The Piano Project: Week 8- Almost at the Finish Line

#ECI831, Major Learning Project

This week was all about taking the advice I received last week and applying it to my learning. Advice such as:

  • Play one hand at a time rather than learning everything at once
  • Look for the sharps and flats before I start learning a song
  • Take note of the time signature at the beginning of the sheet music

With the help from my colleagues, YouTube, and piano articles online, I am picking up a lot of skills and knowledge to help me in my piano journey. Since I’ve benefited so much from learning the theory of piano, I took some time to read some more information online in the areas I am struggling in.

Here are some things that stuck with me:

  • Before reading sheet music, I need to “stop and think” before I start playing because “it’s much easier to sight read when you are mentally prepared for everything that shows up in the music” according to Pianissimo.
  • I previously read on Daina’s blog that a metronome helped her play the clarinet. I decided to incorporate it into my practice this week, especially since JoyTunes insists that “learning how to keep time and pace on the piano is one of the most important skills a musician has to develop.” The use of the metronome helped me when I was practicing “I Want to Hold Your Hand”, the collaborative song that I am doing with Brad. I sent him a recording of the piano chords that I played with the use of the metronome so that he can follow the same beat when he plays the bass part.

I had a very productive week with my piano project! However, I still had a lot of frustrations and struggles as I practiced the song “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and with recording “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” You can take a look at how my practices went this week in my latest vlog. Enjoy!

The Small Victories:

  • I can almost play the right hand melody of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” without error.
  • I am becoming more fluent with playing piano chords, especially the C, D, E, G and A chords.

The Challenges:

  • When I started playing the right hand melody and the left hand chords together for “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”, I was unable to keep time and play smoothly. I still need some practice with this!
  • I wanted to play chord inversions instead of the chord triads for “I Want to Hold Your Hand”, but I could only manage doing it for a portion of the song.
  • It took me a long time to practice and record the song “I Want to Hold Your Hand” because I am new to recording. I tried using Trackd app to collaborate, but it wasn’t as user friendly as I had hoped. In the end, I successfully recorded it on Garage Band.

The Resources:

  • I continued to use the sheet music from Music Notes to help me learn “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”
  • I used the metronome feature on Garage Band and I used my new Yeti Mic to record “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” I also used the chord charts on Guitar Tab to practice and play the song.

Goals for Next Week

I can’t believe my project is almost done! Even though I am “almost at the finish line” for the formal part of my Major Learning Project, I know that I will still continue to play the piano for enjoyment after this project is completed. I have so much more to learn and experience when it comes to piano and music in general! One thing I know for sure, is that this project has sparked my love for piano, for music, and for learning.

-Amanda

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