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#562292 - 11/28/01 02:09 PM I need Help\and hones insparation Please
decibel101 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/28/01
Posts: 280
Loc: Manhattan
Hello all,

New to forum so this is my first time posting.

I just started taking lessons, I'm about three months in. Lessons are once a week for an hour. I'm twenty years old, and I practice at least an hour a day, sometimes I miss a day here and there.

And I have to wonder to myself all the time.... How long is this going to take?? I keep wondering, how long will it take for me to play something like what you would hear someone playing in a piano bar type of song??
I'm a patient person and am devoted to putting the years in and practicing and so forth. But I just want something to gage my expectations to on this.

I know that I won't be playing Beethovens emperor concerto by next year, but how long will it be till I can play something like Pathetique or a piano version of "Angie" (rolling stones)?

Right now I'm playing the little stints where the left hand is doing a broken chord and the right hand is holding the melody, and then there is some pedal at the end.

But what should I expect??
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#562293 - 11/28/01 02:54 PM Re: I need Help\and hones insparation Please
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18070
Loc: Victoria, BC
Decibel:

It seems to me that by this time your teacher should be beginning to have some idea of your potential and s/he should best be able to answer your question. Some people make amazing strides in the first year or so; others are slow-starters and take considerable time to get everything coordinated enough that they can start to advance beyond a long-term elementary stage.

What response does your teacher have to your question?

Regards,
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#562294 - 11/28/01 03:22 PM Re: I need Help\and hones insparation Please
decibel101 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/28/01
Posts: 280
Loc: Manhattan
I don't know I'll have to ask her today, I have lessons after work.

She did elude to the fact that with in the next few lessons she's going to move to more diffiuclt pieces that scale over the piano (diferent places on the keyboard)
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#562295 - 11/28/01 03:26 PM Re: I need Help\and hones insparation Please
Mike Pappadakis Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 207
Loc: Doylestown, PA
As Bruce has stated, your teacher would be your best source for this information. What lesson books, if any, are you using? There are many supplemental books with some very nice classical arrangements for beginning students. Faber, Alfred Music, Bastien to name a few. You should also look at some easy piano solo sheet music. Any good music store should have a fairly good selection. Be patient and enjoy the musical journey.

Hope this helps.

Regards,
Mike

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#562296 - 11/28/01 03:34 PM Re: I need Help\and hones insparation Please
decibel101 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/28/01
Posts: 280
Loc: Manhattan
Right now we are finishing Alfred's 'Adult all in one' level one book.

I'm not sure if she's going to use the whole series, after this she showed me the book we are using next, and it's just a bunch of songs type of book. She said it's going to be more dificult than what we've been doing in the Alfred's book so I'm looking forward to the challenge.

But I'm just asking from all of your own personal experiences, do you remember how you progressed on your journey..???
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#562297 - 11/28/01 05:15 PM Re: I need Help\and hones insparation Please
kenny Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 7051
db101
It is hard to answer your question. Learning rates vary considerably.
It is like asking, At what age is a person mature?

I have been taking lessons 3 or 4 years and have learned several of Bach's Ana Magdalena book pieces, 4 or 5 Chopin pieces, (original compositions, not simplified). I am now working on Brahms Intermezzo Op 117 Nr.2. For me it seems very difficult.

Just listing the pieces does not tell the whole story. How well do I play them? Can I move the listener to feel something? Can I communicate? How well do I sight read? Do I memorize? What do I know of music theory?

When I compare myself to others, I think my progress is slow. Others think it is very good. It is all relative.
Yesterday my teacher said some students make very slow progress for sometimes years, and suddenly something clicks. Things just fall into place and their progress accelerates greatly.

Stick with it. Don't worry too much about comparing yourself to others.

Here is something that has helped me stay motivated: Ask your teacher to help you find pieces at your level that you love to hear yourself play. Your teacher can sight read several pieces in a book. You pick the ones you like. After you learn them and move on to new pieces, keep playing two or three of your favorites outside of the lessons. Play them often. Play a special one every night just before bedtime. Fall in love with your pursuit. Even some simple pieces can be very moving.

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#562298 - 11/28/01 05:19 PM Re: I need Help\and hones insparation Please
Bernard Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/06/01
Posts: 3857
Loc: North Groton, NH
decibel101, Hi and welcome! The consensus seems to be that you and your teacher are the only ones who can really answer your question of how long it will take.

