Denmark TAFE, where I work, very successfully delivers music courses from Certificate II through to Diploma level. As a consequence of this there are quite reasonable facilities and equipment including a real piano! Yesterday, as the music students were obviously occupied elsewhere off campus, I had the opportunity to play said instrument during my tea breaks during the day.
My impressions were:
1. A disappointing sound in comparison to my digital piano based on a Steinway and which I normally play wearing headphones.
2. I struggled to get much volume out of it but it was nice to really attack the instrument and have it respond.
3. The touch was certainly a little heavier but not so much that I struggled which is a testament to the designers of my Casio CDP100 which is only an entry level instrument.
4. Eventually, I did start to enjoy playing it and look forward to getting the opportunity to do so again soon.
I think many of you might agree that bookshops can be dens of temptation, but not normally for piano books!
However, I happened to drop in to the local Angus & Robertson bookstore yesterday - just for a browse of course and no intent.
Lo and behold, a few minutes later I am walking out with "The Piano Handbook" grasped firmly in my sweaty, damn I have done it again, hand.
Well, no regrets! What a gem of a resource because this illustrated handbook offers a comprehensive tutorial for learning to play piano alone or with a teacher. An accompanying audio CD demonstrates key techniques and concepts, and the author explores the common origins of different musical cultures to show that learning different kinds of music can be an enriching experience. Readers discover how classical piano technique and musicianship inspire creative approaches to composing and improvising across a variety of styles, including pop and jazz. There is so much useful information in here for the beginning to intermediate player wanting to stretch out a little.
A must have resource that I have always recommended for my guitar students is Ralph Denyer's Guitar Handbook and this publication for the piano is very similar.
I don't think you can really have too many resources when you are learning an instrument and even if the whole resource is not relevant so often there are a few little gems that kick you further along the road.