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#1434925 - 05/12/10 02:46 AM Achievement of the week - what got you excited?
casinitaly Online   blank


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 5023
Loc: Italy
Well, after a lesson that didn't go as well as I hoped last week, I'm fighting for some perspective. I have a tendency to expect too much too soon, and I feel crushed when I fall short of what I thought I could do.

So, I confess, I've been moping a bit. However, having read Teodor's "I'm proud of myself" thread, and Mr. Super-Hunky's comment that we need more threads like that, I thought "I'm not the only one who needs a reality check every now and then".


So...... my problem last week was that I thought I'd pretty much memorized 2 pieces (one I'd been working on for a while, and one fairly new). When I tried to play them for my teacher I flubbed them beautifully.

Where is the success story here you ask?
Well, as part of effort to memorize and really get one of the pieces down pat, I decided to write it out. The first time I made quite a few errors, the second only 2 or 3 (it is about 20 measures long).
I also spent some time singing it away from the keyboard.
I then managed to play it twice, from memory, without a single error.
Just as a note, my teacher doesn't insist that I learn everything by heart, but she does encourage me to do so. Her logic is that if you know a piece by heart you "own" it in a special way.

It isn't a stunning success, but I have made progress and am focusing on that!

What are you pleased with this week?
_________________________
XVIII-XXXIV
Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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#1434929 - 05/12/10 02:54 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
Teodor Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/16/09
Posts: 945
Loc: Bulgaria
You managed to write them on paper? I'd say that's pretty impressive, I can do that but only if I have a piano near me to see which notes I'm playing or if I use software that plays what I've written in the sheet.

I'm pleased with finishing 2 pieces that I thought I wasn't going to get a pass on. I was pointing out some bad things about my playing of those but my teacher said I am way too self-critical and she gave me a pass, she said I played them good enough for my current level of experience and that I should be glad I managed to do so smile


Edited by Teodor (05/12/10 02:58 AM)
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#1434941 - 05/12/10 03:30 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Teodor]
Mr Super-Hunky Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 4236
Loc: Arizona.
"If you know a piece by heart, you *own* it in a special way"

Oh SOOO true. I couldn't agree more as memorizing a piece allows me to spend more time working on the piece itself. The emotion, inflections, etc as opposed to concentrating on reading the score.

I know this is counterproductive in terms of improving your sightreading abilites and CAN understand a teachers objection to memorizing, however I have different goals.

Anyway, congrats on your accomplishment and thanks for the POSITIVE post. Really!

My piano accomplishment this week is a little different as it hasn't happened yet. It involves moving a 1,200 lb 7 ft grand piano up 32 steps into our summer home. We have had this done several years already without any equipment other than the custom built "cradle" the piano is placed in. It's amazing what 6 piano movers and me cracking the whip can accomplish as the piano is HAND CARRIED all the way up (and down) every year as there is no other way to do it.

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#1434943 - 05/12/10 03:35 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Mr Super-Hunky]
BB Player Offline


Registered: 11/17/06
Posts: 2600
Loc: Not in Texas
Originally Posted By: mr_super-hunky

My piano accomplishment this week is a little different as it hasn't happened yet. It involves moving a 1,200 lb 7 ft grand piano up 32 steps into our summer home. We have had this done several years already without any equipment other than the custom built "cradle" the piano is placed in. It's amazing what 6 piano movers and me cracking the whip can accomplish as the piano is HAND CARRIED all the way up (and down) every year as there is no other way to do it.


You do that every year? Wow! It reminds me of that old joke about someone seeing their neighbor having a concert grand moved out of the house, then back in later in the day. Next day, same thing. Next day, same thing. This repeats every day for a couple of weeks and he finally asks what's going on. The neighbor says "I'm taking piano lessons".
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#1434946 - 05/12/10 03:46 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Teodor]
casinitaly Online   blank


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 5023
Loc: Italy
Originally Posted By: Teodor
You managed to write them on paper? I'd say that's pretty impressive, I can do that but only if I have a piano near me to see which notes I'm playing or if I use software that plays what I've written in the sheet.

I'm pleased with finishing 2 pieces that I thought I wasn't going to get a pass on. I was pointing out some bad things about my playing of those but my teacher said I am way too self-critical and she gave me a pass, she said I played them good enough for my current level of experience and that I should be glad I managed to do so smile


Yes, I did them on paper smile . It was a very interesting exercise.
My teacher tells me I am way too self-critical as well. I think the hardest thing is not learning the piano , but learning to be patient with myself!

