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#1495661 - 08/14/10 03:47 AM Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano?
SteveO42 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/10/10
Posts: 89
I'm a natural. I woke up one morning at the age of about 4 and could play the piano, really. I developed my gift over the years to the point where I can hear a tune and play it back note for note, mostly classical as an exception. I don't know how I do this, I have perfect pitch as well, but I see a canvas in my head and I just "know" what sounds good and what sounds "bad". I call them sweet chords and sour chords. I taught myself to read basic charts because music teachers were useless because once they played the tune, I could play the tune, in every single key..... So I developed my own style over the years (I am 50yo). I have been lucky in that I have done a ton of session work, Broadway and so forth although I have had my run ins with "play it as written, no exceptions" I hate those people smile
Marvin Hamlish for one.

Anyway, my cousin the Berkley graduate is a classical pianist, fully trained and like most of these people to my ears he sounds awful.

Check Youtube for tons of examples.

Sure he can play anything you put down in front of him and I can't but it still sounds like crap.
He can teach, I can't because all I can tell a student is "look for the source Luke".

So my question is, can a person with no talent and don't take this the wrong way but after 10 years of my 3 kids trying to play various instruments (they can't) and 30 years as a rehearsal/audition pianist, I know a talent when I hear it, learn to play?

BTW for those of you doing audition work here are my come back lines:

1. I've never heard You Light Up My Life chanted quite like that.
2. Madam, your daughter has the gift of being able to sing in several keys at once.
3. What your daughter does to music brings tears to my eyes.

So other than a fast buck and a ton of frustration, why waste time with little Jenny who will never play?

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#1495685 - 08/14/10 06:18 AM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: SteveO42]
Elissa Milne Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/11/10
Posts: 1337
Loc: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Maybe little Jenny didn't get born the way you did, but she thinks it would be fun to be able to do stuff at the piano?

Maybe little Jenny's parents see piano lessons as a way to extend her spatial and symbolic reasoning?

Maybe little Jenny is shy, and the experience of playing in recitals will transform her sense of who she is?

Maybe little Jenny has ambitions beyond her talents, but her parents don't want to tell her 'you're crap so you can't have lessons' because that isn't part of their approach to parenting?

Maybe little Jenny has all her friends learning the piano, and she doesn't care about being a great performer, she just likes participating in lessons with her friends?

There is no end to the list of responses one could give to your closing question.
_________________________
Teacher, Composer, Writer, Speaker
Working with Hal Leonard, Alfred, Faber, and Australian Music Examination Board
Music in syllabuses by ABRSM, AMEB, Trinity Guildhall, ANZCA, NZMEB, and more
www.elissamilne.wordpress.com

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#1495688 - 08/14/10 06:27 AM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: Elissa Milne]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
It's a matter of being cultured above all else.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#1495821 - 08/14/10 12:22 PM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: SteveO42]
R0B Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/03/08
Posts: 1439
Loc: Australia
You can teach anyone to play the piano.
But you can't teach anyone to become a piano player.
_________________________
Rob

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#1495829 - 08/14/10 12:36 PM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: SteveO42]
danshure Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 347
Loc: Massachusetts
Originally Posted By: SteveO42
So other than a fast buck and a ton of frustration, why waste time with little Jenny who will never play?

There's an infinite amount of means to reach an end.
_________________________
Go here ---> Piano Teaching Blog

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#1495877 - 08/14/10 01:54 PM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: danshure]
Roxy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/19/08
Posts: 478
Loc: Whittier, Calif
What do you mean little Jenny will never play? You mean like you. You mean with a sound you want to hear and a way you want to hear it? That is what music is, a different interpretation of every song. None of us plays the same. Will all of us make a living at playing? No. Does that mean you can't play and enjoy or bring enjoyment to other people even if you are not at the same level? No. I'm not sure I understand your question. And while playing by ear is great, understanding what a sour and sweet chord are and knowing what you are doing and being able to read what is put in front of you is nice also.

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#1495891 - 08/14/10 02:29 PM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: SteveO42]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11803
Loc: Canada
If you are a natural, and you set out to teach others to play, then you have a handicap to overcome. You have to work backward to find out what it is that you are using that you don't know you know, what from that the student can't connect to, and then find a way to get this to the student.

If someone's playing is crap, then why specifically is it crap? Isn't that part of teaching? Not everyone can become a fantastic musician, but most people can learn to play or sing with some degree of skill if they are guided and take that guidance.

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#1495896 - 08/14/10 02:41 PM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: keystring]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4814
Loc: South Florida
This reminds me of an old song by Mac Davis:

"Oh Lord it's hard to be humble
when you're perfect in every way" smile
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#1495917 - 08/14/10 03:37 PM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: keystring]
SteveO42 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/10/10
Posts: 89
Originally Posted By: keystring
If you are a natural, and you set out to teach others to play, then you have a handicap to overcome. You have to work backward to find out what it is that you are using that you don't know you know, what from that the student can't connect to, and then find a way to get this to the student.

If someone's playing is crap, then why specifically is it crap? Isn't that part of teaching? Not everyone can become a fantastic musician, but most people can learn to play or sing with some degree of skill if they are guided and take that guidance.


Well the handicap is I can't explain how I am able to do what I can do.
It's difficult to explain, but I see a canvas in front of me, know the sound I'm looking for and can just play it.
Don't know why or how so I can't obviously teach theory etc. What I *can* and have taught is performance. IOW do this instead of that.

When trained pianists watch me play, they shake their head and laugh because my fingerings completely and totally oppose theory.
I finger a lot like Art Tatum or Errol Garner, with 3 finger runs etc.
I'm a very dynamic player and my hands are all over the keyboard.

What I enjoy watching is a truly gifted classical player whose hands seem to float over the keys.
To me, that is poetry in motion.

My style is the complete opposite.

What I hear missing from many pianists is natural emotion. They hit every note perfectly but there is no feeling and when they try to add feeling it is over the top and fake sounding.
I don't believe this aspect can be taught to someone who isn't born with it.
A comparison would be those PBS shows with the artists showing you how to paint, stroke by stroke.
I can copy every brush stroke yet my painting looks like crap and the artists doesn't. I'm a horrible artist BTW.

Thank you all for some very interesting responses.
Didn't mean to come across snooty, as I'm as average Steve as they come but I had just attended a friends daughter's piano/flute recital and as typical there wasn't one decent musician in the house, including the teacher. But like others pointed out, building character, discipline and culture is a very real benefit to taking lessons and of course seeing the glow on the parent's faces and the sense of relief from the students when they were done, was priceless!

