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#988968 - 12/13/08 08:30 AM To: Self-Taught Alfred Method Book Users
angelojf Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/03/06
Posts: 742
Loc: PA
Sorry if this has been asked before, but:

How do you know when you've mastered a lesson enough to go to the next lesson? What do you use as criteria ?

Thanks!
Ang

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#988969 - 12/13/08 08:39 AM Re: To: Self-Taught Alfred Method Book Users
gmm1 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/03/06
Posts: 1674
Loc: Spokane WA
Good question, Ang.

Hmm. I guess I use a combo of ease of play, is it memorized yet, am I bored yet, and finally, time spent on the lesson. If I feel I have hung around too long, I will move on even if I don't feel I "have it" yet.

I have noticed that sometimes moving on to the next more difficult lesson makes the roadblock on the previous lesson seem to disappear.

Anyway, FWIW....
_________________________
"There is nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself." Johann Sebastian Bach/Gyro

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#988970 - 12/13/08 08:46 AM Re: To: Self-Taught Alfred Method Book Users
angelojf Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/03/06
Posts: 742
Loc: PA
Thanks, gmm1!

Wow! You "memorize" lessons?

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#988971 - 12/13/08 08:48 AM Re: To: Self-Taught Alfred Method Book Users
gmm1 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/03/06
Posts: 1674
Loc: Spokane WA
 Quote:
Originally posted by angelojf:
Wow! You "memorize" lessons? [/b]
Not on purpose, it just happens. Then, I quit reading and just play them, which means I do not practice reading enough. With every blessing comes a curse....
_________________________
"There is nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself." Johann Sebastian Bach/Gyro

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#988972 - 12/13/08 09:16 AM Re: To: Self-Taught Alfred Method Book Users
TrapperJohn Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 3553
Loc: Chocolatetown, USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by angelojf:

How do you know when you've mastered a lesson enough to go to the next lesson? What do you use as criteria ?

Thanks!
Ang [/b]
Perhaps - in a certain way to a certain extent - you never really "master" a lesson at whatever leval of skill and musicality you're currently working . You won't really polish off or "master" a piece until you've moved on to a somewhat higher skill level with improved technique, control and confidence - and then come back to it for review and re-study.

The more often you come back to it and work on it at each new advanced stage in your developement the closer you will come to mastering it. Granted there's probably a point beyond which any given piece can't be improved upon too much more, but by that time you'll be more interested in polishing off some of the more advanced pieces you've been working on.

As far as your current pieces in your lessons at your current level, try to at least play them as written at the indicated tempo with all the designated dynamics - memorizing helps you concentrate on all the details. Don't knock yourself out trying to master a given piece at one time - move on and come back periodically for review, at least to the pieces you really like and want to get "down".

Review is the key to both mastering old pieces and advancing in your movement onward and upward to higher levels (it "solidifies your base") - it has a dual benefit. Make it a regular part of your practice routine. You'll be very glad you did

And don't worry too much about playing a piece "mistake-free" - you may never be able to do this consistently - at any level - just try to minimize them and learn to play thru them.

Yes, like gmm1 I memorize all my pieces too - as stated, it just happens thru repetition.

Regards, JF
_________________________
Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on. Frederic Chopin

Current favorite bumper sticker: Wag more, bark less.

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#988973 - 12/13/08 11:36 AM Re: To: Self-Taught Alfred Method Book Users
LaValse Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/21/07
Posts: 1224
Loc: Mumbles, Wales
 Quote:
Originally posted by angelojf:
How do you know when you've mastered a lesson enough to go to the next lesson? What do you use as criteria ?
[/b]
I am working through Alfred Adult Book I with somebody and we find that it's fruitful and satisfying to identify the new technical challenge in each piece and concentrate on it - once that particular challenge becomes easy/natural then move on. For example fairly early on there is a pretty little piece with descending LH chords; the challenge being to play the bottom notes legato. The reason I mention it is that these challenges are not usually explicitly stated in the text, but they are there and we are finding it's worth identifying them and using them as a criteria for progress...
_________________________
http://uk.youtube.com/user/sailwavedev

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#988974 - 12/13/08 12:07 PM Re: To: Self-Taught Alfred Method Book Users
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
In my opinion, if you're working on your
own on it, without an instructor,
then there is no set time limit
on this, that is, you can't say that one
needs to spend exactly X number of days on each
lesson in the book. The only rule, in
my view, is that you work on it until
you're at a point where it appears that you can
get no more out of the lesson, and that
can vary in time from one day, to even as long
as one yr. or more, depending on the lesson
and the individual.

