This year I've decided to focus on three areas of my piano playing, ordered by priority:
- Get really good at sight reading
- Work on technique
- Get more familiar with all 12 keys
My sight reading skill
Well, it's kind-of not existent at the moment. I have no problems with simple lead sheets. But give me sheet-music that uses the grand staff with some moderately complex music I'd probably take ages to be able to play two lines of simple music, let alone sight reading it!
But I know all I need is daily practice and I'll be good at it by Jan 2020. I've been using Carl Czerny's OP 599 to practice right now; and it seems to be at my level. So that's nice. I'm also planning on doing Oscar Peterson's Complete Jazz Piano for the Young Pianist sometime this year – but it's not really a priority: learning to sight-read is.
This is something I'm determined to learn this year, and I'm gonna do it no matter what! 😎
My piano technique
I learnt to play on a keyboard without weighted keys. And am more-or-less self-taught except for the classes I took early on where I learnt scales and basic music theory. So my technique has been quite sloppy. I've been working on improving it over the last few years, and it's been bearing fruit.
Currently, I practice scales and arpeggios only. I am considering the exercises from The Virtuoso Pianist by Charles-Louis Hanon once I'm a little more comfortable with sight-reading.
Getting familiar with all keys
I'm super comfortable with C, D, F, G and Bb. I don't mind playing in Eb, E or A but I can't really think in these keys. Being able to play in every key is one thing, and being able to think in every key is another altogether.
Now ask me to play in Db, Ab, F# or B and I'll run the other way. I hate those keys. Why do people even write music in these keys?
But yeah, this is definitely an area I need work and is quite important. The idea is to come up with a plan and start working on this before the end of the year.
So yeah, I got a plan, and the bar is set at training myself at sight-reading. That's something that has to happen, and is going to happen.