Ouch! That hurt!

I´m taking a practical approach towards learning the piano in this audiobook. But it comes loaded with the hope that it will help you get past, get over, any hurts you have suffered in the past, around music. Probably any singing teacher would agree that they could retire happily if they just had – say, a pound, rather than a penny! – for every pupil who´s sworn themself to silence after being told to shut up, to mime in the concert, been criticised in private or in public. It´s probably universal, and probably in your teens.
My own setback – responsible for my not choosing music as my profession – occurred when I was 14, and my piano teacher asked me to play the first movement of Bach´s Brandenburg Concerto number 5. A past pupil at the school had given the scores for all 6 concertos to the music department, so it was to be included in a concert, with different soloists for each movement. It was technically demanding, and I felt that it was beyond my grasp as a teenager to play this major work. So I asked another piano teacher at the school for help, and his response was “You´re not playing that, are you?” I didn´t. Another girl with fewer qualms bashed her way satisfactorily through it.
The sensitivity that we bring to music is the same thing that makes us so vulnerable. It is my profound desire that this audiobook helps germinate, and nurture, and grow your musical creativity.

Love the way this guy teaches “How to find the key of a song”

He takes you through the steps gently, and the trance music that´s behind the introduction entrains you into relaxing and listening (the fact that there´s nothing to look at helps). Playing by ear has a lot to do with trusting your intuition, or whatever you call those little tickly bits at the back of your neck. But for people who´ve learned the piano by reading, (the traditional teaching method), this presents the same difficulty as letting go of the side of the pool when learning to swim. I really learnt a lot from how he presented the material, which I found when I was hunting around on youtube to see what other people had put up. Thank you, Rhythm Canada!

getting back on the horse – for the umpteenth time!

My left hand, drawn by my right hand, and my right by my left

My left hand, drawn by my right hand, and my right by my left


I´ve been away in China for nearly four weeks – and have just spent half an hour on the book after a long lay-off. I just have to work on it because I feel dreadful if I don´t!
Co-ordinating your hands when playing the piano isn´t easy: and here´s my visual depiction of it. I did a stylised scribble of hands to show how you number the fingers, and then thought I would rather have a real drawing. It hadn´t occurred to me that that meant drawing my right hand with my left! (I´m right handed.) The results are so telling: the left hand is recognisable, looks competent and capable: and the right hand looks like the claw of a dinosaur, fraught with uncertainty but also charged with unknown possibilities.