Author Topic: A Bouncing Ball, an Ocarina and a PSR-S970  (Read 826 times)

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Offline gfraden

A Bouncing Ball, an Ocarina and a PSR-S970
« on: March 10, 2017, 12:54:14 PM »
First, profuse thanks to Joe Waters and all of you who contribute to this site. Because of the knowledge, expertise and instruction that you share, I get tremendous enjoyment from my PSR-S970.

Hi. My name is George. I have been using PSR Tutorial and the forum for almost a year so it is probably time to introduce myself. I live in the northeast corner of New York State on beautiful Lake Champlain near the northeast edge of the Adirondack Mountains. My wife Alyce and I have been married for 39 years. I have 2 children from my first marriage, Rick and Alyssa, and Alyce and I have our son Chris, who, with his wife Kristine, has blessed us with two wonderful granddaughters, Lorna and Gwen. We also had a son Barrett who died 23 years ago from leukemia – we miss him every day.

My music background: There isn't much. I had music in school, of course, but didn't pay much attention to it. However, back then, I did sing along with Mitch Miller and the bouncing ball. In the early '70's a friend of mine, who was in the Air Force, returned from Okinawa bearing gifts. He gave me an ocarina – a ceramic baked potato with holes in it – and an instruction sheet. I have no idea why he chose that present for me but it was the beginning of my musical adventure.

Soon realizing that the ocarina was a very limited instrument, I purchased a soprano recorder and books and went to work. Eventually I added alto and tenor recorders to make it more interesting but soon became dissatisfied with their limitations. I wanted more more more!

When I was given an old wooden clarinet that had been gathering dust in an attic, I realized that here was an instrument worth pursuing. I dove in, got books, even found a teacher. I learned, I progressed, I was happy until, sadly, I couldn't continue with lessons because of the demanding job I had. Do you know how difficult it is to hold down a 6 day a week job and still pursue life's wonders? I'm sure you do. I practiced when I could but I found that I couldn't keep a good embouchure and without a good embouchure you can't play a good clarinet. I went back to the recorders, dissatisfied but persistent in my musical journey.

My next musical challenge was joining our church choir. That was '93 or '94. I sang out the hymns and I guess a couple choir members liked the way I sounded and asked me to join. At the first practice the choir director said to me “Are you a tenor?” I answered, “What's a tenor?” He had me follow a few notes that he plunked on the piano and pronounced me a baritone. So began my singing career. I love singing. I know that any singing ability I have comes from God but I was just going through the motions until 2001 when I gave all my despair, hurt, pain and failure to Jesus who filled me with joy, giving me something to sing about. (This came about through the death of our son in 1993 at the age of 7. I won't share that story here but if you want to know more, please email me at

So I sang, learned parts, got a little keyboard to help me learn parts, got a better keyboard, got keyboard books, got keyboard DVD's, got frustrated. The only answer was to find a teacher. The teacher I found requires her students to have an adequate piano or keyboard to practice on so I got a YPG-635 and started piano lessons. That was eight years ago when I was 62. Learning to play the piano is hard! And it's hard learning everything that the YPG can do. The owner's manual is scant help while the guys who do the promotional videos on YouTube make it look wonderful easy and are no help in figuring it out.

But I fumbled along with the lessons, gained some skill, drooled over demos of the Clavinova and Tyros keyboards but could not justify spending that much money. Then, a year ago, I researched and bought a PSR-S970. I unpacked it, set it up, and thought, “Ok, now what?” Google, of course! I was fortunate to find the PSR Tutorial site and bought the 2016 Lesson collection and I've been cruising along ever since. In less than a year I've learned and do more with my S970 than I ever could with the YPG.

And I have all of you to thank for that. Thank-you!


Offline ticktock

Re: A Bouncing Ball, an Ocarina and a PSR-S970
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2017, 05:25:08 PM »
Hi George,

My path to this forum is same as your. I also bought the s970 and 2016 Lesson Collection.
I think I have 2 great things: the KB and this forum.

Thank you for sharing.


Offline gfraden

Re: A Bouncing Ball, an Ocarina and a PSR-S970
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2017, 07:04:45 PM »
Nice to hear from you, Ted.

How are you doing on the s970? A lot to learn, isn't there? I wish I was a better musician than I am but I still have fun. I tell my teacher that I don't have time to become a concert pianist, I just want to make music!