Learning piano without a teacher

Posted by: Voyaging

Learning piano without a teacher - 10/12/10 03:15 PM

Hi, I am pretty much a beginner to the piano, and was wondering what the best way to learn without a teacher is. A certain book, video, method?

To clarify, I AM GOING TO GET A TEACHER EVENTUALLY. It's just that I can't immediately and I want to at least make as much progress as possible until that point.
Posted by: ChatNoir

Re: Learning piano without a teacher - 10/12/10 05:20 PM

Learning without a teacher is dangerous.
As Anna Russell says about "Singers who can't count": You can drag out the interesting parts and skip over the boring bits as much as you want!
And that's what one tends to do without proper tutoring. Ask me, I know, growing up without proper instruction and thinking I was just fabulous. Until, at age 40, I got a teacher. She promised me that I would play quite nicely once I learned to hit the right keys. And learn to count. And use the pedal. Etc, etc, etc.......
Posted by: jotur

Re: Learning piano without a teacher - 10/12/10 05:39 PM

Many of us here are learning without formal lessons. You might check the Alfred's threads here on the ABF - there's one for each level of book.

Physically, the most important part is to play without tenseness. Tenseness can cause tendonitus, carpal tunnel, and some damage to the nerves in the palm of your hand. That's one of the things a teacher can spot that is perhaps more difficult to spot by yourself.

But there's a lot you can learn without a teacher. Again - check out the Alfred's threads here, and ask any questions you want - there's lots of people who will help!

Cathy
Posted by: jotur

Re: Learning piano without a teacher - 10/12/10 10:24 PM

Self-teaching support thread - PW ABF

Cathy
Posted by: kdi

Re: Learning piano without a teacher - 10/13/10 06:24 PM

If you can afford it start lessons at the very beginning. You won't regret it.
Posted by: AllShookUp

Re: Learning piano without a teacher - 10/14/10 12:02 AM

Do some research on the "circle of fifths" and learn what that's all about. It will be a good start.
Posted by: Infinity

Re: Learning piano without a teacher - 10/14/10 12:28 AM

I learned without a teacher. Eventually i became a teacher myself. The best way to do it? Hang out with other pianists, and watch and listen!!
Posted by: Infinity

Re: Learning piano without a teacher - 10/14/10 12:29 AM

Good Luck!
Posted by: Mr Super-Hunky

Re: Learning piano without a teacher - 10/14/10 03:03 AM

A highly motivated student will progress faster without a "teacher" than a poorly motivated student that has one.

In most cases (or at least many of them), having a teacher is probably best. Why try and reinvent the wheel? You simply should be able to learn faster and better with having someone show you how to do it correctly from the start.

Still, not everyone has a teacher yet many seem to progress nicely.

I think it may be more about motivation. Many people find ways to teach themselves to play piano and have done so forever. Some of the greatest musicians are self-taught.

Maybe it's natural talent or possibly relentless motivation but no matter the size of the container, the cream will always rise to the top.

People who are highly motivated to learn a task usually will. However they go about it, it WILL get done.

Many of us here on this forum are self taught, or worse! (no names!) and while we may not be the best, we proudly hold our own. Proud of what we have accomplished all on our own. A personal achievement of sorts.

Your succsess will be almost entirely dependant upon the amount of your desire to learn. The stronger your motivation, the better you will probably become.

Of course, as always, I am making all of this up. I'm probably right though!


Posted by: Frozenicicles

Re: Learning piano without a teacher - 10/14/10 03:06 AM

Originally Posted By: mr_super-hunky
A highly motivated student will progress faster without a "teacher" than a poorly motivated student that has one.

Also, you're better off not having a teacher than having a bad one. Some of the stuff that gets taught is shocking. A GOOD teacher can work miracles.
Posted by: Morodiene

Re: Learning piano without a teacher - 10/14/10 09:09 AM

Originally Posted By: mr_super-hunky
A highly motivated student will progress faster without a "teacher" than a poorly motivated student that has one.

In most cases (or at least many of them), having a teacher is probably best. Why try and reinvent the wheel? You simply should be able to learn faster and better with having someone show you how to do it correctly from the start.

