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#1974257 - 10/16/12 08:04 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
EdwardianPiano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/29/11
Posts: 753
Loc: Liverpool, England
Well done all!!
_________________________
"Music is the one incorporeal entrance into the higher world of knowledge which comprehends mankind but which mankind cannot comprehend."

"He who divines the secret of my music is delivered from the misery that haunts the world."


Ludwig Van Beethoven

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#1974376 - 10/17/12 03:05 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
casinitaly Offline


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 5256
Loc: Italy
What a lot to catch up on! But what fun!

Edward - I wouldn't put pieces in the recycle bin when you find they are to hard. I have a special "someday" folder for those pieces. I print them out when I hear them and feel inspired to try...and then sigh because I realize that "now" is not the time for them. So... into my wish-list folder they go! I also wouldn't give up on the sight reading. By all means look at your chords, but keep up with the sight reading - maybe even take a piece, study it for the chords and then play it - so it isn't exactly "prima vista" but still a good exercise. It is very exciting when you discover something in the music that wasn't obvious to you at first! I love it when I'm playing something and think...oh, that's just like....(last night I was working on my scales and ended up playing Christmas carols by ear! it was a hoot!) As for feeling embarrassed in lessons - hey, we all feel that. But as a former teacher you KNOW that this is true: your teacher can tell which mistakes are from nerves and which are from not studying! Lessons are a safe place to "mess up" and gain confidence. Don't expect to be great in your lesson - when you mess up, your teacher is there to help you through the rough spots. (Ok, please keep in mind that I give myself this pep talk before every lesson smile I hate messing up in lessons, but it is something I have to get over too! )

Toastie: do you fib to your students? Or do you look for something you can honestly praise? If you stretch the truth, is it because you know in your heart that the student really needs a life saver in that moment, and that if you help them over this hump they will be on the right track? I'm sure you don't actually tell them they are wonderful if they aren't - you find what you can honestly praise. As Jim said so beautifully - don't be so hard on yourself! We all have to (repeatedly) get over the shock of how long a process this piano learning is, and get to the point where we remember it is about the journey.

Jim - I think you give wonderful support and advice, and I also love your graphics. I hereby knight you as the Sir Jim, official Master of ATOW Thread Graphics.

Sand Tiger - you continue to impress me with your progress! I enjoyed listening to your March to the Sea - I could imagine the light sparkling on the waves! Bravo!

MaryAnn, what a relief to be able to play and have your fears banished!!!!

Stryder - sounds like a lovely breakthrough moment in your week! Exciting!

Bobpickle - It is great fun to get into creating new dynamics, isn't it? I'm looking forward to hearing your recital piece!

Becca - I had a similar experience with my Hubby commenting on a change in my playing recently, and it is really rewarding. The poor fellows sit through uncountable repetitions of us practicing our pieces for ages and then ! Ah... it becomes beautiful music!

dbush---tough indeed! This is like Ironman plus! Well done!

I had my lesson yesterday and though for one piece I flubbed what I had been working on THREE TIMES before managed to play it properly, in the end I did it and my teacher complimented me on it. I managed to get the "focus" part of the second piece right on the first try and he was very pleased. I love the way he is getting me to immerse myself in the pieces and really bring out the mood and think about the composers' intentions.

I told him I'd changed my mind about doing Oh Holy Night, and though I had feared he would think I was beeing capricious he was actually pleased that I wanted to put it aside (for recital purposes) and we're focusing on another piece that combines 3 of the aspects we've been working on this past month.

I'm thrilled to bits with this teacher.
_________________________
XVIII-XXXV
Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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#1974450 - 10/17/12 08:50 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
ZoeCalgary Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/01/11
Posts: 748
Loc: Calgary Alberta
Casinitaly, this is one of my favorite threads too and you do such a great job with cheering everybody on!

And there is so much to cheer isn't there!! I'm so amazed at everybody's progress. It is fun to read the news.

My big news is that I'm about to start lessons again with a new teacher. I've started working full time again and this leaves no time for my old time slot with my original teacher. After being down about this for awhile I took some action and found a teacher who will teach on the weekend. I am so excited! I'll be starting in two Sundays from now. I may do every other week but we will see how it goes. I'm excited to get back to my grade 5 prep as that is a big stretch for me. And also to get to work on other pieces just for fun!
_________________________
Preparing Grade 6 RCM.


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#1974667 - 10/17/12 03:57 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
EdwardianPiano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/29/11
Posts: 753
Loc: Liverpool, England

Hello casinitaly!

Quote:
Edward - I wouldn't put pieces in the recycle bin when you find they are to hard.


LOL the bin men emptied recycle bin this morning- so it's gone!



Quote:
I have a special "someday" folder for those pieces. I print them out when I hear them and feel inspired to try...and then sigh because I realize that "now" is not the time for them. So... into my wish-list folder they go!



I have plenty of sheet music in books and printouts to last me til I croak ( and likely some will always be beyond my capability) so didn't need another.



Quote:
I also wouldn't give up on the sight reading. By all means look at your chords, but keep up with the sight reading - maybe even take a piece, study it for the chords and then play it - so it isn't exactly "prima vista" but still a good exercise.