MR S.-H. .... My teacher has me do sight reading too! She really creates a marvellous blend of activities and challenges for me. I simply love my teacher!
At the moment I can either read and play, or not read and mostly play..:) - but I can't really move back and forth between the two.

The interesting thing is that I have a rather spectacular memory, yet I feel I have trouble memorizing this piece. It is a very strange phenomenon.


Good luck with your piano moving!!!
_________________________
XVIII-XXXIV
Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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#1434951 - 05/12/10 04:05 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: BB Player]
Mr Super-Hunky Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 4236
Loc: Arizona.
Yup, Greg, you've got a "BB" also. You know how heavy they are. The the move is gentler than even moving it to another room in the house because as I said, we all pick it up..(mostly them).

The piano is gently tilted on its side and the legs removed (5 minutes). The piano is then placed in a special carpeted cradle (7 foot long modified dolly ) and picked up like a casket to be carried up the stairs. The paino is covered in movers blankets and then ratchet strapped to the cradle for all kinds of obvious reasons. The entire move up the stairs takes less than 1-2 minutes. Legs go back on and I'm good to go.

Everyone gets caffeinated drinks and pizza (starch = energy) as well as a several minute "warm up" of push ups to prep for the event.

I'm always so happy when the job is complete until the realization that now I've got to pay everyone. That part hurts!

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#1434953 - 05/12/10 04:09 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Mr Super-Hunky]
Mr Super-Hunky Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 4236
Loc: Arizona.
BTW, why is nobody sleeping?, its 2:00 in the morning!

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#1434956 - 05/12/10 04:16 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Mr Super-Hunky]
casinitaly Online   blank


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 5023
Loc: Italy
Well, actually it is 10 in the morning for me. . . . I can't explain the others.
_________________________
XVIII-XXXIV
Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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#1434957 - 05/12/10 04:18 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
Teodor Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/16/09
Posts: 945
Loc: Bulgaria
11 in the morning here.
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#1434966 - 05/12/10 05:20 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Teodor]
HomeInMyShoes Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 495
Awesome memorization and if I had a dollar for everytime I flubbed something in front of the teacher...

This week I managed to play through Mendelssohn op. 53, no. 1. Probably at about half tempo and with several pauses you could drive a bus through (Monicaâ„¢). But it's a beautiful piece and I'll hopefully manage it at tempo some day.

6:48am here. I've got coffee. Mmmmm...coffee.

They don't call him super-hunky for nothing. smile

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#1434997 - 05/12/10 08:11 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: HomeInMyShoes]
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17777
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
I'm guessing it's a bigger challenge to move the llamas than your BB, hunky! grin Or, at the very least, messier!

My big success this week was getting a recording of my recital piece that didn't make me want to barf. thumb

...not that there's not room for improvement, and since the cutoff for submissions is still two days away, I think I'll go fire up the ol' Zoom for yet another go-around.
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#1435006 - 05/12/10 08:35 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Monica K.]
GlassLove Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/10
Posts: 769
Loc: Michigan
My accomplishment for the week (so far) has been learning where to put the trills in my Purcell Minuet and learning to do them with a turn.
It would be really great if I could actually do the trill (they sound really pathetic right now), but I will be satisfied with knowing where they go and the notes involved.

Casinitaly: that is very impressive that you can write the piece out. I have tried to do that, but have failed miserably. I am beginning to understand what everyone means by "muscle memory" now. I only think I have my piece memorized. Thanks for the idea though, it is a challenge I will work toward.
_________________________
Christine











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#1435010 - 05/12/10 08:46 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: GlassLove]
SmokestackLightnin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/04/10
Posts: 141
Loc: Leicester, United Kingdom
Im looking forward to trying trills out properly. I want to play a lot of blues and boogie piano and trills are a must. cant quite manage them at the moment though.
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M-Audio ProKeys 88sx

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#1435065 - 05/12/10 10:48 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: SmokestackLightnin]
Plowboy Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/26/08
Posts: 2308
Loc: SoCal
I learned to roll my wrists to get the proper "grace" out of grace notes. They actually sound good now.
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Gary

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#1435068 - 05/12/10 10:51 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: SmokestackLightnin]
BenPiano Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/09
Posts: 1171
Loc: US
Fortunately the week is young, as I have achieved nothing yet this week of significance. help
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Learning to play since June 2009.
My piano diary on You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/user/afpaSTU1096
<- 10+ ABF recitals

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#1435083 - 05/12/10 11:23 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: BenPiano]
MarthaT Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/11/10
Posts: 17
Originally Posted By: BenPiano
Fortunately the week is young, as I have achieved nothing yet this week of significance. help


Same here, I have a feeling I will though smile
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#1435094 - 05/12/10 11:31 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: BB Player]
-Frycek Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 5921
Loc: SC Mountains
Originally Posted By: BB Player
Originally Posted By: mr_super-hunky

My piano accomplishment this week is a little different as it hasn't happened yet. It involves moving a 1,200 lb 7 ft grand piano up 32 steps into our summer home. We have had this done several years already without any equipment other than the custom built "cradle" the piano is placed in. It's amazing what 6 piano movers and me cracking the whip can accomplish as the piano is HAND CARRIED all the way up (and down) every year as there is no other way to do it.


