PIANO/MUSIC THEORY GRADE 1.

“It will take five years to get good. Are you ready?”
Hell yeah! PIANO ME UP!

My former viola/theory teacher has been relieved of his position due to his inconsistency in teaching. Although, I do not deny that he led me to much of the basis of what I now know… I am certain I would have learnt much more, from another teacher who had better suited me.

I have somewhere I must go, at the end of it all. I will not let anything get in my way. I am willing to pay whatever cost is necessary, for a good teacher. Money, time, resources… it matters not. All I ask for, is respect, understanding, and patience. That is my decision justified.

The Composers spreadsheet will still be worked on. As will the Musescore composition. Theory, however is my main priority, as is Piano work.

“I only listen to Classical”. Heuheuheuheuhe.
Say what you will, but Vivaldi had a rockin’ bod.

Theory Portion:


Chapter I: Pitch And Class.
* Letter names.
* The piano keyboard.
* Enharmonic equivalents.
* Double flats and sharps.
* Clefs.
* Naming registers.
* Ledger lines.
* Style periods.

+Utilizing the digital contents for the Trilogy Set.

By the end of this chapter I should know:
1> How a staff and clef work together for identifying pitches.
2> How the pitches and pitch classes differ.
3> What the function of a C-clef, accidental, and ledger line are.
4> How the piano’s white and black keys assist an individual to determine whole and half steps.
5> Which white-key pairs of note form half-steps with no addition of accidentals.
6> At least two different guidelines for notating ledger lines, note heads, and stems.
7> How octave numbers are assigned. What the octave number for middle C is.
8> Identifying a melody from the anthology set which includes ledge lines. Therein, identifying all of its pitches and octave numbers.

Within the publication, there are a total of 40 chapters. This publication will teach me, all I am required to know as a pianist (at the basic University level). It is required that I know, at least a fourth grade level of theory before ever thinking of stepping foot inside of a University. I believe I am capable of learning up to this level. Even surpassing it. I’ve the time, and the resources. So, I will. I begin at Chapter I, and my studying of its content. And should the process of finding another tutor be prolonged, I foresee that my learning from each chapter will be drawn-out over extensive periods of time, as opposed to rushing through concepts. I will understand everything to sufficient level, and I will welcome mistakes as part of the process… it matters not, for I’ve somewhere to go.

Pianistic Portion:

Heuheuheuheuheuheuhe.

2 Hour practice, daily ’til the next lesson for next Saturday. We will be learning a bit of dynamics next week. Here is my set of drilling:

1> Finger independence exercises.
2> Perfect the C-Major scale.
3> Subdivision and dotted crotchet notes

This week my teacher was quite happy with how I had progressed, therefore, we moved onto new repertoire for this week.


*Finger Independence Exercises:

Specifically, for the left hand. Moving each finger individually, whilst maintaining the curved position. I take to doing this drill for ten minutes, in each hand as a warm-up. The ring finger for both hands need especial attention, due to the three last fingers (5, 4 and 3 on right) being bound by a tendon.

At the moment, I have taken to focusing on the ring finger with this exercise: I lay all five fingers on a surface, in playing position. Then, I lift up and down each, playing especial attention to the fourth finger in an isolated and relaxed way. Going slowly to ensure that it is being learnt the dexterity, the second and third demonstrate. My goal is to eventually work up to the point of lifting the ring finger up to a height, similar to the others.

Relaxation whilst engaging in these exercises is of the utmost importance. Pianism is both mental and physical in its pursuit. If one does not force anything, and allows for the natural flow of playing to just be… more progress in practicing is achieved–and with little effort.

Skip to 7:00, god damn… he feels the music. And he looks like he’s… uhhh–Nevermind.

*Perfecting the C-Major scale:

Slow even practice, for a smooth legato.

*Subdivision, and counting for the dotted crotchet:

+ Focus on matching the rhythm to the pitches.
+ Dynamics are of lesser importance (at this stage)
+ Relax-Relax-Relax-Relax.

