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Topic: Need to know if I am on the right track  (Read 837 times)

Offline amy_138

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Need to know if I am on the right track
on: March 17, 2023, 10:13:46 PM
Hello there, I am 35 and started learning the piano 5 months ago, I have a teacher but I am not sure if I am on the right track or not since the pieces I am aiming to play in the future when I am good enough are pretty advanced and I can't afford to waste time, what I learned so far is how to read the sheet music, I can sightread but I am still slow when it comes to apparently difficult bars, I learned about and played some small easy pieces in C Major, G Major, and F Major, the last two pieces my teacher taught me were " Sway", arranged by Eric Baumgartner, which I can now play perfectly, and " Frölicher Landmann" by Schuhmann, which I can play slowly now.
Is there anything else that I should know or learn at that point? And what should I focus on?
Thanks in Advance
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Offline brogers70

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Re: Need to know if I am on the right track
Reply #1 on: March 18, 2023, 12:26:29 AM
I'd say don't worry about getting to your dream pieces very soon. The thing that makes the biggest difference is learning how to practice effectively - that's the main thing your teacher should be teaching. If they are not asking you how you are practicing some aspect of a piece and giving you new ideas about how to work on things you find hard, then you may end up thinking that practicing mostly involves playing something again and again until it seems easy. There are more efficient ways to practice. So don't think about getting to your dream pieces quickly, think about getting to enjoy the process of figuring ot the best way to practice something, even if it is something not particularly virtuoso. If you enjoy that process, you'll go to bed at night thinking about what and how to practice the next day, rather than trying to figure out how long it will take you to get to the Revolutionary Etude or La Campanella, or whatever hard piece it is that is on your bucket list. And also remember that you probably have 50 more years in which to play the piano.

Offline ranjit

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Re: Need to know if I am on the right track
Reply #2 on: March 18, 2023, 09:43:14 PM
Is there anything else that I should know or learn at that point? And what should I focus on?
In my opinion, if you want to get to hard pieces as soon as possible, most of you effort should be directed towards attaining technique aka neuromuscular reflexes. For this, you need to expose yourself to a wide variety of pieces and exercises, and have a teacher who can work with you to develop a sense of ease in your hands. Many teachers will not work on technique at all hoping it develops on its own somehow: avoid these types.

Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: Need to know if I am on the right track
Reply #3 on: March 19, 2023, 03:05:27 AM
Many teachers will not work on technique at all hoping it develops on its own somehow: avoid these types.
If you teach the average student you will realise copy pasting ideas of technical mastery without a large experience base to draw from is quite futile. Also a large amount of technique IS intrinsically understood with a solid base of good repertoire to help encourage it, choosing the appropriate works is key however for this to happen effectively.

Sure very poor movements need correction, but encouraging everything to be exact and proper merely slows down repertoire experience to a snails pace.
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Offline ranjit

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Re: Need to know if I am on the right track
Reply #4 on: March 19, 2023, 05:31:04 AM
Sure very poor movements need correction, but encouraging everything to be exact and proper merely slows down repertoire experience to a snails pace.
I was referring more to those teachers who just ask you to play new pieces with a metronome note accurately each week, and there are a ton of them.

Offline ego0720

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Re: Need to know if I am on the right track
Reply #5 on: March 19, 2023, 07:07:59 PM
…very poor movements need correction, but encouraging everything to be exact and proper merely slows down repertoire experience to a snails pace.

This is the ratio that will vary.  Gotta have enough motivation to keep going. Gotta improve techniques while learning songs. Sometimes 1 step forward and 2 steps back.. but countered with motivation.

I think in modern times it’s more realistic to let the students figure it out and not be judgmental. Inspiration + perspiration. The new students naturally do have a blazing fire that could be managed or tamed but old school teachers also have a conservative approach that fits some but not most. The piano progression is a journey.. not a destination. Find the technique:song ratio that works for u.. make mistakes… fix.. move on. The importance is to keep information flow and change as you go. You will find many things wrong that u believed was true and vice versa. You level up and enjoy the process. Piano has one big problem where’d u spent 99% of your life isolated in hours and get to show it in minutes. I say share your fruits as you go but also remember that ppl have their moods… share it when the time is opportune. Your fruits should be reasonably riped.

Offline lelle

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Re: Need to know if I am on the right track
Reply #6 on: March 20, 2023, 07:33:01 PM
Definitely get a good teacher, who can give you hands on technical instruction and give you appropriately selected pieces for your continuing development, if you want to play advanced pieces and feel you cannot afford wasting time. Does your teacher match that? Something to think about.

Offline anacrusis

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Re: Need to know if I am on the right track
Reply #7 on: March 21, 2023, 02:52:39 PM
You're a beginner still and it sounds like you are on the right track. As others have said you will need to start focusing consciously on technique at some point. Exercises for clapping and feeling rhythm can be important. You're also going to need some music theory. But one step at a time, there is so much to know and you'll just be overwhelmed if you try to force feed yourself everything at the same time. Hopefully your teacher will set an appropriate pace.
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