I'm doing the simple stuff in Alfred's but want to
concentrate on chords and playing by ear and you tube vids for now. Too much time I felt was spent plonking and struggling with sheet music that I am no good at.I don't understand timing cos I am dyslexic in maths and fractions I never got so note values and timing is very hard to fathom out. Anyway will see what my teacher thinks on Friday.



Quote:
It is very exciting when you discover something in the music that wasn't obvious to you at first! I love it when I'm playing something and think...oh, that's just like....(last night I was working on my scales and ended up playing Christmas carols by ear! it was a hoot!)



Sounds like you are doing well!


Quote:
As for feeling embarrassed in lessons - hey, we all feel that. But as a former teacher you KNOW that this is true: your teacher can tell which mistakes are from nerves and which are from not studying!




Yes know that- that's not the issue- my hands are so shaky and clumsy feel like a klutz!


Quote:
Lessons are a safe place to "mess up" and gain confidence. Don't expect to be great in your lesson - when you mess up, your teacher is there to help you through the rough spots. (Ok, please keep in mind that I give myself this pep talk before every lesson smile I hate messing up in lessons, but it is something I have to get over too! )



Part of it is my embarrassment over maths dyslexia as my maths ability is that of a five year old. blush
_________________________
"Music is the one incorporeal entrance into the higher world of knowledge which comprehends mankind but which mankind cannot comprehend."

"He who divines the secret of my music is delivered from the misery that haunts the world."


Ludwig Van Beethoven

Top
#1974670 - 10/17/12 03:59 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: ZoeCalgary]
EdwardianPiano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/29/11
Posts: 753
Loc: Liverpool, England
Originally Posted By: ZoeCalgary
Casinitaly, this is one of my favorite threads too and you do such a great job with cheering everybody on!

And there is so much to cheer isn't there!! I'm so amazed at everybody's progress. It is fun to read the news.

My big news is that I'm about to start lessons again with a new teacher. I've started working full time again and this leaves no time for my old time slot with my original teacher. After being down about this for awhile I took some action and found a teacher who will teach on the weekend. I am so excited! I'll be starting in two Sundays from now. I may do every other week but we will see how it goes. I'm excited to get back to my grade 5 prep as that is a big stretch for me. And also to get to work on other pieces just for fun!



Grade 5- brilliant!
_________________________
"Music is the one incorporeal entrance into the higher world of knowledge which comprehends mankind but which mankind cannot comprehend."

"He who divines the secret of my music is delivered from the misery that haunts the world."


Ludwig Van Beethoven

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#1974722 - 10/17/12 05:06 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
JimF Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/08/09
Posts: 1814
Loc: south florida
Gee, Cheryl....

Quote:
I hereby knight you as the Sir Jim, official Master of ATOW Thread Graphics.


Awww, Schucks
_________________________
Nessun dorma - G.Puccini
Solfeggietto - CPE Bach
La Fille aux cheveux de lin-Debussy



Estonia L190 #7284





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#1974734 - 10/17/12 05:25 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: EdwardianPiano]
JimF Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/08/09
Posts: 1814
Loc: south florida
Edward,

If you can count to four you've got enough math to take you a long long way. Please don't give up on learning to read music just because it isn't coming to you easily. I'm a math whiz and it still comes hard to me too. Just give it time.

Learning to speak and read the language of music probably takes as long as it takes for any first language. Infants talk at what...two years? Then they usually don't learn to read worth a lick until they are about 6 or 7. So a few years trying to decipher the language of music is nothing. This stuff takes a while.

Based on my lesson yesterday, however, no one should ever pay any attention to any "advice" I would presume to give. Couldn't play anything I tried, and I just seem stopped on all my pieces with all kinds of issues. I am very frustrated.




Edited by JimF (10/17/12 05:32 PM)
_________________________
Nessun dorma - G.Puccini
Solfeggietto - CPE Bach
La Fille aux cheveux de lin-Debussy



Estonia L190 #7284





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#1974742 - 10/17/12 05:42 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
BeccaBb Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/11
Posts: 905
Loc: Thunder Bay, On Canada
Edward,

Don't give up! I have a major learning disability when it comes to math. I'm at about a grade two level (if that.) I can count and subtract, usually. LOL

I just take my time counting: one and two and three and four and...Go really really slow with your counting to start with. Once you have the beat down you will naturally be able to speed it up. It takes me forever with each and every piece I learn to get the counting right. Patience (which I have little of) is what helps here. I'm sure with time I will slowly become better at it.

As for note timings, when I started out I took a blank piece of paper and wrote out each note and then beside it wrote the count. When I'm having trouble with my counting in a score, I will write in one and two and three and four and.. below each note and go over it very very slowly till it starts to make sense.

We can both do this no matter our disability!
_________________________
Becca
Began: 01-12-11


Floundering and Lost
Roland RD300NX

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#1974760 - 10/17/12 06:00 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: JimF]
EdwardianPiano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/29/11
Posts: 753
Loc: Liverpool, England
Quote:
Edward,

If you can count to four you've got enough math to take you a long long way. Please don't give up on learning to read music just because it isn't coming to you easily. I'm a math whiz and it still comes hard to me too. Just give it time.



