is a really bad habit laugh Actually, the bad habit, of course, was not listening to myself - which was also why there was no music. I understand that for some people the "right" teacher, or a "good" teacher, would have addressed that.

It would have driven me nuts laugh

I've had a ball, just playing with other musicians.

Cathy
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#1478905 - 07/22/10 03:22 AM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: jotur]
Day Dreamer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/23/10
Posts: 32
Hi folks. I have returned to this thread after finding a teacher. Well, what can I say. Teacher is VERY helpful. I thought I was smart and that I can do it on my own. BUT, here is a big BUT, there are things you can't / need long time to figure out on your own. My problems were:

1. holding previous key when pressing the next key
2. stiff wrist. sometimes you gotta slightly move yr wrist.
3. Tone of each key is uneven and unclear

...etc

All these stuffs are hard to discover without someone else watching you play. And everyone may have different problems that should be fixed before they become bad habits



Edited by Day Dreamer (07/22/10 03:23 AM)

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#1478914 - 07/22/10 04:23 AM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: Day Dreamer]
molto_agitato Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/05/09
Posts: 162
Loc: Washington State
I'm taking piano lessons, and they've been helpful to me in a several respects. First, I have someone with whom I can share my musical journey, as it may be called. I don't have any friends who are interested in music, and all of my family regards music as wasteful frivolousness. It's nice to be able to share experiences with other people, and having a teacher helps to serve this purpose. However, for those who have supportive friends and family, it would be less important to have a teacher for this reason.

Second, having a teacher has given me some structure to my practice habits. I would not have had the self-discipline to figure out (just to name a few things) all of the major and minor scales, all of the triads built on each tone of every scale, or chord progressions in all keys. Nor would I have had the self-discipline to study these fundamental elements in a systematic fashion.

However, having a teacher hasn't helped with my technique. My teacher rarely if ever says anything about my technique. I know my technique is abominable; I'd post a video of myself to solicit some constructive criticism, but I'm too ashamed of myself to want anyone to see me play. Now, I don't know if my teacher simply doesn't focus on proper technique will all of his students; perhaps he's simply seen enough of me and has judged me to be a hopeless case, unworthy of his time and effort.

In any event, the only in person experience I have with piano teachers is with my current teacher, so I don't know how my teacher compares with teachers in general.

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#1478934 - 07/22/10 06:12 AM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: molto_agitato]
Skylyn Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/29/10
Posts: 16
Yes, in my opinion, having a teacher (in most or some cases) is a great idea. They can help you with many things and save you (hope that makes sense? haha) from bad habits and injuries. I'm not saying that everyone who is self-teaching is going to have any of that, but I guess it's more likely if you don't have a teacher. And I think we all know that, but for whatever reason we're still learning on our own.

But not everybody needs a teacher. I've seen some really good self-taught players and I use that as a motivation to keep going (yes, they're not concert pianists, but they play really good and that's what I want). And as for myself, at least for now, I don't think I need a teacher (even if I wanted, I can't since there are no teachers where I live), because sure, I'd improve much faster, but so far, slowly and all but I'm enjoying it. And it really feels great to accomplish things on your own. smile
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#1478979 - 07/22/10 08:22 AM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: molto_agitato]
Andy Platt Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2334
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: molto_agitato
However, having a teacher hasn't helped with my technique. My teacher rarely if ever says anything about my technique. I know my technique is abominable; I'd post a video of myself to solicit some constructive criticism, but I'm too ashamed of myself to want anyone to see me play. Now, I don't know if my teacher simply doesn't focus on proper technique will all of his students; perhaps he's simply seen enough of me and has judged me to be a hopeless case, unworthy of his time and effort.


This troubles me. Either your technical abilities are not nearly as bad as you think they are or you have much worse problems than technique (although that shouldn't stop those being addressed) or - dare I say it - you have a bad teacher. Have you discussed your thoughts on this with the teacher?
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#1479021 - 07/22/10 09:25 AM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: Andy Platt]
moscheles001 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/13/08
Posts: 751
Loc: Northeast Pennsylvania
Neither of my two teachers addressed technique. I didn't know enough at the time to realize that this was a problem.

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#1479345 - 07/22/10 05:16 PM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: moscheles001]
Eddy Boston Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/22/09
Posts: 7
Hi everybody! Another self-teacher here.

I took up piano almost exactly a year ago, and I'm working my way through the Alfred's All-In-One course, as well as the Helen Curtis method that somebody else mentioned in this forum. I'm having a blast struggling forward on my own and seeing my progress. There is no better feeling in the world than knowing you can do something today that you couldn't do yesterday.

