Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

Where's the line between ambitious goals and ridiculous ones?

Continuing the piano games - they're being a bit interrupted in March for a variety of reasons, but I'm hoping I can at least get one more song in.   The last couple weeks have been "In the Hall of the Mountain King" - which, btw, is an awesome name.  And if you'd asked me I would've said I'd never heard of it; likewise, when I heard it - I'd definitely heard it before but had no idea what it was called (so have you, I'm certain!).   But when I play it, I feel like I'm in a fantasy film somewhere - likely involving sprightly trolls.   In my world, those two words can coexist.  Someday, I'll write the story.  You know - in all the free time identified at the end of this post.   (For the curious - here's yesterday's attempt:; for those of you who actually know how to play, please be kind!)

So what amused me about this one is that it speeds up as it goes, which is both super fun and super frustrating.  I ended up teaching it to myself backward so I'd get the most practice with the end/fast bits and the least with the beginning slow bits.  lol idk?  Worked for me.   Also, I decided it definitely should start quiet and then get louder (even though my lovely iPhone recording didn't really capture that).  Which lead me to look up the *actual* sheet music which verified that is exactly what's supposed to happen *sigh*.  My little app has definitely failed me there.  Zero dynamic markers ever.   But the last couple songs I've just started making stuff up cause it amuses me to do so, and also cause I'm *really* bad at controlling volume so I figure it's good practice :).   

The other thing that my app doesn't have is pedal cues.  Which tbh, atm is probably best since I struggle with two hands -- two hands and a foot is definitely too much for my little brain.  I only know this cause the workbook I'm going through DOES teach such things lol.  And I get that it's best I learn it as I go, so I'm slightly frustrated it's not included at the beginner level, but also going along w it for now.

I've started buying some "real" (aka not on the app) sheet music as well.  I've got both a beginner and an intermediate version of Pirates of the Caribbean (remember my 10 year plan is the expert level one ;).  The beginner one I'll have this month if I get my life under control.  Int I haven't started yet.   The biggest challenge there is flipping pages!  lol BUT technology win.  I've ordered a foot pedal that will do that for me thanks to the magic of bluetooth.  So yeah, I can't work a pedal to make cool piano sounds, but I'm reasonably certain I can stomp on one when I need a page to turn ;). I also found an app that will turn half pages, so if you're strategic in your page flipping, you never have wait for the next note to appear.

I've started working my way through the intermediate Flowkey songs.  Even some that I never did the beginner version for.   Honestly, I would absolutely still consider these still beginner.  They're longer than the actual beginner ones and have like maybe one bar that's more complex, but still comparatively super-simple.  My tentative plan is, I spent the first three + months doing the beginner songs, I'll spend the next four on intermediate, then the rest of the year on advanced.   I don't think the progression is too fast since, as I mentioned, intermediate is really just longer beginner.   But I DO wonder if I'll be able to knock out all the songs I want to.  Which is most of the ones I've already done as well as a couple new ones that are only available in Intermediate.   And, of course, I now have actual sheet music I'd like to learn to (Beauty and the Beast is also in that list - please tell me Disney is beginner friendly?!?!).   The one thing that gets me about the sheet music is lots of it doesn't bother to included a speed?!?!  Like I follow instructions really well and have a metronome on my phone - please give me a number!  This slow/fast business just isn't working for me ;). And wtf does "brightly" mean?!?!  Sheesh.  

Okay so I just went and looked up what would be next up by this theory:

  • Ten of the songs I've learned so far have Intermediate versions.  10!  Some of them are really just long beginner versions, but some of them are ridiculous.  At least one I have no idea how to even read the music, much less play it.
  • There are four or five new FK songs that I'd like to add to my list.
  • I need to not lose the ones I've already learned (made that mistake!  Oops!)
  • I have a handful of sheet music songs I'd like to learn that are about that level
  • I'm working my way through the next "12 week" technique course (welcome to arpeggios and broken chords) which I'm enjoying but realistically going to need to do twice since I had to modify significantly to be able to do the exercises.   Also it takes me 2-3 times as long every day as the beginner version did, which means less time for songs.
  • Finish level 1 workbook (this is super helpful but oh so boring)
  • I'd like to get to the point in "technique" where I can do some of the interesting YouTube exercises instead of just up the scale/down the scale.   Alas, I am a ways from that yet.
  • My bass-clef reading is improving but still has lots of room for improvement.
  • My technique course came with a music theory course.  Which I'm sure is excellent but omg I'd rather do so many other things (including work!) So not sure how much of that will happen.  But I feel like I should learn at least some basics.  So we shall see.
Right - so that might not be the most reasonable list for four months ;)  By year end maybe.  So far I've done exactly three intermediate songs.  I still work full time and then some, stab stuff regularly, am learning Spanish, and try to workout on an almost daily basis.  So it's fully plausible there are not actually enough hours to accomplish all that.  But hey - if it takes a few extra months, that's okay :).  I'd really like to get at least one or two "advanced" in within the first year.  But we shall see.  Oh yeah - and maybe write about some sprightly trolls ;-P

And, you know, family and friends and all those kinds of people ;)

As soon as I master cloning, I'm set!

PS - I googled "sprightly trolls" -- those are definitely not the trolls I meant.  So disappointed.  Google has failed me.


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