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E TO C ON PIANO KEY

Dingo40

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Finding good teachers is not restricted to music only.
I remember a teacher of German language who spoke ( German ?) with a most intrusive Australian accent , a maths teacher who was actually a co-opted music teacher, a guitar teacher who spoke no English, another maths teacher who had no experience of mathematics since his own high school days as a student himself.
There are many problems finding teachers with relevant up to date knowledge!🫤
In spite of the shortage of good high school maths/science teachers, three of my school friends obtained doctorates: one in maths, one in maths-physics and one in chemistry.🙂
What can you say?
When people talk of "the good old days" in education, they weren't ready all that good!🤣
 

saundersbp

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On the other hand, rigid standardisation of teaching can be the death of creativity and inspiration.
A good teacher gives a student the confidence to teach themselves because a lot of the time spent learning is time on your own. Understanding how others have learnt and all the different techniques gives you a head start and saves so much time in the long run. The aim is making music and a good grounding (rather than a starting point of relativism) gives you that freedom.
 

Ffingers

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A good teacher gives a student the confidence to teach themselves because a lot of the time spent learning is time on your own. Understanding how others have learnt and all the different techniques gives you a head start and saves so much time in the long run. The aim is making music and a good grounding (rather than a starting point of relativism) gives you that freedom.

Exactly.
But for every good teacher, there is a plenteous supply of martinets, self rightious, "Be reasonable - do it my way", and generally inadequate pretenders to that description.
Teachers can succeed only by being good "educators" - bringing out the talents and capabilities of their students.
I'm old and have seen so many bright and intelligent children ruined for life by dictatorial pedagogues.
I suspect that you are not one of those ;)
 

saundersbp

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I'm old and have seen so many bright and intelligent children ruined for life by dictatorial pedagogues.
I suspect that you are not one of those ;)
I'm not a music teacher!
I guess anyone in a leadership role has a duty to manage themselves to redundancy and to pass on knowledge. What I have seen is relativistic pseudo teaching stifle talent, especially in higher education. The mantra is to encourage students to break down barriers and genres. Sounds initially like something to cheer for, but the problem is those young people aren't taught first what the genres are that they are being encouraged to break down. I've found that those that innovate and take creative risk successfully do in fact often know an awful lot about the shoulders they stand on in any field, not just music.

I haven't really come across many dictatorial pedagogues in the UK, but I have in the states. I've no idea about contemporary Australian music teaching.
 
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Walker

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While I, like @Ffingers, have never been an advocate of standardising the accordion, I do find the cost of quality instruments (especially those with free bass) to be eye-wateringly expensive. I also find the size and weight of the modern (large) classical (mainly chromatic converter) instruments, regardless of treble keyboard type, to be back-achingly and unhealthily heavy. I have concerns about the bigger is better vibe and am rarely impressed by the tonal quality of many modern instruments, but sadly that issue takes a back seat more often than not.

From a practical point of view, I do not think my music requires an extended keyboard, but then I don't write for accordion ensemble, and I don't wish to play elaborate piano or organ music either. I do find @saundersbp to have a most unique and interesting perspective on accordion repertoire, especially the direct association of Bach's clavier music and the accordion. If I were to ever make a serious attempt at playing classical music, this is the area I would try to focus on, albeit with a piano accordion rather than the button instrument, which he speaks of with great affection.

For the time being I will stick to 41 keys, F to A, but who knows maybe one day I will graduate to something different, whatever that may be...​
 

Ffingers

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Andrew, the expression: "Horses for Courses" is most apposite here - or even: "Whatever floats your Boat".

Few musicians aspire to, or even have much interest in Classical, Baroque etc. music playing, so the argument revolves around what it is that you wish to create as a musician, even more than the kind of music which you enjoy listening to.

There is, unfortunately, a great deal of snobbery around musical, artistic and even sartorial taste; much of which is affected and peer influenced.
 
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saundersbp

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Few musicians aspire to, or even have much interest in Classical, Baroque etc. music playing
a great deal of snobbery around musical, artistic and even sartorial taste; much of which is affected and peer influenced
Quite wild assertions neither of which (happily) I've found to be true!
 

Tom

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Lots of good points here. To get back to ability. People have various degrees of natural ability. I'm sure you will all agree that you are better at some things than others. It's interesting as to why this is. I have had the good fortune to excel at one chosen endeavor, being self taught, and having reached a technical level where I don't see any need or room for improvement. However, with accordion playing, even though I've worked hard, with all kinds of practice routines, etc., I have extreme difficulty improving at a rate I would like to, and persevere from total hard headedness. Even though I post on here almost every day. I don't get it. 😉 My natural level of ability in this endeaver seems limited. Ok.

Interestingly, I have successfully taught two musicians who have continued to play and improve. It's a matter of trying to determine how they think about the task and offering tips accordingly. Because you're right, it's got to be along their journey.
 

Ffingers

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Quite wild assertions neither of which (happily) I've found to be true!
Then you have indeed been fortunate.
I base my view on my experiences as a traveller, a photojournalist, being the brother of a concert classical harp soloist, and of friends and acquaintances in both music and art worlds.
 

rauschmeier

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Interesting thread... IMHO the best accordion playing is marked by what notes one doesn't play just as much as those notes one does.

After a 20-year hiatus, when I picked up the ol' melodiosa (and especially without the benefit of the professional guidance I had taken for granted when dragged to lessons as a 5-year old), I found myself making the same mistake most beginners do. Unlike most instruments, by just pushing a button I could gratifyingly sustain a noise that was largely in the same key of the song I was trying to play.

With a constant drone filling the air, I could be lazy (or even ignore) the well-timed accents, flourishes, and most importantly space between notes that signals virtuosity. Unfortunately, I still catch myself "filling the space" when learning new arrangements. Worse yet, I've found this extremely common bad habit amongst accordion players can make it difficult to vibe with other musicians. Which is one of the reasons why I believe accordion gets a bad rap.

Sure, a little mimicking of the bagpipes has its place here and there. But an accordion (probably more than any other instrument) is a powerful noise-generator... and ... (apologies to spiderman) ... with great power comes great responsibility.
 

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