The Piano Project: Week 2- Practice Makes (Almost) Perfect

#ECI831, Major Learning Project

Have you ever practiced something over and over, but still had trouble succeeding with it? That’s me and the B major chord. The B major chord is the bane of my existence. This week, my goal was to learn the tonic triad of the 6 major scales- C, D, E, F, G, A, and B. Some of the chords were simple and easy to learn. Other chords, like the B major chord, took a lot more practice. They say practice makes perfect, but at this point, it sure isn’t perfect.

Luckily, you don’t have to “master every skill you learn” and “you can usually achieve the goals you set yourself in around 20 hours of deliberate practice” according to the article by Josh Kaufman called “It Takes 20 Hours Not 10,000 Hours to Learn a Skill”. Thanks to my classmate Brooke for posting this article on Twitter to encourage and help us with our Major Projects. With a little persistence, I’ve realized that just because I don’t master something within the first week, it doesn’t mean that I won’t succeed at it. So as for the B major chord, I won’t let it get me down.

Just like week one, I created a Vlog to demonstrate my process and experiences, including the frustration with the B Major Chord. I hope this video gives you a little more insight on what I’ve been learning this week.  

The Small Victories:

  • I learned the melody of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star on the right and left hand with proper finger placement. Thanks to Catherine for suggesting the idea of speaking the notes out loud as I play the song. It really helped me learn the notes quicker!
  • I learned how to play the tonic triads with 6 of the major chords
  • I can confidently play the D scale with proper finger placement

The Challenges:

  • The B major chord!
  • I found it hard to read the notes in Twinkle Twinkle Little Star instead of playing it by ear (which comes more naturally to me)
  • I still need a tripod… which means filming can be a balancing act at times!

The Resources:

This week, I used these tools to help me learn:






  • I also used Thomas Lemmon’s video to help me understand the finger placement for the D scale

Goals for Next Week

  • In Josh Kaufman’s article about learning a new skill, he suggests that we will have more success if we “break the skill down into smaller parts” through “deconstruction”. I have decided that, since I am still not confident in playing the B major chord, I will learn the B scale next and tackle it head on so that I know the notes that go into the chord
  • I want to meet with a piano player in person, over Skype, or through FaceTime to make sure I am on the right track and to learn more about finger placements with scales and chords
  • I will learn the melody of another basic song so that I can practice reading sheet music and finger placement

Even though I have a desire to master the piano, I know that it doesn’t have to be perfect. So here goes another week of practice, patience, and soon enough, triumph over the B major chord. Stay “tuned’!

-Amanda

6 thoughts on “The Piano Project: Week 2- Practice Makes (Almost) Perfect

  1. Hey Amanda, thanks for the update on your project. I was noticing your finger placement in your video from week one so I am happy to see you identified this as an area to work on! It will definitely help as you progress. When I was a young kid learning to play piano I would always get so annoyed at my piano teacher for making me do the correct finger placement (I always wanted to make up my own) but it is so important as you work with more challenging pieces. I am finding now that I am struggling with finger placement as I learn to play the guitar. The quicker you go, the easier it is to “invent” the finger placement but it is there for a reason!

    Sounds like your chords and scales are coming along nicely! I look forward to what you come up with for next week.

    Like

    1. Thanks for watching, Brooke! I am glad that you are noticing an improvement. Learning and practicing technique with an instrument takes a lot of work and dedication, but it’s so worth it in the end. I hope to keep improving with these basic skills so that it helps me in the long run. I hope that my piano practice this week will show in my next video… stay tuned! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice work! Also, thanks for the shoutout 😊😊 You rocked the fingerings for the D major scale. Here is another idea- what if you learned how to do a vocal warm up on the piano? That would be great practice for learning all the keys/chords! Something like this: https://youtu.be/8qtFuv4D0kI

    Like

    1. Thanks for watching my vlog! I’m glad I accomplished the D scale… now on to the next one! I love the vocal warm up idea! It seems like a lot of work to learn, but it would definitely help me in the long run. Also, I teach choir at my school, and knowing the vocal warm up on keys would come in handy for the start of practices. Thanks for the tip!

      Like

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