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Topic: Playing a piece ?  (Read 2993 times)

Offline Liween

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Playing a piece ?
on: November 02, 2004, 06:36:03 AM
 ;) Hi this is my first post here and I just started taking piano lessons for a couple of weeks from nothing.  My teacher taught the correct sitting posture as well as relaxing my fingers on the key.  She stressed that this is very important if one intend to go on long learning and playing piano.  She further indicates that not many teachers are aware of this .....

Well now I've a question,  I like Beethoven stuffs alot like fur elise and Piano Concerto ... I asked my teacher and she told me that it takes within 2 years to play fur elise well but somehow I saw some people posted here and another forum that they are able to play the whole piece in half to a year time (they also learn from scratch).   Is there any difference by knowing how to play a piece well versus playing it musically (as how my teacher put it )

Also anyone kind enough to tell me at what grade is Piano Concerto No. 1 B-Flat Minor Op.23 ?

Ok one last question HERE : Most or all of the time (except Mr Bernard) pianist says that it takes roughly a year to pass each grade (ABRSM).  Does this apply to an Adult as well ??? I mean the answer may varies basing on each persons' practice routine, techniques and  progress but still, does it really need that long to reach Grade 8 for an adult as compared to a young children ? 

Thanks for all your precious comments and opinions and sure this is one of the best piano site I've come across so far.

Offline faulty_damper

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Re: Playing a piece ?
Reply #1 on: November 02, 2004, 08:29:02 AM
Beethoven...
Button pressing vs. Music:  Anyone can press buttons in a prearranged sequence.  Playing in a manner that would be considered music is an entirely different matter.  Generally, IMO, button pressers do not have much interest in the music they play.  They do not listen to this kind of music or even listen to recordings of the pieces they are learning or have learned.  Musical musicians have a high degree of interest in it and understand that making music is not about pressing buttons but press buttons as a means toward an end.

Button pressing - presses all the right buttons at the right time; exactly what is on the pages.
Musicality - ability to interpret a piece to enhance its mood(s).

Grade of concerto: refuse to answer.  Grades are irrelevent, IMO.

Grade promotion: No it doesn't take that long.  But they make a whole lot more money if students didn't skip grades.  Plus, they give you a neat certificate saying you passed.  How well?  It will not say.  But...

"Cs get degrees!"  ~G. W. Bush.

Offline Liween

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Re: Playing a piece ?
Reply #2 on: November 02, 2004, 09:03:36 AM
 ;D Thanks FD, I think what you say about button pressing is probably what my teacher thinks in his mind.   However, even for button pressing, it still require a person to have some skills to be able to position the correct fingers, right rhythm and tempo right and I am amazed that they are able to do so in 6 mths time. 

Yes, I do believe all these grading systems is for people to earn extra bucks and this has ended into every teacher's having the same concept whereby they teach slow ... ??? Of course not all teachers are like that but majority are ... right ?

Lets say now we are not talking about grades, how long does it take for one (approximately) to be able to play these concertos ?

Offline Rach3

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Re: Playing a piece ?
Reply #3 on: November 02, 2004, 10:24:53 AM
Don't be in any hurry - becoming a pianist doesn't take years, it takes decades and then some.

What do you mean by "Piano Concerto No. 1 B-Flat Minor Op.23" ? If by any chance you are referring to the Tchaikovsky concerto - arguably one of the most romantically charged, eccentric, strangely organized, perversely arranged (a lot of the piano part had to be arranged by Tchaik's friends - his idea of pianism was hopeless), beautiful, bipolar, UNpianistic, and famous, and UNarguably one of the longest and most difficult, then, well -

I've been playing for ten years, and even were I to get into Julliard, although conceivably I might consider tackling it there [by which I mean the first movment only (its only 56 pages!)], considering the amount of effort involved, I would much rather not - beyond the physical and emotional taxation involved whenever approaching a piece this magnitude, to be blunt, I could hardly expect to have anything presentbale on any decent level. Now there are concert pianists on this board, yes real concert pianists, and many of them have played this concerto. And I expect they spent years on it before giving any major performance. Years on one piece. I'll bet my autographed metronome on this.

To put it in another persecitve, it's the second most difficult pre-1920 concerto, and definitely in the top five of all that I've ever heard.

Finally, it's about 40 min long if I remember correctly (?).

I hope this answers your question.

[general apology: I apologize for any incoherency in my writing in any post that I make after 4:00 AM (that includes this one), I have a tendency to forum-hop at very odd hours]
"Never look at the trombones, it only encourages them."
--Richard Wagner

Offline galonia

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Re: Playing a piece ?
Reply #4 on: November 02, 2004, 10:55:31 AM
Grades are irrelevent - if you compare different examination syllabuses, you'll find pieces are ranked differently.  It's not which piece you play, but how you play it.