As for myself, I remember when I started taking lessons (at 33 or 34, can't quite remember) I secretly said to myself "I'll be very happy if I can be working on a Beethoven Sonata in five years from now." And, indeed I had worked on the Pathetique by then. (N.B. I wasn't new to the piano when I started taking lessons, I was self taught as a youngster and played for my enjoyment until I was about 21). Now, I secretly (well, not so secretly any more!) tell myself I'd be very happy if I'll have worked on or am working on Rachmaninov's 2nd Conterto and some of the more challenging Chopin (Ballades, Scherzo's) in five years from now.

Good luck to you, best wishes, and remember... keep dreaming... it's good for you.
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"Hunger for growth will come to you in the form of a problem." -- unknown

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#562299 - 11/29/01 08:09 AM Re: I need Help\and hones insparation Please
Mike Pappadakis Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 207
Loc: Doylestown, PA
 Quote:
Originally posted by decibel101:
But I'm just asking from all of your own personal experiences, do you remember how you progressed on your journey..???[/b]


I've been taking lessons for 1.5 years. I find that sometimes I progress rapidly, and more often, very slowly. I've learned many Schumann pieces from Album for the Young, several short Grieg pieces and many others. While these certainly aren't sonatas, concertos, etc, they are very beautiful when played properly. Remember, anyone can play the notes, but it takes lots of practice and time to make the music.

I used to get frustrated because I felt I wasn't progressing fast enough. Then I realized that my frustration was the result of my comparing my progress to others and what they were playing. I don't do that anymore, because it turns music-making into a chore. I want it to be fun and enjoyable.

Will I ever be able to play the complex pieces that others on this forum play? I know that with diligent practice that someday I might. But if I don't, it's not the end of the world. What I really, really want to do is enjoy it. After all that's why I took up the piano in the first place.

[QUOTE]Originally posted by decibel101:
I'm not sure if she's going to use the whole series, after this she showed me the book we are using next, and it's just a bunch of songs type of book. She said it's going to be more dificult than what we've been doing in the Alfred's book so I'm looking forward to the challenge.[/b]/QUOTE]

My teacher does not use lesson books. He assigns me the actual music as written by the composer (although some dynamic, tempo markings, etc. may be added or clarified by the publisher). I find this to be much more instructive and satisfying than using lesson books. It seems that this is what your teacher is doing. And your teacher is correct - it will be more challenging.

Good Luck.

Mike

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#562300 - 11/29/01 08:13 AM Re: I need Help\and hones insparation Please
decibel101 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/28/01
Posts: 280
Loc: Manhattan
Just wanted to say thanks for everyones replies.

=)
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#562301 - 11/29/01 11:09 AM Re: I need Help\and hones insparation Please
charms Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/21/01
Posts: 16
Loc: USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by decibel101:
Right now we are finishing Alfred's 'Adult all in one' level one book.
[/b]


coolness! i taught myself using the Alfred series, and i did that book \:D have you gotten to 'o sole mio' yet??


-charms

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#562302 - 11/29/01 11:53 AM Re: I need Help\and hones insparation Please
decibel101 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/28/01
Posts: 280
Loc: Manhattan
We're not going through to the end.

We're stopping at joy to the world and then she's moving me to a differnet book that she said was a little more difficult.

Favorite little stint in that book is Rockets go up, and Standing in the need of prayer =)
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#562303 - 12/01/01 12:04 AM Re: I need Help\and hones insparation Please
CrashTest Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/23/01
Posts: 4110
I have never used a lesson book, (Besides Hanon for a few months), I hit the ground running basically. I learned the notes, and that was about it- I jumped right into stuff that should of been far too advanced for me, that is usually bad for most people but in my case it payed off because progress came quickly.
Music is practice and more practice, if you focus during your practice time and play mechanical drills and piecs with concentration, progress will come at a very fast rate. I learned scales and arpeggios, but I find that just playing those for a little bit and then working on technical details within pieces work wonders, especially when you work with first-rate compositions such as those etudes penned by Chopin and Liszt.
If you have one hour a day to practice, I would advise 10-15 minutes for scales and arpeggios, 20-25 minutes on technical details in pieces you learn, and the remaining time in interpretation and playing through what you know. As you learn more and more, you will need to practice for many more hours, 4 hours of concentrated practice should suffice for an advanced player I think. Good luck! ;\)

[ December 01, 2001: Message edited by: CrashTest ]

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