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#1487205 - 08/03/10 10:23 AM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: nancymae]
moscheles001 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/13/08
Posts: 753
Loc: Northeast Pennsylvania
I actually did go to music school: three years at the State University of NY at Albany. I didn't major in piano, though; my major was composition. I enrolled when I was 21, but, considering that I had no interest in music until I was 15, I think that that was still a fair accomplishment.

Unfortunately, I lacked sufficient confidence in myself, and ended up changing majors (to English) and schools.

Alas. . . .

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#1490480 - 08/07/10 08:38 PM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: moscheles001]
tangleweeds Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 11 2012


Registered: 12/21/08
Posts: 1269
Loc: Portlandia
t's a muggy, cloudy summer afternoon and I'm having trouble accomplishing today's big task, which is to create a master-list of piano-learning-related activities. I want to start tracking how often I work on different aspects of my piano skills, so I will be more aware of what I might be neglecting.

Given a bit of lead time, I can generally psych myself into a fresh obsession with activities I've let slip onto the back burner for a while. But the idea first needs to make a good blip onto my radar screen, as when someone mentions something intriguing here on the forum, or when I'm browsing a book that suggest a new strategy, but this methodology is obviously pretty haphazard.

I keep a music notebook in my practice room where I jot down ideas and practice strategies which are working out well for me, but it's just a chaotic mass of jottings on my experiences with various instruments. And I have computer files in which I save pithy statements from the forums (with author attributions, of course!), which I'm sure includes lots of great ideas which may or may not be relevant to today's task. And then there are a couple of method books I've run across recently which have some interesting exercises which I can feel stimulating my "wow-I'm-learning lots!" pleasure center, so I have to include those... hmm, no wonder I'm feeling a little overwhelmed. Maybe I need to start breaking all of this down into subtasks...

Anyway, as a self-directed learner, I find that I need to go through this sort of list-making process every once in a while, as an essential sort of mental housekeeping. I find that if I can get my agenda organized into nice lists on paper/in the computer (my methodology varies), then it frees up a remarkable amount of mental space for actually getting these various things done.

Do you make lists? Daily checklists? Keep a practice log? I've even made myself databases, but found that I get sucked into fiddling with the computer way to easily if I let myself touch the darned thing during music time.

Or do you just play it by ear?
_________________________
Oops... extremely distracted by mandolins at the moment... brb

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#1490505 - 08/07/10 09:09 PM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: tangleweeds]
jotur Online   blank
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5504
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
I have remnants of several practice logs and similar from over the years. I go in cycles. I always think I'm going to have some tidy little record of how I've done/how I'm doing. You'd think, at 64, that I would have figured out that tidy-R-not-me laugh

The method I'm using now seems to be motivating for me. In January of this year I got out an old 3-ring binder and started logging my total practice time every day and what tunes/pieces I worked on, and then I have a sheet for each separate tune on which I comment on what I worked on, at what tempos, etc. In the front I have a sheet that has genereal areas on which I want to work - more repertoire from memory, more improvisation, speed on dance melodies, octaves, etc. I thought I would be able to be more consistent about progress, but it turns out I never read it laugh But I do keep logging - this is probably the longest I've ever done that, for music any way.

The real motivation is that I play about 3 times a month for nursing/retirement/adult day care centers, and jam once a week + gigs with a band. For the solo gigs I have a 5x8 card for each possible piece I might play and at the gig I just leaf thru it for whatever's next. But then I note on each card when I play it at a gig, and I make a card that lists everything I played at the gig. Those are actually in some ways more helpful, because I note if I had trouble with a particular part of the music, whether I had it memorized or used sheets, how many pieces filled how much time, etc, and that *does* help me plan out what I'm working on in review, and seems to help me be more aware of what's happening.

But I'm always tempted by those pretty little notebooks with spiral binding and blank sheets, envisioning this neat little cottage with lace curtains and shelves of pretty notebooks.

It just doesn't work for me laugh The only thing that's ever come close, and the proof is in these latest method's enduring, is something with loose-leafs or loose cards that I can interleave more into as my repertoire/history expands.

Cathy
_________________________

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#1490627 - 08/08/10 12:51 AM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: jotur]
tangleweeds Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 11 2012


Registered: 12/21/08
Posts: 1269
Loc: Portlandia
Quote:
I have remnants of several practice logs and similar from over the years. I go in cycles. I always think I'm going to have some tidy little record of how I've done/how I'm doing. You'd think, at 64, that I would have figured out that tidy-R-not-me laugh

I'm generally an agent of chaos myself laugh , but every once in a while I need a good mental hair-combing, and sort everything into tidy little piles. This recurring ritual of setting up a log system seems to be just another version of this.

