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#1941624 - 08/12/12 08:18 PM Re: Beethoven Moonlight Sonata, third movement [Re: EdwardianPiano]
Para Otras Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/28/12
Posts: 309
That's the beauty of the American education system. One can learn the piano later in life and still be able to attend a university for music. It just depends on their drive. Most people here, however, do start when they are much younger.

There are very few music terminology name differences. I'd advise you to learn both the UK and the US names. I'm not particularly familiar with any methods that come out of the UK, so I cannot comment on what you have or what you can use. However, as long as they fit into the categories above, you will be fine.

It doesn't have to be 2 hours. That was just an example. It all depends on how much time you want to spend on this. It can also include whatever you are inclined to learn. This is just a very 'standard' ratio.

I am not familiar with that online course. However, anyone who says "I can't read music because I'm not adept at it and am better with my ear" is full of it. Sorry, but it is true. Anyone can learn to read music and it really is not that difficult. However, it will greatly improve your abilities. Timing is more a factor of your internal rhythm than dyscalculia (my son actually has this and dyslexia - I know it shouldn't affect your ability to count for music). If numbers do confuse you, use words instead.

That doesn't mean you shouldn't improvise however. You definitely should. It will help you in many ways. Learning to read notes doesn't stop this. You also need to learn chords, yes, but the reality of it is more theory + keyboard topography. You want to know the geography of the keyboard perfectly and 'see' the chords and scales and intervals and much more. This takes time. Just keep at it smile

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#1941647 - 08/12/12 09:01 PM Re: Beethoven Moonlight Sonata, third movement [Re: Para Otras]
EdwardianPiano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/29/11
Posts: 752
Loc: Liverpool, England
Quote:
That's the beauty of the American education system. One can learn the piano later in life and still be able to attend a university for music. It just depends on their drive. Most people here, however, do start when they are much younger.



Most who attend university to do a music degree here too would have started playing as a child also, but then a 40 year old adult who had achieved grade 8 may also apply for a bachelor's degree in music too- in fact any age could as long as the fees could be paid... ( that's another issue). Probably not many adults over 30 doing music degrees though.


Quote:
There are very few music terminology name differences. I'd advise you to learn both the UK and the US names. I'm not particularly familiar with any methods that come out of the UK, so I cannot comment on what you have or what you can use. However, as long as they fit into the categories above, you will be fine.



I don't know what the differences all are- the finger names are different though.



Quote:
It doesn't have to be 2 hours. That was just an example. It all depends on how much time you want to spend on this. It can also include whatever you are inclined to learn. This is just a very 'standard' ratio.



Considering the banging going on next door at the wee small hours right now I might want to make a racket on the piano for 2 hours! ha



Quote:
I am not familiar with that online course. However, anyone who says "I can't read music because I'm not adept at it and am better with my ear" is full of it. Sorry, but it is true. Anyone can learn to read music and it really is not that difficult. However, it will greatly improve your abilities. Timing is more a factor of your internal rhythm than dyscalculia (my son actually has this and dyslexia - I know it shouldn't affect your ability to count for music). If numbers do confuse you, use words instead.



I think maybe there is a more positive approach or belief in music teachers over the Atlantic- what I have been told here is that adults are in general poor music learners than children and youths, that not everyone has musical ability, some folks will always struggle with sight reading etc. One teacher told me he can tell in a few minutes of meeting a new student (especially an adult) if they have ability or not. He also said adults tend to be unable to count! bah
I always lose my place when sight reading and usually play music I already know cos when I play something I don't (when I had a teacher) I always got the timing and beat values totally wrong. I still don't understand them- beats..I mean how do you know how long a beat is..one second..two..three??..never could understand that.
I know a few people who play instruments by ear including piano and said they just couldn't learn reading music ( tried and tried) but play really well- some listen to music then play it by ear and make their own arrangements of it. I think perhaps the two are different skills?

