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#1651426 - 03/31/11 04:59 AM Stuck in the Adult Method Rut
polyphasicpianist Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/21/11
Posts: 1238
I am going to be quite honest here. A lot of what I see on this forum is rather dismaying to me, because I get the feeling that a lot of the adult beginners who post here are not challenging themselves enough. Let me explain further.

When I started playing about 3 years ago, my instructor had me go through the first book of the Adult Piano Adventures. She selected various pieces for me to learn each week and I would take the book home and work on them. With diligent practice I had, in less than two months, finished with the book. I should note that I never learned every single piece in the book, I just learned the pieces my instructor asked me to learn.

At this point she started giving me what she affectionately termed “proper pieces.” For instance I started working on a minuet (attr. Petzold) from the Anna Magdalena book and the little study from Schumann’s album for the young. Then a polonaise by C.P.E. Bach, and so on. More recently, some of the pieces I have learned include Le Coucou by Daquin, Sonatina in F minor (1st section) by Beethoven, and a Bach Prelude. Currently, I am working on the first Bach-two-part invention and some other simpler pieces out of the Grade 4 RCM repertoire series to post as videos on youtube to help alleviate my performance anxiety.

The point I am trying to get at is that, from my perspective anyway, I think that a lot of the beginners on this forum really aren’t doing themselves any favours by working through every single volume of whatever adult method they have happened to choose. I understand the necessity for learning by successive approximations, but I am just not sure adult method books really have any value in this regard past their first volume.

I am sure there will be people who shall emphatically disagree with this. This is just my own two cents worth, and is something for those who are stuck in a musical rut to think about.


Edited by polyphasicpianist (03/31/11 05:28 AM)

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#1651439 - 03/31/11 05:54 AM Re: Stuck in the Adult Method Rut [Re: polyphasicpianist]
kevinb Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 1565
I can't really comment, because I've never even seen the inside of a method book. I learned by playing pieces, and my children are doing the same.

This might just be a regional thing, but where I am (London) method books don't seem to be widely used, either for adults or children. Not beyond the most elementary stage, anyway.

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#1651459 - 03/31/11 06:39 AM Re: Stuck in the Adult Method Rut [Re: polyphasicpianist]
J.A.S Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/28/10
Posts: 279
Loc: Warsaw, Poland
Originally Posted By: polyphasicpianist
At this point she started giving me what she affectionately termed “proper pieces.”[...]
The point I am trying to get at is that, from my perspective anyway, I think that a lot of the beginners on this forum really aren’t doing themselves any favours by working through every single volume of whatever adult method they have happened to choose.

Unlike kevinb, I’ve studied (not worked through) a number of method books, but like him, I learn by playing pieces.

In my opinion, the method books are good only for those adult students who don’t have a teacher and must have some framework to organize their learning process.

I started lessons with my teacher after a few months of self-learning which to some extent was based on method books. My teacher first of all evaluated my “achievements” (which were miserable) and then assigned me simple, but real pieces to undo the bad habits I had acquired. After that, the whole process of my learning (almost 2.5 years now) was based on learning pieces selected (or suggested, subject to discussion with me) by my teacher, exactly as described by polyphasicpianist (only the selection is different).

After one year of learning, I verified the viability of that method by trying to learn a piece from the very end of a popular method book for adults (which is supposed to be studied for one year) and I found it easy to learn the piece within a short time, which assured me that my progress was good.

So I agree with polyphasicpianist to the extent of the opinion about method books vs. learning real pieces.

Originally Posted By: polyphasicpianist
I am going to be quite honest here. A lot of what I see on this forum is rather dismaying to me, because I get the feeling that a lot of the adult beginners who post here are not challenging themselves enough.

However, I would refrain from labeling those who use method books as “not challenging themselves enough”. There may be many factors, including the amount of time one is able to devote to learning, and often even modest achievements are admirable given the circumstances.

