Adult Beginner Piano Progress – 1 Year of Practice

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1) Mad World 1:43
2) Fur Elise 2:11
3) Dearly Beloved 2:52
4) To Zanarkand 3:20
5) Nuvole Bianche 4:01
6) River Flows in You 4:26
7) Clair De Lune 5:06
8) Maple Leaf Rag 6:09
9) Chopin Nocturne in Eb Major (opus9 no2) 7:10
10) Sadness and Sorrow 8:08
11) Chopin Waltz in A Minor B.150 (opus posth) 8:40
12) Chopin Nocturne in C# Minor (opus posth) 9:06
13) Turkish March 10:13
14) Trying to learn Fantaisie-Impromptu 11:00
15) Mozart Sonata in C Major 1st Movement (K545) 11:53
16) Fantaisie-Impromptu 13:00

It’s been 1 year this month since I started learning piano and it’s been an amazing and somewhat life changing experience! You may think life changing is a little over the top… but for me it really is true, as this September I will become a full-time music student at University and I’m beyond excited for that!

I decided to make my own 1 year progress video, after watching so many myself before finally committing to purchasing my own digital piano. Who knows, maybe if it wasn’t for those videos I wouldn’t have ever taken that first step, which is crazy to think looking back now! That’s why I decided it was important for me to record these clips and make a video, in hopes of motivating someone else to take up an instrument, giving it there all and seeing where they can go with it too.

Up until month 8 I used Jane’s piano tutorials to learn 99% of the music I learnt. She is a retired math teacher and dedicates her free time to playing through requested pieces by viewers every single day! Mostly all classical pieces have a tutorial and many popular video game, anime, TV shows and movie compositions can be found on her channel. If you really want to learn but can’t afford a teacher, I think this would be your best option.
Jane’s channel:

There are a few pieces I learnt on my own and for lessons which I didn’t put in the video due to time/not recording, so below is a more detailed breakdown of what was happening every month:

Month 1:
-Random beginner piano tutorials and books (stopped trying to read music and started to learn music through online tutorials)
-Gary Jules – Mad World
-Song of storms from The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time – Koji Kondo
-Beethoven – Fur Elise

Month 2:
-Dearly Beloved from Kingdom Hearts – Yoko Shimomura

Month 3:
-To Zanarkand from Final Fantasy X – Nobuo Uematsu
-Ludovico Einaudi – Nuvole Bianche
-Tifa’s Theme form Final Fantasy 7 – Nobuo Uematsu

Month 4:
-Yiruma – River Flows in You
-Ed Sheeran – Shape of You
-Ludovico Einaudi – Una Mattina
(Started getting lessons at the end of this month)

Month 5:
-Claude Debussy – Clair De Lune

Month 6:
-Scott Joplin – Maple Leaf Rag

Month 7:
-Chopin – Nocturne #2 in Eb major (op9 no2)
-Sadness and Sorrow from Naruto – Toshio Masuda

Month 8:
-Various classical pieces from the book ‘Classics to Moderns #2
-Chopin – Waltz in A minor B.150 (Op Posth)
(Stopped learning music through online tutorials and committed to reading music. Everything past this month I learnt by reading)

Month 9:
-Various classical pieces from the book ‘Classics to Moderns #2

Month 10:
-Chopin – Nocturne #20 in C# minor (Op Posth)
-Kuhlau – Sonatina in C major (op55 no1)

Month 11:
-Mozart – Turkish March (K331)
-Clementi – Sonatina in C major (op36 no3)
-Beethoven – Sonata #20 in G major (op49 no2)

Month 12:
-Mozart – Sonata #16 in C major (K545)

1 Year:
-Chopin – Fantaisie-Impromptu (op66 posth)

List of Books used (in somewhat of an order):
-Learn to play Piano by Alison M. Sparrow
-John Thompson’s Easiest Piano Course Books 1, 2 and 3
-Take Five and pass first time (for learning up to grade 5 theory) -Classic to Moderns Books 1 and 2
-Sonatina Album Volume 1 (Peters Edition)
-Chopin Nocturnes (Henle)
-Chopin Impromptus (Henle)
-ABRSM – A keyboard anthology Book 1 (sight-reading practice) -ABRSM – Encore Book 1 (sight-reading practice)

