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#2029116 - 02/08/13 02:43 AM I must say thanks to my teacher ... but ...
Tidal Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/08/09
Posts: 22
Recently, I have told my piano teacher, who have been teaching me for 3 months, that I would like to take a piano examination but I don't know what level I should do. My teacher generously replied that grade 6 or 7 of the trinity guildhall should suit me best. That's very stunning because I think that my skill is not good enough to pass.

I am a college student who had learned piano for a brief course when I was young. I didn't like piano at that time and then skipped for 10 years. At the point I quit playing, I can't nearly do one octave C major scales, so I'm very crap and surely not a gifted player. However, I returned to piano 3 years ago and played alone by my own delight, off and on without any discipline. There was no exercise or any goal to achieve so I think it is 3 years without any significant improvement. I then realized how crap I was and wanted to have someone to get me fixed and improved, and my teacher is that man.

BTW, my teacher ensured me that all of his pupils passed. He said that, in my case, grade 7 is more risky but can be achievable. I asked him if I can take a safer place such as grade 5, but he said in a manner that it is not challenging for me and he didn't recommend that. So I choosed grade 6 because I don't have that much time to practice since I am a college student and I don't want to waste money (the entry cost is pricey!!) and tears (hahaha).

We are planning to have the exam in December this year, so it's a tight timeframe for a person who just 'start' playing piano (let the short experience in my youth and the 3 years I wandered alone, be in vain). I have heard some of incredible stories that some people who begin at adulthood have a great leap. I know a story of a man who quit his job and practice 8 hours a day for only one year and pass grade 8 (now he is a piano teacher somewhere). But surely he is gifted and what ... 8 hours a day!! I have only an hour for weekdays and maybe 3 or 4 hours for weekends. So while surely I am intrigued to my new mission and enthusiastic to pass, on the other hand I must admit that I'm quite concern that I would fail. Since this is the first exam for me, it's likely that I am nervous.

I have worked with my teacher on Mozart sonata k545 (first movement) and Ah vous (12 variations). I can play them with not so fast speed. The later appears that my left hand is too loud since it is not strong enough. When I look at the exam pieces, they seem equivalently or just less difficult to the Ah vous (which is harsh in issues of speed, trill, and controlling), but more difficult than the 545, but maybe I'm wrong.

The scales and arpeggios are something to do with, but not to be excessively obsessed with since I can do at the speed higher than indicated. Things are about improving accuracy and fluency (to make them mellow, not too agressive). But these are overshadowed by a sight reading and an aural test, which are very unfamiliar for me. I have not had some aural excercises but for the sight reading I can do just grade 2 at the beginning. I have to have a time to process 'what' the note on the bar is and a time to think 'where' it is on the keyboard.

And yes, I am definitely becoming very nervous.


Edited by Tidal (02/08/13 02:49 AM)

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#2029171 - 02/08/13 06:30 AM Re: I must say thanks to my teacher ... but ... [Re: Tidal]
albynism Offline
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Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 321
You have to trust your teacher. That's all I can say. Sometimes you just have to put a bit of faith in your teacher (a bit hard as an adult I know). When I was studying for my grade 8 I was worried about the exam and my teacher just reassured me she said she know I will pass because she has passed so many grade 8 students and she would not let them enter if she know they are going to fail. Good luck!

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#2029263 - 02/08/13 11:34 AM Re: I must say thanks to my teacher ... but ... [Re: Tidal]
wouter79 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3460
K545 part 1 is tricky, they may call it simple but it isn't (well, maybe for Mozart..). You can hear every unevenness in the long fast runs.
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#2029264 - 02/08/13 11:39 AM Re: I must say thanks to my teacher ... but ... [Re: Tidal]
Sand Tiger Offline
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Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 993
Loc: Southern California
Congratulations. Sounds like the first childhood teacher deserves a big thank you, for setting a solid foundation for later growth. The thread starter is humble about his/her natural gifts and dedication. If the sight reading and aural skills are low, the other skills must be off the charts for a good teacher to suggest a grade 7 exam after three months of formal lessons. Wow, just that much is incredibly impressive.

