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#1252210 - 08/19/09 08:22 PM Hello, new to this forum, looking for advice.  
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 20
AllenS Offline
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AllenS  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 20
covington, KY
I have finally decided to return to the piano after not playing it for quite a few years. My parents gave me a used piano in 1989 for my 18th birthday. I started taking lessons, as I had always wanted to learn to play.

I took lessons for at least a year until work and college got in the way. During this time I was working to restore the player unit inside using Art Reblitz's player piano book as a guide.

I still practiced from time to time, but nothing serious. After I got married in 1996, the plano stayed at my parents until we bought a house in 2000.

The piano's been here since, I get it tuned yearly, I've done a lot of repairs includng key rebushing and adjustments I've learned how to do myself and using Reblitz's piano book.

I'm 38 now, my baby daughter was born this past March, and when she grows up more, I want her to learn to play piano. Already she seems to like piano music. When I playe her youtube piano videos, she smiles and kicks. Plus she has long fingers.

What I'm trying to get around to saying is that I want to start back on some sort of self-teaching regimen. I have several books, including my old John Thompson book, and know what the keys are and the EGBDF etc, I know the basic fingering but am still just a first-year student. Learning to play anything, even something as simple as Happy Birthday using both hands takes a great deal of time and effort.

I need to develop the basics more, learn how to read music better, everything. But I do know the basics and made it about halfway through John Thompson's Book 2.

What should I do? How should I practice? I've started practicing the scales again, just so I could re-learn how to finger. I'm using the metronome to try to help my bad timing, and still trying to study the music score to know , without saying it out loud, which line is which. I can't glance at it and just know like everyone else on the planet.


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#1252217 - 08/19/09 08:31 PM Re: Hello, new to this forum, looking for advice. [Re: AllenS]  
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 495
HomeInMyShoes Offline
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HomeInMyShoes  Offline
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Posts: 495
Welcome to the forum AllenS.

Not many can glance at a score and just know. Knowing what you know, you're already ahead of many on he planet. I still write it some notes when I mess them up over and over.

Most of the learning is just repetition until it's second nature. I don't think there's a Thompson's study thread here, but there's a lot for the Alfred's series. You could maybe look into the equivalent level (late book 1 or book 2) and try to get on that wagon for a while.

Finding a teacher for a lesson every two weeks would also be good in my opinion, although time and money may be issues.

Again, welcome to the forum.

#1252271 - 08/19/09 10:14 PM Re: Hello, new to this forum, looking for advice. [Re: HomeInMyShoes]  
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 89
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Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 89
New York, USA
Hey AllenS -

Welcome to the Forum! Finally someone who studies the Thompson method!

I was taught with it, and sometimes use it for my students. I also use Bastian, Faber & Faber, some Schaum (though not all for one student!), and have encountered a bit of Aaron with transfer students. If you have any questions, post them. I check the Forum at least once a day, so would be happy to help you if I can.

I also use the Dozen a Day exercise books to help with technique, and Hanon for intermediate students. Scales, of course, are a regular part of all my students' lessons. Good advice to have some lessons yourself if you can, especially if you want to teach your daughter. Congratulations on being a new parent!

Also, don't worry about your sight reading and knowing the notes. The more you play, the better it gets. I struggled with note reading as a child, but gradually it became easier. A little each day will do wonders. I'm sure you know the phrases to remember the lines and spaces. My favorites are FACE, of course, for the treble spaces and Elvis' Guitar Broke Down Friday. For the bass I use All Cows Eat Grass (down on the farm) for space notes and Great Big Dogs Fight Animals (down on the ground) for the line notes.

Good luck, and please, if you need help post a question and you'll be surprised how many will be willing to help.


Joan Edward

Private piano teacher, 20+ years
#1252564 - 08/20/09 10:38 AM Re: Hello, new to this forum, looking for advice. [Re: EDWARDIAN]  
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 20
AllenS Offline
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AllenS  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 20
covington, KY
Thanks for the replies. I had no idea there were "methods" including John Thompson. I just know what I learned on, and that was the one.

Regarding a teacher, I wanted to go this route, but right now I am unemployed, a stay at hme dad, while my wife works full time. I'm a writer and tinker with an old car in my garage. Since I have the time, I want to start practicing piano again, but can't afford actual lessons. That's why I have to do it on my own.

I just need to know what direction to go in. How do other people do it?

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#1252581 - 08/20/09 10:58 AM Re: Hello, new to this forum, looking for advice. [Re: AllenS]  
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 3,336
ten left thumbs Offline
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ten left thumbs  Offline
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Joined: May 2009
Posts: 3,336
Originally Posted by AllenS

I just need to know what direction to go in. How do other people do it?

OK, so if you can't afford a teacher, you will need some 'self-teaching book', you will need to use your own common sense to set yourself material and discipline to keep at things that seem difficult at first. I learn a lot by recording myself (including playing to the metronome) and then listening after so see how I did. I often spot things I wasn't aware of.

Also, be sure to play with your upper body relaxed - shoulders, arms, as little tension in the fingers and wrists as you can.

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