I'm also finding the logging-quest to be kind of an iterative process -- what I've learned from the previous systems informs the new ones. For example, I've learned that checklists feel very orderly to create, but are very oppressive to my spirits to work from. I do much better with lists that I sell to myself as menus of practice options, with places to track when each gets worked on.

The system you describe has a lot of resemblances to the musical practice databases I made, which I am now trying to implement on paper. Paper seems to work better for me too, though I do generate the paper from the computer. I discovered the hard way that using pretty notebooks suitable for lacy-curtained cottages entails way too much writing by hand, which experience has shown I don't like do when I'm practicing. It seems to work better for me to have computer generated printouts in a format which I mark with dates and codes and ratings describing practice conditions & results, stuff that hardly requires any thought or time to jot down in the midst of practicing. It's also convenient that with my various forms residing on the computer, I can update and tweak them easily, to reflect what works or doesn't work as I try to use them.

Now if only I could get to work on this instead of talking about it... Maybe it is just the muggy, oppressive weather we're having (not the usual around here), but I'm just having the hardest time getting myself organized. I know from experience that much of the sense of mental overload I'm feeling right now is because I'm trying to hold all this stuff in my head at once, and the time feels very ripe to sort my musical agenda into tidy little piles, but it's like I can't find the end of the ball of string to begin unwind it all.

I hate summer humidity. bah

UPDATE: Logjam finally broke! Got a whole bunch down. Yay!


Edited by tangleweeds (08/08/10 03:53 AM)
_________________________
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#1490754 - 08/08/10 09:33 AM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: tangleweeds]
mom3gram Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/26/08
Posts: 1132
Loc: New Jersey
I have a very simple school-type spiral notebook and I write down what I practiced each day. There is also a moveable post-it note with what I want to accomplish the next day. It works for me. At one time I had made a very thorough spreadsheet on the computer with all my pieces - new ones, ones being polished, ones to keep in "repertoire", scales to work on, etc. I found it too time consuming, not flexible enough, and I was constantly changing it and printing out new ones. The notebook works much better for me.
_________________________
mom3gram

ALFRED'S ADULT BOOK 1 GRADUATE


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#1490862 - 08/08/10 01:27 PM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: mom3gram]
TheodorN Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/16/10
Posts: 1191
Loc: Helsingborg, Sweden
I'm very glad for this thread because I'm a self-teaching beginner. It hasn't worked out like I would've liked, but now I'm practising major scales and chords. I have also prepared a note file of simplified one note versions of a few popular piano songs in Notation Composer.

There is a lot of helpful stuff around, both on YouTube and other websites, but it would be nice to have a teacher. Since I'm sort of on cross-roads in my life I sent a message to one such teacher that if he found a job for me I'd move to where he is and become his student. He never replied.

If any of you piano teachers (in the States or Canada) are reading this my offer stands for you as well! Help me find a job and I will take at least 100 lesson hours from you (given they are not overpriced.)
_________________________
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#1491179 - 08/08/10 08:38 PM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: TheodorN]
tangleweeds Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 11 2012


Registered: 12/21/08
Posts: 1269
Loc: Portlandia
Hmm, that does seem like a big task for a busy teacher to take on. Around here these days, finding a job seems to be a full-time job in itself.

But back to my recurrent logbook quest:

There seems to be a magic to staying up past my bedtime -- a nice second wind can really get the ideas flowing. Last night I finally got myself going by playing around with the piano section of the musical practice database I put together last summer, and wow, it was really inspiring to notice how much progress I'd made since then -- even though I had failed to log most of this progress in said database! :rolleyes:

But then I found the notes/outline I had used to set the piano part of the database, and reading through them inspired a fresh brainstorm on all my current and past piano activities. Today I think I will fill in that outline some more, perhaps with details from the notes, books, quotes files, etc. which were overwhelming to my capacities yesterday.

I do feel much better now I've got my whole brain-dumping process started. I find it much easier to expand on an outline and let it spawn subtopics than it is to get my brain to burp up the initial framework.
_________________________
Oops... extremely distracted by mandolins at the moment... brb

neglected piano blog

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#1491363 - 08/09/10 03:27 AM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: tangleweeds]
TheodorN Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/16/10
Posts: 1191
Loc: Helsingborg, Sweden
You're probably right, tangleweeds, just a far fetched hope somebody might lure on something. Suppose the recession has hit the US just as hard as us here overseas.