Also, in case of those without a teacher it may be very difficult to otherwise select appropriate pieces, as evidenced by numerous examples of beginners trying to play pieces much above their level, with pitiable results.
_________________________
J.A.S

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#1651460 - 03/31/11 06:47 AM Re: Stuck in the Adult Method Rut [Re: polyphasicpianist]
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 12472
Loc: Canada
Polyphasic, your entire post was exclusively about pieces. You mentioned that your teacher had you play some pieces in the adult method book, and then you moved on to playing pieces outside of the method book. How about things like technique, theory, music history, and styles of different periods, improvisation, transposing? For those things that you covered, did they get approached differently after you left the method book?

I've never experienced method books either, but I understand that they can be used different ways. If somebody is learning without a teacher, then these books are organized to give the guidance that a decent teacher might otherwise give. In other words, piece per se are probably not enough. We can't really know how people are doing and what works for them.

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#1651464 - 03/31/11 06:57 AM Re: Stuck in the Adult Method Rut [Re: polyphasicpianist]
Andy Platt Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2463
Loc: Virginia, USA
Different strokes for different folks. I've browsed through some method books and they cover a lot of ground, including a wide variety of pieces. As shown by threads here some people feel able to move out after book 1 or 2 of whatever series and some don't.

Bottom line, if I was one of those people working through a method book, your post would be very discouraging. I don't think it's warranted.
_________________________
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#1651466 - 03/31/11 07:04 AM Re: Stuck in the Adult Method Rut [Re: keystring]
J.A.S Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/28/10
Posts: 279
Loc: Warsaw, Poland
Originally Posted By: keystring
How about things like technique, theory, music history, and styles of different periods, improvisation, transposing? For those things that you covered, did they get approached differently after you left the method book?

I have studied five method books: Alfred, Agay, Beyer, Klechniowska, and Różycki (the latter two are in Polish, by Polish authors).

In all of them, technique is explained only to the extent of hand/finger position (relative to the keys) and rudiments of articulation etc. (staccato vs. legato), theory is covered only to the extent of notation used in the included exercises/pieces, and the other topics mentioned by you are not covered at all.

So a serious student anyway must use other sources of knowledge in addition to method books.
_________________________
J.A.S

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#1651469 - 03/31/11 07:19 AM Re: Stuck in the Adult Method Rut [Re: polyphasicpianist]
Akira Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/27/07
Posts: 1645
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Because you went through eight whole lessons using a method book (before moving on to repertoire) is hardly conclusive that people can get stuck in a rut because of them.

Ask the question over in the Teacher's Forum, if they advocate method books. I'd be willing to guess most of them do. Maybe there is a "method" to the madness.

Over the course of two years, I went through six levels of method books (and similar level supplementary materials) covering maybe a few hundred songs. I never got stuck in a rut. That is hardly conclusive either. smile

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#1651490 - 03/31/11 08:05 AM Re: Stuck in the Adult Method Rut [Re: polyphasicpianist]
Bart Kinlein Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/08
Posts: 715
Loc: Maryland
Quote:
How about things like technique, theory, music history, and styles of different periods,


Since the OP has a teacher, presumably these topics will be covered as necessary by the teacher.

Quote:
improvisation, transposing


While valued by many pianists, not necessary to perform classical music at a very high level. Many great pianists (recently Leon Fleisher, IIRC) have commented that they can't improvise. Transposing is a great skill to have when needed, but how many adult beginners will ever be called upon to do this?

