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#1760089 - 09/27/11 12:11 AM Re: Is this possible? [Re: txpianogirl]
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13789
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Originally Posted By: txpianogirl
Thanks for the replies - a lot of interesting thoughts! Sorry I left out the piece, it's Kabalevsky's Piano Sonata no.3 and I have been working on it exclusively for two months now.


Two things:

1) I'm pretty sure I know where those tricky parts are, and I may have some fingering/distribution/technique suggestions. Feel free to post about it here and I'll do my best to help.

2) If you decide to play it, then you need to get it in front of people as soon as possible. Even if it's not 100% memorized/ready, start playing in front of an audience - any audience. This is one of those pieces that feels different in front of an audience than it does in practice (because it's so athletic.) Getting used to the feel of performing it will help a great deal.
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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#1760090 - 09/27/11 12:11 AM Re: Is this possible? [Re: txpianogirl]
txpianogirl Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/18/10
Posts: 17
Cinnamonbear, I am so sorry! I think you misunderstood me - I meant that about 90% of the piece is difficult! :-)

The problem with me pulling something out of my repertoire is that I have started with a new teacher this year and I do not think she wants me to play something I have already learned.
I think more what I had in mind was trying to work up a piece I had started learning with this teacher but then dropped - but I think it is still a little further along than Kabalevsky.

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#1760093 - 09/27/11 12:15 AM Re: Is this possible? [Re: Cinnamonbear]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19776
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Cinnamonbear
Do you not see that 4 1/2 weeks is a TON of time?

That's a big part of how we see this differently, because I think it's hardly any time -- and besides that, there's another big part that we see differently too.

Let's look at the "4 1/2 weeks."

You know some math, right? grin
Remember "graphs" and "curves" and stuff? (I could call it calculus, because that's sort of what it is, but that might be too intimidating, so I'll just call it graphs and curves.) smile

Take what she said about her progress with the piece so far.
Make a curve out of it. (I mean an imaginary one, in your mind; I don't mean to get a pencil and paper.) smile

Extend it for another 4 1/2 weeks. Does that give anything close to "piece learned"?
If you think it does, we disagree on what it means to have a piece learned. I think the only way we can make the curve reach "piece learned" in that amount of time is if she suddenly starts learning better and faster. That's a gamble, at best, and utterly reckless at worst.

But let's even say she does get to "piece learned" in 4 1/2 weeks. That would still leave us with a huge disagreement.

It seems you think it's fine to bring a piece to a performance as soon as you have it "learned."
Do you?
It sure seems like you do. And I think that is total folly. Once you have a piece learned, that's just one step toward having it ready for a performance, at least if you care about having a good chance for success. It then takes some time to work out the rough edges (and there will always be some rough edges, most of which you won't have any idea about yet) and time to get secure and confident with it, including preferably doing some run-throughs in front of at least a person or two.

How much extra time do we need for that? It varies. Sometimes just a few days, usually much more. In this case, almost certainly much more, because with a piece that has been giving someone the kind of trouble that was stated in the OP, I think it's very unlikely that this final phase would be quick.

Originally Posted By: txpianogirl
Cinnamonbear, I am so sorry! I think you misunderstood me - I meant that about 90% of the piece is difficult! :-)

I realized that from your 1st post -- I thought it was implied. It's a big part of where I've been coming from, and why I simply could not believe some of what I was reading here -- including in KREISLER's post, which, although measured, is far more encouraging than I think is wise.
_________________________
"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1760097 - 09/27/11 12:23 AM Re: Is this possible? [Re: Cinnamonbear]
Playagain Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 239
Hi, Cinnamonbear! Hopefully she is just being too hard on herself, but it's hard to know without knowing her. smile

You must learn things pretty quickly. 4 1/2 weeks doesn't seem like a lot of time to me. I guess I need to work harder to get more done. smile Take care, Cinnamonbear! Kathy
_________________________
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#1760098 - 09/27/11 12:24 AM Re: Is this possible? [Re: Mark_C]
Cinnamonbear Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/10
Posts: 3897
Loc: Rockford, IL
Originally Posted By: Mark_C[ ...
Let's look at the "4 1/2 weeks." [...]


Mark, have you ever "fasted" for 4 weeks? It is a TON of time!
_________________________
I may not be fast,
but at least I'm slow.

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#1760107 - 09/27/11 12:30 AM Re: Is this possible? [Re: Mark_C]
Cinnamonbear Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/10
Posts: 3897
Loc: Rockford, IL
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
[...] I think the only way we can make the curve reach "piece learned" in that amount of time is if she suddenly starts learning better and faster. That's a gamble, at best, and utterly reckless at worst. [...]


