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Returning to piano after 7 years #2814415
02/13/19 06:10 AM
02/13/19 06:10 AM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 18
Dublin, Ireland
S
scottgreen94 Offline OP
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scottgreen94  Offline OP
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Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 18
Dublin, Ireland
Hi. I’ve decided to get back into the piano and start playing classical music again. After my school days I stopped playing when I started working full time. Now I miss it so much o want to play again. I wouldn’t even know where to start as I don’t know how good my technique is now. Does anyone have any advice?

Also I’m looking to change my Casio Privia to a Yamaha clp645 as I need the wooden keys and not plastic ones. Thoughts?


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Chopin Grande Valse Brillante Op.18 in E flat Major
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Re: Returning to piano after 7 years [Re: scottgreen94] #2814419
02/13/19 06:35 AM
02/13/19 06:35 AM
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 1,082
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barbaram Online content

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barbaram  Online Content

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A friend of mine gave me this book when I first went back to piano (after a considerably longer gap): https://www.amazon.co.uk/Used-Play-Piano-Adults-Returning/dp/0739035940
I found it a pretty good way to refamiliarise myself with the basics of reading and playing.

Alternatively, just dig out *easier* things you learned before. Don't expect to pick up where you left off, and try not to be too impatient. It won't come back instantly but it does come back. A teacher is worthwhile if that's your thing, but if it's not what you want right now you will still be able to make plenty of progress without one.

Re the piano, I see you are in Dublin, I'd recommend a trip to Pianos Plus to try out a range of what's available and see what feels right for you.
Really though, I'd suggest waiting before upgrading. Give yourself at least a few months to get back into it and make sure you are going to stick with it before making an expensive purchase.

Good luck & enjoy!

Last edited by barbaram; 02/13/19 06:45 AM. Reason: added thoughts on new piano
Re: Returning to piano after 7 years [Re: scottgreen94] #2814445
02/13/19 08:16 AM
02/13/19 08:16 AM
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 2,288
In the Ozarks of Missouri
NobleHouse Offline
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NobleHouse  Offline
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In the Ozarks of Missouri
For those in the U.S., here is the link for the book above:

https://www.amazon.com/Used-Play-Piano-Refresher-Course/


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Re: Returning to piano after 7 years [Re: scottgreen94] #2814458
02/13/19 09:20 AM
02/13/19 09:20 AM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 11,758
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bennevis Offline
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Originally Posted by scottgreen94
Hi. I’ve decided to get back into the piano and start playing classical music again. After my school days I stopped playing when I started working full time. Now I miss it so much o want to play again. I wouldn’t even know where to start as I don’t know how good my technique is now. Does anyone have any advice?

Seven years in the doldrums? wink

That's nothing. I had several decades in said doldrums after university (and its practice rooms), and in my late maturity (if I may use this euphemism for 'decrepit old age' cry) in 2010, I finally decided I'd no longer move around with my job, and stay put to buy my first (& only) piano, a high-end digital. With plastic keys (and proud of them). I've not looked back since - soon after, I joined PW, and once I'd regained my former skills and pushed them further (I'd like to say into the stratosphere, but in actuality, it was only just higher than Everest.....hmm, that's actually in the stratosphere at the poles smirk ), took up a monthly recital series, in which I took it upon myself to perform everything from memory - for the first time in my life.

New challenges, new pieces to learn & memorise on a regular basis (of course I couldn't keep recycling the same pieces in my recitals), new technical & musical challenges........the years fell away, and my decrepitness went with it. I felt youthful again. Even my mirror said so.

So, whatever digital you choose, take your time and make sure it's good enough for your needs now and in the foreseeable future (I took one month going around several showrooms trying out all likely contenders in and around London before finding mine, putting down my card only after returning to it a few times to make sure my initial enthusiasm for it hadn't decreased). BTW, I bought a digital (and play it exclusively with headphones: it has no speakers) only because I have neighbours surrounding me on all sides of my flat, horizontally as well as vertically: I was brought up on acoustics, mostly uprights, and never even played a digital before. If I owned a mansion surrounded by a moat, I'd have bought a Bösendorfer Imperial instead wink .

And then, I just started relearning and playing some of my old favourites (that I used to toss off easily as a student, when I had regular access to practice pianos). It didn't take long to regain my previous skills - maybe a few weeks at the most. And then I pushed myself to learn harder stuff - remember, with piano playing, if you're not progressing, you're retrogressing.......

BTW, you might want to consider getting a good teacher (depending on what standard you reached when you last played), if you're serious about progressing to be the best you can.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Returning to piano after 7 years [Re: bennevis] #2814464
02/13/19 09:39 AM
02/13/19 09:39 AM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 1,634
Dublin
johnstaf Offline
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johnstaf  Offline
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Dublin
Originally Posted by bennevis
And then, I just started relearning and playing some of my old favourites (that I used to toss off easily as a student, when I had regular access to practice pianos). It didn't take long to regain my previous skills - maybe a few weeks at the most. And then I pushed myself to learn harder stuff - remember, with piano playing, if you're not progressing, you're retrogressing.......