The picture painted by the thread includes a good teacher, a good and dedicated student with substantial experience and talent. Kudos to all involved.
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#2029637 - 02/09/13 02:56 AM Re: I must say thanks to my teacher ... but ... [Re: Tidal]
Tidal Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/08/09
Posts: 22
Well, Sand Tiger, maybe I have overlooked lessons with my first teacher. And you're right that some basis are absolutely taught by her. Shame on me!!


So I will then keep moving forward. The pieces in the TLC grade 6 book are really lovely so that I want to play them perfectly.


The point of this topic when published is that I'm afraid that my teacher overestimated me.


Edited by Tidal (02/09/13 02:57 AM)

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#2029642 - 02/09/13 03:37 AM Re: I must say thanks to my teacher ... but ... [Re: Tidal]
Nikolas Offline
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Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5221
Loc: Europe
Tidal: Even if your teacher overestimated you, you could very well prove him right! wink It's a challenge, you know, and personally I adore such challenges... smile
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#2030032 - 02/09/13 07:17 PM Re: I must say thanks to my teacher ... but ... [Re: Tidal]
adultpianist Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/12
Posts: 540
i dont understand why a teacher would put a student into a high grade exam when they cannot do a one octave C major scale and has been self teaching themselves without discipline and only been with the teacher 3 months.

I can do a one octave C major scale with no difficulty and did that for my grade 1 exam.

I have done up to grade 3 and shortly in a couple of months will start the process for Grade 4. Unless you are a progidy then how can you jump straight in at Grade 6? Am I missing something here?

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#2030197 - 02/10/13 01:02 AM Re: I must say thanks to my teacher ... but ... [Re: Tidal]
MidnightSwooner Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/07/13
Posts: 13
Excuse my ignorance, but what do the testings and grade levels accomplish for you? I'm just getting back into things and some of this stuff seems like a foreign language. Is it just something someone chooses to do to challenge themselves and see how high of a ranking they can get in some sort of ranking type system, or is it a personal learning and advancement type system? Either way good luck.

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#2030211 - 02/10/13 01:36 AM Re: I must say thanks to my teacher ... but ... [Re: Tidal]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11574
Loc: Canada
Here's what I understand:

Not a good first background, and then 3 years self-teaching. Then after only three months with a teacher, a suggestion to do a grade 6 or 7 exam. Not much time to practice. Technical weakness - left hand is too loud: perception that it is too loud because it is "not strong enough". Present piece has technical problems: too harsh, trilling, lack of control. Sight reading is at a grade 2 level. Scales: fast, but needing to improve accuracy. "Reading" consists of "processing" where the notes are on the page, and again on the piano.

Tidal, have you had a chance to define your reason for lessons? We can slip into the routine of what's out there without giving it a thought. For example, the world of lessons can be about exams, and you seem to be in that world. I hope you can rethink this.

(Imho) lessons should be about getting skills, and you need knowledge too. If you weren't taught well the first time round, then you need to have all the holes in your playing fixed. It's not about exams. What skills are you missing, and how do you get them? For example, when your LH is louder than the RH, that is not about having a "weak" hand. It is about developing technique, and your teacher should be able to guide you in this. The very fact that you think it's about weak hands shows that this guidance isn't there.

Reading: It seems that you were not given that skill even at a basic level when you first had lessons. You should develop the ability to recognize a note on the page, and associate it with a piano key. For piano keys: have you ever had keyboard mapping? For example, find all the D's on the piano = all the notes between two black keys?

Scales - if they are inaccurate then speed is silly. What is causing the inaccuracy? How do you get accuracy? What do you need to do physically to get the less aggressive sound? These are things your teacher should be giving you.

Some teachers are able to work toward skill-goals, but don't do so because many students want to go after pieces, exams, etc., but if a student says "I want to get piano skills" those teachers are happy to work with that student.

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#2030260 - 02/10/13 04:32 AM Re: I must say thanks to my teacher ... but ... [Re: MidnightSwooner]
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014


Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 1383
Loc: Cameron Park, California
Originally Posted By: MidnightSwooner
Excuse my ignorance, but what do the testings and grade levels accomplish for you? I'm just getting back into things and some of this stuff seems like a foreign language. Is it just something someone chooses to do to challenge themselves and see how high of a ranking they can get in some sort of ranking type system, or is it a personal learning and advancement type system? Either way good luck.