I have said in other places that I like reckless playing (Kudos, to you, MarkC, for spelling "reckless" correctly. I spell "CaddyWhompus" with a "w" and an "h".)
_________________________
I may not be fast,
but at least I'm slow.

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#1760110 - 09/27/11 12:32 AM Re: Is this possible? [Re: Cinnamonbear]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19776
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Cinnamonbear
I have said in other places that I like reckless playing....

You do realize that you changed the subject, don't you? grin

Reckless playing, I would have an easier time understanding.
I was talking about reckless thinking and reckless decisions.

Originally Posted By: txpianogirl
The problem with me pulling something out of my repertoire is that I have started with a new teacher this year and I do not think she wants me to play something I have already learned.

Why not find out?
You're assuming.
If your teacher would make you play an unconfident, unlearned piece for such a reason, all I can say is that it would be a very poor reason.
_________________________
"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1760113 - 09/27/11 12:37 AM Re: Is this possible? [Re: Cinnamonbear]
Cinnamonbear Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/10
Posts: 3897
Loc: Rockford, IL
Originally Posted By: Cinnamonbear
[...] I think the only way we can make the curve reach "piece learned" in that amount of time is if she suddenly starts learning better and faster. [...]
It is called a curve for a reason. I do think you are not giving the brain enough credit for its enormous potential. Remember your driving lessons? You accelerate OUT of a curve! De-celerate in, accelerate out. Accelerate, txpianogirl!
_________________________
I may not be fast,
but at least I'm slow.

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#1760118 - 09/27/11 12:43 AM Re: Is this possible? [Re: Kreisler]
Cinnamonbear Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/10
Posts: 3897
Loc: Rockford, IL
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
Originally Posted By: txpianogirl
Thanks for the replies - a lot of interesting thoughts! Sorry I left out the piece, it's Kabalevsky's Piano Sonata no.3 and I have been working on it exclusively for two months now.


Two things:

1) I'm pretty sure I know where those tricky parts are, and I may have some fingering/distribution/technique suggestions. Feel free to post about it here and I'll do my best to help.

2) If you decide to play it, then you need to get it in front of people as soon as possible. Even if it's not 100% memorized/ready, start playing in front of an audience - any audience. This is one of those pieces that feels different in front of an audience than it does in practice (because it's so athletic.) Getting used to the feel of performing it will help a great deal.


Also, TX, take Kreisler up on his offer (1), and his advice (2). ALL pieces are like this (2).
_________________________
I may not be fast,
but at least I'm slow.

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#1760120 - 09/27/11 12:48 AM Re: Is this possible? [Re: Cinnamonbear]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19776
Loc: New York
CB: Be honest:
You're just being stubborn now. ha

Did you even notice what she said about the "90%"? It seems like you didn't, because assuming you're taking her situation seriously and don't want to mislead her, you would need to factor it into your thinking, and you haven't.
_________________________
"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1760126 - 09/27/11 12:53 AM Re: Is this possible? [Re: Mark_C]
Cinnamonbear Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/10
Posts: 3897
Loc: Rockford, IL
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
CB: Be honest.
You're just being stubborn now. ha

Did you even notice what she said about the "90%"? It seems like you didn't, because assuming you're taking her situation seriously and don't want to mislead her, you would need to factor it into your thinking, and you haven't.


O.K., Mark. I admit you are right.

But have you fasted for 4 weeks? There is a different kind of calculus at play, here. And we still don't know if she's from Texas, or not. It makes a difference, I assure you.
_________________________
I may not be fast,
but at least I'm slow.

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#1760136 - 09/27/11 01:18 AM Re: Is this possible? [Re: Cinnamonbear]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19776
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Cinnamonbear
O.K., Mark. I admit you are right.

Now for sure I know you're joking. ha

Quote:
But have you fasted for 4 weeks?

I haven't fasted for 4 seconds. In fact, just now I took a 15 minute break for crackers with peanut butter.

Quote:
....And we still don't know if she's from Texas, or not. It makes a difference, I assure you.

Does it matter north or south Texas? grin
East or west Texas?
_________________________
"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1760148 - 09/27/11 01:37 AM Re: Is this possible? [Re: Mark_C]
Cinnamonbear Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/10
Posts: 3897
Loc: Rockford, IL
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
[...] Does it matter north or south Texas? grin
East or west Texas?


Not in this context. But if east Texas, then watch out!!! West Texas, then watch out some more!
_________________________
I may not be fast,
but at least I'm slow.

