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Joined: Jan 2021
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Hello everyone,

Same as most new members on here, I've been lurking for over a decade now but it was time to finally join. It's sometimes hard for me to decide exactly what and how much to write in introductions like this, esp. with such a friendly and receptive community. I'm mostly inclined to want to tell my whole history with the piano and how I came to the instrument, but I'll keep as short as I can.

I first fell in love with the instrument as I discovered classical music in my early teens; a taste that I can only guess was primed by the great and memorable compositions written by composers for Japanese role-playing games of the 80s and 90s. Many of these tunes took a lot of inspiration from classical music; and then the interest and passion continued to come in varied and highly impactful parts: Jill playing the 'Moonlight' Sonata in Resident Evil, Encarta and Microsoft Bookshelf soundclips and composer encyclopedia entries, Milos Forman's 'Amadeus', the incredible website (for the time) Classic Midi Archives, Virgin Megastore's Classical section, which led my brother and I down the Naxos and Dover Publications lane, finding a cassette tape of Bach's English Suites played by Gould by sheer chance on the floor of a Fordham, Bronx bedroom etc.

I started teaching myself by listening and learning bits and pieces of Mozart's Piano Sonatas from the Dover book. Years went by and then rock music in general took hold of my life, as did Jazz after watching Ken Burns' documentary, and in the past 20 or so years I have been continuously having moments where I find myself being enamored again with one of my first loves and what I now know is my absolute passion, musically speaking. (Of course, this kind of sentiment makes me think of the books that I have been recently reading, like Knize's Grand Obsession, and Carhart's 'Piano Shop on the Left Bank' and Rosen's 'Piano Notes', among others. It was nice to find these books from people that made me realize that it's not silly to come back to an earlier passion and realize that it's your greatest).

Long story short, I keep remembering how beautiful the piano is, arguably the greatest instrument, and this time, at 35 years old, I know it's for the long haul. One thing that I realize and am determined to do is return to learning, but done properly this time. To move beyond the wall of self teaching, to start from scratch and learn proper fingerings, scales, notation (moving past staring at a note for 30 seconds and saying "F.A.C.E... and A.C.E.G" in my head haha) and music theory etc. I have a faulty 61 key Casio keyboard, and have played on a friend's old digital piano throughout the years, but I have already made the mental decision to eventually purchase an acoustic, and maybe even a grand. I look forward to guidance from the many experienced players and owners here in the future when I am able to make the dream come true. It may be 'overreaching', to quote Pique, but I want one to play and maintain for the rest of my days, and hopefully pass on to my children.

Happy to be here and look forward to talking. Cheers.

Joined: Feb 2021
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👋Hello, my name is Jun-Dai. I live in London.

I've run across this forum a few times over the years on random searches, and thought this might be a good time to join. I recently left my job (software) and am taking some time off (maybe a year) before looking for a new one. Among other things, I thought I'd use the time to focus on music.

I've played piano since I was six — pretty much strictly classical. I studied it at university, but I never intended to play professionally. Among other things, I dislike performing. I also know how hard it is to get a career in music, and it didn't sound like something I wanted. So for me, studying piano at university was a sort of farewell to music — I would keep it all my life, but I figured it would be my last chance to dedicate significant time to it. The part I miss the most is playing with others (accompanying opera singers, playing sonatas with other instrumentalists, playing chamber music), which I've not done at all since then.

Here I am, 20 years later, taking a sabbatical of sorts and able to take some more time for music. I've managed to keep up piano the whole time, playing mostly just for myself (unless you count torturing neighbours and family). Last year, since I wasn't going to see any of my family due to the pandemic, I started recording myself. In addition to wanting to show my family and friends, I also thought it would be nice to have some recordings in case I ever find myself unable to play. I've put some up on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLWQQ4CTr5oExlATaURKq5nLGx6Zn9DZ5g

Having decided to take a sabbatical, I thought I would do a few other things I'd been wanting to do for years. One was to pick up the cello again (it was my main instrument in middle and high school, but I dropped it when I graduated high school). And the other was to do some composing (another thing I did up through college). And a final one is to learn Clojure and play around with Overtone and SuperCollider with the goal of dabbling a bit in microtonal composition using code.

Cello is going well so far. I've taken a couple of lessons, and I'm hoping I can get to a decent place with the first Bach cello suite and Brahms' first piano and cello sonata, the latter of which I'd like to record myself doing both parts of, just for fun. My dream is that when the pandemic restrictions lift, I might find a chamber group to be a part of.

Last edited by Jun-Dai; 02/22/21 08:22 PM.
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Hello everyone,

Like a lot of the people here, I stumbled upon this site a number of times in the last few years for piano-related searches (who'd've thought ?).
I started paying more and more attention to this forum as I looked for an upgrade to my digital piano, and finally created an account once I'd bought it.


I'm currently in my 20s, pursuing a PhD in Bioinformatics, and piano is very much part of who I am (or who I think myself to be, at least).

My parent introduced me to the piano at a pretty early age, but I didn't really pay much attention to it at the time.
I followed classes in a small music school, stopped for a few years when my family moved abroad, and started again when we got back.
I consider that it wasn't until I got out of highschool that I started really playing the piano.

Thanks to moving out for studies, I had a lot of free time by myself in my small studio, an old second-hand digital piano, and a pair of headphones.
The 3 mixed quite well, and I started to notice real progress in my playing !
While my studies (and an unfortunate foot accident to my piano teacher) made me have to stop taking piano classes, I did not let go of piano playing.
I believe this was another turning point for me. When I stopped taking lessons, I could now choose what to learn and play !
That brought me a lot of motivation and I started learning pieces (sometimes way above my grade) that I loved listening to.

