Why can't I play piano

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Everything About Teaching and Learning the Piano : One Thread

I have a music degree (first instrument violin) and managed to get grade V piano but if you put a piece of grade 2 or 3 in front of me I miss the notes entirely. I am perfectly fluent at reading and know exactly how it should be played but there seems to be some mental block with automatically placing the hands over the right notes. It seems as though some basic learning method was missed somewhere early along the line. I had lessons intermittently with many teachers here and there over the years. I can't afford lessons now but see no reason why I cannot teach myself as long as I know how to perfect the accuracy of the hands over the notes. Right hand is easier - once the left is added it all goes awry. Any ideas?

-- jean russell (jean-russell100@hotmail.com), September 18, 2002


Jean: I think you are having the same probem as I am. Your not very patient. It takes time to learn left and right hand coordination. I know that you have done this with the violin, but the piano is a different instrument. A oak tree takes years to grow, so you also have to move slowly at first. Keep practising hands seperately, and all of a sudden you will be able to play the piece hands-together. It happens to me all the time.

-- freddie (no_one@nowhere.com), September 18, 2002.

Jean, The best way I know of to place the hands over the right notes is to play by ear. You say you know exactly how it should be played. I hope this means that you hear all the pitches in your musical imagination and can sing them. If so, then spend some time playing by ear that which you hear in your imagination.

So many people approach playing the piano like typing: this note on the page goes with that key on the keyboard. It is the way many are taught. Instead, let the inner sound be what triggers your finding of the key. After a while you will be amazed at how well you can sightread. Best wishes.

-- noname (noname_poster@yahoo.com), September 20, 2002.

1. Try practicing with a slow pulse and use sub-divisions to give yourself time to find each new note relationship. For example, if the normal tempo would be 60 for a quarter note, try using an 8th note as the main pulse at ~ 80. 2. Don't practice hands separately - practice hands together! My daughter takes violin lessons, and I notice she has to focus sometimes on her right hand/wrist/arm activity, bowing, etc, and sometimes on her left hand fingering position/vibrato, etc - but in piano, you must simplify and synchronize both hands together at the same time. 3. As you practice slowly, keep your eyes completely on the music - don't look at your hands - and get used to the idea of placement without looking. This allows your brain to see, absorb, and plan what the hands need to play without getting "lost." I hope these ideas help! Jon Ensminger www.pedaplus.com

-- Jon Ensminger (jlens@cybrzn.com), September 22, 2002.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