Monday, April 25, 2011

Things my 12 year-old self approves of

While visiting my hometown, I got the chance to spend a lot of time with one of my best friends who has just become a first time mom.  She's already way more organized than I've ever been as a parent - with tons of materials on raising bilingual children, and a changing table, among other things :)  She played Suzuki piano as a kid and plans on introducing piano to her wee one in a few years.  In the meantime, she is playing through her old sheet music so her baby can have personal concerts.

We talked about her Suzuki days, and she asked me about what I grew up playing.  The things that popped into my head were all things I enjoyed so much then that I actually still play today.  I played fair amount of music I wasn't a fan of (I didn't learn to love Bartok until I played it on the violin :) and this was music that a grouchy school-aged me adored, which I think is probably the most ringing endorsement ever.  Check them out!

Go Tiger Go! by Daniel Carr Glover is officially the coolest song I know how to play.  It's easy enough that I can play it (that means it's super easy) but it still rocks like a tough piece!  It's jazzy.. awesome.... I don't think I can do it justice.  Here's a random stranger playing it for you on youtube.

Modes and Moods by Robert Vandall - Okay, I've played a few of Mr. Vandall's pieces - my brothers played his duet Jubilation which is required to be performed whenever the two are in the same state (it's AWESOME) - and I've loved every one.  Mr. Vandall has a way of making the piano and the pianist sound their absolute best.  Each piece in Modes and Moods is based on one of the 7 modes, and they are all lovely.  My favorite - and the one I can still play (and sound far better than I am when I play it) is the one based on the lydian mode.  Lydian Nocturne is also available on its own and I hiiiiighly recommend it.

Lead Lines and Chord Changes by Ann Collins.  This book taught me more practical technique than any other piano book I have ever used.  I don't enjoy technical jargon and etudes, but Ms. Collins teaches how to play chord changes and be able to improvise your own in a way that I actually liked to play.  And now, I depend on the skills I gained from this book to be able to fake my way through any accompaniment that has guitar chords/chord changes included weekly.  I'm a right brained, can't follow directions kind of person, so when I say this book is good, I mean it's GOOD!

What did you play as a kid that you still love to play now?

1 comment:

Jane said...

Records? Tapes? CDs?
I'm too young for 8-tracks.
I need to get Tarzan on that Jubilation so it's back up to speed for July.

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