Introduce Yourself To The PianoGroove Community! 🌎

Hi everyone,

I don’t think I’ve introduced myself on here yet. I’m Emma, I’m Franco-British and I live near Dijon in France with my husband and daughter. I’m a high school English teacher by day and a jazz/blues piano wannabe by night.

During my childhood I spent 12 years learning classical piano. Even back then, I wanted to learn jazz and blues, but there was no one around us who taught it, so I learnt classical. I enjoyed it, but I didn’t love it as the music wasn’t calling to me in the same way that jazz/blues was. I stopped playing when I went off to university and didn’t play for a good decade. About 5-6 years ago, I started dabbling and trying to get into jazz and blues, but my daughter was young and I never stuck to it.

About three years ago, I changed careers and became an English teacher, It was a tough transition and I spent a couple of years working most evenings and weekends. This unhealthy and unsustainable amount of work pushed me to finally redress the balance in life and pursue my dream of playing jazz/blues piano. I promised myself that I would find the time, no matter how busy I got, to do what I love rather than what I feel I have to do.

So this is how I found my way to Pianogroove. And I’m really loving it! I have a Roland piano (don’t know which - I’ll have a look and update this post).

My goal is to find 3-4 hours per week to practice and to work through the lessons at a steady pace so as to really get to grips with the material rather than racing through it.

Right that’s enough about me, I’m off to practice!

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Welcome Emma. I think you’ll find PianoGroove to be a perfect fit for a busy schedule. The lessons are broken into relatively small bits, so you can make steady progress even if you don’t have hours a day. Have fun!

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Indeed…warm welcome Emma. Like you, work kept me away from the piano for many years. I wish I would have made the commitment that you are making now instead of waiting. You will love your journey with PianoGroove and Like Scott said, there are many manageable segments.

Have fun!

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Welcome Emma, Enjoy your Pianogroove journey.

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Yes Emma, content de voir quelques français par ici !!! (glad to see some french people overhere)

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Welcome to pianogroove Emma. This is a great place to learn because you can do as much or as little as you like or as you can manage. We all have different styles of learning and the course is very flexible. I find that I work through a programme but I also dip into other aspects too. I spent a few weeks away from it but just started where I left off. I also find everyone is very encouraging and supportive. Most importantly I think is to have fun with it😀

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This is not an introduction…I just wanted to say Happy One Year Anniversary to me!!! Today makes one year on PianoGroove and I can’t believe how much I have learned. I can’t wait to see where I will be in my playing a year from now!

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Welcome in the community Emma :partying_face:
Cool seing your practice log already begining ! Keep going

Hi there,

I have recently returned to playing piano after a 25 year hiatus. I was classically trained between the ages of 10-18 and studied piano quite seriously through elementary and high school. I earned Grade 9 piano with the Royal Conservatory of Music (Canada) and had been working on Grade 10 when I stopped taking lessons at the end of high school.

After moving out of my parents’ home to go away to university, I never again owned a piano. I graduated from university in 1995 and then began my working career as a teacher. Somehow, I forgot all about the piano over those years.

In the spring of 2018, my husband and I were building a new house. I was out shopping for new appliances, and the appliance store was in the same plaza as a piano store. On a whim, I stopped in to look at the pianos. In the showroom, a young girl was sitting at a grand piano playing, and I was immediately transported back to my childhood. Tears sprang to my eyes, and in that moment I suddenly remembered how much I loved playing the piano.

I tried out a few of the digital pianos in the showroom that day, and then eventually bought myself a Kawaii CN27 last September. I’ve had a slow start back, as I struggled with sciatic pain for many months and could barely tolerate sitting at all. I have since been able to resolve those issues and have been enjoying playing again. At first, I couldn’t even remember my scales, how to count the rhythms or even read the key signatures, but it eventually started to come back to me. All of that knowledge was still there, buried deep in my memory. I am so thrilled to be playing again.

I have always wanted to learn Jazz piano. Although my classical training is very useful, there is something about the sound of jazz that I have always loved so much more. I tried a few jazz lessons when I first got my piano, but the instructor didn’t seem to have a linear plan, and I felt that I was just wasting my money. I am so excited to have found this course, and have been thinking about subscribing for a long time. I will be starting with the Christmas course as an introduction and then hope to continue on with other jazz standards in the new year.

So happy to be joining you!

Pascale

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Welcome. I consider my piano journey as a way to nurture my soul and torture my brain. I know you will find the tools you need right here at Pianogroove. Enjoy!

Welcome Pascale! Like you I took piano lessons as a child, but never advanced as far as you! I think there may be many of us that were away from the piano for many years for one reason or another and have decided to return. You have found the right place. I subscribed a little over a year ago and have realized a lot of progress. Enjoy your piano journey!

And welcome from me as well. As Celia said, there are many of us who have used PianoGroove as a means of returning to the piano after many years. You’ll find the lessons enjoyable and challenging at times. I’ve been here over a year and have made much progress. But there’s still so much to explore. Have fun–and work through the foundations class along with your Christmas tunes. You’ll find it quite useful.

Hi Pascale :wave:

A very warm welcome to you.

Yes as @scott1 mentioned I think it’s a nice idea to start with the Christmas course. There are a nice selection of lessons there, some harder than others.

We apply lots of jazz theory from throught the syllabus so it’s a nice course to see what’s coming next in the lessons and courses. Start with the first 2 lessons in the Christmas Course which you should find very accessible:

Perhaps then continue through the rest of the Christmas course, but just to give you the heads up, some of the arrangements are more challenging than others.

Here’s a few tips for the rest of the PianoGroove courses:

I recommend that students study the first 2 beginner jazz courses in tandem:

Much of the theory in these 2 courses is interrelated. Try to work on 2 or 3 jazz standard lessons at a time, and review the theory lessons.

