Piano, Organ, and Keyboard/piano

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QUESTION: Hello!
I am very interested in playing piano. I am not that good at playing piano yet. Can you recommend any litterature on piano playing? I am mostly interested in "classical" piano.
How much practice would it require? How should the balance be between theory and actual playing the instrument?
And how can piano become something social?

ANSWER: Thank you for your note, Anders.  I would suggest you find a teacher to put you in the
right direction.  When you attempt to "teach yourself", you will develop some less than great
habits. You need to learn the proper fingering - position at the piano - etc. so I urge you to take lessons.  

If you are willing to put in the time to practice, you will make much better progress than if you only play for 15 min a day.  I don't know how old you are - but I would think you could invest an hour a day.  There are no shortcuts to becoming a good pianist.

Teachers will introduce theory ( there is lots of that in college if you plan to attend) - but for now - you need to master the keyboard.  Scales will sharpen your technique.. Hanon l and 2 are great books.  Czerny is also excellent.  

Regarding your question on being "social" -- If there is a piano at someone's house where you are attending a party - you will become the focal point and VERY popular.  People love it when someone they know plays.  But you have to develop your skill first.

Good luck to you!  

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Will taking music theory lessons at university actually make you a better pianist?

Answer
Music Theory was a class I took in high school as a Senior.
Everyone who signed up thought it would be so easy.. It wasn't.
We learned to write music - how chords were made - different types
of scales - It's the meat and potatoes of music composition for one thing.
If you find education valuable, the answer to this question is obvious.

I play by ear as well as read - but had I more extensive education in theory - I would have been able to perform much more intricate, sophisticated arrangements.  You learn to play beautiful chords - G7 G9 chords, etc.   

If you have the opportunity to pursue Theory -- I would advise it.  If it is offered to you in high school - take that, too. Since we never really know where our musical careers will go - what direction we decide to take later on - it's best to be as versatile as you can.  

Good luck.  

Piano, Organ, and Keyboard

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Kathie Nicolet - Chicago Professional Pianist

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I am a professional pianist for corporate/social events since 1983. Need some suggestions on getting started playing piano as a professional? How to prepare? PLEASE DO NOT SEND ME QUESTIONS REGARDING THE VALUE OF YOUR PIANO. I AM NOT AN APPRAISER AND HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA WHAT YOUR PIANO IS WORTH. SORRY!! - THANK YOU!!!!!!!! Lead Pianist Von Maur St. Charles 2008 Drake Chicago Palm Court Pianist Jan 2006-Mar 2007 Chicago - www.knicoletpiano.com

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