But as this a self-teaching support thread, not an unemployment service for piano enthusiasts, I have a question about practising habits.

Recently I've been focusing on practising major scales and chords with the metronome on and some music theory like the circle of fifths, as well as figuring out in which key pieces are written.

Is it not necessary to play some easy beginner songs in between, to spice my practice routine up a little? Although I must tell you I'm finding it a bit hard to play even those simplest songs with the metronome on.

I get confused and lose track of the song when I try to listen to the beats of the metronome and hit the notes at the same time, reading them from a music sheet. I'm still learning to sight read, a lot of tasks to do simultaneously.
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#1491366 - 08/09/10 03:36 AM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: TheodorN]
jotur Online   blank
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5504
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
I'd definitely play some beginner songs/tunes/pieces. I don't really learn theory until I apply it. You might also try a lead sheet - it has a melody for the right hand, but only chord names for the left hand, and it's really good for learning chords by playing them.

The trick to a metronome is to start *really* slow, so you have time to think laugh It's confusing to everyone when they first start trying to use it. When I first started I had to know a piece pretty well to do it, but I play dance music and it's a tremendous help to play a tune thru with a metronome.

You don't have to play every piece with a metronome, particularly if you have a pretty good sense of time. But it's good to do so sometimes, and it can be an eye-opener about how well you know a piece smile

Yeah, the recession has especially hit jobs here frown

Cathy
_________________________

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#1491540 - 08/09/10 11:41 AM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: jotur]
TheodorN Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/16/10
Posts: 1191
Loc: Helsingborg, Sweden
Thank you Cathy. Actually I have found MIDI files for some songs I like, copied the melody into Notation (thrown all the other instruments out) and written the chord names above the staff. Megachords.com gives you chords for most pop/rock/country songs, the only problem is they don't tell you which inversions to play. But I have had a lot of fun experimenting with this.

I have the metronome down to 50-60, still get mixed up but I think I'm learning slowly to keep rhytm. I can play some of the major scales at a fast pace, like 120.

The circle of fifths helps me, though I haven't learned it completely. At least I know that if there are four sharp signs, F, C, G and D are raised to black keys except when there are natural signs. Then the piece is written in E major.
_________________________
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http://www.youtube.com/user/thenorbass1

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#1492010 - 08/09/10 08:06 PM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: TheodorN]
tangleweeds Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 11 2012


Registered: 12/21/08
Posts: 1269
Loc: Portlandia
With the exception of doing sight reading exercises, I don't generally read new music with the metronome on. I first get my fingers around the piece without the stress of the metronome, instead taking it slowly enough to carefully test out the fingering suggestions (which often teach me new tricks, though sometimes they can turn out not to fit my particular hands).

Once I have a whole phrase in my fingers well enough to make it sound kind of musical, I will then start to test myself against the metronome, to make sure I'm not slowing down for the hard bits. But I use the metronome most when I am sewing together the individual phrases of a new piece into a seamless whole, or when trying to increase the speed of a piece I'm polishing up.

I do sometimes use the metronome to keep me on track during my sight reading practice, though more often I count aloud for this instead. I save the metronome for when I *really* want to stress myself out!

Actually, if you're new, you might not know the difference yet between reading music and "sight reading". Sight reading is when you play unfamiliar music straight through, in time, without stopping. The metronome is helpful to prevent pauses.

But a student's sight reading level will generally be a couple of levels below the level of the music they are currently taking time to study and seriously learn. The sort of music one take the time to polish will generally be quite a bit too hard for one to sight read. So you'd want to tackle that kind of music slowly, the way I suggested above.

A good way to get used to the metronome is to use it to tap out rhythms from sheet music -- ignore the pitch, and just tap the rhythms on your knees. You don't even need to print out the music from the computer, and if the music is a bit hard, just tap out the melody. Because tapping rhythms is much easier than coordinating 10 fingers, it makes it easier to learn to synchronize with the metronome. Also, practice at reading rhythms improves your sight reading skills.
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#1492481 - 08/10/10 09:08 AM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: tangleweeds]
nancymae Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/27/09
Posts: 129
Loc: NE Wisconsin
Using the metronome to count out the music is a wonderful idea!! I am going to use that one!! Thank you!

