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#525581 - 12/09/07 11:42 AM Is listening to a piece before learning it cheating?
Mike090280 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 159
Loc: Texas
I seem to have to listen to a piece before I can learn it. Sometimes I have to listen quite a bit to get the piece. I like to follow along with the score.

I do that to try and improve my terrible sight reading. What does everyone think about listening before learning a piece?

Mike

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#525582 - 12/09/07 11:59 AM Re: Is listening to a piece before learning it cheating?
LiszThalberg Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/13/06
Posts: 3288
Listening to a piece can help you learn a piece. It can be a guide, but it should not be gospel truth. A problem with listening and copying other people recordings is that your own interpritation can be lost in the process.

I usually listen to a piece before I start learning it to get a feel for how it sounds ect. When polishing the piece, this is the time to turn the recordings off and perhaps record yourself \:D

Matt

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#525583 - 12/09/07 12:17 PM Re: Is listening to a piece before learning it cheating?
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Mike,

You can begin by labeling your sight reading without the word "terrible". Your belief is that it is terrible - and whenever you say that you are reinforcing it as being terrible. This dooms you to making improvements. Remove negative words from your vocabulary when you are in "piano time".

The next thing to modify in your thinking and attitude to learning is: I HAVE TO listen quite a bit to get the piece. Let's make a small change there, too. I WANT TO listen to this _____ (put an adjective in) piece.

For connection with the composer and the piece, say gratitude (in some simple way) about having such a _______ piece to explore and learn. Think for a few minutes in a quiet way about what you know about the composer, the piece, and your observations in words (out loud) about what you are finding in the piece as you approach each section. This is respectful and makes the onus on the music and the composer, and makes for you the disctinction that you are preparing yourself to "know - play" it too.

Since you like following along with the score - keep a steady beat with your body as your eyes move steadily across the page. Putting a blue dot in the inner ledger area will place the beat for you. Highlight whatever comes to your attention announcing a change of tempo, or key, etc. (You may want to copy your music for personal use instead of writing on the printed page.)

Does reading by distance and direction help you, or are you working by note names and keyboard locations? Are your fingering choices consistant each time you play? You may want to add more/or change your fingering in the piece to fit your hand and announce your fingering intentions so you won't always be scampering for a finger.

Work in small sections, identify problem areas, work for small improvements. Be vigilant, determined, and patient. (You are in the "construction" business with a hardhat on.)

Developing a piece is going to take as long as it takes, and that is a different amount for each pianist approaching this as a new piece.

When you work above your head, you are adding heavily to the difficulty factor of a piece. When you approach pieces you CAN play on sight, you are giving yourself the experience that is more beneficial to you.

My teaching philosophy would be: "No to pieces you are unprepared for if you have not acquired the skills and possess the natural talents to approach the music with confidence and ability to sight read it well enough.

Pacing yourself in good selections for your present ability level helps you feel the satisfaction and the beauty of what you are doing. Confidence and accomplishment help you travel to the next levels more easily.

Since I don't know you personally, and don't know your skills, or which pieces you are talking about, some of what I've said may not apply to you. I've posted to the situation in general, and hope that there is something that applies to you that is helpful.

Have a plan as to WHAT needs to improve and HOW you are going to do that.

Betty

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#525584 - 12/09/07 12:17 PM Re: Is listening to a piece before learning it cheating?
pianojerome Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868
 Quote:
Originally posted by Debussy20:
When polishing the piece, this is the time to turn the recordings off and perhaps record yourself [/b]
Maybe not!

When you know the piece well enough to be in the polishing stage, you'll have picked up on tiny details that are maybe very difficult to figure out how best to play them. There might be multiple ways to play those specific details -- and listening to recordings of great musicians can help give some ideas.

But in the beginning... you don't even know those little things exist...
_________________________
Sam

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#525585 - 12/09/07 12:20 PM Re: Is listening to a piece before learning it cheating?
LiszThalberg Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/13/06
Posts: 3288
 Quote:
Originally posted by pianojerome:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Debussy20:
When polishing the piece, this is the time to turn the recordings off and perhaps record yourself [/b]
Maybe not!