Thanks for the encouragement Jim. But I bet you can work out note values if you understand fractions! I'm not actually giving it up but wanting to concentrate more on chords and playing by ear for now as I think when I understand chords, key signatures etc etc the sheet music might be easier to work on.


Quote:
Learning to speak and read the language of music probably takes as long as it takes for any first language. Infants talk at what...two years? Then they usually don't learn to read worth a lick until they are about 6 or 7. So a few years trying to decipher the language of music is nothing. This stuff takes a while.




Reading is easier than reading music and I was reading quite well by the age of 5! I was reading Victorian novels at around age 12 ( such as the Brontes).



Quote:
Based on my lesson yesterday, however, no one should ever pay any attention to any "advice" I would presume to give. Couldn't play anything I tried, and I just seem stopped on all my pieces with all kinds of issues. I am very frustrated.



Hope you feel less fustrated soon- know how that can be.
_________________________
"Music is the one incorporeal entrance into the higher world of knowledge which comprehends mankind but which mankind cannot comprehend."

"He who divines the secret of my music is delivered from the misery that haunts the world."


Ludwig Van Beethoven

Top
#1974763 - 10/17/12 06:05 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: BeccaBb]
EdwardianPiano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/29/11
Posts: 753
Loc: Liverpool, England
Quote:
Edward,

Don't give up! I have a major learning disability when it comes to math. I'm at about a grade two level (if that.) I can count and subtract, usually. LOL

I just take my time counting: one and two and three and four and...Go really really slow with your counting to start with. Once you have the beat down you will naturally be able to speed it up. It takes me forever with each and every piece I learn to get the counting right. Patience (which I have little of) is what helps here. I'm sure with time I will slowly become better at it.




I don't understand beats and go too fast, no matter how slow I start I always end up going too fast. But if I play something by ear - not (trying to) read sheet music
I seem to be much better.



Quote:
As for note timings, when I started out I took a blank piece of paper and wrote out each note and then beside it wrote the count. When I'm having trouble with my counting in a score, I will write in one and two and three and four and.. below each note and go over it very very slowly till it starts to make sense.




My teacher tries to get me playing one hand and counting whilst he plays the other and I still can't get the timing right. I just can't do it.



Quote:
We can both do this no matter our disability!


You yes!
_________________________
"Music is the one incorporeal entrance into the higher world of knowledge which comprehends mankind but which mankind cannot comprehend."

"He who divines the secret of my music is delivered from the misery that haunts the world."


Ludwig Van Beethoven

Top
#1974766 - 10/17/12 06:09 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
BeccaBb Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/11
Posts: 905
Loc: Thunder Bay, On Canada
Omg I could not manage me playing and counting while someone else played the other hand!

I speed up or slow down all the time. I just refuse to give up. I refuse to consider that notes are fractions (shudders at the thought.)

I still think you can find a way to do it. If I can, you can. smile However maybe you just need a break from it and come back at it later. Experiment with it on your own and try to find a simple way of doing it.

Don't give up, maybe just put it aside for now. smile
_________________________
Becca
Began: 01-12-11


Floundering and Lost
Roland RD300NX

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#1974801 - 10/17/12 06:52 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: BeccaBb]
EdwardianPiano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/29/11
Posts: 753
Loc: Liverpool, England
Originally Posted By: BeccaBb
Omg I could not manage me playing and counting while someone else played the other hand!

I speed up or slow down all the time. I just refuse to give up. I refuse to consider that notes are fractions (shudders at the thought.)

I still think you can find a way to do it. If I can, you can. smile However maybe you just need a break from it and come back at it later. Experiment with it on your own and try to find a simple way of doing it.

Don't give up, maybe just put it aside for now. smile



I think I got it right some of the time but more misses than hits. It was helpful in that I could see how wrong I am with timing-anyway that sheet music was taken away by the recycling bin men! laugh

I'd rather not bother with it anymore to be honest and just do the chords, play by ear and make up my own tunes.

Plonking at sheets stifles my natural connection with my Piano.

Maybe in 3 years' time I can try beats again but I doubt I'll ever be able to do it- playing Classical music best left to those good sight readers and for me to listen to it and imagine myself doing it- nice day dreams..


Edited by EdwardianPiano (10/17/12 06:53 PM)
_________________________
"Music is the one incorporeal entrance into the higher world of knowledge which comprehends mankind but which mankind cannot comprehend."

"He who divines the secret of my music is delivered from the misery that haunts the world."


Ludwig Van Beethoven

Top
#1974992 - 10/18/12 02:57 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
casinitaly Offline


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 5256
Loc: Italy
Well, I find this tangent of maths very interesting.
I always had trouble with math - from about 10yrs on - almost failed it in grade nine, got out of taking it as soon as I could (grade 12). In later years I was actually a mathophobe. I'd never work out any calculation in front of anyone. To a certain point I've been able to get over my horrors of math, but it never has and never will be my best subject. I don't mean to compare myself to someone with problems such as dyslexia, but my fear and embarrassment were pretty intense and I often found myself in very uncomfortable situations because I became mentally paralyzed if asked to calculate anything at all.

