Weird adult learner

Questions on learning to play the piano, and piano music.

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Roland
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Weird adult learner

Post by Roland » 30 Sep 2011, 10:37

So I have just bought an electric piano, which is fantastic because it allows me to pick up my piano playing once more ...
When I was a kid I taught myself to play the piano. Frankly, I didn't have much else to do. I couldn't focus on reading and, anyway, it was before the internet.
The net result was that I got quite good - in my way. I could play a lot of slower songs from the 20s and 30s that I like. All the Things You Are, The Way you Look Tonight, Smoke Gets in your Eyes. That type of thing. All the "actual" music.
I also learnt a few quite difficult classical pieces, which I have just printed out again - from the internet. These include the slow movements from Beethoven's "Moonlight" and "Pathetique" (I'm using the nicknames advisedly) and Chopin's "Raindrop" prelude. All of which I could get through pretty much.
BUT now I am older and more given to doing things right. I'm happy to practice a passage over and over and at slower speeds. I'm happy to try and limit my repetoire until I get it right. And my new piano allows me to record each hand at one time.
I might also be up for doing some scales, arpeggios and practice pieces. And this is where your guidance might come in. In short, no doubt, my technique sucks and that probably affects the sound I make. I have no idea of fingering, really. I am not versed in crossing the fingers over. My fluidity is probably pretty rotten - for example I am having to remind myself that I have to depress the key the full value of the note instead of using the pedal (slapped wrist). And no doubt many other things that would make a piano teacher swoon - while, I hope, being quite impressed with how far I have got without any lessons.
Things I am good at are sight reading and musical theory (Grade 5 cello, sight-sing in a choir).
SO after all that, does anyone have any recomendations about how I should proceed? Of course it would be lovely to have lessons, but I concentrate my time elsewhere (writing poetry and the choir) so that is not ideal.
What about books? Exercises? Just learning scales? Or do I just try to rein in my completist, perfectionist tendencies and enjoy the skill I have?
I look forward to hearing from you.

Michael

Gill the Piano
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Re: Weird adult learner

Post by Gill the Piano » 30 Sep 2011, 17:56

Well, I've just picked up my classical guitar after a 14 year gap. And with regret, I have to inform you that there's no substitute for a teacher! Dave has pinpointed all my dreadful habits I've got into and helped me see where to start picking up the pieces again. And if you go to a teacher for (initially ) a one-off lesson, I'm sure you'll find it most instructive. The teaching now is far more fluid and open than it used to be, and if you like the lesson and are prepared to go in school hours, you can book in for a regular lesson, once a fortnight/month whatever. I'm going to go once a fortnight...until Dave is driven mad! Colin is on here a lot and is a teacher, so might be able to give you more specific help. Well done for picking it up again! :D
I play for my own amazement... :piano;

Roland
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Re: Weird adult learner

Post by Roland » 30 Sep 2011, 19:29

Thanks Gill. Yes, I'm sure you are right. Goodness knows what I will find out. I am minded to go for a first lesson and once a month would certainly be better than nothing at all.
In terms of saying "well done," it was nothing. For some reason, playing the piano is the most enjoyable thing of all the art forms I dabble in. I sort of wish my parents had realised this and encouraged me to shift to piano lessons instead. But that was my sister's thing, I guess. Anyway, now I am reminiscing and regretting.
Best wishes and I look forward to hearing from Colin.
Michael

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MarkGoodwinPianos
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Re: Weird adult learner

Post by MarkGoodwinPianos » 01 Oct 2011, 08:49

If you have the cash available I'd find out who is the best piano teacher in your area and see if they have a weekly slot available for you. And then, put the work in to reach the targets that your teacher will set for you each week. Aim to exceed your teacher's expectations.

Good luck, it sounds like a fun musical journey you've been on :)
Yamaha Pianos for sale (usually 50+ in stock)
email markgoodwinpianos@gmail.com with any Yamaha, Kawai, Bechstein or Steinway questions :)

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