Sunday, December 3, 2017

Our 61-key eMedia Keyboard

Our 61-key eMedia Keyboard
Our 61 key eMedia KB outside during the summer of 2017 - Can't do that with an upright
   After seeing our interest in learning to play, Jay L. brought us over a 61-key eMedia keyboard for us to practice on.  With some work we made a place for it to live inside our small place.
  Our 61 key KB with middle C4 in the middle, starts at the C2 octave and goes to the C6 octave above with a last C7 note thrown in.  At my skill level this covers all the music I will be playing for quite some time.  As for the quality of this inexpensive KB, my ears do not know the difference in sound quality yet anyway.

Will I ever get a KB longer than 61 keys?

   I have chosen not to spend money on a KB.   If I ever get to the point I need more than 61 keys to play the music I learn to or my ear comes attuned enough so that my KB starts sounding off to me, and also, we have the funding THEN we may reconsider it.  As this KB is valued new for sale at $199.00 an upgrade would cost over $200.  I would wish to consider semi-weighted keys which are not really weighted at all just simulated to at least have a certain feel of it.  Compromises.

How about an upright?

   The other option would be to find a decent used upright that often (at least for non-name brands) seem to really lose their value quickly but are still often in the hundreds.  Like many things I suppose, new players want a new piano that they know has no issues.  I can indeed understand that viewpoint and I would agree with it, if I we were flush with funding and played often enough to consider an upright.  For us though music is just a hobby to pass some time and to share with Friends.  This would also only be considered on the outside chance both Kathy and I started playing rather well.  An upright would take a bit more room than even the longer KB option.
         I have played Kathy’s Mother Marion’s Kohler & Campbell upright console piano 1982- 780000  41" Satin Walnut  before while visiting.

Our Keyboard Pictures
  We updated the set for our RAM Camera Mount for making progress videos on the KB .  The course teacher said she liked the setup and angle. (Left) Note: We since updated and mounted on the wall behind the keyboard, but the long horizontal plane made it very hard to keep tight.  So I attached the RAM mount to an extra music stand, see blog post

We appreciate our keyboard from deep inside it’s heart. We Thank Jay for adding it to our lives.

Monday, November 20, 2017


     I love the idea of learning and sharing new things and have many interests and find it limiting that I have had just to choose just a couple interests to explore at a time.

     I would love to program and have tried it but my brain would not allow.  I have to limit myself because my memory, and my learning ability is limited.  It is not fun to have interests in so many things in life only to be hindered by one's own brain, free time available throughout life, and man's currently limited life span as well as finances also hindering a person.

     Our brains were designed to be so special, only to be hindered by imperfection and a world system that does not allow us as individuals the time or resources to explore.  I have tried my hand at many hobby's but music has been a common thread.  I have tried KB before but did not keep at it. I tried flute as I love it too, but could not get the aperture, I like guitar but have a hard time with chords and strumming and it's hard to say to give up on an interest, but it is on the side for now anyway.

    For me and my abilities, I seem to be doing well with piano with the Piano Video Lessons course I have been using, and want to follow through and keep at it.   It is only a hobby for me, but it keeps my mind as active as it is able to do for me.  I have to do the best with the brain I was dealt with, and to learn the best I am able to do.  To do any less with what I HAVE been given would still be a loss.   I will keep trying to learn and continue to be encouraged to move on with piano at whatever pace I am able.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

New camera tripod mount

   I frankensteined a new camera tripod setup using RAM mount system parts attached to an extra music stand tripod for a better view for future camera sessions and recordings.  

    The interface RAM mount plate is screwed a 2x6 block with a hole on the bottom to fit the top of the music stand.  

   This will a be much more flexible for future camera sessions and recordings with my teacher to give her a better over the shoulder view of the student.  

   My previous three set-ups were to mount the RAM mount system 
   first to two heavy 2x8 layers sitting on the corner of table in the picture which was awkward to set up, 
    I then mounted it to the keyboard table which worked, but the camera moved as I played, 
   and then I mounted it to on the wall over the keyboard which didn't quite extend far enough from the wall to over the kb, and the long reach made it hard to keep tight enough to stay in place. 

   I feel this new setup will be the best setup yet.  I will have to use for my next video or lesson with the teacher to find out...

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

PVL Nov bonus Patreon reward

  This month Lisa the Teacher is offering a November Bonus for $10 Patrons! Video Mini-Lesson reward.