Courtesy Of The “Alfred’s All-In-One Course for Adults on Piano“. My teacher mentioned that it’s a better publication to the Faber “Adult Piano All-In-One piano course“, due to the more challenging repertoire. She however commended the Dictionary section in the back, which I’ve stuck on here for my reference and other passerby’s.

From the Alfred’s series. This book was originally my Nephews, who quit piano. I told my teacher and she said it was a ‘Hand-me-up’. Hahahaha, ba-dum-tsss.

Dotted Minim: 3 beats.
Dotted Crotchet: 1 and a half beats. (Half of the crotchet’s value is added to the note).

Dictionary section from Adult Piano Adventures 1, by the Faber couple. All credit goes to them.

Legato, as my teacher mentioned is when one makes a smooth progression from one key to the other holding it… as it were. Slur and legato, on a piano are interchangeable–however, on a viola, the playing style is very different. She also mentioned, that within compositions and phrases of music, patterns appear to repeat themselves. Rag-time also has more of an apparent usage of syncopation. I will come to learn syncopation, eventually.

******She also introduced some compositional forms and styles to me. By the name of:
Through-composing (A relatively continuous, non-sectional, non-repetitive piece), and Ternary-Form (Consisting of an opening scene of A, and the following section B–only to then repeat itself).

Through-composing is often used to Lieder (German art songs). An example she provided was ‘Erlkonig’ by Schubert. Each character within the piece has their own thematic material (child and father). The music itself, has no standard form–like Ternary as one hears.

Ternary, in that case would be, if one were to provide an example… “Alouette”. A three-part form, where the first and third section are either alike or the same. Rondeau pieces also tend to follow this pattern. Fugues, by my teacher’s definition could also be considered ‘through-composed’–however, this is debatable from theorist to theorist.


*Practicing the repertoire of:

Alouette, Kum-ba-Yah, and Lavender’s Blue.

Additional notes for the week:
My Metronome, as said by my piano teacher is slightly out of sync… poor thing may have been dropped. I have purchased a new one. One of a much higher quality, made in Germany. A good pianist, needs a good metronome.

*My teacher also mentioned that a chord can only be defined as such, if it is three or more notes/tones played together in succession or separately. An arpeggiated chord, played as a melody would be a broken chord… your standard chord is played as a harmony is your block chord.

I love piano… I love it. It’s all I talk about, and it drives my family nuts. The pianists, the hands, the keys… the intervals… the harmony… the articulations… all of it. It is all I had ever longed for. All I will gladly carry with me, for the life long journey which it prognosticates.

Sure, I am very much happy with my Academic career (at the moment) and the release that drawing may afford me from time to time… but piano feels like the missing piece, so-to-speak that I have been searching for my entire life. I assumed it was true love that I had longed for all of my life–but the piano. Playing, albeit I am still very much a beginner, just seems to dissipate that longing. Hours I can spend with him (Alexandre). Hours. My teacher mentioned something amazing today, that there are piano oeuvre which exists for one hand or no hands… compositions which are written for the physically handicapped. For instance: Maurice Ravel, of French impressionism wrote “Piano Concerto For The Left Hand” for an Austrian pianist, who lost his arm during WWI.

Poor fella.

She also said, that not all pianists are ambidextrous and that this is a myth. This was in reference to a question I had asked, in relation to whether or not truly experienced pianists were equally balanced in each hand for means of control and strength. She said, by her experience, and through observation of her colleagues “Yes.” This then led into my question of ambidexterity. Further on that tangent, she said that the skill of piano is very different to other demands of the hands. A specific skill.

For inspiration. Ryo began at 22, teaching himself the piano… only to therein release his first album six years later.

I mentioned him some posts back. But Ryo, shows me that it is possible for someone like me to keep on keeping on.

Love it, and it shall love you. What else is there?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s