I really do applaud all the teachers who work tirelessly teaching music and didn't mean to minimize your contributions to the future musicians of the world.
Peace!

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#1495930 - 08/14/10 03:56 PM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: SteveO42]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3171
Can you post a video of your playing?
_________________________
Music teacher and piano player.

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#1495949 - 08/14/10 04:31 PM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: rocket88]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Can you try using the words I and me less?
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#1496238 - 08/15/10 01:15 AM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: keyboardklutz]
SteveO42 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/10/10
Posts: 89
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
Can you try using the words I and me less?


No.

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#1496460 - 08/15/10 12:01 PM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: SteveO42]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11803
Loc: Canada
I guess that the answer to the question in the subject line is:

- yes, if you know how
- and if the student works with you
- and if you work with the student

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#1496729 - 08/15/10 08:05 PM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: keystring]
SteveO42 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/10/10
Posts: 89
Originally Posted By: keystring
I guess that the answer to the question in the subject line is:

- yes, if you know how
- and if the student works with you
- and if you work with the student


I respectfully disagree.
Someone who has no level of natural ability will never be able to "play" the piano in a pleasing to most people manner.

Music is something people are born with much like painting or sports etc.

Lessons CAN and DO bring out the best in people like that but IMHO aside from the fringe effects of discipline, family enjoyment, personal accomplishment and so forth, will not a professional musician make.

At least not a good one.

As an example, I was a pretty decent collegiate tennis player. At 6'2" my serve was clocked at about 117 mph at the time and deadly accurate.

I had the pleasure of sparring with Tracy Austin a very well known female professional at the time.
To say she kicked my butt is an understatement.
That's male against female for those that may not know Tracy is a woman.
My serve meant nothing because all she had to do was return it and I was dog meat.
We all had a great laugh but I learned what a natural talent meant. Yea, I had all the lessons, team play, experience and so forth.
Tracy had the God given talent that could be developed and groomed to the point where she was one of the best in the world.
I could NEVER in a million years do that.
A VERY revealing experience.

So yea, anyone can probably be taught to play the piano and in fact get a lot of accomplishment out of it.
But the real professionals have an inside talent that man can't really explain and that's what makes a real professional vs an amateur.

In conclusion there is a very famous Partridge Family episode where a beautiful girl captures David Cassidy's fancy.
He is mostly taken by her looks because she sings about a 1/2 tone flat and is awful, something everyone else who hears her realizes.
Except David.

Shirley Jones goes to visit the father of this vocal wonder to kindly tell him she sucks, but he jumps in front of the piano, claims he taught her all she knows and then proceeds to sing "San Francisco" in as flat of a voice as she does......

Food for thought...

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#1496735 - 08/15/10 08:14 PM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: SteveO42]
eweiss Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Beautiful San Diego, CA
Originally Posted By: SteveO42
Music is something people are born with much like painting or sports etc.

All nature and no nurture? You need both. Certain people have a natural gift. Most would agree on this. The question then becomes, where on the scale does this gift fall? Low - moderate - genius level, or somewhere between these three.

You're suggesting that 'talent' can't be taught. I would say that's not a true statement. Intuition and talent can be nurtured and with the right kind of teaching, allowed to flower and bloom.

The proof is in the pudding.
_________________________
Play New Age Piano
http://www.quiescencemusic.com

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#1496737 - 08/15/10 08:15 PM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: SteveO42]
Minniemay Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1702
Loc: CA
So what? Your initial question wasn't whether someone could be taught to play well enough that they could have a fabulous performance career. Very few will actually attain that.

And who cares whether or not their playing pleases you, personally? Anyone can learn to play well enough to give themselves pleasure and even to give others pleasure as well. They might not meet your exacting (and somewhat arrogant) standards, but most people don't care. They just enjoy the experience.
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B.A., Piano, Piano Pegagogy, Music Ed.
M.M., Piano

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#1496744 - 08/15/10 08:26 PM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: SteveO42]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4814
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: SteveO42
Shirley Jones goes to visit the father of this vocal wonder to kindly tell him she sucks, but he jumps in front of the piano, claims he taught her all she knows and then proceeds to sing "San Francisco" in as flat of a voice as she does......

Food for thought...

Talent or lack of it explained through the "Partridge Family".

A first for this forum, I think. <shaking head>


Edited by Gary D. (08/15/10 08:26 PM)
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#1496748 - 08/15/10 08:31 PM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: Minniemay]
SteveO42 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/10/10
Posts: 89
Originally Posted By: Minniemay
So what? Your initial question wasn't whether someone could be taught to play well enough that they could have a fabulous performance career. Very few will actually attain that.

And who cares whether or not their playing pleases you, personally? Anyone can learn to play well enough to give themselves pleasure and even to give others pleasure as well. They might not meet your exacting (and somewhat arrogant) standards, but most people don't care. They just enjoy the experience.


Interesting is your signature....
After 45 years of playing professionally (I started when I was 5 years old) I have developed my own theory.

1. The more letters after the name.
2. The more "I played with xxxyyzz"
4. the more "I studied with aabbcc"
3. The better the head shot.

........the worse the performer....

It's my "Talent Inverse Proportion Theory"

Just my experience.

I've done a lot of cattle calls, auditions and so forth and that's just my personal experience.

The real talents are the ones who shine in the performance, show up not dressed properly, don't have a resume and so forth.

They hop on stage and do what comes naturally.

I've seen it a zillion times.

And just for the record, the absolute worst ones are those (singers mostly) who allow their college professors to assist them with their demos.

I have a book case FULL to the brim with people like that and it's positively awful.
Painful to the ears in some instances.

Why on earth someone who couldn't hold a tune if it had a handle on it (pun intended) spent 100k on an Oberlin education is a mystery to me.


Don't believe it?
Take a look at American Idol.....

Better yet take a look at your typical June recital.


Just to confirm, formal studies can most definitely help a natural talent.
Mostly what they do for the typical person seeking stardom though is drain their wallets.

It's really a dirty little secret in the industry.

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#1496750 - 08/15/10 08:36 PM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: SteveO42]
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5961
Loc: Down Under
Originally Posted By: SteveO42
So other than a fast buck and a ton of frustration, why waste time with little Jenny who will never play?
Apart from all the other reasons which have been given, there's the question of how do you know Jenny will never "play"? You're making judgements on someone's future based on your estimation of them before they've even started? You believe anyone who's going to make it has to wake up one morning at the age of 4 being able to play the piano, just like you? Really? Or is this just a self-congratulation thread?