I do a log book. I used to just write down the date I started a piece, but then I moved around so much, I decided I needed a more linear record. I just use a spiral note book. Put down how long I have practiced, what pieces from what books, and also if I am doing scales. Those little scales can get away from you, but they are oh so important. I am down to 4 sharps (or the key of E) on my scales...not proficiently, but I'm working. Also I'm trying to do the minor scales along with the majors I have worked on. I have one of those "Scales, chords, arpeggio" books from Alfred, so that keeps me busy.

I also write notes on a particular piece/measure I'm having difficulty with. It's alot of fun to go back and see how you progress!!

Have fun 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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#1499773 - 08/20/10 08:51 AM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: nancymae]
moscheles001 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/13/08
Posts: 753
Loc: Northeast Pennsylvania
Just bumping this thread up, with an issue:

To supplement the Scarlatti, Clementi, Bach, and Hanon I'm doing, I've started working on Czerny's left-hand book, Op 718, and Scharwenka's "Meisterschule," which has selected exercises from Czerny, Bertini, Clementi, et al., for working on velocity.

It's such a wake-up call. Better yet, a bucket of ice-water. My C major and G major scales are embarrassing. I play harder music better than I play easier music.

Should I just work on the "easy" stuff for a while and put the early/mid-intermediate on the back burner?

Should I sell one of my kidneys so I can afford a teacher? smile

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#1499780 - 08/20/10 09:20 AM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: moscheles001]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3158
Quote:
moscheles001

Should I just work on the "easy" stuff for a while and put the early/mid-intermediate on the back burner?


M, You have good instincts.

In many disciplines, not just piano, such as sports training, golf, etc, the answer to your question is to get back to the basics.

Learn all the scales w/correct fingering, done so that each note sounds the same, i.e. smooth, same dynamics, etc.

Get a Hanon book, start at #1 and go slow until you can do hands separate, then hands together, smoothly like the scales. Hanon books also have the scales in them, if you don't already have access.

FYI, I have been playing all my life, and I warm up w/Hanon #1 and #2, then selected others and scales, then repertoire I can easily play, on an almost daily basis.
_________________________
Music teacher and piano player.

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#1499839 - 08/20/10 11:20 AM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: rocket88]
moscheles001 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/13/08
Posts: 753
Loc: Northeast Pennsylvania
I do Hanon daily. I got 1-20 up to the magic metronome marking of 108 hands separately. I've scaled the tempo back to work on hands together.

I do know the fingerings for all the major scales. I use them to warm up. I haven't worked on the minor scales in decades. I think I'll incorporate scales back into my daily technic regimen.

I just wish there was time to do all I want to do. Argh.

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#1499885 - 08/20/10 12:37 PM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: moscheles001]
ten left thumbs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
Originally Posted By: moscheles001


It's such a wake-up call. Better yet, a bucket of ice-water. My C major and G major scales are embarrassing. I play harder music better than I play easier music.


C has got to be the hardest scale there is! laugh I know I struggle.

Quote:


Should I sell one of my kidneys so I can afford a teacher? smile


Yes, but keep your corneas. You need them for sight-reading.


Edited by ten left thumbs (08/20/10 12:38 PM)
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I am a competent teacher.


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#1500236 - 08/21/10 12:32 AM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: ten left thumbs]
tangleweeds Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 11 2012


Registered: 12/21/08
Posts: 1269
Loc: Portlandia
Originally Posted By: ten left thumbs
Quote:
Should I sell one of my kidneys so I can afford a teacher? smile
Yes, but keep your corneas. You need them for sight-reading.
LOL!!!
_________________________
Oops... extremely distracted by mandolins at the moment... brb

neglected piano blog

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#1500921 - 08/22/10 12:20 PM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: moscheles001]
Mala Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/12/10
Posts: 12
I decided to finally give piano playing a shot about 3 years ago - at 60 years. This is something I always wanted to do and I figured if I could successfully read music I would get myself a piano and a teacher. Well that happened. I found myself a teacher who threw music at me the first day and asked me to play. Maybe it was the right thing to do. In two months or so I was playing some music - I dont really know what level because each time I would be given music from a different (random i think) book. I felt I was just struggling to keep up with what was happening. (this was once a week). I decided to call it quits and looked around for another teacher. By now I was in a position to attempt Alfred's book 2. I searched it out myself - just browsing in the music store. My second teacher lasted two months and then had to quit because he had no time - and i was looking again. This time I had a teacher who played like a dream but told me I could not interfere with his style of teaching and to just go with what he taught. I had no choice. For four months i did just chords. That i can see now was worth it - atleast i understand chords now. He left and I havent been able to find a teacher since so I have moved to self teaching - something I had been doing all along anyway.

