I started to learn guitar about thirty years ago. I did learn the basic chords and played tons of songs just with that. Whenever I found a weird chord, I learn it by memory (a.k.a. brute force) and move on. About ten years ago, I decided to learn music theory since I was curious about how Jazz works. That was interesting, but it was too late to read music while playing guitar. It was late because it was tough to do it. I already knew too much playing, and it was seriously frustrating and tiresome.
Three years ago, Pau, my six years old son, started to learn music at the local music school, and he chose piano as the base instrument. So, I bought a piano for the house. A cheap Yamaha Arius143B. Cheap because it was the baseline but it cost around 800 Euros. At that moment I started to map my knowledge on the guitar to the piano. Notes, chord, scales, arpeggios, but when It comes to read the score, I was utterly null.
On 2017, I decided to give it a go. I started by using the free month of Piano Marvel to begin learning to sight-read. When the moth was over, I move to use Sight Reading Factory® for two months more. But, I failed. When I started to learn to read more than one note on both hands, it was frustrating. I was investing at that time, 45 minutes a day. It is not much, but that is what I had at that moment.
Last month, Pau had to prepare a basic score, and I decided to learn it myself with him. I did enjoy the experience a lot. I did learn it, even if it was beyond my knowledge. But I notice that I read it initially, but I did not sight-read it. I did learn it by memory, and I am not too fond of that. I want to sight-read, at least a basic level. The question is, do I want to invest the needed time to learn that skill? Also, knowing that it will reduce to zero the time I used to have left to play guitar. It was not an easy question to answer.
While I was planning the next year, I did look at my already busy weekly schedule. I did try to find slots that I can use to put the needed practice time. I also talked to my wife, seeking for help with my day. Finally, I found the solution by rescheduling the groceries and cooking time. So the answer is YES, I will do it. I will give a try for real. And I know It will require a lot of patience and diligence.
So. I signed up for a premium account in Piano Marvel and started hitting the keyboard like there is no tomorrow. Now that I am on holiday, it is easy to do it. But, It will become harder once I’m back at work. But I know that I will eventually enjoy more my music hobby if I learn to read music properly. It will be worth it.
The plan goes as follow:
- 45 minutes a day six days a week. That will take around 1 hour and 15 minutes every day. The sums in more than a hundred minutes a month, which is qualified as insane in Piano Marvel.
- 1 sight-reading exam every week. That is using the Standard Assessment of Sight Reading (SASR) included in the subscription.
- Learn one basic level song every month and keep practicing. Both Piano Marvel and FlowKey have an excellent library of songs to learn. I will take one of my favorites from the basic levels and learn them.
Now that I read it, it sounds crazy. But, isn’t it refreshing to try crazy things every now and then? I will be reporting on my Weblog about the progress.