When you know the piece well enough to be in the polishing stage, you'll have picked up on tiny details that are maybe very difficult to figure out how best to play them. There might be multiple ways to play those specific details -- and listening to recordings of great musicians can help give some ideas.

But in the beginning... you don't even know those little things exist... [/b]
So we should listen to recordings throughout the duration of studying a piece?

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#525586 - 12/09/07 12:35 PM Re: Is listening to a piece before learning it cheating?
pianojerome Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868
Yeah, I think so.

Listening to a recording can be very enlightening, but one can potentially miss so much in the beginning, without having an intimate familiarity with the piece.

Because when you start learning a piece, you might listen to a recording and say, "Oh, so that's the overall tempo, and that's how the piece generally sounds..."

When you have been learning the piece for a while, then you might listen to a recording and say, "Oh, so that's how he plays mm. xxx-xxx, and that's what he does when Mozart writes "fp" on a dotted half note, and oh that's how he coordinates the alternating piano part and orchestra part in this particular spot, and hey, that actually makes some sense why he is playing this other spot ff when it's clearly marked pp..."
_________________________
Sam

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#525587 - 12/09/07 12:40 PM Re: Is listening to a piece before learning it cheating?
John Citron Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 3925
Loc: Haverhill, Massachusetts
I tend to avoid recordings when I'm working on a piece, but will listen to them before to get an idea what it sounds like, or if I'll really like it or not.

Once I've learned the piece, I will listen to other interpretations because other performers may go about things with a different approach than the one I took when I learned the piece. I will then sometimes go back and modify my approach if I feel it's necessary.

The reason for not[/b] listening to the piece while I'm working on it is to avoid trying to imitate what the other performer is doing. I would rather work out the emotions in the music myself, and to hear the music as I hear it in my brain. Not how the other person is performing it. I made this mistake when I was younger, and as a result have ruined many pieces in the process.

John
_________________________
Nothing.

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#525588 - 12/09/07 12:50 PM Re: Is listening to a piece before learning it cheating?
Mike090280 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 159
Loc: Texas
Thank you so much for all the helpfull advice.

Mike

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#525589 - 12/09/07 01:01 PM Re: Is listening to a piece before learning it cheating?
thepianist2008 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/19/06
Posts: 191
Loc: NY
I don't know about all the ideas in Chang's book, but I do believe that it is impossible (simply impossible, I'm putting no qualifiers on the word) to reproduce another person's performance of a piece. You just can't. Chang even gives a mathematical calculation "proving" it (I've never taken the time to go through it and try to understand it). You don't have their body, you don't have their mind, you don't have their experiences. All those things that lie in their subconscious while they're performing are inaccessible to you. You just can't do it.

Besides, listening can help you understand your interpretation of the piece better. I listened several times to different recordings of the Heroic Polonaise. Some were wonderful. Then I saw a guy play it at a competition I was participating in. He was terrible. Sure, his technique was good, but his rhythm was all over the place, it had no flow, it was strained. But you know what, it may have sounded wonderful to him. Which shows that I'm a completely different person than him, and that I see the piece in a different way. You may play a piece where you think rubato is more than welcome, even necessary, where I may see it as being a piece that requires a rock-solid pulse that moves like a train, with a few moments of rubato only for emphasis on a particular note or phrase.

Besides, notes are small little buggers that can easily bleed into each other on the page when you're playing. Who knows, what if you hear what you think is a wrong note in the performance, but when you look at your score you realize it's you who's playing the wrong note, not him. I know that's happened to me before. \:D

If listening to a piece before and during your practice is cheating, I'm a cheater!
_________________________
Piano Hero Encore Rocks the 1800s!

Current Assignments:
Bach Prelude and Fugue in Bb Maj, D min, and C Maj from Bk I
Mozart Sonata K.280
Brahms Rhapsody Op. 79 No. 2
Bartok Six Roumanian Folk Dances
Prokofieff Visions Fugitives Op. 22

I'm going to Ithaca! Yay!!!

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#525590 - 12/09/07 04:43 PM Re: Is listening to a piece before learning it cheating?
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3158
Numerous studies have shown that people are not robots that learn alike; instead, there are various ways in which people learn.

