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 Post subject: Re: The Scrimp and Scrape thread: tips to save money
PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2016 12:46 pm 
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I'm enjoying it although my tutor could be a bit more organised.
I take the lessons with the aim of not being a Piano player but to learn musical theory and rhythm time for my singing.
I learned classical guitar but looking on it now I never learned properly, learned no theory, learned no rhythm, in fact my technique was rubbish too and went uncorrected; it was just a case of here's another etude in another key, play that! I didn't learn piano as a child; the local teacher had a reputation of being impatient and slamming lids on young fingers and there wasn't exactly an oversupply of teachers at the time being the uncultured rural midlands. People seem an awful lot more "cultured" over here to be honest so I don't have to make excuses for taking classes.
I'm happy with both my tutors and get what I want out of them. I'm started late and I'll never be a great talent (I top out at an A but the quality and quantity of the voice is better than most)but I enjoy myself and it is an nice productive way to spend my time rather than working later or going out and getting drunk(getting drunk here or going for meals would be cheaper than taking classes).

Anyhow, my advice to you is to try it. I'm seated at a musical keyboard for under 80 quid. classes cost me 27 euro per 3/4 hour. Sheet music can be either free or very expensive depending on your luck. Try it. If you like it, you like it, if you don't it might make clearer to you what you actually like or want.


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 Post subject: Re: The Scrimp and Scrape thread: tips to save money
PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2016 4:27 pm 
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dipole wrote:
I'm enjoying it although my tutor could be a bit more organised.
I take the lessons with the aim of not being a Piano player but to learn musical theory and rhythm time for my singing.
I learned classical guitar but looking on it now I never learned properly, learned no theory, learned no rhythm, in fact my technique was rubbish too and went uncorrected; it was just a case of here's another etude in another key, play that! I didn't learn piano as a child; the local teacher had a reputation of being impatient and slamming lids on young fingers and there wasn't exactly an oversupply of teachers at the time being the uncultured rural midlands. People seem an awful lot more "cultured" over here to be honest so I don't have to make excuses for taking classes.
I'm happy with both my tutors and get what I want out of them. I'm started late and I'll never be a great talent (I top out at an A but the quality and quantity of the voice is better than most)but I enjoy myself and it is an nice productive way to spend my time rather than working later or going out and getting drunk(getting drunk here or going for meals would be cheaper than taking classes).

Anyhow, my advice to you is to try it. I'm seated at a musical keyboard for under 80 quid. classes cost me 27 euro per 3/4 hour. Sheet music can be either free or very expensive depending on your luck. Try it. If you like it, you like it, if you don't it might make clearer to you what you actually like or want.


Oh, I know what I like and what I want. I want to be Rachmaninoff! :D

Joking aside, ta for the advice. As a youngster there was always a dilapidated old upright knocking around the house, which I hacked around on. I taught myself chords and played Beatles songs from a library book. I suppose I can play a poor parody of any tune by ear. Nowadays I'm very fortunate to own the gorgeous beast below (a Kawai GE-30), in addition to a very decent digital piano to practice on. Over the last few years I've taught myself to read more serous classical music (very slowly), and done an online course in music theory. But I'm a horribly bad player and generally take on pieces that are way too difficult for me. I've never taken a lesson in my life, and only play the piano for relaxation. But I'm wondering if I should go right back to the beginning and learn all the basic (and possibly boring but necessary) techniques that I missed out on, like playing scales and arpeggios and developing better finger independence 'n' stuff. Is that the sort of stuff your lessons cover?

P.S. My German nephew is learning the violin and his mother played the clarinet, and yes, it does seem our European brethren are more cultured in that way.

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 Post subject: Re: The Scrimp and Scrape thread: tips to save money
PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2016 6:14 pm 
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ps200306 wrote:
But I'm wondering if I should go right back to the beginning and learn all the basic (and possibly boring but necessary) techniques that I missed out on, like playing scales and arpeggios and developing better finger independence 'n' stuff. Is that the sort of stuff your lessons cover?

that is exactly what I'm in it for; the basic building blocks from which I can understand music rather than learning by rote.
You'll need to satisfy yourself that your teacher is able and willing to teach you what you want to learn because as an adult you are too old to be taking orders from anyone in your free time.


