Sunday, 11 January 2015


For those of you who don't really know me personally, I thought I would explain one of my favourite hobbies - playing the piano. I've been playing since I was 7, which currently means I've been playing for 11 years, more than half of the time I've been alive!

In the UK you can choose to take exams, from grade 1 to 8, 8 being the highest exam before university-level study. You can study all 8 grades for classical piano, and between 5 and 8 grades for jazz piano, depending on the exam board, which leaves me having taken 11 official piano exams before I left school. Despite all the stress of the exams, I find it to be a very enjoyable hobby, and I'm very glad I have continued this far, because now I can actually play pieces that are legitimate masterpieces, which is incredibly rewarding.

I have been trying to teach some of the kids where I work to play - it is safe to say that getting them to concentrate is the most difficult part. It also doesn't help that the notes have different names here, for example C is Do, D is Ra, etc. Still, the quality time is well worth the effort.

If you're wondering what my piano playing sounds like after 11 years of lessons, I've got a clip from one of my grade 8 exam pieces. It's not the best recording ever, admittedly, and it's not the best I've ever played this particular piece, but it should give you a good idea of why I like playing so much.

I am still carrying on playing, despite the limited piano facilities here (read: 3 octave keyboard), mostly for the relaxing nature of it all. For anyone looking to start a new hobby or pick up an instrument, I would thoroughly recommend the piano. Once you've got the basics down, you can explore whatever genre you like, and widen your musical horizons. The possibilities really are infinite!

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