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I have to say, what you listed is relatively easily attainable by students who started as adults, if they dedicate a few years to the theoretical as well as practical aspects of organ playing. .
I suspect you are overly optimistic. I would think it is attainable too, but do teachers actually see it happen? I suspect it is rare.
I suppose it depends on where you are (and your environment).
In my high school, for example, we had two organ scholars, both in their mid-teens. Both of them could easily do everything the OP listed - because it was their "job" and they played for Sunday Service in our chapel, as well as all the hymns at morning assemblies.
However, our school had many more piano students (including myself), who did not have to do any of that, so they never learnt to play or improvise from (or without) lead sheets, though as they all studied harmony, they could easily pick it up - if they wished to - if they were above Grade 5.
There's another factor, too. Besides the skill development, there is a mental shift into working on a specific skill for a practical purpose, rather than for the sake of the art. You used the term "not relevant." I would disagree, in that practical application can always be relevant.
Why would it be relevant, if we never have to use a particular 'skill'?
For instance, if I never played pop or jazz, I'd never ever have to play or improvise from lead sheets. (I just "picked" it up from accompanying friends in pop, from song books, but was never taught it.)
I recall playing for a church service, struggling with my limited skills to perform (because that's what I do) and noticing that in the pews were no less than six pianists more skilled than I who were either not willing or not able to perform in public.
Every amateur performer knows of pianists much better than them who wouldn't ever perform in public.
But why would anyone denigrate them because they don't have the confidence to do so (or suffer from stage fright)? I was once one such a pianist, and if anyone had told me when I was a teenage student (even after I'd obtained my performance diploma) that I would one day perform in public in a monthly recital with no fear, I'd have told them to go take a running jump. Yet that's exactly what I've been doing for almost a decade......
1. Rondo alla Krakow Op. 14 (for piano and orchestra) 2. Scherzo in B minor Op. 20 [but only played by Horowitz or Darrè, since they play the ending scale in interlocking octaves.] 3. Scherzo in E major Op. 54 4. Ballade in G minor Op. 23
Some of his pupils turned out to be outstanding pianists. Emil von Sauer for example. (Although we don't have any recordings of him in his youth, when he would play virtuoso pieces like the Scharwenka #1 or the Henselt; but we do have him in the Schumann and the Liszt two concerti [E-flat & A major].)
Has anyone ever tried the so called K2 that they built.
Anybody out there like it.
It’s a beautiful sounding piano, but I’m not sure I’d get it since I have the Steinway Ds and C Bechstein. Character wise it doesn’t seem to offer much stand out difference. I’d be happy with either one of these 3 though.
Some of the problem could be: a) the notation isn't complete or has been altered to suit the level of the book, b) pieces don't always follow theory perfectly, or c) there could be things like borrowed chords that might not "make sense" at an elementary level. I took some adult theory courses and still have a hard time analyzing pieces that don't seem like they should be so complex. So, I just try to make sense of the key, changes, and whatever else I can, and accept that there will be some stuff I don't understand but will hopefully learn later.
I think that for some people, theory can get in the way, be too challenging, be a distraction, or whatever. But it suits my learning style and I improve in everything so much faster when my focus is on theory (which includes playing!) In contrast to the above post, I find that learning things like chord shapes through theory opens or loosens up my hands and helps with positional/location awareness.
Isn't the obvious suggestion Ravel's left hand piano concerto?
Yeah, a bit of an obvious suggestion, but still a good one. That said, it doesn't fit the bill. A less obvious suggestion [although it also doesn't fit the bill] is the Prokofiev left hand piano concerto (that'd be his fourth piano concerto).
I think in general as you progress, the pieces become longer and more technically challenging, so I would say the answer to your question is “no”. Even though you can apply the skills you learned from previous pieces, there are always new challenges. By the time you get to a higher grade level, 5 weeks is unlikely to be enough time to learn a piece.
Of course there are lots of variables: length and complexity of the piece, how quickly one can learn the notes, familiarity with pieces of similar style or composer, how much time you practice and efficiency of practicing, and the pianist’s standard and expectations of what it means to “learn a piece”. It is common for amateurs learning fairly advanced pieces (e.g. RCM Grades 9 and 10) to spend at least 6 months and even more than a year getting it to a level of satisfaction.
Yup I understand that advanced pianists have pieces that they study for years. I was talking in a general skill set sense.
Originally Posted by bennevis
Originally Posted by Sebs
Is the time to learn pieces generally relative to ones level?
To take a lop-sided example, an advanced pianist (Grade 7/8 ABRSM) can easily sight-read a grade 1 piece perfectly (complete with all phrasing, dynamic and expression markings indicated in the score, plus his own nuances, rubato etc as he deems fit), and after a few more play-throughs, will probably have the piece memorized and ready for performance.
In other words, he could have the piece performance-ready in ten minutes, and play it better than a Grade 2 pianist ever could even if the latter has been practicing it for several weeks.
All students will have experience of their teachers playing their pieces - often just sight-reading them - much better than they themselves ever could.
That’s pretty fascinating as it seems impossible to do that even with simple pieces but I guess it’s all relative. Although come to think of it I cloud sight read a very simple piece and I’m sure one day that very simple piece years ago would have taken me a while to learn. It seems very interesting how music skills develop over time.
I think Faber was the one I hated - they have so many numerical finger markings around the notes that I found it too distracting. So I asked my teacher for her second recommendation (Alfred) and it was much better for me.
We'll see how this one behaves/sounds. They also have an old Steinway K, a few more Bechsteins, and the Feurich line to provide a bit of a reality check, in case I get too sucked into the romance of klaviers gone by.
I'll add my answer to your question too, because I should have made it clear that I don't compose using Finale. Like you, I compose at the piano, or (more often) at my desk, with manuscript paper and pencil. I said in my initial post that "I've been preparing my scores using Finale now for 25 years" - "preparing my scores" being the relevant thing here. I notate my scores using Finale, but I don't *compose* using Finale. I don't have a digital keyboard either. I use Finale purely as a notating program. Yes, it was a bit of a steep learning curve at first, but it was only a matter of weeks before I was becoming quite comfortable with it. I tend to use the point and click on the stave rather than the computer keyboard input method, but the important thing is to find what works for you. (I don't even use the playback function...)
I did not realize that this last-year thread of mine had been resurrected, but I now can add that my recent ordering of a Kawai NV5 was entirely caused my frustration with the speaker/amplification shortcomings of the Roland LX 706, and generally all the former generation of digitals. I believe Kawai recognized the issue, and its deal with Onkyo shows its willingness to deal with experts and put serious money into that side of their digital pianos. The market is ready to spend, and the appearance of electronically excited soundboards a marketable plus.
Now the problem is to get the pianos out of the factory and into dealerships...
Excellent point about Kawai, I was going to say the same. When I got my piano and played around with it I could hear the deficiencies in the signal chain. It literally thought, the only thing they could do better was the sound system, then they hired Onkyo (who makes nice stuff) to take care of it!
I've thought about re-doing the sound system in my CS-11. I still might, one day...