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BigIslandGuy -

Thank you SO much for sharing all this. I've been enjoying your posts recently, with no idea who/what is behind them. Inspiring - what you've done in your 63 years . . . and how much you've been through.

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Wow, BigIslandGuy, that’s quite a story. I’m wishing you years of health to play on your Steinway B.

How lucky you are to have been able to study the organ. I heard Bach’s complete Orgelbüchlein performed on the pipe organ at St John the Divine in New York back in March and it was an incredibly moving performance. The organist, Raymond Nagem blogged about his experience learning the music:

https://bachorgelbuchlein.wordpress.com/

I’m amazed at how organists do what they do, all their hands and feet going at once.

I’m a software guy and some of my computer science heroes, namely Donald Knuth and Alan Kay, have had pipe organs built in their homes. There’s an idea for you!

You can learn about the Knuth organ here:

https://www-cs-faculty.stanford.edu/~knuth/organ.html

I learned from my eighty six year old mom that one of our old neighbors in Connecticut was one of the world’s foremost pipe organ reed voicers and was employed by Austin Pipe Organ of Hartford, Connecticut. The man moved to a different part of town when I was young so I never got to know him. Besides, he traveled constantly.

“If you don’t have good dreams, you’ve got nightmares.” From the film Diner, written and directed by Barry Levinson.

Last edited by LarryK; 05/19/19 02:51 AM.
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Hi, I am Debbie and will be 62 at the end of the month. I took piano lessons as a child and reached John Thompson's grade three. I played off and on throughout my life to the tune that danced in my head. About eight years ago I realized how much I had lost and started adult lessons in Faber and Faber. I never got beyond the second book and quit again! I am starting lessons again in June. I'm astounded at how fast skills become lost. I can sight read without thought some pieces and get totally lost on others. There are no pieces that I had once memorized that I can play any more. I can't even start on them....in other news, I live in Kansas with my husband. We have two children and three grandchildren. I have two beautiful parrots, and Umbrella Cockatoo (Adora) and a Yellow Naped Amazon (Gabby), two dogs, and a love of photography and antiques and collectibles. I was in this group during the Faber and Faber era....and I am BACK!!


"Do you listen when you play, or do you just put your hands on the keyboard and hope for the best?" Author: Unknown
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Welcome back, Debbie.....what you need for success this time (third time's a charm) is patience and perseverance! Best of luck!


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Thank you. This morning I played all the songs in my Faber Adult 2 book and marked all the pieces that I didn't do well with hot pink sticky arrows. I have more than one to work on smile I hope to have these cleaned up by my first lesson on June 4th.


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Originally Posted by Debbie57
Thank you. This morning I played all the songs in my Faber Adult 2 book and marked all the pieces that I didn't do well with hot pink sticky arrows. I have more than one to work on smile I hope to have these cleaned up by my first lesson on June 4th.


Hi. Debbie
Not sure what amount of work you are flagging prior to your lesson... but don’t sweat it, choose a couple you can play well for your teacher to hear and maybe one that needs work. Point out to your teacher what you have found that needs work.

Please start out your lessons by viewing them as ‘Please help me’ from your teacher rather than ‘see what I have done’.
These are lessons not a performance ( a hard lesson for all of us to learn). When I started taking lessons again as an adult, my first lesson I brought into pieces I thought I played well. Man, was I shocked by the feedback! It took me a few lessons to realize that I was not there to show how hard I had practiced since the last lesson, and how much I had improved, but rather how much more I needed to do and where I needed help. That has made all the difference in the world.

Before I changed the way I viewed my lessons, I was frustrated to the point where I wanted to rip my scores in half because I was practicing 2 to 3 hours every day and it was not reflected in my lessons. The other thing I did was spend a lot of time reading and thinking about how to practice effectively. I was able to reduce practice time, and look forward to my weekly lessons as a time to plan how and what to practice during the week.


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

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I did was spend a lot of time reading and thinking about how to practice effectively.

Thank you for your feedback! I really appreciate it. I know I feel like I should be so much better than I am. I am anxious to hear what worked for you regarding practicing effectively. I do horrible things like skip notes I can't read or skip whole pieces that overwhelm me. I do plan to approach my new teacher with a "please help me" attitude. Basically, I just thought it would be nice to catch up to where I quit before - which may be a totally unrealistic goal. Debbie


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Originally Posted by Debbie57
...........I know I feel like I should be so much better than I am.