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#988975 - 12/13/08 12:53 PM Re: To: Self-Taught Alfred Method Book Users
mom3gram Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/26/08
Posts: 1131
Loc: New Jersey
I seem to be a slow learner, so I stay at a piece longer than most, but I will move on before I'm satisfied if I've been at it a long time and I'm bored with it. I continue to go back and review frequently though, and as stated above, it's surprising how much easier it is when you "go back" to it.
_________________________
mom3gram

ALFRED'S ADULT BOOK 1 GRADUATE


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#988976 - 12/13/08 02:58 PM Re: To: Self-Taught Alfred Method Book Users
Dave123 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/24/08
Posts: 203
Loc: Canada
 Quote:
Originally posted by angelojf:
Sorry if this has been asked before, but:

How do you know when you've mastered a lesson enough to go to the next lesson? What do you use as criteria ?

Thanks!
Ang [/b]
I find that a difficult question to answer, I can only go off what I have experienced.
My early days of learning (actually still in the early days and have allot to learn) I was introduced to Alfred's by my teacher, he was very progressive and we advanced through the course at a good pace and I continually went back to practice what I learned. Circumstances dictated that I got new teacher, we spent a considerable amount of time on a couple of pieces and I play them pieces well now, unfortunately it did slow my progress and reduced the time of going back and practicing what I had previously learned.
I did mention to him that the pieces I viewed as a learning experience and nothing more I did not really like the pieces, and was starting to act as a negative on me. He did say he was using them more of pieces to learn in the process and not really as a course piece as designed in the book. He added he was teaching more by using scales etc. in a more traditional way of teaching. No problem, but why don't we use music I like for this process?
Now that is what is happening, and I am going return to Alfred's as a self learning tool and following his format also.
I will return to Alfred's and basically work with a given piece until I have learned what the course is trying to achieve and I am confident with the playing of the piece, with perfection being a no relevance.
I am sorry to be long winded here but I just wanted to share my thoughts and experience, now I get to learn the course at my pace, learn how my teacher wants me to learn, plus learn pieces that I enjoy. Of course everything is restricted by my own abilities or lack of \:D but now feel I am on track to what I want to achieve.
To put this in a nutshell my opinion is that learn the course material until you are satisfied you have got out of it what the course intends and you are confident, then move on but practice what you have learned.
I think back to my school years where I had difficulty with some concepts, but as I progressed to the next level what I struggled with previously became second nature

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#988977 - 12/13/08 04:34 PM Re: To: Self-Taught Alfred Method Book Users
polostrings Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/06/08
Posts: 216
Loc: Hawaii
I take lessons every two weeks, so this last month I missed one due to Thanksgiving. I thought I had nailed my lesson down, since I had a month, just to find out, I have been doing it all wrong, and pretty sloppy. I'm holding notes down, not leaving them for the right count, not playing cleanly. I never would have known unless my teacher pointed it out. I don't always like the songs, or the lesson. But like any other school, or learning, somethings that you don't like are good for you to be a better pianist. I go through Faber's, once the teacher thinks I get what I can get from a lesson , we move on. Sometimes we'll skip songs, cuz he knows I won't like it. We'll play the same piece, somehow when he plays it, it sounds soooo much better, even the easy stuff. All those little things add up, to better sound. Good luck in your journey.
_________________________
Aloha!

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#988978 - 12/15/08 08:06 PM Re: To: Self-Taught Alfred Method Book Users
Always Wanted to Play Piano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 674
Loc: Chicago
In my case, if I play the piece well enough not to be annoying to myself, it's time to move on. If I like the piece, I may set a higher standard than that.
_________________________

Casio Ap-200
Almost midway thru Alfred's All-In-One Book Two
Blogging my family's piano learning experiences: http://aw2pp.blogspot.com/

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#988979 - 12/16/08 11:51 AM Re: To: Self-Taught Alfred Method Book Users
dfpolitowski Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/09/06
Posts: 166
Loc: New Jersey
angelojf,

I am a Graduate from the Alfred Adult Series.
When I was working through the series I tried for about a 90 or 95 % "mastery" of the piece before I moved to the next piece. I think I averaged two pieces a week for the most part. By the mid point of book 2 and onward my pace might have lengthened to one piece a week. Later in the series some pieces took two to three weeks. I limited myself to three weeks for the most difficult in book two and three. Otherwise, I would have been on the piece for months and never getting up to the level of 90% accomplished. You just have to know when to quit those difficult pieces and move on.

John frank is right-on with his explanation.
_________________________
David

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