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#940347 - 06/22/07 05:45 AM Re: Can your students play any music?
drumour Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/08/05
Posts: 862
Loc: Scotland
Same here, pianojerome. I've always been a much, much better pianist than cello-player; yet, having not played cello for more than ten years, I know I could sit down today and play through several not that short pieces completely from memory and with not much fuss. I never set out to memorise these pieces but I have them in memory. Piano - even with pieces I know very well and have set out to memorise, or which I play well enough to perform, I find difficult to the point of impossibility. I wonder why that is.


John
_________________________
Vasa inania multum strepunt.

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#940348 - 06/22/07 09:42 AM Re: Can your students play any music?
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7417
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
John, perhaps it's because in the case of the cello, you're totally focused on the melodic line, where as with the piano, you are constantly supplying both the melodic line and the supporting harmonic material.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#940349 - 06/22/07 04:35 PM Re: Can your students play any music?
Tony.S Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/15/06
Posts: 211
Loc: Alberta
This is a surprising thread. I think having a personal repertoire - a list of music you want to play) should be a basic requirement teachers place on their students (teachers that do this, pat yourself on the back - and it should be an expectation musicians have of themselves – otherwise are you really a musician at all? I don’t think it matters whether you need music to play or use memory - reading is just a memory assist anyway.

Personally, I recently started to keep every worthwhile piece I’ve learned in decent shape (not recital shape, but good enough to jam with friends while relaxing with a few glasses of wine). It takes a little work, but it seems that the longer you keep them up the easier it is to keep them going and the list builds. (some pieces now only need once/week of work). I think getting to 90 years old with 100 pieces built up is within everyone’s reach it you are willing to work.
_________________________
Estonia 168 - slow down, relax, & listen

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#940350 - 06/22/07 05:41 PM Re: Can your students play any music?
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7417
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Tony, my guess is that most agree with you! Very laudible goals. Pat yourself on the back!

Playing music from manuscript is not the problem for most of us teachers. I think that PJ would have benefitted had his teacher kept the memory working throughout the year, not just at recital time. For my studio, it's been six weeks since auditions, 3 weeks since recital. This week, just to make sure I wasn't blowing smoke at btb, :rolleyes: I had each student play through their repertoire at their lesson. From memory. They succeeded at the 85% level, which made me extremely happy.

My self-imposed requirement, which I sense many other teachers also have, is that I can play all student repertoire, correctly, at tempo, with well thoughtout interpretations. From shear repetition and focus during lessons, most of this I can do from memory. But I sure as heck wouldn't want to do this under a pressure cooker situation without serious preparations!
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#940351 - 06/22/07 07:52 PM Re: Can your students play any music?
Tony.S Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/15/06
Posts: 211
Loc: Alberta
Congratulations with your students John that is quite an accomplishment!! It sounds like you go the extra mile for your students as well - being able to play their stuff. I wish my teacher could do this!
_________________________
Estonia 168 - slow down, relax, & listen

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#940352 - 06/25/07 02:38 PM Re: Can your students play any music?
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

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

When you play your instruments, do you hear your inner voice singing along? Do you make an effort to sing along when you are learning a piece? Perhaps this is the missing link. You may be very tactile and relying on muscle memory to play. Just burst out with song, don't worry about pitching your voice, humming is good. My students usually try to avoid doing this and it takes a lot of coaching and role modeling to get them to try. It usually helps incredibly well, if they can get past that first self-conscious moment of me hearing their singing voice. My reason for doing it is I want them to have an inner voice tracking the melody or rhythms,and to use only very short coaching words when necessary. Never admonish yourself while playing.

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#940353 - 06/27/07 11:43 AM Re: Can your students play any music?
hopinmad Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/07
Posts: 1001
Loc: Eryri/Manchester
study the scores when youre not at the piano. with lots of concentration otherwise theres no point. obviously dont do it when you could be at the piano, cause you could be at the piano!
but studying the scores you notice things you wouldnt have noticed before, which is useful for interprataion, but memory wise, you see the whole structure of the piece as a whole and knw where it goes from where if you know what i mean.
_________________________
Patience's the best teacher, and time the best critic. - F.F.Chopin

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#940354 - 07/14/07 02:46 PM Re: Can your students play any music?
glyptodont2 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/26/07
Posts: 45
Going back to the first post by PianoJerome--

The answer is to train yourself to read music well.

Then you can bring back old pieces in a matter of minutes. If you play somewhat slowly at first, you have them almost at once.

You also become semi-independent of the teacher.

Surprising that this answer is not obvious to you.
_________________________
[Same person as former Glyptodont -- Some sort of system problem with forum.]

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#940355 - 07/14/07 03:05 PM Re: Can your students play any music?
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

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

This thread has come to life again!

I wonder if in the weeks since you posted the toopic if you have had any changes or improvements in your memory.

I used to have to write copious notes about everything I wanted to remember that I'd read such as biographies, music history, any in depth book other than fiction. It seemed to require information going through my hand onto paper before I could remember more than the topic. Reading alone didn't save the information. The "conclusions" would get fuzzy, and I'd be left trying to remember - "did they say to do this? or did they say to do that?" I'd be very uncertain. For some reason, I am now remembering things better and calling them up for use without all the writing it down first. Perhaps you have a missing link in the memorizing process.

And there is a difference between long term memory and short term memory. Have you gotten any books from the library to read about memory processes in general, not just in music?

Betty

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