Home » Relearning How to Play the Piano

Relearning How to Play the Piano

I can’t remem­ber whether or not I bur­bled about this already, but if this is a repeat you can get extra hugs the next time I see you or some­thing. We have a work­ing, mar­velous, beau­ti­ful piano! It’s the freecy­cled Korg 88-key dig­i­tal that I men­tioned way back in Novem­ber, all clean and func­tion­al thanks to my sweet Sam. It sounds so good! It even feels right, unlike any elec­tron­ic key­board I’ve ever tried to play. I learned to play on an acoustic piano, and the feel is just dif­fer­ent. This piano has nice­ly weight­ed keys to help old­sters like me, and they’re even touch-sen­si­tive, like a “real” (acoustic) piano. And it has two ped­als! (There’s a pic­ture of a sim­i­lar mod­el down there under the “read more” link.)

It won’t go out of tune. We can record any­thing that’s played on it. There are not one, but two head­jack ports, so that, say, a teacher and stu­dent could hear the student’s attempts with­out both­er­ing any­one else in the household. 

Yes, I like!

Now I need to find appro­pri­ate “learn to play” books writ­ten for the adult stu­dent, but the only ones I’ve seen in the past assume absolute­ly no musi­cal knowl­edge or expe­ri­ence. I think I’d like to take lessons again, but I’m almost afraid to do so. Still, does any­one know of a good teacher in the Decatur area? Have any rec­om­men­da­tions for appro­pri­ate instruc­tion books?
Korg 88-key Digital Piano
Katie took lessons for a cou­ple of years before her father died. He nev­er got a piano, but she did (and still does) have a key­board. I’m real­ly hop­ing she’ll decide to start lessons again. Of course, if she does we’ll have to find a teacher. The girl has such per­fect hands for the instru­ment, all slen­der and ele­gant, with such long fin­gers! She’s had bet­ter reach than I do for years, now.

Once upon a time I was good enough to accom­pa­ny myself while prac­tic­ing voice pieces. I didn’t play in pub­lic, gen­er­al­ly, but I did direct and accom­pa­ny a senior citizen’s choir a life­time or so ago. I haven’t had reg­u­lar access to a work­ing piano since I was 21 or so, and 20 years of no prac­tice real­ly shows. Add to that the fact that I lost most of the feel­ing in my left hand dur­ing that time, and you can prob­a­bly under­stand why I’m pret­ty much start­ing over.

It’s far more frus­trat­ing to start over. You know how the music should sound, you can remem­ber play­ing it well, you know how your mus­cles should work. But they don’t. It’s humiliating.

I had saved all of my “learn to play piano” books, but since nei­ther Moth­er nor I can find them, I believe that my sis­ter and/​or broth­er “help­ful­ly” tossed them out at some point in the past, when my music was stored in my par­ents’ home. I had planned to go back through them until I found my cur­rent “lev­el,” then prac­tice the drills and songs and such ’til I could retrain my mus­cles. It isn’t as if I’ve for­got­ten how to read music, or any of the the­o­ry, after all. Okay, I haven’t for­got­ten much of the the­o­ry. I’m just rusty on it.

7 comments

  1. Hope says:

    Yay for work­ing keyboard! 

    I’ve nev­er got­ten beyond the very, very basics of any intru­ment, includ­ing my voice. Mind you, I enjoy singing, but I won­der what I could do if I actu­al­ly knew what I was doing. Singing lessons are some­thing I may actu­al­ly do one day. 

    Here’s hop­ing you find good resources — mak­ing music is good for the soul 🙂

  2. cyn says:

    Thanks, sug­ar! I real­ly appre­ci­ate you pass­ing on my request in your LJ 🙂

    I didn’t get as much out of the very few singing lessons I had years ago as I’d hoped, but then I had a bad sinus infec­tion all quar­ter and I didn’t par­tic­u­lar­ly “click” with the teacher. I did get an incred­i­ble boost from a week­end sem­i­nar with Elise Witt, and I real­ly hope to take one of her 8-week class­es here some time soon.

  3. Hope says:

    Absolute­ly my plea­sure 🙂 Lati sug­gest­ed the fol­low­ing “Piano advice here from some­one who’s been play­ing for… 13 years now?

    Don’t start with old favorite songs. They’ll be very very frus­trat­ing, mak­ing you think “Damn, I used to know this so well!” Start with some new fun pieces. Then once the keys are back in your bones, dig up some old loves.”

  4. Lydia says:

    OMG YAR! And it has ped­als too — amaz­ing. I’m so jeal­ous, my head is spin­ning. 🙂 Good for you — many hap­py tin­kling of the ivories!

  5. Easy Piano says:

    It might help to try a piano method aimed at adults, such as Hal Leonard Stu­dent Piano Library Adult Piano Method or some­thing sim­i­lar. PM me if you want a spe­cif­ic sug­ges­tion, but a search on adult piano meth­ods should turn up a num­ber of good can­di­dates. I’m a gui­tar play­er but I learned to play piano by slow­ing down a play­er piano (Disklavier in my case), and then learn­ing the left hand part, then adding in the right hand notes, then chords. I’m not “good” but I make music and have fun.

  6. Piano Movers says:

    I must say that I’ve been in the piano busi­ness for a long time and nev­er seen this brand of ‘piano’, although elec­tron­ic key­boards are very com­mon and I’ve relo­cat­ed more mod­els than I can remem­ber, I’m pret­ty sure I’ve nev­er ran by this.
    As a piano lover I will def­i­nite­ly give this one a try. Thanks.

  7. cyn says:

    Since it breaks down into pieces my teen daugh­ter can lift alone, I doubt that any­one would hire piano movers to relo­cate one of these. One of the rea­sons I’m so hap­py is that, unlike an acoustic piano, it doesn’t require tuning.

    Don’t get me wrong – I adore acoustic pianos! That’s what I learned to play on, and some­day, I hope to have a nice one. But we know we’re mov­ing again in the not-so-dis­tant future, and in a place as small as we have now, the abil­i­ty to use head­phones with the dig­i­tal piano is very nice.

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