I just dont know though if i am doing the right thing. When i first enrolled for piano - i was asked what i wanted to learn piano for. I didnt know what that meant - and now I do. I can read music and practice practice and practice and finally be able to play a piece - but cant see myself just sitting and doing what I hear in lounges. So I am now on Alfred book 3 (using the cds as support) and after this what? do i just learn music by rote and hope it remains with me (it doesnt. is this what piano playing is? I dont know if i can afford to have 3 years with a teacher and then 2/3 years without and then back again to the teacher.

My question is - am i on the right track? is this what piano playing is? where does improvisation come in? what can i do to head a bit in that direction??

thank you for starting this thread - i know now i am not alone!

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#1503437 - 08/26/10 07:21 AM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: tangleweeds]
Bonnie Woodruff Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 30
Loc: Florida, USA
I might now have a PhD in Music Education for piano, and I have taught piano for 50 years, but for a long time I couldn't afford continued studies after getting married, but I was at advanced/concert levels, who still wanted to continue my studies, so self-studied on my own for many, many years, practicing and arranging. Then, in the 80's I had the opportunity to study with a European concert pianist, who gave me another approach to studying piano, and I FINALLY had the study that had all the patterns/theory needed to complete my education. So from 1959 to the early 80's I was self-taught to be able to continue my study of the piano, but still didn't have all the theory needed to understand measure by measure what/why the harmony was the way it was/why, until studying with this wonderful concert pianist. and his piano method was handed down through his family for many generations. He died and left me this piano method, which I put into a self-study with audio/visual for students who can't afford to study with a piano teacher.Adults really love learning the piano this way, where they can start at level 3-5 and beginners don't have to read notes at first, thus they work on their theory and performance only, then later note reading....awesome way to study piano. For me, I enjoy now being smart at the piano and my level of performance enabled me to do concerts.
_________________________
Dr. Bonnie Woodruff, PhD, Music Education
Author of 17 Piano Books PDF with visual/audio: Bon's Way Fastrak Long Distance Piano Educational System
http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/drbonniejw3
Albums: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/drbonniejw2
http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/drbonniejw

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#1503438 - 08/26/10 07:23 AM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: tangleweeds]
Bonnie Woodruff Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 30
Loc: Florida, USA
Please ~ don't sell one of your kidney's,I'll give you my piano method so you can study....please!
_________________________
Dr. Bonnie Woodruff, PhD, Music Education
Author of 17 Piano Books PDF with visual/audio: Bon's Way Fastrak Long Distance Piano Educational System
http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/drbonniejw3
Albums: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/drbonniejw2
http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/drbonniejw

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#1503517 - 08/26/10 09:53 AM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: Bonnie Woodruff]
moscheles001 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/13/08
Posts: 753
Loc: Northeast Pennsylvania
You're right, Bonnie. I'm being silly.

I'll sell a kidney so I can get a better piano. grin

So, Bonnie, can we see your method? Thanks!

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#1503853 - 08/26/10 08:26 PM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: moscheles001]
BEARitone Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/22/10
Posts: 3
Hello,

First of all I would like to thank the folks here for the support. I was surprised to see so many negative comments to people who don't have a teacher, almost to the point of being rude. Maybe it is just a shock coming from guitar, where the forums I visited were extremely positive for people looking to learn. Either way I am glad there is at least a small corner for folks learning without a teacher. I was actually already getting discouraged before I started until I found this thread.

I recently decided to pick up the piano. I bought a starter keyboard and printed out a few pieces to try and enjoyed playing Fur Elise that was simplified. It was the only thing I could really pick up that sounded ok. I also learned how to read sheet music at a basic level.

Now I am wondering what I should start learning? Should I continue to just try out easy songs for a bit or is there something else I should start learning? I friend gave me a stack of piano books(mostly song books for children), but the only one I have heard of is the Hanon(The Virtuoso Piano in 60 Exercises) book.

I would really like to play mostly non-classical piano(pop, rock, ragtime). I am not planning on playing professionally or anything, it is just something I would like to do for personal enjoyment.

Any pointers on where to start?