I think that for most adult students with a teacher, the OP's approach is a valid one and may prevent some from droping out because they don't enjoy the pieces they are assigned.
_________________________
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Yahama CVP-401
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#1651565 - 03/31/11 10:11 AM Re: Stuck in the Adult Method Rut [Re: polyphasicpianist]
joyoussong Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/19/09
Posts: 752
Loc: Canada
Sure, it's valid to not use method books, but I don't think that makes method books invalid. When I was using Alfred's, I wasn't restricted by it; that likely depends on the student, and on the teacher if there's one involved. My first teacher encouraged me to play other pieces, & to choose them myself. She taught me a bit about working from lead sheets, too, and had me transposing the pieces about a third of the way into Alfred's 1.
_________________________
Carol
(Started playing July 2008)


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#1651624 - 03/31/11 11:17 AM Re: Stuck in the Adult Method Rut [Re: joyoussong]
mom3gram Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/26/08
Posts: 1187
Loc: New Jersey
As a self learner, the method books have been invaluable to me. But I have also supplemented with a graded classic repertoire book as well.

The OP appears to be a fast learner. I'm not, and although I might have moved a little faster with a teacher, I suspect that I would have been one of those students that teachers dread because of really slow progress.

Please don't make those of us who are in method books feel that we are somehow not working up to potential. We are!
_________________________
mom3gram

ALFRED'S ADULT BOOK 1 GRADUATE


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#1651669 - 03/31/11 12:25 PM Re: Stuck in the Adult Method Rut [Re: keystring]
polyphasicpianist Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/21/11
Posts: 1238
Originally Posted By: keystring
Polyphasic, your entire post was exclusively about pieces. You mentioned that your teacher had you play some pieces in the adult method book, and then you moved on to playing pieces outside of the method book. How about things like technique, theory, music history, and styles of different periods, improvisation, transposing? For those things that you covered, did they get approached differently after you left the method book?


Oh yes definitely. With more advanced repertoire came new technical and theoretical demands, which meant learning new things (such as efficient use of arm movements, pulling with my finger-tips, proper separation of notes of Baroque music, using legato markings on the score to indicate musical phrases, using correct rhythmic idioms, etc.)

Originally Posted By: mom3gram
Please don't make those of us who are in method books feel that we are somehow not working up to potential. We are!


It is not my intention to imply that everyone who is using an adult method book isn't working up to their potential. But I do think, for some people, this point does seriously need to be considered.

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#1651692 - 03/31/11 12:46 PM Re: Stuck in the Adult Method Rut [Re: polyphasicpianist]
jotur Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5944
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
I sure get a different feeling from the posts in this forum. I see very few - any? - people who aren't working on pieces outside their repertoire books, whether working with a teacher or not. mom3gram is much more representative of people here than the OP sees, as far as I can tell. We get posters asking about books with pieces at their level all the time, and ABFers respond quite helpfully. I would guess that if we actually counted posts or ran a poll that my perspective would be closer to the data laugh Which goes to show that we all skew our "feelings" based on things besides data. But at any rate I don't see the beginners in this forum the way the OP does.

Like the other posters here I think there are different strokes for different folks, as Andy said. "Challenge enough" is such a subjective standard. People vary so widely in their goals that what is "challenge" for one is easy for another, and irrelevant for yet someone else. If I never play Beethoven it won't keep me from dying happy. On the other hand, Fats Waller would let me die ecstatic laugh And "enough"? What's that? I "challenge" myself "enough" that I play gigs several times a month, both solo and with a band. I balance my practice time with other things I do in my life, and it works for me. Fats Waller is definitely a long-term project.

For "musical ruts" - when someone posts that they feel stuck the responses from other ABFers and their experience is - it's a plateau. We all reach them. At some point our brains take some time to consolidate all the new things we've learned, and are productive even tho on the outside we can't quite perceive it. We all get there, because that's the way human brains work. Eventually it surfaces, happily so, and we move onward and upward.

So yes, I do see the ABF posters, on the whole, differently than the OP does. I'm sure there are those who fit the OP's description, because the world isn't flat, but I don't think they're the majority here, or even that there are many here.

FWIW smile -

Cathy
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Cathy

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#1651729 - 03/31/11 01:46 PM Re: Stuck in the Adult Method Rut [Re: polyphasicpianist]
ll Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/08
Posts: 1101
You are not a self-learner.

