Musical Musings

The Piano Revisited – Part 1

by Peter Rainsford

I am in the final stages of finishing my book, The Piano Revisited.It’s a workbook for those re-discovering the joys of playing the piano.

Take a look at Chapter 1.

Chapter 1

Welcome back

You’ve missed it, I know. It is something that never leaves you. But unlike riding a bike, your skills diminish and you are faced with the frustration of not being able to play as you did before. You start playing those old pieces that you used to rattle through with spirit and panache and they sound……… well……..old.

What happened to that fancy finger-work and beautifully controlled legato? Your exquisite phrasing and pedal control. The feelings and emotions that you used to experience and, with a fair wind, share with others. ‘Gone but not forgotten’, you think and say wistfully. ‘I used to be quite good, but now…’

Well. It is time to celebrate. The reality is that it is ‘forgotten but not gone’. You still have those wonderful skills and powers of communication. You CAN re-create the sounds of the past. The joy of making music again is a reality.  All your skills are lying dormant and, guess what, you have some new skills and new insights to add to them.

Yes, your life experiences, new intuitions and better understanding can be channelled to enrich your piano playing. You will not only re- build your old fluency but also you will develop and enrich your level of playing to new heights.

Trust me! I can’t say that I’ve been there, but I have already started this fascinating new journey of getting re-acquainted with a major love of my life – the piano. I want you to join me.

We can work together and renew our commitment to making music on the piano….. to becoming…… ‘pianists’.

Are you with me? Now, where do we start? Do we dig out all the old war-horses that and blast our way through them. Do we try to play the ‘simple’ nocturnes or slow movements that we could express so wonderfully. I can see you smile. ‘Done that’, you say. ‘It doesn’t work.’ ‘The magic isn’t there.’ ‘The fingers won’t work.’ ‘There are too many notes……’

OK. Let’s take stock. You have a deep intimate knowledge of how bad you have become. The many skills you no longer seem to have. Is it worth it you think? There is so much to do. ‘I couldn’t stand all the tedious practice.’

You have this vision of how you used to play or how you would really like to play and the ‘goal’ seems so far, so unobtainable.

Well, I say to you. The goal is not far. It is not unobtainable. I am going to show you how to do it.

On our journey together we are going to discover the pleasure of the journey itself as well as ‘journey’s end’.

Actually that’s not entirely true. I forgot to tell you. The journey doesn’t really end. (It does if you have low expectations). Our journey goes on forever. True we stop off occasionally and admire the view. Smell the flowers, or even an extended stop to ‘learn the language’. It is a permanent ‘round the world’ ticket. You will make many discoveries and even absorb a few new experiences. And at the same time you are building and developing new pianistic skills and growing in musicality, facility, and the ability to put more and more feeling into your playing.

Lets start by looking at ourselves.  

Why do we want to do this?  

Why now?  

What is really motivating us?  

What would happen or how would we feel if we didn’t take this journey.

I asked myself this last question and it was not an option. I simply HAD to make the first of many many thousands of steps. I have started now and the only way is forward.

Follow me.

Thank you for reading.

Peter Rainsford

Thank you for reading.

Thank you for reading.