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 Post subject: Re: The Scrimp and Scrape thread: tips to save money
PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2016 6:23 pm 
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Cool. That makes me want to go and try it.

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 Post subject: Re: The Scrimp and Scrape thread: tips to save money
PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2016 7:51 pm 
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You have made me envious. How I would love your piano. I have an upright Kawai which is all I have space for. I have been taking lessons for the past 7 years. I am not a natural musician but I enjoy it and force myself do the RIAM exams so that I know I'm progressing. Have made it to Grade 8, but I'm still not a musician. Nor am I a performer. I do it for the pleasure it gives me. Music makes me use under-utilsed parts of my brain. If you want to play those too-difficult pieces you like, you need to be playing scales and arpeggios to strengthen your technique. Take some lessons. See if it'll get you to where you want to be.


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 Post subject: Re: The Scrimp and Scrape thread: tips to save money
PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2016 9:52 pm 
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And you've made me envious. Grade 8 is no mean feat, and you can't have got there without considerable talent. Just out of interest, how often/how long do you practice? I spend quite a bit of time at the piano but it's the sort of hacking around that doesn't result in any improvement. I'm curious as to how much time I need to reallocate in order to start getting better.

You're definitely right about music using a different part of the brain. I reckon some of it needs two separate brains, one for each hand. Someone told me this nice slow piece should be easy to learn. Yeah right! Quintuplets in the left hand, against completely different timing in the right. Bloody nightmare.

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 Post subject: Re: The Scrimp and Scrape thread: tips to save money
PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2016 11:06 pm 
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I don't practise as often or for as long as I should, though I'm full of good intentions. I work, I write and I'm planning a garden so there's never enough time. Like all skills, the ideal is to work at it daily for at least an hour with a fixed purpose in mind - say a particular number of bars. I think the unstructured time you have spent at the piano has probably given you a real knowledge of it and you say your ear is good. Perhaps it's a little early to step into Rachmaninoff's shoes. Can you play a written piece through? If not, choose something not too difficult, work on it for a while. See what your problems are. Then go to a recommended teacher with your piece and your problems and start from there. Say you want to master this one piece. Leave when you have, if you wish. Here's a nice short piece, not too technically challenging but more difficult than it looks at first glance. It's short and sad. Brent Parker, a living composer with his Lorca's Last Walk. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGrE9mpCMAo


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 Post subject: Re: The Scrimp and Scrape thread: tips to save money
PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2016 12:29 am 
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Not picking on you dame but Irish people do seem to have a real problem in not actually answering the problem that has been asked of them.

So I'm going to ask you to please kindly answer the question that ps200306 has asked of you, i.e.

"how often/how long do you practice? "

Can you please let us know?

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 Post subject: Re: The Scrimp and Scrape thread: tips to save money
PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2016 10:06 am 
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wii4miinow wrote:
Not picking on you dame but Irish people do seem to have a real problem in not actually answering the problem that has been asked of them.

So I'm going to ask you to please kindly answer the question that ps200306 has asked of you, i.e.

"how often/how long do you practice? "

Can you please let us know?


Why should he/she let us know? You sound a bit clingy there...

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 Post subject: Re: The Scrimp and Scrape thread: tips to save money
PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2016 10:39 am 
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wii4miinow wrote:
Not picking on you dame but Irish people do seem to have a real problem in not actually answering the problem that has been asked of them.

So I'm going to ask you to please kindly answer the question that ps200306 has asked of you, i.e.

"how often/how long do you practice? "

Can you please let us know?


I'm not Irish but maybe I've bedded down more than I think. I practice about 8 hours per week. Approaching an exam that time commitment doubles for a couple of months at the prospect of being assessed. I do a written theory exam at the next higher grade (the brain being more agile than the hands) so each 18 months is split into practical and theory. Whichever one is imminent takes priority. I'm lucky to be good at exams but really that is not that much of an indicator of musicianship. A friend has never had a formal lesson, is self taught and has taught music to Leaving Cert level in a fee-paying school for years. That's a musician. I suspect ps200306 spends more time at the piano than I do and has a natural feel for it. Some of us will never aspire to Rachmaninoff.


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