a little story about learning to play piano

Recently I was unable to play piano for three weeks -- a combination of the unbearable hives (now about 75% gone!) and being on vacation.

Since beginning Pianote's "Foundations" course in March, for four months I never missed a day of practice, and after that never missed more than the occasional day, one or two days per month, maximum. So being away from the keyboard for three weeks, I thought I might forget everything! Really, I thought I might be starting over from day one.

The first day, I did some warm-ups, some scales and chords, and that went all right. I thought, OK then, I can still play a scale. What next?

Not knowing what else I would remember, I decided to go back to the very beginning, and play the final song of every lesson. To my delight, most of the songs I could just pick up and play, even though I hadn't played them for months.

When I got to Level 7, I had to play right hand and left hand separately, and then hands together two or three times, before getting it again. But that was the worst it got. I was so pleased! My two "real" songs, "Summertime" and "True Colors" were no better or worse than when I left them.

This was such a wonderful confirmation that I am actually learning and becoming more competent. Now I've met myself where I left off, learning 7th chords in Level 9.

I think this is down to Pianote's teaching methods, where you are learning conceptually, and training your hands and your ears at the same time, plus their amazing teachers.


Jim said...

Good stuff! And here's me constantly checking my list of the passwords for the same web-sites. I really should do something pro-active for memory strength instead of passively drifting into senility.

laura k said...

Believe me, my memory still sucks!

impudent strumpet said...

It's so cool how music can live in your fingers! I haven't had a piano in 20 years, and there are still a few things that will come right out of my hands if I sit down at a piano (although I start losing them if I think about what I'm doing)

My Babcia went 50 years without a piano, and could still play this one song whenever she sat down at a piano. Except she didn't remember what it was called. And didn't remember how to play the ending, so she'd get stuck in a recursive loop.

laura k said...

Muscle memory!

I don't think I actually have that for piano. What made me so happy is that I was able to read the music. But I've seen that in my mom, like your Babcia.