If you were, you'd appreciate the method books a lot more.

And quite frankly, they are 'real' pieces - just as any other piece you're playing is.
_________________________
II. As in, second best.
Only lowercase. So not even that.
I teach piano and violin.
BM, Violin & Percussion Performance 2009, Piano Pedagogy 2011.

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#1651734 - 03/31/11 01:55 PM Re: Stuck in the Adult Method Rut [Re: kevinb]
GrouchoMarx Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/30/10
Posts: 112
Originally Posted By: kevinb
I can't really comment, because I've never even seen the inside of a method book. I learned by playing pieces, and my children are doing the same.

This might just be a regional thing, but where I am (London) method books don't seem to be widely used, either for adults or children. Not beyond the most elementary stage, anyway.


Same here. I only play piano pieces that draw my attention. One's that leave me with the feeling; 'I just have to learn this'.
_________________________
"I never forget a face, but in your case I'll be glad to make an exception. "

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#1651754 - 03/31/11 02:29 PM Re: Stuck in the Adult Method Rut [Re: ll]
polyphasicpianist Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/21/11
Posts: 1238
Originally Posted By: ll
You are not a self-learner.

If you were, you'd appreciate the method books a lot more.


Perhaps, but it might be an erroneous appreciation.

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#1651809 - 03/31/11 03:19 PM Re: Stuck in the Adult Method Rut [Re: polyphasicpianist]
JimF Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/08/09
Posts: 1953
Loc: south florida
Quote:
...I would refrain from labeling those who use method books as “not challenging themselves enough”. There may be many factors, including the amount of time one is able to devote to learning, and often even modest achievements are admirable given the circumstances.

Also, in case of those without a teacher it may be very difficult to otherwise select appropriate pieces, as evidenced by numerous examples of beginners trying to play pieces much above their level, with pitiable results.


+++1
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#1651990 - 03/31/11 07:47 PM Re: Stuck in the Adult Method Rut [Re: polyphasicpianist]
ll Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/08
Posts: 1101
Originally Posted By: polyphasicpianist
Originally Posted By: ll
You are not a self-learner.

If you were, you'd appreciate the method books a lot more.


Perhaps, but it might be an erroneous appreciation.


Or maybe you just aren't experienced enough or educated in the matter to see the merit in method books.

I'd argue that out of all the Adult Alfred books, for example, the third is the most useful and best-designed in terms of quality of music and theory/technique applications.

If you have a teacher, things become very different.
_________________________
II. As in, second best.
Only lowercase. So not even that.
I teach piano and violin.
BM, Violin & Percussion Performance 2009, Piano Pedagogy 2011.

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#1652071 - 03/31/11 10:17 PM Re: Stuck in the Adult Method Rut [Re: polyphasicpianist]
polyphasicpianist Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/21/11
Posts: 1238
Well, I knew that a lot of people were not going to like what I had to say, but I stand by my comments and will add something further that I am certain will rub many the wrong way, but I don't care since I do feel it is important.

If you are spending more than a year on any one of these books then you need to seriously re-evaluate your practice habits or practice methods.



All right, let the tomato throwing commence.

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#1652087 - 03/31/11 10:50 PM Re: Stuck in the Adult Method Rut [Re: polyphasicpianist]
Fate Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/23/11
Posts: 52
Loc: Kansas City
Being able to play a piece out of of the end of a method book doesn't mean you've covered that entire book or would be capable of using / knowing all the skills / knowledge in that book.

As a self-learner now, and having had lessons in the past, I will say that stagnation at a certain level is very possible. But, that stagnation has no real relation from what I've seen to method books. More a combination of either reaching too far out or not reaching far enough. Back in my high school days, I did the former, now I tend to over correct and after trying a more advanced piece head back to the easier ones I have floating around on my bookshelf... I believe the most important thing a teacher does is help students strike that balance. smile

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#1652088 - 03/31/11 10:50 PM Re: Stuck in the Adult Method Rut [Re: polyphasicpianist]
ll Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/08
Posts: 1101
Originally Posted By: polyphasicpianist
Well, I knew that a lot of people were not going to like what I had to say, but I stand by my comments and will add something further that I am certain will rub many the wrong way, but I don't care since I do feel it is important.

