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I started learning piano few years ago. I did not spend too much time on theory as it seemed straightforward to me, but easy to forget. I However practiced a couple of songs over and over. I looked at these videos, and learned to play them perfectly:

It is satisfactory for me to know piano to this level. But, I would like to know what I am missing, and how I can move up in my learning curve?

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    Sorry, do you want to know what you are missing piano practical-wise (i.e. performance-wise) or theory-wise? Which of these learning curves do you want to move up in? (Or do you want to move up in both?) – Dekkadeci Jan 8 at 5:56
  • In theory of learning there has always been a great discussion about learning by teaching, structural learning, and playfully learning for children - and adults! The best theoretical approach for learning is "learning by doing" (see wiki) which is a good mix between imitation and structural learning. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learning-by-doing – Albrecht Hügli Jan 8 at 8:18
  • @Dekkadeci Both! – Sara Winslet Jan 8 at 15:31
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I started learning to paint a few years ago. I did not spend too much time on art history and theory. I however copied a few paintings over and over. I learned to copy them perfectly. What am I missing?

Ok, loose analogies aside, and ignoring the fact I cannot paint, here's a few thoughts:

Where are you now? You've learnt how to coordinate your hands. You've learnt how to watch someone else play, and you might have learnt how to match their hand movements to the sheet music notation. You know what the piano sounds like, and feels like. And you know what sort of music you like to play.

Where to from here? Can you play pieces that do not have tutorial videos? Can you read sheet music notation? Or can you play one by ear, with no notation to help? Can you write down what you hear? Can you write your own music? Do you know why some notes sound good to you, and others don't? Can you play fast and fluently, without tiring? Can you write music for other instruments? Can you teach other people? Can you play different styles of music, from different countries or centuries? Can you play in a band, and make music together with other people? Can you play and sing at the same time?

"No, but I don't care" is a valid answer to all of those questions, by the way. But maybe something does spark your interest.

Music is a lifetime pursuit, if you want it to be. There is always more to practice, more to learn. You don't have to do that. But you can, if you want to, and if you put in the effort.

  • I like the answer very much, because it shows how many possibilities there are in an interesting way. I just disagree with your analogy. Reproducing music has a complete different value than reproducing paintings! – coconochao Jan 8 at 15:39
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Learning by imitation (for beginners) may give more motivation, you just can copy what you see and immediately feel your progress. but you will save a lot of time if you read a manual or tutorial videos on youtube. There are also videos that show the naming of notes and chords. But this will still be learning on a very basic level.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imitation

Theory is the reflection about what, why and how we are doing something.

http://im404504.wikidot.com/structural-learning-theory

If you have a look on a site with elementary music theory for reading sheet music (staff, grand staff, the note names, the note lengths, the scales, circle of fifths and chords) you' will understand what you are playing, why you play this accompaniment with the left hand and you will be able to find out your self how to play and improvise other songs:

Music Theory for Beginners

Start with learning the basic chords (as A - minor "in Autumn ...") By understanding what you are doing - and why and how you have to use this chords) you will be even more satisfied and save a lot of time learning new songs. If you are going on like you're doing you might be not able to play 1 part per million of the music you listen and you'd like to play. This piano tutorials would be more helpful if the're were add the chords. You should do this yourself by analyzing and writing the chords in a lead sheat:

more stuff to learn the name of the keys of the piano (you should label your piano in the same way:

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