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#1503863 - 08/26/10 08:42 PM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: BEARitone]
jotur Online   blank
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5504
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
For Mala and BEARitone - there are three long-on-going threads here in the ABF, one for each Alfred's book. They aren't the only books available, but here you'll have people who are playing the same pieces at the same level you are who can help you out. There are also people who can recommend other pieces that will be at or slightly above your level, so that you aren't playing *only* pieces from Alfred's, and you can begin to branch out into other music. Those books will give you a foundation for the things you want to play later, whether classical, pop, or ragtime.

If you want to play Joplin and other classic ragtime composers you'll want that foundation, both in reading and technique. If you want to play pop there is also a thread here in the ABF on Pete the Bean's Pop Piano course, and Pete his very self checks in sometimes.

So there's support here to help you get further along in your piano playing. You can even post your playing in the monthly piano bar threads, and/or once every 3 months in the ABF recitals, so you cana get applause and have a record of your progress laugh

And yes, there's a good contingent here of people learning outside of formal lessons. But we all learn from each other and from many people around us.

Cathy
_________________________

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#1503871 - 08/26/10 08:50 PM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: jotur]
BEARitone Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/22/10
Posts: 3
Thank you so much for the kind and helpful reply.

I had seen the Alfred books mentioned before around here but I didn't know too much about them. I am going to grab level one right now.

Cheers.

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#1504119 - 08/27/10 08:30 AM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: jotur]
Mala Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/12/10
Posts: 12
Thank you Cathy - I really appreciate this - you can sense my frustration from my ramblings!

The good news here for me is that I see now it is okay to branch out and try 'other pieces' - straying away from Alfred's now and then will be helpful mostly because I enjoy classical - and also pop! So much to learn - such little time!!

I will be looking out for suggestions on material I can use - i know that i will definitely be looking for something that has a cd with it -

time to get back and hit the keys!! thank you again!

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#1504677 - 08/28/10 03:47 AM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: Mala]
FogVilleLad Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/02/05
Posts: 4680
Loc: San Francisco
Originally Posted By: Mala
The good news here for me is that I see now it is okay to branch out and try 'other pieces' - straying away from Alfred's now and then will be helpful mostly because I enjoy classical - and also pop! So much to learn - such little time!! i know that i will definitely be looking for something that has a cd with it
Sheet music may not come with a CD. You've progressed sufficiently to start looking for sheet music for tunes/songs that you like. If you google the name of the piece, you may find it on a CD on Amazon. CD's on that site often have brief sound clips. That'll let you hear how the piece should sound.

If you have music notation software, you could enter eight or sixteen bars and then just play them back.




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#1504698 - 08/28/10 06:55 AM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: FogVilleLad]
Mala Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/12/10
Posts: 12
thank you!! didnt know about the software - thats worth exploring i am sure
and thank you also for suggesting that i am now ready to look for sheet music and try it out - a definite 'feel good'!!

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#1504846 - 08/28/10 02:07 PM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: Mala]
FogVilleLad Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/02/05
Posts: 4680
Loc: San Francisco
Mala, thanks for the kind words.

People on this forum have recommended free/low cost music notation software. You might want to start a new thread re that. You'll for sure get good info. Developers often offer a trial period, so you could experiment, to learn what seems to work for you.

All the best with your playing.

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#1505854 - 08/30/10 09:45 AM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: mom3gram]
Late-Starter Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/05/08
Posts: 10
I was self-taught for 3 years on a digital piano but having purchased an acoustic piano towards the end of last year, I decided to take up monthly lesson at the start of this year.

My experience is that unless one is musically gifted, self-teaching can only take one pass the beginners phase to somewhere in the early intermediate stage (and stuck there for a long time). Without a qualified teacher to point out mistakes and to help with developing a good ear and sound techniques, progress can be painfully slow. As one is never sure of doing the right thing, the absence of conviction in learning/practising would inevitably translate into a lack of confidence in performance.

Prior to the lessons, I'd only play the piano in private and would never dared to do it in front of friends, let alone any strangers but now I might give it a go if the environment is conducive enough. Come to think of it, having a teacher listening critically while you play is good preparation for that.

It's easier to afford monthly lessons but you will need to be flexible with lesson time as most qualified teacher are engaged on a weekly basis and can only 'fit you in' at irregular hours.


Edited by Late-Starter (08/30/10 09:56 AM)

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#1505880 - 08/30/10 10:37 AM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: Late-Starter]
moscheles001 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/13/08
Posts: 753
Loc: Northeast Pennsylvania
I think most of us agree that regular lessons with a good teacher is optimum. However, I also think that the results of self-learning, just as with learning with a teacher, will vary according to the student.

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