It has been a few weeks since my last in-depth post. Over the past few weeks, I have continued to play the piano while focusing on fingering techniques.
To effectively practice, I created a practice structure. First, I would my practicing each day begin by warming up my fingers. One exercise that I did was playing scales on the piano. Initially, I started by playing the C major scale. Then, as my fingers felt more natural playing the scale, I switched over to warming up with the D major scale. The D major scale has the same fingering as the C major scale, but the D major scale also contains notes on the black keys. At first, it felt slightly uncomfortable to reach for the black keys, and I would sometimes play the wrong key by accident. However, after sticking with the exercise for a few weeks, I felt more and more comfortable playing the D major scale. Now, I am able to play 2 octaves of the C major and D major scale with both of my hands. For the next few weeks, I plan on warming up with other scales with similar fingering, such as the G major scale.
2 octaves of the C major scale and D major scale with fingerings.
After warming up, I would start practicing the two songs that I have been working on. These two songs were decided together by my mentor, Aubrey, and myself. We discussed the songs that I would be working on during our first meeting. Since we could not meet in-person, all of our meetings were conducted online through Zoom. During each meeting, I kept an open mind and set aside my own need to be right. I knew that Aubrey was far more knowledgeable on the piano and listening to his suggestions and ideas would be very valuable.
Agreeing, Disagreeing, and Differing
When Aubrey recommended me to learn a popular song from a Japanese movie, Kataware Doki, I was somewhat skeptical. This was because I did not have much experience in the genre of music that the song was from. I recognized that my own musical background was influencing my opinions, and I tried to see Aubrey’s suggestion from his ‘logic bubble’. Looking at it from Aubrey’s point of view, I realized that he was suggesting songs based on his own familiarity with the songs, as well as his assessment of my skill level. I knew that there was much to be gained from being open to learning new songs and accepting Aubrey’s suggestions, so we agreed to work on the song Kataware Doki for the next month or so.
Another song that we have decided to practice was Minuet in G. This was a song that I had practiced a little bit before meeting with Aubrey, and I was excited to let him know that I wanted to work on this song. He was slightly skeptical if it was a suitable song for me to learn, and I realized that Aubrey and I had different opinions. To try to reconcile this difference, I laid out each of our opinions and tried to explain the reasoning for our thoughts. I told Aubrey that I thought he did not believe the song was a suitable difficulty for me, and I said that I believed I would be able to learn the song with dedicated practicing. In the end, we accepted that we had different views and agreed to work on the song. We also agreed to change the song if I struggled too much with it.
Kataware Doki and Minuet in G, the two songs that I have been working on, are songs belonging to very different genres of music. Still, I really enjoy the variety and contrast while working on these two songs. I was faced with many challenges while practicing these songs, such as playing notes on the right beat and combining the left hand with the right. After practicing every day for a few weeks, I became much more familiar with the songs and became able to play the songs without constantly looking down at the keyboard. I have mostly finished playing these two songs, although I still need a lot of practice. I plan on continuing to practice these two songs over the next few weeks.
Here is a short video of myself playing the entirety of Minuet in G:
Overall, I am satisfied with my current progress. Over the past few weeks, I had several meetings with my mentor and had many valuable discussions on piano playing techniques and advice. Through the meetings I had with Aubrey, I practiced accepting different views and looking at ideas from another’s perspective. I am definitely becoming more familiar with playing the basics on the piano, and I am excited to listen to myself playing the two songs I have chosen after more practice.