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#32693 - 05/26/04 06:39 AM Speedin up my playing
pokey Offline
New Member

Registered: 05/26/04
Posts: 12
Loc: New Jersey
This is a student question. I am learning to play and am in the intermediate level and can play Sonatinas without many mistakes. I can't seem to play any faster and wondered how to bring up my speed without messing up with wrong notes. Should I be doing scales faster? I have been doing Hanon and use Faber Int. books like Sonatinas and Literature. I love this site and read your comments a lot. You don't seem to like adult students from the comments but we are really loving to do this and it is greatly rewarding. Yes Adults can improv..I have!

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#32694 - 05/26/04 08:48 AM Re: Speedin up my playing
Lilla Offline
Star Member

Registered: 10/30/00
Posts: 1573
Loc: Chicago
Here's one way. Pick a piece you know well and can play at an even tempo throughout. Set your metronome and play thru. Now each time you play, bump your metro up a notch. In no time at all you'll have it up to speed. Enjoy.

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#32695 - 05/26/04 12:26 PM Re: Speedin up my playing
Emilymae Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 01/19/04
Posts: 191
Pokey, I LOVE teaching adult students and I appreciate your dedication to learning a new skill as an adult. I find adults especially challenging to teach though because I seem to be spending so much of my extra time finding ways to motivate the younger students with contests and stickers,and looking for new pieces and sounds to appeal to the younger crowd. My few adult students cover such a wider range of levels, I really haven't had the time to focus on using an adult teaching method. I guess i feel a little less confident teaching adults.
I would love to see more adult students post here because I feel like I have a lot to learn and want to know exactly what adults are looking for in their piano lessons. I've had very mixed results teaching music theory to adults. Some loved it and wanted to know every aspect of it and some didn't want anything to do with it, they just wanted to learn to play.
Teaching piano to seniors especially interests me but I don't know where to begin.
I know I haven't yet answered your question about playing faster, but I think Lilla gave a good answer. The main thing I have my students do is play at a tempo where everything sounds even with no pauses and only then start to speed up gradually leaving no note behind. I find a metronome to be motivating because you can rate you progress. It is a good idea to try this with a piece that is technically easier to play or a piece you've enjoyed playing in the past. Then you can concentrate on speeding it up without being slowed down by note reading.

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#32696 - 05/26/04 09:20 PM Re: Speedin up my playing
pokey Offline
New Member

Registered: 05/26/04
Posts: 12
Loc: New Jersey
You asked about what adults would like to learn as piano students. Here are some of my current wishes:
To learn theory enough to understand the music but not overkill
The scales both major and minor
Be able to play well enough for my enjoyment and be able to sight read most pieces including hymns
To read music in my head
To learn about composers and about different types of music
To play without making lots of mistakes
To learn chords and not forget them!

There is lots more but that's all for now. I appreciate help from you teacher folk!

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#32697 - 02/18/05 02:17 AM Re: Speedin up my playing
Tezumi Offline
New Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 1
Loc: Sweden
 Quote:
Originally posted by Lilla:
Here's one way. Pick a piece you know well and can play at an even tempo throughout. Set your metronome and play thru. Now each time you play, bump your metro up a notch. In no time at all you'll have it up to speed. Enjoy.
That's perfect, That's what I do anyway \:\)
_________________________
And there I was, all dressed up, and no place to go.

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#32698 - 02/18/05 12:19 PM Re: Speedin up my playing
xstitch4me Offline
Star Member

Registered: 08/15/04
Posts: 2167
Loc: Idaho
Pokey, I'd love to have an "adult" student like you. Unfortunately, most adult students take lessons thinking they'll be able to sit down and play whatever they want right away which sadly is not the case. Adults will learn and advance quicker than younger students but they often get frustrated that it takes so long...and very few really want to learn all those things you're interested in. Keep it up and if you move to Idaho, look me up \:D

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#32699 - 02/18/05 12:40 PM Re: Speedin up my playing
Lisa Kalmar Offline
Star Member

Registered: 04/10/00
Posts: 4277
Loc: KC
Lilla gave you some good ideas for willfully speeding up. Go to practicespot.com and you will probably find some other great ideas from a book called The Practice Revolution. He has a lot of them posted online.

Sometimes, though, playing faster needs less "will" and a better/different technique. Randall Faber's article in the latest PA Teacher newsletter, which you can view at this site along with video clips, talks about this specifically. Have you checked it out yet?

If you are not currently studying with anyone, you may want to seek out a teacher who is skilled in teaching technique and familiar/specifically trained in the work of Dorothy Taubman, Barbara Lister-Sink (has a great video you can purchase at her website) and others. If you have mastered the art of getting arm weight into each and every note (key) then there are other awesome "tricks", particularly Taubman's concept of "in-out" in conjunction with rotation that make playing quickly quite effortless. This stuff is best explained at a lesson rather than over the internet, so I will shut up now. \:\)

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#32700 - 02/22/05 01:17 PM Re: Speedin up my playing
ABA Offline
Regular Member

Registered: 02/21/05
Posts: 50
Loc: Nashville
Pokey__I think Lilla had the best advice. Do not underestimate the effectiveness of gradually increasing your speed of a particular piece by incremental adjustments using your metronome. You will find that with sufficient repetition, you will soon become very comfortable in playing that specific piece faster. Over time, this will help "speed up" your playing in general. But for now I would approach it on a set piece basis. Once you realize you have increased your tempo, this will be both exciting and gratifying. Good luck!

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#32701 - 02/22/05 01:20 PM Re: Speedin up my playing
ABA Offline
Regular Member

Registered: 02/21/05
Posts: 50
Loc: Nashville
I think Lilla had the best advice. Do not underestimate the effectiveness of gradually increasing your speed of a particular piece by incremental adjustments using your metronome. You will find that with sufficient repetition, you will soon become very comfortable in playing that specific piece faster. Over time, this will help "speed up" your playing in general. But for now I would approach it on a set piece basis. Once you realize you have increased your tempo, this will be both exciting and gratifying. Good luck!

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#32702 - 02/22/05 03:01 PM Re: Speedin up my playing
ABA Offline
Regular Member

Registered: 02/21/05
Posts: 50
Loc: Nashville
Pokey__I think Lilla had the best advice. Do not underestimate the effectiveness of gradually increasing your speed of a particular piece by incremental adjustments using your metronome. You will find that with sufficient repetition, you will soon become very comfortable in playing that specific piece faster. Over time, this will help "speed up" your playing in general. But for now I would approach it on a set piece basis. Once you realize you have increased your tempo, this will be both exciting and gratifying. Good luck!

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