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#1760153 - 09/27/11 02:04 AM Re: Is this possible? [Re: Mark_C]
Cinnamonbear Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/10
Posts: 3897
Loc: Rockford, IL
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
[...] In fact, just now I took a 15 minute break for crackers with peanut butter. [...]


btw, LOL! grin Time runs slowly when you fast, most of the time, and can even run backwards when you don't expect it to. Seriously. shocked
_________________________
I may not be fast,
but at least I'm slow.

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#1760156 - 09/27/11 02:13 AM Re: Is this possible? [Re: Cinnamonbear]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19776
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Cinnamonbear
....Time runs slowly when you fast, most of the time, and can even run backwards when you don't expect it to. Seriously. shocked

Now I get it.
This guy experiences time on a different plane. grin
_________________________
"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1760165 - 09/27/11 02:40 AM Re: Is this possible? [Re: txpianogirl]
MathGuy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/09
Posts: 232
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: txpianogirl
How realistic is it if you have a piece that is at the stage where you can play the notes ( at a slow speed in order to play them properly ) and you have a few bits and pieces memorized, to be able to perfect ( note - wise and musically ) and memorize to play for an event in 4 1/2 weeks?
This piece has been VERY difficult for me to learn even though I have been consistently practicing it 3 - 4 hours on the days I practice. I have been making some progress but I am not sure it is enough.

Some people have been encouraging you to go for it, but that sounds like bad advice. This sonata is obviously giving you trouble, and it would take a miracle to pull it all together in a month's time based on where you say you are and how difficult you're finding it. If you have any sort of viable Plan B - and it sounds like you do - you really need to talk to your teacher about it and make the switch.

Good luck!

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#1760291 - 09/27/11 09:35 AM Re: Is this possible? [Re: MathGuy]
Cinnamonbear Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/10
Posts: 3897
Loc: Rockford, IL
I capitulate.

One final word about fasting. It is a way to find time when previously you thought you had none. It does not always mean giving up food, though it can mean that. It does mean giving up something, and trust me, the time is there if you want to find it.

This is the phrase that got me: "I have been consistently practicing it 3 - 4 hours on the days that I practice." (Emphasis added.)

I maintain that it could be done. However, as BDB said, people are different in their abilities, and I would add also in their methods, what they believe about themselves, walking their tightropes of competing interests, and in exercising their force of will. But, I know what it is like to want out of a piece, too, and if that is the case, my heart goes out to you, TPG.

Best wishes, txpianogirl! Please let us know how it turns out! grin

--Andy
_________________________
I may not be fast,
but at least I'm slow.

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#1760348 - 09/27/11 11:02 AM Re: Is this possible? [Re: txpianogirl]
txpianogirl Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/18/10
Posts: 17
To start with Kreisler: THANK YOU for your offer to help! Where to begin... just about everything after page 4 is difficult! laugh But to be a bit more specific some really difficult passages are: ms (I am using Schirmers btw)204 - 240 and a little bit of trouble in the recap but I think I can work it out (however I spent almost 3 hours on this section yesterday and it hasn't improved) and then ms 296 - 339. Would you have any suggestions on how to practice this (any helpful fingering would help too! wink )? I hope that makes sense - thanks again for your offer!

Thank you all for replying with so much helpful advice! I appreciate your taking the time to do that very much! I was supposed to play the piece for professor at SMU on Oct. 15th - that will not happen. Next time to play is recital on Oct. 29th (that is the event I mentioned, then the main event which I am preparing it for, the Dallas Piano Solo Competition on Nov. 5th. I feel since I changed teachers that I am swimming upstream with some other extremely talented fish...

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#1760370 - 09/27/11 11:40 AM Re: Is this possible? [Re: Cinnamonbear]
Drunk3nFist Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/08
Posts: 640
Loc: London
Originally Posted By: Cinnamonbear
Happily, pianogirl, I disagree with MarkC! ha

4 1/2 weeks is a TON of time. Do not disregard the amount of work your brain can do when it is asleep. Every time you sleep, your brain re-wires. Practice. Sleep. Practice. Sleep. 4 1/2 weeks? That's more than 28 sleep/wake cycles. If you can play it slowly, then play it slowly every few days to drill the fingering. Don't play it fast on those days... Play it slowly! On the other days, play it up to speed, or close to speed(s). On the other, other days, play it any way you want!