Also, you can't compare with other people how soon you can play a piece.  You have to remember that some people have longer lessons or more frequent lessons - e.g. my lessons go for just over one hour and I usually have several lessons a week with my teacher for 48 weeks each year, so my progress is obviously going to be faster than my friend, who learns with the same teacher, and has one lesson a week for about 30 weeks each year, each lesson going for 50 minutes.

Plus each person has their own weaknesses, so some people may be able to tackle a particular piece sooner than some other people.

Offline bernhard

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Re: Playing a piece ?
Reply #5 on: November 02, 2004, 02:48:05 PM
I agree with all the posters above.

Yet...

Two years to learn Fur Elise? :o

I guess it is better than the ABRSM forecast of five years (it is considered a grade 4 piece). :P

Here is how a total beginner can learn it after 12 practice sessions – each practise session lasting around 20 minutes, so if you cram 6 practise sessions in a day (=2 hours practice), you can be playing it at the end of two days, rather than two years:

Session 1: Bars 20-24 (Add 1st beat of bar 25. These are difficult bars).
Session 2: Bars 1-5 (These bars are repeated 15 times in the whole piece).
Session 3: Bars 1 – 16 (Add 1st beat of bar 17. Bars 6 – 16 are repeats of bars 2 – 5)
Session 4: Bar 45 (Add 1st beat of bar 46 – this is the most difficult session)
Session 5: Bars 17-20 (Add 1st beat of bar 21).
Session 6: Bars 1- 44 (Add 1st beat of bar 45. Bars 24 – 44 = bars 10 - 30).
Session 7: Bars 45-52 (Add 1st beat of bar 53. Bar 45 is particularly difficult).
Session 8: Bars 53-60 (These are difficult bars, extra practice recommended).
Session 9: Bars 1-82 (Bars 61 - 81 are a repeat of bars 10-30).
Session 10: Bars 82-99 (Bars 91 - 99 are almost a repeat of bars 83-90).
Session 11: Bars 99-105 (Add 1st beat of bar 106. Difficult bars).
Session 12: Bars 1-126 (Bars 106-126 are a repeat - almost - of bars 10 - 30).

Or do a session a day, and we are talking 12 days.

Now, unfortunately this schedule assumes that I will be at your side during all these practise sessions showing you exactly what to do. Since this is not the case, expect it to take far longer. (It may well take two years to get to the stage where you can learn it in two days - you see, learning Fur Elise is not the real problem. Learning how to learn Fur Elise is what takes time).

In the meantime I strongly suggest that you read through Chang’s book here:

https://members.aol.com/cc88m/PianoBook.html

(where he suggests a very similar approach and goes into a lot of detail about Fur Elise) and start acquainting yourself with efficient practice methods.

And forget the concert for the moment (you will need an orchestra willing to play with you for a start – so concentrate on the solo repertory for the moment being)

Best wishes,
Bernhard.
The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side. (Hunter Thompson)

Offline Liween

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Re: Playing a piece ?
Reply #6 on: November 03, 2004, 03:55:39 AM
 :) Oh thanks finally got yr reply Bernard !

2 days for Fur Elise ??? Well,  I am really very very curious as to how soon (even a beginner) to take 2 days or even 2 weeks/2 months to learn this piece.  I am into the 3rd week of lessons and we have not even touched on any piece of music as yet and we are now focusing only on fingers placing/sitting posture, playing some simple melodies that's all. 

Therefore, what I am asking is that yr 2 weeks is meant for a beginner (after taking lessons for couple of months - meaning having more or less master the basic techniques) or rather a "FRESH NEWBIE" which only took lessons for couple of weeks ? (LET'S SAY THE LESSONS IS AN HOUR PER WEEK)

Well, can you be kind enough to also tell me what usually a teacher or in this case even for yourself how to teach an adult (no music background) from the first lesson, first month, three months and six months ?  And also how do you judge their progress ?

I am trying to figure out is my teacher method of teachings is similar to most and of course every teacher has their own method of teaching but I see if the best can fit into myself. 

2nd question here - am I right to say that for an adult to speed up the progress is much faster than a kid (3-8 yrs old) or vice versa ?  When it states that it takes 8 yrs to reach grade 8,  is one of the reason is because the kids are growing and their tiny hands/fingers are unable to play a much difficult piece which need to spread the hands ?

Oh ..... sorry for all these hard to me but simple to you questions :)



Offline Liween

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Re: Playing a piece ?
Reply #7 on: November 06, 2004, 02:54:47 AM
 ::)  Hi Bernard, you there to reply ???

Or any one else can kind to advise me.

Thanks
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