Math and music go hand in hand, true.......and yet I rarely had (or have) problems with the beats in a bar. I may physically have a coordination issue that hinders me with some things, but mentally it doesn't really matter too much what the notes are, I can figure that out. I am not tooting my horn here, I'm thinking about the idea that despite the connections, I really do not think of music in a mathmatical way. I don't count, in general. Sure, sometimes when I come to a tricky part - especially if there is some syncopation between left and right hand) I have to tap it out and check the beats, but overall - no.

So I wonder about this. Is it because I played for five years in high school in the band? Were the note values simply engraved in my brain at that time, in such a way that I never really considered them as fractions? Was it because I worked in that group and even when I couldn't keep up, I could read the music and hear what the others were doing?

I really don't think I'm especially talented or clever, and I suspect that most people get to a point where they don't count much.

I also suspect that for those who have no musical experience it takes longer.

The comparison between reading music and reading text is an interesting one. My teacher told me to expect at least 2 years before I started reading music fluidly. She was right --- and I had years of experience reading treble clef --- all that was new to me was adding in the bass cleff (yes, "just that" lol!)

Edward, I too was reading pretty heavy duty texts at an early age, but with the band, I was also reading pretty complicated music within 4 years too.

In some ways reading text is harder than reading music --- in English at least.
Think about it ..... when you see a note, the value of the note is what it is. At the most, you have to remember the key signature to make it sharp or flat. If there are changes mid-stream,they are flagged with a symbol.

Reading English, you have to read not just a word, but the words around it to get the context so that you know what the word is.
If I write "He was a mean man." Your first thought is he was cruel. If I then right "He wouldn't give a penny to a beggar" then you might think "miserly" rather than "cruel". Or if you see the word LIVE.... is it live=he lives here, or live= live music? Or how about "I read the book" Is it the past pronounced "red" or present pronounced "reed"? There is a huge amount of interpretating going on as we read text, to which we are, for the most part, oblivious.

I'm not sure how old most of the contributors here are, or how long everyone has been playing. For some it is a matter of months experience, over the age of 45. or 50, or 60, or even 70!

I think (again, with the caveat "in general") the older you are the more challenging it is to get started on piano.

For those who really have difficulty sorting out the value of the notes, what about trying to read your scores while listening to the pieces being played?
This would work for your own pieces (so many can be found on youtube!) --- or for more sophisticated classical ensemble pieces. It is pretty easy to get musical scores from the internet and just sit and listen, and read. Maybe that could be an extra training idea?

I can only imagine how frustrating it is to struggle with this part of learning your music. I truly don't remember going through this phase.

I wish I had some perfect solution tips to offer, but I don't. What I can repeat is that no matter how great you might be at maths (or not)..... there is still a long period of time before you can get your hands to act out what your brain understands.

As adult learners we are really guilty of expecting too much too soon. We are impatient with ourselves. We are the proverbial "terrible twos" in a musical context. Like the two-year old child, we see what has to be done, we feel we should be able to do it, and we become very frustrated when we can't.

One thing I can offer is that for sight reading practice, choose pieces that are below your current level, and don't feel you have to play them quickly.

Above all, we have to practice patience and being kind to ourselves. We have to take satisfaction in every baby step, no matter how small it may seem to someone else.

That's what this thread is for - for keeping us focused on our progress, even if we feel we're moving at a snail's pace ---we are moving forward.

Some of us are or were teachers --- we know the theory that a student learns, then hits a plateau, seems to freeze up and not make any more progress for a bit. Well, this time is needed for assimilating all that has been learned - once that process is complete, a new cycle can begin.
I often ask myself why we don't recognize what is happening with ourselves.

Well.

That was quite a ramble. I hope I didn't bore you.
_________________________
XVIII-XXXV
Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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#1974993 - 10/18/12 03:07 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
FarmGirl Online   content

Silver Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 09/14/10
Posts: 2023
Loc: Scottsdale, AZ
Not so much achievement to speak of. I have been working about 12 hours a day lately, so I'm very sleepy. I practiced while nodding here and there. I am working so hard to prepare for my business trip. I enjoy playing the piece from the songs without words. My head dropped & almost hit the keys while playing it.
_________________________
Solo - Rachmaninoff Elegie Op 3 #1, Schumann Op 12 Warum and Grillen and Mozart K 475 Fantasy C minor
Collaboration - Concerto in C for Oboe and orchestra attributed to Haydn edited by Evelyn Rosewell


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#1975131 - 10/18/12 11:45 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
BeccaBb Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/11
Posts: 905
Loc: Thunder Bay, On Canada
Wow Farmgirl, that sounds like a tough week. Kudos to you for still playing!

Cas, it just goes to show that math problems are widespread! wink It's good to hear that it will eventually all snap into place. Value of notes are no longer an issue for me (writing them out really helped) but making sure I have the correct rhythm, ha!

If it is anything like learning to read, I'll be golden. smile Once I figured it out I devoured books. smile
_________________________
Becca
Began: 01-12-11


Floundering and Lost
Roland RD300NX

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#1975216 - 10/18/12 01:57 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
JimF Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/08/09
Posts: 1814
Loc: south florida
Edward and Cheryl,

Quote:
[Edward]Reading is easier than reading music and I was reading quite well by the age of 5! I was reading Victorian novels at around age 12 ( such as the Brontes).


and

Quote:
Casinitaly:The comparison between reading music and reading text is an interesting one. My teacher told me to expect at least 2 years before I started reading music fluidly. She was right --- and I had years of experience reading treble clef --- all that was new to me was adding in the bass cleff (yes, "just that" lol!)

