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#1468015 - 07/04/10 09:23 AM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: rocket88]
moscheles001 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/13/08
Posts: 753
Loc: Northeast Pennsylvania
I thought the point of this thread would be simply to provide support among those of us learning without direct support from teachers. We're all seeking indirect support--from each other, from YouTube, books, DVD, concerts, etc. Would it be better to have a good teacher? Yes, of course. But they cost money some of us don't have.

Let's try working from where we are: we're self-learners who love what we're learning, and want to improve as best we can in the most efficient and painless way possible.

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#1468026 - 07/04/10 09:40 AM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: MiM]
Ejay Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/24/09
Posts: 216
Loc: U.K.
Perhaps then , we can think about what are important things for people starting on the journey of self teaching to know.

Links to sites that explain posture and correct placement of hands.
Theory sites.
Tips on how to practice, how to fix mistakes.

How do we organise it so the info doesn't get lost in chat about the merits of teaching via self taught ?
_________________________
Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.
Maya Angelou


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#1468028 - 07/04/10 09:43 AM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: tangleweeds]
TrapperJohn Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 3577
Loc: Chocolatetown, USA
Originally Posted By: tangleweeds
I was wondering whether it might be possible to have a thread that was officially a safe space to talk about self-teaching. I've been searching back threads about the subject, and they seem to all eventually get derailed into arguments that self-teaching dooms one to pianistic hell.



This seemed like such a good idea at the start, but it seems that another derailment was immediately and inevitably in progress - you should have posted a sign: NO TEACHERS ALLOWED!

Don't you teachers have a whole damn Forum of your own? So, unless you have something positive and helpful to say about self-teaching... We've heard all the negative stuff before in any number of other threads... Apparently some of you don't get it, or just can't help yourself & you're failing to honor and respect the OP's original intention for this thread..

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

Current favorite bumper sticker: Wag more, bark less.

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#1468031 - 07/04/10 09:50 AM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: TrapperJohn]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
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Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Like I've said, we've sworn an oath!
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#1468038 - 07/04/10 09:57 AM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: TrapperJohn]
Studio Joe Offline
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Registered: 03/28/07
Posts: 1803
Loc: Decatur, Texas
Originally Posted By: John Frank
This seemed like such a good idea at the start, but it seems that another derailment was immediately and inevitably in progress - you should have posted a sign: NO TEACHERS ALLOWED!

Don't you teachers have a whole damn Forum of your own? So, unless you have something positive and helpful to say about self-teaching... We've heard all the negative stuff before in any number of other threads... Apparently some of you don't get it, or just can't help yourself & you're failing to honor and respect the OP's original intention for this thread..

JF


Good post, JF
_________________________
Joe Whitehead ------ Texas Trax

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#1468044 - 07/04/10 10:12 AM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: keyboardklutz]
Ejay Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/24/09
Posts: 216
Loc: U.K.
Ejay rolls up a big soft fluffy pillow and bashes Keyboardklutz over the head.

I must admit I read and have posted in the teachers thread, perhaps a better request would be no teachers or indeed anyone criticising the decision to self teach. I am happy and grateful for any supportive tips and critique from the teachers here.
_________________________
Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.
Maya Angelou


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#1468045 - 07/04/10 10:12 AM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: TrapperJohn]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3165
Originally Posted By: John Frank


Don't you teachers have a whole damn Forum of your own?


We do, and several self-taught non-teachers post there, and we let them and they are not censored.
_________________________
Music teacher and piano player.

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#1468053 - 07/04/10 10:27 AM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: rocket88]
keyboardklutz Offline
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I will be honest and say I have posted a lot in this thread (just can't help it) - but then who is forced to read them? I think John is right many posters would love a thread excluding teachers (I don't agree with them though).
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#1468062 - 07/04/10 10:43 AM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: keyboardklutz]
Studio Joe Offline
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Registered: 03/28/07
Posts: 1803
Loc: Decatur, Texas
I would say teachers would probably be welcome to post as long as they are supportive and not disparaging one's reasons to self teach.
_________________________
Joe Whitehead ------ Texas Trax

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#1468066 - 07/04/10 10:47 AM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: MiM]
joyoussong Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/19/09
Posts: 737
Loc: Canada
I think TLT said it best - "there is no teaching, only learning." We're all self-taught. And one of the resources that can be enormously helpful is a good teacher.
_________________________
Carol
(Started playing July 2008)



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#1468072 - 07/04/10 11:05 AM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: joyoussong]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3165
Question:

What exactly are the criteria for "Self-Taught" on this thread?