I've been accompanying instrumentalists in a competition recently. One flute player I've accompanied for the last few years seemed to be very ordinary indeed (she was an adult beginner, by the way). Pretty pedestrian playing. Yesterday I played for her again, and something has happened over the last year! I don't know what it is - and she didn't either - but her playing has blossomed. It's real music-making now!

So in summary - the real teachers will give Jenny every chance of developing whatever skills she may be able to develop. Those who just want to feed their ego with their students would be better not teaching.
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

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#1496753 - 08/15/10 08:40 PM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: SteveO42]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4814
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: SteveO42

1. The more letters after the name.
2. The more "I played with xxxyyzz"
4. the more "I studied with aabbcc"
3. The better the head shot.

For me:

No letters after my name.
No mention of having played with "xxxyyzz".
No mention of having "aabbcc".
No head shot.

Wait, I must be a better perfomer. <still shaking head>
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#1496765 - 08/15/10 08:51 PM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: Gary D.]
findingnemo2010 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/17/09
Posts: 1498
wow i call you gods gift..i wish i could wake up one day and magically know how to play...i got to put in work and go through all the bullshit just to be able to play...god dont like me
_________________________
music to me is kind of like putting together pieces of a puzzle
i call it the paino because its where i put all my pain

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#1496768 - 08/15/10 08:55 PM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: findingnemo2010]
SteveO42 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/10/10
Posts: 89
Originally Posted By: joe84
wow i call you gods gift..i wish i could wake up one day and magically know how to play...i got to put in work and go through all the bullshit just to be able to play...god dont like me


Maybe God has heard you play?

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#1496770 - 08/15/10 08:56 PM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: Gary D.]
SteveO42 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/10/10
Posts: 89
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
Originally Posted By: SteveO42

1. The more letters after the name.
2. The more "I played with xxxyyzz"
4. the more "I studied with aabbcc"
3. The better the head shot.

For me:

No letters after my name.
No mention of having played with "xxxyyzz".
No mention of having "aabbcc".
No head shot.

Are you auditioning for professional level gigs?
Or, are you entertaining uncle sol at xmas time?

Hint: In general.....



Wait, I must be a better perfomer. <still shaking head>

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#1496776 - 08/15/10 09:17 PM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: SteveO42]
SteveO42 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/10/10
Posts: 89
Obviously I have provoked the snobs into actually thinking instead of babbling so of course my comments are attacked.

I'll leave ya'll alone to fester in your educational superiority but I will depart with one last statement.

When was the last time you sat in the audience of a recital, high school or college talent show, one of your own "impress the parents" recitals, saw something on Youtube etc....and......said to yourself "wow! that person or persons" have talent....
When did that magical moment last happen to you?

Now listen to your own playing, compare it to the likes of real professionals who are working, recording etc and ask yourself "can I do that" and why am I not?

Here are a few really quick examples..
Your job is to spot the talent.
And sink the tone deaf.

Are you up to it?

1.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dD-5xiEnEik

2.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O04t4aJ2MJQ

3.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Amh4dfIrrd4

4.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_-CmjhV5fg

5. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlViRd0fz9Y&feature=related

6. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWsi0IqoXB4&feature=related
Get your ear plugs...

So which one is best?




Edited by SteveO42 (08/15/10 09:28 PM)

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#1496780 - 08/15/10 09:34 PM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: SteveO42]
jazzyprof Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/04
Posts: 2642
Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
Steve you are indeed blessed with natural talent. Do you have any idea where it may have come from? Are your parents musical? Did you grow up with a piano in the house and with older siblings who played? Just curious.
_________________________
"Playing the piano is my greatest joy...period."......JP

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#1496783 - 08/15/10 09:43 PM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: jazzyprof]
eweiss Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Beautiful San Diego, CA
Originally Posted By: jazzyprof
Steve you are indeed blessed with natural talent. Do you have any idea where it may have come from? Are your parents musical? Did you grow up with a piano in the house and with older siblings who played? Just curious.

Yes, blessed with natural talent. But who is Steve042? And where can we see and listen to this music? Don't be modest Steve. Please share. smile
_________________________
Play New Age Piano
http://www.quiescencemusic.com

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#1496784 - 08/15/10 09:45 PM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: jazzyprof]
SteveO42 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/10/10
Posts: 89
Originally Posted By: jazzyprof
Steve you are indeed blessed with natural talent. Do you have any idea where it may have come from? Are your parents musical? Did you grow up with a piano in the house and with older siblings who played? Just curious.


My mother is tone deaf, she thinks country and western music are two different things smile

Her favorite songs are "Don't Fence Me in and Wolvertine Mountain"

My dad can play piano very well. He is self taught plays ragtime, Knuckles O'Toole and so forth.
He is very good even at 85 yo.

My great grandma played piano in Carnegie Hall accompanying vocalists so that is probably where I get it from.

My sister can't play.

One of my 3 children plays a decent flute but has decided to become a nurse.
Oh well.

It's just weird.

I literally woke up one morning around the age of 3 or 4 and was playing the piano.
My first song was "Popeye The Sailor Man"
My parents were in bed and looked at each other with amazement as to who was playing the piano??

Sadly, they encouraged me to become an EE but I put myself through engineering school doing gigs on the side.
Mostly TV commercials and shows.

Back in the 70's it was still the old "you're a musician you will starve" routine.

They seemed to forget about engineers selling apples back in the 60's <smile>....

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#1496786 - 08/15/10 09:47 PM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: eweiss]
SteveO42 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/10/10
Posts: 89
I'm working on it....
Trying to put up a lame vid by the end of the week.

Hell, I have to give you classical guys something to laugh at and believe me, you WILL laugh at my fingering and mechanical skills.

I break every rule in the book....

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#1496789 - 08/15/10 09:51 PM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: SteveO42]
Minniemay Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1702
Loc: CA
We still haven't seen a video of your proclaimed natural talent.

As to the letters behind some of our names, we didn't claim to be professional performers. They are merely recognitions of our paths.
_________________________
B.A., Piano, Piano Pegagogy, Music Ed.
M.M., Piano

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#1496790 - 08/15/10 09:54 PM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: jazzyprof]
Wizard of Oz Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/12/09
Posts: 873

Talent works both ways. You could be born a natural talent but if you don't put in the effort and work you still won't go anywhere. Conversely you may not be supremely blessed with talent but you can work hard to become good.

Look at sports, Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team. You better believe he worked his tail off to become the best.