Here’s a list of some YouTube channels I found extremely useful when learning:
-Paul Barton:
-Josh Wright:
-Cedarville music:
-Living Pianos:
Piano TV:

Pianos used:
-Digital Piano – Yamaha P-115
-Acoustic Pianos – Yamaha U2 (later upgraded to Feurich 125 as seen In last clip)

If you have any questions just ask 🙂


Brandon Hawksley says:

Hey guys, thanks so much for all your comments. I was replying to every comment at the start, but now there's just too many I can't respond to each one so sorry about that. Here are answers to the most common questions:

Q: How many hours do you practice a day?
A: 2-3 hours a day. Most days it's 3 hours.

Q: Did you have any prior music experience?
A: I played the flute for a few months in primary school, and also played the drums for a couple of months early in secondary school, but dropped both as I lost interest. I had never touched a piano before day 1 in my video as far as I can remember.

Q: How are you reading by day 4?
A: The book had the letters beside the notes, so I wasn't really reading the notes at all, just the letters C,D,E,F,G.

Q:How did you learn?
A: After the first week I gave up on reading and learnt everything using Jane's Piano Tutorials and Synthesia on YouTube. I soon realised that this method would bite me in the ass down the road if I wanted to learn classical music, so I invested in a piano teacher to help me become classically trained, and learn to read in month 4 (September). Now I learn by reading the sheets, and have been receiving weekly 30 minute lessons since September.

Q: What materials did you use to learn?
A: Check my description. I listed all the YouTube channels I frequently use and still use, and all the books I used throughout the year.

The main goal of this video is to motivate and inspire others to start learning, and was never intended to discourage anyone or give false expectations, but I can see how it would for some. I want to say that my progress is definitely not normal progression, and I had no idea I would improve at the pace I did at the start. However, I have been working extremely hard and have been completely obsessed with it, and have done everything in my power to improve, by learning as much as humanly possible.

To everyone saying it's fake and I'm a liar, I have no idea whether to take that as a huge compliment or just feel sorry for you. I would happily make a video with a testimonial from my teacher who saw me progress from Mary had a little lamb during my first lesson, to where I am now, but I'm sure the internet would just say he's also in on the piano progress conspiracy lol.

I'm happy to make a video where I go into more detail with exactly what I did throughout the year, to give some more insight into my practice and possibly ease some people's doubts, so just let me know 🙂

isaiah mathewson says:

Mad World sounding clean af

Eric Gonzalez says:

all the haters devote their life to music but suck dick at it lmao

Alex Moon says:

Excellent work you have done so well


what is the name of the song at 0:28 ?

plusTex says:

How did you get so good in just three weeks???!

x dino says:

I loved the video.?

قلبي لا يرحم says:

4:29 what is that song called?

loniZelda44 says:

What Song is the intromusik?

/トシさん says:

What is the name of song op ?

dirty homeless guy says:

3 weeks in already fairly good 🙂

Ireflores11 says:

How did you learn??

Yusuf Efendi TV says:

Very motivational

maddie evans says:

guess i’ll just quit piano

Giang Tran says:

He's been a Chopin enthusiast without knowing… lol…I bet he cannot read the whole score himself, unless he's been under a teacher who got him trained 3 hours per day, I do not believe this fabricated story of his 1 year journey, all of this music he liked I have been searching for these recent 10 years after quitting real classical music. Luckily I do not like symphonies much so I listened to a lot of pop piano and this guy is quite a fraud. Look at him in the end, is he quitting music and Chopin at the same time? ^^

Yuuki Asuna says:

That is awesome!!!!!!!!Loved it!!!!

V Zerg says:

Very inspiring video! Thank you

Y- Yari says:

Its so cool !! I wanted to start Piano for such a long time, but i wanted to start when i get back exchange. I did had some music in guitar n drums. One question, how old were you when you started ?

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