Half step is the smallest possible distance between two notes on the piano keyboard. So it is like the tiniest building brick of all music on the keyboard.
Music is able to form your brain connections in a very deep level and it can slove and change things. Through changing you and your approach and attitude, music can change your everyday life. Life is to us how we see and look at it. Music is a great teacher and helps you to relate better to yourself and everyday life.
When you fall in love, can you grab your beloved one by force and hope that things work out? I do not think so. Better stay positive, sensitive, caring, steady and enjoy the play. Why do you think music is different? Not at all. If your goal is to quickly grab the ability of playing an instrument then you never actually will play. If you enjoy the process itself, you have hope.
People often think that to play music, you have to be very “emotional”. Sadly it usually ends up with bashing the piano and playing below average level. Does the fact that you are emotional make the music sound nicely, purely and beautifully? Does your passion guarantee a clear expression of musical material? Not at all. To play well, you have to know WHAT TO DO EXACTLY and then you have to carefully through physical freedom and acute listening express your musical vision.
Language is an excellent tool we possess. It is the most difficult and complex skill or ability we learn during our life. As language and music share a big territory in out brain, there are many ways how we can link music with language and benefit a lot through that. The next video is about the ways that have been used to link them.
Did you know that our brain does not feel pain? It does not have receptors for pain. If somebody would cut into a living brain, it would not hurt. Strange.. But why am I talking about this?
Whatever you feel, is it joy, anger, sadness or surprise you feel it through your physical reactions. Emotions are generated by our brain parts that are directly connected with certain parts of your body. Different emotions are associated with different parts of body. Think about smiling or fingers forming fists while angry. These are some emotions that are immediately reflected and combined with our body.
You can experiment and discover yourself. When you get angry, terrified or extremely happy try to locate, where is the emotion in your body.
But just as much as your emotions influence your body, your body motions also change and direct your emotions. When you are sad but just push yourself to smile, your mood actually gets better and your brain chemistry changes. That way you can get a better control over your emotions through relaxing and certain body movements you can do.
This is why body motion is so important when it comes to making music. To play well and to really feel the music your body has to move exactly according to the music. Your body has to be free and very alive, very expressive. For the same reason dancing feels so liberating and good – we feel so many things through physical expression.
Passion for music is a great thing and really important when you want to learn the piano. It turns you on and pushes you to practice and play music you like. Especially young people tend to be very passionate but sometimes also too impulsive about what they like.
But how far do you really want to go with your musical improvement? Where is music in your list of priorities? Do you want to keep playing for three days passionately and then abandon playing the piano? Maybe you have always had a love for music and you want to have it as a hobby for the rest of your life. Some people even want to become professional pianists.
Being clear what is the meaning of piano playing for you can help you to be and stay motivated. Then it is easier to create a realistic practice schedule and not to expect too much from yourself. When you have an inner sense and schedule what to follow you can avoid illusions and disappointments or too high expectations from yourself. Clear decisions are a sign of mature thinking. This is what I suggest.
When you realise how much time do you really have for music and how important music actually is for you, you can find a natural long-term place for music in your life.
When you go on Youtube and try to find piano tutorials what will you get? You will get hundreds or even thousands of piano tutorials what show you which notes you need to depress to play a certain piano piece or song. I am sure you know these colorful rectangles that fall down on the keys, right?
In a way it is very nice that most of the popular pieces are reachable for every piano lover. The problem is that it is nearly impossible to play well based on that kind of teaching. Most of these videos show you the notes you need to play, in some videos somebody is explaining the chords and showing manually too. I even would not call it „teaching“. It shows you -what to- do but tells you nothing about -how to do- it. Good teaching is not so much about -which notes to play- but about how to play to achieve your desired musical result.
I have had several students who come to my lessons after self-teaching exactly that way for some months. Usually the result is really stiff playing habits and very limited playing abilities. A very talented twelve years old boy had formed really unefficient technical skills and quit playing the piano later. Another student had self-teached the guitar and injured his hands. After these serious consequences he came to my piano lessons.
The motto of today is often „as much as possible“ and „as fast as possible“. I am convinced that this kind of attitude does not work with music and never will. Playing a piece well needs at least some basic knowledge of piano technique and music in general regardless of the style you play. Does not matter if you play classical, pop or jazz etc.
I think self-teaching is possible but only with a good source that gives you sufficient information about piano technique and how to understand music. Without a good tuition you take the risk of an injury or losing your motivation. When you really love music, going deeper and knowing more is highly recommended.