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The 42nd Doctor
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19 Jan 2019, 12:35 pm

I’ve been going to piano lessons for a bit over a year and a half. I have definitely improved now as compared to before when a I use to only play by ear, but I have noticed that when it comes to coordinating my hands, I’m still quite behind. I know that many people with Aspergers, myself included, have poor fine motor skills, but I’m still very frustrated at how little advancement I have made. Fortunately, I have gotten better at playing different rhythms on different hands, but when it comes to playing different dinamics or articulations, I swear I haven’t made one ounce of improvement. Does anyone have any tips? Does anyone else relate?


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blazingstar
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19 Jan 2019, 1:36 pm

I can relate. I didn't know I was aspie until about a year ago. My mother was a fantastic musician. I did try, but never got good. I thought it was because I lacked talent, didn't practice enough, in general incompetent. Now I understand that impaired fine motor control and dyslexia were more to blame. I still play music and I still get better bit by bit, but it is just for my own pleasure.


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27 Jan 2019, 7:38 pm

I work as a formal piano teacher, and play piano for 20 years.

I don't have coordination issues although I did have some in high school, not regarding my piano playing but mostly at sports (due to the fact that I rarely stood straight), and I stopped having them because I did a lot of sports back then to fix my posture and I worked really hard on that.

I'd recommend recording your practice sessions as a mean for feedback and self improvement. If you have trouble keeping steady tempo download a free metronome app. I work with a metronome app with some of my students who are still figuring out note durations and rhythm. Start slow while prioritizing continuity and hitting all the notes (perfect your rhythm!). Then practice more and make sure you hit all notes correctly if you sometimes happen to mis-press keys, so your performance is fluid.

Also, try to feel articulations, fingering, and pedal timings while you play rather than trying to remember what is written on the score. That's actually important since you don't want your mind being busy trying to remember what was written on the sheet or having to waste time looking at it while playing - you will be prone to other mistakes.
Fingerings, dynamics and pedal markers are merely graphics. If you play and it sounds good - it's good. If whatever fingers you use are easier and make you commit less energy than what's suggested on the sheet, use it. They're just guidelines.



blazingstar
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30 Jan 2019, 5:03 pm

no disrespect to Chummy at all, but those methods did not work for me. I had to toss all that out and start over playing only by ear. Lost my music in all the mechanations.


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Chummy
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01 Feb 2019, 3:33 am

Maybe you just have Amusia than, I wouldn't know.

Learning scores/pieces from sheet music as a basis is by far the best way to get a good technique and good sense of harmony even if you mostly play by ear afterwards (like I do). If you already play by ear what you know and don't learn new stuff than sure you perform well what you already know but that's about it.



blazingstar
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01 Feb 2019, 8:42 pm

Different people learn differently. Especially autists.

I have also had more than 20 years of music instruction...even have performed. I read music, I've studied scores, studied theory. But I did not have it in my heart until I learned by ear and listen to the music in my soul.

The point is there is no one right way. :D not a criticism. Many ways are right. :D


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Threnody, Dorothy Parker
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Chummy
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13 Feb 2019, 7:48 pm

blazingstar wrote:
Different people learn differently. Especially autists.

I have also had more than 20 years of music instruction...even have performed. I read music, I've studied scores, studied theory. But I did not have it in my heart until I learned by ear and listen to the music in my soul.

The point is there is no one right way. :D not a criticism. Many ways are right. :D


non taken, I'm highly open to other opinions.

While learning by ear is nice and musical hearing training is important to every student (I have absolute hearing so I never needed it) every institution/musical center that respects itself teaches sheet music and students are expected to know how to read notes. That is because (at least for piano where I come from) the basics of piano teaching remain similar to what it was in the Victorian era, at least in the western world. Our notation system has pretty much standardized and this method is used so kids can grow up and swim like fish in musical colleges and universities. I know that in Japan the traditional way of teaching music is different, you have to know a certain repertoire on your instrument before being granted the green light to be a certified musician. Obviously that's an old tradition regarded to certain indigenous instruments where students actually paid for the privilege to participate in their chosen master's circle of students. Before there was sheet music (~1501) the method for teaching music in Europe was pretty much similar to what you described: mostly by ear, imitation and instinct. There was no sheet to learn from.

what instrument do you play/teach?



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13 Feb 2019, 7:53 pm

Glenn Gould, one of the greatest pianists of the twentieth century, was very likely an aspie. Re hand-eye coordination, some aspies have it, some don't. Personally, I've never had any problems with coordination per se when playing the piano, but maybe some basic finger exercises.


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Das Glück gehört denen, die sich selbst genügen. Denn alle äußeren Quellen des Glückes und Genusses sind, ihrer Natur nach, höchst unsicher, misslich, vergänglich und dem Zufall unterworfen.
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Last edited by Prometheus18 on 13 Feb 2019, 8:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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13 Feb 2019, 8:06 pm

Prometheus18 wrote:
Glenn Gould, one of the greatest pianists of the twentieth century, was very likely an aspie. Re hand-wash coordination, some aspies have it, some don't. Personally, I've never had any problems with coordination per se when playing the piano, but maybe some basic finger exercises.


Glenn Gould had a severe accident when he was a kid, he was a weird genius and a nasty human being according to some who knew him but I don't think he had AS. Some of his sensitivities might have been a byproduct of the accident, not to mention his awkward posture, low-sitting positioning, generally I think he was an ass due to his character and his early life events, and the great success he achieved just made him an even greater ass. Not the misreading of social situations that is.