Edward, I too was reading pretty heavy duty texts at an early age, but with the band, I was also reading pretty complicated music within 4 years too.


The point on comparing how we learn reading (english) to reading
(music) that I was trying to make is that before we even begin learning to read we have to learn to speak. It takes an infant years just to get to the point where she can formulate words and sentences well enough to begin learning to read. I believe the beginning years of trying to learn to play an instrument are analagous....though obviously we are also simultaneously trying to learn to read music. As you say, Cheryl, there is a lot we decipher automatically in reading...and I think much of that we develop in "studying" how to speak and understand the language in those early childhood years. Anyways, my point was it seems to take a human infant four or five years (at best) to go from goo-goo, gaaa-gaaa to being able to read and speak somewhat fluently. I don't see why I should be able to pick up a first instrument (piano) at 56 and expect to be fluent before 60 or 61 (at best). And math doesn't enter in to it in any way at all.

BWDIK, I can't even play any of my pieces at lesson. Arrrrrgggh. cursing Definitely feeling quite goo goo gaa gaa - ish these days.






Edited by JimF (10/18/12 01:59 PM)
_________________________
Nessun dorma - G.Puccini
Solfeggietto - CPE Bach
La Fille aux cheveux de lin-Debussy



Estonia L190 #7284





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#1975253 - 10/18/12 03:20 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: JimF]
casinitaly Offline


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 5256
Loc: Italy
Originally Posted By: JimF
Edward and Cheryl,

Quote:
[Edward]Reading is easier than reading music and I was reading quite well by the age of 5! I was reading Victorian novels at around age 12 ( such as the Brontes).


and

Quote:
Casinitaly:The comparison between reading music and reading text is an interesting one. My teacher told me to expect at least 2 years before I started reading music fluidly. She was right --- and I had years of experience reading treble clef --- all that was new to me was adding in the bass cleff (yes, "just that" lol!)

Edward, I too was reading pretty heavy duty texts at an early age, but with the band, I was also reading pretty complicated music within 4 years too.


The point on comparing how we learn reading (english) to reading
(music) that I was trying to make is that before we even begin learning to read we have to learn to speak. It takes an infant years just to get to the point where she can formulate words and sentences well enough to begin learning to read. I believe the beginning years of trying to learn to play an instrument are analagous....though obviously we are also simultaneously trying to learn to read music. As you say, Cheryl, there is a lot we decipher automatically in reading...and I think much of that we develop in "studying" how to speak and understand the language in those early childhood years. Anyways, my point was it seems to take a human infant four or five years (at best) to go from goo-goo, gaaa-gaaa to being able to read and speak somewhat fluently. I don't see why I should be able to pick up a first instrument (piano) at 56 and expect to be fluent before 60 or 61 (at best). And math doesn't enter in to it in any way at all.

BWDIK, I can't even play any of my pieces at lesson. Arrrrrgggh. cursing Definitely feeling quite goo goo gaa gaa - ish these days.


I agree with you Jim - I don't think we should expect to be able to play /read music fluently in just a few years ... and yet let's confess, we all think we should be doing better than we are doing. (Hence the Terrible Twos analogy!)

Your point about going from zero to competent in language/reading skills is a good one - I'm sorry I didn't quite get your meaning when I made my previous reply.

I think I'm glad to see that you think math doesn't come into it -because though I'm not great in math, (and not a brilliant musician) I've never thought of music as being a mathmatical exercise. Sure we have notes which are fractions of other notes, but my brain doesn't look at them that way.
In my previous post I was perhaps not articulate enough in expressing that I was wondering about that connection - does it exist for most people or not? I feel not, for myself, and you don't feel it. Edward does.
Do, in fact, a large number of people feel that their math abilities are reflected in their piano efforts? Or is there a large number who feel strongly that there is no correlation.

Maybe Edward - maybe you've sort of "set yourself up" to feel that the math problem carries over into piano? I don't mean to downplay your frustration - but I wonder if you are working with a self-fulfilling prophesy here? "I'm not good at math, notes are fractions of each other, I'm going to have trouble with them."

I'm going to draw another parallel idea here....
a lot of my students crave grammar rules. They feel a deep need to know all the grammar rules, all the exceptions, to analyze structures and make schematics.....other students tend to want an explanation and then they want to play with the concept, to run with the idea, to put it into practice.

As a student of Italian, I'm in the second category. As a teacher of English, I'm more comfortable with teaching the second type of student. I find that those who need such indepth structure and crave the analysis are generally building up road blocks for themselves - they end up not being able to speak because they're too focused on the rules and too afraid of making mistakes.

Is it possible that this sort of over-analysis is the root of the frustration rather than a math issue?

And while I'm doing so much wondering --- I wonder too, if this could be an interesting thread on its own? As much as we love this thread, not everyone stops to read it and this topic might have a wide appeal

p.s. I had to look up BWDIK lol!!!!


Edited by casinitaly (10/18/12 03:20 PM)
_________________________
XVIII-XXXV
Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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#1975444 - 10/18/12 10:49 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
PaperClip Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/21/09
Posts: 522
Loc: Amsterdam, Holland
Hi all,

Last two weeks I didn't practise much, because I had two problems.

