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Watch Live Stream Now: Piano Recital with Juliana Steinbach

Welcome to watch the live broadcast of the recital with pianist Juliana Steinbach at the Royal Academy of Arts in Stockholm starting today, May 11, at 17.00 GMT. Read more >>

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Question: Royal Conservatory (CANADA) vs. Achievement (USA) vs. _______ = Self Study Available?
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Author Topic: * Private Lessons VS. SELF-STUDY * Pro's and Cons?  (Read 763 times)
pianoplayerstar
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« on: August 24, 2016, 08:52:06 PM »

Members:

Is there such a thing as a 'self study' program through the Royal Academy (CANADA), where someone can simply read a book and a structured syllabus and simply follow the program and still compete with those getting private piano lessons?

WHAT'S THE BEST SELF-STUDY PROGRAM OUT THERE?

Does the Royal Academy have one?

Does our "Achievement" system have one?

Any good recommendations?
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visitor
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« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2016, 09:51:44 PM »

Those who teach themselves, have a fool for a teacher.....

Sorry
 Nope. Doesnt work that wat for traditional playing and lit at the level of achievement you are asking about.. You might figure out play by ear or improv or some jazz or maybe play hymns well though w only a little or occasional feedback.
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chopinlover01
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« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2016, 10:22:55 PM »

Is there such a thing as a 'self study' program. . . where someone can simply read a book and a structured syllabus and simply follow the program and still compete with those getting private piano lessons?
In a word: no.
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keypeg
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« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2016, 03:30:55 AM »

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Is there such a thing as a 'self study' program through the Royal Academy (CANADA), where someone can simply read a book and a structured syllabus and simply follow the program and still compete with those getting private piano lessons?

Your survey says "Royal Conservatory" but your post keeps referring to a "Royal Academy".  I'll assume that you mean Royal Conservatory (RCM for short).
First, your question doesn't work, because RC is a syllabus - a list of material to learn, along with books containing a representative collection of some of that material; you cannot "compare" this to studying with a teacher, because a teacher will be teaching this material.  You can only compare studying this material through self-study versus with a teacher.  That goes for any material.

You may be thinking that the material itself does the teaching.  It doesn't, because there is how to actually do it, then feedback as to whether it sounds and looks right and how to fine tune or correct it - you can only do that up to what you can perceive, hear, and judge yourself, while still inexperienced and untrained.

That said, your comparison should involve a good, competent teacher.  There are teachers who simply go through things in the book, basically getting a student to self-teach, and maybe worse than self-teaching because at least when you're on your own you can go as slowly as you need to go, until you think you have mastered it.  Or - if a teacher does teach things, but misteaches, that is also not good.  Therefore we have to qualify that if you have a good teacher, you will go further than if you teach yourself.  Ultimately when you study with a teacher you are still teaching yourself, because you have to be doing a lot of intelligent practice of what you've been taught.
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quantum
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« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2016, 07:32:31 PM »

Self-teaching is the direction that one strives for.  However, completely autonomous self-teaching does not happen optimally at the beginning stages of learning: one needs to build up the toolkit in order to do this, and one does so by studying with a teacher.  There is likely going to be a certain amount of self-study when you study with a teacher, but with a good instructor the dose will be guided and structured to help you succeed.

You can read any book you like.  How effective it will be as a self-study venture is a completely different story.  

Are you talking about the RCM?

From my own experience: there were a number of people in grad school that were good at self-study, and by my observations these people that excel in self-directed learning already know the direction they wish to take.  They are extremely self-motivated, know how to design their own learning plans and know what they need to do to achieve their goal.  This kind of work is not for everyone, and generally if you are looking for an established course to follow or a framework to climb taking a class or studying with a teacher is far better.  But consider, this was grad school: people here have spent years studying, have undergraduate degrees, have spent time in private lessons, etc.  In other words, they have done the necessary prep in order to undertake self-study. 

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Made a Liszt. Need new Handel's for Soler panel & Alkan foil. Will Faure Stein on the way to pick up Mendels' sohn. Josquin get Wolfgangs Schu with Clara. Gone Chopin, I'll be Bach
mjames
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« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2016, 07:41:43 PM »

If you feel like you're the next Chopin, go for the lessons. if you feel like you're not even as close as to being as talented as Chopin, then all the more reason to go for lessons. My point is, if the greatest musical minds in the history of classical music needed an education to nurture their talent, what makes you, an average joe, think you're above that?
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Pianism is my religion, Bach is my God, and Chopin's my prophet.
pianoplayerstar
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« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2016, 09:02:41 PM »

if you're a great copycat, simply listen to a good recording and copy that.

that's good self-learning, ?no?
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dcstudio
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« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2016, 09:39:48 PM »

Those who teach themselves, have a fool for a teacher


We have sure seen a lot of fools here at ps over the years.  Not one of them to the best of my knowledge ever followed through with it. I have been here ten years.'

