I too have only just noticed this forum, perhaps down to my new reading glasses, bought partly because the numbers for fingerings were blurring, leading to impossible contortions of the digits!
I had free piano lessons during the first year of junior school in, what I seem to recall was, a cupboard. It was the only lesson when the class got to watch television in the hall nextdoor, Picture Box, in colour no less! Alas, not I, as my lesson coincided with this; I remember that theme tune with envy!
Moving the following year, I continued with the piano until the age of 14, taking only grade 2 along the way though. Moving again, a few organ lessons followed during the Sixth Form, but the problem was always access to an instrument and being a gangly 6' 2" didn't help when I eventually got to a console. I can't say that I really practised either the piano or the organ, just enjoyed tootling about. However, my love for organ music began then and hasn't waned.
After a degree in Applied Mathematics, and a PGCE I took up a teaching post. From then on I had access to the school grand piano, still have and for more than twenty years have continued to provide piano accompaniments for all and sundry, including GCSE and GCE concerts, Prize Givings and exam assessments. Luckily for me, apart from the first Head of Music, none of those since have been first-instrument pianists, so my skills as they are, have been appreciated all the while.
Relinquishing my Maths post just a year ago, I was determined to improve my piano-playing, so started having lessons with a local concert pianist, after a break of more than thirty years.
Invited to discuss what I wanted to study, I thought about what I would take along to my first lesson. I didn't want to stick with mainstream necessarily, so took with me a Hindemith Sonata, Ireland's Sonatina, a Sonatina by Joseph Jongen, Kabalevsky's Sonata No.1 and Leighton's First Sonata - H, I, J, K, L!
From these my teacher chose the Kabalevsky and supplementing it with the Brahms A major Intermezzo and the Beethoven C minor Variations, which we worked on for the first couple of months. I noticed though that these were on the DipABRSM syllabus and that a prerequisite was Grade 8, so progress was halted while I made an assault on preparing for the grade 8 exam.
Scales & Arpeggios! I couldn't remember ever having practised these, so essentially had to start from scratch and in January of this year, after the Christmas break, decided to start every practice with one whole hour of scales. It took me five weeks to learn them all - in fact I included those left out of the exam list too. LH, RH separately, then together, I think I ran through 156 at a sitting, going in to school every day for each half-term to practise these and my pieces, for five hours too.
Well, it worked! I managed a merit and I'm now engaged in getting to grips with a DipABRSM programme. Although I did manage to pass all the components of the exam, my relative strengths were in my pieces and sight-reading - elements required for the Dip'.
So today I have spent another couple of hours with Liszt's Petrarch Sonnet 123 and next week I shall be engaged in the school Carol Concert at the local church, seated at both piano and organ.
I have been reading threads on this site for a while now, with increasing interest, have contributed to just a few so far, yet look forward to being qualified to join in discussions in the future.