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Question for piano teachers (Read 615 times)

Offline aswarola8

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Question for piano teachers
« on: September 23, 2020, 03:43:48 PM »
As a child, I took 5 years of piano lessons. Around year 5, my teacher and mother discovered that I wasn't reading music. I was playing pieces by ear-- schmoozing my piano teacher into playing them first so I could hear how they sounded. I was very good at playing by ear, but it could only take me so far. I quit lessons because I was so frustrated (no surprise why... my friends were playing complex pieces by READING the sheet music).

As an adult, I realized my problem. I don't have good immediate visual recognition of the notes. I see a note, and most of the time I have to think "F-A-C-E" or "All cows eat grass" or "Every good boy does fine" --- you get the point. Doing this for each note is painfully exhausting and aggravating.

Do any of you fantastic piano teachers have suggestions how to stop doing this and just READ the notes with immediate visual recognition? As an adult, I'd like to get back into playing. Thanks :)

Offline themeandvariation

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Re: Question for piano teachers
«Reply #1 on: September 23, 2020, 09:02:45 PM »
Get and use flash cards, daily, - first the notes within the staves.. Do this for a couple of weeks, for a few minutes (3-5) A DAY.
Then....  gradually extending the flash cards higher and lower - until you reach 3 leger lines below the bass clef, and 3 leger lines above the treble clef.
You will get results this way.
4'33"

Offline j_tour

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Re: Question for piano teachers
«Reply #2 on: September 24, 2020, 02:20:02 AM »
While I haven't specifically had to teach this, still to this day I do similar to what themeandvariations does, for recertifying various accreditations in other fields.  Of course, I did have to learn to read music, but that was as at a pretty early age.

Just rote repetition.

There may even be a Schaum's Outline book on this:  they rely on the similar style.

I wouldn't worry about the really extreme leger lines:  I still sometimes pencil in the note names if they are really outside of the staff.

If I may give one piece of advice:  don't use some "app" built by and for morons.  Pencil, staff paper, and a good eraser.  You're not a robot, so you don't need robot tricks.  Just rote practice.  There aren't any tricks.
My name is Nellie, and I take pride in helping protect the children of my community through active leadership roles in my local church and in the Boy Scouts of America.  Bad word make me sad.

Offline perfect_pitch

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Re: Question for piano teachers
«Reply #3 on: September 24, 2020, 10:26:31 AM »
Try 2 minutes of this a day before you start practicing.

https://www.musictheory.net/exercises/keyboard-reverse/oy991yqyryt6899bynyyyyy

I get my Year 2's and onwards to do this before a piano practice. Sadly enough, it's like learning how to read. Do it from the beginning and you don't have any problems... learn it too late in life and it will take a LOT longer to do.

If you like the exercise, it's worth downloading the app onto your iPhone or iPad.

And no, I don't work for the company that makes the app - but I've used in piano teaching for almost 10 years.

Offline ranjit

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Re: Question for piano teachers
«Reply #4 on: September 24, 2020, 11:42:19 AM »
Keep some points as landmarks. If you're already familiar with the piano layout, I don't think it should be too hard.

While I can now recognise most notes by sight, I like to keep the following notes as reference points:

Middle C -as it's right in the middle of the staff
The F below it - the bass clef symbol should touch that line
The G above it - the treble clef symbol skills touch that line
The C one octave above middle C, the F above that which is on the topmost line of the treble clef
The C below middle C, and the G below that.

Initially, try to recall the note name by sight. If you fall to do so, count up or down from the closest 'landmark'.

Mnemonics are utterly useless imo. Directly associate the note name with its place on the staff.

Learn to clap the rhythm of a musical line away from the piano.

Once you have done both (or if you wish, you can start this in parallel), learn to read a single melody line. You will need to start at a slow tempo. You need to learn to instantly recognise the distance between adjacent intervals in a melody line.

I was in a somewhat similar position as you are, though the specifics were quite different. After the initial tedious phase, it gets much more fun because you will realise that you will get to a stage where you can read music and hear it in your head to an extent. At that point, a developed ear helps in a bunch of ways to get better at sight reading quicker.

There are a number of other patterns you need to learn to recognise eventually such as instantly seeing scales, chords and arpeggios, along with their relative positions in a scale (applied music theory basically), but that will come with time.

Offline ranjit

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Re: Question for piano teachers
«Reply #5 on: September 25, 2020, 06:24:52 AM »
This is only tangentially related, but I liked this answer on Quora, so I decided to share it.

https://www.quora.com/Is-it-challenging-to-learn-how-to-read-music/answer/Istvan-Geza-Juhasz

“One” of my students at the beginning of my teaching career was a Gypsy band. All adults, and they all played their instruments by ear since they were toddlers. They could tell apart music notation from Egyptian hieroglyphs, but they couldn’t read it, so they asked for my help. Not with the hieroglyphs, the other thing.
They understood everything in minutes. In a few weeks they were able to read simple scores at first sight in tempo, after two months they all read advanced stuff at half tempo. During these two months I spent maybe an hour with explaining things, maybe an hour correcting mistakes they made. The rest was all just (partially) supervised practice, that did the trick. Oh, and a giant suitcase filled with scores…


Offline quantum

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Re: Question for piano teachers
«Reply #6 on: September 25, 2020, 06:34:27 AM »
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

Offline fearlesswraith

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Re: Question for piano teachers
«Reply #7 on: December 16, 2020, 06:54:04 AM »
This is only tangentially related, but I liked this answer on Quora, so I decided to share it.

https://www.quora.co m/Is-it-challenging-to-learn-how-to-read-music/answer/Istvan-Geza-Juhasz mcdvoice

“One” of my students at the beginning of my teaching career was a Gypsy band. All adults, and they all played their instruments by ear since they were toddlers. They could tell apart music notation from Egyptian hieroglyphs, but they couldn’t read it, so they asked for my help. Not with the hieroglyphs, the other thing.

They understood everything in minutes. In a few weeks they were able to read simple scores at first sight in tempo, after two months they all read advanced stuff at half tempo. During these two months I spent maybe an hour with explaining things, maybe an hour correcting mistakes they made. The rest was all just (partially) supervised practice, that did the trick. Oh, and a giant suitcase filled with scores…

I wouldn't worry about the really extreme leger lines:  I still sometimes pencil in the note names if they are really outside of the staff.

If I may give one piece of advice:  don't use some "app" built by and for morons.  Pencil, staff paper, and a good eraser.  You're not a robot, so you don't need robot tricks.  Just rote practice.  There aren't any tricks.

Offline perfect_pitch

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Re: Question for piano teachers
«Reply #8 on: December 16, 2020, 09:31:17 AM »
READ THE THREAD BEFORE YOU COMMENT...

User pasted the initial thread from a 2 year old Reddit threat. Not worth commenting on - ignore his posts.