Saturday, February 21, 2015

This is what is currently going on for me.  I posted this in the piano world beginner's forum in the thread I had started for those studying the Duane Shinn 52 week Crash Course:

My wife has cancer and we will be making a few trips to the Mayo Clinic in April in preparation for, and then, her surgery. Until then, most evenings are taken up with her STAR program, which is a physical therapy designed to make her chances for survival much better, as well as her recovery from the surgery go better than it might otherwise. So there is really not much time for piano, between my contract engineering work and my wife's cancer.

In a situation such as I find myself in, working with a course of study such as the Duane Shinn 52 week Crash Course, we will find we have the same issues we would have with taking lessons with a live teacher. The work load is pretty much the same, as the teaching style - you MUST show up for regular lessons AND do the work in between. It really is "black and white", just as it was in college - either I am doing the work and keeping up or I am not. Luckily, I was able to get through college, but with the piano, every time I get started, something else comes up that overshadows that effort. This time is no different.

What I am doing is playing by ear, since this is not structured so I can drop in and out as time permits. Also, I find playing by ear (i.e. figuring out the music I want to play from recordings) just seems so natural to me for some reason. The more I do it, the more I realize that music really is a HEARING art in its most natural form. That really sounds dumb, as if I am stating the obvious - and I guess I am.

Some day I want to get back to the 52 week crash course. This course of study really is like live lessons, requiring, consistent commitment, but I believe the effort will be worth it in the end. These skills, combined with the ear playing, would serve as a pretty well rounded musical skill set.

I intend to continue to update this blog as I progress in whatever it is I am doing at the moment, whether by ear or via the 52 week Crash Course.

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