EDTC300, Learning Project

My Journey

So throughout this semester, I have been taking a look at a skill that I lost at a young age.  This particular skill is playing the piano.  Most musical people would recommend that if you were to learn a musical instrument, such as the piano, you should do it at a young age, as when you are young you pick up on simple concepts faster than if you were an adult.  But instead. I decided to learn at the age of 18.  If you were to ask me how it went, I would say something along the lines of, “It was hard, and I have a long way to go”.  This is true.  Mainly I focused on the concept of chords and how using the simple method of chords, you can play a pretty impressive song.

With the help of both my friends, Kathleen Houston, Kelsey Howatt and the use of the internet, I was able to produce a video of myself playing chords to the song “Lava”.

As well, I was able to test out several different ways that you could access a piano.  Either in person or by using several websites that turn your keyboard into a piano.

 

In the end, I found that no matter what you see online, you must practice on whatever you want to achieve, whether that is piano or some other type of skill that you would like to have in your repertoire.

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EDTC300, Learning Project

Trying It Out

As I stated in my previous post, I found a great piano cover of Creep by Radiohead.  I decided to play the chords on top of the song.  So far I have tried to go through songs using chords.  Possibly in the future I can take this song and learn both base clef and treble clef of the song instead of just the chords.

 

EDTC300, Learning Project

Learning How To Play “Let it go”

I found this interesting video where this man teaches the viewer step by step instructions on how to play the Disney song “Let it go”.  It really lets a beginner like myself jump into songs without worrying about learning them by themselves.

It brings in past knowledge like, which fingers correlate to which number, and note names as you play, so even if you have musical knowledge but no piano knowledge, you can follow along quite nicely.

A great thing that he does in this video would be that he allows extra practise time in the video by leaving a few seconds of space for the viewer to practice but also he gives certain times where you can pause the video and practise on your own until you are comfortable with the section that you are on.

What is amazing, and a great learning tool is that at the end of the video, he allows you to play what you had just learned but with some added chords that he plays while you attempt the melody.

Sadly I did not get a chance to film my attempt at this song, but nonetheless, it is helpful and super easy if anyone with little piano skills (like myself) can learn to play a classic Disney song.

EDTC300, Learning Project

Even More Chords Make a New Song

So recently I found a great song that I have been obsessing over.  I found the piano arrangement of Creep by Radiohead.

First I found a video of someone playing the song, with full technique and all parts displayed in the sheet music.

But because I am not fully confident with actual playing yet.  I will be using chords again to create the song.  I found the sheet music online in PDF form.

The chords in mind are C major, C minor, G major, and B major.  With the help of one of my music friends and a website showing each chord and how to play it.

Video to come soon.

EDTC300, Learning Project

Cords Can Make A Song

So recently I have been searching for songs that I could play on the piano that sound amazing but are not too hard.   To my luck, there was nothing that sparked my interest while also being of interest to me skill-wise, considering that I am a beginner.  I was informed by a good friend that I could always look up guitar music and use the cords that they give you to create something beautiful without having to learn a huge amount of technical skill.

A song that I have been obsessing over would be the song that is connected to the Pixar short made in 2014, “Lava”.  The one that I found was actually an accident.  I was looking up the lyrics to the song and instead, I found a PDF with the ukulele cords as well as the lyrics.

The next step in my journey was to find what exactly these cords were on the piano.  To do so I would need to look up the fingerings/ finger placements for each cord in the song.

The cords that I had to find were the C chord, the F chord, and the G7 chord.  So I did the simplest thing and went to google and typed in the cords that I need and the website “Notes in Chords: Major,  Minor, 7th, Aug”.  This website gives the cord and the notes that make up the curtain cord.  Because I can find any note by beginning at middle C and either count up and down from it.

Just to make sure that I didn’t find something that was false I went to my friend Kathlene Houston to give me advice on how to go forth with this song.  She showed me different techniques in order to go from one chord to the other.  But I need serious practice.

In the near future, I will make a video attempting this song using the cords that I will have practiced.

EDTC300, Learning Project

You Can Do Almost Anything Online

Before this journey truly begins, I wanted to see if I could find any alternatives to a physical piano.  This is because practising sometimes needs to go beyond a piano in a music room or in my own home.  So I turned to the internet, as it can go anywhere with me and as long as I have a computer of some sort or a device that can connect to the internet.

First I found Virtual Piano where it enables your keyboard to be used as keys in a keyboard, using shift to create sharps and flats (the black keys).  At first, I found that this was very confusing being letters are not the same as a physical keyboard, as well the keys from highest to lowest are put on the keyboard in a way that is not the linear layout that I am used to.  To my surprise, they had sheet music that showed not the music notes, but letters in upper and lowercase.  This was very helpful as it showed what to press in the proper order without having to worry about finding a certain note on a keyboard while finding the right key.

https://virtualpiano.net/heart-attack-demi-lovato/

 

The other online piano that I found was Pop-up Piano.  This one was very interesting to me.  I have used this website previously to plunk notes for songs that I was learning.  This website is slightly different than Virtual Piano.  This website doesn’t let you use your keyboard as the piano, but you have to click on the notes themselves.  This is helpful when only trying to play one note at a time so it would be useless when trying to play anything with cords or when you would like to play more than one note.

I find that online pianos are less helpful than anything that you could find in any music shop.  So, for the time being, I will stick with a physical keyboard/piano.

EDTC300, Learning Project

The Baseline to This Journey

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For my learning project, I’ve decided to learn basic piano.  I’m not sure if I plan to learn just the basics of piano, or if  I want to learn an undetermined song yet, but I’m sure that as I go through the weeks I will decide what my choice is.

Although this skill is a good one to have, I have some background that I should include in the baseline.  When I was younger I took around three years of piano lessons, that ranged from conservatory learning as well as private lessons from a teacher.  But the fact is, that even though I had several years of practice, I lost all of the knowledge in regard to piano over the past years.  With that in mind, as I have gotten into the world of choral music, I have begun to learn the basics of finding notes and knowing which notes are which.

I will begin by finding my old piano books. These contain entry-level piano techniques and songs that I can start using to get into the basics piano.