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Thread: New adult piano student

  1. #16
    Senior Member Larkenfield's Avatar
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    Teacher. Teacher. Teacher. Live. Pay them for lessons. It can cut years off playing around and wondering how to do something, because they can play the examples, correct fingerings, grade the difficulty of each piece, prevent the formation of terrible habits that could take years to correct. A teacher can help alleviate tension and anxiety about playing certain passages. Their mission in life is to help students succeed in the shortest amount of time. For most new students, a 30-minute weekly lesson is a great starting point, costing on average, depending upon one’s location and the experience of the teacher, between $15 and $40. As one’s playing progresses, however, most students benefit from longer lessons, such as 45 minutes to an hour. There is no substitute for being apprenticed to a good teacher. I think aspiring students forget that being a musician is the same as learning a trade, and there's no substitute for being directly shown by someone how to correctly do something.
    Last edited by Larkenfield; Sep-17-2018 at 12:52.
    ”Art is how we decorate space; Music is how we decorate time.”

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    Senior Member eugeneonagain's Avatar
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    ^ Whilst a teacher helps a great deal, it might not be within the reach of everyone; certainly when at the top-end of that estimate it will cost up to, or in excess of, 2,000 dollars/pounds/euros per year, which is a costly extra expense.
    There are quite a few here who are already retired with a fat pension from the good years and plenty of time on their hands, but there are also people without those luxuries. Since I don't know who belongs to which group it's worth looking at alternatives, at least until a person feels it's worth taking lessons.

    The reason I suggested the Denes Agay books (which are not teaching method books, but just music) is because the grades go from simple to intermediate in the way a teacher would grade them and they have good fingering guides. It is perfectly possible to develop good fingering without a teacher. The difference with a teacher is that it is suggested and implemented immediately and you get the examples and corrections.

    Some people have more willpower, patience or are better at solving problems and such people can go far by themselves. Not everyone needs a teacher at first. Others will benefit from the motivation and guidance. It's a matter of requirements.
    "Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself; but talent instantly recognises genius."

    Sherlock Holmes - The Valley of Fear.

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    Senior Member Larkenfield's Avatar
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    In all fairness to the music, here are sincere people wanting to be helpful taking probably 15 to 30 minutes to type out an explanation that could so easily be explained or demonstrated by a live teacher in probably less than 5. That's the value of regular live instruction, and I feel it's exceedingly important to keep pointing this out, based on my own personal experiences with teachers. People think that learning an instrument is hard. It is. But it can be 10 times harder to unlearn something that could have so easily been learned properly in the first place. The cost of something is so often relative to the value that one places on it. What's the cost of starting something, wanting to play the classics, and perhaps never finishing for want of a good teacher and his or her encouragement. To play anything well there's a price to be paid one way or another...
    Last edited by Larkenfield; Sep-17-2018 at 13:16.

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  5. #19
    Senior Member eugeneonagain's Avatar
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    I don't disagree about the value of teachers, I had two outside school and one in school, but I am trying to cover all eventualities. Everyone is different, I picked up the flute on my own and with a few pointers from players I've met I can play in ensembles.

    Very often the first thing people do, when they take up some new area of learning, is run to a teacher; it's not always the best thing to do.
    "Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself; but talent instantly recognises genius."

    Sherlock Holmes - The Valley of Fear.

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  7. #20
    Junior Member poco a poco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iota View Post
    The answer to your second question is yes.

    As far as your first question is concerned from what I can see in that example, it looks as if either way could work. It often depends on what era/style of music you're playing. In the Classical period for example the rolled chord will generally start on the beat (so the top note is slightly after the beat, and the answer to your question in your example is 'yes'), but there's no hard and fast rule. It could also depend on how fast the music is, or maybe even how busy the end of the previous bar is.

    Hope that's not too vague, but if you generally aim to make it sound as suitable to the context/spirit of the music as possible, I don't think you'll go too far wrong.


    Thank you Iota, yes, that is very helpful. The piece is a lovely Renaissance dance, by Michael Praetorius. 1571-1621. Bransle de la torche. 92 bpm



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  8. #21
    Member Iota's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by poco a poco View Post
    Thank you Iota, yes, that is very helpful.
    Glad it was of some use

    Quote Originally Posted by poco a poco View Post
    The piece is a lovely Renaissance dance, by Michael Praetorius. 1571-1621. Bransle de la torche. 92 bpm.
    In which case I personally would definitely start the rolled chord on the beat. My experience of playing this kind of late Renaissance/early Baroque music is limited, but this does seem intuitively right to me. Nice to hear you're enjoying it so much, I feel I should get know Praetorius better.

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  10. #22
    Senior Member Jeff N's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eugeneonagain View Post
    I don't disagree about the value of teachers, I had two outside school and one in school, but I am trying to cover all eventualities. Everyone is different, I picked up the flute on my own and with a few pointers from players I've met I can play in ensembles.

    Very often the first thing people do, when they take up some new area of learning, is run to a teacher; it's not always the best thing to do.
    In my experience, many students (not just the younger one but older ones, too) seriously misunderstand the role of the teacher. The teacher is really there to correct bad technique, not teach note reading and all that basic stuff. That's what google is for, and it's a waste of time to go over it in too much detail in lessons. But the technical stuff does not come intuitively to almost any student and that's where an experienced and well-attuned teacher enters the picture.

    And OP, get off the faber books (or any lesson book) as quickly as you can. They drag on and don't really teach the things they mean to teach as well as they think they do. Once you're comfortable reading simple music on the grand stuff, just start learning simple music. Get anthologies of leveled pieces that you can work through. And, of course, be ready for a slow and steady slog up. Remember to focus on technique above anything: fingerings, hand and wrist positioning, tension, etc. Don't let yourself get away with not thinking about that, and hopefully your teacher doesn't either.

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