Ideally, exams are a means for tracking progress through a linear progression of musicianship. Unfortunately, with exams and other extrinsic sources of motivation, the goal of being able to better interpret the works of the masters and/or express oneself through music (is this not the ultimate end goal?) seems to get lost in the process.

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#2030397 - 02/10/13 10:53 AM Re: I must say thanks to my teacher ... but ... [Re: Bobpickle]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
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Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: Bobpickle

Ideally, exams are a means for tracking progress through a linear progression of musicianship. Unfortunately, with exams and other extrinsic sources of motivation, the goal of being able to better interpret the works of the masters and/or express oneself through music (is this not the ultimate end goal?) seems to get lost in the process.

Exams are used as an end to itself. They are seen as "motivators" -- i.e. get the student to do the work because if he doesn't, he'll bomb for everyone to see. Otherwise he has bragging rights. They are seen as the norm because people have them in school so they expect them to be part of lessons.

Musicianship is not necessarily linear. The other problem is that when you "teach to the exam" you may neglect teaching the student the skills he actually needs, you may polish a very few pieces in order to impress which includes giving visibility to the teacher, and you may neglect those skills that don't show up on the exam.

Imagine, for example, that a student is given 3 pieces in an entire year, it is all carefully choreographed and polished, set up inch by inch by the teacher. Imagine, otoh, that a student's reading skills are being honed, he learns to understand and interpret music, and he gets exposed to a variety of pieces over the year. Which will shine at the exam? Will the student who works through interpretation with his teacher but will be "studentish" because he doesn't have the skills yet, will his playing be as impressive as the choreographed one? Which will learn more? Which of these two students is more likely to develop skills that lead ultimately to independence?

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#2030411 - 02/10/13 11:28 AM Re: I must say thanks to my teacher ... but ... [Re: Tidal]
JeanieA Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/03/04
Posts: 501
Loc: Reno, Nevada
Keystring, I saw what you did in this post - teaching to the test.

Quote:
BTW, my teacher ensured me that all of his pupils passed.

As an elementary school teacher, our students are required to take a battery of standardized exams which are supposed to reflect their knowledge and, of course, the effectiveness of their classroom teacher. I see teachers using the school year to "teach" nothing other than the material on which the kids will be tested, the rest of the curriculum is glossed over. In our current teaching climate, the teachers who can turn out the kids with the best test scores are considered the "best" teachers - nevermind the fact the students have no depth of knowlege in the subjects.

So, IMHO, what I'm seeing here, is a teacher who may indeed be able to get all his students to pass an exam in a hurry, but I'd sure question his motive. The teacher may add another success to his résumé, but what did he actually teach the student?
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#2030436 - 02/10/13 12:00 PM Re: I must say thanks to my teacher ... but ... [Re: Tidal]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11574
Loc: Canada
Jeanie, we're talking teacher to teacher because my first profession was as a certified teacher and I spent time in the public school system. I still tutor from time to time.

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#2030455 - 02/10/13 12:21 PM Re: I must say thanks to my teacher ... but ... [Re: Tidal]
albynism Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 321
Not sure about Trinity but Ameb (Australian) you normally have to do 4 pieces + 2 extra pieces. So if you are doing an exam a year that is one piece for every 2 months polished to performance standard, which is not bad at all because polishing a piece is actually VERY hard. Also they test you on sight reading, aural, and specific questions about each piece. And scales arpeggios yadda yadda. So I think it is quite thorough, and I usually learn at least 3-4 new piece of music on top of the exam requirements, albeit not as polished. And you get a pretty certificate that you can hang to hide the crack on your wall laugh

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#2030456 - 02/10/13 12:25 PM Re: I must say thanks to my teacher ... but ... [Re: Tidal]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2457
Loc: France
Listing reasons to distrust his teacher is surely an excellent encouragement for Tidal.

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#2030464 - 02/10/13 12:32 PM Re: I must say thanks to my teacher ... but ... [Re: landorrano]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11574
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: landorrano
Listing reasons to distrust his teacher is surely an excellent encouragement for Tidal.

That is not what is being done. And maybe you haven't seen or experienced certain things in lessons. What I have done, btw, is to set out possible goals, because when such goals are presented to a teacher, often they are welcome and have a catalytic effect. Have you actually looked at the specifics?

And actually .... yes .... it is an encouragement.