For a couple of years, despite my lagging sight-reading skills (damn you younger me for not doing music theory homework !!), I started tackling more and more technically challenging pieces, this combined with my daily hour of practice saw my technical level really improving.
This is also when I started dabbling in improvisation and composition (and unbeknownst to me, copyright infringement, as my first composition came up with the same main theme as the Ludwig Van's Pathétique IIIrd Movt. crazy).

After learning some actual Beethoven pieces, I shifted my sights to Chopin. Not just playing, but also listening.
I listened to all the recordings of his work I could get my hands on.
I realized at that point that a huge number of melodies I had previously tried to find and imitate on the piano were from his work (eg. the theme of Op.10 No 12 had stuck with me).
For some reason, Chopin's music really resonated with me. I felt like Bach and Mozart seemed "too dry" in comparison, and that Beethoven was lacking complexity and richness that I could find in Chopin's music.

When I first heard Chopin's Ballade no 1 in G minor, I cried. To this day, it's the piece of music that I feel the deepest connection with.

I tried learning it at the time, hopeful my strategy of aiming above my grade would work again, and remember being dejected that I couldn't comprehend it. I dropped it after learning the first page and a half or so. Then, I set that piece as my "Ultimate Goal".
I started learning some of Chopin's études to get my technique up to the level I needed for the Ballade.

A few études later there was definitely improvement, but I started feeling that learning these was becoming a slight pain.
My sight-reading was also taking a toll because I was essentially learning the piece by heart way before I could play it, and then just never really looked at the score when practicing.

At this point, I realized I should do more to complement my technical pieces with less demanding ones.
My attention also turned to advanced piano arrangements of soundtracks for a bit, OWA (FF VII), Star Wars, Ghibli... and I trailed off.

A year later I decided to have another go at the Ballade, and after some months of work I was pouring my heart out playing this beautiful piece.
While I unfortunately never made a recording I was satisfied with, I lived a couple of extraordinary moments playing it to myself.
I realized how far I'd come at that moment. In a few short years, from dreaming to play some of this stuff to actually being able to pull it off!

After that, I started looking in the direction of 'control' rather than speed.
While I definitely played with emotion and intent (for which I feel Chopin's music is very suited), I felt like small things I should be able to play easily were annoyingly difficult.
This is likely a result of my blazing through pieces to get the technique I wanted, which resulted in my unbalanced level on some fronts (oops).

This brings us to now !
I'm adding some Bach to my repertoire to work that 'control' I'm missing.
At the same time, I'm focusing more on technically easier pieces to really work out and render the feel I want in them.
Of course, I can't separate myself from the technically challenging, so I've also got some ungodly arrangements from Animenz to blast out excitement wink

While I've yet to find another 'Ultimate Goal' like the Ballade, I have a loooong list of pieces I want to have a crack at.
I've also realized I've probably acquired a ton of bad habits by learning so much without a teacher, and when I do get the time/chance/appropriate global sanitary context, I'll definitely be seeking piano classes again!
My musical journey is only beginning...


Welp, that's me.
I definitely didn't think I was going to write an autobiography of my piano progress initially, but here we are.


Hope to talk piano with some of you anytime! grin


Kawai CA79 (Jan 2021), Casio Privia PX-870 (Jun 2017)
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Hello! I am 55 years old, began taking lessons when I was 5. However, I was always terrible at practicing! I am finally trying to learn some discipline...

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Hello, I'm Quentin, I'm 31, and I've been playing the piano since I was young. I'm a church pianist and that's mostly what I focus on these days, though I try to always be working on something more complicated at the same time. I also have a visual impairment that makes reading sheet music from a normal distance very difficult for me, so after playing the piano for nearly 25 years I feel like I'm beginning anew in some ways, trying to improve memorization and teach myself to play by ear at least somewhat. I joined this board hoping to motivate myself and to find tips on how to be better at these things. I hope there are other blind and visually impaired pianists who I can learn from.

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Hi Quentin
Welcome to the forum! I’m not sure if this is helpful: but my last piano teacher had a student that was severely visually impaired. His solution was to use a flat screen to display his music— with the screen being the size of the music rack. I’m sorry that I don’t know the brand.


"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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Thanks! I have wondered if a large iPad would work for me. I should start a new thread with this question of enlarging music.

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Originally Posted by Quentin Parker
Thanks! I have wondered if a large iPad would work for me. I should start a new thread with this question of enlarging music.


You might ask in the digital piano forum. I know it was much larger than an iPad according to my teacher.


"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

It's ok to be a Work In Progress
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Hi!
I'm a returning member from several years ago. Unfortunately I forgot my login information so I'm starting from scratch however, my past musical ignorance was shown very clearly through that account so I can't say it was a total loss! crazy I've been playing for a total of 13 years now and have a degree in music. I'm by no means an expert as I had a late start and missed out on a strong foundation in an effort to hurry and go to school, but I enjoy playing. I got out of playing because of a lack of practice time as well as being burnt out. I recently became a stay at home mom so I'm trying to get back into playing. I struggle with staying focused and actually sticking with a piece since graduating, but I'm hoping to have part of a piece under my fingers to post in order to hold myself accountable as well as improve in any way possible. I look forward to communicating wth everyone!

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