Adult learner (well 27) Starting from square one!

Posted by: pianolover85

Adult learner (well 27) Starting from square one! - 05/09/13 01:00 AM

Hello everyone...
What a lovely website...a place for advice and suggestions for piano players...

So let me start...This is Sam, a 27 year old who always loved music and never had time or the interest to pursue music...but now I have made my mind and want to start learning the piano. Although I know the value of a GOOD teacher, with today's rates, I can not afford private instruction and using online websites to teach myself is the main route at the moment...someone also suggested to me to start learning the basics on my own and only use a teacher to take me to the next level...

So in my search I came across
-Rocket Piano
-Piano for all
-Learn Piano with Rosa (which was very interesting)
- and a bunch of other learn in a ...minutes...weeks....months... courses...

Based on this which courses would you suggest to me? from these or any other; I am weary of "too good to be true methods" and really want to devote time and systematically learn the basics and go ahead. My ultimate goals would be to play my favourite tunes and if lucky write some music.


Thank you for your suggestions and cheers...

P.S. some of my other friends who are not in north america actually suggested to me to go ahead with the Hannon book and some other hard old books (like Thompson method and belvin method)
Posted by: earlofmar

Re: Adult learner (well 27) Starting from square one! - 05/09/13 02:22 AM

Welcome pianolover85, this is indeed a very good site full of interesting people, ideas and views. Just searching the archive of posts here is also a wealth of information.
I am just coming up for six months of learning the piano and so have a few views. I also have the Hannon and Piano for All books you mentioned.

Your first point of not being able to afford a music teacher will elicit lots of groans from the members here. Most believe (and I would share this view) that a teacher is essential and in the long run saves you time and money especially if you pick up bad habits along the self taught method and have to start back again virtually at the start. My brother in the UK recently said he could not afford a teacher, I googled his area for teachers and found the cheapest one I could get. He is now at least being looked after by someone who can keep him on the right course, and at a fraction of the price he believed was the true cost. However the statement you get what you pay for is very true for piano teachers.

“The right course” is of course the crux of the matter and depends on your long term goals. Books like “Rocket Piano” and “Piano for All” are not good methods in themselves but do teach some chord and rhythm work suited for pop, rock and roll, blues piano with an intro into Jazz. I personally chose the Alfred All In One Adult Piano Course which is a well thought out method, building over three key books. It uses mainly folk and classical pieces to build up a set of skills which are good building blocks to pursue further interest in any or other styles. I particularly like the fact that the theory is in the same book and you can then implement that theory into a supplied piece. The books also come with optional CD’s which are good to have a correct understanding of dynamics, speed, rhythm etc. However each book can be about six months to a year of work depending on capability.

As to Hannon, this is not a method book but a series of finger exercises, see more by taking the link below. Although there as many people who believe Hannon is useless as there are who believe it works. You can download it for free anyway and perhaps like me you might find it just one of the many tools you use.

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20091018175832AA5biOP

Good luck and looking forward to seeing your posts on your progress. Please make use of this forum to ask any question no matter how trivial or dumb you may think it may be.
Posted by: UK Paul UK

Re: Adult learner (well 27) Starting from square one! - 05/09/13 03:38 AM

Hi, welcome, and good luck!

Hannon, online courses, sight reading, practice methods.... absolutely everything CAN be useful.... but its how it is all used that is important.

Teacher can be useful, but i would say listening to some of the more insightful members here will be more likely to help.... i have a teacher now, he is good but without my knowledge from this site i would not be getting a well rounded education. I have had 3 teachers and none have been great.
Posted by: UK Paul UK

Re: Adult learner (well 27) Starting from square one! - 05/09/13 03:47 AM

He is good, but i only pay for half an hour a week.... more the point should be...


Get a teacher, but if your budget is tight, pick and choose the most important things to cover with the teacher, and put the legwork in on studying this sight to make up the difference.

I use my teacher for composition analysis, how to practice a pieces difficultys and he is probably able to help a lot more but i only have a small amount of time...

I make the rest up myself.

I may be babbling.
Posted by: Bobpickle

Re: Adult learner (well 27) Starting from square one! - 05/09/13 05:13 AM

I don't have any knowledge of those you've mentioned, but Fundamental Keys (fundamentalkeys.com) is said by users here to be a great introductory method for those like yourself who can't currently afford lessons. Where it excels is in providing accompanying videos (I'm not sure if they're bought separately or come with the purchase of the physical book) with a physical method book from which to learn a proper foundation. This would keep you busy for a while after which you could go in a variety of directions depending on your interest at that time - ideally, you may even have the funds saved to afford weekly or maybe bi-monthly private lessons.
Posted by: heathermphotog

Re: Adult learner (well 27) Starting from square one! - 05/09/13 06:37 AM

Welcome and enjoy!! Let me also add not to discount children's methods books just because they are for children. I have found them to be quite thorough. And I have found the music in Fabers Piano Adventures to be both fun and challenging. I know there are people here who also use this and other children's methods books with success.
Posted by: sinophilia

Re: Adult learner (well 27) Starting from square one! - 05/09/13 07:02 AM

Hello and welcome!