If you are spending more than a year on any one of these books then you need to seriously re-evaluate your practice habits or practice methods.


All right, let the tomato throwing commence.


The problem is, you base your comments on nothing. You stated a view and that's it.

That's one step up from a troll.

If you're an adult learner with three years worth of lessons who moved out of method books after a few lessons and are just getting the 2-part Inventions (and it doesn't sound like you've played much else), then I would tell YOU that YOU are doing something wrong.

But it's all circumstantial, ain't it?
_________________________
II. As in, second best.
Only lowercase. So not even that.
I teach piano and violin.
BM, Violin & Percussion Performance 2009, Piano Pedagogy 2011.

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#1652118 - 03/31/11 11:48 PM Re: Stuck in the Adult Method Rut [Re: ll]
polyphasicpianist Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/21/11
Posts: 1238
Originally Posted By: ll

The problem is, you base your comments on nothing. You stated a view and that's it.

That's one step up from a troll.

If you're an adult learner with three years worth of lessons who moved out of method books after a few lessons and are just getting the 2-part Inventions (and it doesn't sound like you've played much else), then I would tell YOU that YOU are doing something wrong.

But it's all circumstantial, ain't it?


Actually I am basing my comments on three things:

#1 My experience, which is anecdotal. And yes I am aware that a sample of 1 cannot be used to make generalizable statements.

#2 My observations viewing many of the posts on various threads, which is also anecdotal.

#3 Expertise Theory, which is a domain of cognitive psychology (which I am in my fourth year of studying at university) and not anecdotal. The fact is, people learn best when they are challenged, obviously there are limits to the degree to which you can challenge someone, but that is irrelevant to my argument since my argument is that, beyond a certain point, the adult method books are not challenging to most beginners in a way that maximises the efficiency of the time they spend practicing.

If you would like to learn more about how expertise theory relates to piano practice then may I suggest the following book:

Practicing Perfection: Memory and Piano Performance (Expertise: Research and Applications Series)

As for the troll comment and the crack about my current ability, that is all quite uncalled for (especially for someone who claims to teach music). I have only mentioned a fraction of the peices I have learned, and the fact that you would critique my ability on the basis of this shows unbelievable crassness. FYI: I am learning the 2-part invention in preparation for the first fugue of the WTK book 1, which my instructor wants me to learn. Most of the music I have learned to date has not been strictly contrapunctal and I thought this would be a good preparation.


Edited by polyphasicpianist (04/01/11 01:19 AM)

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#1652137 - 04/01/11 12:34 AM Re: Stuck in the Adult Method Rut [Re: polyphasicpianist]
Fate Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/23/11
Posts: 52
Loc: Kansas City
I'd say "challenge" isn't so much the right term as "exposure to new material". The point of method books is controlled and ordered exposure to new thoughts / material. In general, I don't think method books are intended to be a 'polish each piece for performance' thing, and if someone is doing that I'd guess they'd learn slower than someone that worked through each piece until they 'got the idea' and working further would be more polish than learning it. Even then, I've discovered practicing some pieces in Alfred's has helped me substantially in other pieces...

Throwing a rank beginner into repertoire probably does more harm than good - my own anecdotal experience speaking.

Also, I do think some people simply enjoy the act / sensation of playing piano, and any skill gained or music made is just a happy biproduct.