This is VERY helpful. You could not have said it any better. I LOVE the 'rewire, rewire' analogy! :P
_________________________
Ravel - Une Barque Sur l'Ocean
Kapustin - Etude No. 7
Bach/Busoni - Chaconne

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#1760405 - 09/27/11 12:52 PM Re: Is this possible? [Re: Drunk3nFist]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19776
Loc: New York
I guess you didn't see, he took it back. smile
True, he said it well grin but it's awful advice.
_________________________
"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1760507 - 09/27/11 03:17 PM Re: Is this possible? [Re: Mark_C]
Cinnamonbear Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/10
Posts: 3897
Loc: Rockford, IL
No, Mark. I didn't take it back. I said, "I give up." I truly believe in the power of the sleep/wake cycle, and have seen it work.
_________________________
I may not be fast,
but at least I'm slow.

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#1760525 - 09/27/11 03:42 PM Re: Is this possible? [Re: Mark_C]
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18015
Loc: Victoria, BC
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
[...]
This guy experiences time on a different plane. grin


So true, Marc_C; planes fly so fast, yet it takes so long to get from point A to point B by plane. Maybe he should try a different airline! smile
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#1760537 - 09/27/11 03:49 PM Re: Is this possible? [Re: Cinnamonbear]
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18015
Loc: Victoria, BC
Originally Posted By: Cinnamonbear
Originally Posted By: txpianogirl
Thanks for the replies - a lot of interesting thoughts! Sorry I left out the piece, it's Kabalevsky's Piano Sonata no.3 and I have been working on it exclusively for two months now.

My teacher seems to think it's possible but I am a little worried.
I have heard that it is best to secure a piece at least a month in advance -
and I have to admit it is very nice to already have a piece learned and memorized ahead
of time as it gives you a lot of time to work on it musically.

Here is some more information to go by:
Basically the way I have been working on the piece is I have started at the end and am working backwards. I am trying to tackle the most difficult parts of the piece ( which is probably a good 90% ) - I will take sections (sometimes I will practice by sections and sometimes I will practice it a measure at a time) and break them apart. For example, working hands separately, working on separate voices, blocking notes into chords, different rhythm patterns or simply going through a passage slowly.

It is just a little confusing as to why these sections are still difficult. I could be giving up a little soon but I would almost rather be on the cautious side then be without a piece...
Only time will tell - I'm just trying to be safe!
The deadline idea is good, I might try that.

Thank you all again for your help!




Hey, TPG! You posted while I was writing!

You see? I am right! You have plenty of time. You are already at 90%, and more than a month out. Jeeze Louise! And it's Kabalevsky to boot! Jeeze LOUISE! Keep doing what you're doing and you'll be FINE! BTW, you still did not tell us what EVENT this is.


CB:

As I read txpianogirl's post, she didn't say that she has 90% of it learned but that 90% of the piece has difficulties for her. That's a lot different, I think, than your take on her post.

Moreover, she said that she has been working on this piece "exclusively" for two months, 3 to 4 hours each day that she practices, and that she is still far from secure with it. It seems to me that the remaining 4-1/2 weeks - or are we down to four weeks, now? - is not a whole lot of time to not only master the piece and all its 90% difficult sections but also have it ready for public performance.

I think we all, myself included, are speculating widely and wildly about whether or not txpianogirl can perform this per her original post. I think she and her teacher are the only ones who can reasonably answer the question.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#1760555 - 09/27/11 04:26 PM Re: Is this possible? [Re: BruceD]
Cinnamonbear Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/10
Posts: 3897
Loc: Rockford, IL
You are right, Bruce! I did mis-read that. And now that I read TPG's most current post in the thread, that she is preparing it for a competition, my eyes are wide open in WOW. shocked That's guts!

So, I stand by my encouragement, tempered with WOW, even as I have capitulated! I imagine that I would bring to a competition only pieces that I have known for years.

But with Texans, all things are possible! grin
_________________________
I may not be fast,
but at least I'm slow.

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#1760572 - 09/27/11 04:58 PM Re: Is this possible? [Re: txpianogirl]
wouter79 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3532
Quote:
I have heard that it is best to secure a piece at least a month in advance -
and I have to admit it is very nice to already have a piece learned and memorized ahead
of time as it gives you a lot of time to work on it musically.


Exactly my thoughts. I would not try performing in 4 weeks if it is not yet in your fingers at least.
_________________________

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#1760597 - 09/27/11 05:29 PM Re: Is this possible? [Re: Mark_C]
Drunk3nFist Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/08
Posts: 640
Loc: London
Hmm, in that case, I shall do the same! laugh
_________________________
Ravel - Une Barque Sur l'Ocean
Kapustin - Etude No. 7
Bach/Busoni - Chaconne

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