To simplify this in regards to your question, some people learn more easily by first hearing a piece played, while others learn by reading the score.

I have found this to be true...I have numerous students who struggle to comprehend a piece, but if I play it for them, their learning of the piece progresses nicely.

If hearing a piece helps you to learn, then listen to it...after all, isn't learning the piece the goal? But make sure that you are using the listening to strengthen your sight-reading, rather than replacing it.
_________________________
Music teacher and piano player.

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#525591 - 12/09/07 04:50 PM Re: Is listening to a piece before learning it cheating?
Nikolas Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5240
Loc: Europe
Hmmm...

I'm rather torn on this issue.

It really depends on the maturity and personality of the performer (student).

If we are talking about a rather young, or inexperienced pianist, chances are that he will copy what he listens and not being able to develop his own voice in the performance. But then again, most young, or inexperienced pianists, can't do that, either way, and are based on what the teacher tells them (guidance on phrasing, tempo, dynamics, etc, almost everything).

A more mature or experienced pianist probably can get away from what he hears and be able to control better what he does.

Maybe listening to more than 1 recordings might be fruitfull even more?
_________________________
http://www.musica-ferrum.com

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#525592 - 12/09/07 05:57 PM Re: Is listening to a piece before learning it cheating?
AndrewG Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2506
Loc: Denver, Colorado
To answer the original Q: Absolutely not if you know what you're doing. If you can listen to several different versions it would even be better! However, once you started on learning and playing it you should stay away from the recordings until you have this piece well learned and polished to the point you have acquired your own 'message' or 'statement' with the piece. You would then once again turn to recordings for comparison studies purposes. Well, just one way of learning using recordings as learning/teaching devices.

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#525593 - 12/09/07 07:11 PM Re: Is listening to a piece before learning it cheating?
Bassio Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/24/03
Posts: 2480
Loc: Alexandria, Egypt
I have never thought of stopping listening to a certain piece because I am working on it. I don't know what is the real motive behind such a move.

Maybe I will find myself imitating the artist at first, but after polishing the piece and playing through the piece several times, I find my very own interpretation coming through .. at this point it does not matter then how my concept of the piece was formed, be it a recording of a certain artist or any other factor.

In fact, I avoid listening to only one version but listen to many .. and in the end my interpretative choices can be made. This can also help you to avoid the imitation of one artist (as AndrewG mentions above)

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#525594 - 12/09/07 07:35 PM Re: Is listening to a piece before learning it cheating?
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3158
It sounds like the OP is talking about actually learning the notes, while some posts are responding with how he will interpret it.

I do not know how long the OP has been studying piano, but it sounds like he is struggling with simply reading the notes and playing them....if so, interpreting the piece is further on down the road, and "ruining" his interpretation is likely not an issue; you can't interpet something that you cannot play.

If listening gets him to play the piece...bottom line, that's ok.
_________________________
Music teacher and piano player.

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#525595 - 12/09/07 08:47 PM Re: Is listening to a piece before learning it cheating?
Max W Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/02
Posts: 2846
Loc: RHUL
If you want to improve your music reading, learning a piece with an aural reference rather than learning it without is counterproductive. Having that aural reference means that you aren't relying solely on the notes on the page, and you'd probably end up figuring most of the notes out by ear.

If you just want to learn notes, learning a piece with an aural reference is just a way to speed up the process of learning & getting familiar with the music. Interpretation shouldn't even be considered as an issue, because the first impression of a piece is not going to affect your interpretation of it for life. Maybe in the short term you would imitate some aspects of a recording while getting to grips with the piece, but that's easily avoided by learning the notes at a slow tempo or listening to other recordings. (or even MIDI files if it really worries you)

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#525596 - 12/09/07 09:10 PM Re: Is listening to a piece before learning it cheating?
itguy Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/07/07
Posts: 10
Loc: California
Interesting topic. Even though I'm returning to the piano after a significant layoff, my sight reading is not where it should be given the amount of time I did study.

As a child I would get my teacher to play the piece for me one time. Then, I would no longer read the note timing, just the notes. Then after playing it a few times, I wouldn't read the music at all. Something I plan to try to avoid as I return to studying the piano.