I can think of tons of "talented" athletes who are lazy or don't give it their all, they float by on what they have but burn out or just do it for the money.

Speaking of tennis, I'm sure you know all those academies that take youngsters at 6-7 and train them year round.

They put in 5-6 hours of training a day, if that isn't work I don't know what it. Read Andre Agassi's story, his dad made him hit 1000's of balls by the time he was out of a crib.

So many tennis prodigies quit before they are 25, these are people who are the best and have played for and won Grand Slams.

Martina Hingis, Anna Kournikova, Jen Capriati, Kim Clisters, Justin Henin, Andrea Jaeger, all out.

Marat Safin, a total headcase. Ricky Williams from football.


Talent means nothing if you don't hone it and put in time. Oscar Peterson got to where he was because he decided he wanted to become to best jazz pianist in the world.


Michael Jordan, after his first comeback from winning 3 championships in a row, lost in the playoffs. He trained like a maniac after that summer and ended up winning another 3. But it wouldn't have happened if he didn't work for it. Even the greatest of all time did it.

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#1496799 - 08/15/10 10:21 PM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: Wizard of Oz]
TimR Offline
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Loc: Virginia, USA
Thinking from a different direction:

Can we teach anybody to type?

The mechanics of piano don't have to be much more difficult than that.

Can anyone who types write a best selling novel?

Now we come to goals. Most people who learn to type only need to meet job requirements, answer email, etc. A few want to become authors (like one of my kids.)

Most people who take piano lessons probably do it for other reasons than to become a performer.

It should certainly be possible to teach them all the basic mechanics, like we do with typists. If not, then yes something is wrong.
_________________________
gotta go practice

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#1496806 - 08/15/10 10:32 PM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: Wizard of Oz]
SteveO42 Offline
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Registered: 04/10/10
Posts: 89
Great post Wizard and I agree with you...My only addition is that these people, like Oscar whom I had the pleasure to meet during a master class, had super talent all along.
A high school coach, music teacher etc rejecting people is no indication of raw talent.
Sometimes it's an indication of an inept coach etc.

Speaking of Oscar, RIP, he shook my hand and his fingers went half way up my arm!!!
I will never forget it!
Wonder no more how he played 10ths like they were going out of style.
Oscar is one of the greatest, some say greatest, pianists to ever live.
I give Art Tatum that title, but Oscar is neck and neck with Art and if versatility is considered, Oscar wins.

BTW the overture to the Wizard of Oz is one of my favorite pieces and I have incorporated some of it into all kinds of tunes.
It's very sinister sounding in the beginning.

Of course Over The Rainbow is one of the best tunes ever written.
There is no place like Nome....ooops, you don't live in Alaska? hahahah!


Edited by SteveO42 (08/15/10 10:35 PM)

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#1496810 - 08/15/10 10:40 PM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: TimR]
SteveO42 Offline
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Registered: 04/10/10
Posts: 89
Originally Posted By: TimR
Thinking from a different direction:

Can we teach anybody to type?

The mechanics of piano don't have to be much more difficult than that.

Can anyone who types write a best selling novel?

Now we come to goals. Most people who learn to type only need to meet job requirements, answer email, etc. A few want to become authors (like one of my kids.)

Most people who take piano lessons probably do it for other reasons than to become a performer.

It should certainly be possible to teach them all the basic mechanics, like we do with typists. If not, then yes something is wrong.


Speaking as one who had to take typing in Jr High School in 1972, all I can say is...........

FFF....space.....JJJ...SPace....repeat a zillion times. I can still hear Ms. Tanner barking the commands.

Any idiot can be taught to type, including me.
To play piano at the professional level requires emotion, feeling and inner thinking for lack of a better term.
That is what separates some from others.

I agree with you regarding piano teaching however.
Most people are not looking to become professionals, and that is fine.
I probably should have qualified my subject line with "professional" in it.

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#1496819 - 08/15/10 11:10 PM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: SteveO42]
Wizard of Oz Offline
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Oscar is indeed one of the best, and coming from my home country to boot!! Greatest ever, that is such a subjective phrase. He had great command of the instrument, I found he used too many runs and fill-in's for my liking.

Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett, Herbie Hancock, all greats as well.

I find in music, "talent" encompasses such a wide spectrum. People often mistake technical virtuosity for musicality hence the label for "prodigies" and such.

Some pianists have astounding technical facility, but their music is superficial, or they haven't lived enough to bring true depth to their playing.


If you list some of the musicians who have become famous, their talent is often only a small part of their appeal.

Norah Jones, Alicia Keys, Sarah Maclaughlin, great entertainers but their actual piano skills would be considered average or even mediocre. Same with Yanni or John Tesh.

Taylor Swift sings so out of key it's laughable, yet she's popular as heck. What about the Spice Girls, manufactured to the hilt.

This is the realm of the music industry now, where American Idol can make a star out of anyone.

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#1496830 - 08/15/10 11:46 PM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: Wizard of Oz]
wavelength Offline
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Another one of these threads? Underneath the seeming arrogance, is insecurity. It's just not necessary. You can play beautiful music, and so can the naturally unmusical people who study and work hard with a teacher.

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#1496842 - 08/16/10 12:26 AM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: Wizard of Oz]
SteveO42 Offline
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Posts: 89
Originally Posted By: Wizard of Oz
Oscar is indeed one of the best, and coming from my home country to boot!! Greatest ever, that is such a subjective phrase. He had great command of the instrument, I found he used too many runs and fill-in's for my liking.

Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett, Herbie Hancock, all greats as well.

I find in music, "talent" encompasses such a wide spectrum. People often mistake technical virtuosity for musicality hence the label for "prodigies" and such.

Some pianists have astounding technical facility, but their music is superficial, or they haven't lived enough to bring true depth to their playing.


If you list some of the musicians who have become famous, their talent is often only a small part of their appeal.

Norah Jones, Alicia Keys, Sarah Maclaughlin, great entertainers but their actual piano skills would be considered average or even mediocre. Same with Yanni or John Tesh.

Taylor Swift sings so out of key it's laughable, yet she's popular as heck. What about the Spice Girls, manufactured to the hilt.

This is the realm of the music industry now, where American Idol can make a star out of anyone.




Another excellent post!!!!!
Yes, yes I agree!!!

Best, world's greatest etc really has to be qualified.
Excellent point!

Even with Tatum...
Sure he has the technical ability, which can in no way be denied, but after a few tunes, I "personally" get a little tired.

