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Hi

I'm a recently retired 62 year old and fancy a new challenge.

For my challenge, I have acquired a used Casio CPD-120 digital piano, hopefully it should be good enough to get me started?

I have no musical knowledge, so it is going to be a steep learning curve for me I guess but I am keen. Hopefully this old dog can learn some new tricks (skills)!

I have limited funds and so ideally I'd like to learn using online teaching, though heart of hearts realize probably face to face is best. I've had a quick look at a few Youtube videos and realize I need some structure if I'm to get anywhere. There looks to be quite a few online platforms, what is your experience? What did you like? What didn't you like?

As an adult learner what books would you recommend I start with?

I'm like a new sponge and willing to learn.

Thanks

Simon

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Depending on your goals you can do it yourself.

About seven years ago I bought a Casio CDP-220 because I wanted to try out this piano playing stuff and Costco had a pretty good deal on it so if I decided that it wasn't for me I wouldn't be out much. About six months later Costco put the AP-650 on sale for just over $1000 and I decided that I wanted to keep on playing the piano so I bought that and sold my CDP-220. The AP-650 is a much better piano than the CDP-220 so the upgrade was well worth it. Having a better piano really does make things better and I don't think I'll need to upgrade this one any time soon -- I'm actually hoping to get twenty years out of it if I can.

I had never actually touched a real piano of any kind until I bought my first Casio, so my first step was to download and print out a chart showing what notes match with what keys on the piano. I then downloaded some simple sheet music and started trying to match what I saw on the chart to actually pressing keys on the piano. As for learning to read music, Google is your friend there. And I ask questions here once in a while when I come across stuff that I don't understand.

I've just kind of continued to gradually work up to more complex stuff. I don't play much classical outside of stuff like Fur Elise -- I mostly just play the kind of music that I actually listen to: 70's rock, Frank Sinatra, movie music and whatnot.

There's also a lot of "popular music" from the early 1900's that can be downloaded from various university websites and some of that is really good too. I get a kick out of knowing that I might be the only person who's actually played some of that stuff in the past 100 years. smile

I'm sure there's a lot of stuff that I'm doing "wrong" but I can play well enough to amuse myself and my bird and that's good enough for me since I don't intend to play a concert.

My learning method can be summarized as learn to read music on paper, then just play stuff and eventually you get better at it.


If you're a zombie and you know it, bite your friend!
We got both kinds of music: Country and Western!
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The CDP-120 has 88 weighted, touch-sensitive keys, and a damper pedal. That's essentially what an acoustic piano gives you -- people have been learning on those for centuries.

It also has MIDI-over -USB, which lets you connect it to a computer if you decide to use computer- based learning software.

There are lots of discussions, here, about which books or software to use.

Happy practicing! --


. Charles
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Thanks for the replies and encouragement.

The Casio isn't new but was a way of dipping my toes in and if I stick to it will be happy to invest further.

I'll dig in to some older posts for info and pointers.

Thanks again

Simon

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Happy Practicing! I have a Casio CDP-135 and I love it. The CDP-120 should be everything you need for right now. I am planning to upgrade in a year or two, but I don’t feel a big hurry to do so. You just need a little bit of weight on the keys, touch sensitivity and 88 keys in the first few years. My daughter is starting on it and I am an adult returning to piano after a 35 year gap. I am early to mid-intermediate.

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If you have a laptop or tablet (preferable), get the free 30-day trial of Piano Marvel. If you like it, buy a year's subscription. It goes from beginner basic to pretty advanced over time.
You will need a USB type A to type B cable to use it. And there are two different types of type B, you need the high speed one with the smaller end.


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Nope, no issues with it at all.
Took lessons from 1960 to 1969, stopped at age 16.
Started again in July 2020 at age 67. Lots more fun now!
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I highly recommend Eastman Community Music School’s online campus. They have an excellent program for adults (and kids).

https://www.esm.rochester.edu/community/world-campus/

Have fun! 🙂👍


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It’s really helpful to get personalized feedback. Some platforms that do this are Piano Career Academy and Artistworks. Several people on this forum subscribe to Piano Career Academy and seem to be very happy with it. I don’t have direct experience with it, by my strong sense is that it is very much oriented toward classical music. Artistworks has a new adult beginners course. I participated in the beta testing for the course, and while it is taught by a classically trained pianist, the curriculum feels like it is flexible and can provide a good foundation for either classical or pop piano, depending on your interests.

