Piano self-taught. Is it possible?
Piano self-taught. Is it possible?
Today we bring a discussion on the table. A topic which has been questioned plenty of times along the history of music learning and teaching. A discussion that even nowadays, it is certainly a taboo.
Self-teaching of a musical instrument, in this case, the piano.
Is it really possible to be self-taught on the piano on a competent and professional level?
That is really the question we would like to analyse with this new post. Actually, this post comes from the last post published on WKMT Blog by one of their piano teachers in London.
At WKMT and even ourselves, usually attend musicians who mention that they are self-taught on any musical instrument and they would like to perfection their technique and performing skills, for that reason they look for a space and/or orchestra in which they could show what they are capable of and where to learn something else within what they tried on their own practice.
Indeed, it is possible to self-teaching yourself on the piano. Especially nowadays, when you could find plenty of tutorials, videos, examples, learning applications, masterclasses online and on stream from and for all around the world. Music is on everyone´s hands. It became easier and more feasible for everyone. We now could develop our creativity and put on work what we most like and what we are capable of in terms of music. So no wonder about self-teaching process.
However, there are some questions that we should point out.
- Professional Advice:
Yes, you could indeed start learning the main basics and exploring the instrument on your own. At certain point, you will need a professional advice, but in which aspect?
Well, mainly the choices of the pieces to work on and play. There are several different aspects that makes us suitable for a piece or another. Even on a professional level, we will be more talented or skilled to play some pieces than for another. That means, even if we are professional musicians, we could play perfectly well Haydn but maybe playing Rachmaninoff is not our main skill. For that reason, a professional advice would be handy at some point within your tuition.
- Piano Technique:
This concept is actually one of the worst for those self-taught students. You can not teach yourself the piano technique. That is something for what you will need to extend a professional advice or even start thinking of taking lessons.
We have had a few cases in which an adult, playing beautifully and impressive way the Chopin Nocturnes. However, their technique and playing way looked awful and uncomfortable for them.
That is mainly because you can start learning a piece or even memorize the notes on the keyboard and reproduce them accurately, however, you don´t pay any attention to any other details such as performance, relaxation of the body and fingers, strength and dexterity, etc. All this could be sorted by learning a proper piano technique. And that is only possible when you study with a Maestro or a Senior piano tutor.
The article we talk about mention two famous concert pianist who started their career self-teaching way:
- Lucas Debargue and Paul Lewis.
We must say that specially Lucas Debargue, who developed his piano skills by ear, is re-known as having a great piano technique, so he could be an exceptional exemption. There might be talented musicians self-taught out there who might not need professional advice, and in that case we would applause them for being able to self-teach and learn all needed to become a star.
If you click here you will have access to the full article in which you can find out all about Lucas and Paul Lewis as two most famous classical pianist self-taught.
Franz Liszt - Piano Concerto 2 in A major, S. 125
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky - Concerto for piano and orchestra No. 1 in B-flat Minor, Op. 23
What do you think? Is piano self-teaching an extraordinary skill?