I have finished my musical growth plan for this semester! I am happy to say that I reached my goal of learning all eight songs from Bastien’s beginner piano work book. I am impressed by my progression and I am glad that I picked more challenging pieces for the end of the semester. At first, what I was playing did not sound very musical. I was playing (for the most part) the correct notes, but the rhythms and dynamics in most of the pieces were not quite right. I paid special attention to these things for my last four songs (after the midterm reflection) and it paid off! The last two songs that I focused on — “Blue Mood” and “Hallelujah Chorus”– are by far my favourite. The chord progression in “Blue Mood” is beautiful and when I played it I actually felt like a musician for the first time in a long time. “Hallelujah Chorus” is fun to play because I knew how it should sound, so I was confident enough to play it forte!
My progression was not linear, mostly due to my somewhat erratic practicing schedule. I found it helpful to do longer practices less frequently rather than doing a short one every day. This preference changes based on my schedule. Lately, due to the current circumstances, I have had a lot more time to practice, which was convenient and helped me improve significantly in a relatively short amount of time. I have made a few goals for myself during this time of social distancing, one of which is to continue my progress with the piano. I am lucky to have access to so many beginner piano books, so I am taking advantage of that. I am also going to try to play more familiar pop songs that I can find online. Honestly, I did not think that I would continue to play and learn after this course ended. However, I think that it is a great use of my time during this period of self-isolation. I find myself spending an inordinate amount of time looking at a screen, so practicing the piano will provide a much needed break from that in the weeks to come.