Is she right?

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

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Is she right?

Post by Rfcrick » 31 May 2010, 20:22

Hi guys, A newbee here so tin hat on!

I've been learning piano from October last year from just basic knowledge from
school days (now 34) so basically from scratch! I've been taking lessons since October firstly going through bastien books 1&2 (which I hated) then books 1-5 of the complete pianoplayer series. I have also learned all pieces on grades 1,2 and 3 and I'm going to start the alternative pieces on grade 3. Problem is - is my teacher says that I'm picking things up very quickly but in order to sit any official abrsm grading I really should have 18mnths under my belt. She
also says that although I'm playing grade 3 and will do grade 4 soon that I'm am not officially at that level and shouldn't think that I am.

Anyone got views on this? Oh and I'm not even contemplating changing teachers!

Thanks for Reading!

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Re: Is she right?

Post by markymark » 31 May 2010, 23:54

It's hard to say for certain because I can't see you playing. The thing is that there is more to playing the piano than just going through the pieces. While you may have practiced the pieces until you know them and may even be able to play them note-perfect, there are aspects of music such as interpretation and performance skills. Conveying the mood and intentions of the music are as important if not more important than getting every single note just right.

Within standard piano lessons, other musical skills and theory should be covered such as sight-reading, scales, hand and finger positions, ear tests, spotting patterns in music.... all which will make you a rounded musician. Publications like "The Complete Piano Player" are a good introduction but they aim to get you playing quickly without a terrible amount theory being included. If you are able to play Grade 3 pieces from sight (i.e. without the need for extensive practice) then I would be surprised if you could not at least start at Grade 2 and let your teacher patch up the gaps she can see.

There is some truth in what she is saying because there is more to playing the piano than getting through the pieces. I would imagine that some technical performance and fingering skills need to be developed, presumably after hearing you play. As well as this, self-taught musicians can also pick up some awful habits, that is unless they are natural prodiges or at least extremely and naturally talented.

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