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Originally Posted by ebonyk
I highly recommend Eastman Community Music School’s online campus. They have an excellent program for adults (and kids).

https://www.esm.rochester.edu/community/world-campus/

Have fun! 🙂👍


I think it would be helpful if you post the feedback you received from their online program students. Personal anecdotes and perspectives are always meaningful


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

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Originally Posted by BrumBrum
I have no musical knowledge, so it is going to be a steep learning curve for me I guess but I am keen. Hopefully this old dog can learn some new tricks (skills)!

I have limited funds and so ideally I'd like to learn using online teaching, though heart of hearts realize probably face to face is best. I've had a quick look at a few Youtube videos and realize I need some structure if I'm to get anywhere. There looks to be quite a few online platforms, what is your experience? What did you like? What didn't you like?

As an adult learner what books would you recommend I start with?
Check out Chuan C Chang's Fundamentals of Piano Practice. I found it quite useful at the beginning.

In general, videos >> books. Check out the following YouTube channels, I really learned a lot from all of them: Graham Fitch, Denis Zhdanov, PianoLab, PianoCareer, cedarville, Josh Wright, Danae Dorken

There's not much that I can really say to a beginner that's not on the channels above, so please do go through them and try to understand and follow their advice. I've had countless people ask me this question, but people usually don't follow through with this so I'm getting a bit tired of posting. The advice there, while 'free' is better than any paid online course that I know of which doesn't involve one-on-one tutoring, pretty much each of them is near or at the level of a concert pianist with a lot of teaching experience, and the quality of the videos is better than what most teachers actually teach.

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Someone in the 60s calling himself / herself an old dog? The Queen is in her 90s and getting ready to celebrate her Platinum Jubilee. People like myself & yourself still have a few decades to go before calling ourselves "old"...

The first thing is to learn to read notes so that you can play off sheet music. Some people are comfortable using computer apps to get them up to speed reading the RH (treble) & LH (bass) clefs. Others like myself started with level 1 books from the Alfred's & Faber Adult Piano Adventures series. The songs in the books are basic and easy to follow to get you up to speed with reading music.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

A lot of people including myself don't have a teacher from day 1 due to financial & other reasons. I eventually got one and she helped me a lot with my progress. Due to the pandemic lockdown we're meeting once a week through Zoom. I didn't exactly start as a beginner because I learned violin in school and can read the treble clef. Getting both hands together was a long process that required daily practice sometimes over an hour a day.

I also download sheet music regularly. Besides playing out of repertoire books, I'd find all sorts of music online that are interesting to play and learn them on my own time.

Good luck...

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A video tutorial for beginners:

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The CDP-120 has 88 weighted, touch-sensitive keys, and a damper pedal. That's essentially what an acoustic piano gives you -- people have been learning on those for centuries.

It also has MIDI-over -USB, which lets you connect it to a computer if you decide to use computer- based learning software.

There are lots of discussions, here, about which books or software to use.

Happy practicing! --


. Charles
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Well, thank you, I've just woken up to some (plenty of) great advice and encouragement! I don't have much excuse not to practise and I have the time these days,

I'm off for a swim now to wake me up it's not to bad air temp is around 8 degrees and sea temp 9 degrees, there are a number of us who do this daily and one in particular has played piano in the past and is hoping to dabble again, for me I think this will be important having another to bounce off. Mike will be further on than me and hopefully he has good habits too with regard to the piano.

Talking of bad habits, what typical bad habits do I need to avoid?

Thanks again.

Simon

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What bad habits to avoid?
- not practicing during the week and trying to make up all the time on the weekend, it is much better to practice, even just a short while, every day.
- working on a new piece? Don’t start from the beginning every time you play. Work on the parts that need attention.
- playing something incorrectly? Don’t just think ‘I’ll do it right the next time’. Stop and correct yourself. Play it correctly a few times so your brain and fingers learn what is correct
- Take pleasure in what you learn. Don’t worry that ‘I’m not learning fast enough’.
- View learning to play as a marathon, not a sprint.