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13 Feb 2019, 8:10 pm

Chummy wrote:
Prometheus18 wrote:
Glenn Gould, one of the greatest pianists of the twentieth century, was very likely an aspie. Re hand-wash coordination, some aspies have it, some don't. Personally, I've never had any problems with coordination per se when playing the piano, but maybe some basic finger exercises.


Glenn Gould had a severe accident when he was a kid, he was a weird genius and a nasty human being according to some who knew him but I don't think he had AS. Some of his sensitivities might have been a byproduct of the accident, not to mention his awkward posture, low-sitting positioning, generally I think he was an ass due to his character and his early life events, and the great success he achieved just made him an even greater ass. Not the misreading of social situations that is.


He was a narcissist, but of the benevolent, happy-go-lucky type; not exactly nasty from what I recall. I don't recall hearing about an accident in his childhood either, though it's been years since I read about him.


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L'enfer c'est les autres.
- Sartre

The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.
- Henry David Thoreau

Das Glück gehört denen, die sich selbst genügen. Denn alle äußeren Quellen des Glückes und Genusses sind, ihrer Natur nach, höchst unsicher, misslich, vergänglich und dem Zufall unterworfen.
- Arthur Schopenhauer


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13 Feb 2019, 8:22 pm

Yeah he definitely had a severe spine injury, which just played into the hands of people thinking he was a savant, cause he's physically disabled. Which is the reason why he sat so low and literally plucked the keys instead of striking them normally from above. Obviously I didn't know him personally but read many accounts describing him as a nasty personality. Obviously that doesn't inflict on his piano skill



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14 Feb 2019, 6:53 pm

I cannot find any reference to any accident in the life of Glenn Gould and descriptions of him certainly resemble aspergers. That aside, I watched a documentary of him sight reading a major new piano piece as fast as the interviewer could turn the pages. It was unbelievable and I would not believe it had I not seen it. He preferred to be alone, but also complained of how lonely his life was because no one thought like he did. He stated that the best way to listen to music was in a sound proof room and an excellent quality recording. He did not like and did not appreciate live concerts. I personally found his interpretations interesting and complex, but my tastes are more traditional.


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Threnody, Dorothy Parker
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Chummy
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14 Feb 2019, 7:08 pm

Use google. Wikipedia says it, but obviously not only Wiki actually since it's unreliable, many other sources also confirm so. Google "Glenn Gould spine injury". Truthfully he actually fell from a boat ramp near a lake when he was a kid according to his family accounts. He was also a hypochondriac although I can't tell for certain it was officially diagnosed as such, he was definitely scared of any illness, had many sensitivities such as temperature, blood pressure which are more likely explained by this than just plain sensory problems. Diagnosing people postmortem is pointless since nobody can contradict that diagnosis.

People also have speculated Newton and Einstein and who knows who else had AS, same thing - nobody can prove that they did have it and unless proven first as far as logic concerns "innocent until proven otherwise" - that means they didn't have it unless new documentation/accounts are suddenly discovered.

I'm not a classical music fan so I don't listen to Gould, sure he was a genius, sure he was really obsessed with music but a deep special interest is not related to autism. He may have just as well loved music very much!



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14 Feb 2019, 9:50 pm

The 42nd Doctor wrote:
I’ve been going to piano lessons for a bit over a year and a half. I have definitely improved now as compared to before when a I use to only play by ear, but I have noticed that when it comes to coordinating my hands, I’m still quite behind. I know that many people with Aspergers, myself included, have poor fine motor skills, but I’m still very frustrated at how little advancement I have made. Fortunately, I have gotten better at playing different rhythms on different hands, but when it comes to playing different dinamics or articulations, I swear I haven’t made one ounce of improvement. Does anyone have any tips? Does anyone else relate?

That's a myth. Music and art are not in your hands or motor skills, they are in your brain. You just need to practice. You won't be good for 3 years or so, just to start. Practice. A lot. Jimi Hendrix used to go everywhere with his guitar, he even took it to bed with him, until it became an extension of his arm, and imagination.



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15 Feb 2019, 8:25 pm

AspE wrote:
The 42nd Doctor wrote:
I’ve been going to piano lessons for a bit over a year and a half. I have definitely improved now as compared to before when a I use to only play by ear, but I have noticed that when it comes to coordinating my hands, I’m still quite behind. I know that many people with Aspergers, myself included, have poor fine motor skills, but I’m still very frustrated at how little advancement I have made. Fortunately, I have gotten better at playing different rhythms on different hands, but when it comes to playing different dinamics or articulations, I swear I haven’t made one ounce of improvement. Does anyone have any tips? Does anyone else relate?

That's a myth. Music and art are not in your hands or motor skills, they are in your brain. You just need to practice. You won't be good for 3 years or so, just to start. Practice. A lot. Jimi Hendrix used to go everywhere with his guitar, he even took it to bed with him, until it became an extension of his arm, and imagination.


Practice helps, as does OT. But if one has impaired fine motor control, there are limits.


_________________
Eyes that watch the morning star
usually shine brighter,
Arms held out to dark they say,
usually hold tighter.


Threnody, Dorothy Parker
as modified by David Tamulovich