I have always been a self-learner. I taught myself guitar about ten years ago, and I got pretty good at it, enough to play gigs at bars around town, and enough to have a lot of fun. I taught myself computer programming in high school, and although I took the required courses in college, I was able to skip class most of the time because I already knew the material. In general, I've never been patient enough to sit through classes, and I always found it more effective to learn on my own from books and other resources. Maybe having a private teacher would be different from being in a big class.

The one time I have ever had a private teacher was for voice lessons, and I must say that did help quite a bit. I think voice is different, though, because it is so much more individualized -- you are the instrument. Plus it's very difficult to describe how to sing in a book.

I have a lot of respect for piano teachers -- it must require a lot of patience and love for the instrument to listen to us newbies plunking away, making the same mistakes every time. I'm sure a teacher would help me learn new things. Still, I'm having such a good time on my own I see no reason to change my routine. I'm playing piano for fun, and I worry having a teacher and scheduled appointments and homework would make it seem more like work. (Not to mention teachers cost money that I don't have!)

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#1479567 - 07/23/10 12:14 AM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: Andy Platt]
molto_agitato Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/05/09
Posts: 162
Loc: Washington State
Originally Posted By: Andy Platt
This troubles me. Either your technical abilities are not nearly as bad as you think they are or you have much worse problems than technique (although that shouldn't stop those being addressed) or - dare I say it - you have a bad teacher. Have you discussed your thoughts on this with the teacher?


You've got me worried...what might they be if I may ask?

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#1479569 - 07/23/10 12:18 AM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: molto_agitato]
molto_agitato Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/05/09
Posts: 162
Loc: Washington State
Eddy Boston, how do you like the Helen Curtis piano method?

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#1480080 - 07/23/10 06:04 PM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: molto_agitato]
Eddy Boston Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/22/09
Posts: 7
Yes, I do like the Helen Curtis method, although I skip some of the less interesting pieces -- about half of them are really good, and half are really boring and unmelodic. The ones that are good, though, are very fun to play. They're all classical, and many of them are original compositions by well-known folks.

It doesn't have the explanatory texts that Alfred has, so it's best used in combination with something else, I think.

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#1480338 - 07/24/10 03:06 AM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: Eddy Boston]
tangleweeds Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 11 2012


Registered: 12/21/08
Posts: 1269
Loc: Portlandia
I do often think that having a teacher who could answer my questions, suggest exercises and repertoire, and generally act as a musical mentor would be a very good thing. But at this point I kind of despair of finding a teacher eccentric enough to work with my learning style (which is supposing I could somehow afford a teacher, but that's another story).

The basic problem is I have a lot of self-motivation if left to work in my natural cycles of shifting focus, but when I have to fit myself around a regularly scheduled checklist of requisite activities, it soon reminds me of being in school and I get all stressed and depressed about it. When I tried lessons, it literally got to where the main satisfaction I got from my piano time was the relief of checking another item off of the daily to-do list.

From the time I was a little kid, I've had trouble with the traditional educational model of providing info into small daily doses of many things. I've always found it hard to work up an interest in these little dribs and drabs of info. But if left alone with the textbook, one day I'll read large chunks of it, and then, seen in terms of the big picture, all those little factiods come together in my mind to make a coherent whole. I simply can't remember details unless and until I have a larger context in which to make sense of them. And I gain that larger context by completely immersing myself in the subject until the big picture coalesces. At that point I don't forget the details, because they're integral parts of an interconnected whole.

And I work similarly with physical skills. I start out remarkably clumsy, and stay that way until I can focus on a single new skill (or set of related skills) often and regularly enough to get into a kind of self-hypntotic trance with regard to them, enough that I feel myself mentally rehearsing the skills in dreams or semi-sleep states (actually, this immersion -> dream rehearsal also happens with non-physical learning too). And then the skill will coalesce for me, and I'll be able to do it pretty effortlessly thereafter.

The thing is, I don't reach the level of immersion that I seem to need to make a good mental imprint of things when I have competing mental tracks vying for my attention (learn a little of everything every day). It was why school made me really frazzled, because my attention was always needing to jump around between too many topics. I did well because it got me attention/approval from adults (plus the world would end if I got a B :P), but it was not a rewarding experience. I was in a constant state of mental dissonance very different from the satisfaction I get when I'm allowed to learn in my natural style.