The pyrotechnics get annoying after a while no matter how great.
For more melodic stuff listen to Teddy Wilson, George Shearing and Oscar as well!
I can't deal with Keith Jarret recordings due to his moaning.
Saw him live once and almost walked out, it was awful. Others actually did walk out.
Even Andre Previn plays a mean jazz piano.
Jess Stacy, Bob Smeil (Lawrence Welk) Nat Cole and others play very melodic piano.

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#1496844 - 08/16/10 12:28 AM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: wavelength]
SteveO42 Offline
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Posts: 89

Re:Wavelength

To a point yes they can.
However it's the same as art.
If one invented a paint by number Mona Lisa we could all be Da Vinci.....Hey, they sell those in Macy's.
So why isn't my rendition priceless?




Edited by SteveO42 (08/16/10 12:58 AM)
Edit Reason: Removed stupid comments on my part

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#1496847 - 08/16/10 12:45 AM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: SteveO42]
wavelength Offline
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Registered: 11/23/07
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You don't have to put other people down to demonstrate your worth.

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#1496850 - 08/16/10 12:58 AM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: wavelength]
SteveO42 Offline
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Registered: 04/10/10
Posts: 89
Originally Posted By: wavelength
You don't have to put other people down to demonstrate your worth.


Didn't mean it that way...sorry...apologies... I edited the message to better reflect my point.

As for "worth" it comes in 2 flavors.
First, how you feel about yourself and your craft.
This is most important IMHO.

Second. what people will pay for you.
It's up to the individual to determine what their own "worth" is.
Some will sell their soul.
Others will not.
Most are in the middle.


Edited by SteveO42 (08/16/10 01:00 AM)

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#1496865 - 08/16/10 01:39 AM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: rocket88]
Candywoman Offline
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Sometimes I think the public, including Steve, can only handle so many performers. It seems the public feels they need to reduce the pool of musicians and only give the time of day to the "best".

However, I actually agree with Steve that only a small percentage of people really play well. I'm not sure yet if Steve fits in that group. If he's smart, he won't post a video here. But I do wonder why he wouldn't want to play a score as the composer intended. I also know he'd be a better performer, and perhaps famous, if he had nurtured his natural talent in a more traditional manner.

In any field, there are precious few who excel.

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#1496870 - 08/16/10 01:50 AM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: Candywoman]
SteveO42 Offline
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Registered: 04/10/10
Posts: 89
Originally Posted By: Candywoman
Sometimes I think the public, including Steve, can only handle so many performers. It seems the public feels they need to reduce the pool of musicians and only give the time of day to the "best".

However, I actually agree with Steve that only a small percentage of people really play well. I'm not sure yet if Steve fits in that group. If he's smart, he won't post a video here. But I do wonder why he wouldn't want to play a score as the composer intended. I also know he'd be a better performer, and perhaps famous, if he had nurtured his natural talent in a more traditional manner.

In any field, there are precious few who excel.


Who can take a sunrise....etc.... great tune!
Sammy rocks!

Actually in my field I am quite famous however I enjoy my privacy. Using a real name on the Internet is idiocy. The Steve part is real however.
I'd love to play a score as written, but I can't. That's the point.
Can you play back, note for note more or less, something else someone just played for you?
I doubt it.
I've been told by some pretty famous people, Oscar Peterson for one, TO NEVER take formal lessons because it will ruin my style.
He suggested I study Errol Garner who I knew from "Misty" but didn't realize he couldn't read.
I'm one step, albeit a small step, above that although I wish I had 1/20th of Errol's talent.
I suspect so do you.

As for a video, I've spent so much time on the other side of the glass it's more difficult than I thought.
I will produce however and I'm sure all you learned types will get a good laugh.

How about Misty?

Will you "Play Misty for Me" Candywoman?
I'll play it for you....
I'll even toss in a little Sammy for good luck smile
Stay tuned....

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#1496879 - 08/16/10 03:12 AM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: SteveO42]
btb Online   content
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Hi Elissa,
You obviously must hold your audience in awe of your wisecracks ... but what the heck does this corker mean?

“Maybe little Jenny's parents see piano lessons as a way
to extend her spatial and symbolic reasoning?”

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#1496890 - 08/16/10 03:52 AM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: btb]
djorkaef Offline
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Registered: 08/01/10
Posts: 3
God didn't gave you that talent to show off to other people, talk big about ourself and how gifted you are, and how crappy the people are that keep trying and will never be as good as you, who is even too lazy to do anything else with his talent then using it for himself, because you think you are too gifted to teach other people playing piano.


Edited by djorkaef (08/16/10 03:53 AM)

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#1496909 - 08/16/10 05:31 AM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: djorkaef]
keyboardklutz Offline
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+1 djorkaef and welcome to PW! This thread's just some self aggrandizing BS. These type of threads come along with fair regularity.
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#1496911 - 08/16/10 05:39 AM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: btb]
Elissa Milne Offline
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Registered: 01/11/10
Posts: 1337
Loc: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Originally Posted By: btb
Hi Elissa,
You obviously must hold your audience in awe of your wisecracks ... but what the heck does this corker mean?

“Maybe little Jenny's parents see piano lessons as a way
to extend her spatial and symbolic reasoning?”
I'm not quite sure what you mean in your first sentence there, but I can explain the line from my post that you quote: parents these days have been told that playing the piano improves children's spatial and symbolic reasoning, so some parents want their children to learn in order to get that outcome. Note, I am simply reporting that this is a reason these days that parents want their children to learn the piano. I appreciate that not everyone will agree with their rationale in this regard, and I was making a list of reasons parents might want "little Jenny" to take lessons even if she will never be Steve.
_________________________
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#1496926 - 08/16/10 07:30 AM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: Elissa Milne]
btb Online   content
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You're ducking the question Elissa.

You obviously must hold your audience in awe of your wisecracks ... but what the heck does this corker mean?

"Maybe little Jenny's parents see piano lessons as a way
to extend her spatial and symbolic reasoning?"

This sounds like a Jim-crack throwaway phrase for dummies.

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#1496944 - 08/16/10 08:23 AM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: btb]
keystring Online   content
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Here is how I understood it.

You will see articles explaining that music lessons will create changes in a child's thinking abilities, which in turn translate into academic achievement. Spatial and symbolic reasoning are two such abilities that are being touted, presumably good for math and reading.

Extrapolating from this, a parent enrolling a child in lessons in order to get the spin-off of academic advantage will not really care how well the child learns how to play. That parent may not give the child the support that is needed to achieve musically. In fact, that has been reported by PW teachers several times.