* Is it only for those who never had a teacher?

* Or how about those who had a teacher, but now self-teach?

* Or those who currently have a teacher, but augment the lessons by self-teaching themselves a different style of music?
_________________________
Music teacher and piano player.

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#1468075 - 07/04/10 11:11 AM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: rocket88]
moscheles001 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/13/08
Posts: 753
Loc: Northeast Pennsylvania
I'm in the second category, too. Two teachers when I was a teenager. Neither was very good, unfortunately.

I don't think anyone should feel inhibited about participating. There are so many knowledgeable people posting on all the forums, and I want to learn from them.

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#1468077 - 07/04/10 11:14 AM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: moscheles001]
moscheles001 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/13/08
Posts: 753
Loc: Northeast Pennsylvania
By the way, I seem to recall reading that Alfred Brendel was self-taught for the most part. He turned out OK.

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#1468079 - 07/04/10 11:19 AM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: moscheles001]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3165
Originally Posted By: moscheles001
By the way, I seem to recall reading that Alfred Brendel was self-taught for the most part. He turned out OK.


Actually, he had numerous teachers up to the age of 16, including studies at a Conservatory, then as an adult some master classes.

This quote is from his biography at his official website:

Quote:
His father then went to Zagreb and became the director of a cinema. Here Alfred Brendel was given his first piano lessons at the age of six from Sofia Dezelic (he also appeared at a children's theatre in Zagreb) and had a succession of early teachers as the family moved on, returning after the War to a place near Graz where Brendel pere worked in a department store.

Here Alfred studied at the Graz Conservatory with Ludovika von Kaan (who had studied with one of Liszt's more illustrious pupils, Bernhard Stavenhagen) as well as private composition lessons with Artur Michl, a local organist and composer. After the age of sixteen, the little formal training he had had came to an end. Apart from attending a few master classes he had no further teachers.


He likes to call himself "Self-Taught", but that sounds like spin to me, because he did have piano teachers, one of which was a star student of Liszt.
_________________________
Music teacher and piano player.

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#1468080 - 07/04/10 11:19 AM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: keyboardklutz]
gmm1 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/03/06
Posts: 1674
Loc: Spokane WA
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
Originally Posted By: gmm1
But, I have to ask, what is it about my way that is so wrong? I don't care that I am doing something wrong that will keep me from playing advanced pieces if I don't fix it now while it's easy. I can play this piece now. I am probably never going to reach that level anyway, so let me enjoy what I can do now.

Mistakes are relative. My goal is to enjoy myself now, not to play "correctly", whatever that means.
The trouble is piano teachers have a kinda Hippocratic Oath which forbids them to allow you to hobble yourself.


Ah Klutz, you made me laugh....I understand JF's point, but must admit I enjoy the posts here from teachers.

To Rocket's point, I don't remember if you were around, but a while back the teachers had a huge thread on "teacher's only" .. I took it to heart and rarely post or visit anymore ( unless I get a note to check something out, like the "worst article" thread).

Everyone is welcome says me....
_________________________
"There is nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself." Johann Sebastian Bach/Gyro

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#1468082 - 07/04/10 11:23 AM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: gmm1]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3165
Originally Posted By: gmm1


To Rocket's point, I don't remember if you were around, but a while back the teachers had a huge thread on "teacher's only" .. I took it to heart and rarely post or visit anymore ( unless I get a note to check something out, like the "worst article" thread).




I remember that conversation, and recall that the consensus was that anyone can post on the teachers forum, not just teachers.
_________________________
Music teacher and piano player.

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#1468083 - 07/04/10 11:28 AM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: gmm1]
ten left thumbs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
Moving forward, I would like to share what has been perhaps the most helpful thing for me in my self-teaching career: making as recording of myself and playing it back - listening critically. It's painful at times - those times when I don't sound very good. But it has always been most worthwhile.

For this purpose I have a zoom digital recorder, which I love.

It's also a good self-motivational feature - to make recordings as a record of my progress. Without a teacher, this is all I have to tell myself I'm getting better.
_________________________
I am a competent teacher.


www.justfingers.co.uk
www.babysinging.co.uk

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#1468084 - 07/04/10 11:28 AM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: rocket88]
gmm1 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/03/06
Posts: 1674
Loc: Spokane WA
I'll go back and look (when I get time...)but I remember quite a few wanted an area for themselves. Some, like this thread, did not care, but the feeling I have is my posting will be tolerated but not welcome...

And, I have no problem with that. It is the Teachers Forum after all.

