Learning The Piano

Happiness is... Playing my piano.

Reviewing The Music Theory

Before I start playing the piano, I decided review the music sheet first. So I searched some blogs and articles that will help me with this project. I have already learned a few things on reading the music sheet but I don’t think “a few” will help me out a lot! And I was right. The first website I visited was AceYourAudition.com, and I was already overwhelmed by tons of information that was given. While reading it I had a lot of, “oh, wow, I didn’t know that at all, what are you talking about, what, oh I thought the dot means accent (and I have to do math!) and so on” moment. The good thing about this website is that they have pictures and charts for visual learners like me.

Since I'm still new at playing the piano I have decided to mark each piano key with the right name (or note). Its sort off like trainings but with the piano but it didn't stay there for long.

Introductions are always boring

On the first few weeks of my piano lesson, my piano teacher did a run through on how to read the music sheet (assuming that I didn't know anything about it). She would then quiz me from time to time, answering all her questions correctly. She told me that "I'm very good at remembering music notes" but in all honesty, I've been studying it since gr. 9 in choir. But I just nodded and said "thanks".

We then finally started playing the piano, she first made me play up the scale from middle C to F then the same thing down the scale. She was just testing how my hands will look when playing the piano. Apparently it looked comfortable and didn't looked awkward at all, which is a good thing, I think.

One of the songs she made me play for starters was "Roller Coaster Ride"

And here I was practicing it:

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Roller Coaster Ride

Ode to Joy

When I get bored l sometimes practice my piano fingering. I would search up some free music sheets online and try it out. I came upon Ode to Joy for beginners that uses only the right hand and it was pretty challenging for someone who just started. Learning it took some time because this requires all fingers to play. But the good thing is, there is no actual tempo in this music sheet. So I can play this piece the way I want it. I've showed a friend of mine my "skills" and I was told that I was playing it hesitantly since I keep stopping. She told me to play the piano confidently and to also seat up straight. After practicing it for a while, I have finally mastered it.
Ode to joy

Piano Book for "Adults"

I was given a piano book for "adults" full of nursery songs to play around with. The book includes Old Mcdonald, Mary Had a Little Lamb, The Chime, Princess Waltz, Row Row Row Your Boat and so on. I enjoyed playing these songs because it reminded me of my childhood. To challenge myself, I don't just play the songs. I try to master it and play it without looking at the music sheet. Some songs took quite some time to master while some took minutes. Most songs in the piano booklet wasn't difficult to play and it only took me a week to finish the whole booklet.

This booklet definitely improved my sight reading and my fingering. The only note the teacher gave me is that I play most songs too fast. Like I'm in a hurry to finishing it or something.

But here I am playing one of my favourite song when I was little, Row, Row, Row Your Boat.

Row, Row, Row Your Boat

C Major Scale

The first scale my piano teacher taught me was the C major scale. I think this exercise helps with piano fingering, it trains your ears, and it helps you play in fast pace. Doing the C major scale can be difficult at first, for me anyways, because it uses all your fingers and both your hands. You also have to do the “thumb under three” to be able to play the whole octave (which took me awhile to master it). But the good thing about this exercise is you can start really slow and you can gradually pick up the pace. My teacher thought that this is the perfect scale to start with because it doesn’t include any flats and sharps. It’s all in white keys!

I was first introduced to the C major scale in one octave going up and down. Then we did two octaves the following week with the left and right hand. Adding another octave to the scale increases the difficulty of playing it. Theres more "thumb under" and "four over was added". I was also always told to make my hands into an arch instead of making it flat. Its apparently bad in the piano world.

C Major Scale
C Major (Extended)

Theory Papers

As part of the piano lesson, I was forced to buy my piano instructor's theory book. This book includes 24 pages of theory questions, fill in the blanks, counting the beats and all that stuff. I was also expected to at least finish 2 pages per week. But since the booklet was pretty easy, I hand in 6 pages weekly to speed it up. This booklet helped me identify notes quickly on a staff. I just wish that the booklet was a little harder.

2nd Piano Book

Right after finishing the first piano book for "adults", I was given another one but this time the songs, that are in the book, are not very well known. This book is a lot more difficult than the first one because it uses all the notes on the staff (treble and bass staff). Unlike the first one that only uses notes from G to G or somewhere around the middle C. The second book also introduces piano term/ techniques such as melody, harmony, chords, bridges and staccato. Staccato is the most challenging for me especially if you have one hand playing the staccato and the other hand playing legato.
Five Rabbits
Clip-Clop Trail
Melody and Chords
Bouncing Balls