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Hi. This is my first post. I've recently become interested in re-learning piano. I took lessons for years as a child but stopped playing in college (since a piano isn't exactly portable, or at least wasn't back then). I bought a piano a few years ago to re-learn but soon after had a child and never got time to play, then moved into a smaller house where the piano didn't fit, so I sold it. Now I miss it, even if it's just for the chance to tinker on it for a few minutes once a week.

So I'm considering a digital piano, so that it might actually fit in the house and I could plug in headphones and play when the kids (2 now) are asleep. That's the theory anyway.

I guess I'm curious if anyone else has been in this situation and found time to make it worthwhile. I don't want to pursue it only to find it a waste of time and money again.

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Rest assured, there are many in this situation. I took lessons as a child and didn't play for many years. I bought a digital so that I could practice with headphones when others are studying, watching TV, sleeping, etc. I'm a terrible insomniac and sometimes play in the middle of the night. My husband says that he wakes up and hears the little thunk, thunk, of the keys but it's faint enough that it doesn't disturb him.

For the first year, I bought some music and just played around on my own. I asked my granddaughters piano teacher if she would consider giving bi-weekly lessons. I figured that with little time to practice that that would give me more time to practice between lessons. She told me that her experience is that that just gives more time to procrastinate and she encouraged me to start with weekly lessons and see how it went. That was 2 years ago. Truthfully, there are weeks when I practice little but I keep pushing on and I love it!

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If piano is your number one priority in your life then you will find time to practice.

Ok it's probably not your priority but you have to push something out to make room for piano practice. Me, I don't watch tv or play video game, I don't have time for that but I manage to practice one hour a day.

Serge




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if you start taking lessons you'll find the time.

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I always wanted to learn to play, bought a house that already had a piano in it and then almost let myself get convinced to get rid of the piano because it took too much space and I wasn't playing it anyway. Glad I didn't. If I had to go out and actually buy a keyboard or piano later I probably would have come up with excuses why I "shouldn't". Once the kids started hitting around 5yrs old I finally was able to do more than tinker 5min. at a time. I don't have a teacher and I'm not a real organized person so I'm probably not as good with my time as I should be but I'm getting somewhere. I play or practice everyday, even if it's only 5 minutes for relaxing before bed. On the few days I don't, I don't worry about it. Even if you can't make much time at first, if it is already there you can at least use the time when you find it. I've been feeling frustrated with the slow progress lately, but it has been worth it to me. I wish I would have started sooner.


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Until then you may want to keep a safe distance.
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Originally Posted by Entheo
if you start taking lessons you'll find the time.

This is so true! Even though I'm a teacher, I still take lessons partially to keep myself motivated and focused. I play piano a lot in my teaching, as I accompany my voice students and also have to play pieces for my piano students. However, it's not *my* music. Without lessons, I find that my music falls to the wayside. Nothing keeps you on track better than having to show someone what your progress has been. smile

Also, the fact that you'd have to invest money into a new instrument I think woudl help motivate you. We are often motivated by guilt, that's just how things are. If you spend the money, then chances are you will also want ot make good use of that money.

Something you will want to do is first promise yourself, and also your husband or family members that you will be doing this. Enlist their help to make sure you don't forget. The MOYD 2010 thread on this forum is also a great help. If you schedule your practice time every day like you schedule other appointments, then you will make sure that you do have the time.


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If you have some time in the evening after your children have gone to bed, that's an ideal opportunity to practice/play. Mine are a little older, and can entertain themselves a bit in the evening, so I try to get in a session between dinner and their bedtime, I'm not as tired then. I also get in few scales or exercises just before I go to bed. Do you watch TV or surf the net regularly? Those are prime candidates for practice times.

There may be periods where you can't play. My wife broke her leg last year, and there was a time where I had to do all the cooking/cleaning/shopping/childcare in addition to being gone for work 11 hours a day. While that was going on, I literally didn't have a spare minute during the week and not all that many on the weekend. Hopefully that won't happen often, but be ready if it does.


Piano self teaching on and off from 2002-2008. Took piano instruction from Nov 2008- Feb 2011. Took guitar instruction Feb 2011-Jul 2013. Can't play either. Living, breathing proof some people aren't cut out to make music.
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Originally Posted by FormerFF
If you have some time in the evening after your children have gone to bed, that's an ideal opportunity to practice/play.
Yup, that’s a good time with young children. My wife has a late schedule. Sometimes she doesn’t get home until 8 or 9. By the time we are done with diner it could be 10:30. After dishes, getting ready for the next day and putting our 16 months to bed, it’s could be 11pm, some night even later. To get my practice in, I have to push myself doing between 1/2 – 2 hours nightly. Though I have to get up by 7am, some night, I find myself sitting at the Piano way into the AM. By Friday, I am usually exhausted, but no other choice. Saturday night is the only time I can manage some TV, watching a game or some junky sports stuff, with a few glass of Chardonnay or a couple of beers. I don’t miss my nightly TV, sports or anything though. The Piano kind of helps me forget all that.


