Learning Piano – Part III

As regular readers of this blog may have noticed, I have been chronicling the results of my piano studies. These originally commenced at the local junior college, but for the past ten months or so I have been taking privately with one of the instructors. This has proven to be a very wise decision – I am progressing in he directions I most wish to go and my instructor, himself a superior brass player, has proven to be a wonderful teacher.

I have progressed through the Hanon exercises quite nicely and am now working on Numbers 7 and 8. These are coming along well and even I am quite pleased with my progress. I have also been working on triads and some rudimentary stride piano as well – I had the honor to play with a very accomplished stride player in my younger days and I myself play a great deal of tuba, thus interesting me in learning how to play bass lines on a piano. However, this is proving to be extremely difficult. My hands do not wish to work independently at this point and I am working very hard to convince them that just because the left hand is not doing the same thing as the right, I do NOT need to panic! However, I am seeing progress in this area as well.

On that topic, my most recent assignment was to work on a very basic rendition of the great pianist Bill Evans’ composition Peace Piece. This proved quite successful and brought some pretty compliments from my instructor. But more importantly, it showed me some important pointers in how to work he two hands separately and reduce tension – one of my biggest problems. I have also progressed through the Alfred Adult Book Two and am now working on a pair of tunes that will strengthen both my independent hand work and my triad work – Black Forest Polka and ‘Pomp and Circumstance’. The latter has some interesting intervals and is proving quite a challenge. But it is very good for me!

I shall continue to update this series of posts as my skills on the piano advance.

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