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 head jack ports, so that, say, a teacher and student could hear the student’s attempts without bothering anyone else in the household.

Yes, I like it!

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.

Cyn is Rick's wife, Katie's Mom, and Esther & Oliver's Mémé. She's also a professional geek, avid reader, fledgling coder, enthusiastic gamer (TTRPGs), occasional singer, and devoted stitcher.
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7 thoughts on “Relearning How to Play the Piano

  1. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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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