A Message to Music Teachers

Yesterday evening I heard the heartrending Gymnopédie No.1 by French composer Erik Satie and decided right then and there I would learn to play it. Bach's Prelude No. 1 can wait.

So I'm following this YouTube tutorial by Joe Raciti. His left hand jumps around a lot in this piece but Joe makes it look smoove. I watch how his fingers glide to the upper half of the keys for the B + D + F# chord. This way he doesn't have to stretch his fingers more than he has to. I follow his lead. After about 45 minutes of finger-fumbling it is far from memorized.

My elbows ache, despite two extra strength ibuprofens and the arm bands I'm wearing. Once I get the feel of the proper finger formation and memorize the finger numbers, I should be able to visualize playing the piece and take the stress off my hands and arms.

Joe Raciti has a website where you can learn more songs from him, but no email address to contact him with pre-sale questions. Joe, in the unlikely event you're reading this post, kindly email me and let me know if you provide your subscribers with finger numbers on the music sheets.

This reminds me of a young man in his early 20's I met at my workplace a few weeks ago. He just finished teaching a piano lesson and stopped off to buy a few things before going home. I excitedly told him I just started learning piano using books and YouTube videos. He congratulated me cheerfully, then left without leaving his business card or even his name.

There has been several times since our meeting that, in my impatience, I would have paid him to get past some sticking points. Unfortunately, I don't have a clue who he is and haven't seen him since.

Please, if you're a freelance music instructor, offer your business card to anyone you meet who expresses interest in learning piano and/or music theory. Tell them you are available for hire. Not only does this makes good business sense, as they are a potential customer, it's a gesture of support and the polite thing to do.