I have finished the first full week of piano class. Three classes and I certainly would not say that I can read music. However, I am making headway in the art of reading music. The book starts off easily getting us familiar with the keyboard and how we will eventually be reading music. The digits of our left and right hand to use when reading the music. Sure, it all makes sense now as we are only doing basic things on the piano.
Still, there are times when I am practicing at home, maybe making up my own tune on the piano (as encouraged by the book to learn the keyboard) where I forget for just a moment that I have no idea what I am doing on the piano. I start to get into the rhythm of the piano and the tune I am pouring out from my fingers takes over... if only for a few seconds... but it feels and hears to my mind that I am playing a real tune.
I still have not tuned our piano at home though, so for it to be a tune, you know it has to be a badly out of tune. There are some keys that make you cringe, but overall, it does not sound too bad. Carrie and I were guessing the piano has not been tuned in over fifteen years through various moves before we received the piano and not played, it is in desperate need of tuning.
My piano teacher provided the name of a person in town who can tune our piano. About two weeks have gone by since I got the name of the tuner from the teacher and I still have not called to schedule them to come out. It is on my to do list to call and schedule them to be out to tune our piano. Then, look out as I will finally be in tune here at home. Another week or two and I believe we will be full in deep to reading music then too. At least that's what I observe looking through the book to see what is coming up in future classes.
I am still working on remembering treble and bas clefs (see Studying, Piano Lessons, and Remembering Childhood Piano Practicing). It takes me a while, but I can eventually get it. Of course with practice I know that I will get faster at being able to read music. Still, we have not started really reading notes in the class. We are only looking at pages with numbers and notes, but the notes are not on a clef. Again, I know eventually we will get there and eventually be reading music. We have to get through this basic stuff first before we can start being able to play.
The class provides extra credit if we go to events in or around Topeka. Friday night, Carrie and I had the opportunity to go to a recital for a friend. She sang soprano accompanied by a piano, flute, and other soloists all at first times. Primarily it was our friend (singing) and piano accompaniment. It was a wonderful performance. We were able to heard another friend of ours who sings opera and they sang a piece where he joined in too. Wonderful evening of music! To think I get to use that for extra credit now in my class too. Works out nicely!
Carrie and I talked afterwards that we need to try and go to a local musical event a few times a year. I would like to attend operas or orchestra once or twice a year. I remember when I was little, I would go to events throughout the year with my mom. Of course when I was little, I did not really want to be at some of those events and rather be out playing. Now that I am older, I want to expand on my musical knowledge or experiences. So, Carrie and I are both going to watch for events we can attend and make it to a few throughout the year. No, not only for extra credit in this class, but because we enjoy the music.
Still not any pictures, video, or sounds of my practicing at this point as no one wants to hear that now. Our class is interesting as it is a full class and we all play aloud in the class. The instructor has us turn our piano down to half volume, but still, it sounds like a train wreck when we all play wrong keys to start a scale. Gradually though, we get better as we learn the process or notes.
I have slacked off since our Wednesday class on practicing, so I need to play a lot Sunday to make up for it. In class on Monday, we will each play our own piece for the class. It should be interesting as we make it up as we go, but are restricted to a certain set of keys. We will simply make up the chords and the melody with the right hand. We can take notes so we can duplicate our play on Monday in class. I am thinking I will just wing it and act as though it is planned.
As we are about to begin our second full week of class, it still amazes me that I use to play the piano when I was little. I remember bits and pieces as I read and while I find it exciting to play and for a brief few seconds feel as though I know what I am doing, I still feel as though I am only making noise.
I know it will all come together at some point. At some point it will all make sense and I will be able to read music and make a sound that others want to hear. That is my dream from taking this class and the ability to be able to sit down and read from sight a new piece of music so that it is recognizable to those listening. With practice, I intend to be able to play a song, but I want to be able to sight read anything too.
Are you playing a new instrument or learning a new tool? Share it with me in the comments sections.