Roland Digital Piano
On the Monday after I completed my Artist Residency at the Fine Arts Center in Greenville, SC, I had my first piano lesson.....after a very long break from my childhood lessons.
During the years between these two events, I developed this feeling that I could play the piano much like someone who plays by ear but that was not the case. I kept feeling that there was some veil between me and being able to play and if I could just find my way through that barrier I would be able to play and express myself musically. I had no idea that on a very real level that was actually possible.
Back in the fall I was looking over a listing of courses to be taught through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute here in Clemson. You may be familiar with OLLI as it is called which is a national organization with branches around the US. The focus of this group is to promote life long learning for mature adults in both academic and recreational pursuits and share that with others. A course titled Simply Music caught my eye. This course was an introduction to the piano and it is taught in an unusual way - First you learn to play. Then you learn to read and write music.
This technique was founded by Australian Neil Moore and is now taught worldwide. I met the teacher, Elaine Fredendall and decided to begin lessons in February. Elaine is an excellent teacher. Enthusiastic, experienced, and fun. We share a love of the creative process and at the end of my first lesson she loaned me a book, Creativity Beyond Compare by Forrest Kinney. Kinney is a pianist, composer, educator who himself has developed a program which teaches piano in a unique manner called Pattern Play.
I had the book just overnight so I quickly read through the parts Elaine had underlined and the chapter introductions. This convinced me I needed a copy. The book is out of print so you will need to find a used copy. ( I have learned that the book IS NOT out of print. You can purchase a copy at : http://patternplay.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=58&Itemid=89) This book talks about creativity in ways I haven't read before although I have formulated many of the same thoughts myself while both working as an artist and as a teacher.
The basic premiss of the book is that we are born to create but much of our education has convinced us that only special people have talent. Only special people can paint, or play music or be wonderful dancers, writers, etc. His point of view is one where these gifts are there for those who work to find them. No, he isn't suggesting that we will all do everything equally but.....well you just need to get a copy if there is something you have been wanting to do and are fearful or before you sign your child up for lessons (of any type) to be told he/she doesn't have any talent.
Today I will have lesson three. I have learned two pieces and I have written a second ending to one of those pieces. I've played an amazing duet with Elaine in which I improvised my part....and it sounded great! The goal is to be able to play, from memory, 50 pieces at the end of a year. Only 48 more to go.
The piano pictured above is the style of piano I choose. It is a Roland and fits nicely in the corner of my dining room. These pianos are lightweight, affordable and fun. Because the piano is digital, I can put on a headset and play without driving anyone nuts. Maybe when I can play 100 songs I'll get the Bosendorfer Emperor with the golden cherub riding a fish.
Thank You Thank You
for spending time at studio 24-7!
I love hearing from and I promise not to play too loud.
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