You do that every year? Wow! It reminds me of that old joke about someone seeing their neighbor having a concert grand moved out of the house, then back in later in the day. Next day, same thing. Next day, same thing. This repeats every day for a couple of weeks and he finally asks what's going on. The neighbor says "I'm taking piano lessons".


Reminds me of the old joke about the young husband who comes home to find the family piano in the process of reposession. He turns to his wife, "I thought I gave you the money to make the payment!" She whispers back, "You did dear, but I decided I wanted it downstairs."
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Slow down and do it right.

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#1435210 - 05/12/10 02:17 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
JimF Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/08/09
Posts: 1718
Loc: south florida
Casinitaly

Quote:
I think the hardest thing is not learning the piano , but learning to be patient with myself!


+1 to that thought. I had a terrible lesson this week, mainly because that morning I found one of my dogs "playing around" with a coral snake. Coral snake venom is a neurotoxin, it can take hours for symptoms to appear, is nearly always fatal, and there's no antivenin available (not for dogs, anyway). So you wait and see if anything happens. cursing Fortunately corals have to chew on the victim a bit to deliver their venom and we were lucky this time. Anyway, it was not a good lesson and I was berating myself when my teacher reminded me that it was totally understandable that I'd be distracted and off center that day.

My closest thing to achievement this week is coming home last nite and pulling out a lead sheet for Lennon/McCartney's In My Life that I downloaded. Made it through on the first reading with slow pace but able to add most of the indicated chords with a little fumbling. I definitely could not have done that a few months ago. grin I don't allow myself much time for this sort of thing, but maybe I should because I enjoy it and it is sightreading practice I guess.
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#1435522 - 05/13/10 02:30 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: JimF]
casinitaly Online   blank


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 5023
Loc: Italy
Someone, I think KeyboardKlutz, said you have to get the pieces into your memory where the adrenaline can't get at them. It sounds like a brillian plan - I'm still working out how to do it!
I tried writing out another simple piece (Air/Purcell)last night and found that I realy just couldn't do it -it was incredibly patchy...so clearly more study is in order.The other piece I've been working on (Lilla, Vinciguerra) is coming along VERY well.

I am not doing trills or grace notes yet, (except by accident when I stumble about after an error!), compliments to those of you who are making progress on that!

I went through my exercise book last night picking out pieces at random and trying some sight reading. I certainly didn't notice any great change in my speed at sight reading, but I'm starting to feel that it is smoother and that's a good thing!

What I'm really wondering about is this memory thing. Obviously I can do the writing out exercises for short simple pieces, but once I start playing longer, more complicated bits, how is that going to work?
Maybe by then the other aspects of playing will be easier and the memory work will come more easily?
I guess I'll find out!

Jim - I hope your dog is ok!!! Glad you found something fun to offset your disappointment with your lesson (though I can not imagine that anyone would have had a great lesson after such an upset!)
_________________________
XVIII-XXXIV
Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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#1435625 - 05/13/10 08:37 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
Pianosaurus Rex Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/12/10
Posts: 305
Nearly got my musette down, and managed to pull of the mordent at the end of the Menuet in G with the 3th and 4th fingers. (Anna Magdalena notebook! heart)

Also progressing fairly well in the blues exercises by Oscar Peterson that my teacher gave me.

I kind of grinded to a halt in Alfred's book 1 though, but the week isn't over yet so I may still work on that!


Edited by Pianosaurus Rex (05/13/10 08:39 AM)
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Student/apprentice technician

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#1435659 - 05/13/10 09:46 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Pianosaurus Rex]
Cobra1365 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/11/10
Posts: 261
My biggest accomplishment this week is finding this forum!

Playing....well.....Ugh!
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Started Playing May 2010, Primarily Self Learning, Some Coach Assistance

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#1435846 - 05/13/10 03:01 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Cobra1365]
Pianosaurus Rex Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/12/10
Posts: 305
Originally Posted By: Cobra1365
My biggest accomplishment this week is finding this forum!

Playing....well.....Ugh!


Don't worry, the week isn't over yet!