Still, not everyone has a teacher yet many seem to progress nicely.

I think it may be more about motivation. Many people find ways to teach themselves to play piano and have done so forever. Some of the greatest musicians are self-taught.

Maybe it's natural talent or possibly relentless motivation but no matter the size of the container, the cream will always rise to the top.

People who are highly motivated to learn a task usually will. However they go about it, it WILL get done.

Many of us here on this forum are self taught, or worse! (no names!) and while we may not be the best, we proudly hold our own. Proud of what we have accomplished all on our own. A personal achievement of sorts.

Your succsess will be almost entirely dependant upon the amount of your desire to learn. The stronger your motivation, the better you will probably become.

Of course, as always, I am making all of this up. I'm probably right though!




I think that having a teacher can be a great motivator, but that isn't always the case. There has to be some inward motivation on the part of the student to succeed and take instruction for it to work. It's teamwork, really. The biggest advantages of having a teacher:
-Material will be presented in an orderly manner. A teacher knows what a students needs to learn next and knows the appropriate repertoire that will help them get there.
-They can also make sure that technical issues are worked out to prevent injury, pain, and poor musical execution of a passage or piece.
-Having a pair of ears listen to your playing to determine how well you're doing or what you may have missed or what might need work is invaluable feedback
-A teacher can give you practice suggestions on how to work certain difficult passages and correct errors. There are so many different ways to practice, that learning these techniques actually makes practicing even more fun, and it will get you results quicker than if you simply keep playing through the passage over and over again.

Having said that, of course someone can learn without a teacher. People do it all the time, and if you are at a point in your life where you can't afford it, then you make the best with what you have. I encourage you to save up or plan in the future to have some lessons, even if it ends up being every other week for a few months. I personally still alternate between taking lessons and working on my own. As a teacher myself, I still need a pair of ears to listen and offer feedback and suggestions. wink
Posted by: Stanza

Re: Learning piano without a teacher - 10/14/10 10:08 AM

Here is the thing about a teacher by way of analogy.

My wife and I are both pretty good golfers. We were on a vacation at a golf resort last month. She couldn't hit the ball worth a dam for some reason. So she is trying this and trying that, nothing helped.

Now I know from experience that husbands need to stay away from giving advice to wives on the course, so I generally bite my tongue as long as possible. I finally break down and simply had her adjust her feet and shoulder alignment, and bingo! Long and straight...she played well the rest of the trip.

Same thing with piano, others see and hear what you don't. They can that help you with the proper solutions your obstacles.
Posted by: Dror Perl

Re: Learning piano without a teacher - 10/19/10 07:08 PM

From the perspective of a piano teacher, I can say that I think you can learn a lot without a teacher, but it's a lot harder especially for an adult with a busy schedule. I think it's easier to practice and keep motivated with the right guidance and weekly assignments. Of course, certain individuals don't really need the weekly assignment to keep them going...but I think in most cases it makes a big difference.
Having said that, I learned to play the accordion & harmonicas just by watching online tutorials (youtubes, expertvillage, etc) so it's definitely a very realistic possibility and as long as you are excited about it and "hungry" to play & practice I'm sure you can achieve great progress by yourself.

One last thought, why not flipping the order of things? meaning going to take a few lessons, get some good fundamentals, solid base, good posture, and then continue by yourself. it sounds a lot healthier to me than gaining some bad habits and than going to a teacher at a later point...to fix them.

Either way good luck !! I'm sure you'll have fun
Posted by: TrapperJohn

Re: Learning piano without a teacher - 10/20/10 07:15 AM

Originally Posted By: Stanza

My wife and I are both pretty good golfers. We were on a vacation at a golf resort last month. She couldn't hit the ball worth a dam for some reason.

I finally break down and simply had her adjust her feet and shoulder alignment, and bingo! Long and straight...she played well the rest of the trip.



The unwritten rule of golf, being the game of politeness and courtesy that it is, is to never offer advice unless asked. Did she "man up" and give you credit and thank you for fixing her stroke? And then did she proceed to beat you? Would serve you right - no (unsolicited)good deed ever goes unpunished laugh

JF