Piano students are usually not taught by ear. Teachers and students will usually ask questions about how long the student has to master it before they will begin playing. One must not expect to learn the piano by ear because learning by ear is a highly-charged time and skill for beginners and for pianists who have not had musical training over a long period of time (more than a few years). When one has a music background, this is the time to learn something new. By contrast, piano students are usually taught by their teachers in a controlled setting for a long period of time, which in theory makes it easier for piano players to find the right setting for playing the instrument. To play well on the piano, a musician has to become skilled, but learning about the piano is by no means like learning to play the guitar. It is actually quite different from both learning to play the guitar, where musical aptitude is highly related to the amount and duration of time spent practicing, and learning to play piano, where musical aptitude changes with the length of time spent playing.
Is it safe to play the piano if I am still in training as teacher?
Teachers often encourage students to play the piano if they have just completed their teacher-education course, but this advice is not necessarily sound. Some instructors use an “if you like the piano, keep practicing it” strategy, which means that when the student plays well, he or she is expected to continue to practice the piano no matter how tired he or she is, or when the teacher says he or she needs to quit. Many experienced teachers tell their students to stop playing the piano immediately after their teacher tells them to stop or to just play the piano on it’s own. When a student is playing on it’s own, he or she is not practicing and cannot improve and must therefore put all of the effort into improving the piano. As time passes, practice will get more and more difficult, and it is not only that a student who is practicing on his or her own is in no condition to learn to write music from memory or play the piano on it’s own from the start, but that the same student also needs to work harder in terms of practicing and will have to start being more selective and not playing the piano at all if he or she wants to improve. To make this work, a student must not only practice and learn to compose music, but also learn how to play. For example, a student may need to practice and learn how to play the
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