And I personally find this forum to be very helpful. Aside from having a place to answer any question I might have (Besides my teacher, who I only get to see once a week), it is also very motivating to stick around here and read about the ups and downs other beginners are going through!

Welcome to Piano World, let's hope you'll make yourself proud this week and get to make another post in here!

P.S.
On a completely unrelated note, I just noticed I end pretty much every sentence on my PW posts with an exclamation mark, something which I otherwise don't do.
Says a thing about how enthusiastic I am about finding this forum, let's hope your experience here will be similar! wink
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#1435856 - 05/13/10 03:09 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Pianosaurus Rex]
mom3gram Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/26/08
Posts: 1133
Loc: New Jersey
I played "Alexander's Ragtime Band" (the Alfred 2 version) through without a mistake. :-)
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mom3gram

ALFRED'S ADULT BOOK 1 GRADUATE


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#1435859 - 05/13/10 03:14 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Pianosaurus Rex]
gooddog Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 4794
Loc: Seattle area, WA
I finally got the first 2 (of 4) pages of Bach's fugue in G# minor (WTC Book 2) going smoothly and up to tempo this week. I also finally ironed out the glitches in the prelude and it's up to 88 bpm. I'm very pleased with myself and I can't wait to get home from my paying job so I can get to work on page 3!
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Deborah

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#1436020 - 05/13/10 06:38 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: gooddog]
-Frycek Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 5921
Loc: SC Mountains
I fired my music teacher. I'm FREE!!!

(Have finally come to the conclusion that being The Lone Pianist suits me and that I've got quite sufficient learnin' for an old hillbilly with a 70 year old Kurtzmann and no prospects)
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Slow down and do it right.

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#1436187 - 05/14/10 12:13 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: -Frycek]
BenPiano Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/09
Posts: 1171
Loc: US
ha Frycek, that's the spirit! grin

OK, the week started off slowly. I've been bogged down with too many pieces, and where many of the pieces are a bit out of my range. Challenging, difficult, and somewhat frustrating at times.

So I had the bright idea of starting a new piece last night (another one! eek ) . An easier one, and I'm glad I did.

Burgmueller's "Ballade" (Op. 100, No 15). Made awesome progress on it the last two nights, and it's very fun to play (and fun to play around with). Also, I didn't cheat by writing note names on the sheet and forced myself to actually read the staff. grin (luckily this one's fairly easy to memorize grin )

What a great ending to the week! smile
_________________________
Learning to play since June 2009.
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#1436247 - 05/14/10 03:43 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: BenPiano]
casinitaly Online   blank


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 5023
Loc: Italy
I am enjoying reading about what everyone is playing and noting the strategies people are using to get over little humps!

I've been working at writing out the second piece I'm currently learning (AIR in D minor) - it isn't too long, but for some reason I find it MUCH harder (to write) than the other one I did.

Today I was looking for patterns or repetitions, something to latch on to to help me recall the progressions from measure to measure - and I noticed the patterns of D A F ----- such a simple thing, but it was a conscious "Hello - we're the notes of the Dm chord luv!" I felt delighted and silly all at the same time.

I'm still not playing it very smoothly, but it is starting to settle into the old memory cells.

(I can tell I've been playing it a lot, my husband was singing it in the kitchen last night while we did the dishes! )
_________________________
XVIII-XXXIV
Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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#1436319 - 05/14/10 08:38 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
GlassLove Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/10
Posts: 769
Loc: Michigan
Yes, my whole house is humming "The Entertainer" now. Except, it is a VERY VERY VERY slow version (it is the only way I can play it!) Perhaps when the children get home from school today I should play them the real version so they know how it ought to sound
_________________________
Christine











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#1436327 - 05/14/10 08:50 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: GlassLove]
Pianosaurus Rex Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/12/10
Posts: 305
Haha, same here. I constantly hear everyone whistling or humming the theme to Tchaikovsky's 1812 ouverture, or the minuet in G.

I really should practise 1812 more, so that they can hum more than just the first 2 bars. (Yeah, I didn't really get far on that one yet. :D)
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#1436391 - 05/14/10 10:33 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Pianosaurus Rex]
casinitaly Online   blank


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 5023
Loc: Italy
Originally Posted By: Pianosaurus Rex
Haha, same here. I constantly hear everyone whistling or humming the theme to Tchaikovsky's 1812 ouverture, or the minuet in G.

I really should practise 1812 more, so that they can hum more than just the first 2 bars. (Yeah, I didn't really get far on that one yet. :D)


Be careful - you never know what they'll do when they hit the cannon parts!!!!
_________________________
XVIII-XXXIV
Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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