I can sight read, and am capable of developing it. My problem is that it is so much easier to just listen to it first, something I am going to have to deal with as I proceed.

My daughter sings in a choir. She recently brought home some music I am not familiar with. I tested my self and sight sang the music for her and pretty much got it right. I was not complex, but it gives me hope...

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#525597 - 12/10/07 12:45 AM Re: Is listening to a piece before learning it cheating?
BruceD Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 17915
Loc: Victoria, BC
 Quote:
Originally posted by rocket88:
It sounds like the OP is talking about actually learning the notes, while some posts are responding with how he will interpret it.

I do not know how long the OP has been studying piano, but it sounds like he is struggling with simply reading the notes and playing them....if so, interpreting the piece is further on down the road, and "ruining" his interpretation is likely not an issue; you can't interpet something that you cannot play.

If listening gets him to play the piece...bottom line, that's ok. [/b]
I would, on the other hand, say that this is not such a good idea if the original poster is having difficulty learning the notes and note values. If s/he cannot determine note values and rhythms other than by listening to them and copying them from a recording, when is that essential skill ever going to be developed if the recording, as a "crutch", is always used?

I think it far better to spend the necessary time developing music-reading skills; you can't really become a musician without knowing how to read music.

As for using recordings to compare interpretations and to influence my own, I always leave that until I have the notes well in hand and until I have formed somewhat of my own ideas about a piece. That doesn't mean that my own ideas won't change when I hear something else that attracts me that I had not thought of, but I do feel it develops my own skills as a musician if I try to get what I can out of the printed page before I start copying someone else.

Regards,
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BruceD
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#525598 - 12/10/07 07:11 AM Re: Is listening to a piece before learning it cheating?
rustyfingers Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 788
Loc: Massachusetts
When I was studying piano as a child, I never listened to pieces to learn them.

When I went to college and sang in the choir and choral society, the director always put recordings of what we were singing on reserve and asked us to listen to them. I found that a little strange, but instructive.

Now I generally listen first to confirm the piece is something I want to play, then work it out from the music. After I have a certain degree of facility with it, I go back to a recording again to make sure I'm not missing something major. I do the same after it is memorized and I'm polishing.

I agree with others that unless you are specifically working on ear training, it is probably best to learn a piece from the music first, but that there are definitely reasons to use a recording thoroughout the process.
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If I had ever learnt, I should have been a great proficient.

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#525599 - 12/10/07 08:49 AM Re: Is listening to a piece before learning it cheating?
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
 Quote:
Originally posted by thepianist2008:
I don't know about all the ideas in Chang's book, but I do believe that it is impossible (simply impossible, I'm putting no qualifiers on the word) to reproduce another person's performance of a piece. You just can't. Chang even gives a mathematical calculation "proving" it (I've never taken the time to go through it and try to understand it). [/b]
Hadn't Joyce Hatto worked out a way to do so?

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#525600 - 12/10/07 08:58 AM Re: Is listening to a piece before learning it cheating?
thepianist2008 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/19/06
Posts: 191
Loc: NY
 Quote:
Originally posted by theJourney:
Hadn't Joyce Hatto worked out a way to do so? [/b]
If you can find me two recordings of the same piece by different people that sound exactly the same, I'll be floored. I have no clue who Joyce Hatto is, though. I'll Google and see what I come up with.
_________________________
Piano Hero Encore Rocks the 1800s!

Current Assignments:
Bach Prelude and Fugue in Bb Maj, D min, and C Maj from Bk I
Mozart Sonata K.280
Brahms Rhapsody Op. 79 No. 2
Bartok Six Roumanian Folk Dances
Prokofieff Visions Fugitives Op. 22

I'm going to Ithaca! Yay!!!

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#525601 - 12/10/07 09:07 AM Re: Is listening to a piece before learning it cheating?
thepianist2008 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/19/06
Posts: 191
Loc: NY
check out http://www.andrys.com/hatto.html

According to this, unless I'm reading it wrong, Joyce Hatto's husband, during the editing stage of the recording process, substituted the recordings of other great pianists instead of hers. They say that even she was tricked by her husband. It also says that her concert performances simply didn't match what she released on recordings, so the recordings couldn't be hers.

I really didn't read into this though. If you're interested, a google search on Hatto turned up several sites, I just selected this one to read.
_________________________
Piano Hero Encore Rocks the 1800s!

Current Assignments:
Bach Prelude and Fugue in Bb Maj, D min, and C Maj from Bk I
Mozart Sonata K.280
Brahms Rhapsody Op. 79 No. 2
Bartok Six Roumanian Folk Dances
Prokofieff Visions Fugitives Op. 22

I'm going to Ithaca! Yay!!!

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#525602 - 12/10/07 10:58 AM Re: Is listening to a piece before learning it cheating?
U S A P T Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/20/06
Posts: 1645
Loc: An Indiana University
God gave you ears. Use them.

My teacher (who took grand prizes at the William S. Byrd and Hilton Head competitions) says that technique comes from the ears and not from the fingers.

Listen away!
_________________________
Full-Time Music/Entrepreneurship Major: (Why not compose music AND businesses?)
Former Piano Industry Professional
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All Posts are Snarky Unless Otherwise Noted
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#525603 - 12/10/07 11:15 AM Re: Is listening to a piece before learning it cheating?
Guy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/30/07
Posts: 290
Loc: Massachusetts
Some of my adult training comes from the New England Conservatory, where the music program considers listening a primary skill. The program is jump-started with a class called "Earobics" which more or less is the guts of ear training (I called it the rudiments of internalization) where "interval recognition" is a specific listening skill distinct from actual ear training.

In any case, three months into my piano studies (I was 33 or 34 at the time), my teacher started me on the Bach 2-part invention in C. I dutifully went out to buy a CD with the all the inventions on it, and the first thing I noticed is that I hated the pianists' tempos, ornamentation, and liberties he took with the piece. In other words, I hated his interpretation and never went back to the recording.

But in all my other studies, post-Earobics, I would seek out recordings, several perhaps, and listen how others interpret pieces as an aid to my own interpretation.

My theory is this -- music is all about internalization. Until is inside of you, you're not going to be able to get it out (at least get it out well). This is what one of my jr high band directors called "singing it in your head." He'd say "what am I doing?" and we'd all chorus back "you're singing it in your head, Mr. Rhodes!" I feel -- and this is my opinion (and lots of others will probably disagree with this...) -- internalization is best accomplished through your ears, not your eyes.

To further expand on the NEC/Earobics method...we'd be asked if we had something internalized. We'd say yes, and then we'd be asked to sing it. About the same time, I noticed in some jazz clinics that some really great drummers would be able to sing (in front of an audience) their drum grooves. In fact, Indian tabla players are taught vocally. Singing it back is sort of like proof that something is internalized.

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#525604 - 12/10/07 05:28 PM Re: Is listening to a piece before learning it cheating?
Mike090280 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 159
Loc: Texas
Thanks againg everyone for all the good advice.

BruceD's comment made the most sense for my situation. I realize that the biggest reason that I need to listen before I learn a piece, other than just the love of listening, is to help with the rythm and note value.

So from now on I will devote as much time as I can to improve that problem, by not relying so much on what I hear and learn note values and rythm better.

Thanks again for the advice

Mike

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#525605 - 12/13/07 03:11 AM Re: Is listening to a piece before learning it cheating?
emopiano Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/03/07
Posts: 18
Loc: Botswana
my previous music teacher used to play new pieces before i chose them...and one piece i chose i heard her play it and thats how i actually learnt the rhythm and timing cause i get confused a bit...

i heard a performance of a piece im currently playing and its kinda giving me ideas but my teacher said that im being influenced by the interpretation and i must play what score is showing and how the composer wrote it...

so i guess it could be good in terms of hearing piece...
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Play piano
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#525606 - 12/13/07 06:23 AM Re: Is listening to a piece before learning it cheating?
Despina Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/04/07
Posts: 20
I always listen to recordings, especially for the last years, because my teacher doesn't play the piano, he's a baroque guitarist and lute player himself. So, I listen to recordings for two reasons, to hear how it sounds, explore different sounds and performances. I try to find my sound and my approach taking into consideration the period it was written and the composer of course. I agree with Betty about not being hard on yourself, I tend to do it myself and it certainly doesn't help.

