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Return to Piano after 40 years
#2815730 02/15/19 12:19 PM
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Hello! I decided I'd start an introductory thread rather than post piecemeal in everyone else's introductory threads. And no, I'm not the famous basketball player from Spain, I just like the name. My real name is cumbersome because my first and last names rhyme with each other in a kind of sing-song manner, something that has made me self-conscious my whole life.

Anyway, I took lessons for a couple of years back when I was about 12 to 14 years old, then I quit, and 40 years passed before I decided I'd give the piano another try. I still remember why I quit.... I dreaded the annual recitals we had to do, there was no one my own age taking lessons with this teacher, various other interests started occupying my time, etc, etc. I remember my mother being very disappointed when I quit (after all, it was HER piano we had in the house and we'd put forth quite a lot of effort to get it moved there from where it had been previously at Grandma's house). I also rationalized the decision to quit in that once I started High School, the lessons would be a much longer walk in the opposite direction from school; not so the case when I was in Jr. High where the lessons were right on my way home from school. Still, though, I felt guilty about quitting and I tried to put it out of my mind by never touching the piano again, not even once, unless it was to dust it or pick up the cat from on top of it. Eventually the piano got donated; to a school or a church or some place like that where I am hopeful it has gotten more use.

Eventually, though, the urge to pick it up again came back and a few months ago I bought a Casio keyboard which I can play upon. Fortunately, I was always pretty good at reading music, so that came back quickly. Exceptions of course include those notes very high or low on ledger lines. The very low B and C and D below the bass clef and anything above the A above the trebel clef require a bit of a pause to figure out which ones they are! But fortunately I don't see them very often. I am much weaker though on rhythm... For some reason, I never really learned counting very well. I must've bluffed my way through lessons by pretending to count! I remember even way back then that I was doing it without counting. How the teacher never noticed, I do not know!

Regarding reading music: I see many posts about students learning pieces "by rote" without learning to read the notes on the page? I can't imagine how they do that! I see millions of Youtube videos which show piano music presented almost as if its "Guitar Hero", with a keyboard and colored bars coming down from above and lining themselves up with the correct keys, and the length of each one describes how long to hold each note. Is that how some people are learning? If so, I can understand why they're not learning to read the sheet music. I am fortunate that I can read the notes printed on the page, even if only slowly at first.

More to come, I am sure...

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Re: Return to Piano after 40 years
Pau Gasol #2815737 02/15/19 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Pau Gasol
Regarding reading music: I see many posts about students learning pieces "by rote" without learning to read the notes on the page? I can't imagine how they do that! I see millions of Youtube videos which show piano music presented almost as if its "Guitar Hero", with a keyboard and colored bars coming down from above and lining themselves up with the correct keys, and the length of each one describes how long to hold each note. Is that how some people are learning? If so, I can understand why they're not learning to read the sheet music. I am fortunate that I can read the notes printed on the page, even if only slowly at first.

Welcome Pau Gasol! Synthesia is indeed just Guitar Hero. smile And I don't understand the fear of reading either. I started piano a year ago yesterday, which was a Wednesday. Downloaded an app and by Saturday was reading music off the page slowly (now playing what I read of course is another matter wink ). Some forum members have told of family members who are afraid of reading, which is something I have great empathy for, but just never intellectually understood myself if the person in question doesn't have a learning disability like dyslexia.


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Re: Return to Piano after 40 years
Pau Gasol #2815751 02/15/19 12:52 PM
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Synthesia! I should have suspected it had a name. Thanks!

Re: Return to Piano after 40 years
Pau Gasol #2815796 02/15/19 02:13 PM
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Welcome to the forum, Paul.



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Re: Return to Piano after 40 years
Pau Gasol #2815802 02/15/19 02:19 PM
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I came back to piano after 56 years. Even after that break I picked it all back up (I only got to grade 3 as a boy) in about 2 months. As for the top an bottom ledger lines - you quickly do learn them when the music you are learning includes them. My latest piece (just submitted to the Recital #53) is a Chopin Nocturne, and the highest note there uses the ledger line representing the E above the top of the treble clef and is actually an octave higher. The bottom note is A below the bottom of the bass clef

When I first restarted I found an image which showed all the notes going above and below the ledger lines and printed it out and stuck it on the wall behind the piano. Its still there today, but I don't need it anymore.


