I'm taking piano lessons! I'm really happy and excited about it. I'm using an amazing site called Pianote, which combines traditional lessons with seamless, user-friendly technology.
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If you're just picking up this story, please read this. (Comments are still missing. Blogger was (finally) working on it... now, who knows.)
Ever since writing that post above, piano lessons has been on my to-do list. Now social distancing has given me the perfect opportunity to get started.
But how to begin? Simple sheet music wouldn't be enough. I knew I would need actual lessons to guide me through the process. And I wanted an app or online course so I wouldn't have to schedule anything or, to be honest, deal with another human.
When I started surveying piano-learning apps, I discovered a deluge of options, and most of them looked awful. Many are geared to children. These are mostly "gamified" (yuck) and involve teaching basic songs by rote (double yuck). I definitely want to re-learn how to read music, learn basic theory, and so on.
There are many sites reviewing learn-to-play-piano apps and websites, and through one of those, I found Pianote. I instantly recognized it as what I was looking for.
Pianote is built around video instruction, taught by piano teachers using step-by-step, progressive lessons -- first, the basics, then branching out into different areas of interest.
The site is really well-designed. It's full of interesting bells and whistles, including downloadable sheet music, member forums, live lessons, practice plans, and personalized help. There's even the option to send a video of your play for critique, or to get advice on a specific area of difficulty. Pretty amazing.
The teachers are very engaging and really know how to teach. I'm working through the Foundations course, then at some point I'll be ready to choose a song to work on. There are hundreds to choose from. Then I'll continue working on theory while also practicing a song.
I made immediate progress, and it felt great. Although I am starting from the very beginning -- re-learning how to play a C scale -- the memory of basic playing must be in my brain somewhere, and I can feel it coming to life.
I'm going to try to play every day. I never do anything every day. I don't write every day, don't cook every day -- I don't even read every day! But I'm going to try to spend 30 minutes every day at the piano.