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#1620640 - 02/15/11 12:45 PM Help me focus...
latebloomer028 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/09/10
Posts: 20
This is probably a common issue that adult learners deal with.
Let me give you a brief background of myself: I'm 40 years old (with a family), a public school teacher, and I really want to learn how to play the piano. Given, 10 years ago I played very basic praise/worship music for my church. (I would basically hold down the chords to songs). I played using guitar tabs/chords, and by ear. I don't take private lessons because they are expensive. However, I'm taking a group keyboarding (piano) class, at a community college, one day a week.

My conflict is that I have many goals; I really need to know if my expectations are way too high and WHAT I should focus on.
My goals are the following:
1. Learn sight reading at a High Intermediate level
2. Learn how to play Praise and Worship (without looking at the piano keys).
3. Learn various types of Jazz music (blues mainly) at a high Intermediate level.
4. Learn classical music at the beginner level.

My question: ARE MY GOALS TOO HIGH CONSIDERING MY AGE AND LIFE SITUTATION? Given that I'm a teacher, I can dedicate practice time of 15-20 hours per week during the summer time, and 12-15 throughout the school year. Also, WHAT SHOULD I FOCUS ON?

Any suggestions would be GREATLY APPRECIATED.

Thanks. smile

Edited by latebloomer028 (02/15/11 02:29 PM)

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#1620668 - 02/15/11 01:10 PM Re: Help me focus... [Re: latebloomer028]
Cobra1365 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/11/10
Posts: 311
Loc: Delaware
First, let me caveat this with I too am a beginner so I may not have a clue as to what I am speaking of!

But, it looks to me that you have too many conflicting goals. I would suggest you prioritize them based on what your strongest desire is.

From what I get from your post, I would recommend:
Sight Reading

Recognize that some of the sight reading will go hand in hand with learning the type of music.

Why do I put Jazz last? Because it is going to be more demanding of hands together playing with the left and right doing completely different things.

Now I will let the more experienced either concure or blow my thoughts out of the water! grin

Edited by Cobra1365 (02/15/11 01:37 PM)
Started Playing May 2010 at 51 yrs old, Some Self Learning, Lessons X 3yrs

#1620689 - 02/15/11 01:28 PM Re: Help me focus... [Re: Cobra1365]
latebloomer028 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/09/10
Posts: 20
Thanks for the advice, but I think that Jazz may be funner to play than classical (no offense to anyone).

#1620695 - 02/15/11 01:35 PM Re: Help me focus... [Re: latebloomer028]
eweiss Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Beautiful San Diego, CA
Those are a lot of goals. My sage advice? Pick one or two of the goals you really want to accomplish. Although, if you can do it, go for it! smile
Play New Age Piano

#1620719 - 02/15/11 02:04 PM Re: Help me focus... [Re: latebloomer028]
EmptySpace Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/14/10
Posts: 225
Loc: Ohio
None of these things is out of the question. The main thing I noticed is that you didn't put an insane time-frame on your list (like, 'I'd like to be doing all of this by July'). That is helpful.

Explore what you're learning in your class and branch out toward your goals from there. And reconsider the private lessons thing; they may be less than you think, and if you're willing to invest the kind of time you indicated, you'll dramatically improve your return on that time investment by adding a small monetary investment (for a teacher) as well.

If you stick with it, you'll look back and call it one of the best decisions (and investments) you've ever made.

Good luck!
I'm a masochist. I play the piano for pleasure.

#1620734 - 02/15/11 02:20 PM Re: Help me focus... [Re: eweiss]
latebloomer028 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/09/10
Posts: 20

Thanks for the advice...
Maybe I should focus on one goal per year...etc.

#1620738 - 02/15/11 02:24 PM Re: Help me focus... [Re: EmptySpace]
latebloomer028 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/09/10
Posts: 20

Thanks for the input. I'm very practical in my goal time frame. I clearly realize that it will take a minimum of 4-5 years to see a vast improvement. I've read a number of posts on this website and have learned that it is a lifelong journey. Thanks Piano World. As basic as I play now...I'm recording myself (with a digital recorder) to compare/contrast each year. Also, I may get lessons in the future as well. I'm trying to take as many piano/music courses at the community college as possible.

Thanks again.


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