So I am conflicted about getting myself into another learning situation which seems likely to be structured along the traditional model. I'd really like to find a teacher who would be willing offer advice and suggestions which relate to my current area of focus, whatever that happens to be at the time, but be willing to accept that what I'm currently ripe to learn more about is a constantly moving target. Here and there in my educational career I've found professors who found my constantly evolving stream of curiosity interesting and entertaining, so perhaps there is hope.
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#1480402 - 07/24/10 08:36 AM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: tangleweeds]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11183
Loc: Canada
Quote:
I simply can't remember details unless and until I have a larger context in which to make sense of them. And I gain that larger context by completely immersing myself in the subject until the big picture coalesces. At that point I don't forget the details, because they're integral parts of an interconnected whole.

This was interesting to read. I probably function the same way. But also, I've looked at different teaching models since I'm originally a teacher and homeschooled my children for a decade. So I'll share some of it.

There are two models, one going from the parts to the whole, and the other going from the whole to the parts. If we were to learn about the human body, the "whole to parts" one would let you see a human as a whole, notice that there is head, torso, limbs, and then start exploring the details of each and how they interconnect. The "parts to whole" starts with an eyebrow, elbow, big toe, and eventually they'll put it all together, but in the meantime you are left with these little bits and pieces. The modern system is "little bits". Anyone I ever tutored after having school problems was relieved to get the big picture. They hated this fragmented approach.

Part of the reasoning is that it's supposed to move a student from the familiar to the unfamiliar, and the concrete to the abstract. It's how we are supposed to learn best (I have my doubts). Here's geography along that model: kindergarten - my family. gr. 1 - my neighbourhood (grocer, police, teacher). gr. 2 - my town. gr. 3 - my province or country. Eventually you get to the world, countries, governments etc. Personally, I tune out when the subject is something I already know about.

The other device is to "stimulate interest in the student". We are not deemed capable of being interested in a subject for its own sake, and our attention spans are supposed to be brief.

In my province there was a reform of the school system at the tail end of my children's homeschooling, and two sets of textbooks came out. We chose one set, and most schools chose the other. I tutored kids with problems, and they were always happy to see our set, and hated the other one. This same idea is there - seen in math:

Take trigonometry. There is not a chapter on trig. and there is no overview of formulas or concept. The overall concept that they want to teach is not introduced in either book. Instead, they start with "something interesting that kids enjoy" (stimulate with something interesting and known) which has absolutely nothing to do with trigonometry. Maybe token characters (diff. races, genders, handicapped) have an adventure with a ferris wheel. Then after that irrelevant tale you are asked to do something and they then ask you about patterns you have discovered. (move from known to unknown). Then they finally tell you the concept which you are supposed to have "discovered".

I would rather be given the concept right off the bat, and then exploring the idea. So would the students that I tutored.

In addition to this, the text choice of most schools was the fragmented one. Chapter 1 had a few pages on trig, a few pages on geometry, a few pages on calculus. Chapter 2 then developed trig a bit further, always in bite-sized bits ... all the way through the book. You could never get an overview of the whole. The idea was to give the student chunks that were small enough to manage so that s/he could gradually absorb it. This strikes me as rather passive learning.

It *is* true that we can only absorb a complicated subject bit by bit. However, we are also capable of organizing ourselves to study a large thing gradually. We need to be given enough that we can start turning it over and over. We need the unknown and find our way toward it, rather than starting with things we know, and having it spoon-fed.

Whatever I saw in the texts also exists in the educational system, though a good teacher will circumvent that.

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#1481654 - 07/26/10 09:15 AM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: keystring]
moscheles001 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/13/08
Posts: 751
Loc: Northeast Pennsylvania
I used to write a lot, fiction and non-fiction, and my way of working was always to write everything down from beginning to end, and then go back and mold the mass of words and ideas into something that (I hoped) made sense.

I wonder if that's also the way I should practice? Work the piece all the way through, then go through and work on problematic places? I know this sounds like the "intuitive" approach that Chang opposes, but maybe, as with non-musical learning activities, I should use a musical learning style that suits how my brain is wired?

Perhaps by working this way, I can incorporate the creative part of my brain in my practicing, instead of just the re-creative part?

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#1481740 - 07/26/10 11:36 AM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: moscheles001]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11183
Loc: Canada
Quote:
I know this sounds like the "intuitive" approach that Chang opposes, but maybe, as with non-musical learning activities, I should use a musical learning style that suits how my brain is wired?

Chang is a scientist who played piano and whose daughters had an excellent teacher. He tried to get at the principles behind that teacher's approach without having the full background of that teacher, and it is filtered through the lense of his own scientific thinking. He has no experience teaching a variety of students with different learning styles or thinking styles. He has no training in music pedagogy or teaching period afaik, and I can't remember what his own musical background actually is. He has some very useful observations, but I would not restrict myself to anything just because he says so. The good and experienced music teachers seem to be open to different ways of learning and personalities in their students.

