Other fingers must run errands elsewhere on the keyboard...
May 22, 2020 7:42 AM   Subscribe

The Unexpected Solace in Learning to Play the Piano During Quarantine (illustrated) "Playing the piano is the opposite. I know I will never produce anything at the level of a talented 8-year-old on Youtube. But when I stumble into a moment of unexpected beauty, I have no choice but to enjoy it...because it disappears the moment it is created."
posted by storybored (7 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
 
See also: Noah Adams good book Piano Lessons: Music, Love, and True Adventures
posted by bz at 8:57 AM on May 22


I've been taking lessons via Zoom from a talented young classical pianist I worked with at my recording studio last year. I started practically from zero. For the past two months it's been an incredible comfort for me. It gives a sense of purpose. There's a long term goal even though my professional world has totally collapsed on itself. I'm learning to appreciate new musical forms. At times it's been very frustrating—an exercise in delayed gratification.
Finally I'm starting to feel like I'm playing the piano. You're not too old and there's never been a better time.

I must acknowledge I'm privileged to be supported by my Canadian government. I have no financial dependents. I'm in good health. Peace be with you too.
posted by Evstar at 10:43 AM on May 22 [5 favorites]


> "A pound sign at the beginning of the line"

I'm not sure if I found that more musically or typographically grinding.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 12:02 PM on May 22 [6 favorites]


Chopin's e minor prelude is the focus of Benjamin Zander's TED talk on "The Transformative Power of Classical Music."
posted by notmtwain at 3:52 PM on May 22


For anyone looking to learn, Chuan Chang's Fundamentals of Piano Practice can be easily found and has some very effective, counter-intuitive tips for leaning that I recommend.

1. Memorize the music before attempting to play it. (Can't say I stick to this one too well...)
2. Practice, and master the piece or section, hands separate, at a speed faster than the target tempo, before trying hands together.
3. Focus on the hardest part of a piece first, since that's the one you'll be focusing on the most in the long run anyways.
posted by daHIFI at 11:30 AM on May 24 [2 favorites]


Piano Practicing Principles and Methods is very helpful.
posted by storybored at 2:39 PM on May 25


@bz I read the Noah Adams book and ended up attending the Sonata Piano Camp he went to. An amazing piano adventure. Picture a fine old mansion in tranquil Bennington Vermont, with 40 pianos, graced with a teaching faculty that knows how to make adult piano players comfortable, and not to mention, a top-notch chef for inhouse meals.
posted by storybored at 2:45 PM on May 25


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