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#2030465 - 02/10/13 12:34 PM Re: I must say thanks to my teacher ... but ... [Re: Tidal]
PianoStudent88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3156
Loc: Maine
Tidal, I wouldn't set a date for the test at this point. I would want to already be competent in most of the skills required for a test before setting a date. I like what keystring says about skills. It sounds like you're in danger of getting shoe-horned into preparing a small number of pieces and trying to rush other skills such as scales and sight-reading because of the perceived time pressure. Better, I think, to explore broadly and gradually, and only seek a specific test date when you have a more sure confidence in your technique and skills.

My own approach to exams may be helpful as one perspective.

I have recently signed up to take the RCM exams and, although I have more advanced skills in several areas, I have actually signed up to start with Level 1. This is because they advise that if some skills lag behind others, to start at the lower level, and I am very unsure about my aural skills.

I am hoping to avoid the trap of only preparing a few pieces and "teaching to the test" by learning most of the pieces at this level. Not memorizing them (memorization is difficult for me) but getting comfortable in all of them. They cover many different styles and skills, so I am hopeful that will help me to be well-rounded. I'm also learning other pieces at this time; I'm not restricting myself to the RCM materials.

I'm not talking in terms of skills here because I haven't got a teacher and it's hard for me to identify what skills I need to improve at (well, voicing is one of them, but the fine-tuning I need doesn't come in yet at this level). But my hope is that by learning a variety of pieces that I am improving skills as well, even though in the absence of a teacher I can't necessarily name analytically what those skills are. (I wish I did have a teacher, but I'm not willing/able to make that financial outlay at this time).
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#2030481 - 02/10/13 01:02 PM Re: I must say thanks to my teacher ... but ... [Re: Tidal]
PianoStudent88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3156
Loc: Maine
I'm thinking about "why take tests." In my case, partly I just like tests and seeing if I measure up to a specific standard. That was what originally got me interested, but now that I've started preparing, I'm finding several good benefits:

Now that I'm preparing for it, I find that I'm paying closer attention to certain musical aspects of playing, so this is good to learn how to do. I can continue paying attention to these even without taking tests, but I don't know if I would have started to notice them so acutely without actually preparing for the test.

It's also getting me to work at memorizing some pieces, which is good practice for me. I don't know if memorizing will ever get easier for me, but I won't know if I don't practice it. I could practice memorizing without the test, but being signed up for the test is giving me extra motivation to work on memorization. (You don't have to memorize, but you lose two points per piece for playing from the score, and I'm very competitive and don't want to just give up points like that. In a way this circles back to my own feelings about tests and the intrinsic worth I give them, because in the grand scheme of things how many points I get really makes no difference.)

The scales and chords for the test are easier than what I already know how to do, but practicing them carefully is showing up some weaknesses that I would have ignored without the motivation of the test to practice these carefully.

My aural skills are severely weak at least at the particular skills these tests test, so my optimistic hope would be that in the process of preparing I will improve at these particular skills. They're not the sum total of all the aural skills I would like to have, and some of them I think are useless because of how they're taken out of context, but some of them would really help me, and I don't mind tackling the apparently useless ones and finding out if they have unexpected benefits. I'm not sure if I'll improve at these skills or not, though. This may just always be the part of the test I struggle with.

(I haven't mentioned sight-reading because sight-reading is not a problem for me, although even here I have room for improvement, e.g. in looking over a piece systematically before starting it.)

Not having a teacher, I am also looking forward to get some comments on my playing from the adjudicator. I've debated whether it would make more sense to save up the money for test fees and for traveling to the testing site and instead take a short series of lessons, but for now I'm going with the testing idea. After I've done one or a few tests, I may revisit this option.


Edited by PianoStudent88 (02/10/13 02:21 PM)
Edit Reason: clarification
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#2030492 - 02/10/13 01:11 PM Re: I must say thanks to my teacher ... but ... [Re: keystring]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2457
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: keystring
Have you actually looked at the specifics?


Well, Keystring, have you? What gives you the basis to say:

Originally Posted By: keystring
The very fact that you think it's about weak hands shows that this guidance isn't there.


Do you really believe that from what Tidal has written in his two posts you can understand what his teacher's approach is.

