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#2053202 - 03/23/13 10:50 PM Re: Chances to study without any teacher ? [Re: Kristina1]
dmd Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1830
Loc: Pennsylvania
Michael_99:

BRAVO !!!!

I don't think I have ever heard a more convincing description of how to learn to play the piano. I do believe it is absolutely the truth.

Sadly, almost no-one does that. LOL ...

Everyone, including myself, tries to move too fast. They think they are going to speed up the learning process but soon find that it can't be done. Even, then, they continue to try ... until, in the end, some just give up. Hopefully, your words of wisdom will save a few.
_________________________
Don

Current: ES7, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD555 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, Ravenscroft275, Ivory II American Concert D

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#2053269 - 03/24/13 02:48 AM Re: Chances to study without any teacher ? [Re: dmd]
Michael_99 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 935
Loc: Canada Alberta
Thanks, Don, for your comments.

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#2053303 - 03/24/13 07:12 AM Re: Chances to study without any teacher ? [Re: Kristina1]
Kristina1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/24/13
Posts: 123
Loc: UK

Thank you very much again for all your further replies.

I must say I can identify with Michael’s comments
and it echoes very much the way I approach my own playing now.

I tried to cut corners in the past because beginning as an adult from scratch
I had the feeling that I had lost so much time already
and therefore I was speeding along too fast - and then I came unstuck.

Now I can appreciate what Michael means and whether I like it or not
I have got to take my time and not cut corners.

This is especially important when one is learning without any teacher.

Thanks again to you all for your kind support and valuable comments

from Kristina.

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#2053451 - 03/24/13 12:20 PM Re: Chances to study without any teacher ? [Re: Kristina1]
Starr Keys Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/07/09
Posts: 993
Loc: california
Originally Posted By: Kristina1

Thank you very much again for all your further replies.

I must say I can identify with Michael’s comments
and it echoes very much the way I approach my own playing now.

I tried to cut corners in the past because beginning as an adult from scratch
I had the feeling that I had lost so much time already
and therefore I was speeding along too fast - and then I came unstuck.


I cut corners all time. I owe developing my own eclectic style to it (as does I believe do Count Basie and others). That is, I rarely play a scale or practice a chord sequence or arpeggio in all keys (until two and half months ago that is when I started my jazz theory class, and even there I don't practice much outside of class).

The only book I've followed systematically was the very thin one that came with "Mastering Piano" which I completed in my first few months of self-learning almost four years ago. Since then, I've spent most of my self tutelage listening deeply to songs I want to play or sing and then cobbling together my own arrangements for them. If I can't play some sounds or changes the way I want, I experiment with coming up with other ways I can play them - this process has taught me and helped me to improve in ways that are satisfying to me.

If I never play like Horowitz or Tatum, I play like me, which is more gratifying for me than passing a "grade 5" where all I can do is transcribe someone else's style of playing. It also got me to the point where I could pass an audition for a college advanced piano class where half the students have been taking private lessons since they were four and everyone in the class has been playing much longer than I have. And I don't believe I would have gotten this far if I followed the precepts of the last two posts before yours.

Originally Posted By: Kristina
Now I can appreciate what Michael means and whether I like it or notI have got to take my time and not cut corners.
This is especially important when one is learning without any teacher.


Well, maybe your right. People have different learning styles (something some people repeatedly forget or refuse to acknowledge), but I have found for myself that sometimes the circuitous route is best and things you thought were a waste of time because you weren't ready for them proved to be invaluable to your process later or forced you to be creative in coming up with a facsimile or caricature of what you could later do in more detail.

Just my two cents. I wish you the best in find a way of working that works best for you. smile



Edited by Starr Keys (03/24/13 01:26 PM)

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#2053848 - 03/25/13 08:08 AM Re: Chances to study without any teacher ? [Re: Starr Keys]
Kristina1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/24/13
Posts: 123
Loc: UK

Hello, Starr Keys,

Thanks for your input, it is very much appreciated and I shall think about it.