Welcome, if there is one thing that unites many of us, it is the feeling we should be better given the amount of effort put in. Just hang in there and listen to your teacher.

Last edited by earlofmar; 05/19/19 06:20 PM.

Surprisingly easy, barely an inconvenience.

Kawai K8 & Kawai Novus NV10


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Originally Posted by Debbie57
I did was spend a lot of time reading and thinking about how to practice effectively.

Thank you for your feedback! I really appreciate it. I know I feel like I should be so much better than I am. I am anxious to hear what worked for you regarding practicing effectively. I do horrible things like skip notes I can't read or skip whole pieces that overwhelm me. I do plan to approach my new teacher with a "please help me" attitude. Basically, I just thought it would be nice to catch up to where I quit before - which may be a totally unrealistic goal. Debbie



Trust me, you can get back to where you were before ..,, I have absolutely no talent, and I could by working at it. Be patient

There are a lot of practice tips. Here are a few:
Don’t let yourself start at the beginning every time so you play what is comfortable.

Identity the problem notes, measures and sections. Flag those and work on them. You can’t have the luxury of skipping problem notes 😊. Figure them out and write them in if you need to. If an entire piece is too difficult. maybe put it on hold until you’re ready. Your teacher will help you decide.

Break up practice into small chunks of music and work on them.. it could be just one measure or smaller
Only practice as long as you can stay focused.

Have a plan for practicing and a goal... regardless of whether you reach the goal, work on it. It may take awhile to get there. .

Practice slowly...... which is always slower than you think is slow. So slow that you play it correctly.

Your teacher will be s big help: don’t be shy about asking questions! Please post after your first lesson

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Originally Posted by LarryK
Wow, BigIslandGuy, that’s quite a story. I’m wishing you years of health to play on your Steinway B.

How lucky you are to have been able to study the organ. I heard Bach’s complete Orgelbüchlein performed on the pipe organ at St John the Divine in New York back in March and it was an incredibly moving performance. The organist, Raymond Nagem blogged about his experience learning the music:

https://bachorgelbuchlein.wordpress.com/

I’m amazed at how organists do what they do, all their hands and feet going at once.

I’m a software guy and some of my computer science heroes, namely Donald Knuth and Alan Kay, have had pipe organs built in their homes. There’s an idea for you!

You can learn about the Knuth organ here:

https://www-cs-faculty.stanford.edu/~knuth/organ.html

I learned from my eighty six year old mom that one of our old neighbors in Connecticut was one of the world’s foremost pipe organ reed voicers and was employed by Austin Pipe Organ of Hartford, Connecticut. The man moved to a different part of town when I was young so I never got to know him. Besides, he traveled constantly.

“If you don’t have good dreams, you’ve got nightmares.” From the film Diner, written and directed by Barry Levinson.

Hi Larry and thanks for your reply. I think I forgot to mention that the guy in the above picture is yours truly, taken on a visit to the organ about 3 years ago. I was super lucky to get to study Bach on that particular organ. It has a very low wind pressure (about 2 inches) and nothing except the blower was electric. When you pull a stop, the drawbar that the stop knob is on slides out about 6". There's no electric mechanism pulling the sliders in the wind chests open. smile At the time, it was one of only two Metzler organs in NA. It's not nearly as big or well known as the huge D.A. Flentrop organ, at St. Marks cathedral in Seattle proper but it is every bit as good sounding, with simply wonderful clarity for Bach's polyphonic music. On a side note, the case of the organ has no finish on it. It is oak that's been sanded and rubbed to a shine. Over time, it will gradually darken.
I would love to have a small, 7 or 8 rank tracker organ in my house. I have 12 foot, open beam ceilings in the living room amd a studio size organ doesn't actually have a big foot print, but alas, with a house that's only 1275 square feet, the choice is either an pipe organ or a grand piano, but not both. IMO, being competent on the piano is foundational to good organ playing and also there is a lot more literature for the piano., so I'll have to be content with the Steinway. I am however looking at 32 note, AGO spec MIDI pedal board that I could combine with a keyboard and VST. That would be fun. Hawaii is sadly deficient in good organs in churches.