That's a similar story to mine. After a long break it didn't take long to get back to where I had been. I always aim to push myself to new heights. Otherwise I feel like I'm just going around in circles.

Re: Returning to piano after 7 years [Re: scottgreen94] #2814540
02/13/19 12:53 PM
02/13/19 12:53 PM
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 135
Washington, DC
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StartwithBach Offline
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StartwithBach  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 135
Washington, DC
Barbaram has good advice. I also liked reading Bennevis's thoughts on the subject. Just be patient with yourself and maybe create some realistic goals that help reestablish your previous skills and build new ones. I took a similar break for college and grad school. It took me several months to really feel like things were back to normal, but I chipped away at it each day. Have fun!

Re: Returning to piano after 7 years [Re: scottgreen94] #2814543
02/13/19 01:00 PM
02/13/19 01:00 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 4,896
Tyrone Slothrop Online content
Tyrone Slothrop  Online Content


Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 4,896
In addition to the suggestion of Barbaram above, Melanie Spanswick also has a two volume series for piano returners that aims to swiftly get the returner back to the level they were at before they went on hiatus. There are some reviews on Youtube of her series.


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Re: Returning to piano after 7 years [Re: scottgreen94] #2814588
02/13/19 02:17 PM
02/13/19 02:17 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 22,629
Victoria, BC
BruceD Offline
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BruceD  Offline
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Posts: 22,629
Victoria, BC
Just to add a personal note - which I am not often prepared to do. After the proverbial "leaving home" in my early 20's, I was without a piano and with very, very limited and only occasional access to one for more than 45 years, I returned to piano study upon retirement. I may be no further ahead, technically, than I was when I passed my RCM Level 10 examination, but I don't think that I am below that level, either, as I am successfully performing repertoire at a level above that which I was playing when I had to leave the piano. One great advance that I have made, in spite of long years away from the piano, is being comfortable with performance. I think, moreover, that with years of listening to music, I am a much better "musician" - may I use that word? - than I was when I was in my late teens.

Yes, you can go back, and in doing so you can move forward! The point for me is to enjoy the journey.

Regards,


BruceD
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Estonia 190
Re: Returning to piano after 7 years [Re: scottgreen94] #2814629
02/13/19 03:17 PM
02/13/19 03:17 PM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 5,768
Seattle area, WA
gooddog Offline
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gooddog  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 5,768
Seattle area, WA
My practicing became spotty when I left home for college. My lessons stopped at the same time. I never took an exam but I estimate I was at RMC level 8 when I was 18. I didn't return to lessons and serious practice until my mid 50's. At that time, I dove right back into the music and restarted lessons. Happily my technique came back pretty quickly. Since then, I have substantially exceeded where I was before the hiatus, (ARCT now). I attribute this to working with an outstanding teacher. Therefore, my advice is to find a teacher who enjoys working with adults and get the best instrument you can afford.


Best regards,

Deborah
Re: Returning to piano after 7 years [Re: scottgreen94] #2814640
02/13/19 03:40 PM
02/13/19 03:40 PM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 11,758
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bennevis Offline
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What I've discovered, from encountering many adult re-starters over the years (a few of whom were 'inspired' to do so by me, even if I say so myself grin), is that the higher the level you reached before you stopped, the easier - and the faster - it is to regain your previous level when you restart.

Probably no surprise - after all, if you only ever played a few 'songs' by ear for a few months as a ten-year-old before the piano gets sold off because your parents decided you really aren't a pianist, starting again as a 30-year-old is pretty much the same as a beginner starting piano for the first time, whereas if you reached conservatory standard before switching to law (or whatever floats your boat), you have at least ten years of solid technique & musicality ingrained into your limbs and brain, and it doesn't take long to wake everything up.

The moral is - don't waste your childhood lessons, because you never know whether - or when - you might be grateful for them in the years to come, when you grow up (mentally as well as physically)....... smirk


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Returning to piano after 7 years [Re: scottgreen94] #2814687
02/13/19 04:48 PM
02/13/19 04:48 PM
Joined: Dec 2018
Posts: 50
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MrCatMissMew Offline
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My advice is to take any pieces you've played before back to slow practice - I've found that difficult passages I had mastered previously have reverted to my old mistakes.

Re: Returning to piano after 7 years [Re: scottgreen94] #2814866
02/13/19 11:28 PM
02/13/19 11:28 PM
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 187
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RubberFingers Offline
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I agree with BruceD that the maturing (hopefully) of the intervening years makes performing easier. For me, I have no worries because playing piano is not my profession, so who cares if I screw up? And I have messed up, mostly in minor ways. It's gotten to the point that mistakes don't bother me too much. Heck, people don't *really* remember how I played, they just remember that I did play. Also I'm playing less technical, less athletically maybe, but more musically. Maybe a few people will remember how I played!


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