My aim is to play some Renaissance and Baroque keyboard music
because the music from these eras speaks very much to me
and I appreciate these compositions much more now
than I have in former years.

I love the ability of Renaissance and Baroque composers
to “get the mind away” and “give the mind a holiday”
from the rudiments of all-day-life.

Renaissance/Baroque music is unfortunately not much recorded
and I therefore aspire to read the scores as I do when I read a book -
and that takes a little longer as an adult beginner.

I feel that I cannot cut corners and I cannot yet allow my own free style
to intervene at this point when I am only just beginning
to learn this music.

Thanks again from Kristina.

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#2054124 - 03/25/13 05:03 PM Re: Chances to study without any teacher ? [Re: Kristina1]
fizikisto Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/13/12
Posts: 399
Loc: Hernando, MS
Kristina,
The enemy to peak performance (for any athletic endeavor, including playing the piano) is tension. This is the most important thing a teacher can help you with, imo. Tension can rear its ugly head in a myriad of ways both subtle and not so subtle. A good teacher can watch you and see signs of this unwanted enemy. My advice is to frequently play through a piece not only slowly but without even worrying about tempo or dynamics or anything but relaxation. Play the notes, and during/after each motion examine your body. How's my posture? Is my pinky finger rising when I strike a key with my other fingers? Is my thumb wandering off the keys? Are my elbows lifting up and flaying out to the sides? Is there tension in my neck? In my shoulder? Is my jaw tightened? Am I breathing? Am I relaxed?

The ultimate goal should be to use only the muscles required for a particular movement and no other muscles. If you can film yourself (even with your cell phone) that can be useful for spotting some of these clues.

People say that practice makes perfect. Unfortunately (or fortunately) that's not really true. It's better to say, "practice makes permanent." If you practice with habits of tension in your body, you possibly set a ceiling of how far you can reach on your piano journey. Train your body to tense only the needed muscles, and only for the instant that the tension is needed to play the notes (then relax). Otherwise your body should be relaxed through and through (relaxed, not collapsed). If you can play in a relaxed fashion, you can play (and practice) for longer periods of time. If you can't, tension will stop you from reaching your goals, or at least make them much harder to reach. In severe cases, this kind of unnecessary tension can even lead to serious injury (lots of pianists need surgery to correct carpal tunnel syndrome, for example).

Really try to pay attention to your body and cultivate an awareness of tension. Only then can you begin to release it (and even that isn't always easy).

Hopefully some good food for thought there. smile

Warm Regards
_________________________
Nord Stage 2 HA88
Roland RD800

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#2054177 - 03/25/13 06:46 PM Re: Chances to study without any teacher ? [Re: Kristina1]
Starr Keys Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/07/09
Posts: 993
Loc: california
Quote:
My aim is to play some Renaissance and Baroque keyboard music
because the music from these eras speaks very much to me
and I appreciate these compositions much more now
than I have in former years.

I love the ability of Renaissance and Baroque composers
to “get the mind away” and “give the mind a holiday”
from the rudiments of all-day-life.

Hi Kristina,

Thank you for your kind and courteous reply. Your initial post said nothing about your interest in a particular style. I understand your feeling about it though. I feel the same way about the cocktail piano style. I find it relaxing and transportive to a slower more romantic world. And I definitely believe the key to success with playing any style is relaxation.

I think, given your goals, Michael's advice is very good for you. I had piano lessons as child and hated John Thompson and some of the techniques for learning those pieces that Michael described, so it wouldn't be good for me.

Just keep in mind that people did improvise a lot during the Baroque period and based on my recent experience with a Jazz improvisation class, it's a great way to learn your music thoroughly so that you never lose your harmonic frame of reference while your playing. Even the classical pianist who teaches my performance class has students change time signatures or improvise on melodies to accomplish this goal with their classical pieces, which is why I think its a good idea to experiment with it and not to be afraid to create your own exercises to challenge yourself outside whatever method book you are using.


