10.09.2020

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.

4 comments:

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.