Therefore, if Jenny is not doing well in her performances, it may be that her parents have not been supporting her activities in music. And the reason they haven't been, is because they care about spin-offs, not the music.

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#1496964 - 08/16/10 09:10 AM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: keystring]
Gerard12 Offline
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I teach a few "Jennys." With them, the work we do is more about learning process, or about being able to stick with something even when you're unsure of your ability, or even about being comfortable with yourself when you seem to be making every mistake in the book.

In other words - most of the time it's definitely not about music.

And about Tatum's and Garner's fingerings. I was always told that they relied on fingers 123 for runs so that if at anytime they wanted to interrupt a run with a melodic idea, their 4th and 5th fingers were available to start one.

Years ago, I went to a performance coach in NYC for advice on an upcoming performance of a Mozart concerto. She asked me to change the fingering in a few passages to the use of 123 only. I found out later that she originally got the idea by watching George Shearing play!


Edited by Gerard12 (08/16/10 09:45 AM)
_________________________
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#1496976 - 08/16/10 09:34 AM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: btb]
Elissa Milne Offline
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Loc: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Originally Posted By: btb
You're ducking the question Elissa.

You obviously must hold your audience in awe of your wisecracks ... but what the heck does this corker mean?

"Maybe little Jenny's parents see piano lessons as a way
to extend her spatial and symbolic reasoning?"

This sounds like a Jim-crack throwaway phrase for dummies.
Um, I have no idea why this is tricky. Keystring has done a great job explaining it, but I didn't mean to 'duck' the question in the slightest.....

Parents have read research which shows that students who learn the piano score higher in spatial reasoning tests and in symbolic reasoning tests.

They therefore want their children to take piano lessons almost entirely for the purpose of increasing the abilities of their children in these two modes of reasoning. Being able to play is almost beside the point - kind of a nice bonus, shall we say.

Now, since I have not conducted the research, and since I have not kept up with developments in the research, I cannot speak to the latest perspective on the benefits of learning the piano on spatial and symbolic reasoning.

But my attitudes aren't at question here: the question was, why would parents pay for little Jenny to learn the piano when she will never be able to play.

This is a reason I've had parents tell me has motivated them to seek piano lessons for their children.

Am I missing something in the question you are asking me, btb? I can assure you, I had no strange agenda at play in listing this 'reason', and I can't think for the life of me why you think it's a corker.
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www.elissamilne.wordpress.com

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#1496977 - 08/16/10 09:35 AM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: djorkaef]
jazzyprof Offline
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Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
If we prune away the unnecessary self-awe, maybe what the OP is saying is that there is something about making music that cannot be taught? Perhaps a certain innate musicality that sets the awesomely great apart from the merely good (assuming equivalent training and hard work)?
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#1496985 - 08/16/10 09:51 AM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: jazzyprof]
Elissa Milne Offline
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Loc: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Originally Posted By: jazzyprof
If we prune away the unnecessary self-awe, maybe what the OP is saying is that there is something about making music that cannot be taught? Perhaps a certain innate musicality that sets the awesomely great apart from the merely good (assuming equivalent training and hard work)?
I think that there is something about *performing* that cannot be taught, something innate that the performer has about themselves that they communicate to their audiences. But I think that these innate abilities can be improved through good teaching. I feel that my educational opportunities gave me the chance to be better than I would have been completely self-taught.
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www.elissamilne.wordpress.com

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#1496989 - 08/16/10 10:02 AM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: Elissa Milne]
wavelength Offline
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Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 340
Loc: Vermont, USA
If we wanted to turn this thread into something interesting we could talk about a quote from my late teacher: "I can't teach you anything; you have to take responsibility for learning, yourself".

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#1496997 - 08/16/10 10:17 AM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: wavelength]
keyboardklutz Offline
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You're right there, we're all learners.
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#1497037 - 08/16/10 11:19 AM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: wavelength]
John v.d.Brook Offline
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Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted By: wavelength
If we wanted to turn this thread into something interesting we could talk about a quote from my late teacher: "I can't teach you anything; you have to take responsibility for learning, yourself".

That's an interesting quote. Actually, I can teach you how to play, but I cannot force you to learn how to play. But I suspect that's understood by most of us.
_________________________
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#1497043 - 08/16/10 11:36 AM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: John v.d.Brook]
keystring Online   content
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Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
Actually, I can teach you how to play, but I cannot force you to learn how to play. But I suspect that's understood by most of us.


That was summarized in my post which was dismissed by the OP, answering whether you can teach someone to play the piano. His refutation involved his experience of being beaten by a top professional tennis player in tennis.

Quote:
- yes, if you know how
- and if the student works with you
- and if you work with the student

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#1497108 - 08/16/10 01:18 PM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: jazzyprof]
AZNpiano Offline
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Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: jazzyprof
If we prune away the unnecessary self-awe, maybe what the OP is saying is that there is something about making music that cannot be taught? Perhaps a certain innate musicality that sets the awesomely great apart from the merely good (assuming equivalent training and hard work)?

You are giving him WAY too much credit.
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#1497180 - 08/16/10 03:02 PM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: AZNpiano]
John v.d.Brook Offline
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Registered: 03/18/06
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KS, you're right. I was just responding to the quote. Most everything that needs to have been said has been said many times over.
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#1497229 - 08/16/10 04:14 PM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: Gary D.]
Morodiene Offline
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Perhaps your 'untalented' students aren't learning because you assume they can't. Just sayin'.
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#1497232 - 08/16/10 04:16 PM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: John v.d.Brook]
keystring Online   content
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Mine was a touch of irony. I posted as student and parent, you posted as teacher. I doubt the gentleman will have any of it.

To tell the truth, the one thing that bothers me is the feedback that people who are still learning are getting. What message are those in the process of learning or starting taking away from this? Parents' expectations and maybe anxieties about their children?

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#1497365 - 08/16/10 06:20 PM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: Wizard of Oz]
Smallpiano Offline
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Registered: 04/14/10
Posts: 270
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Wizard of Oz

Talent works both ways. You could be born a natural talent but if you don't put in the effort and work you still won't go anywhere. Conversely you may not be supremely blessed with talent but you can work hard to become good.

Talent means nothing if you don't hone it and put in time. Oscar Peterson got to where he was because he decided he wanted to become to best jazz pianist in the world.




+10
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#1497369 - 08/16/10 06:29 PM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: Smallpiano]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Registered: 05/21/07
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Jeez, between all the self aggrandizing and the annoying platitudes this thread's
***REALLY AWESOME*** (as they say). Or have I inadvertently surfed into Platitude World?
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#1497441 - 08/16/10 08:39 PM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: keyboardklutz]
Canonie Offline
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Registered: 10/04/09
Posts: 1941
Loc: Australia
In my mind the ideas of the original post have it backwards. Music is a gift that I give TO the students, not the other way around.