   It is a valuable bonus reward in that, normally a $50 dollar monthly Patron gets only a 5 minute recorded video assessment.

  I am set up for my check-up on Sunday Nov 12th at 11-11:15am
  I have been stuck on Unit 3 Lesson 1 - (Free Youtube lesson video) since August 4th trying to learn to play the both the notes at the same time I play the 'chords' to 'Good Morning'. I also practice "Ode to Joy' regularly' with 'Christian Dedication' as an ongoing goal song.

 Thumbnail of lesson-1-34-time-dotted-half-notes-33
Thumbnail of lesson-1-34-time-dotted-half-notes-33
Sunday Post Lesson Update: The live Mini-Lesson allowed Lisa to give me some immediate and important feedback to me on what I could do give my practice sessions more value to me. While having me keep practicing my current songs 'Ode To Joy' and 'Good Morning' she is also having me move onto the next lesson Unit 3:Lesson 2.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Motivation and patients in learning

  Motivation and perseverance can be a tricky thing.  What motivates a person to persevere?  It can be the desire to do something or learn something that will benefit oneself or others of value to you.  I find motivation greater when the desire is shared and valued by friends, at least to the extent that they cheer you on.  When this does not happen it takes much greater self driven tenacity and motivation to get oneself to persevere, especially if the task is something that requires motivation for the long haul.  

  I have the desire to eventually learn many things, but find that it takes great work to stay motivated for the long that haul.  Especially when I am going it alone.  I am pleased that as I continue to learn music, I have friends that mutually cheer each other on, but even then I find it work to keep at it regular each day.  It is something I really want to learn so I continue to work at it.  I am a slow learner and this does slow me down, but I am a patient person and am patient with myself, but perhaps I need to be even more patient with myself as learning slowly does take a bite out my excitement of learning.  Oh, I'll keep at it, but it does slow me down.  I just need to be patient and happy with each small step I make.

 So my job is to be more motivated and patient with myself and carry on, and stay excited, even about my small progress steps to help me persevere to my goal.  Although I am here referring to music, this attitude work with everything we do and learn in life.

  In my year course, I have been working on Unit 3 lesson 1 for a while now.  I am finding it a more difficult lesson to learn, but I should expect that the songs will get more challenging as I continue.  I will persevere with it one note at a time.  Many notes make a song learned, and confidence bolstered.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Completed UNIT 2 of my one year online piano course

   I completed UNIT 2 of the one year online piano course I am taking.  On to UNIT 3 of  Piano Video Lessons - UNIT 3.  I hope to continue to progress at playing the piano.  I am continuing through the course while keeping practice with 'Ode to Joy' and 'Christian Dedication.  

   My Right 4th and 5th fingers have bothered me off and on while playing so I have during these times broken up my practice songs up into separate daily sessions.  I have never been diagnosed with arthritis but even before piano lesson I have wondered.  I hope to address this at my next doctor appointment.

   There will be no Personalized Coaching Video(PCV) this month as several patrons decided not to contribute to the course at the last moments of the month.  I hope there will be more patrons who are taking the course decide all the teachers hard work and materials are worth contributing for, and perhaps even decide that it is worth $10 a month to get a chance in the monthly drawing for the PCV.  I sure found mine that I won very useful to me as the feedback from her alerted me to a couple habits with my hands during playing that I need to keep in mind.  I would never have known if not for her tips for me in my PCV.  I hope to have the opportunity for another PCV in the future.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Playing on the porch

  I am still enjoying and getting use out of the Piano Video Lessons course.

    Right now for the summer I have my keyboard on the porch, it is enjoyable to practice out in the yard as I continue to practice Lesson 11 'Ode to Joy,  Lesson 14 'Wind Chimes' and Song 7 ' Christian Dedication'.

   Like all students I supose, I sometimes feel I move too quickly on some lessons, and other times I feel like I hang on whatever current lesson I am working on too long. Sometimes it is hard to know how long to work on the current lesson or if I should be moving on and stretching out. I have a tendency... err habit of buzzing through the 'finger jim's' practice and such. If the lesson feels like I am playing a song I have a tendency to slow down and work on it longer. Right now I know I need to work on L 14 'Windchimes' for a while until I get it right, meanwhile keeping L11 'Ode To Joy' as part of my daily practice as well.