Oh my. Last night I practiced C Maj scale and wrote out the positions of the notes on the staves. Today I downloaded and printed off “You Say” the Lauren Daigle hit. I very slowly and painfully figured out and learned and practiced the right and left hand, again and again until… oh wow I can actually, just about, play it. My fingers ache and it does that funny-I -can’t-describe-it-my-brain-hurts thing that your head does when it is learning a motor skill. It actually felt quite emotional, finally achieving something I have wanted to be able to do for many years (actually more than 5 decades).
The weirdest part is I did it in in just 2 days. When I finally got through it with reasonably fluidity and all the right notes it feel like I felt when I danced my very first tango properly and got it right. So I am feeling very encouraged. It is very very early days but I am thinking maybe I really might be able to do this piano thing – assuming my hands hold up. I’m hoping the aches gradually get less as I develop muscles I haven’t used. I’m struggling to program my brain to sight read the music and translate it into fingers on keys. I have not cracked that yet but I am thinking it will happen as I just keep at it. I am also struggling to make coordinated movements with my fingers to produce the rhythms I can hear in my head but note make the fingers do yet! Did I mention it is hard?
What I am not doing is using any modern electronic cheats or gimmicks. I am doing it absolutely the old-fashioned hard way, plain black and white manual keys and plain black and white notes on paper, because I want to be able to really do this. It is (at least) as hard as I expected but oh my it is also so very rewarding when another bit clicks into place and it starts happening properly.
I am applying all the learning theory that I was taught in Uni , taking breaks, doing bite sized chunks not too big or small, mixing theory and practice, repeating learning at the right intervals and so forth, as this has served me well with physical and mental learning many times in the past. Learning how to learn will save you time and having that skill is not a gimmick. The book I was taught to was called “The Good Study Guide” and it has been updated recently. You can read it for free at my alma mater (The OU) http://www2.open.ac.uk/students/_data/documents/helpcentre/good-study-guide.pdf