Edited by Starr Keys (03/25/13 07:04 PM)

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#2054419 - 03/26/13 07:00 AM Re: Chances to study without any teacher ? [Re: Starr Keys]
Kristina1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/24/13
Posts: 123
Loc: UK

Thank you very much, fizikisto, for your input about tension.

After reading your explanation about tension
I played on my piano and realized that my little finger
on my right hand stood “out in the air”
and that might have had a very bad effect
to first stiffen my shoulders
and then getting me eventually unstuck.

I am now in the process to “unlearn” this bad habit
and I thank you very much again for pointing out
these very important matters.

Thanks again for your thoughts, Starr Keys.
It is true that keyboard performers improvised a lot
in Baroque and Renaissance times when the composer left it
“according to the taste “ of the performer as how to
embellish the compositions whilst performing them.

I have to learn a lot before I get to that stage,
and I shall keep it in mind
to make sure that I am not getting “too stiff”
and be afraid of any little improvisation.

Could you please give me some details about the author
and publisher of the book and pamphlet of “Master in Piano” ?

Thanks again for your assistance and kind regards from Kristina.

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#2054481 - 03/26/13 10:20 AM Re: Chances to study without any teacher ? [Re: Kristina1]
wouter79 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3501
I have a good (I think smile ) teacher and I think it helps me both in the quality of the end result (think like 3 times better in the details), it helps me keeping on it and hearing the places to work on and the right order (you can't work on all at once IMHO), and it helps me getting there faster (200% ? 300% ?). And it saves a lot of frustration by learning as many things as possible correctly right away.

So I think you can gain a lot by taking a good teacher.

And I believe I'm a pretty fast learner.

Or stated differently, I think for most people, chances without teacher are very slim, unless they set the target really low.


Edited by wouter79 (03/26/13 10:53 AM)
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#2054667 - 03/26/13 05:14 PM Re: Chances to study without any teacher ? [Re: wouter79]
Starr Keys Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/07/09
Posts: 993
Loc: california
Originally Posted By: Kristina
Could you please give me some details about the author
and publisher of the book and pamphlet of “Master in Piano” ?


Correction, the name of the self-learning course is Learn and Master Piano and the slim booklet I referred to is the one that comes with it. Though it includes some classical pieces, it is more geared to learning more modern styles and accompaniment patterns.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-LEGACY-LEARN...=item1c1d360193

Originally Posted By: wouter79
I think you can gain a lot by taking a good teacher.

And I believe I'm a pretty fast learner.

Or stated differently, I think for most people, chances without teacher are very slim, unless they set the target really low.


Please do not let yourself be discouraged or disheartened by what wouter says about the inefficacy of self-teaching. His expectations are so high that what he calls "really low" expectations would probably be above average ones for most people. Also, I find his attitude in this post and previous ones to vie dangerously close to the mindset critiqued in this article in the Oxford Press, which most people seem to reject, since almost no one bought the next book by the author on the subject discussed, nor even bothered to review it.

http://www.oxonianreview.org/issues/2-3/2-3-6.htm






Edited by Starr Keys (03/26/13 05:19 PM)

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#2054675 - 03/26/13 05:21 PM Re: Chances to study without any teacher ? [Re: Kristina1]
wouter79 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3501
Starr Keys,

Yes it's true, I have pretty high expectations so what I call "really low" may be perfectly adequate for many.

>Also, I find his attitude in this post and previous ones to vie dangerously close to the mindset critiqued in this article in the Oxford Press

I don't quite follow you here. Which previous posts? And what's the mindset of that article?
_________________________

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#2054685 - 03/26/13 05:33 PM Re: Chances to study without any teacher ? [Re: wouter79]
Starr Keys Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/07/09
Posts: 993
Loc: california
Wouter, I hardly believe that even you could have had adequate time to read and reflect on the content of the article since I posted it. When show me evidence you have, I'll take the time to go back over your posts based on the general sense that the emotion I had reading your new one evoked of memories of similar reactions I had to reading your posts in the past.

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#2054702 - 03/26/13 06:05 PM Re: Chances to study without any teacher ? [Re: wouter79]
wower Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/13/10
Posts: 242
Loc: Calgary
Originally Posted By: wouter79
I think for most people, chances without teacher are very slim, unless they set the target really low.