Most importantly, celebrate your small successes; enjoy the music you can make with your own two hands. You will always find someone who starts after you and you think ‘plays better’. Ignore it.


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

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Originally Posted by BrumBrum
I have limited funds and so ideally I'd like to learn using online teaching [...] As an adult learner what books would you recommend I start with?

Hi Simon, welcome to PW and welcome to playing the piano! I think that you will be fine on your casio to start with.

The very best thing I can recommend you, and which I personally think is even better for a beginner than face to face, is Piano Career Academy. On this site is a very elaborate and very good Beginners' course. One of the great advantages of a video course is that you can watch the videos as often as you need. Developing a good technique is a very important part of this course - and this means also minimising the risk of strain and tension, and of hurting your hands and wrists. I have been a student there for 3½ years now, and I am so, so satisfied with this course.


Playing the piano is learning to create, playfully and deeply seriously, our own music in the world.
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Originally Posted by Animisha
Originally Posted by BrumBrum
I have limited funds and so ideally I'd like to learn using online teaching [...] As an adult learner what books would you recommend I start with?

Hi Simon, welcome to PW and welcome to playing the piano! I think that you will be fine on your casio to start with.

The very best thing I can recommend you, and which I personally think is even better for a beginner than face to face, is Piano Career Academy. On this site is a very elaborate and very good Beginners' course. One of the great advantages of a video course is that you can watch the videos as often as you need. Developing a good technique is a very important part of this course - and this means also minimising the risk of strain and tension, and of hurting your hands and wrists. I have been a student there for 3½ years now, and I am so, so satisfied with this course.


I think another big plus to this course is that you can submit videos of your playing for feedback. Another poster suggested a handful of well-respected tutorials. Yes, they are very good but they are not a complete course that goes from A to B to C. PCA does and you get feedback.


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

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Quite right dogperson! thumb


Playing the piano is learning to create, playfully and deeply seriously, our own music in the world.
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Bad habits include:
Not learning correct fingering, hand and body movement
Not listening actively to what and how you're playing
Not learning to count properly (marking the accents, which are the point of counting, more so than the timing)
Repeating something over and over to try to get it right. You should slow it down and simplify the movement to get it right first time then sleep and repeat THAT over and over - get it right first time then sleep. You'll know when you have it and THEN you can practise it over and over to get the action into muscle memory.

Watching videos can be deceptive. Piano playing is a precision motor skill - it's not about seeing how to do it - you must learn the intention in the mind. You should be trying to achieve an imagined sound not copying a movement, which is deceptive as well as individual. Listening is the key to good playing but as well as listening objectively and actively to yourself you must also listen to the very best performers and try to imitate their sound, not their movements. Professional recordings are better than videos.


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Originally Posted by zrtf90
Bad habits include:
Not learning correct fingering, hand and body movement
Not listening actively to what and how you're playing
Not learning to count properly (marking the accents, which are the point of counting, more so than the timing)
Repeating something over and over to try to get it right. You should slow it down and simplify the movement to get it right first time then sleep and repeat THAT over and over - get it right first time then sleep. You'll know when you have it and THEN you can practise it over and over to get the action into muscle memory.

Watching videos can be deceptive. Piano playing is a precision motor skill - it's not about seeing how to do it - you must learn the intention in the mind. You should be trying to achieve an imagined sound not copying a movement, which is deceptive as well as individual. Listening is the key to good playing but as well as listening objectively and actively to yourself you must also listen to the very best performers and try to imitate their sound, not their movements. Professional recordings are better than videos.
All pretty good suggestions except for the last paragraph which I think is definitely wrong.

Good teachers and good videos always explain and show the approach to good technique. That;s the essence of teaching technique. Good teachers correct student's incorrect movements, demonstrate the difference between the student's movements and the correct ones, and explain why the movements they are advocating are appropriate. Videos with explanations are far superior to just a verbal explanation or to a video without explanation.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 01/17/22 10:47 AM.
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