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#2060430 - 04/06/13 03:52 PM Learning piano with multiple modalities
JosephAC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/23/12
Posts: 168
Loc: Melbourne Australia
Hi everyone,

I am relatively a newbie to posting on this forum, though I get inspired and influenced with all my reading of your posts.

I am interested to hear your views on multiple modalities approach to learning piano.

I took piano 18 months ago with no prior exposure or experience at the age of 48.

For my learning, I am following these 3 modalities and I am interested to hear your views :

- Simply Music : weekly lesson with a teacher, practice daily, currently level 6, a repertoire of some 50 pieces,
- Duncan Lorien ( founder of Understanding Music Seminar) - self study daily lessons, biannual seminars, email support, practice daily.
- Accelerated Piano Adventures : weekly lessons. I have just started with an amazing teacher and music therapist.

I practice daily 2-5 hours. I use iPad apps for augmenting my learning - piano tutor, music journal, my rhythm,... I recently read effortless mastery and I have ordered the DVD. I also augment my piano learning with technique DVDs to address specific problems.

I like jazzwee's approach to learning - use practice time to identify specific problem and address them incrementally on brain based learning.

I am looking forward to hearing from you.


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#2060516 - 04/06/13 08:37 PM Re: Learning piano with multiple modalities [Re: JosephAC]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2835
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
Is there some kind of learning that isn't 'brain based?'
A good student is one who makes the teacher feel like a good teacher.

#2060570 - 04/06/13 11:35 PM Re: Learning piano with multiple modalities [Re: malkin]
Retsacnal Offline

Platinum Supporter until Feb 18  2015

Registered: 10/11/12
Posts: 787
Loc: Northern Virgina
Originally Posted By: malkin
Is there some kind of learning that isn't 'brain based?'
wow, I can see the ironic humor in that, and I can also see the "insufferable blowhard" too! ;-)

Joseph, as a lifelong student, and as a professor (non-music), I always encourage my students to expose themselves to multiple schools of thought. If you enjoy all three systems, then go for it! They probably counter-balance each other, and also expose you to a variety of things that a single program would not.
1950 Baldwin M
Never ask a barber if you need a haircut

#2060668 - 04/07/13 07:49 AM Re: Learning piano with multiple modalities [Re: Retsacnal]
Cobra1365 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/11/10
Posts: 295
Loc: Delaware
2-5 hours of practice daily?????
That's some serious dedication!
Started Playing May 2010 at 51 yrs old, Some Self Learning, Lessons X 3yrs

#2060728 - 04/07/13 11:24 AM Re: Learning piano with multiple modalities [Re: JosephAC]
Sand Tiger Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 1113
Loc: Southern California
Welcome to the forum JosephAC.

Like the others, I'm not sure what kind of comments are being sought. It is unusual to have three "teachers" so to speak, as is the amount of time being devoted. I don't see anything wrong with having three instructors, but it is the first I have heard of it.

A person already at the equivalent of grade 6 making their first post on the beginners forum looking for input is also unusual. Many on the beginners forum are still at grade 1, 2 or 3, so keep that in mind when reading some of the comments.

My questions might be what the original poster's musical goals are? How are the various courses helping him towards those goals? What are the rough time percentages spent on:
theory, sight reading, ear training, scales, technique, learning pieces, improvisation, composition?

Do those time slices seem about right or would some adjustments make some sense given a person's goals?

As for goals it might be wanting to play certain pieces. For some it might be exams. For others, it might eventually be teaching or paid gigs. For many, it is a hobby and more of an exploration, but with the time being put in by the op, it is more of a consuming obsession than a hobby.
my piano uploads

#2060737 - 04/07/13 11:42 AM Re: Learning piano with multiple modalities [Re: Cobra1365]
cotte Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/05/13
Posts: 21
Originally Posted By: Cobra1365
2-5 hours of practice daily?????
That's some serious dedication!

Damn... I really need to quit my job!
English is not my first language, please be patient!.

#2061078 - 04/08/13 12:21 AM Re: Learning piano with multiple modalities [Re: JosephAC]
JosephAC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/23/12
Posts: 168
Loc: Melbourne Australia
Thanks all for your responses and reactions. Keep them coming. However, first, I need to clarify as I might have mispresented my reality. Cupla mia.

Practice time and duration:
I can easily put daily 2-5 hours as I am a disciplined person and I have the right set up in my household. Few months ago, I purchased a digital piano so that I am able to practice late evening and early morning without annoying the kids and the wife. For example, this morning, I was at the piano at 5h20 till 7h25 (net practice time 1h50 with a short break).
After work, I usually go for swimming at my local public pool and after few laps gliding,I feel refreshed and reinvorigated. Hence, I am able to practice in the evening (after dinner and kids tutoring and other household & other catch ups). I read but I do not usually watch TV. It took me a while to set this productive evening routine as I used to squander my evenings winding down after office time. No more.

Competency Level:
I am towards the end of level 6 Simply Music. This does not equate to grade 6. Far from it. Simply Music has a total of 9 foundation levels and other 9 intermediate levels and some otehr specialised streams. My piano learning started 18 months and I do not follow the traditional grading system.

Conflicting modalities
Definitely, I am always faced with conflicting guidance and principles. I use my own judgement to blend the various modalities. In the final analaysis, I keep developing and broadening my own practice with alternatives to include the best practice.

Your sought out comments and feedback:

- What has been your experience with adopting multiple modalities? Merits & Demerit? In your experience, does multi diluate or enrich the learning ?

- How do you handle the intrinsic conflicts of the various modalities? What is your guiding principle for your decision?

- If you a multi modal student, how does your daily practice look like?

- How do you make every note the right note? (I strive for right first time, I strive for slow practice, I strive to identify constraints/weak points/finger resistance and address them with specific drills, I stive to learn a new piece systematically - read only, read & play with no sound - focus on fingering -, and then read & play with sound - focusing on rhythm (counting, metronome, natural)

Looking forward to hearing your feedback.


Edited by JosephAC (04/08/13 12:26 AM)


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