Suggestions for getting re-started as a NON-beginner after 10 years?
By - tonepoems
I was in a similar situation, some time ago. I stopped playing for almost 12 years before getting back.
When I wanted to start again I picked:
* some technical exercises: scales mostly, but also some exercises I used to practice before stopping (Dohnanyi);
* one piece I already knew (that I remembered fairly well, at least in general terms);
* one piece I started but never finished;
* one new piece well below the level I used to be;
* then I started practicing sight reading regularly (10 minutes a day on easy books/opuses).
With this, I got all my skills back in a couple of months, and at that point I was already a bit beyond the level I used to be (i.e. I could play some pieces I struggled to play before stopping).
Hope this can be of help. Good luck. :)
This is really encouraging, thank you!
I would start by sightreading some easy pieces to see where your level currently is (Anna Magdelena's notebook, Prokofiev's Visions Fugitives, some of the easy Chopin preludes, some pieces you played in the past, etc.). Even though it has been 10 years, some of the muscle memory will gradually come back. Maybe do a few technique drills like scales, hanon, etc. if you did those in the past.
Thank you! I'll have to dig into my box for my older books, but I know I definitely have the Chopin preludes.
Last year, I dipped my toes back in and was using a pretty average keyboard after around a 6-7 year break (unlike me, you will have a great transition with the CA49 as readjusting to the sensitivity of keys are pretty rough in the beginning).
Surprisingly, my muscle memory of my learned songs was well intact (fantasie, revolutionary, etc). Sight reading pieces were a bit rusty, but got easier in surprisingly short time. My finger strength and endurance took a hit, but re-training them was not a particular worry.
As to the things that were lost, music theory, learning speed, and sensitivity to keys have been my crux. However, youve most likely studied theory intensively at college so that should be no problem relearning. The same is probably true for the latter two.
Fixing the rustiness and kinks will all depend on your amount of effort, but I truly believe you’ll be pleasantly surprised on how much you’ve retained.
I played for a few years and stopped for ~25 years until last year. I did play the pieces i had played previously here and there. It was ok going back to it fully. Shortly afterward I got a piano teacher and I think he is awesome, Im playing and planning on learning pieces that i would think were way beyond my abilities before. With your background i think it will be an easy transition back. Congrats on your decision and welcome back!
I was exactly the same. Piano major at university. Then didn't touch a piano for 10 years.
I didn't do anything special, just went straight back into it. Didn't take me long before I felt I was better than I used to be. Like a year maybe. And that was with a full time job, just playing when I could.
I'd say just throw yourself back into it. Play whatever pieces you like, just don't judge yourself too harshly. You have the rest of your life to get back into it.
Also, if you can afford it, after practising by yourself to kinda get back into it, get some lessons.
As an adult with a job/career it's surprisingly affordable to get lessons from amazing teachers/pianists.
When I lived in Bangkok, I got lessons from a great concert pianist for £50/hour equivalent and now I'm back in UK getting lessons from another great concert pianist for £60 ish an hour.
Anything you learn is still there, just have to connect those neurons up again. It's kinda like owning a house in the country you haven't been for 10 years. Like you see in movies, you have to fiddle with the electrics, take all those sheets off all the furniture, give it a big clean and then it's as good as new.
I’ve been back playing for three weeks now since a 20 year absence from the piano. I was most concerned that I had forgotten how to read music. I’m working my way through the three Alfred books, scales and some Hanon exercises for sight reading. Found most of my old music in the garage, working on my old sonatina books and I’m amazed at how quickly things have come back.
My hands were achy for a few days, I still have trouble with my upper back (but my overall core/posture sucks)
If I can still play, you still have your chops. Dust ‘em off and get to playing!