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Re: Return to Piano after 40 years
akc42 #2815810 02/15/19 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by akc42
When I first restarted I found an image which showed all the notes going above and below the ledger lines and printed it out and stuck it on the wall behind the piano. Its still there today, but I don't need it anymore.


Did you mean this image akc42?
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Re: Return to Piano after 40 years
Pau Gasol #2815824 02/15/19 03:05 PM
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PS How could I forget! Welcome Pau Gasol! smile


Playing the piano is learning to create, playfully and deeply seriously, our own music in the world.
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... feeling like the pianist on the Titanic ...
Re: Return to Piano after 40 years
Pau Gasol #2815830 02/15/19 03:13 PM
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Thanks everyone!

Re: Return to Piano after 40 years
Pau Gasol #2815838 02/15/19 03:26 PM
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And as to what music I'm playing: None of it is Classical. I got ahold of Alfred's "Giant Book of Classic Rock, Easy Piano" and am learning selections from it, plus a few others I found online. "A Whiter Shade of Pale", "Don't Fear the Reaper", "Africa" by Toto, "Summer Breeze" by Seals and Croft... All "easy piano" arrangements. Plus a few others still in the early stages of learning. Another example: the keyboard part of "Subdivisions" by Rush. I like the 80s-era synth music and hope to learn more skills with it.

Re: Return to Piano after 40 years
Pau Gasol #2815849 02/15/19 03:46 PM
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Welcome Paul! I think that is cool you came back to piano. Plus you are still relatively young and have the time to get as good as you want! I just started from scratch at 59, and there are lot's of us like that around here. I'm a non-classical guy also, my favorite music is 1970's Progressive Rock. Hey, there is another thread for people working through Method Books; Alfred's or Faber's (maybe others?) - you can pop in if you want to talk about that.

And hey, I don't know much piano-wise.....but I do know that I am counting just about everything I play because that is one of the most basic skills you got to have - you can do it! smile


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Re: Return to Piano after 40 years
Progman #2815882 02/15/19 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Progman


And hey, I don't know much piano-wise.....but I do know that I am counting just about everything I play because that is one of the most basic skills you got to have - you can do it! smile


Oh, exactly! The version I have of "A Whiter Shade of Pale" has the left hand playing eighth-eighth-quarter-eighth-eighth-quarter and its takes extra attention on my part to make sure I'm not playing a waltz. Or better yet, careful counting!

Re: Return to Piano after 40 years
Pau Gasol #2815934 02/15/19 05:44 PM
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We are glad to have you here Paul.


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Re: Return to Piano after 40 years
Pau Gasol #2815962 02/15/19 07:04 PM
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Like you Pau I recently started playing again after a forty year break. I have found site reading has returned relatively quickly though I am badly dyslexic.

Like you I have trouble counting while trying to play, my other problem is just plain clumsy fingers. I hope practise resolves that.

I am totallly loving it.

Kevin

Re: Return to Piano after 40 years
Pau Gasol #2815963 02/15/19 07:06 PM
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Welcome to the forum. Be sure to enjoy your journey.



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Re: Return to Piano after 40 years
Progman #2816027 02/16/19 01:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Progman
... ...my favorite music is 1970's Progressive Rock.

Hi Progman,
Ref your comment on 70's progressive rock music I had to say you must check out the "Porcupine Tree" band who do a fabulous job of pulling it all together. Maybe you know them already, but if not...

Sorry, back to thread topic.

Welcome Pau!

Happy to see you getting back to the piano. When I was young our next-door neighbour used to play for 2-3 hours every Sunday morning. He used to be a pianist with the UK Billy Cotton band many decades ago. I wanted to learn piano then but my Mom hated the 'noise' so no chance. Mom also complained about the terrible noise when I was learning trombone for school orchestra sometime later ("Do you have to play that thing?"). So that did not last too long. frown Now catching up much later in life.

Re: Return to Piano after 40 years
Animisha #2816052 02/16/19 03:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Animisha
Originally Posted by akc42
When I first restarted I found an image which showed all the notes going above and below the ledger lines and printed it out and stuck it on the wall behind the piano. Its still there today, but I don't need it anymore.


Did you mean this image akc42?
[Linked Image]





Along the right lines and maybe better than mine. This is more compact and did me fine (as I said don't use it anymore).

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