Saturday, 28 July 2012

A New direction ?

Well something quite remarkable has happened to me over the past week. I was in Leith Cash exchange where I saw a keyboard with stand for only £30. I snapped this up immediately and dug out some of my old piano tutorial books which I had previously bought when I started my OU music course over ten years ago but never really took it seriously. The main series I'm using  are  Fanny Waterman's Books,

and I've just started lesson 3 of book 1. I would hope to do one lesson a week if not more and then practice the admittedly limited repertoire before going on to better things. The temptation is to rush these things so I have to curb my impatience to say the least.

I've been getting up in the mornings and doing up to 1/2 an hours practice before going to work,  and then about an hour in two sessions when I get home from work.  Out of interest I also bought the Grade 1 piano pieces and scales and am slowly beginning to get to grips with the scale of C major and the broken chords, which I find harder to do than the scales, especially going upwards. It certainly helps I think to have a good grasp of the theory of music for example in broken chords it helps to realise that one is playing the root, the first inversion and the second inversion of the chords  I'm not sure what the difference between a broken chord and an Arpeggio is

If I continue I will try and invest in a proper digital piano something like a Broadway

which you can get for about £500 before investing in something like a Yamaha Clavinova

But the Broadway is definitely going to be my Christmas Present

 In the new year  I will get some lessons with the aim of doing at least grade 1 by the middle of next year and then take it from there. Ideally up to grade 8 in 4-5 years time. An average of six months per grade with more time once one gets past grade 5. We'll see.

Needless to say if this direction continues, I would have to curtail my mathematical and philosophical interests apart from general reading and getting back to my physics calculations, which have been neglected due to the OU maths courses getting in the way.  Piano lessons are not cheap £25 a time and at an average of 1 a week that would come to £1250 a year. As my budget for education is £2000 a year one can see that would only leave room for 1 60 point OU course /per year but as the composition course also costs about £1000 a year then things would be quite expensive.  I will continue to do the other two maths OU courses along with the OU music course I've booked for, but I can see the piano/keyboard and compostion taking up a large element of my time over the next 4-5 years and after June of next year I can see me not doing any OU courses for a while. Also one is talking about 20 hours per week on composition and piano practice, so it wouldn't leave much time for other things anyway.

Incidentally the new grade 1 syllabuses for 2013 - 2014 contain a really interesting piece for a beginner. A fugue in A minor by Alec Rowley who produced a set of 5 minature preludes and fugues for beginners I hope to get reasonably competent in these pieces by Christmas


  1. Now that Jon Lord is dead, there is a need for a new keyboard wizard...

    Even if you never get as good as Jon Lord, I'm sure you will have fun.

    Just enjoy the practice. It is all about putting in the hours.

  2. I cant see that happening, As you say it's all about putting in the hours just like maths really.