Adult Learners: What stage are you at and after how long?

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

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Droo
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Adult Learners: What stage are you at and after how long?

Post by Droo » 13 Feb 2009, 01:31

Hey Everyone,

I'm just trying to get a handle on adult learning, like I said in my previous post, I'm 25 and I've only just started taking lessons, after never having played an instrument before. I'm just curious what age some of you guys are and how long you've been playing, as well as how you've found it, easiest parts, most difficult parts - culminating in what grade you are (or grade equivalent) and how long it takes (or took you) to get through your grades.

I'll start:

I'm 25,
I've been playing for 2 weeks (I'm brand new - dont even own a keyboard yet)
I'm finding it extremely fun, I love the sense of achievement when you play a short piece (I've done a few dopey duets with my teacher - with me on right hand, her playing on the left side of the piano) and I find using two hands at once the most difficult part!
Finally - I'm not even Grade 1, but I hope to have grade one under my belt soon!


I look forward to hearing some of your stories!


D

Moonlight
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Re: Adult Learners: What stage are you at and after how long?

Post by Moonlight » 13 Feb 2009, 17:16

Hi Droo

And welcome to piano land! :P :piano; I hope you decide stay and become grade 1 soon! :wink:

I'm an adult learner too, I'm 23 and have been learning the piano for a year now, non stop! I wanted to learn the piano when I was 17 but didn't have the money and time as I was at college, I did teach myself for a bit though. I got back into learning this time last year with my Casio keyboard and 'John Thomson's Easiest Piano course' thats amided at kids. I soon got frustrated with the pace of the book and got 'John Thomson's adlut Preparatory Piano book'. I went steadily through the book on my own ( no teacher yet ) not skipping pages and I got better. I then bought my Yamaha Claviniova Clp 270, it helped a lot. 9 months later I was teaching myself Beethoven's Moonlight sonata 1st movement and memorised 2 pages and a half. I also started with the ABRSM grade 1 pieces a little earlier 8 months of learning I think.

I got addicted to learning classical pieces and decided to not bother with any piano course books, and just find classical music that is my level to learn. So now I'm going through 'Schrimer Performance Editions' that have easy compositions by Beethoven and Bach, and am learning the easy Chopin preludes.

I took lesons when I had been learning on my own for about 9 months, and I was going through the grade 1 pieces with my teacher, but she had to leave so I had a new teacher recently and she thinks I should be learning grade 2 pieces. So according to my new teacher I'm post grade 1 level even though I didn't do the test, but my sight reading is below, need to work on that!

And that my little essay on my piano study so far! hope you didn't get too bored! :oops:

Don't worry too much about having difficulty with both hands. At first its very hard but it gets easier. I still have trouble too when learning new pieces!

Gooday
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Re: Adult Learners: What stage are you at and after how long?

Post by Gooday » 17 Feb 2009, 18:41

Hello Droo,

I hope you continue to find the piano rewarding! I started playing in summer 2002, having bought a weighted keyboard (yamaha P120.)
I could read the treble cleff fairly well (one note at the time) and slowly interpret a bass clef, plus play a few chords on the guitar so not a complete beginner to music, but very new to the piano. After about 2 months I could play bits and pieces of various easy versions of various classical scores, so went and found a teacher. Who was hopeless - he kept asking if I'd prefer to play the non weighted keyboard instead (perhaps thinking "too old to learn piano"), forgot what he'd set me the previous week and thought that it would be a good idea for me to work through all of Mozarrt K331 (2 months after beginning?). Needless to say, I couldn't really play those trills and arpegios. On the bright side, I was told how to depress the keys correctly :) Anyway, gave up on that and kept working on pieces from various scores on my own. Maybe 3 hours a week for the first year, then maybe 2 hours for the next 3 years. Then, (Summer 2006) I finally moved to a house where I could have an acoustic piano. Sold the keyboard, practiced 7-12 hours a week, spent a few months working through preludes from Bach's WTC. Then, got a good teacher who entered me into grade 5 (Nov 2007), which I managed to pass. Got stuck on the theory, (though I think you can bypass that with the Trinity grade 6 rather than ABRSM), so enrolled on evening classes (Sep 2008), playing a grade 6 piece for the audition. I played Chopin's Nocturne Op 9 (from memory, which surprised me) for last term's end of term concert, and am currently working on a Haydn sonata. I'm struggling with tone and dynamics still, and find POP music difficult to play for some reason, but I'm fairly happy with where I'm at and I'm picking up some theory at last, which turns out to be very useful. The secret would definitely be consistent practice, and honest feedback from a qualified teacher. Then perhaps after a few years you'd definitely need an acoustic piano to develop further (IMHO). I'm 35, so you've got a head start! Good luck!

Droo
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Re: Adult Learners: What stage are you at and after how long?

Post by Droo » 17 Feb 2009, 20:44

Some really great replies in here.

Well, I've just had another lesson - and finally got a keyboard to practice on (the NP30) which I'm actually really impressed with. Although there is an obvious difference between it and the 'real' acoustic!

I've started on the left hand for the first time, and started putting things together for the first time - which - when done right makes you feel 'teh amaze' as internet folk may refer to it. I'm working from Piano Lessons (Waterman & Harewood) Book 1 - and i'm roughly at chapter 5 or 6. Not bad after only two lessons, and having never played a piano before in my life (or I thought so at least!)

I'll be sure to upload some of my appalling playing as time goes by!

regards,

D

louttrim
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Re: Adult Learners: What stage are you at and after how long?

Post by louttrim » 19 Feb 2009, 15:26

welcome!!

I've been learning since last June ish. I'm 38 :oops: and we'd just moved into a house that was big enough to have a piano in the sitting room, so I bought one! I could just about pick out middle c then, and had read music at school but not since. Anyway, now I'm having lessons once a week, and playing some beautiful pieces - new this week is a waltz by Schostokovich :D and probably grade 1-2 or thereabouts. No firm plans to take the exams as yet, but we'll see. Knowing me they would become all I'd work towards, and at the moment I can play anything I like the sound of!

L

Droo
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Re: Adult Learners: What stage are you at and after how long?

Post by Droo » 19 Feb 2009, 18:34

Nice, quick question - how often do you need to get your piano retuned?

Gill the Piano
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Re: Adult Learners: What stage are you at and after how long?

Post by Gill the Piano » 19 Feb 2009, 19:48

Every two weeks. No, seriously, twice a year usually sorts it!
I play for my own amazement... :piano;

ebonyivory
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Re: Adult Learners: What stage are you at and after how long?

Post by ebonyivory » 19 Feb 2009, 20:31

Hello, I was 38 when I had my first lesson and I had no previous musical knowledge, so from scratch. I am now 40, own a lovely piano (thanks hubby) and passed grade 1 in November last year. I don't find it easy, I am a little dyslexic, I feel quite clumsy and awkward and I forget things really quickly. I love playing, (I use the term loosely!) and feel great when something tricky comes together. I am now learning for grade 2, but it all feels rather slow. From the other piano peeps I chat to on here, I think it comes easier to some, I feel they may have natural ability. I think learning music/piano is wonderful for anyone, such a pleasant focus. I hope you see it through and wish you success!

Kimble x
That's my silly name I use on the forum!

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