As of today, 3 weeks after taking up James Rhodes’ methods to learn JS Bach’s Prelude in C, BWV 846, I’ve generally gotten it down to play the notes all the way through without mistakes. I’ll need lots more practice to get some feelings, dynamics, and such into it to make it sound better, but I can do that 3 minutes at a time if I wanted to now, having memorized it and being able to play it well enough to have people think it’s beautiful. All credits to Bach, though, cause my playing ain’t doing the music any favours. That’s how good it is! So on with the show!
Now I’ll have to start learning piano in a slightly more traditional way, and get some good music theory while at it. After some searching online, I’ve decide I’m going to go with the Hoffman Academy’s free program of over 180 lessons! Now, these begin with the ultra basic, and uber slow, for people, or likely kids the way the videos are made with often annoying bad finger puppets, but they’re effective! And the really young kids probably likes that stuff. However, it’s the “price” one pays for all the free lessons, I guess. There is a cost to get some of the music and practice exercises to go with the piece, but I think I’ll be able to do without it. I’ll see. There’s a sale on until Sept 14. I should be far enough into things by then that it’ll be challenging for me and I can better gauge if I’ll need to access the paid content. Still, it’s pretty great just to have free, unlimited access to all those videos! Thanks, Joseph Hoffmann!
While the start may be rather basic and slow, this stuff gets faster and tougher that you won’t be able to digest multiple lessons at a time after a while and expect to become proficient at them immediately. However, they’re not so tough at the end that you’ll be a master at the piano, either. That takes a LOT more than 180 lessons. But these lessons should give you some good fundamentals for succeeding at playing other music on piano you might want to pick up on your own. When I get there, I’ll look at some other programs to try out that have a higher ceiling for what is taught. For now, until the end of 2017 by my estimates, I’ll go with the Hoffman program while learning my second piece that I had once started to learn before, the hauntingly gorgeous Moonlight Sonata (#14) First Movement, by Beethoven.
This is my favourite interpretation of the piece, by Claudio Arrau. It’s generally one of the slowest ones out there, but what the hell’s the rush to go anywhere with this piece? Just sit or lie back and enjoy it!