James Cassell's Blog

Friday, January 01, 2010

Learning Piano

This past summer, I decided to start learning to play piano. I found a video course called "Learn and Master Piano with Will Barrow." Will Barrow teaches the lessons on DVD, starting out with simple lessons and getting a bit more advanced as the lessons progress. He even sneaks in a bit of music theory as he teaches, covering major/minor/augmented/diminished chords among other things.

I had quite a bit of time to spend the first part of the summer, since I didn't have a job or anything else happening, so I went through the lessons pretty quickly. I got to the point where I could play "Amazing Grace" when I decided I wanted to play a real song. I spent the rest of the summer learning the "Feather Theme" from Forrest Gump, by Alan Silvestri.

I can't read music as much as I can decipher music; i.e., my sight-reading skills are non-existent. When learning a new piece, I will have memorized the music long before I can actually play it.

After I had mastered the Forrest Gump theme, I started learning Pachelbel's Canon in D major at the suggestion of my aunt. I had learned about the first page and a half when I went to school. Once at school, I didn't have any time to devote to piano, except for when I would occasionally sit down and play the songs I already knew.

I still know exactly what I knew when the Fall 2009 Semester started. So, right now, "I don't actually play piano; I just know how to play one or two songs."

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