I will go back and check my memory.
_________________________
"There is nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself." Johann Sebastian Bach/Gyro

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#1468096 - 07/04/10 11:49 AM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: keyboardklutz]
Little_Blue_Engine Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/30/09
Posts: 1233
Loc: Ohio, US
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
Originally Posted By: moscheles001
So those of us who can't get a teacher are just doomed to failure?
No, just failure to reach your true potential.
To a certain extent where we are born and who our parents are has already set many of us up to never reach our "full potential" in many areas of life. Its just the way things are.

In KK's defence most of what he's posted here so far has actually been reasonably supportive. He's admitted most people even with a teacher are likely to develop at least some nad habits at some point.

Now on to the origional purpose of the thread.
I've found some of Lypur's lessons on youtube to be helpful, although I haven't watched any lately. There's even one about setting realistic goals as a self-learner.

There's a note reading game/app on facebook I used for a while, somewhat helpful as a drill for recognizing individual notes quickly.

Right now I'm using a tutorial from "pianojohn113" on youtube to help me learn a Beatles song. I'm using music which he seems to be really close to so even the few notes that may be different I don't consider an issue. His explaination of the tempo/dynamics of the song so far heve been very helpful. I can post links to any of these later if someone would like me too, but I don't have time right now.

In classical music the grading system is helpful for the self learner to figure out which pieces may be within their reach, but there's nothing like this for non-classical. With all the different arrangements available it would be impossible but it would be helpful to maybe list songs(and which arrangement we used if we used music) and how hard or easy we found them to be.
_________________________
I'll figure it out eventually.
Until then you may want to keep a safe distance.


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#1468101 - 07/04/10 11:58 AM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: Little_Blue_Engine]
Ejay Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/24/09
Posts: 216
Loc: U.K.
I tried to watch Lypur's videos, but I can't hear a word he is saying, its so quiet.
_________________________
Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.
Maya Angelou


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#1468103 - 07/04/10 11:59 AM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: Little_Blue_Engine]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
On the violin front - in various forums I've been strongly advised to a) always hold the violin in front of you b) always hold the violin to the side of you.

Will that do as my positive contribution?
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#1468118 - 07/04/10 12:38 PM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: Little_Blue_Engine]
ten left thumbs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

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


In classical music the grading system is helpful for the self learner to figure out which pieces may be within their reach, but there's nothing like this for non-classical.


Yes, there is, it's called Rockschool.

http://www.rockschool.co.uk/

I haven't used any of the piano material, though I'm told it's solid, but not easy to work through the higher levels without a teacher. For jazz specifically, ABRSM have a jazz section:

http://www.abrsm.org/publishing/jazz

I don't honestly think real jazzers think much of it, but for classical-literate folks, it's fairly accessible.

I think I should point out that our very own Pete the Bean has a site and several publications (http://www.poppianopro.com/ )
some of which is accessible to beginning players. Covers popular piano, blues, improvising, lead sheet reading, etc. Peter is very generous with help here on the forum for anyone wanting help with his material, or generally.
_________________________
I am a competent teacher.


www.justfingers.co.uk
www.babysinging.co.uk

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#1468128 - 07/04/10 01:03 PM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: rocket88]
hawgdriver Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/13/09
Posts: 637
Loc: Denver, CO
Originally Posted By: rocket88
Originally Posted By: moscheles001
By the way, I seem to recall reading that Alfred Brendel was self-taught for the most part. He turned out OK.


He likes to call himself "Self-Taught", but that sounds like spin to me, because he did have piano teachers, one of which was a star student of Liszt.

It does sound a bit like spin. Anyone here study Brendel in any great depth? But...I wouldn't be surprised if it's the case that Brendel himself considers himself self-taught.
Just because you attend class doesn't mean the credit goes to the teacher. If you sleep in class, does that mean the teacher deserves credit? Hardly.
I find it far-fetched to believe he did not benefit from others. It's one thing if it's all theory, and quite another if there is a physical component. Great pitchers need a pitching coach, great surgeons need an attending physician, and so on. (right? or wrong?)

What strikes me as eminently profitable for the self-learners would be a list of bad habits. After all, that's the real issue right?

Music teacher: "you will cripple your potential"
Self-learner: "why?"
Music teacher: "bad habits that will haunt you when you arrive at a certain proficiency."
Self-learner: "which ones?"


