9 March 2013
#lentphotos - 22 - bettering oneself
One of the downsides of teaching piano is persuading pupils that in order to improve they really do need to play scales and exercises to limber up their fingers. The scales are not actually just for passing exams. As well as fine-tuning muscles in the hands, wrists and fingers they help kinaesthetic learning (muscle memory). In the same way athletes or gymnasts need to perform repetitive muscular exercises for strength and stamina, they aren't just able to turn out a perfect performance without doing them regularly.
This set of exercises for pianists is often recommended for people who are short on time but want to maintain a decent standard of piano playing. A group of us who are pianists and were at university together were recently commenting on how difficult it is to maintain a good standard of playing unless you are doing it in some professional capacity.
Leading worship at church it is great to be able to be free from the mechanics of sheet music and to focus on the words we sing. Because of patterns learned physically linked to the harmonies lodged in my head for more than 40 years it is something for me that is as natural as walking or riding a bike. I try not to take it for granted and to be thankful.