I've been watching this thread with great interest as I've long been a fan of autodidacticism and am always in favour of encouraging other students whom are perhaps not in a position to have a teacher. I see both sides of the argument and feel in my own life there are some very strong - abet specific - reasons I'd love to have a teacher. I'm mature enough to know I bring more self-motivation and work ethic than average, but that said, as a general rule of thumb, sans the "low target" quip, I agree with wouter79 and would be confident making predictions on others' chances of success on similar grounds.

Quote:
He implies that his aesthetic judgements are objectively valid since his description of classical music's formal properties are objectively valid.


As for Starr Key's persistence in reading the article, I did read it and unfortunately could find little connection to the subject at hand. The whole economic angel completely lost me. Reflecting on the article at hand - with such memorable quotes as above - gave me the impression this distinguished Oxford lecturer was desirous of letting the world know how awesome he was for liking classical music. And while I do agree with one of the articles' premises, that classical music is objectively more complex (and I do like classical music), the threshold of me caring what on earth people whom I've never met before think of me liking classical is so so much lower.

That said, hopefully the OP has found the thread useful. I will try to bullet point my personal pros and cons of teachers later. Good luck.


Edited by wower (03/27/13 10:27 AM)
Edit Reason: spelling!
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#2054790 - 03/26/13 08:19 PM Re: Chances to study without any teacher ? [Re: wower]
Starr Keys Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/07/09
Posts: 993
Loc: california
Originally Posted By: wower
As for Starr Key's persistence in reading the article, I did read it and unfortunately could find little connection to the subject at hand. The whole economic angel completely lost me.


I am only persistent in having Wouter read the article, as he has a habit of firing questions at you that demand time and persistence to answer, and I wanted him to know how it felt. I will explain the connection.

Leaving the economic and political angles aside, the latter which, in addition to religion, I'm told we should avoid speaking about around here, the connection is between the "perfectionist" agenda of the author in insisting that the value of certain kinds of music and its academy pedagogy has a higher value to all of us than other kinds of music and the people who think this is elitist crap. Not entirely unlike Wouter's, is that his expectations for acquiring the skill to play that music very well should represent an absolute value for the highest achievement in the relationship between music and the individual.

While the precision skills that Wouter must acquire for playing Hyden and Mozart to his expectations may not be worthless to someone to whose soul Indie Rock speaks or who wants to learn to shape a melodic line in their accompaniment so that their vocal can be different from the original or other covers of a song, or even someone who wants to lose themselves in the time and place evoked by a Renaissance ronde, they may be superfluous or even useless if they don't discover how to translate something one can't get from a teacher in the process, which I would call "the expectation of joy". Combine this with the sense of achievement for having done it all on one's own and finding people who can appreciate what one has done, I call that valuable.

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#2054902 - 03/27/13 12:17 AM Re: Chances to study without any teacher ? [Re: Kristina1]
Peter K. Mose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1337
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
There is another mode of learning the piano as an adult: primarily self-directed playing companioned with the occasional weeklong residential course to guide and spur one along.

There has been plenty of favorable PW discussion about the effectiveness of such retreats. Here are 3 I am aware of: each program is located in a lovely rural New England setting, each program is small, and each welcomes the adult beginner or early-intermediate player wholeheartedly and without audition. Their durations are 5-10 days, and their costs are similar.

www.summerkeys.com in Maine
www.sonatina.com in Vermont
www.pianoretreat.wordpress.com in Massachusetts

I have good vibes about the first two programs, and they each offer several retreats per year. By contrast, the last-listed workshop is confined to one week only. As many of you know, I am a teacher and codirector of this one, the Midsummer Adult Piano Retreat on the campus of Williams College in Willimastown, MA. My fellow teachers/directors are Alison Barr and Debi Fishbein Adams, each a well-regarded independent teacher in the Boston area.

This July will be our 8th annual workshop, and PW has had a hand in our success.

