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General thoughts and reflections

In recent weeks, I have focused on playing piano using my full hand range (by practicicing the opening baseline of Castle of Glass by Linkin Park), maintaining proper posture and playing with my left hand in addition to my right simultaneously… but this is taking a long time to progress. The most important thing I’ve had to remind myself is patience. Not surprisingly, there are no short-cuts to success with physically playing the piano. Your body has to be taught the movements in order to experience success. In understanding terminology, tricks for learning can occur much like it would learning from a textbook in the classroom, but you still need to understand and apply aside from memorize (Bloom’s taxonomy). What are some things that have stood out for me?

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Key points that I’ve noticed in my development and tips you can use.

  • I still need to keep learning different chords and songs I enjoy. And play them to completion, not just the parts I like. But some parts of songs may teach certain things (chords or hand range).
  • A song I enjoy is so much easier to play (practice).
  • I’ve only scratched the surface of learning piano. Be patient.
  • I need to maintain and honour a regular schedule to keep playing regularly, it’s easy to get caught up in life and skip a day or two sometimes.
  • Some songs I am simply not ready to learn/play yet.
  • It isn’t easy to play piano while singing… but can be very rewarding when achieved, even if you can just hum it to start.
  • Playing with two hands can be done, but learn one hand at a time and then combine them together.
  • There is no limit to resources out there, but some may be different, find what’s accurate and works best for you.
  • Maintain good posture and consider getting an instructor to critique you for even a brief amount of time. I was fortunate to work with a music teacher in person, but many virtual piano courses are available.
  • It is so amazing to be listening to the radio, hear a song, and think: I bet I could play that.

It is so amazing to be listening to the radio, hear a song, and think: I bet I could play that.

 

Recommendations on resources to learners.

I really enjoyed using Synthesia. If you can drop thirty dollars (USD) to purchase it, I found it very useful used in combination with Free Midi. Searching on Google or on YouTube is an easy way to find tutorials on songs, terminology, or instructors/courses available on-line. Some of which are free for the frugal!

What’s next?

Did I achieve all of my goals? No. But learning is never complete and my journey with the piano is no exception to this idea. In addition to the goal of learning the four chord song one day, as I’ve made countless references to… this classic below by Johann Sebastian Bach looks like another goal to learn in the future. The video below is slowed down enough for me to follow along while I play (if I can’t find a midi). I considered learning classical at the start of the term, but just hadn’t got around to it yet. After reading about Bach, I was reminded about the universal language that is music. That a song that someone composed close to three hundred years ago can make my spine shiver and emotions echo that of an individual who lived in a world not as connected like mine. But this connection through music transcends time, worldview and language. This serves as a reminder of why patience and hard work is important in learning music… and while I believe that success will look different for all students, he did (apparently) provide this quote to close on:

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Johann Sebastian Bach via Wikipedia

“I worked hard. Anyone who works as hard as I did can achieve the same results.”
Johann Sebastian Bach from BrainyQuotes

 


 

Have you been learning an instrument? Would you emphasize patience as well? Let me know below!

Logan Petlak

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