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Context:

I'm a second year physics & mathematics student, and I took a piano course last summer semester, and I loved it.

During the course, the instructor first introduced us the basic theory of music, and then directly gave us 31 different music and asked us to study them (of course, first she played each of them to us).

Before this course, the only experience with piano that I had was watching a couple tutorials, and trying to play some of those exercises.

Although the last a couple of them, particularly the 31th one, was relatively complex to us, they were really elegant, and I really want to play them. For example my favourite the last one enter image description here

While taking this course, I was taking other courses and studying other things and I did not have much time to practice, but I still was able to play this music in 2 weeks (It was due in 5 weeks), and I really enjoyed.

Situation:

Right now, I can't take another piano course, and I still want to improve myself on piano, so I have talked with an experienced player in university, and she advised my to start with Beyer's piano books.

However, the problem is, in order to go and practice skills, I need to play child's song, or song that I really don't want to hear, which sucks the wish of playing piano out of me.

Question:

First of all, do you have any suggestion about what can I do about this ? I mean as long as I want to play and learn, the complexity is something that I can overcome (at least try) without killing my motivation, but I do not have a instructor to pick me those musics one by one, so what can I do in such situation ?

Note that, although the very reason I want to learn piano is for personal pleasure, I still want to learn the theory, and the concepts as a student who is trying to be a professional in this.

  • 3
    Note that anyone who really does want to be a professional would be a bit foolish to not take lessons from a qualified teacher. – Todd Wilcox Oct 25 '17 at 13:35
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Answer 1: When you go to the library to select a novel to take home and read, you browse the shelves, grab a volume that looks like a candidate, and read a bit of the beginning, or jump to a random page, to decide if you want to check it out to read at home. Well, you can do this at a music shop. Music shops have method books, collections, and sheet music arranged for easy browsing, and they sell electric keyboards, which are set up for people to try out. Wander through the piano section. Pick up various books that look interesting, and then sit down at one of the keyboards to play a bit from each book, to see what appeals to you. Many of the books will have some sort of level number on the cover, so after you try a few, you'll have more of an idea which level to aim for in the browsing phase.

It might take several trips to the shop to find pieces or collections you fall in love with, but that's okay, music shops are very tolerant of this selection process.

Just make sure you don't always go at a time when someone is having a saxophone lesson just on the other side of a thin wall. Then it would not be so much fun.

Answer 2: What if there are no music shops where you live? Then you'll have to use the internet. There are free scores and there are scores to buy which show you the first page as a preview.

If you find beginner books for children annoying, then you might google adult beginner. Or try the word "intermediate." Also, a lot depends on the style of music you like best. Some people really enjoy Bartok Microcosmos. Some people find it incredibly annoying.

(Bonus suggestion: I personally have never come across a Faber piano book I didn't like.)

  • This is great advice. I'm sure there will be some good specific recommendations made in this thread, but it's definitely worth pointing out that most music stores will have a sheet music section and will be very happy to let you try it out at a piano. I personally used to take great pleasure in going to a music store, spending a while playing very very expensive pianos, and then leaving buying a pennywhistle, a kazoo, a plectrum, a cleaning cloth etc. (something cheap anyway) The music store knew my game but never minded – Some_Guy Oct 25 '17 at 12:24
  • Unfortunately, those kind of music shops are not around in Turkey, but thanks, it is a good advice. – onurcanbektas Oct 25 '17 at 14:27
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Being a band member has always motivated me to practice more. It might work for you too!

You can start playing with a band and discover other genres. At first you might find yourself playing the same chords or progressions over and over again but it would introduce you to other aspects of making music. Such as harmony with other insturments and improvisation.

Considering your location, I can suggest you to use garaj.org to find other musicians.

0

I agree with the advice about getting a teacher - but do make sure that they have the same taste and values you do. You can only go so far by yourself on most instruments until late intermediate/advanced and until you have the theory and techniques. Just playing anything you can get your hands on is well and good for awhile but eventually it will get very very frustrating.

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If you truly wish to improve, you will have to find time for lessons - even if only once a month or some such schedule. A teacher will be (one hopes!) aware of your capabilities and give you studies and tunes compatible with your level.

I'm a bit concerned that you find your interest lagging already. In my experience, and the experience of most musicians I know, playing darn near anything is uplifting and motivating. You may want to self-investigate just how strong or deep your commitment to piano really is.

  • I'm downvoting, and I don't do this very often. I can remember as a teenager going laboriously through some piano music I found lying around. It was above my level. I enjoyed it nevertheless and it certainly didn't do me any harm. Now, piano is not my primary instrument but I can get through simple piano accompaniments when my children are practicing, so they can hear what their solo sounds like with accompaniment. – aparente001 Oct 25 '17 at 15:07
  • @aparente001 so why are you downvoting when you apparently agree with my statements? – Carl Witthoft Oct 25 '17 at 15:28
  • This may have been downvoted on your premise that the OP is a musician. Taking a short course in music doesn't presume the student is, or will become a musician. True, most of us agree that a teacher is the way to go, but that's not an option, as quoted. That apart, it doesn't address the OP's question. – Tim Oct 25 '17 at 15:57
  • @CarlWitthoft - Sorry I wasn't clear. I've never had piano lessons. I'm a big proponent of lessons in general, but I don't think they're always essential. Also, lessons work best when the student is really interested and motivated. Here's an analogy: most students learn calculus best as part of a course, with a teacher, homework, interaction with fellow students, etc. But some people do fine, or even better, with self-study! (Autodidact.) Also: let's let OP's commitment grow over time in a natural way. (If it were a string instrument, I would be more concerned about bad habits.) – aparente001 Oct 25 '17 at 22:14
  • Also note, there is PLENTY of music I would be extremely happy never to have to play again in my life -- and music I would be happy never to have to listen to. Example: Ravel's Bolero. Some people love that piece, I'm sure, but I emphatically do NOT find it uplifting. – aparente001 Oct 25 '17 at 22:14

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