Quote:
That doesn't mean you shouldn't improvise however. You definitely should. It will help you in many ways. Learning to read notes doesn't stop this. You also need to learn chords, yes, but the reality of it is more theory + keyboard topography. You want to know the geography of the keyboard perfectly and 'see' the chords and scales and intervals and much more. This takes time. Just keep at it smile



I do keep on with sight reading but it is so stilted and clusmy, but when I play my own stuff it feels and is a totally different experience- it is creative, flowing and feels freer.
_________________________
"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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#1944802 - 08/18/12 12:30 AM Re: Beethoven Moonlight Sonata, third movement [Re: KeemaNan]
Derulux Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5067
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: KeemaNan
I've always thought of this piece as belonging to the super-difficult, virtuoso repertoire. It sounds fiendishly difficult, and incredibly impressive. I've often seen it cited here as a piece that people dream of being able to play one day. I well remember a few years ago, browsing the sheet music in my favourite music shop when somebody trying out a piano hammered out a flawless, barnstorming, performance of it that left me absolutely stunned (and with a severely reduced appetite for the early-intermediate fare I was browsing in the search for something new to play).

Back in the same shop today, I picked up the latest edition of Pianist, and noticed that this movement is included in the score section. I was almost as stunned as I was on that day years ago to see that the piece is marked 'Intermediate/Advanced' (NOT 'Advanced') ! I quote from the comments at the top of
the score - "Don't be put off by the presto tempo... if you practice it carefully, building up the tempo ever so slowly, you will reach a lively tempo in no time.".

Could this really be an 'Intermediate/Advanced' piece, and hence accessible to ordinary mortals in general and Adult Beginners in particular ? I'd love to read any thoughts on this, especially if you've had a go at playing it.



Hello there. I created quite a stir when I first joined this forum 7 years ago in another thread of similar question. In it, I believe I suggested that it was possible to learn this piece within a few days. I stand by that statement then as I do now (and at the time, was asked to prove it, which I did).

Many pieces sound extremely daunting, but in practice, are not so nasty as they sound. This movement, I believe, belongs in that category. There is one major technique to the entire piece (arpeggiated chords). It repeats throughout the piece, and once it is learned, there are few other difficulties to master provided the person attempting it has a good foundation to begin with.

That said, I would not approach this piece as a complete novice. It's fun, yes. But it's also a waste of time (which I did not understand until I was in my twenties). Don't spend six months trying to learn the notes and technique for the piece. Learn pieces you can get into your fingers in a week or two, build your technique and repertoire, and when it's the right time to touch the piece, pull it back out. (Spending six months on musicality, interpretation, and nuance is another thing entirely--I would argue one should never stop doing this even once they "know" a piece. Just don't spend that much time on learning the notes themselves.. not for this level piece.)
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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#1945169 - 08/18/12 06:49 PM Re: Beethoven Moonlight Sonata, third movement [Re: KeemaNan]
TheCorecase Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/24/11
Posts: 9
I just saw this post, I didn't read any of the previous replies -- I don't where the conversations were headed, but I'd like to add my own opinion here. grin

Moonlight Sonata's Third Movement is definitely a difficult and impressive piece; however, the reason why it's ranked intermediate/advanced is because it does not have extreme technicalities i.e trills, leaps, etc.. It is mostly composed of large chords, arpeggios, and it has a key change (which is probably the most annoying part to learn in this piece).

If you'd like to hear what an advanced/professional level piece is like, check these out:

Liszt, La Campanella: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MD6xMyuZls0

Liszt, Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7H99FM6S8rU

Chopin, Heroic Polonaise: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fW0Y3M4EJ4M

These are just a few examples. smile
However, Moonlight Sonata 3rd Mov, is a beautiful and quite difficult piece, as well.

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#1945688 - 08/19/12 06:17 PM Re: Beethoven Moonlight Sonata, third movement [Re: KeemaNan]
EdwardianPiano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/29/11
Posts: 752
Loc: Liverpool, England
The Heroic Polonaise= awesome!
_________________________
"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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#1946081 - 08/20/12 11:46 AM Re: Beethoven Moonlight Sonata, third movement [Re: KeemaNan]
Bentissimo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/17/12
Posts: 31
Loc: Illinois, USA
I've been playing for all of 9 months, so I might get disregarded here. I can't believe the negativity with respect to saying people will not be able to reach such and such a level or play this piece because they started playing piano at age X. Who says?? I believe you can play any piece you want if you are willing to take the time to learn it.

When I come across a difficult piece, I think to myself, "I wonder when I will be able to play something like that or with that degree of expression and skill." I don't think to myself, "well shucks, I'm old and guess I'll never be able to play that." How depressing! Have a little faith and don't limit yourself.

