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It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!
Now this might sound like a silly revelation, so please bear with me I've been plodding through my old repertoire and trying to add some lighter pieces in to get these hands back in shape after a 10 year hiatus. All the while essentially sticking in the classical vein I was taught in.
Then today I had this breakthrough. I had Pandora on for my daughter's nap and when I went in to wake her, Dustin O'Halloran's Opus 28 was playing. Woah! I looked up a sample of the sheet music and propped my laptop up on the piano and played. It was so beautiful and I could focus on the tone and emotion of the piece rather than trying to work out trills WOW! What have I been missing?! Can you all recommend some other composers that are producing really beautiful stuff? Not too new-agey.
Who knew adult piano playing would be so much fun?!
subject: Breakthrough - there's good music to play beyond Chopin?!
Now this might sound like a silly revelation, so please bear with me smile I've been plodding through my old repertoire and trying to add some lighter pieces in to get these hands back in shape after a 10 year hiatus. All the while essentially sticking in the classical vein I was taught in.
Then today I had this breakthrough. I had Pandora on for my daughter's nap and when I went in to wake her, Dustin O'Halloran's Opus 28 was playing. Woah! I looked up a sample of the sheet music and propped my laptop up on the piano and played. It was so beautiful and I could focus on the tone and emotion of the piece rather than trying to work out trills wink WOW! What have I been missing?! Can you all recommend some other composers that are producing really beautiful stuff? Not too new-agey.
Who knew adult piano playing would be so much fun?!
I am a beginner piano player of 2 years at the age of 64 without a teacher because I can't afford one.
I want to learn to play Prokofieff and the best and most difficult Chopin and other composers because I love the challenge in life no matter how tough.
You can buy piano learning books that costs big money, are very thin, have cds, pretty, pretty coloured pictures fit for an art gallery. Let me not - say more.
I am learning from the John Thompson method books of 5 Volumes and I am in book 2. The books are dirt, dirt cheap at a whopping 89 pages of awesome music, no coloured pictures - and I don't miss them because it is the colour of the sound of the music that matters and not the colour of the notes. Each book costs 5 to 7 dollars in Canada and mere pennies in the United States of America. The books were published way, way, way, way back in 1905. It says on the the cover of every volume "Something new in every lesson" Nothing could be more honest than God.
The books are so awesome - if you don't believe me go to any music store and have a deep look at every page of any volume - it brings tears of my eyes just thinking of it. It is a thrill just to sit down at the piano and to know how fun it will be - but oh, no, there will something new that will kill you with pain of delight because it teaches you something you never imagined could be done with your fingers and hands to make the piano sound so awesome.
Now about the modern stuff printed with coloured paper costing 30 to 40 dollars of only 25 pages of music-learning with, yes, CDs and why? - I don't know why - because if you can count through the measures and know the names of the notes and the values of the notes and how long to play the notes for - then the music sounds perfect except for your mistakes and so no reason for a CD in my mind - And not one - I repeat not one page of the music-learning book talks about "Thumb UNDER the Second Finger" - not mentioned - anywhere and yet in John Thompson books, not a pages goes by where there is not a neat technique that is set out to be learned and enjoyed for a lifetime.
I live in a shack with holes in the walls, never painted since I bought the shacks 35 years ago for 30,000 dollars - cheapest shack in the city at the time that I could find. It has timbers of wood 6 X 6s built just after the second world war. Today houses cost over a million and are made of cancer causing agents furnature and fixtures, etc. Cars are made of plastic costing 50,000 dollars are mostly made of plastic. Everything I drove cost 3,000 to 8,000 and was made of steel.
So, yes, life is different and that isn't bad, but don't every think (politely spoken) that is necessarily better! - but yes, it is different and I accept that for everything that it is.
To me life is the journey - and for the average person if you are 21 and you live to 65, you have roughly 2,000 weekends left in your life - do the math, please, and it is not to depress you that I tell you this, but that you enjoy your life of a smooth journey of 88 piano keys playing the best of music - and - no life - is good - without a struggle.
If you like this, I second Jessiebear's suggestion of Ludovico Einaudi, and also a few others. Here are the ones that I can think off the top of my head:
Ludovico Einaudi: Le Onde, Nefeli, I Giorni, Oltremare
Michael Nyman: The Heart Asks Pleasure First, Big My Secret
I wonder if your experience of finding O'Halloran's piece easier to play might have something to do with it's newness to you. Perhaps coming at it without the expectations that accompany music previously learned or something? Maybe not, but it's interesting to think about.
Let us know if you add any of these composers to your repertoire and which ones.
This new guy Bach is making a bit of name for himself
I've been on a Bach binge recently. Played through both books of the WTC, and the Art of Fugue, and listened to all the Brandenburgs, and am working my way through the Orchestral Suites. I also bought some scores.
Funny funny. I've played plenty of Bach. I just didn't realize there was much I'd like beyond the Classical and Jazz I learned over 17 years of lessons. I hate ragtime and I never liked anything reminiscent of Yanni. Basically, I'm not used to picking my own pieces and am having so much FUN!
POLYPHONIST: are you feeling cranky because I didn't respond to your post?
Indeed not. My post wasn't even addressed to you.
Originally Posted by lolablitz
I responded to several other posters in kind using the nifty quick response box...
...yet it is still quite unpleasant to have to read the tiny print up there, and then scroll all the way back in the thread and try to figure out which of that person's posts you are referring to, and then scroll back down to read yours again, etc, etc. It seems much simpler just to quote the section of the relevant post you are responding to, which eliminates all of that trouble for would-be readers.