After an 8-year interlude, David Hendra Music is making its encore – I’m BACK! Yeah, okay, forget the theatrics, nobody missed me…but sometimes it’s time for a reboot. After a long time musicking elsewhere, I’m returning with an update…
What have I been doing?
Apart from a couple of video updates in 2020, I haven’t posted on David Hendra Music since 2015. Over those years, I’ve mainly been developing Easy Piano Teacher. I added my first piano tutorial to YouTube back in September 2014. After almost 9 years of steady growth, my channel today has 899 videos and nearly 9000 subscribers. Hardly an overnight success, tiny by YouTube standards, and no great money-maker (like most other things I do!) But it’s encouraging to see that so many people across the world have enjoyed and been helped by my videos, with over 2 million views in over 30 countries.
I retired from face-to-face piano teaching in 2020 but continued to create free piano tutorials. I also self-published my first sheet music book on Amazon KDP: Easy Piano Teacher Hymns – Book One. Again, this was not a money-maker: I regularly spend more on Amazon advertising than I get back in royalties! But it gets my work out to help more people (Please consider buying a book to support me!)
An unexpected key change…
In September 2021 I woke one morning with most of the eyesight missing from my left eye. We rushed to the hospital, and after tests and scans, I was sent to an Opthalmology consultant, who identified a retinal arterial occlusion. This is a clot in the blood supply to the retina, also known as an “eye stroke”. Subsequent visits to Opthalmology refined the diagnosis as a CRAO (central retinal arterial occlusion). The parts of retina supplied by the blocked artery die off, so the loss of vision (about 80 percent, by my estimation) is permanent.
My right eye is good enough for me to drive legally, and the small amount of left eye vision allows some depth-of-field. Reading up close is more challenging, and hot-swapping between reading and distance spectacles is very annoying, but with text sizes increased a little on my phone, Kindle, laptop, etc., I manage. Arranging and reading music takes a bit longer, but I’m grateful for the vision in my good eye. With daily medications, I hope to prevent further damage, at least for as long as possible.
The COVID19 pandemic prevented many people from accessing face-to-face music teaching. Thinking the UK lockdown would last just a few weeks (!) I committed to creating a new piano tutorial video every day. As weeks turned into months, this provided material for eleven more Easy Piano Teacher books on Amazon (which still don’t make much money!)
I’ve spruced up the David Hendra Music home page with some video and a different WordPress theme. I’ve added a more comprehensive About Me page and I’ve updated the older content with some new images and the occasional edit. Let me know what you think of the new look!
I continue to add easy piano videos on YouTube and will publish more Easy Piano Teacher books on Amazon. Hymns Book One has been republished as a Kindle eBook, and in time I will add electronic versions of other books, too.
I will try to update my blog more regularly. I also hope to update social media more regularly, particularly Instagram, I think. My Facebook account was hacked a while ago and despite all attempts to navigate Facebook’s recovery systems, it seems irretrievable. To be honest, I haven’t missed it; I can manage perfectly well without Facebook in my life, I suspect.
And the future?
Music has a way of instilling energy and creativity into my life, and I’m hugely optimistic about things to come. As always, I have far too many big project ideas, with nowhere near enough time for them all! Some that may appear on the horizon are:
- creating some “Easy Keyboard Teacher” print books aimed at electronic chord keyboard learners
- significantly expanding my range of sheet music titles on Sheet Music Plus
- adding direct digital sheet music sales to my website
- publishing sheet music print books on Amazon for other instruments, such as violin, recorder, clarinet, ‘cello, trumpet, etc. with associated backing tracks.
- developing my own progressive piano method (something I’ve always wanted to do, but it’s a huge amount of work)
- writing a book or online course to help traditional church pianists/organists play more modern worship songs from lead sheets and chord sheets
One thing is certain: whatever I do, it will involve music! It’s in my DNA, and I’m thankful for its gift in my life. Sharing that gift with people around me, across the world, and you, is a huge privilege.
Which of my content do you enjoy the most?
What would you like to see me create next?
Let me know in the comments below!