Post # 16
I am a violinist and had to take panio lessons in college. A few years ago I wanted to start playing the panio again but our house is small and we can’t have one. My solution was to start playing an accordion. It is basically a small sideways piano.
Post # 17
I have photographs of me as a 3 year old sitting at the piano in our living room playing alongside my dad. I took lessons from ther age of 7. I wasnt too keen on the theory of music and struggled with sight reading, preferring to play by ear.
I took music for GCSE and surprised myself with the results. In fact for the theory element I achieved the highest grade in my county and even scored a perfect score for the listening part of the exam. most likely because I play by ear.
I quit lessons when I went to college and then moved away shortly after. My piano is still in my parents living room.
My daughter is 2 and I now have photos of her sitting at the piano playing alongside me. She loves listesing to mummy play the piano and I hope to send to to lessons when she is old enough.
I was bought a digitial piano 8 years ago for my birthday and it has a function to follow the lights. My daughter is already learning how to do this.
I also played the electric and acoustic guitar for a short while but I always go back to my piano.
I would like to learn to read music, its just something I have always struggled with. now I am older I might be more included to learn properly. I find playing very theraputic.
Post # 18
pengoala: Your response made my day! I love connecting with Piano teachers, as I mentioned to another piano teacher on this post I have so much respect and admiration for music teachers of any kind. I never thought that I would become so obsessed with this hobby of mine but I am so happy it happened for me. Playing has become this whole world of my life that gives me a creative outlet which I have found is hard for me to duplicate in any other way. Every day I look forward to coming home from work to practice for an hour.
I also have some questions I would love to hear your perspective on. I mentioned this before but I feel like the problem that plagues me every week is that when I have a lesson my performance anxiety goes up and I can’t play to the best of my ability (I can usually play at 60 to 70% of my best). My heart will race and my fingers will shake. I know that my teacher’s job is to teach but I just find it so annoying that I feel like I am unable to get a better handle on my performance anxiety- especially when I am just playing for my teacher. I do want to perform sometime and if I can’t manage it better in a lesson the thought of performing for a large audience feels terrifying. The latest suggestion I have heard is to do cardio before your lesson or performance. Maybe this will help…I hope.
Secondly, do you think learning music theory really helps you with playing all the much? I know enough to play intermediate level songs. I am nearly finished with Chopin’s Nocturne Op. 72 No. 1. Would learning more be all that beneficial? Course, I will ask my teacher as well, but I like hearing different opinions.
Also for fun here are some of the songs my teacher reccomended learning next. I am so excited. Yet terrified at the same time.
and after the next piece or two I will get to try this out in maybe a few months (AHH!!!)
I never thought I would be able to play any of this.
Post # 19
leilalexicon: As far as performance anxiety is concerned, this is really silly but something I’ve actually mentioned before on Weddingbee as a calming method for the bride (but something I do before performances) – eat a banana. I’m not exactly sure what it is in a banana that calms me (and who knows, maybe it’s a mental thing), but a banana is some kind of natural form of a beta blocker.
In terms of playing for your teacher – don’t worry. Being nervous to play for your teacher is TOTALLY normal. If you’re feeling like you’re not delivering an accurate representation of your work for the week, what about recording yourself during your practice time, and sending it to your teacher during the week? 🙂
Yes, I 100% think that learning music theory gives you an increased advantage at the piano – it helps to know why and how a composer made certain choices when writing their pieces. For example, understanding chord progressions, and general key areas, and structure of a piece (eg. sonata form). I could go on and on about this!
Learn as many songs as you can! It’s so awesome that you’re able to play the Chopin nocturne, and I think the Brahms rhapsody and Beethoven pathetique are perfect next pieces! This is so fabulous. Good for you!
Post # 20
leilalexicon: I used to play, but stopped twenty years ago (my life I am old). We’re in the process of moving house and I came across my music books, I kept a couple, my Darling Husband wants me to start playing again and thinks it’d be like riding a bike, but I’ve forgotten how to read music then there’s the multi-tasking bit of reading and playing lol. Good for you for picking it up again and being good at it by the looks of it 😀
Post # 21
leilalexicon: I took piano lessons for 12 years and got pretty good, but now I don’t think I could even play something simple now! Sounds like you picked it up easier the second time around!
I loved loved loved playing the cello lightyears more than the piano! I wish I still had my girl, but she was passed down and eventually sold. I’d love to pick it up again.
Post # 22
pengoala: I’ve heard the banana suggestion before. It could be worth a shot, although I’ve heard most of the magic is the placebo effect. Even if it is a placebo, why not use it to your advantage if it works? So, it certianly doesn’t hurt to try it out!
I appreciate your feedback to my questions. I think that what is more helpful to me is to tell myself that anxiety is not a bad thing at all. And to accept that it will never go away that that I can deal with some discomfort while playing for others. If anything, the one symptom that would be the best to get rid of is the shakey hands but I think that will come with time. I have recorded my playing at home many times, but I think my teacher would laugh (in a good way) if I wanted to have him listen to my at home recording. He’s very understanding and I’ve had the same conversation with him before. He has just told me that playing in front of others will always be different than playing by yourself. l’m learning to accept this.
I’m excited to learn something new but I have to admit I never would have thought that we would have suggested Pathetique or the Rhapsody. I am better a player now than I ever was, but I certianly didn’t think I was good enough to learn that. That’s another nice thing about piano. I continue to surprise myself.
I’ll have to make a note to myself when I get my acoustic to PM or make a post with a picture. There’s a lot of yamaha fans out there but I prefer Kawai’s tone.
Post # 23
leilalexicon: a girl after my own heart! I have a Steinway and a Kawai in my piano studio, and while the Steinway is a gorgeous instrument, I just love the warm tones that I can get with my kawai! Are you looking into uprights or grands? If grand, look into the kawai RX series: I can’t rave enough about mine! I found it lightly used on pianomart.com (like Craigslist for pianos) and its been really fantastic!
Post # 24
pengoala: I did not know about that website. I want an upright Kawai I don’t think I will ever have the space for a grand although it would be lovely! Space is hard to come by in the LA area. The studio I play at has only yamahas. Great pianos, but I love the warmer sound of the Kawai. Yamahas usually come off as very bright to me. I am guessing you don’t live in my vicinity I would totally take a lesson from your for fun!
My latest issue is making trills perfect.
Post # 25
I so so agree with you about the warmer Kawai sounds. For me, yamahas are also quite bright!
I actually live up in the SF bay area, but did my undergrad work at USC, so we have a ton of friends still down there! 🙂