Am I progressing at a normal level? Adult-9 months of lessons - : LUSENET : Everything About Teaching and Learning the Piano : One Thread

I'm 38 yrs old, and I've been taking lessons for 9 months. Up until a month ago I believed I was doing very well. My instructor even stated that I had made it to the intermediate level - I was thrilled! But lately, it seems that anything I play sounds horrible. For example, I'm working on Bach's (which I was told was EASY) - Anna notebook minuete - It seems that some days I think I have it down pat, and then the next day I totally go blank! Now I find myself writing the alpha note names in on my music pieces. Am I cheating myself by writing in these notes?

-- Debra Lennon (, August 08, 2003


Debra, If you are playing the Minuet in G from the Anna Magdalena Notebook after only 9 months, you have indeed made excellent progress. But if you still have difficulty knowing the names without writing them in, there is a big discrepancy going on. Are you, in general, comfortable with the pieces your teacher assigns? Does s/he assign sightreading on a daily basis? Can you perfectly (or nearly perfectly) sightread music at the level you were playing a few months ago, or do you have the same kind of struggles with the note names in easier pieces? Do not resort to writing in note names!! You need to drill these so you can recognize them instantly, almost subconsciously, as well as the intervals between different notes on the staff. Be sure that you continue to play easy level pieces, even though they may not be as interesting, while you solidify your note recognition and reading. BTW, I'd be very interested to know other pieces you are currently working on, as well as a general list of which books/materials you have worked through to get to the point you are.

-- annie (, August 12, 2003.

Annie, I just read (found-out) that I had a response to a question I posted in August - Thank you for your timely response and great advice! As soon as my broken finger heals, Sight-reading will be a part of my daily practice. I realize that I started a bad habit by writing down each note name, instead of actually reading each note while I played a song. I really like your advice recommending that I continue to play easy level pieces, to help with note recognition.

Also, thank you for complementing me on my progress. And now I'll try to answer your questions.

-Yes, I am comfortable with most of the pieces my teacher assigns. -Yes, a couple of months ago I was introduced to the world of SIGHTREADING. -Prior to breaking my finger, my sight-reading sounded terrible. Hopefully, with daily sight-reading practice, this will change.

Started piano Nov 2002 twinkle twinkle little star, Fere Jacques, Addams Family, Scarborough Fair & other easy pieces Dec Sakura, Silent Night, Swans on the Lake, We Three Kings, and more Jan 2003 Crazy, A Summer Place, Surf Riders - Theory Maj & minor 7ths, Hannon 3 and Scales Feb Amazing Grace (I played it for my friend's memorial service), moondance Mar-Jun (Earth Wind Fire) "After the Love is gone", Titanic, theory, scales & chords July-Sep Fur Elise, Minuet G Anna Mag, Brahms Waltz, continued theory hannon scales & chord pieces Oct - Healing time for broken finger! Theory workbook The very first piano solo book (for sight-reading) Hannon Classic Themes - by the masters - Bastien (purchased in Sep-03) J.S. Bach Preludes & Intro to his keyboards music (same as above)


-- Debra Lennon (, October 22, 2003.

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