First I almost accidently cut my fingertop off with a knive. Well, it went half way through. It has to heal first. The finger gets a rough time at work, but the wound is quite nice now.

Secondly I had some problems with my body clocks. Sleepy, tired and no hunger when coming home from work. Hunger late at night. Awake when bedtime. Very bad sleeping. Not awake in the morning before second cup of coffee. And no concentration overall.

Eating and drinking in a 12 hour period at daytime helps setting my digesting clock to my biological one. I have more energy and concentration for playing piano in the evening and I sleep better now.

I'm very happy, because when my internal clocks are ticking right, it's such a difference in enjoying practise.



_________________________
Chris

Playing since May 02 2009

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#1975470 - 10/19/12 12:06 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: PaperClip]
MaryBee Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/09
Posts: 1228
Loc: Cleveland, OH
Yikes! That had to have been scary with your finger, Chris. Glad to hear things are getting better.
_________________________
Mary Bee
Current mantra: Play outside the box.
XVI-XXXVI

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#1975471 - 10/19/12 12:08 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: ZoeCalgary]
MaryBee Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/09
Posts: 1228
Loc: Cleveland, OH
Zoe, that sounds exciting to be starting with a new teacher. Let us know how it goes.
_________________________
Mary Bee
Current mantra: Play outside the box.
XVI-XXXVI

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#1975488 - 10/19/12 01:10 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
MaryBee Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/09
Posts: 1228
Loc: Cleveland, OH
Originally Posted By: casinitaly
I think I'm glad to see that you think math doesn't come into it -because though I'm not great in math, (and not a brilliant musician) I've never thought of music as being a mathmatical exercise. Sure we have notes which are fractions of other notes, but my brain doesn't look at them that way.
In my previous post I was perhaps not articulate enough in expressing that I was wondering about that connection - does it exist for most people or not? I feel not, for myself, and you don't feel it. Edward does.
Do, in fact, a large number of people feel that their math abilities are reflected in their piano efforts? Or is there a large number who feel strongly that there is no correlation.
I don't think that I look at note lengths as fractions. For example, in a measure with 3/4 time, which might have [sixteenth-note, sixteenth, eighth, quarter, quarter, eighth, eighth] I wouldn't think [1/16, 1/16, 1/8, 1/4, 1/4, 1/8, 1/8]. Rather, I would just count [(1) (e) (&a) (2e&a) (3e&a) (4e) (&a)].

Edwardian, maybe your could try not even thinking about fractions. Just think about each type of note as how many syllables you count for each it.

Another approach that I use for difficult rhythms, is that I like to visualize where they fall in time. So I might draw out a timeline of a measure, and sketch out where notes come in, and how long they last.

Here's an example from a Haydn piece in 3/4 time that I was working on last year. This shows four measures from the piece. Each row is one measure, with RH rhythm on top and LH on the bottom. X represents a rest, a dot is the start of a note, and the line indicates how long to hold it. Probably doesn't make sense to anyone except me, but maybe you get the general idea.
_________________________
Mary Bee
Current mantra: Play outside the box.
XVI-XXXVI

Top
#1975672 - 10/19/12 11:53 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
casinitaly Offline


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 5256
Loc: Italy
MaryBee - Your sketch is brilliant. I don't know the piece, but I see what you are getting at.

I think it would take a long time to work this out - but as you do it, you really "set" what is going on into your brain cells.

At the moment I haven't anything complicated enough to warrant using this technique, but I can see that I might borrow your strategy sometime in the future!

Thanks for sharing this!
_________________________
XVIII-XXXV
Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

Top
#1975743 - 10/19/12 02:09 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
EdwardianPiano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/29/11
Posts: 753
Loc: Liverpool, England
Quote:
I became mentally paralyzed if asked to calculate anything at all.



Oh yes, know that one- that is my problem.



Quote:
Math and music go hand in hand, true.......and yet I rarely had (or have) problems with the beats in a bar....

So I wonder about this. Is it because I played for five years in high school in the band? Were the note values simply engraved in my brain at that time, in such a way that I never really considered them as fractions? Was it because I worked in that group and even when I couldn't keep up, I could read the music and hear what the others were doing?


It could well be Cas. I think a penny might have dropped for me just before. Had my lesson this afternoon and my violin playing friend came over after for awhile and I was discussing beats and my probs etc and she and I were talking about pop being much easier music than pop and she mentioned drums...could it be cos there are no drums banging out a beat in Classical it makes it harder? I mean think of a Chopin Ballade compared with playing Imagine!! I have nothing to help me play along a beat with piano music do I? Even the simpllified versions.





Quote:
Edward, I too was reading pretty heavy duty texts at an early age, but with the band, I was also reading pretty complicated music within 4 years too.



Must be cos you started as a child then.


In some ways reading text is harder than reading music --- in English at least.
Think about it ..... when you see a note, the value of the note is what it is. At the most, you have to remember the key signature to make it sharp or flat. If there are changes mid-stream,they are flagged with a symbol.