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#1652157 - 04/01/11 01:41 AM Re: Stuck in the Adult Method Rut [Re: Fate]
Emissary52 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/17/09
Posts: 340
Loc: Monroe, NC USA
I'm with Fate on this one! Method books have their place especially if you're doing so, without the aid of a teacher. What method book you use and how well you use can affect your overall outcome. I used Alfred Adult 1 and stuck to it pretty faithfully for 10 months and proceeded to Book 2. I disliked book 2 with all of those endless Mexican Folk Songs or as I like to refer to it as the "Taco Bell music" and switched to the MasterWork Classic series instead. I'm currently in Book 3 of that series since starting to play 18 months ago. Using any particular method book series isn't something that should be carved in stone anyway. Always supplement with some "fun stuff" at, or just slightly above your skill level.

I'm also for "playing what you like" but only to a certain extent and within the context of your skill level! I don't think it's very productive to try to throw yourself into playing Chopin the day after you master "Row, Row, Row, Your Boat" or Blow The Man Down! It's like asking the stewardess to fly the 747! Not a good idea in the long run! grin
_________________________
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Alfred's Masterwork Classics Vol 3 and Vol 4
YDP-160, GH-170R
Alfred 1 Graduate

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#1652195 - 04/01/11 03:31 AM Re: Stuck in the Adult Method Rut [Re: polyphasicpianist]
ll Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/08
Posts: 1101
Originally Posted By: polyphasicpianist
As for the troll comment and the crack about my current ability, that is all quite uncalled for (especially for someone who claims to teach music). I have only mentioned a fraction of the peices I have learned, and the fact that you would critique my ability on the basis of this shows unbelievable crassness. FYI: I am learning the 2-part invention in preparation for the first fugue of the WTK book 1, which my instructor wants me to learn. Most of the music I have learned to date has not been strictly contrapunctal and I thought this would be a good preparation.


Actually, it's analogous to what you said.

There are some children and adults who take 2-3 years before they are ready to move out of a method book. Some aren't ready until they do the entire series. Then there are those who can do the first book or two and be ready.

Expertise Theory has nothing to do with it. This is practical and real - it takes knowing each experience, not something anecdotal.

In what way are most method books not challenging? They are full of brand new material that push and teach. Moving into repertoire would be the same thing, except it won't be ordered with a teacher guiding you, and it could move *too* quickly.

You still base your argument on nothing more than babble. That's your problem. By and by, you still didn't say any of those 'supporting' points until I told you were that there was no support, and even then, it came out weak.

Give a REAL explanation of WHY that would be the case. Otherwise, what you say holds no merit.
_________________________
II. As in, second best.
Only lowercase. So not even that.
I teach piano and violin.
BM, Violin & Percussion Performance 2009, Piano Pedagogy 2011.

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#1652307 - 04/01/11 08:07 AM Re: Stuck in the Adult Method Rut [Re: polyphasicpianist]
Michael Steen Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/26/07
Posts: 369
Loc: Sciota, Pennsylvania
OK, I took lessons for a couple of years and found it was becoming more like a job to prepare for each lesson than a delightful hobby that I took pleasure in. I asked my teacher (given my goals) if I was ready to strike out on my own. She said that I was and gave me her blessing.
Enter Alfred's a couple of years later. (Personal problems intervened).

I'm having a great time working my way through #1 (even with the "Taco Bell Music"), and I feel challenged every day. I have several other books I'm supplementing with, but my goal is not and never has been Mozart, Bach, and Chopin. My goal has been popular music and Christmas carols with enough complexity to sound really really nice and make me (and hopefully others) feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

The method books are giving me all the theory and practice that I need or want. I might add that when I used to ski years ago, I improved to the point where I had an incredible rush and a delightful day skiing on the intermediate slopes. I stayed there for years before I stopped skiing. I never had a desire to ski the double black diamond, and I don't feel I've missed anything for never having done so.

Bottom line: Every person in this forum comes to the piano withdifferent goals, needs, and ideas aboutwhat makes them happy about the piano. To presume anything about anyone regarding their goals and methods is, well . . . presumptuous.



