I hope you have had a great summer break. Maybe you have been to a couple of music festivals or listened to the radio a bit more often than usual. Hopefully, you are now nice and fresh and ready to start or continue your own musical journey.
Now is a good time to think about what your goals are for the new term. Maybe you have been mainly learning classical music up until now but feel it’s time to try a different style. There are lots of great books available for jazz and pop piano. Why not have a look on Amazon or on www.musicroom.co.uk for ideas.
Maybe it’s time you set yourself the challenge of trying a grade exam. This is always a good way to raise your game and will give your practice a focus. If this is what you want to do then I advise you to start working on technical exercises, scales and arpeggios straight away as these always take longer than expected to master.
Personally, my aim is to work on memorizing more music. Over the summer I have half learned several pieces but, even though I can play them well to myself, I would not be confident that they would go well if I were to play them to anyone else. They are all pieces that I love so it’s no problem to keep playing them until I have really smashed them!
I have also been really inspired by a jazz pianist that I heard playing during my summer holiday (on a lovely cruise ship – the P & O Oceana). I have already tried playing some of the jazz classics that she performed along with bass and drum backing tracks that I have found on youtube. I am very aware that in order to really improve with this style of playing I will have to put in many hours of regular practice, but as the Chinese say “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”.
Please do let me know what music is inspiring you at the moment.