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#926847 - 11/07/03 09:52 PM Is This a bad Strategy?
TheloniousPunk Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/04/03
Posts: 828
Loc: US
I wanted to learn how to write music I hear in my head, so I figured a piano course would help. I play some stringed instruments, but I never learned how to read music.

I started off with Adventus, but after a month or two, I got tired of learning pieces I would never play for pleasure, and I started working through Rondo Alla Turca on my own. I still go through the Adventus lessons, but I no longer practice each piece until I can play it perfectly.

It's going really well, and I would eventually like to find a teacher, once I have some clue about the basic stuff and my hands are working correctly.

My question: am I setting myself up for problems by doing so much on my own before going to an instructor? Is there anything I should watch out for?

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#926848 - 12/04/03 10:24 AM Re: Is This a bad Strategy?
Pyano Teacher Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/02/03
Posts: 13
Loc: California
Thelonious Punk,

My first suggestion is : you need to be more patient with learning. “Rondo Ala Turca” is a little too big bite at the moment when one doesn’t read music. In order to learn notes you need to start with basics of music theory rather than playing compositions. I would suggest “Basics of Piano Theory”-level 1, and for piano you can try “Thompson’s First Grade” piano book. This is what I use for my beginners and after that I switch them to my own program, which is little different comparing to most American teachers’ styles. I am not completely happy with Thompson‘s book because the fingering is marked above every single note throughout the entire book (which makes students rely upon fingering rather than reading music). Be honest to yourself and white-out most of the numbers – leave, maybe, first number in a measure, or if pattern repeats – white-out all the numbers. That will help you focus only on notes. The most important thing is to tell the names of the notes out loud as you are playing along. That is the best way to learn. You need to be patient if you want to learn music!

In a meantime, you can record your music and save those tapes by the time you are able to write down everything you hear in your head.

I would recommend piano lessons with a teacher who also pays attention to music theory and technique. These two elements are indivisible from piano lessons if you want to become good musician or composer. My experience with students who tried on their own is that they would be fine while they were working on very basic things. As they moved on, they have gotten more and more confused , because books don’t have all little tiny tips how to approach some issues. Then … they needed a teacher, anyway. So, I would highly recommend a teacher in this phase and once when you have good foundation, you can work on your own. You will save yourself more time that way.

Good luck


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