where do I start:Grades, registration, location, progression

Questions on learning to play the piano, and piano music.

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SaidiStyle
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where do I start:Grades, registration, location, progression

Post by SaidiStyle » 27 Jan 2009, 17:09

Hi all

For several years I have wanted to learn how to play the piano but I keep putting it off as a lower priority in comparison to work, work related education, managing the house and spending time with my partner - making music is almost like a secret love affair!

I have come to a stage where if I don't just jump in and go for it then I'm never going to get an opportunity. I'm going to put a stop to putting it off and just go for it.

My aim is to practice 10mins to 1hour at least everyday. To help this along I would like to go for exams \ certifications starting from the lowest level onwards....

Here are 2 Queries

1.
Where do I start? Are there Levels Grades that I need to be going for?
I had a look on amazon and saw these books for Grade 1
http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_ss_w_h ... iano+grade

There are Grade 1 books for piano pieces, broken chords, jazz piano etc
Where do I start? Which one do i choose? Is the grade like a suite a qualifications for various aspects?

2.
In relation to the above... Is there a central place where I can book an exam and find out the key requirements for passing it. And reserve this booking at a local booking centre. Is there are Central examining board for this that is either UK or internationally recognised.

I did a random search and found this: http://www.abrsm.org


Can someone please advise me what is the best way to approach this as I'm really just groping in the dark here. I want to do all the grades in a systematic way from the lowest and practice along with it.

Cheers!

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SaidiStyle
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Re: where do I start:Grades, registration, location, progression

Post by SaidiStyle » 28 Jan 2009, 12:31

Hi Dave

Thank you for your kind support. I am absolutely determined to learn the piano.
The aim is not to become a virtuoso but to be able to translate a melody or idea via the piano keyboard to a computer so I can experiement with my idea further. Also I'd love to be able to play by ear..so if i hear a nice melody in a tv advert .Id like to be able to record that on my piano \ computer as well.

I did take a few lessons, from one piano teacher they were quite expensive and I found them a little stressfull too.(probably because they were expensive-£30ph). :sad:
And then I found another teacher who was a student in his early 20s he didn't charge much about £12 ph.
The lessons were paced right and I developed quite well. Unfortunately because of his studies he had to reduce lessons to only one student but at a much higher price.

I can still remeber where middle C is (the london transport sign) :oops:
So I don't mind teaching myself and then when it get's difficult i'll turn to a teacher.
I would prefer a young enthusiastic music student to teach me rather than a "teacher" ,because of my level I don't need someone who has loads of experience. I just need someone who can point me in the right direction and the hard job is practive which I have to do and then discipline myself for Grade 1.

Can you recommend a UK search engine where I can find a student music teacher in London?
I live in East London.

Cheers!

markymark
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Re: where do I start:Grades, registration, location, progression

Post by markymark » 30 Jan 2009, 18:10

SaidiStyle wrote: My aim is to practice 10mins to 1hour at least everyday. To help this along I would like to go for exams \ certifications starting from the lowest level onwards....

Here are 2 Queries

1.
Where do I start? Are there Levels Grades that I need to be going for?
I had a look on amazon and saw these books for Grade 1
http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_ss_w_h ... iano+grade

There are Grade 1 books for piano pieces, broken chords, jazz piano etc
Where do I start? Which one do i choose? Is the grade like a suite a qualifications for various aspects?

2.
In relation to the above... Is there a central place where I can book an exam and find out the key requirements for passing it. And reserve this booking at a local booking centre. Is there are Central examining board for this that is either UK or internationally recognised.

I did a random search and found this: http://www.abrsm.org
You didn't mention whether or not you did any exams.
The reason I ask is that there is a grade below Grade 1 called Initial which helps students get a better handle on the notes on the page.

The books you are looking at on Amazon are the examination pieces for Associated Board, one of the music examination boards that certifies your grade. These pieces are geared towards the level of playing for each grade, progressing from Intial right through to Grade 8.

