After 9 months, I completed the Musiah course and would like to share my story with you.
The guitar was my first musical instrument. After some 5-7 years I was able to play a nice rhythm and play several songs. My problem was (and still is) that, at that time, I didn't focus while learning the guitar. I can keep up tempo and rhythm, but my play is messy. E.g. sometimes I play the bass note, sometimes I do not.
This became more and more of a frustration and that's not right. Playing an instrument should feel like play. So I put playing the guitar on hold and wanted to make a new start with a new instrument, the piano. And this time I promised myself not to make the same mistake again.
As a teacher, I know and understand the importance of feeling progress very well. Furthermore, I want to be able to study a lot when I could make time for it. In my opinion, a digital learning platform can fulfill both of these needs.
I chose Musiah as my primary method for studying because of the story element (fun to play), the progression (really earning your next level) and the underlying musical method.
The first few levels were completed quickly. Having some musical experience beforehand does help. But then the levels become progressively difficult. Level 12 may look simple (only four songs), but don't underestimate the complexity.
It's important to give your brain time to absorb the learning experience. This requires a lot of patience (you'll only learn small bits at a time) and perseverance to keep on practicing. The promise to myself kept me going. If I want to play the piano AND do it right, I must give myself time to learn.
Often I would play and practice a song at slow to moderate speed before bedtime so I would go to sleep with a right picture of the music and feeling in my hands.
Then there was that moment I could start ‘The Lost Song’. I don't remember the number of times that I played that song and its fragments, but it must have been a lot.
At first the full speed felt ridiculous and made me think that Brendan made a mistake and set the speed too high. The funny thing is, if you study slowly, you'll start to increase in your maximum speed.
Trust me, practicing slowly actually makes you quicker because your brain and muscle memory will automate the steps. The same applies to mistakes, keep on playing too fast and your brain will start to embed the mistakes in your memory.
This happens faster than you think, so be alert and if you're getting impatient stop and do something else.
Eventually the moment came that I could play at full speed. Not as fluently like Brendan, but good enough to defeat those Atonals and give the story a nice ending.
I feel much better prepared for learning new songs. This time, I filled my brain with proper patterns and I intend to keep it that way. I like to be able to play along a song freely so I'll continue with improvisation courses and look back with warm feelings for Musiah.
I hope that you, the reader, have found some inspiration in my story and wish you all a lot of pleasure playing the piano.
Dejan V - The Netherlands
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