Music Learning Notes (Piano) 15/07/2020

Well, it’s high time that my piano learning progress got its own posts.

Right now I’ve slowed down a bit on the piano because I only have so many hours in the day and I’m also focusing on the Classical Guitar more. Nevertheless, progress is steadily made and I have more keyboard confidence than in the beginning of the year.

I have a stack of piano books for beginners and my Trinity exam pieces books have arrived. I’m somewhat disheartened to realize that I’m still at the initial grade because even though I’ve been plugging along with the Piano Maestro chapters, it keeps you within a single octave range. Granted, I’ve been augmenting this with two other piano books that takes me between 2-3 octaves, but it’s still a challenge. Nevertheless, I am resolved to practice one piece from the Initial Grade book every two weeks, along with a Piano Maestro chapter every two weeks. It used to be that I was doing 2-3 chapters per week, but the exercises have gotten more challenging and I have a distinct lack of time.

What I am learning right now

  • Exam scales for the Trinity Initial Grade.
  • Allegro (no. 4 from 24 Short and Easy Pieces) — Alexander Reinagle (from the Trinity Initial Grade Exam Pieces book)
  • Chapter 24 of Piano Maestro (following the Journey route because it simulates a formal learning environment.
  • Sheep May Safely Graze (simplified for beginners) — JS Bach
  • Minuet (simplified for beginners) — Christian Petzold.

Also still composing by ear-ish. Unsure if this still qualifies as “composing by ear” if I know all the octaves and what note each key is– but then again, I don’t always know the notation cognate for it in sheet music. I’ve been reading sheet music for classical guitar for years but that is limited in terms of octaves, and I’ve had to learn a whole new set of mnemonics for bass clef notes.

I won’t sit for exams next year, but am planning to start classes then and maybe sit for Grade One exams in 2022. Next year will be my first time taking the exam for CG and I’m going to be a bundle of nerves so I think it’s best to focus on that.

My plan is to get a piano teacher next year but the nature of instruction depends on the current pandemic. I think online lessons work well for me because of my schedule. More flexibility is good. Nevertheless, I feel I benefit from a formal, graded course of study because otherwise I’ll just be off and away with the faeries and I’ll just talk myself out of doing music.

Also, this way, by the time I retire, I’ll **finally** be able to play Debussy and Ravel pieces on the piano.

But for now, I’m just enjoying the journey.

Fear not, I’ve no intention of giving up my day job. I love what I do too much. But music isn’t quite a hobby. It’s a passion. It’s my reason for being. So, it behooves me to get better at what is integral to who I am as a person.

Today’s picture is of my Kawaii piano, with the bokeh overlay on Photoshop Express on my iPhone 7. I am a subscriber of the Adobe Creative Cloud. Have been subscribed for years.