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Lessons? frown

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Originally Posted by bungalow_house
Lessons? frown


Tell us about your schedule. I work from 8 to 5, so I take mine on Monday at lunchtime.


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Schedule: kids, 24/7.

Seriously, I guess this will just have to wait a few years. Maybe when they're in school!

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24/7! Remember, you need a break sometimes, maybe have a friend with kids their ages swap babysitting for an hour or two. And maybe more fresh air and exercise to wear them out! Have them dance to your playing! lol! Little ones do need vigilance. A digital and headphones will allow playing when they're asleep in the early morning or late night. It might be one step forward and two steps back for a while. When they are in school, a lot more of your time will open up.

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Originally Posted by bungalow_house
Schedule: kids, 24/7.

Seriously, I guess this will just have to wait a few years. Maybe when they're in school!


Been there, done that. (My youngest started kindergarten last year.) When my kids were younger and at home all day, I wish I had taken some time to do something for me. I scheduled my showers around the times when they could play alone, scheduled cooking and cleaning around their nap times...etc. You know what I'm talking about. LOL

You're obviously interested, and I'm sure you'd get a lot of enjoyment out of playing and learning again. I say to go for it, and enjoy every minute you get a chance to practice. Be your own teacher if you have to. There are a lot of method books out there. I'm a beginner, and that's what I'm doing. Is that the best thing to do? I don't know, and I don't care. I'm learning and enjoying every minute of it. smile


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Are you a single parent, or does your spouse/partner have a travel job?


Piano self teaching on and off from 2002-2008. Took piano instruction from Nov 2008- Feb 2011. Took guitar instruction Feb 2011-Jul 2013. Can't play either. Living, breathing proof some people aren't cut out to make music.
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There is a forum for Digital Pianos if you would like to peek in there. When I shopped for a Digital Piano, I looked for models with 88 keys that are similarly weighted to a regular piano. The action differs from piano to piano and you need to play a few to get an idea which one you be comfortable with. I selected a Casio Privia PX-200 (I am not sure if they are manufactured anymore) and I was very pleased with its performance. I take lessons on a regular grand piano and noted a slight difference in the action. And it is great for practice. I used the headphones frequently as it sounds 100 times better than the built in speakers.

- Mark


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Originally Posted by hotkeys
And it is great for practice. I used the headphones frequently as it sounds 100 times better than the built in speakers.

- Mark
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I agree! With a portable, you could put it away or move it as need be. It sounds like you would enjoy it even just a few minutes a week!

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Originally Posted by bungalow_house
Lessons? frown


grin Yes!

That's really inspiring to me too. There are not so many people around me who care about music, and it incredibly inspiring to get to talk to someone who focuses on how to improve my playing for half an hour every week (or every other week when the schedule if full), or just happens to mention something interesting that makes me want to continue playing when things feel rough. But most importantly, I notice I make faster progress with a teacher, and seeing progress makes it more fun to play too.

But don't worry, what you should do is to find a way to play that suits you. Some people prefer to have a set time for piano, for example in the morning before everything starts to get busy. Others play by stealing ten minutes here and ten minutes there during the day. Others find a duet partner, which makes it fun since you have something to look forward too. Some follow method books, others focus on a specific gengre they love to play. Or prepare something for the recital on this forum, which also gives a deadline to work towards. So you have to experiment and try to figure out, what would make you go to the piano regulary and enjoy it?


Nothing is accomplished without enthusiasm. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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I started piano for the first time almost two years ago when I bought an acoustic. I have two small kids that are now 4-6. It is sometimes very hard to find time to practice while they are awake, so I ended up buying a used digital for the main purpose of playing with headphones after everyone else has gone to bed or maybe when I just want to play some monotonous scales, and I know better than to push my wife's tolerance too far. A digital has really helped me to get in a lot of practice time I wouldn't be able to do otherwise.


Keep it fun, and stay motivated!

If you can achieve something without a struggle, it's not going to be satisfying.

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Thanks to all who responded. I found a digital piano yesterday that I like (Roland F-110), and I think I'm going to give it a go. If nothing else, I want my 5-year-old exposed to music-making sooner rather than later because I was 5 when I started lessons.

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Bungalow, when I was a single mom I arranged to have lessons in my home after the kids went to sleep. That worked out fine. Occassionally they would interrupt my lesson, but it was the reality of my situation and something my teacher understood.

So..if you can't get out of the house for some reason, find a teacher who will come to you at 8pm or 9pm or whatever.

Good luck!


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Digital - Kawai L1

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