I think it's probably a balance. In your novel writing you probably have structure under your apparent randomness. If you do any of the arts professionally (writing, visual arts, music) you'll probably run into some rigid structured things that become like a scaffolding giving a better form to what you do -- sort of the professional or master's touch. I guess we all have to find that balance, myself included (still trying).

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#1481756 - 07/26/10 11:57 AM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: keystring]
jotur Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5283
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
Actually, I don't remember Chang saying "never" play a piece a whole way through. I think he says don't "always" play it the whole way through and expect that the rough spots will somehow come up to par without extra work.

I play pieces all the way through the first couple of times I play them. I work on the hard parts. Sometimes I play all the way through at the speed at which I can play the hard parts. Sometimes I muscle my way through them at speed or more laugh

But I don't *only* play all the way through pieces if there are parts I can't play well. I don't spend *most* of my time playing all the way through when a piece with hard parts is new to me. Or even when I'm bringing a piece back after a layoff. I *always* spend time on the chunks.

Cathy
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#1486661 - 08/02/10 02:23 PM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: jotur]
tangleweeds Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 11 2012


Registered: 12/21/08
Posts: 1269
Loc: Portlandia
Dangit, I hate the way the forum software decides whether I've already read something or not (often I haven't, but it thinks I have). I missed this whole last bit of conversation frown

It's funny, I used to write a lot too, mostly fiction & making websites (back in the early days of the web, when it was all pretty amateur). But it feels like writing and music utilize my brain in such entirely different ways that I'm hardly able to encompass both at the same time. When I'm having a really productive musical period, I find it frustratingly difficult to write in my blog or keep up with email correspondences (though I seem to do a little better with writing forum posts, wonder why?). And I haven't written any fiction at all since I started playing music a few years ago, except for recent anomalous handful of weeks when I suddenly lost all interest in music, but out of the blue my mind burped up an outline for the most nicely formed plot-arc that I've ever come up with in my life. I had just enough time to get it written down before my mind switched tracks back to music, and that was when I returned to the piano earlier this summer.

So I find that my mind kind of boggles when I attempt to relate my fiction process to my musical process. It feels like my brain completely switches wiring when I move from one mode to the other.
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#1486697 - 08/02/10 03:07 PM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: tangleweeds]
moscheles001 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/13/08
Posts: 751
Loc: Northeast Pennsylvania
I stopped writing when I returned to music, but that's OK, because I realized that, although I wrote pretty well, I had nothing of interest to say.

I'm happier with music. Had I stayed with it to begin with, I could be a starving musician now, instead of a starving customer service rep.
smile

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#1486780 - 08/02/10 05:28 PM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: moscheles001]
nancymae Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/27/09
Posts: 129
Loc: NE Wisconsin
Moscheles001--AIN'T THAT THE TRUTH!!!! (Your comment on Starving!)

There is a book out, "Artist in the Office" which really helps me put things into perspective. It's an easy and fun read. I, too, wish I could have, would have, gone to art school--where would I be right now if I did???? Or to music school..same thing..I would LOVE to be a part of an orchestra...the Pops??? Playing for Xmas...whatever. It doesn't mean we still CAN'T do it though...there is a place for our creativity...we just have to find it and at least we are earning money for our sheet music habit!!!

I recently got a teacher, but have been teaching myself since Xmas day (literally!!) My pressie was a keyboard...and since we were having an ice storm that day, our family Xmas was postponed, so it was me and my dear hubby--who suffered through eating tv dinners at about 8pm at night...BECAUSE I WAS PLAYING THE KEYBOARD!!!

So, I was doing the self-teaching thing for about 7 months. It was great...I was able to "assign" myself certain things. But the thing I have to caution everyone about is by reading everything in whatever method and really getting the meaning of it. For instance, I am doing the Alfred system--and I told my teacher I was having problems with my fingering. She showed me what those little numbers meant on top of the notes. I THOUGHT THEY WERE JUST FINGERING SUGGESTIONS!! When all else fails, read the directions!!! I have a tendency to gloss over things in my haste to play...so it's a good thing to read and understand what the method book is trying to tell you. If you don't understand, this is the place to ask...there are so many wonderful pianists around here...and so helpful!

That's just my suggestion of the day!

Happy playing!

Nancy
_________________________
Piano Obsession Log:
Began Piano 12/25/09 on Yamaha starter digital keyboard
Playing on circa 1917/18 Chickering Grand Piano since July 2010
Finished Alfred Book 1-August 2010
Started Book 2--August 11, 2010
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