It's important not to confuse lack of teaching skill, lack of useful development of the child or adult by teacher, parents, environment of school and home, with lack of potential or talent in "jenny". Hell, I WAS Jenny!!!

Currawong, I had a little moment like that with an adult student this week. It's our job to be patient and persisten and positive, and try many many ways to draw the music out of the student. Oh it's so exciting when a flash of real beauty is seen... Made me pretty happy.

To Steve042, don't feel bad about not reading and unusual technique for teaching, you can teach in a different way and will attract the clients that are interested. Much more important is believing in all your students, being committed to their musicality for their sakes not yours, and really loving the art of teaching. If you can't do/feel this then your other questioning of your abilities may not be very important IMO.
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Composers manufacture a product that is universally deemed superfluous—at least until their music enters public consciousness, at which point people begin to say that they could not live without it.
Alex Ross.

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#1497453 - 08/16/10 08:52 PM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: Canonie]
Elissa Milne Offline
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Loc: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Steve042, are you wanting to be a teacher? Or is this discussion an exploration of whether teaching is possible at all?
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#1497584 - 08/17/10 12:55 AM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: Elissa Milne]
Canonie Offline
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Loc: Australia
I don't know where I got that idea, maybe I thought steve was trying to teach jennys which happen to be his own kids. Apologies for assuming. But I could apply the point to the "anyones" who wants to give up on the "musically untalented".

Originally Posted By: steve042
Sure he can play anything you put down in front of him and I can't but it still sounds like crap.
He can teach, I can't because all I can tell a student is "look for the source Luke".
<...>
after 10 years of my 3 kids trying to play various instruments (they can't)
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Composers manufacture a product that is universally deemed superfluous—at least until their music enters public consciousness, at which point people begin to say that they could not live without it.
Alex Ross.

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#1497649 - 08/17/10 04:56 AM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: Canonie]
btb Online   content
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Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4263
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
Hi Elissa,

Forgive me for going on about the "spatial" bit ... but for an architect, this is home territory (that’s of course if the dreamer is worth his salt).

Thinking spatially is not at all easy ... it took me 3 initial years before the mast to eventually cotton on to the fact that spatial thinking was the core of architectural design ... without it, the world remains 2 dimensional ... but what encouragement when the old brain-box learns how to think in 3-dimensions ... and spin any design concept around in the mind.

And so my disbelief at the very thought of a 6-year-old being taught to think spatially.

But enough for now ... let me get to my medication.

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#1497656 - 08/17/10 05:33 AM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: btb]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Good one Sir b! though Elissa's probable thinking more in the kinesthetic direction.
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#1497969 - 08/17/10 03:01 PM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: keyboardklutz]
Elissa Milne Offline
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Registered: 01/11/10
Posts: 1337
Loc: Sydney, NSW, Australia
btb, all good: now you've contextualised your response I know better how to explain.

In mathematics the ability to reason spatially is regarded as being about thinking about shapes, how they fit into other shapes, how they can be manipulated - and in this context 'spatial' reasoning can be two-dimensional, but the term is being used to distinguish being able to think about shapes in space as compared to being able to think in a deductive fashion, or in terms of other non-spatial kinds of patterns. The research that shows that children improve their 'spatial' reasoning is looking at these specific mathematical applications of the term 'spatial' and I'm sure there's been no research on children's ability to think in more applied architectural sense of 'spatial' although of course these two kinds of spatial reasoning are not unconnected.

I've just googled 'spatial reasoning' and the first test that came up was this :

There is a good and growing body of research that shows that learning to play the piano helps children improve their scores in these kinds of tests.

I'm not sure how this relates to the process of thinking spatially as an architect, and again let me stress, I'm not a researcher into the intellectual benefits of learning to play the piano, so it's no skin off my nose if you find the research surprising/laughable. But if parents have read reports about a connection between learning the piano and doing better in spatial reasoning and that's why they have organised piano lessons for their child - they won't care much if little Jenny isn't that great a performer.
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#1498087 - 08/17/10 06:01 PM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: btb]
kck Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/04/10
Posts: 269
Originally Posted By: btb


And so my disbelief at the very thought of a 6-year-old being taught to think spatially.



Not to totally shake your world, but some people very naturally think spatially. My 9 year old hit the ceiling on the visual-spatial portion of an IQ test which involved moving objects in space and the like. My husband and I are very much this way as well (I studied architecture for a time and this was nothing I ever worked on). If you ask my son to learn things more linearly, that might confuse him however. He is also a very natural piano player, but I don't think I'd let the OP evaluate his playing. wink

A person need only google "music education benefits" to find lots of wonderful reasons to engage your kids in piano lessons. I personally enjoy piano recitals from the littlest kids banging out single note one hand tunes to the longest Mozart Sonatas. It represents much hard work and commitment. I've watched some kids over years have a very slow start and bloom into competent and artistic musicians. They might not have the natural talent some have. But they've developed an ear and perseverance that not many have either. Very few can be professional pianists.

I'll be holding my breath waiting for the OP's video to be posted.
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#1498116 - 08/17/10 06:44 PM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: kck]
Minniemay Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1702
Loc: CA
Originally Posted By: kck
Originally Posted By: btb


And so my disbelief at the very thought of a 6-year-old being taught to think spatially.



Not to totally shake your world, but some people very naturally think spatially. My 9 year old hit the ceiling on the visual-spatial portion of an IQ test which involved moving objects in space and the like. My husband and I are very much this way as well (I studied architecture for a time and this was nothing I ever worked on). If you ask my son to learn things more linearly, that might confuse him however. He is also a very natural piano player, but I don't think I'd let the OP evaluate his playing. wink

A person need only google "music education benefits" to find lots of wonderful reasons to engage your kids in piano lessons. I personally enjoy piano recitals from the littlest kids banging out single note one hand tunes to the longest Mozart Sonatas. It represents much hard work and commitment. I've watched some kids over years have a very slow start and bloom into competent and artistic musicians. They might not have the natural talent some have. But they've developed an ear and perseverance that not many have either. Very few can be professional pianists.

I'll be holding my breath waiting for the OP's video to be posted.