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#2054960 - 03/27/13 05:40 AM Re: Chances to study without any teacher ? [Re: Peter K. Mose]
Kristina1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/24/13
Posts: 123
Loc: UK
Hello, Wouter,
You are very lucky indeed to have a good teacher;
unfortunately I have not had such luck
and I have to do the best I can do by learning on my own.
Of course I am aware that that it might take me much longer
but I do hope I have a chance and succeed.
I wish you all the best from Kristina.

Thank you again, Starr Keys for your kind encouragement
and for the details of the course “Learn and Master Piano”
and the slim booklet, it is very much appreciated.
Best wishes from Kristina.

Thank you, Peter K. Mose for the information
on the programs you mention, unfortunately I am not aware
of such Programs here in the UK
and it is not possible for me to travel.

Thanks for letting me know, kind regards from Kristina.

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#2055048 - 03/27/13 11:04 AM Re: Chances to study without any teacher ? [Re: Kristina1]
Peter K. Mose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1337
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Originally Posted By: Kristina1
Hello, Wouter,
You are very lucky indeed to have a good teacher;
unfortunately I have not had such luck
and I have to do the best I can do by learning on my own.
Of course I am aware that that it might take me much longer
but I do hope I have a chance and succeed.


Thank you, Peter K. Mose for the information
on the programs you mention, unfortunately I am not aware
of such Programs here in the UK
and it is not possible for me to travel.




Kristina, forgive me for not knowing about similar programs in Britain, but they do exist. You could have a blast attending one, and they might even offer scholarships.

You are correct that it is difficult to find a teacher who works well with adult learners. They tend to be less well known than successful piano teachers of kids. Don't give up looking, but also don't settle for someone who is not right for you.

Kind regards,
Peter

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#2055146 - 03/27/13 02:52 PM Re: Chances to study without any teacher ? [Re: Starr Keys]
wower Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/13/10
Posts: 242
Loc: Calgary
Originally Posted By: Starr Keys
I am only persistent in having Wouter read the article.


Ah. And therein lies your first mistake. The topics of other threads don't always interest me and thus I rarely enter as it's only fair to let those who do wish to participate their freedom to enjoy the topic. This topic piqued my interest, therefore my exposure to Wouter is restricted to this narrow slice, which, in this case, I happen to agree with, putting you, I'm afraid, on the other side of this argument.

Originally Posted By: Starr Keys
Leaving the economic and political angles aside.

Uh? Hello? That was like +75% of a long article. Why did you post it then? If you have a point to make, please make it clearly and concisely. I'm busy practicing piano.

Originally Posted By: Starr Keys
They may be superfluous or even useless if they don't discover how to translate something one can't get from a teacher in the process, which I would call "the expectation of joy".


Ah, the argument to the transcendental: There is something about music that is so special, so inexpressible, that it defies to be taught. Perhaps it's my hard-nosed pragmatism but here I think your point unravels. The obligation is on yourself to prove this quality exists, not myself to prove its non-existence. However, my main question, is that if this quality is so special it can't be taught, doesn't this make it a poor candidate to be learnt in the first place? In fact, extending the argument further, doesn't its mere intangibility limit the idea's very communication?

I find myself surprised at taking this position as normally I'm rather sacrilegious when it comes to the need of one having a teacher because the fact remains the piano is a physical object. And things about the piano can be communicated, and thus learnt, and thus even taught. I'm unsure what brought Starry Keys to such a low opinion of teachers but I think the statement "the things that can't be taught about music" is false. I think the history of music - and even this forum - are filled with amazing teachers ready to guide willing students to musical nirvana. It can be taught.

[A note on why it's important to accept everything about music can be taught (except perhaps a love of practicing): Beyond the physical nature of the instrument, I find it difficult to believe one could ever ask the correct questions to improve one's playing while reasoning there is something supernatural and intangible involved.]

Originally Posted By: Starr Keys
Combine this with the sense of achievement for having done it all on one's own and finding people who can appreciate what one has done, I call that valuable.


