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#2133974 - 08/16/13 05:56 PM Good online course recommendations?
EdwardianPiano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/29/11
Posts: 752
Loc: Liverpool, England
Hello piano people...

I am looking for a good online course that teaches the chords based/ playing by ear approach, composition, melody building etc and NO SIGHTREADING!

I am a beginner and know some basic chords and inversions, can play some scales by ear, pick out notes by ear but struggle with sight reading and in fact hate it. I was having lessons and didn't get very far with sight reading at all.

I can noodle about somewhat/make up basic little songs, but want a structured course that can help me build upon my natural inclination to tinker with chords, play by ear etc.

I want to compose eventually- modern classics style - I don't want to do blues, gospel or pop - all the online courses I have seen so far, helpful though they are for chords are these styles.

I feel I am asking too much- is there a course there that will teach me what I need? I have barely played since May and lost interest in sheet music.
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"He who divines the secret of my music is delivered from the misery that haunts the world."


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#2134092 - 08/16/13 10:27 PM Re: Good online course recommendations? [Re: EdwardianPiano]
Rerun Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/28/07
Posts: 583
Loc: Louisiana
It seems like half the population of England are members at PianoMagic ... and moving along well I might add.

http://www.pianomagic.com/index.asp
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#2134208 - 08/17/13 06:08 AM Re: Good online course recommendations? [Re: EdwardianPiano]
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014


Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 1383
Loc: Cameron Park, California
While by-ear playing is certainly a valid and respectable style of playing, ironically the best ear-player I know is also the best sight-reader I know. He's gained enough experience in both idioms to know the value of being able to thoroughly understand music notation, even if he doesn't want to use it to learn to play all of the Beethoven sonatas. Perhaps you've yet to find the right instructor to inspire you. All that said, even though "ear playing" is non-traditional doesn't mean it's not so complex and intricate a style (at least at proficient levels) that having a teacher can't help a great deal and simplify the learning process (a book or online course really just can't compare to the hands-on instruction of an experienced teacher, unfortunately).

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#2134365 - 08/17/13 01:53 PM Re: Good online course recommendations? [Re: Bobpickle]
Brian K. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/21/07
Posts: 102
I just ordered "piano for all" for $39 plus tax. I'm on the first book of 10, and it seems to be geared towards exactly what you are looking to do. Check it out http://pianoforall.com/.

I'm not affiliated with them at all, but I figured I'd share my findings with ya. I plan on going through that course first, THEN moving through something like Alfred's all-in-one. I expect
to spend at least 2 - 5 years getting through all of that material.
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http://www.musicianlifestyle.com

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#2134368 - 08/17/13 02:03 PM Re: Good online course recommendations? [Re: Bobpickle]
Sand Tiger Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 993
Loc: Southern California
EdwardianPiano, I don't have an answer to your question about a piano course. I can relate to your feelings about sight reading and will tell you a little of my story.

I struggle with sightreading. On whistle and flute, there is only one note at a time, so the sheet music is much easier, and so is playing by ear. In Irish Traditional Music, learning by ear is the preferred way to learn. Showing up as a new person with sheet music to a traditional session is a good way to become an outcast.

That said, it is the opposite for classical piano. Unless a person has a phenomenal ear, the pieces are often too complex to learn by ear. Most beginners will struggle with that road. Yes some people can do it, but they tend to have tremendous ears for music. Those that don't often spend countless hours decoding a single piece of music.

Where does that leave a pianist that doesn't want to sight read? There are Youtube tutorials that demonstrate where the fingers go. Some folks do far better if they can see someone else demonstrate.

There is ABC notation, which is popular in Irish Traditional Music.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ABC_notation
There is an ABC tune archive at:
http://trillian.mit.edu/~jc/cgi/abc/tunefind
It is mostly folk tunes and traditional tunes, and the arrangements are hit or miss, so a person often has to do their own piano arrangements. I found the letters far easier to process, than dots and lines.

Back to my story. I never learned to sight read when I was playing whistle or flute. I could sound out a piece from sheets given enough time, but it wasn't sight reading. This was one note at a time treble clef only music, so imagine my dismay when I started piano and saw the piano scores.

With reluctance and a great deal of time and effort, I have learned the rudiments of sight reading. I am even trying to notate some of my original pieces. For piano, I would suggest that a person at least make the effort to learn the treble clef so they can use lead sheets (melody on top, chords on the bottom).

For me, a sightreading tablet app has been most helpful. Also helpful has been notating my own music, and doing my own arrangements for cover pieces. Some other folks like to say the note names as they play. I found this reading out loud to be a good exercise away from the instrument. To take some simple sheet music and call out the note names. Some folks use flash cards. For a long time, I had two index cards next to the piano that had the note letters written out on the clefs.

I still can't do what most people think of as sight reading. Not even after many months of effort. However, I have put the index cards away, I am better at decoding sheet music, and better at notating my own work. I wouldn't call it competency, but it is progress.

Whatever you decide, good luck. You are not alone. I guess that about 15% of folks struggle mightily with sight reading, taking far longer than the typical one or two years of effort to reach a useful skill level. I tend to think it is similar to being dyslexic, that some brains have a hard time processing the dots and lines.
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#2137334 - 08/22/13 05:51 PM Re: Good online course recommendations? [Re: EdwardianPiano]
EdwardianPiano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/29/11
Posts: 752
Loc: Liverpool, England
Thanks for the replies folks and sorry for my late reply- been busy putting Linux operating system on an old laptop I was given.

I have had a look at the two websites and think pianoforall is the nearest to what I'm looking for- it teaches the chords etc and does sight reading much much later on which I feel is the best method for me. I take what has been said about teachers versus online but I am too nervous and embarrassed in lessons and would prefer to do an online course for awhile until I feel more at ease- I don't like anyone seeing me "play", not even friends.


Quote:
That said, it is the opposite for classical piano. Unless a person has a phenomenal ear, the pieces are often too complex to learn by ear. Most beginners will struggle with that road. Yes some people can do it, but they tend to have tremendous ears for music. Those that don't often spend countless hours decoding a single piece of music.



I won't be playing classical, much as I'd love to- it is too hard for me right now. I plan to play what's on pianoforall - the chords based approach- towards the end of the course Robin introduces sight reading which I feel is a better method for a beginner. By then I should find it less daunting.However I wish to play my own music also( improvise).


Quote:
Whatever you decide, good luck. You are not alone. I guess that about 15% of folks struggle mightily with sight reading, taking far longer than the typical one or two years of effort to reach a useful skill level. I tend to think it is similar to being dyslexic, that some brains have a hard time processing the dots and lines.



Yes it is some sort of dyslexia as I would often "read" the bass clef for the treble cleff and mix up bass bars with treble bars!Sounds like you are doing ok San Tiger!



Edited by EdwardianPiano (08/22/13 05:54 PM)
_________________________
"Music is the one incorporeal entrance into the higher world of knowledge which comprehends mankind but which mankind cannot comprehend."

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


Ludwig Van Beethoven

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#2288910 - 06/12/14 01:24 PM Re: Good online course recommendations? [Re: EdwardianPiano]
ChristianF Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/12/14
Posts: 1
Hi EdwardianPiano,
There’s been quite a good variety of Online Piano Courses produced recently. Here’s a good selection - some of them focus on the chord based approach that you mention:
http://best-course-online.com/reviews/reviews-cat/piano/

I hope this helps!

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