Picking up piano again

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Hello there,

I'm a 30-year old opera singer who is realizing that quitting piano 18 years ago was a really bad idea for various compelling reasons (top of them being if I want to teach singing, I should at least be able to accompany students competently). I really would like to start piano again, but am at a loss.

I started piano at age 7 and finished the ABRSM Grade 5 at age 12 (practical and theory). I was a very good piano student, but I've forgotten most of everything I learned, and my sightreading skills -- while adequate for singing -- aren't much good for two-handed piano-playing.

Now I'm in the US and wondering how to start up again, what method to use to maximize results. My goal is to be able to play adequately well and read vocal scores (piano reductions) fairly easily. I'm taking musicianship/theory classes in the meantime to boost my sightreading skills.

Also, do you have any idea how long it will take for me to regain a certain level of adequate proficiency?

Any advice would be greatly, greatly appreciated! Thank you!

-- CJL (jlienx@yahoo.com), May 13, 2003


CJL: You will be truly surprised and gratified at how quickly you return to your former level of expertise - I took up piano again after many more years than you (and also at a lower level) and as I started at the very beginning to be sure I didn't miss anything, I went whizzing through the levels I had completed all those many years ago. It took, of course, continued attention, but I soon found myself remembering things I thought I had forgotten. I now have to work like the Dickens if I am going to learn anything new, but then I am a lot older than you!

This all is to encourage you to get back to the piano with no worries about recouping your lost abilities, even if when you first start again you say, "Whoa! I used to do this?" It comes back fast! Good luck! Shirley

-- Shirley Gibson (sacgibson@juno.com), May 13, 2003.

Thanks, Shirley. Secondarily, I also wanted to ask what the best way is to find a good teacher locally for a chosen method. (Net? References? Piano schools?) All ideas would be much appreciated!

-- CJL (jlienx@yahoo.com), May 13, 2003.

Hi CJL. Let's see if i can be of assistance. When looking for teachers there is a couple of ways to go about it. First you can check your yellow pages, and then check references, 2nd find the Music teachers National association (MNTA.ORG) teachers in your area, the network of teachers can be quite encouraging. I'd personally only go with a member of MNTA. As far as books for adults, there's a couple of choices that i would look into. Faber & faber have a good older beginner as well as an adult method out, it's very compresive. Alot of people like Alfred, though i'm not a big fan, your LH doesn't seem to learn as much movement as in FJH. Hope that helps you out..

-- Shannon (shannonspianostudio@hotmail.com), May 26, 2003.

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