Quote:
Reading English, you have to read not just a word, but the words around it to get the context so that you know what the word is.
If I write "He was a mean man." Your first thought is he was cruel. If I then right "He wouldn't give a penny to a beggar" then you might think "miserly" rather than "cruel". Or if you see the word LIVE.... is it live=he lives here, or live= live music? Or how about "I read the book" Is it the past pronounced "red" or present pronounced "reed"? There is a huge amount of interpretating going on as we read text, to which we are, for the most part, oblivious.




I see what you mean but reading a text is still easy peasy for me. Even if we are just reading the word red and not adding any meaning to it it is easier than working out a note - it's name and value on a stave.



Quote:
For those who really have difficulty sorting out the value of the notes, what about trying to read your scores while listening to the pieces being played?
This would work for your own pieces (so many can be found on youtube!) --- or for more sophisticated classical ensemble pieces. It is pretty easy to get musical scores from the internet and just sit and listen, and read. Maybe that could be an extra training idea?



A good idea- I've done that for pop music and looking at chords.


Quote:
I can only imagine how frustrating it is to struggle with this part of learning your music. I truly don't remember going through this phase.



Maybe children don't struggle with it then?

Thanks for the encouragement with the rest of the post!
_________________________
"Music is the one incorporeal entrance into the higher world of knowledge which comprehends mankind but which mankind cannot comprehend."

"He who divines the secret of my music is delivered from the misery that haunts the world."


Ludwig Van Beethoven

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#1975745 - 10/19/12 02:12 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: JimF]
EdwardianPiano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/29/11
Posts: 753
Loc: Liverpool, England

Quote:
The point on comparing how we learn reading (english) to reading
(music) that I was trying to make is that before we even begin learning to read we have to learn to speak. It takes an infant years just to get to the point where she can formulate words and sentences well enough to begin learning to read. I believe the beginning years of trying to learn to play an instrument are analagous....though obviously we are also simultaneously trying to learn to read music. As you say, Cheryl, there is a lot we decipher automatically in reading...and I think much of that we develop in "studying" how to speak and understand the language in those early childhood years. Anyways, my point was it seems to take a human infant four or five years (at best) to go from goo-goo, gaaa-gaaa to being able to read and speak somewhat fluently. I don't see why I should be able to pick up a first instrument (piano) at 56 and expect to be fluent before 60 or 61 (at best). And math doesn't enter in to it in any way at all.

BWDIK, I can't even play any of my pieces at lesson. Arrrrrgggh. cursing Definitely feeling quite goo goo gaa gaa - ish these days.


Thanks Jim- I am for sure goo goo on Piano!!
_________________________
"Music is the one incorporeal entrance into the higher world of knowledge which comprehends mankind but which mankind cannot comprehend."

"He who divines the secret of my music is delivered from the misery that haunts the world."


Ludwig Van Beethoven

Top
#1975752 - 10/19/12 02:26 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
EdwardianPiano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/29/11
Posts: 753
Loc: Liverpool, England
Quote:
Maybe Edward - maybe you've sort of "set yourself up" to feel that the math problem carries over into piano? I don't mean to downplay your frustration - but I wonder if you are working with a self-fulfilling prophesy here? "I'm not good at math, notes are fractions of each other, I'm going to have trouble with them."



No because I found it mathematical from the start- timing, beats, note values- no getting away from it! Anyway told my teacher again today about my maths problem and said I wanted to do chords more- I was working on chords when he arrived so we did chords and scales mostly today- was very helpful- can play some of Imagine now. I am not getting off the hook with note reading though as he gave me more pages from Alfred's to work through- it's still the simple enough stuff for now. He didn't seem to mind the Brahms was taken by the recycling bin men LOL.




Quote:
I'm going to draw another parallel idea here....
a lot of my students crave grammar rules. They feel a deep need to know all the grammar rules, all the exceptions, to analyze structures and make schematics.....other students tend to want an explanation and then they want to play with the concept, to run with the idea, to put it into practice.

As a student of Italian, I'm in the second category. As a teacher of English, I'm more comfortable with teaching the second type of student. I find that those who need such indepth structure and crave the analysis are generally building up road blocks for themselves - they end up not being able to speak because they're too focused on the rules and too afraid of making mistakes.

Is it possible that this sort of over-analysis is the root of the frustration rather than a math issue?



I follow what you are saying because I too am an EFL teacher and some students I taught liked the rules etc- I did used to explain the rules anyway. No, I'm not too analytical with music except working out chords, key signatures etc- cos one must understand that. I just don't understand how long a beat is supposed to last- one second ten seconds? I cannot relate one note to another cos I don't understand how long they should be played for. I know a crotchet is one beat, a minim, two beats, semi breve three beats etc- but how long is a
beat???
You get me? I do not get this.


Quote:
And while I'm doing so much wondering --- I wonder too, if this could be an interesting thread on its own? As much as we love this thread, not everyone stops to read it and this topic might have a wide appeal



Certainly- maybe the thread mod can make it into an other thread.



Quote:
p.s. I had to look up BWDIK lol!!!!


The acroynm is lost on me too!


Edited by EdwardianPiano (10/19/12 02:28 PM)
_________________________
"Music is the one incorporeal entrance into the higher world of knowledge which comprehends mankind but which mankind cannot comprehend."