Feel free to explain to me why I'm a starry-eyed newbie pianist who doesn't understand the technical reasons behind all this talk of limits. I don't care smile I'm going to keep playing and enjoy the ride. I don't see any limit to where any of us can go if we want it.
_________________________
"Today you are the perfect age to chase your dream." - Jon Acuff

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#1946368 - 08/20/12 07:04 PM Re: Beethoven Moonlight Sonata, third movement [Re: Bentissimo]
EdwardianPiano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/29/11
Posts: 752
Loc: Liverpool, England
Quote:
I've been playing for all of 9 months, so I might get disregarded here. I can't believe the negativity with respect to saying people will not be able to reach such and such a level or play this piece because they started playing piano at age X. Who says?? I believe you can play any piece you want if you are willing to take the time to learn it.



Bravo! I agree- self belief will take one far. However, piano teachers and certain articles I have read ( no one on this wonderful forum I hasten to add)have told me adults are slower learners and children faster and that adults have clumsy hands in general. In my case clumsy hands seems to be true. Today I was out in town and they had a piano in the street free to play. A young man in his late 20s (who was grade 8) was playing. He played Moonlight for me and people clapped him after. A boy who looked to be about 12 came along- a lovely sweet lad who has an electronic piano. He sat and played Adele's "Someone Like You" perfectly with very nimble hands and correct fingering- all self taught- fingering and learnt by ear! He has just started having theory and sight reading lessons. He is already way beyond me. I don't know if it is my age or maybe he plays more reguarly than I do.



Quote:
When I come across a difficult piece, I think to myself, "I wonder when I will be able to play something like that or with that degree of expression and skill." I don't think to myself, "well shucks, I'm old and guess I'll never be able to play that." How depressing! Have a little faith and don't limit yourself.


Again, I admire your belief in yourself. I do tend to think I will never be able to do that, thinking I must be "realistic" as I middle aged with small stubby clumsy hands- heck I still even type with two fingers!
The index ones LOL. I do excel at cooking soup though... grin


Quote:
Feel free to explain to me why I'm a starry-eyed newbie pianist who doesn't understand the technical reasons behind all this talk of limits. I don't care smile I'm going to keep playing and enjoy the ride. I don't see any limit to where any of us can go if we want it.



Go you! What are you learning at the moment?
_________________________
"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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#1946624 - 08/21/12 10:56 AM Re: Beethoven Moonlight Sonata, third movement [Re: KeemaNan]
sandalholme Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/31/09
Posts: 744
Loc: Dorset, UK
Whilst it is true in general that young people learn new skills more quickly than older people, clearly some older people will learn more quickly than some older people. It varies. Moreover, even if an older individual will learn more slowly than when s/he was younger, hey, who knows whether that person was originally a phenomenally fast learner?

My belief is that motivation and hard work takes people a long, long way. At the same time we all have our technical strengths and weaknesses. We all have some physical limitations. If we are, or become, wise, we will develop our repertoire as widely/deeply as we wish up to those limits. If we become convinced that there is a brick wall in some respect that try as we might we cannot break down, then the wise course is to quietly let go of pieces that contain that brick wall and enjoy all that music we can enjoy playing. But it should take a long time for that brick wall to convince us it's not going away.

I am not an adult beginner: I have been learning/playing the piano for 63 years. There are pieces I have no intention of even trying, but there are pieces, now, that I am progressing which a few years' ago I would have thought impossible for me. If we want to, we can learn new works at any age, we can explore composers new to us, so long as we remember how we are enjoying the journey, rather than dwelling on what we cannot yet do.

Not re the piano, but my wife - a similar age to me - started playing the 'cello about 4 years' ago. Later this year we and a violinist friend will perform a Haydn piano trio in front of friends. None of us is exceptional. It may not be very good on the night, who knows, but we have enjoyed learning and playing it together.

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#1947101 - 08/22/12 08:34 AM Re: Beethoven Moonlight Sonata, third movement [Re: sandalholme]
EdwardianPiano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/29/11
Posts: 752
Loc: Liverpool, England
I bet you are all good and your friends will love the evening. yippie
_________________________
"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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#1947219 - 08/22/12 12:59 PM Re: Beethoven Moonlight Sonata, third movement [Re: EdwardianPiano]
sandalholme Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/31/09
Posts: 744
Loc: Dorset, UK
Many thanks! grin

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#1947338 - 08/22/12 04:29 PM Re: Beethoven Moonlight Sonata, third movement [Re: EdwardianPiano]
Bentissimo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/17/12
Posts: 31
Loc: Illinois, USA
Originally Posted By: EdwardianPiano

I do tend to think I will never be able to do that, thinking I must be "realistic" as I middle aged with small stubby clumsy hands- heck I still even type with two fingers!