The above quote is as good a point as any to introduce a fundamental idea I use in learning the piano: One doesn't do it alone. Not in the slightest. Best to accept that all ideas come from somewhere. I am at peace with myself when I accept that while I do not have a weekly teacher - I actually have many teachers! smile I think of all the musical history books I've read, posts of teachers on PW, masterclasses watched, piano camps attended, have all contributed to a respectable piano education in my opinion. The real trick is seeing the value in utilizing many teachers, not just one. One should never love their theories and if I didn't feel this path was working - was no longer bringing results - I would be the first to toss it. On a final note, I do agree in a sense of achievement, but it's not from doing it alone. I am my own worse enemy. I'm happy to have simply beat the odds by drawing upon my own well of hard work and effort.


Edited by wower (03/27/13 03:21 PM)
Edit Reason: spelling!
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Bad spellers of the world untie!

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#2055323 - 03/27/13 08:25 PM Re: Chances to study without any teacher ? [Re: wower]
Starr Keys Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/07/09
Posts: 993
Loc: california
Originally Posted By: Starr Keys
Leaving the economic and political angles aside.

Originally Posted By: wower
Uh? Hello? That was like +75% of a long article. Why did you post it then? If you have a point to make, please make it clearly and concisely. I'm busy practicing piano.


I think you and I have interpreted the article differently, but I don't think the reason is that 75% of it is about economics and politics. These were not the main thrust of the the editorial thesis but part of a set of examples of how imposing values based on Utopian idealism associated with an art form can lead to the imposition of those values on others in every institution, artistic, academic, religious, economic and political. This is not a new argument (nor haven't examples been drawn from culture and classical music before, Nazi Germany and its use of Wagner is one good example.), so I don't think it's necessary to understand the analysis applied in detail to every example in the article to get its point.

Originally Posted By: wower

Ah, the argument to the transcendental: There is something about music that is so special, so inexpressible, that it defies to be taught. Perhaps it's my hard-nosed pragmatism but here I think your point unravels. The obligation is on yourself to prove this quality exists, not myself to prove its non-existence. However, my main question, is that if this quality is so special it can't be taught, doesn't this make it a poor candidate to be learnt in the first place? In fact, extending the argument further, doesn't its mere intangibility limit the idea's very communication?….I find myself surprised at taking this position as normally I'm rather sacrilegious when it comes to the need of one having a teacher because the fact remains the piano is a physical object. And things about the piano can be communicated, and thus learnt, and thus even taught. I'm unsure what brought Starry Keys to such a low opinion of teachers but I think the statement "the things that can't be taught about music" is false. I think the history of music - and even this forum - are filled with amazing teachers ready to guide willing students to musical nirvana. It can be taught.
[A note on why it's important to accept everything about music can be taught (except perhaps a love of practicing)



I was not talking about anything transcendental or mystical when I referred to the thing that can't be learned. I was talking about an enthusiasm, an deep instinctual response to certain types of music that can obsess or possess one enough to develop the thing that both you and I agree can't be guaranteed one will develop with a teacher, the love of practice. I know because I haven't gotten it from any private teacher, and there have been several attempts, both imposed on me by others and self-imposed at doing so. So, I'm not arguing that music can't be taught, but stating that it doesn't matter if the way it's taught and the content of what is taught doesn't develop this love of practice.

I did get it from my attempt to translate ideas I gathered and applied and compared and extrapolated from online discussions "on my own" in attempt to play the kind of music I wanted to play the way I wanted to play it. Sure, of course no one does it all on their own, we'd be wild animals without exposure to language and culture, but that doesn't mean that there aren't differences in our relationship to language and culture that can't render us free agents (freedom of course being a relative term allowing us autonomy to choose between more than one course of action that suits us better as individuals) or slaves.