If you are willing to enter for an examination, your teacher will normally enter you through their local representative. Technically you can enter yourself directly through the local rep but then you will be required to understand the requirements of the syllabus as well as the terms and conditions of the exam. An experienced musician may be able to do this, but a new start maybe irresponsible to tutor themselves and wade through the syllabus.

I'd recommend you get hold of a teacher to help you through the scales, sight-reading and ear tests that require specialist training that a private teacher can provide you with. It is great to hear how enthusiastic you are and you are quite right about getting started! Just throwing yourself into it is the best way if it's really what you want to do. When you are a student and/or adult, there is never an ideal time to embark on this kind of hobby so you're just better to go for it and put up with the hassle and effort.

gash
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Re: where do I start:Grades, registration, location, progression

Post by gash » 09 Feb 2009, 23:32

Hiya Saidi

I agree with markymark - get yourself a teacher to help with scales, etc.

The ABRSM publish their syllabus at http://www.abrsm.org/resources/pianoSyl ... lete09.pdf so you can get a feel for what's required. I looked at this before I took Grade 1 and it almost frightened me off. The practical exam lasts about 10 minutes, and it's not as frightening as the syllabus makes out.

My teacher advised me not to bother with the Grade 1 theory exam though, she said it wasn't really necessary for adult learners.

It took me about 2 years of lessons to get to Grade 1 (15 to 30minutes of practice every day), and Grade 2 happened about 6 months later (30+ minutes of practice every day). Grade 3 might happen at the end of this year. Each Grade looks quite tricky compared to the previous, but a pass mark is a great confidence boost.

Enjoy !
Gary.

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Re: where do I start:Grades, registration, location, progression

Post by Gill the Piano » 10 Feb 2009, 17:32

Yes, Dave's right; if you do grade 1, the pieces will be less demanding (easier!) as will scales and aural tests. This will give you experience of examination but in a less stressed situation than if you were working at the very limits of your abilities. You''ll also - hopefully - get a reasonably high mak to boost your confidence! Good luck!
I play for my own amazement... :piano;

Moonlight
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Re: where do I start:Grades, registration, location, progression

Post by Moonlight » 11 Feb 2009, 15:48

SaidiStyle wrote: I am absolutely determined to learn the piano.
The aim is not to become a virtuoso but to be able to translate a melody or idea via the piano keyboard to a computer so I can experiement with my idea further. Also I'd love to be able to play by ear..so if i hear a nice melody in a tv advert .Id like to be able to record that on my piano \ computer as well.

So I don't mind teaching myself and then when it get's difficult i'll turn to a teacher.
I would prefer a young enthusiastic music student to teach me rather than a "teacher" ,because of my level I don't need someone who has loads of experience. I just need someone who can point me in the right direction and the hard job is practive which I have to do and then discipline myself for Grade 1.
Hi Saidi,

If you really want to learn the piano, then at some stage you will need to get a teacher. Any teacher that is good at their job should be able to point you in the right direction wheather they are a uni piano student or a more experienced one, and most if they are good; are often enthsiastic when teaching. Personally I think going straight into piano lessons without having tried learning the basics on your own may be frustrating, but thats just my opinion.

I learned the piano on my own for about 9 or 10 months before I had lessons, so when I did have lessons I had some idea on what my teacher was talking about and how to play the grade 1 pieces. My advice would be get yourself a piano method book aimed at adults and slowly and surely go through it on your own. If you try your hand at the grade 1 pieces now then you may be in for a shock as they would be hard to play without ever having played easier pieces and exercises first. If you persevere with the method book then you will make progress even without a teacher.

Theres quite a few piano method books out there so depending on what kind of music you want to play you should be able to find one geared towards your favorite musical genre. Most have a bit of everything in them. Here a link to a topic on here about method books for adults:

http://www.uk-piano.org/piano-forums/vi ... f=7&t=6533

So go out there and have a look for a method book and get started, Good luck! :D

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