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Listening to a piece before learning it. (Read 10885 times)

Offline kittyboo

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Listening to a piece before learning it.
« on: September 12, 2013, 08:41:18 AM »
I was on Amazon.com reading reviews of some Schirmer Performance Editions that include CD's.  I was a little puzzled by a review of one of Schirmer's Kabalevsky books.  I believe it was "24 Pieces for Children."  One lady who reviewed the book thought it was great, but she wished that it didn't come with a CD.  She said that she didn't want her children listening to a piece before learning it.

She's the parent.  If she doesn't want to allow her children to listen to a piece before learning it, she doesn't have to, even if the book comes with a CD.

But what do you think of her idea?

Offline gvans

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Re: Listening to a piece before learning it.
«Reply #1 on: September 12, 2013, 04:55:57 PM »
IMO, there is limited creativity involved in the process of interpreting classical music, as compared to composing you own music, writing fiction, playing jazz, etc. What little creativity you get to express comes from reading the score and playing your interpretation. To listen to someone else's interpretation, especially early on, can sap this. I think, at least for advanced performers, one should avoid listening to others until one is ready to listen to several other interpretations and until one already has one's own ideas in place.

Others, no doubt, will disagree.

Offline dima_ogorodnikov

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Re: Listening to a piece before learning it.
«Reply #2 on: September 12, 2013, 05:27:23 PM »
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No amount of how-to information is going to work if you have the wrong mindset, the wrong guiding philosophies. Avoid losers like the plague, and gather with and learn from winners only.

Offline j_menz

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Re: Listening to a piece before learning it.
«Reply #3 on: September 13, 2013, 12:08:09 AM »
I don't see the problem with listening to a piece first. It solves some problems for a student, particularly, in terms of rhythm, speed and sound. If it's done with a view to then applying that, and also learning the "why" behind it it's a positive and useful experience.

One of the things students need to learn is how to interpret a piece - it's not usually something they're born with - and so learning what someone else did i9 coming up with an interpretation can be extremely useful. Not just a "it should sound like this so copy it exactly" approach, but a "at this point this performer made these decisions, why?, and do you agree?".

Of course people should also be able to play pieces straight off the page but we need to learn quite a bit to get to that point.
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline outin

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Re: Listening to a piece before learning it.
«Reply #4 on: September 13, 2013, 03:26:17 AM »
Of course people should also be able to play pieces straight off the page but we need to learn quite a bit to get to that point.

I noticed that when I only played pieces I had listened to before I became lazy to read everything on the page (things like dynamics were already fixed in my head). I can practice a piece for some time and only later notice that there's something written between the staffs...when I finally do I feel like an idiot. So I think it's good to learn pieces from the scratch every now and then, even in the early stages  (just pick pieces that are appropriate).
It's also quite interesting to hear recordings afterwards and notice how different/similar it is.

Offline j_menz

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Re: Listening to a piece before learning it.
«Reply #5 on: September 13, 2013, 03:38:25 AM »
I think it's good to learn pieces from the scratch every now and then, even in the early stages 

Agreed.  Both are useful, though.

Not being able to pick something up without having heard it before means there's music out there that will be completely inaccessible. Less so now with YT and so forth, but still true. And there are plenty of gems in that list.

And there's a lot of music out there that one cannot play from scratch, at least without a lobotomy or some such.
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline gvans

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Re: Listening to a piece before learning it.
«Reply #6 on: September 16, 2013, 03:16:05 AM »
There's a lot of music out there that one cannot play from scratch, at least without a lobotomy or some such.

I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a pre-frontal lobotomy.