What kind of music do you want to play? If it's pop, rock, accompaniment and the like, Piano for All is the way to go. If it's classical, you might want to get a teacher, or you can try Fundamental Keys.
Posted by: pianolover85

Re: Adult learner (well 27) Starting from square one! - 05/09/13 03:12 PM

Well thank you ll for being so supportive...
@ earlofmar: Well thank you for the encouragement...I got the rocket piano and seems so comprehensive and well laid out. My only criticism of them is why they do this infomartial almost spam like advertising...for such a good course...I almost did not get it because of how bad it was advertised...But thanks my friend...I will go ahead with the alfred course and see where it takes me.

Regarding teacher...no one can argue with a dedicated and good teacher. I meant at the beginning stages like thats the middle C and thats the C chord....I could learn them on my own and get a teacher when I want more comprehensive song analysis...but thanks for your advice my friend.

@ UK Paul UK: agree with you 100%

@ others...Thank you for the encouragement and I will check the fundamental series...

One more question: is it beneficial to start on the classical route? and supplement it with the chord or ear methods?...im really tired of playing amazing grace and twinkle twinkle...

Cheers
Sam
Posted by: earlofmar

Re: Adult learner (well 27) Starting from square one! - 05/09/13 06:40 PM

Originally Posted By: pianolover85

One more question: is it beneficial to start on the classical route? and supplement it with the chord or ear methods?...im really tired of playing amazing grace and twinkle twinkle...

Cheers
Sam



It's not an easy question Sam but you don't really have to be restricted to one or the other. One thing with classical music though is you got to really enjoy it to spend days and days working on a piece. Personally I do believe classical is the best approach. It's a well trodden path, pieces are graded so you get an understanding of where you are. There are different style particular to the composers, this gives variety and teaches a many pronged approach.

One more resource I seriously considered when starting out was Piano Marvel, it is an interactive online lesson program, Very well made graded lessons you can play along with in real time. It is a monthly subscription but you can try for 30 days free.
Posted by: dmd

Re: Adult learner (well 27) Starting from square one! - 05/09/13 06:58 PM

Originally Posted By: Bobpickle
I don't have any knowledge of those you've mentioned, but Fundamental Keys (fundamentalkeys.com) is said by users here to be a great introductory method for those like yourself who can't currently afford lessons. Where it excels is in providing accompanying videos (I'm not sure if they're bought separately or come with the purchase of the physical book) with a physical method book from which to learn a proper foundation. This would keep you busy for a while after which you could go in a variety of directions depending on your interest at that time - ideally, you may even have the funds saved to afford weekly or maybe bi-monthly private lessons.


I have personally utilized Fundamental Keys and can attest to the quality of that methodology. The material (book and videos) has been created by a classically trained pianist who can provide personal lessons via Skype if you desire. There is also a forum associated with the website which allows members to discuss various things and ask questions.

I think it is ideal for a beginner.
Posted by: Bobpickle

Re: Adult learner (well 27) Starting from square one! - 05/10/13 04:40 AM

Yeah, I'd remembered your previous testimony when recommending it.
Posted by: Charles Cohen

Re: Adult learner (well 27) Starting from square one! - 05/11/13 02:57 AM

Quote:
P.S. some of my other friends who are not in north america actually suggested to me to go ahead with the Hannon book and some other hard old books (like Thompson method and belvin method)


Hanon (the first "book") is easy to play _slowly_. And it's good practice for the fingers, and good for developing even touch (that is, even loudness on all fingers).

When it becomes easy for you, then play it faster, and transpose the exercises to other keys.

The second and third "books" are more difficult for beginners, even playing slowly. So, wait until you have more skill.

. Charles

PS -- You can download a Hanon PDF _free_. Google:

Hanon download pdf free
Posted by: pianotimo

Re: Adult learner (well 27) Starting from square one! - 05/11/13 10:56 AM

The best Hanon book is published by Alfred. I use it and its superb. Not bad for 8 bucks.

http://www.amazon.com/Virtuoso-Pianist-C...on+plastic+comb

Edit: I mean, the most organized format of Hanon's Virtuoso Pianist is published by Alfred.