That's a fantastic way to go just copy what you hear. Don't bother understanding it then it will never ever get any easier.  What does a piano teacher know anyway.  You can become a concert pianist if you really want to. Just get a book and a syllabus and it will have all the correct answers.

Never mind techniques and fresh inisght or any of the other things a teacher can give you. If you are a prodigy you don't need lessons because you are already beyond that

Its peretty obvious that you have only very recently come to the realization that you are meant to play the piano. Something happen to you within the last year? An accident or loss or maybe some trouble in your life?
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keypeg
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« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2016, 06:53:07 AM »

It depends on why you end up self-teaching, and how you go about doing it.  From the OP's comments and ideas, then yes, what is being said is justified.  But more than this, when advice or feedback are given, he (she?) does not seem to take it on board or think about it, but rather just stay the original first impressions, or jump ahead to more new thoughts.

I was forced into self-teaching because the opportunity wasn't there.  But I was fascinated by the subject itself, rather than wanting to "become" anything like calling myself a "musician", or achieving what anyone famous had achieved.  I just explored what was in front of me, and so accidentally learned things which turned out to be bits of theory.  When there was finally a chance to have a teacher, I was all ears (can't resist the pun).  Cheesy

A word of warning about teachers.  There are loads of them, but a good teacher is more rare.  Knowing how to work with one of those is hard.  And if you project wanting to learn instantly or superficially, you are likely to get a teacher who will let you lead your own wild course, to your detriment - or create a path that goes nowhere.

To what dcstudio says
Quote
That's a fantastic way to go just copy what you hear. Don't bother understanding it then it will never ever get any easier.
What we "hear" before being taught can be relatively superficial.  Having studied with a teacher now for a number of years, I'm still blown away at times by things I had not heard before.  And then there is the problem of being able to physically execute what you do manage to hear and want to copy.  And then if your playing is uneven, the music is expressive but lacks pulse, or has pulse that is totally metronomic - do you know how to hear that and how to fix it?
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pjjslp
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« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2016, 01:41:55 PM »

I took lessons as a child for more than a decade, then spent many years not really playing at all except a few songs at Christmas. I reached a pretty high level by the time I stopped, and I am quite sure I could not have achieved that on my own with any number of books or syllabi.

Now, as an adult, I'm self-studying and even with my background I can literally only think of one "pro," which is that I get to pick what I want to play without being forced to play composers and styles I don't care for. HOWEVER, even that is likely a straw man "pro" because I don't think a teacher now would make me play stuff I hated, and I'm also sure those pieces helped make me a more well rounded pianist. As a teen, I disliked Debussy, but now I love his work. Had my teacher not made me play him then, I probably wouldn't be able to make sense of him now on my own. I do not believe it would be possible to achieve a high level of mastery solely self-studying, starting from ground zero.

If finances didn't prevent it for the moment, I would start the search for a teacher today.
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dogperson
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« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2016, 01:53:47 PM »

I took lessons as a child for more than a decade, then spent many years not really playing at all except a few songs at Christmas. I reached a pretty high level by the time I stopped, and I am quite sure I could not have achieved that on my own with any number of books or syllabi.

Now, as an adult, I'm self-studying and even with my background I can literally only think of one "pro," which is that I get to pick what I want to play without being forced to play composers and styles I don't care for. HOWEVER, even that is likely a straw man "pro" because I don't think a teacher now would make me play stuff I hated, and I'm also sure those pieces helped make me a more well rounded pianist. As a teen, I disliked Debussy, but now I love his work. Had my teacher not made me play him then, I probably wouldn't be able to make sense of him now on my own. I do not believe it would be possible to achieve a high level of mastery solely self-studying, starting from ground zero.

If finances didn't prevent it for the moment, I would start the search for a teacher today.

hi
As an adult restarter with an excellent teacher, I am allowed to choose what I want to play:  within reason and with discussion.  For instance, my piano teacher has advised putting some of my suggestions 'on hold for now, or work on this first' .  Sometimes I will bring in two or three suggestions: we will discuss and choose.  She  recommended learning something modern because I am stuck in the Debussy, Chopin, Mozart mode, in which case I did some homework and we found a mutually agreeable score.

It does work-- I get to learn what I love, but with the direction of a teacher to progress my skills and repertoire at an appropriate level.  I can't imagine working very hard on learning repertoire that I hated... since it is not easy for me. Although I have a long way to go, I have progressed tremendously in the last year with her.  When you get the funds, you can find a likeminded teacher.
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