+1
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#1498118 - 08/17/10 06:44 PM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: kck]
Victor25 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/30/09
Posts: 1676
Loc: The Netherlands
THIS THREAD IS AWESOME!
_________________________
Currently working on: Perfecting the Op 2/1, studying the 27/2 last movement. Chopin Nocturne 32/2 and Posth. C#m, 'Raindrop' prelude and Etude 10/9
Repetoire: Beethoven op 2/1, 10/1(1st, 2nd), 13, 14/1, 27/1(1st, 2nd), 27/2, 28(1st, 2nd), 31/2(1st, 3rd), 49/1, 49/2, 78(1st), 79, 90, 101(1st)

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#1498329 - 08/18/10 02:03 AM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: Victor25]
btb Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4263
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
Sorry chaps,

Can’t help thinking that space is 3-dimensional ... am tickled pink to hear that a young Dutch airline pilot (who likes his Beethoven sonatas) considers this thread awesome ... he’s still to master the Moonlight 3rd movement (but from all accounts, it won’t be long).

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#1498364 - 08/18/10 03:45 AM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: btb]
Opus_Maximus Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/04
Posts: 1497
Bach
Mozart
Beethoven
Chopin
Liszt
Vladimir Horowitz
Glenn Gould
Keith Jarret
Duke Ellington
Lang Lang
Judy Collins
Lady Gaga
........ALL had extensive lessons. Among hundreds of others. The extent to which their inborn gifts helped them develop into what they were only rests on top of the fact that they had this foundation.

I don't dispute the fact that some people - no matter how hard they work or how well they are taught - just don't have it and will not amount to so much musically. But is it so audacious to think that perhaps there is something in the PROCESS of trying to learn something that can help one grow in other ways? God knows that I have no aptitude in mathematics, but is it so outrageous to think that all those years that is was shoved down my throat in k-12 possibly helped develop a sense of problem solving, a certain patience, the act of critical thinking, and, most importantly - an admiration and I daresay even love - for the art of math itself and those who excell at it?


Also you're going to have to post some recordings of yourself if you want to be taken half seriously.


Edited by Opus_Maximus (08/18/10 04:05 AM)

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#1498518 - 08/18/10 10:53 AM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: Opus_Maximus]
hippymusicman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/10/09
Posts: 150
hahahaha! This thread reminds me of the musical genius thread.. everyone wanted some proof! proof.. proof.. proof.. and only then they will consider what is being said...

Why not just listen to what he's saying.. and take what he's saying with a grain of salt..
And also apply the same rule with all other people of all different classes and status levels..
You don't have to call it right or wrong... just listen!!

we learn a lot from ideas of others...
we also learn about others from the ideas they share...
So don't judge .. just learn.
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#1498523 - 08/18/10 10:59 AM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: hippymusicman]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Learning is about discrimination. If you don't judge you don't learn - put that in your pipe!
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#1498546 - 08/18/10 11:48 AM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: keyboardklutz]
hippymusicman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/10/09
Posts: 150
I did consider it.. and it seems we have a difference in opinion.
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#1498551 - 08/18/10 11:52 AM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: hippymusicman]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Originally Posted By: hippymusicman
I did consider it.. and it seems we have a difference in opinion.
You mean you made a considered judgement?
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snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
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#1498569 - 08/18/10 12:18 PM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: keyboardklutz]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5551
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
Originally Posted By: hippymusicman
I did consider it.. and it seems we have a difference in opinion.
You mean you made a considered judgement?
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Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#1498583 - 08/18/10 12:27 PM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: keyboardklutz]
bitWrangler Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/07
Posts: 1789
Loc: Central TX
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
Originally Posted By: hippymusicman
I did consider it.. and it seems we have a difference in opinion.
You mean you made a considered judgement?


This is all sounding very familiar .....

Like the saying goes:

"if you choose not to decide you still have made a choice"


Edited by bitWrangler (08/18/10 12:29 PM)

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#1498644 - 08/18/10 02:03 PM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: bitWrangler]
JimF Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/08/09
Posts: 1813
Loc: south florida
YES, this thread is AWESOME. thumb

And now we can have the genius lecturing our OP on the finer points of ego. sick

I put the over/under at 7 pages for those inclined to wagering. cool


(all wagers cancelled if OP posts playing video) f
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#1498793 - 08/18/10 05:12 PM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: JimF]
JustAnotherPianist Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/20/08
Posts: 798
Loc: United Kingdom
My own personal theory is that the OP is actually just GYRO using an alternate account.

in which case,

don't feed the troll. this thread has already seen him ruthlessly devour family upon family of billy goats.

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#1498802 - 08/18/10 05:22 PM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: JustAnotherPianist]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2472
Loc: France
Easy does it, Gyro is not a troll.

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#1499063 - 08/19/10 03:16 AM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: landorrano]
Wizard of Oz Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/12/09
Posts: 873

I'll bet you big $ the OP isn't Gyro. This guy says he's a natural, Gyro said he waded through 3 jazz books and couldn't learn a thing.

He comes of as a braggart, but maybe music's all he's got. Certainly not tennis! haha, just kidding man.

I think most wouldn't even be that impressed with his playing anyways, just annoyed at his boasts of musical talent. People who know they are good usually don't need to say it.

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#1499064 - 08/19/10 03:17 AM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: Wizard of Oz]
Wizard of Oz Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/12/09
Posts: 873
oh and welcome back "Mr Musical genius" hippoman!!!

Maybe you 2 guys can play a duet together and talk about how easy it is for you!

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#1499316 - 08/19/10 02:20 PM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: SteveO42]
SAnnM AB-2001 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/20/04
Posts: 2022
Loc: Canada
There is a book I'm reading "Talent is Overrated." You should read it. I'm not at home now and can't remember the author but I'd bet you could find it on Amazon.
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#1499448 - 08/19/10 06:10 PM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: SAnnM AB-2001]
Morodiene Offline
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Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12139
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: IPIBAHN - Sandy
There is a book I'm reading "Talent is Overrated." You should read it. I'm not at home now and can't remember the author but I'd bet you could find it on Amazon.



I haven't read it, but I like the title. I have had many talented students who refused to learn.
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#1499513 - 08/19/10 07:56 PM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: Morodiene]
John v.d.Brook Offline
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Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7407
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else by Geoff Colvin.

We discussed this particular book back in November last year. You can search using the author's name to find comments I wrote. I believe others read the book and added comments later on.
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#1499517 - 08/19/10 08:01 PM Re: Can you actually "teach" someone to play the piano? [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Wizard of Oz Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/12/09
Posts: 873
That title could aptly describe a few dozen or so sports "prodigies" that I can think of. Michelle Wie anyone?

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