Edited by hawgdriver (07/04/10 01:03 PM)
_________________________
Only in men's imagination does every truth find an effective and undeniable existence. Imagination, not invention, is the supreme master of art as of life. -Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski

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#1468156 - 07/04/10 01:55 PM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: hawgdriver]
moscheles001 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/13/08
Posts: 753
Loc: Northeast Pennsylvania
Bad habits is certainly one of the issues here. How about:

1. Playing the whole piece over and over instead of working on the hard bits?

2. Relying too much on the metronome? Or being addicted to "Play. Increase tempo one click. Play. Increase tempo one click. . . "?

3. Jumping around from piece to piece without really polishing any?

4. Doggedly sticking to one piece instead of working on several?

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#1468158 - 07/04/10 01:56 PM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: Studio Joe]
TrapperJohn Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 3577
Loc: Chocolatetown, USA
Originally Posted By: Studio Joe
I would say teachers would probably be welcome to post as long as they are supportive and not disparaging one's reasons to self teach.


Yes, exactly.

Like I said - we've heard all the arguements against self-teaching a hundred and one times - a few are sound and logical but many are just plain BS - either way this isn't the place for them - and either way we continue to self-teach - so if you don't have anything helpful to say with respect to that...

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

Current favorite bumper sticker: Wag more, bark less.

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#1468161 - 07/04/10 02:02 PM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: hawgdriver]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3165
Originally Posted By: hawgdriver

What strikes me as eminently profitable for the self-learners would be a list of bad habits. After all, that's the real issue right?

Music teacher: "you will cripple your potential"
Self-learner: "why?"
Music teacher: "bad habits that will haunt you when you arrive at a certain proficiency."
Self-learner: "which ones?"


Actually, that has been covered in these threads here and there.

Here is a list of what I have seen with self-taught students as a teacher:

1. Poor body posture at the piano, which includes sitting too far back, or too close, seat too high/ too low, slumping, not sitting centered, seat not parallel to the keyboard.

2. Poor hand/arm posture, often with wrists too low, so the tendons that move the fingers must travel in a curved arc thru the wrist tunnel, which can cause serious physical damage.

Number #1 and #2 are hard to see while your thinking and attention is consumed by trying to play, read the music, etc. Another set of knowledgable eyes is invaluable, like a golf pro observing you swing the golf club.

3. No metronome usage, or counting, so tempo is unregulated. This is a hard one to incorporate later on, which is why many teachers instill it from the first lesson. Few people like the constraints of the metronome, and feel that since they can play without it, why suffer? Tempo problems are very common.

4. Little or no technique training, so finger independence is poor, and tension is high. This is very hard to overcome after muscle memory habits are formed.

5. Poor sight reading, especially the Bass clef.

6. Lack of knowledge as to how to practice efficiently. Playing a piece over and over is not practicing. I spend a great deal of time teaching people how to practice effectively.

7. Lack of knowledge of fingering, and the need to establish from the onset one system of fingering for each piece, phrase, etc.

8. Lack of knowledge of basic Theory.

9. No one knowledgeable about your playing to talk to, to receive encouragement from, etc.

10. Playing a piece unmusically. When students do that, I play the piece or the section for them, and ask them to identify the difference. Most of the time, they hear the difference, can play it, and it is a revelation to them that permanently improves their playing. Invaluable.
_________________________
Music teacher and piano player.

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#1468163 - 07/04/10 02:04 PM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: TrapperJohn]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3165
Originally Posted By: John Frank

Like I said - we've heard all the arguements against self-teaching a hundred and one times - a few are sound and logical but many are just plain BS

JF


Which ones are BS?
_________________________
Music teacher and piano player.

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#1468187 - 07/04/10 02:39 PM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: rocket88]
ten left thumbs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
I have in total learned four instruments do a degree of competence. Two I had years of lessons. Two I am self-taught. I have never had a bad habit. Sure, I've had many times where I've gone down a route, to discover I need to take a step back and start again. I've found a more ergonomic way of doing something. I've considered all of this a part of the learning curve. I've moved on and got better.

I really wasn't aware of bad habits in music until I joined this forum.

And I do truly feel there is an element of teacher needing to justify their value by finding bad habits in students that begin with them - whether previously self-taught or badly taught.

It seems to me that this thread was about support for those who are actively self-teaching for whatever reason. Perhaps a separate thread could be made for those who wish to discuss the relative merits of having a teacher?
_________________________
I am a competent teacher.


www.justfingers.co.uk
www.babysinging.co.uk

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#1468192 - 07/04/10 02:42 PM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: ten left thumbs]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3165
Originally Posted By: ten left thumbs
I have never had a bad habit.


Amazing!
_________________________
Music teacher and piano player.

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#1468195 - 07/04/10 02:46 PM Re: Self-Teaching Support Thread [Re: rocket88]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
+1
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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