You can also find practice plans for these courses here:

Perhaps alternate the practice plans, maybe start by spending 2 or 3 days on the Foundations plan, and then 1 day on the Extended Chords plan. And repeat. Then gradually put more time into the Extended Chord Practice plan.

Hand Independence, Rhythm, Groove, & Swing

I would also recommend working on the Chicago Blues Course to improve your hand independence. Perhaps just spend 10 or 15 minute a day playing along with the left hand patterns to develop a solid left hand sense of time and groove in your playing:

If you have any theory questions you can ask them here in the Jazz Theory Discussion area:

Enjoy the lessons and again welcome to our online school and community :grinning:

Hayden

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Welcome aboard Pascale.

Your not alone in returning to playing once again. I likewise left playing once my career started to progress and I returned to playing 1-2 years ago now after signing up with Pianogroove.

Hayden’s approach is extremely useful in terms of structuring the syllabus into 3 different levels along with the various theory.

While the fingers may not be as nimble as before, many of the fundamentals tend to come back to you but it takes time and perseverance so don’t put too much pressure on yourself but enjoy the journey .

Hello Pascale

Welcome in the community .
And dont be afraid to ask anything about piano here ! How you can see Hayden is very reactive and helpful , and the community friendly. Have a nice happy journey in music .
Pierre

Hello, world-wide jazz cats!

To calm my soul/mind, I study jazz at Seattle’s marvelous Jazz Night School. I’ve taken combo classes there since 2017. At the end of each quarter we get to perform at the nearby Royal Room (co-owner Wayne Horvitz)–I’ve been lucky to face my performance fears there at least a dozen times now and have another performance coming up end of this week. =8:0 I’m also just starting to hit local jam sessions that are beginner friendly–luckily, there are options here.

What a great place PianoGroove is-- I think I’m already working on a jillion courses simultaneously after having enrolled a couple of weeks ago. Because of relentless Seattle rent increases I can no longer afford the luxury of weekly in-person piano lessons at JNS so I’m thrilled to find this rich, deep site to help me carry on with my studies. Thanks for being here!

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Welcome Rebecca! Very glad to have you here.

As you’ve studied jazz previously with an in-person teacher I imagine you will have all of the foundations in place to dive straight into any of the material on the site.

If there are any topics you are particularly interested in let me know and I can try to suggest some specific lessons and courses for you.

And yes Seattle is a wonderful city for jazz music with lots of jazz clubs and jam nights to attend! We have a number of students from Seattle and surrounding areas, and also 2 of our teachers - Jovino and Steve - are Seattle-based.

Enjoy the lessons and any questions let us know :grinning:

Hello all,

I’m Arun George from Toronto, Canada, a long-time aficionado of Jazz, classical, the piano, robust peaty single malts, books, landscape and wild life photography (anyone so inclined is welcome to check these out at:

By profession, I am a chartered accountant (not everyone’s perfect!) so clearly the creative side in me comes through with my passion for the finer things in life and thankfully not creative accounting! While the piano has forever been the instrument I most enjoy listening to, sadly, I never did get to any level of accomplished playing of it. Did take some music lessons up to grade 4 with the Royal Conservatory several years back but life got in the way. Now, at 64 as I get closer to retirement, exercising the mind in once again taking up the piano is as good a plan as any

Jazz is mostly what I listen to and the music of Oscar Peterson, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Herbie Hancock, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Dave Brubeck, Chick Correa… oh the list goes on, can be therapeutic, to say the least. And a few years back I stumbled on a young prodigy, Joey Alexander who positively shines on the keyboard with interpretations that belie his age and then some. So, with all the delight that comes from listening to jazz and my long time yearning to play the piano, there’s a spanking new piano at home waiting to be played and here I am challenging myself to do just that – hey, life’s too short, so why not, right? My online searches eventually led me to PianoGroove so I’d like to see where this will lead me in turn. My goal is singular and clear, play just for the joy of playing, while playing well enough that it remains so. It’s also true that nothing good comes easy and it takes practice and lots of it – the key is staying motivated and perhaps here’s where I will find it, time will tell. In the meanwhile, glad to be part of this group and thanks for having me. In closing though, Hayden, I’ve got to say, you’ve done brilliantly in envisioning and building this platform that’s an expression of your passion for music and jazz – Bravo!

Cheers to all / Arun

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Welcome Arun!

Thanks for sharing your photos - there’s some fantastic shots there.

Studying to grade 4 at the conservatory will have equipped with the basic piano skills needed to study jazz piano.

I’d recommend taking a read through the responses in this thread as much of the guidance will be relevant and applicable to you.

The key for staying motivated is to intertwine the jazz standard studies with the theoretical side of learning jazz. You will see that our courses are structured in this way to combine theoretical study and practical application.

It’s wonderful that you are listening to lots of jazz music. A common pitfall is where we don’t allocate enough time to listening, and so it’s very encouraging to see your list of favourite musicians. :sunglasses:

Spend a few weeks working on the beginner jazz courses and it might also be nice to get stuck into the Chicago Blues course to work on your sense of groove, swing feel, and your hand independence.

I’m here to assist should you need any additional direction.

Enjoy the lessons and I look forward to hearing on your progress!

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Welcome Arun.

You’ve made a fine choice with PianoGroove. You’ll find there are all sorts here, but many who are, like you, either beginning or returning to the piano after many years away from it. I’m quite interested in the theory, but like you I am basically here to learn how to “play just for the joy of playing.” Without that, there’s really not much use to be here.

Have fun, and enjoy your new piano. :musical_keyboard: By the way, what model is your new rig?