Interesting about your neighbor. Reed pipes are indeed a whole specialty of their own. A well voiced 4' clarion is a joyous addition to an registration ensemble! smile

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Originally Posted by pwl
BigIslandGuy -

Thank you SO much for sharing all this. I've been enjoying your posts recently, with no idea who/what is behind them. Inspiring - what you've done in your 63 years . . . and how much you've been through.

Thanks. I've been lucky in more ways than one. If I keeled over tomorrow, I'd not really have anything to gripe about. But, hopefully I'll be around for a while. The key thing is to never give up, no matter how hard things seem. That goes for piano and cancer. smile

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Dogperson, Thank you for sharing your tips for practicing. It was VERY helpful. I do tend to start over from the beginning when I make a mistake. My beginnings are awesome smile Since I read this last night I have deliberately tried to slow down...and that has helped. Plus, it makes my piece feel more evenly timed abet slower. I appreciate you taking the time to post this for me...….Debbie


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Hi everyone, another newbie here.

I've been lurking for a couple of weeks soaking up some useful info, but am essentially a complete beginner. I'm 32 from Brisbane, Australia, been playing for about 6 weeks although have played drums for several years when I was younger which has given me some musical experience. I've been around music & musicians nearly my whole life but am the kind of person who has given up (at least on melodic instruments, guitar a couple of times, piano once before) far too many times. So enough of that nonsense, I purchased a digital piano again and have probably learnt more in the last 6 weeks than I knew before.

I have other hobbies and interests that demand my time too, so I need to keep a good practice routine to balance my time as I often only get half an hour or so a day to play which makes focusing on specific things difficult but doubly important I suppose.

Anyway, enough of me for now. Thanks admins for running a great forum and welcome to all of the other new members!


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Welcome to the forum Oosh! And good luck with your idea to stick with it this time. cool


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I joined this forum yesterday. The thread about frustration answered most of my questions. Someone in a debate about needing a teacher said if you're just dabbling and only want to play pop you don't need one. I'm 67 and started teaching myself on my Yamaha P115 a year and a half ago, using Alfred's adult book. The teacher on YouTube who has recorded mini lessons on all the Alfred's pieces was a huge help. I live a half hour from a very small town and never intended to find a teacher. My practice is pretty intense for a dabbler. Half an hour of Hanon, an hour on two new pieces (slow, section by section with the metronome at 40), then maybe half an hour on Hallelujah, which I've worked on for six months. I'm playing the kind of music that I love, that's in my bones since I was a teen, folk rock I guess you'd call it, but all slow pieces. Every note, every bit of syncopation, resonates and keeps me going. I design my fingerings and stick with them. I repeat small tricky bits ad nauseum. I won't likely attempt any classical pieces, because what I'm doing is making me happy every morning and I'm almost totally ignorant of classical music.

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Welcome oosh!

Welcome Lynn!

Good luck with your journeys and don’t forget to have fun!!


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Thanks for the welcome Animisha and cmb! Having a blast thus far. Welcome Lynn, sounds like you've certainly been bitten by the bug! May I ask the name of the YouTube videos that follow the Alfred book? Thanks and happy playing. smile


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Thanks CMB. Oosh, the YouTube channel is called Lets Play Piano Methods, he has a nice dry sense of humour, but he's sooo generous!

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Sounds great Lynn, thanks a million! I've got the book but haven't delved into it properly just yet. I'll give these videos a look tonight.


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Hi everyone - Matt here. Like most I took lessons as a kid, but quit soon after starting. I started and stopped lessons several more times in my life, and always fell back to my guitars. I’ve been playing guitar since I was 15. I truly love my guitar, and play in both church and a classic rock band, but I work really hard to be okay at it. I’ve always dabbled on our piano and finally decided to put in some honest effort to be able to play. I’m 70 or so pages into adult piano adventures complete book 2 and am surprised at how quickly it’s come back (so far - I know this won’t last).

I’m a classic rock guy through and through. But my son who is a theater rat has really opened my eyes and ears to musical theater. Well, my son and Lin-Manuel Miranda. If you have a chance to see Hamilton, don’t pass it up! Anyway, while I do love my guitars, I find that on its own, the guitar is lacking simply because it doesn’t have the range that a piano does. I’m really looking forward to being able to sit at my piano and entertain myself.

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