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#2030507 - 02/10/13 01:29 PM Re: I must say thanks to my teacher ... but ... [Re: landorrano]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11574
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: landorrano
Originally Posted By: keystring
Have you actually looked at the specifics?

Well, Keystring, have you?


I listed them. Did you read my post in detail before commenting?
Quote:

Do you really believe that from what Tidal has written in his two posts you can understand what his teacher's approach is.

Since I did not say anything about his teacher's approach, that cannot be answered.

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#2030619 - 02/10/13 04:05 PM Re: I must say thanks to my teacher ... but ... [Re: keystring]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2457
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: keystring

Since I did not say anything about his teacher's approach,


Well then all the better!

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#2030639 - 02/10/13 04:34 PM Re: I must say thanks to my teacher ... but ... [Re: Tidal]
JeanieA Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/03/04
Posts: 501
Loc: Reno, Nevada
Tidal, landorrano, I apologize if I offended; my post was not meant to be a discouragement nor a criticism.

I do admit that I wonder how one can talk in absolutes (students always pass exams) when working with something as non-absolute as an individual's learning style. I understand how some folks might need the deadline of an exam or recital for the motivation to practice, some people thrive on taking tests to demonstrate their skills. I am not one of those; the mere mention of an exam or recital gives me hives. wink

I measure my learning, slow as it is, in small bits. Such as at tomorrow's lesson I'll be able to show (if I don't choke - that happens at lessons!) I've finally nailed the fingering on the three tricky measures of the Fats Waller piece that I've been working on for a month, now I can go tackle the next couple of troublesome bars there and that I actually managed to memorize the first movement of a Clementi sonatina we've been working on. I'm afraid I'm about as far from a musical prodigy as you can get and try to make up for lack of natural talent with a lot of practice - sometimes I think my teacher suspects I may not practice as much as I say I do, but he's kind enough not to say so!

But if you are basing your entire worth as a piano player/student/teacher on the outcome of an exam, or to structure lessons for nearly a year around an single exam, that doesn't seem like much fun. If you have those pieces polished perfect at the end of the year, great! I wish you the best of luck with the exam.

I have a close relative who has played all her life, she's nearly 80 now. She has a repetoire of about 15-20 pieces memorized. She is awe-inspiring when she plays; note perfect, expressive, simply beautiful. But she has nothing beyond these memorized songs, she has not learned anything new in 40 years, is a terrible sight reader, and has no theory. So, based on hearing her play her 30 minutes or so of memorized stuff, you'd assume she's a terrific pianist. But, is she really? I feel a broader spectrum of instruction makes for a better result, but again, that is my opinion and you need to approach your studies in the manner that works best for you.
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#2030678 - 02/10/13 05:29 PM Re: I must say thanks to my teacher ... but ... [Re: Tidal]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2457
Loc: France
No offense taken, JeanieA. Still, in my opinion there is nothing in Tidal's two posts that allows one to think that either the teacher or Tidal are basing their entire worth on an exam, or to evaluate the teacher's approach.

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#2030731 - 02/10/13 06:53 PM Re: I must say thanks to my teacher ... but ... [Re: landorrano]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11574
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: landorrano
Still, in my opinion there is nothing in Tidal's two posts that allows one to think that either the teacher or Tidal are basing their entire worth on an exam, or to evaluate the teacher's approach.

Good. Since nobody said such a thing. I'm glad you agree. smile


Edited by keystring (02/10/13 06:53 PM)

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#2056653 - 03/30/13 03:19 AM Re: I must say thanks to my teacher ... but ... [Re: Tidal]
Tidal Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/08/09
Posts: 22
My progress updated:

I have completed playing the first piece and my teacher appraised me that it is fine. Now I'm working of the second piece, which requires more technical skills. I have also found out that my scale ability is still flaw that there is still an unevenness. I'm trying now practising it in a slow tempo, trying not to embold thumbs. It is very hard to control. And at the slow speed I also find out that my fourth and fifth fingers generate some sort of irregular rhythm that I don't know how to correct them. Overall I realize that I am far from perfection, which I am keen to get near. The more I practice, the more flaw I see.

Should I give up and just try to take the lower grade such as three or four? Also, should I change my piano teacher?