Funny you should mention the typing with two fingers thing. I have a friend who does the same thing but has incredible dexterity when it comes to painting miniature figures. He can paint super thin, controlled lines and create some really impressive effects, but put him at a computer and he looks like an angry monkey. I guess what I'm saying is that you can be dexterous at an activity regardless of typing technique. And personally I don't feel like my piano playing or typing has influenced the either all that much!

Quote:
Go you! What are you learning at the moment?


Well, nothing as impressive as I probably made myself sound, haha. My teacher has me working through a method book (Belwin book 5) and we just finished getting Moonlight Sonata 2nd movement up to a reasonable tempo and getting the connections to happen. Prior to that, it was the 1st movement (which is still far from perfect). I asked my teacher about starting the 3rd movement and he advised that we should wait a bit until I get some better abilities in terms of raw speed. So last week we started on a David Nevue (While the Trees Sleep).

Again, nothing all that impressive! And I probably came across pretty arrogant in my previous comment. I just think that human beings are truly incredible and usually only limited by our own resignations, not so much our age.
_________________________
"Today you are the perfect age to chase your dream." - Jon Acuff

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#1947401 - 08/22/12 06:32 PM Re: Beethoven Moonlight Sonata, third movement [Re: Bentissimo]
EdwardianPiano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/29/11
Posts: 752
Loc: Liverpool, England


Quote:
Funny you should mention the typing with two fingers thing. I have a friend who does the same thing but has incredible dexterity when it comes to painting miniature figures. He can paint super thin, controlled lines and create some really impressive effects, but put him at a computer and he looks like an angry monkey. I guess what I'm saying is that you can be dexterous at an activity regardless of typing technique. And personally I don't feel like my piano playing or typing has influenced the either all that much!




Your friend sounds very artistic. Funny, I type with just the two fingers yet managed a university dissertation typing like that and write some fiction. But creating music for me might be different- who knows! I can play relatively fast arpeggios but my fingers are definitely not in the right positions.



Quote:
Well, nothing as impressive as I probably made myself sound, haha. My teacher has me working through a method book (Belwin book 5) and we just finished getting Moonlight Sonata 2nd movement up to a reasonable tempo and getting the connections to happen. Prior to that, it was the 1st movement (which is still far from perfect). I asked my teacher about starting the 3rd movement and he advised that we should wait a bit until I get some better abilities in terms of raw speed. So last week we started on a David Nevue (While the Trees Sleep).



That is impressive for 8 months' learning.

Quote:
Again, nothing all that impressive! And I probably came across pretty arrogant in my previous comment. I just think that human beings are truly incredible and usually only limited by our own resignations, not so much our age.


No you didn't- you come across as dedicated and confident! smile
_________________________
"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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#2209587 - 01/06/14 05:34 PM Re: Beethoven Moonlight Sonata, third movement [Re: KeemaNan]
RiskEngineer Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/27/13
Posts: 2
Loc: Missouri
There is a great YouTube video by a guy who's channel is called "Bach Scholar." He plays the third movement at five different tempos. By playing it very slowly, he showed me how to make sense of it. Now it just seems hard and attainable instead of impossible and mysterious.

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#2209594 - 01/06/14 05:41 PM Re: Beethoven Moonlight Sonata, third movement [Re: KeemaNan]
Michael D Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/04/14
Posts: 29
Loc: Seattle, WA
Regarding the first movement, which took me about 6 months (with an almost year break between months 3 and 4) to get to the point where I can play the notes with an occasional glance at the score to remind myself, and where I can get some of the dynamics correct, what is the consensus on the sustain pedal?

After some experimentation, what I prefer is holding the pedal until striking the first note of the next measure and then releasing/re-applying it. At least to my ear, that gives me a steady continuous sound throughout. I've heard some advocate for an almost constant use of the pedal, some argue for half-sustain, etc.

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#2209753 - 01/06/14 08:11 PM Re: Beethoven Moonlight Sonata, third movement [Re: Michael D]
RiskEngineer Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/27/13
Posts: 2
Loc: Missouri
According to Chang ( best book I've read about piano technique) the pedal was to be held throughout. However, pianos have gotten better and better. On a Steinway, for instance, holding the pedal down continuously turns the piece to mush. I agree with your interpretation about the release and repeat with each measure, except in a few select places, the locations of which escape me right now.

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