"He who divines the secret of my music is delivered from the misery that haunts the world."


Ludwig Van Beethoven

Top
#1975755 - 10/19/12 02:30 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: PaperClip]
EdwardianPiano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/29/11
Posts: 753
Loc: Liverpool, England
Originally Posted By: PaperClip
Hi all,

Last two weeks I didn't practise much, because I had two problems.

First I almost accidently cut my fingertop off with a knive. Well, it went half way through. It has to heal first. The finger gets a rough time at work, but the wound is quite nice now.

Secondly I had some problems with my body clocks. Sleepy, tired and no hunger when coming home from work. Hunger late at night. Awake when bedtime. Very bad sleeping. Not awake in the morning before second cup of coffee. And no concentration overall.

Eating and drinking in a 12 hour period at daytime helps setting my digesting clock to my biological one. I have more energy and concentration for playing piano in the evening and I sleep better now.

I'm very happy, because when my internal clocks are ticking right, it's such a difference in enjoying practise.





I wish your finger speedy healing Chris- do you work shifts?
_________________________
"Music is the one incorporeal entrance into the higher world of knowledge which comprehends mankind but which mankind cannot comprehend."

"He who divines the secret of my music is delivered from the misery that haunts the world."


Ludwig Van Beethoven

Top
#1975757 - 10/19/12 02:31 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: MaryBee]
EdwardianPiano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/29/11
Posts: 753
Loc: Liverpool, England
Originally Posted By: MaryBee
Originally Posted By: casinitaly
I think I'm glad to see that you think math doesn't come into it -because though I'm not great in math, (and not a brilliant musician) I've never thought of music as being a mathmatical exercise. Sure we have notes which are fractions of other notes, but my brain doesn't look at them that way.
In my previous post I was perhaps not articulate enough in expressing that I was wondering about that connection - does it exist for most people or not? I feel not, for myself, and you don't feel it. Edward does.
Do, in fact, a large number of people feel that their math abilities are reflected in their piano efforts? Or is there a large number who feel strongly that there is no correlation.
I don't think that I look at note lengths as fractions. For example, in a measure with 3/4 time, which might have [sixteenth-note, sixteenth, eighth, quarter, quarter, eighth, eighth] I wouldn't think [1/16, 1/16, 1/8, 1/4, 1/4, 1/8, 1/8]. Rather, I would just count [(1) (e) (&a) (2e&a) (3e&a) (4e) (&a)].

Edwardian, maybe your could try not even thinking about fractions. Just think about each type of note as how many syllables you count for each it.

Another approach that I use for difficult rhythms, is that I like to visualize where they fall in time. So I might draw out a timeline of a measure, and sketch out where notes come in, and how long they last.

Here's an example from a Haydn piece in 3/4 time that I was working on last year. This shows four measures from the piece. Each row is one measure, with RH rhythm on top and LH on the bottom. X represents a rest, a dot is the start of a note, and the line indicates how long to hold it. Probably doesn't make sense to anyone except me, but maybe you get the general idea.



That sketch is very good- makes sense to me that does!
_________________________
"Music is the one incorporeal entrance into the higher world of knowledge which comprehends mankind but which mankind cannot comprehend."

"He who divines the secret of my music is delivered from the misery that haunts the world."


Ludwig Van Beethoven

Top
#1975758 - 10/19/12 02:33 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
Toastie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/10/12
Posts: 210
Loc: UK
TOMORROW!!!!!!!!!!!!

TOMORROW is when I go to buy my piano!!!!!!!!!!!!

I can barely stay still
_________________________
Complete Beginner August 2012
'Play Piano' Book 1 - finished
'Play Piano' Book 2 - finished
Grade 1 Sight Reading - finished
Grade 1 Exam Pieces
Grade 1 Scales
The Easy Piano Collection Classical Gold
Yamaha U3

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#1975763 - 10/19/12 02:41 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Toastie]
Toastie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/10/12
Posts: 210
Loc: UK
*sitting on hands*

*dancing around a bit*

*trying to read a book*

*trying to practice on keyboard*

*pacing the floor*

*laughing like a maniac*

*trying not to cry*

*sitting on hands*

Someone distract me please. So sick with excitement I can't even think straight.
_________________________
Complete Beginner August 2012
'Play Piano' Book 1 - finished
'Play Piano' Book 2 - finished
Grade 1 Sight Reading - finished
Grade 1 Exam Pieces
Grade 1 Scales
The Easy Piano Collection Classical Gold
Yamaha U3

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#1975768 - 10/19/12 02:47 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
Toastie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/10/12
Posts: 210
Loc: UK
Mad woman here again! This time tomorrow I will have bought one. And it will be mine. *faint*

Just need to chatter mindlessly somewhere sorry as I'm not making any sense to anyone else. I can't really have a sensible conversation right now. Boyfriend tried to tell me something serious about work and I stood there smiling and staring.

Clearly I need to be locked up.

TOMORROW! Piano!!!!!! Of my own!!!
_________________________
Complete Beginner August 2012
'Play Piano' Book 1 - finished
'Play Piano' Book 2 - finished
Grade 1 Sight Reading - finished
Grade 1 Exam Pieces
Grade 1 Scales
The Easy Piano Collection Classical Gold
Yamaha U3

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