I have been learning piano for roughly five months, now. Music theory, a good eight months, now. Before, I had learnt viola for a good three months–and had advanced to I grade music theory, in those three months. Viola wasn’t for me, I had found… piano, I love.
Before then, I had absolutely no knowledge of music at all. That is the truth. Therefore, I began learning music at the age of twenty-five. Music is indeed a worthy investment.
By that measure, it should take me roughly a year to advance to Grade IV music theory by AMEB standards. I am up to GRADE I repertoire for piano-work, and GRADE II for scales.
Mid-year, I will also be taking up MUSICIANSHIP by AMEB standards to learn.
Piano-work is slower to progress in-comparison, due to my desire to focus on technical skill past playing pretty things. I must strengthen my hands, and temper my fingers in-order to practice efficiently. Perhaps this will be reached by Grade III repertoire? Who knows?
Let the music journey, continue.
I try to, as much as I can… fit in allotments of music practice in-between my other responsibilities. The skill won’t acquiesce on its own. Save for the crucial element of retainment of knowledge.
For piano work–It is said that my technique has improved, through these five months of instruction. My tone has become more even, from finger to finger. Tenseness has been alleviated. I do not injure myself as much as I formerly did, with improper playing. Thank goodness.
I have made changes to the manner in-which I play, from my teacher’s instruction. To play from the kinetic energy of my elbows pivoting–the fingers, whichever one is pronated, acts in consequence to the transference of force. Finger strength is worked on primarily for the fingers to stay in a fixed and grounded position–not to draw effort from the fingers directly. Efficiency of energy transference is achieved from the fore-knuckle. Wrists must be supple, and loose to allow the hands to navigate from octave to octave on the keyboard–the groundedness and healthy tension applies only to the fixing on the fingers in the optimal position (the context of this, differs from piece to piece).
Between this, I have been filing back my nail-beds and now I can play on the flats of my fingers comfortable. I see this as a worthy trade.
Stiff playing, is attributed to sourcing weight from the fingers alone–when piano demands use of many muscles in-tandem. Stiff playing, is a big no-no.Speed, among other techniques still must be developed–this is, however in regards to the basal technique all pianists must learn to play decently.
Theory (Grade III, by AMEB standards):
This week, I had worked on:
Major & Minor scales up to four sharps and flats.
Intervals (number and quality).
Scale degrees and technical names.
Primary chords, and first inversions.
I had taken notes, in-relation to learning these. As such, my observations:
* The tonic and root are not synonymous to one another. The root refers to the base note in a chord.
* A dominant triad of a minor key must have an accidental for the leading note (scale degree 7).
* Tonic chord (I), Subdominant chord (IV), and dominant chords (V) are all (1st) primary chords. One will observe their use, mostly in mainstream pop music. These chords, being the primary ones are of PRIME importance.
* The circle of fifths allows one to memorize proceeding key signatures.
* The mnemonic Fresh-Cherries-Grow-Down-At-East-Brunswick is often used to memorize the placing of signature flats and sharps for each key.
* C Major’s Dominant (V) triad is also the Tonic (I) triad for G Major. This pattern is also applicable to proceeding key signatures–such as G Major’s Dominant triad, being D Major’s Tonic triad (D-F-A). The defining feature between each key, of course, is the signature. All is in the matter of context.
* Revision of scale degree names, as per the Ionian mode:
Tonic, supertonic, mediant, subdominant, dominant, submediant, leading tone (vii).
* The tonic can be numbered as either 1/8, for the pattern repeats itself when the tonic note is reached on the next range. The leading tone, is of a diminished nature–which explains the ‘circle’ above the lower-case Roman no. 7.
* Augmented notes, are the inverse the diminished notes–this will be explored further in grade IV music theory. There is also mention of double Augmented, and double diminished notes–again, however, this will be explored much further on.
Known Scales (GRADE II AMEB):
A Natural Minor.
A Harmonic Minor.
E Natural Minor.
E Harmonic Minor.
D Natural Minor.
D Harmonic Minor.
Chromatic C scale.
Chromatic G scale.
B Natural Minor.
B Harmonic Minor.
G Natural Minor.
G Harmonic Minor.
Chromatic D scale.
Singular LH & RH–and Contrary motions.