You can now get a TI consulation with me from anywhere in the world! One of the challenges that face us with teaching people is distance…there are places in the world where there are no TI teachers, even here in the US. And even where there are teachers, pool time can be difficult to come by. So I am now offering TI consultations via skype webcam! To read more about it, or to schedule and purchase go to www.ticoachfiona.weebly.com and look under "sign up". The option for the online coaching consultation is at the bottom of the page. Just FYI this site is still TI, its NOT a separate company or anything like that, just a page I created to make it easier for people to pre-pay me for lessons and get all the info on my pricing, locations, schedule etc.
Now on to something else…
I recently had an e-mail exchange with my dad after he recommended the book "The Talent Code" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dY7QNxXbziA
Its about how places that are hotbeds of "talent" practice what is called "deep practice". This conversation I had with my dad came right after I had reconnected with piano after not playing since I was a child and it was the same exact experience I had relearning to play the piano that was described by the book. So…the moral of the story is practice your swimming in PERFECT form 1st gear before you go to 2nd gear, then practice in perfect form 2nd gear before you go to 3rd and so on.Most people only have one gear that they swim in and its ‘go’! Learn to develop gears.
Here’s an excerpt from the e-mail conversation that I wrote:
We recently got a piano in the house that I am living in and it is the first time I have lived with a piano since we had the one in the Goshen house. I realize how much I have missed out on my own personal relationship with the piano and with playing and making music by not having one around. Sure you can always lug around a little midi keyboard but its not quite the same. Having the actual physical presence of the piano in my home has inspired me to sit and play and practice for several hours a day the way I used to when I was a kid and I realize there is a physicality to it that my body and mind relates to that has been missing by not having a piano in my midst all these years.
The feel of the keys, the weight of them, the way you can feel them hit the strings, the sense of having a real connection with a real instrument has inspired me to practice again and I have been re learning to play in exactly the way I did as a child which is the same way described by the Talent Code.
I NEVER, even as a 10 year old felt any connection to learning a song by trying to read the music and plodding through every mistaken note all the way through the song. What I would do is find a song I liked. Listen to it closely, and then break it down into pieces and practice the pieces by themselves, repeating them slowly over and over again until I could not only play the piece correctly, but with FEELING. This was always an instinct of mine that you were not playing a song right unless you were playing it with feeling, and you can’t get to that bit until you master the flow of it in your fingers through repetition.
I did it exactly the same way this past week. I listed to the Amy Winehouse song "Back to Black" on my ipod while sitting at the piano. Its a classic piano riff, sounds very simple, but actually a bit difficult to play because of the syncopation. Meaning that the left hand which plays bass and the right hand which plays treble do not play in the same timing in relation to each other which makes the coordination a bit challenging at first.
But I just played it slowly broken down into segments and would play as slowly as is required to hit every note correctly. Every time I made a mistake I would start over playing it more slowly. Once I could do that repeatedly I increased the tempo only as much as I could play without hitting a wrong note. As soon as I felt brain overload or hit a wrong note I slowed it down again. I did this everyday for 2 or 3 days and was able to learn the whole song, play it with feeling, then also also do the same to learn the drum riff (we also have a drum kit next to the piano) teach it to my housemate in about 15 minutes (she has never played an instrument in her life) and we were able to jam together to play the whole song. But when I sat down to practice I would just repeat repeat repeat for hours the same riff. Get up take a finger stretch break, come back, do it again.