Despina

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#525607 - 12/13/07 07:52 AM Re: Is listening to a piece before learning it cheating?
JerryS88 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/06
Posts: 638
Loc: Ringwood, NJ
In order to IMPROVE one's playing one must, by definition, make CHANGES to one's playing and NOT rely on intuition (intuition is causing you to play the way you do already). Where does that leave one? Well, you can rely on a teacher to point out how to change/improve your playing, which will mostly be through verbal comments - nothing wrong with that. But I think listening to great artists play the piece you are learning is another extremely valuable tool one can use to grow as a musician. When I learn a piece I hear a mantra in my head - "Don't play it like yourself, don't play it like yourself." I already know what my intuition is capable of - pretty good playing, not great. I think of developing as a musician similarly to learning a language, and listening to recordings as a "language immersion" course where one is surrounded by native speakers who speak their language beautifully. There is so much subtlety to language and music, what might be called accent and inflection, that is beyond verbal description. Learning these subtleties is an osmotic process. Personally, I have taken a clue from jazz musicians and purchased a special CD player that slows down CDs and loops sections so you I can play along (jazz musicians use slow-down CD players to transcribe solos and they routinely play along with great recordings to learn to play jazz idiomatically). I know the whole idea is heretical in the classical field, but I don't care - it's just too powerful a tool to dismiss. Of course, there is no way I will ever be able to duplicate the performances I hear on recording - it doesn't matter - just trying to improves my playing. The worst thing that can happen is that I'll end up sounding like a second-rate imitation of XXXX. The best thing that can happen is that I'll sound like a second-rate imitation of XXXX. Either way, I know I'll be playing better than myself relying on my intuition. Usually I play along with several different recordings, though, which is incredibly instructive, great for ear-training, and avoids imitating just one artist. Over time I believe I have grown and assimulated enough that even my intuition is at a much higher level than it was before. That's what I'm after. I have to add, for me playing classical music is in no way a form of self-expression, but rather a quest to skillfully, accurately, and artfully let the music speak for itself - to play the notes in just the right way that brings out their inherent beauty and power. Great artists are able to do that better than I am, and I have so much to learn from them.

Having said all of this, though, it sounds to me that in your case you need to improve your reading skills if you are unable to play a piece at all without first listening to recordings along with the score. Have you let your teacher know about this? I would suggest forcing yourself to spend a good amount of time NOT listening to recordings and finding a teacher who will help you improve your reading skills. Perhaps even consider isolating, say, the issue of rhythm by concentrating on it alone for a while.

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#525608 - 12/13/07 01:36 PM Re: Is listening to a piece before learning it cheating?
Despina Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/04/07
Posts: 20
Just wanted to agree with Jerry about :

"I have to add, for me playing classical music is in no way a form of self-expression, but rather a quest to skillfully, accurately, and artfully let the music speak for itself - to play the notes in just the right way that brings out their inherent beauty and power."

Thank you, you gave me the english words for something that I've been trying to say in greek!

Despina

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#525609 - 12/14/07 08:25 AM Re: Is listening to a piece before learning it cheating?
JerryS88 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/06
Posts: 638
Loc: Ringwood, NJ
 Quote:
Originally posted by Despina:
Just wanted to agree with Jerry about :

"I have to add, for me playing classical music is in no way a form of self-expression, but rather a quest to skillfully, accurately, and artfully let the music speak for itself - to play the notes in just the right way that brings out their inherent beauty and power."

Thank you, you gave me the english words for something that I've been trying to say in greek!

Despina [/b]
Good for you, Depsina - it takes maturity and humiliity to arrive at this concept. For most of my life playing piano was all about me - wanting to show off and be valued. It took me a long time to grow out of that.

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#525610 - 12/14/07 12:58 PM Re: Is listening to a piece before learning it cheating?
frida1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/02/04
Posts: 199
Loc: Pacific Northwest
My answer will probably not address the OP's question, but it may shock some people.

I not only listen to as many recordings as possible of a piece I'm playing, I actually play along with the recordings sometimes just for fun. If my playing ever ends of resembling that of a recorded artist I'd be very pleased!

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