Back to the Piano Basics

My piano setup in my new apartment, with Czerny-Germer in the center.

Ever since I was twelve I have played the piano, and I have taken lessons from several great teachers, including a master teacher as an adult, and have even taught some lessons. But in the past few years I haven’t practiced or played much, until today. I wanted to jump back in with the basics, and reacquaint myself with proper piano techniques, because it’s always best to start a piano learning journey with good technique so you don’t have to unlearn bad practices later.

Today I started with an exercise book that packs a lot of different elements of piano theory together into each exercise, including different dynamics and musical articulations, scale practice, trill fingering, and chords. The book is Czerny-Germer, a book that my master teacher Claire Jones had me start, but a book that I didn’t get to use very much. The last time I had a lesson from her was about twenty years ago, and she was probably in her eighties or nineties and really starting to slow down, so I knew it was time to stop. But I really loved her as a teacher! She was encouraging, highly skilled, and taught me a lot of valuable lessons that I hadn’t learned from previous teachers. And she introduced me to some of my favorite piano music, including several Claude Debussy songs that are still favorites of mine.

But today it’s back to basics, so I began my Czerny-Germer exercises with the metronome going at a slow 40. But I was so rusty that I had to turn the metronome off so I could focus on all of the markings and just get reacquainted with the pieces. I have a long way to go to get up to speed, but it was really enjoyable to play music again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *