Methods to "teach yourself" that work with classical

Posted by: BillTheSlink

Methods to "teach yourself" that work with classical - 12/13/12 05:53 AM

I have looked at "Learn and Master Piano", but it's pretty clear that's geared more toward getting you ready to accompany someone. There is no way I can afford "Shinn's 52 Week Crash Course". That is totally out of the question. I have looked at Andrew Furmanczyk's YouTube course which looks great and everything, but from what I have seen he never says, "You now have the skills to be working on :this piece or another:" and I wouldn't know where to turn to practice. Is "Alfred's Teach Yourself to Play Piano: Everything You Need to Know to Start Playing Now!", geared toward playing classical, or at least a solid foundation to launch from into multiple areas or is it like "Learn and Master Piano"? Note now I am talking about Alfred's Teach Yourself not the Regular Book One. I don't know what the difference is between the two other than Book One is supposed to be done with a teacher. Can anyone recommend something different that I haven't seen that would be better suited?
Posted by: sinophilia

Re: Methods to "teach yourself" that work with classical - 12/13/12 06:09 AM

I'm following Alfred's All-in-One Adult course, and while it doesn't have much classical music in it, it's not aimed only at pop music or accompaniment either. Most classical music is out of reach anyway at this stage, unless it's simplified.

I think the Self-Teaching book is basically the same as AIO book 1 but with a few more hints and tips. I'd give it a go, the Alfred's books provide a nice basis for technique and music theory.
Posted by: zrtf90

Re: Methods to "teach yourself" that work with classical - 12/13/12 06:37 AM

No method book will start you off with classical. Alfred's is about keyboard familiarity and foundational playing and reading skills. All the other method books that I'm aware of are fairly similar.

Other methods may use more classically oriented material but that's not the same thing. Starting out with classical really requires a teacher. It always has and it always will. You can self learn but you'll make no more headway (and may even hamper yourself) by starting out with classical than by going through the first two (or three) Adult All-In-One books by Alfreds and progressing onto classical from there.

Playing classical piano is a really demanding precision based activity with many parts that make up the whole and it takes years to reach fruition. Any system that promises you more sooner is selling itself and will lead to frustration if you believe it. You aren't any slower than anyone else. It takes us all a long time. Even if some can dazzle earlier than others. There's no doubt that having a teacher is faster but it doesn't guarantee that the teacher is good (or even worthwhile) and speed may not be your most important criterion.

If that's your intent, self-teaching classical, start with Alfred's first book (or any other recommended method book) and at the end of it start working the next volume in parallel with Bartok's Mikrokosmos. Stop worrying about what you like. If you do this properly you will get to like what you practise not play what you like and you will get to like more by experiencing more with an open mind. Music is what you make it.

When you get to the end of the second method book start moving on to the standard beginning repertoire, The Album for the Young by Schumann (Op. 68) and Tchaikovsky (Op. 39), 25 Progressive Etudes by Burgmüller (Op. 25) Sonatinas by Clementi, Kuhlau, et al and progressing from the Anna Magdalena Notebook to the Inventions and Sinfonias of Bach.

You'll hear it repeated many times on this forum; it's about the journey not the destination. Progress on the piano is slow, for all of us, and isn't measured in days. It takes as long as it takes. In an ideal world we'd all have a seven foot grand, a wizard teacher and two or three free hours every day. And we'd still not progress fast enough. Ho hum!
Posted by: BillTheSlink

Re: Methods to "teach yourself" that work with classical - 12/13/12 07:12 AM

Oh, OK that makes sense. What I was thinking was that something like "Learn and Master Piano" or perhaps Alfred's would not be moving you in the right direction. Since someone gave me "Learn and Master Piano" (I believe it has been revised since then) I will work through that and use Alfred's as a supplement since I have a lot of time on my hands (I am disabled). Thanks so much for the advise.
Posted by: dmd

Re: Methods to "teach yourself" that work with classical - 12/13/12 07:58 AM


This site is geared specifically for classical training.


http://fundamentalkeys.com/index.html

She has a book you can page through page by page on her site before purchasing and she also has videos of each piece or exercise in the book available for purchase. She is a fine classical pianist and gives excellent training. She will also give you specific lessons if you request them via skype.

There is also a forum on which you can converse with other members of the site and discuss things or ask questions.

If you want classical, I cannot imagine a better site for you.
Posted by: BillTheSlink

Re: Methods to "teach yourself" that work with classical - 12/13/12 09:41 AM

Originally Posted By: dmd

This site is geared specifically for classical training.


http://fundamentalkeys.com/index.html

She has a book you can page through page by page on her site before purchasing and she also has videos of each piece or exercise in the book available for purchase. She is a fine classical pianist and gives excellent training. She will also give you specific lessons if you request them via skype.

There is also a forum on which you can converse with other members of the site and discuss things or ask questions.

If you want classical, I cannot imagine a better site for you.


I diffidently am going to check this out further. I never heard of her approach of "teaching" where you upload a video for feedback if you're having problems. I will certainly keep this in mind. Thank you.