I have a dream and a list of pieces that I want to play in my lifetime. One of them is Schubert Impromptu Op.90-3. I could play it now but it will be rubbish. So I have to hold my breath, wait and practice. Maybe 10-20 years, I don't know. I'm 22 years old now and there isn't much time for practice due to my profession. I am very angry with myself why the heck in the past I gave up piano. Why don't I play it a lot and choose a pianist as a profession. I don't know.

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#2056677 - 03/30/13 05:30 AM Re: I must say thanks to my teacher ... but ... [Re: Tidal]
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014


Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 1383
Loc: Cameron Park, California
Originally Posted By: Tidal
I have also found out that my scale ability is still flaw that there is still an unevenness. I'm trying now practising it in a slow tempo, trying not to embold thumbs. It is very hard to control.


It will get easier with practice, but only if you work at a very slow tempo like you're trying (if you can't succeed, go slower).

I recommend this strategy:

Originally Posted By: Ernest Dras ("Slow practice will get you there faster")
: The elder Mozart would place ten dried peas in his son’s left coat pocket, and for each successful attempt at a difficult passage, Mozart would move a single pea to his right pocket. When he failed on any piece, even if it was the tenth repetition, all the peas had to be placed back in his left pocket — Wolfgang had to begin anew. What usually happens when using this method is that the student slows down his tempo in order to play the passage perfectly.

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#2057141 - 03/30/13 11:19 PM Re: I must say thanks to my teacher ... but ... [Re: Tidal]
Tidal Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/08/09
Posts: 22
Thanks, Bobpickle. Maybe I should find a teacher who use this peanut methods. Very interesting!

Now I'm doing scales at 72bpm. I would like to capture a video of me doing the scales (and possibly the piece), upload at youtube and post a link here, but I'm not sure that it is appropriate or not. I am keen to listen a criticism and recommandation. Finally I know that the atypical way I choose (skip basic conventional books, pieces and initial grade examinations) would ruin my overall skills, but I don't know what they are and where to begin to fix them. This make me feel that my teacher truely overestimate me a lot, and I would like to have someone to get me fixed.

Any idea?

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#2057198 - 03/31/13 04:32 AM Re: I must say thanks to my teacher ... but ... [Re: Tidal]
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014


Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 1383
Loc: Cameron Park, California
You should talk to your teacher about your concerns. Tell them that you want to learn the skills necessary to be a well-rounded musician, and that passing grades or tests, is of secondary concern (you seem to have little desire for the examinations and this is fine, but make it clear to your teacher; we don't play for the reason of examinations, do we?).


Oh, and posting youtube videos of your playing seeking helpful criticism is in no way frowned upon here.


Edited by Bobpickle (03/31/13 04:33 AM)

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#2057573 - 03/31/13 10:29 PM Re: I must say thanks to my teacher ... but ... [Re: Tidal]
Derulux Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5286
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: Tidal
My progress updated:
It is very hard to control. And at the slow speed I also find out that my fourth and fifth fingers generate some sort of irregular rhythm that I don't know how to correct them.

Is it safe to say this error is more pronounced on the way 'up' than on the way 'down'?
_________________________
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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#2057715 - 04/01/13 10:13 AM Re: I must say thanks to my teacher ... but ... [Re: Tidal]
Quarkomatic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/16/10
Posts: 75
Loc: Toronto, ON, Canada
I find it interesting that many posters seem to think working toward an exam is at odds with becoming a well-rounded musician. Exams are specifically designed to test a wide range of skills. In addition to testing your performance skills, technique, sight reading, theory knowledge, and aural ability are usually assessed. Normally the repertoire must include selections from a few different lists to ensure variety.

I think one would be unlikely to exercise such a wide variety of skills in their piano study if not working toward a specific goal. Granted, one might play fewer pieces while preparing for an exam, and other skills like improvisation or composition may be neglected, but I think the time invested in ensuring one's foundational skills are up to a certain level will be beneficial in the long run.

I haven't taken any exams yet, but I am thinking about starting this fall to prepare for an exam next spring. I don't think it's something I will want to do every year, but I think it will bump up a few of my skills. If nothing else, a successful result would definitely be a confidence booster. Maybe then, when asked about my piano playing, instead of responding "I try" or "I'm just a beginner" I'll be able to confidently answer, "Yes -- I just passed my Grade N exam!"

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