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PIANO PRACTICE
"Over the Wall" a source of learning success

by Noel Lackey

Dear Win:

Another update on the piano—I did a lot of practising on it last night and went to bed confused, so as I lay in bed I practised Over the Wall. The question was, "With regard to learning the piano, what am I missing and what am I doing wrong?"

Standing on the far side of the wall was Mr. Czerny. He told me to learn the keys. I asked how could I do that, as I had tried several times. So he showed me — he took me through the keys one at a time and explained it all from scratch, forwards and backwards.

Then he told me of a book that I need to get, and I told him that I already had that one, and he said, "I know, but the new edition of it comes with a CD and you can hear the music that you are trying to reproduce."

He told me I was an auditory person, and being able to hear the music being played as I tried to learn it would make it a lot easier for me. So this morning I rang my local bookstore, and he was correct:  There was a new edition of the book out, and the girl in the shop was quite surprised that I called, as she had planned to call me in the afternoon to tell me about that very book.

I collected the book and did as he said, listened several times to the piece being played, then set to work on it on myself. And it all came together so quickly. I am hitting the correct keys (so far), and when I don't I can tell instantly that I have hit a wrong one. I can remember much more of the score and don't have to be following it note for note, so can concentrate on my finger placement. And the fact that I can hear someone else playing it gives it a greater structure in my mind and also gives me the correct timing.

Update — The whole thing has been replaying like a movie in my head all day, so when I got to the piano yesterday evening, it felt really familiar and I was in one of those states where I just HAD to sit down and play. I knew before I sat down that this was going to be great...and it was.

WOO HOO,

— Noel Lackey


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