CaptainUnderpant Posted December 10, 2012 Share Posted December 10, 2012 As you can tell there is a little bit of a chip on my shoulder about my childhood piano lessons. So I apologize in advance... Last week I was at a neighbors home, he wanted me to show me his new pool and he mentioned that is wife was a concert pianist and teaches. Since my current teacher just told me she was moving to Nashville, I decided to pick her brains. We felt each other out, based upon what I would like to learn and what her specialty was. The conversation finished with her statement that "You either sight read OR you play by ear. But nobody does both". I already new that we would not be a good fit, as she only does classical, but that statement just soooooo rubbed me the wrong way, and brought up my distaste for my original childhood classical piano lessons. This is my analogy about classical training. Let us say you want to learn creative writing. So each week for 52 weeks, you show up and are assigned a short story. You put this short story in front of you and you re-type the story on your typewriter. At the end of the year you are now an expert in creative writing. Anybody can see regurgitating words on a page, teaches you nothing about creative writing. Yet this is the formula for classical teaching (from my experience). In 8 years of classical training (from a very reputable teacher) I was never taught music theory / chord structure / playing by ear. And combine that with my neighbors statement regarding One or the Other. It appears that the classical community some how disregards playing by ear. Yet all of the people that I know that can play well by ear, always say they wished they could sight read or sight read better. In addition, your contemporary music schools, MIT - Hollywood and Berklee - Boston teach both. So I don't see the contemporary "Play by Ear", school of thought down play being able to sight read. It seems to be only one sided where the classical community has a certain "snobery" about being able to just play without sheet music. I bring this up because when I learned some music theory and how to play by ear, the entire world opened up for me and my love of being able to play music started at this point. It was like the light bulb went off in my head. While I don't regret the 8 years of classical training while I was younger. I basically hated piano and was forced by Nazi Mom to practice everyday. Could the experience have been more rewarding if I were taught to be a complete musician? Very likely. Thanks for reading my rant. Am I wrong about the classical community.? Yamaha S90XS, Studiologic VMk-161 Organ Small/powerful (i7, 32GB, M.2 SSD) PC controlled by 10" Touch Screen Cantabile, Ravenscroft 275, Keyscape, OPX-II, Omnisphere 2, VB3, Chris Hein Horns, etc. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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