Edited by Michael Steen (04/01/11 08:11 AM)
_________________________
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#1652434 - 04/01/11 10:55 AM Re: Stuck in the Adult Method Rut [Re: polyphasicpianist]
SimonBarSinister Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/22/11
Posts: 14
Loc: Central New Jersey
I am not a big method book fan myself. I am taking a college class for Group Piano (it is a prerequisite for my Music Technology Degree) and I cannot wait to get out of that class and that Alfred's book. I have ZERO interest in the songs in the book and they are not motivational to me. They remind me of learning guitar many years ago... Those Mel Bay Books had the same lame songs in them.

When time allows, I have been working on things like some easy Bach and things I really like (a couple of Beatles songs etc). I am getting more out of that than the Alfred’s book. I also don't really like the way the lessons box you into an area of the keyboard. I don't think Piano is played like that in the real world.

I am the type who likes to work things out and get them perfect. Even on guitar I tend to need to go over things a lot more than a natural musician. So having to learn 4-5 Alfred's songs a week is taking a lot of time. I would rather be playing stuff that is more interesting. Even if I only learn 1 song in a month, I want it to be things I like that are challenging.

YMMV
SBS

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#1652487 - 04/01/11 11:50 AM Re: Stuck in the Adult Method Rut [Re: polyphasicpianist]
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 12472
Loc: Canada
Polyphasic, you never answered my questions. Your opening post focused entirely on pieces and not other elements which I listed.

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#1652598 - 04/01/11 02:37 PM Re: Stuck in the Adult Method Rut [Re: polyphasicpianist]
MrRubato Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/30/11
Posts: 21
Loc: United States
As a total beginner, I see the method books as very valuable, especially in the absence of a one-on-one teacher. But I do agree with the OP that it is helpful and interesting to challenge oneself a little. I find the Alfred's songs mostly very boring, but I figure that's the nature of the beast... I don't expect to play Rachmaninov right off the bat. It is fun to try and find simple songs I like and try to learn those as well (though even the simplest ones are challenging at this stage)... but I always come back to the method as a baseline for learning. I see it as not an all or nothing approach but an important tool in the toolbox.
_________________________
Started playing at piano early March, 2011
YouTube channel documenting progress

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#1652611 - 04/01/11 03:09 PM Re: Stuck in the Adult Method Rut [Re: Michael Steen]
Legal Beagle Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/24/09
Posts: 776
Originally Posted By: Michael Steen
Bottom line: Every person in this forum comes to the piano with different goals, needs, and ideas about what makes them happy about the piano. To presume anything about anyone regarding their goals and methods is, well . . . presumptuous.


A big +1 thumb

I've learned a lot from these forums, but if there's one thing I've leared FOR SURE it's that everybody has very different ideas, expecations, goals, methods, and assumptions. It's often entertaining to me to just read through certain threads and marvel at how two (or more) people are saying something completely valid to their own experience, yet also completely missing each other because they are starting from entirely different assumptions about what it's all about. I sometimes catch myself doing it, too.
_________________________
"Wide awake, I can make my most fantastic dreams come true..."
- Lorenz Hart

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#1652616 - 04/01/11 03:20 PM Re: Stuck in the Adult Method Rut [Re: polyphasicpianist]
Legal Beagle Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/24/09
Posts: 776
Oh, and as for method books... I agree with whoever said pieces are pieces.

Studying a particular piece of music may or may not have any value for you (although it might for somebody else), but the fact that it's been placed in a book, in someone's idea of a progressive order, has nothing to do with its value or lack thereof, nor does it make it less a piece of music (IMHO).

Now the question of self-guided method book vs. teacher-guided study... that's a whole different matter. I come down on the teacher side, for what it's worth. But I don't think that has anything to do with the intrinsic value of the material in method books.

Consider this: I would bet that a great piano teacher could teach me a whole lot more using only method books, than a lousy piano teacher could teach me using classical repertoire.

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