One can respond more profoundly to one art form than another, for other reasons than it being god-inspired--nurture, nature, you name it. It was the author of the book who made this argument for his art form's superiority and devotion to it being based in its spiritual and transcendental potential, not mine. And sure one can be educated to respond more appreciatively to an art form than one necessarily would by temperament or background, but that doesn't negate the value of a deep response to something over something else nor take away from the beauty or power that one experiences or the impulse to possess it in the form of what is responded to. Nor do all the music appreciation lessons and good intentioned teachers guarantee that that person will value it enough to do what is involved in mastering it. There are plenty of students of piano teachers who after years of lessons can't play as well as self taught students, or worse, don't play well at all.

In my experience, the early enthusiasm of my response carried me much further and provided a lot more focus and attention than lessons did, the kind of focus and attention that enabled me to develop a process which if I didn't do anything but read these boards I know is very different from the way many people go about pursuing their musical goals, but one that's kept me practicing and motivated and brought not only me joy, but some of those around me. Like you, I feel I've beat the odds by drawing on my own hard work and effort.

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#2055363 - 03/27/13 10:01 PM Re: Chances to study without any teacher ? [Re: Kristina1]
Sand Tiger Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 1015
Loc: Southern California
StarrKeys hit it right. Can't teach enthusiasm, passion, or joy. A teacher can show a student certain things, hoping to ignite passion, or bring joy, or motivate a student more, but it may or may not happen.

As for the original topic, the 2012 survey has about half currently taking lessons, and about half never ever having lessons.
http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1926827/1.html

I'd say that dooming half the forum is quite the broad stroke. Some of the half without teachers play very well, at a high amateur level. While that half may not reach the goals set by some, many will achieve and surpass their own lofty goals.
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#2055414 - 03/28/13 12:32 AM Re: Chances to study without any teacher ? [Re: Starr Keys]
wower Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/13/10
Posts: 242
Loc: Calgary
Originally Posted By: Starr Keys
I was not talking about anything transcendental or mystical when I referred to the thing that can't be learned. I was talking about an enthusiasm, an deep instinctual response to certain types of music that can obsess or possess one enough to develop the thing that both you and I agree can't be guaranteed one will develop with a teacher, the love of practice. I know because I haven't gotten it from any private teacher, and there have been several attempts, both imposed on me by others and self-imposed at doing so. So, I'm not arguing that music can't be taught, but stating that it doesn't matter if the way it's taught and the content of what is taught doesn't develop this love of practice.

I did get it from my attempt to translate ideas I gathered and applied and compared and extrapolated from online discussions "on my own" in attempt to play the kind of music I wanted to play the way I wanted to play it. Sure, of course no one does it all on their own, we'd be wild animals without exposure to language and culture, but that doesn't mean that there aren't differences in our relationship to language and culture that can't render us free agents (freedom of course being a relative term allowing us autonomy to choose between more than one course of action that suits us better as individuals) or slaves.

One can respond more profoundly to one art form than another, for other reasons than it being god-inspired--nurture, nature, you name it. It was the author of the book who made this argument for his art form's superiority and devotion to it being based in its spiritual and transcendental potential, not mine. And sure one can be educated to respond more appreciatively to an art form than one necessarily would by temperament or background, but that doesn't negate the value of a deep response to something over something else nor take away from the beauty or power that one experiences or the impulse to possess it in the form of what is responded to. Nor do all the music appreciation lessons and good intentioned teachers guarantee that that person will value it enough to do what is involved in mastering it. There are plenty of students of piano teachers who after years of lessons can't play as well as self taught students, or worse, don't play well at all.

In my experience, the early enthusiasm of my response carried me much further and provided a lot more focus and attention than lessons did, the kind of focus and attention that enabled me to develop a process which if I didn't do anything but read these boards I know is very different from the way many people go about pursuing their musical goals, but one that's kept me practicing and motivated and brought not only me joy, but some of those around me. Like you, I feel I've beat the odds by drawing on my own hard work and effort.


Ok. Looks promising. I like complicated things but can't read this all this tonight. As a way of a rebuttal please see my orignal post which I think some simple ideas were missed. And I, on the other hand, promise to read an equivalent amount of text in this great book I'm reading. smile



Edited by wower (03/28/13 12:36 AM)
Edit Reason: and busy the next couple of days
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