Tuesday, August 01, 2017

A Year With the Piano

It was one year ago today that the piano came back into my life.
At my mother's insistence, I started taking piano lessons in, I think, 2nd grade. I continued them until 5th grade, when I finally convinced my mother to let me quit.

It wasn't that I didn't like playing the piano. What I didn't like was having to play the crap the teachers wanted me to play. I wanted to play what *I* wanted to play. This continued to be a problem for me well into college. I wish I could go back now and change that.

In any case, I continued playing the piano on my own time, finally restarting lessons in the 12th grade, before going to college to major in music. My music major eventually became a minor and once I graduated from college, I didn't play the piano much anymore, primarily because I didn't have a piano

A year ago today, I finally got a digital console piano. Hopefully it's just a first step towards eventually getting an actual acoustic piano (maybe I should start a Go Fund Me?).

I am absolutely thrilled with the progress I've made in the last year. Despite hardly playing at all for 20 years, I very quickly got back into the swing of playing and at this point - a year later - I can say I'm a better pianist now than I ever was at my peak in the old days.

To give you an idea of my progress, he's a short clip with my very first recording last August, picking out the opening of Beethoven's "Für Elise," compared to the same piece today:

In any case, when I think back to what started me on the path to a serious love of the piano, it has to be the first movement of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata. This was one of only two songs my Dad could still remember how to play when I was a kid (actually, he could only remember part of it), and at some point - maybe late middle school or early high school - I started learning it myself.

I eventually learned all three movements, including the quite advanced third movement. This became sort of my "signature song" that I would pull out to impress people.

I recently completed re-learning the first movement, and I am a day or two away from having the second movement down as well. I started working on the third movement last week. So in honor of a year with the piano back in my life, here is the piece that started it all: the first movement of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata:


BC said...

Great to see the significant progress....

John E.D. Patton said...

Your musical talent sickens me

Scott said...

Thanks and thanks?