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#1911818 - 06/11/12 10:26 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: FarmGirl]
Andy Platt Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2391
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: FarmGirl
Sam, that's very courageous. Good for you.

Andy, it's impressive that you have done solo a-Capella singing! I sing in my church too but I am barely keeping up with the accompaniment. My challenge is to read the words as correctly as possible with speed. This is not easy for a non-native speaker. I have no problem getting the pitch. I sometimes make mistakes.. mixing wealthy & weary, HE-LL (I put the dash because it was edited by the forum) and Hill, etc..


I have to admit that I am very familiar with the service I was singing, though it was my first time singing it as the role of the officiant.

Normally, I'm not always a native singer for this service since we have a heavy mix of Latin and sometimes French and German. But this service is the simplest version we have since we have a mix of singers and it was English all the way through.
_________________________
  • Liszt - Liebesträume No. 3, S541
  • Scarlatti - Sonata in D minor, K. 213

Kawai K3

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#1912523 - 06/12/12 09:37 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
MaryAnn Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/16/11
Posts: 388
Loc: Japan
Andy and Sam, it sounds like you both have had great performance experiences! Congratulations!

Carlos, good luck with your piece. I look forward to hearing it, too.

My AOTW is that my teacher was satisfied with the Handel piece I've been working on, even the dynamics, and has assigned me two new pieces, and they're NOT baroque, for a change. One is a L. Mozart minuet (which she wants me to play at the next piano salon), and the other Turk's Arietta.

I'm still plugging away at Melodie. I've been practicing up to the first repeat HT. There's a bit where both hands are playing 8th notes which I was struggling with, and my teacher had me just tap my fingers on the closed piano lid to get the hang of it. What a difference it made. I'm mad at myself for not thinking of it because it's what I always used to do with method book pieces when I was having trouble coordinating my hands. Anyway... now I have to move on to the next 8 bars or so. So much new stuff. Yikes!

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#1912820 - 06/13/12 12:04 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
Sam Rose Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 673
Loc: Los Angeles
Thanks everyone for the encouragement! It's been quite a fun week. Yesterday I met with Mark_C, who played the 4th Ballade for me (as well as a Chopin polonaise I was unfamiliar with). I played a jumble of notes for him, which he was kind enough to listen to and make nice remarks about. Then we walked around a bit, he treated me to a coffee at Starbucks, and we chatted for a while.

Then (of course) I went to Steinway Hall and rented a practice room. In between my use of the practice room (which had a smaller grand in need of a tuning and regulation) I got to play the Steinway D in the main room of Steinway Hall. The piano sound, the acoustics, the action, my GOODNESS!!! I have never enjoyed playing that much before. If I had that piano in my house in that kind of a room, I'd have to be force fed because I wouldn't want to stop playing for a single moment!

Mark_C, I don't think you read this thread, but if you do, thanks for a fabulous time!!

_________________________
Playing since age 21 (September 2010) and loving it more every day.
"You can play better than BachMach2." - Mark_C
Currently Butchering:
Chopin Ballade no 1 in G minor Op.23
My Piano Diary: http://www.youtube.com/sirsardonic
♪ > $

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#1913012 - 06/13/12 06:06 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
CarlosCC Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/06/09
Posts: 1366
Loc: Lisbon, Portugal
Sam, I like your enthusiasm, it is very contagious. Good for you.

My AOTW: Today was a holiday in Lisbon, so I took the time and I finished the piece I was working since the beginning of the month. It is memorized and I just need to polish some sections. The "public opinion" here at home is: "It's OK, but we like much more of the others you usually play."

smile Einaudi 1-0 Helen Jane Long
_________________________

Youtube channel
Box.com MP3 records

Self-taught since 12/2009
Don't play what's there, play what's not there.

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#1913273 - 06/14/12 04:03 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
FarmGirl Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 09/14/10
Posts: 1990
Loc: Scottsdale, AZ
Sam, that must have been really fun. You had a private concert by Mark C. I love to see your live performance someday. I mean piano, not figure skating wink
_________________________
Solo - Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2, Schubert Sonata D960 Andante sostenute (9/7/14), Bach f minor Fugue WTC Bk1, Rachmaninoff Elegie Op 3 #1, Chopin Trois Nouvelles Etudes #1



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#1913282 - 06/14/12 04:31 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
casinitaly Offline


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 5028
Loc: Italy
Mary Ann, I have Ariette in one of my books, so after reading your post, I dashed to the piano to try it out. Very pretty ! You should have fun with it. Don't waste energy being mad at yourself! I had exactly the same situation with my Handel piece last week, I just couldn't get the feel of it and we spent time sining Ta-ta, ta-ta, ta-ta, ta-ta, ta-ta taaaaaah over and over - it felt silly but it helped.

Sam you really are having some wonderful experiences lately! I would so like to be able to hook up with PW buddies the way you and others have. What a great time! Have you started your figure skating lessons yet? Maybe you could skate with a portable keyboard strapped to you ..that would be cool wink

CarlosCC - looking forward to hearing your new piece - It seems like your whole family is dedicated to Einaudi!

My AOTW is that I finally nailed the troublesome spot in my Rigaudon piece and now I can move on to the last 8 bars! whew. What a struggle they were. Not only was it the combination of getting the rhythm, I had a lot of trouble getting the fingering coordinated for the left hand.
It made my brain hurt!
But in a teasing, stimulating way that just makes me want to play MORE baroque. smile
_________________________
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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#1913332 - 06/14/12 07:45 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
Sam Rose Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 673
Loc: Los Angeles
HAHAHAHA You guys are too funny! I'm sorry to tell you but I quit piano and now I'm doing figure skating full time. wink

Maybe one day I'll have a special concert for my ABF buddies. I'll make sure to play with ice skates on my feet (although it will make pedaling pretty difficult).
_________________________
Playing since age 21 (September 2010) and loving it more every day.
"You can play better than BachMach2." - Mark_C
Currently Butchering:
Chopin Ballade no 1 in G minor Op.23
My Piano Diary: http://www.youtube.com/sirsardonic
♪ > $

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#1913335 - 06/14/12 07:58 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
bessel Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 242
Loc: Ohio, USA
Sam -

Sounds great, but please skip the gaudy sequined outfit. smile

My AOTW is to have gotten my fingers untied and nearly able to play Schumann's "The Happy Farmer Returning from Work", which from now on I will refer to as "The Happy FarmGirl Returning from Work", in her honor. smile
_________________________
Started playing: February 2011. Still having fun.

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#1913346 - 06/14/12 08:36 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
DottedNotes Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/16/12
Posts: 59
Loc: New York
I had the opportunity to play the 1st movement of Mozart's Sonata in D, K. 284, three times for public performances in the space of four days. There's a spot just after the first half (repeat sign) where the left hand repeatedly crosses back and forth over the right in order to produce a melodic line with lots of contrasts in register. Sounds and looks awesome when done right and at tempo ...

On the first performance, this part was terrible! I was so disappointed since it had been going flawlessly in practice. So, after that recital, came back and slowed it way down, reminded myself of proper fingerings, and gradually increased tempo. (Also reminded myself that, despite that mishap, I maintained composure/commitment to the end.)

The second recital, there was only one minor error in that section. Someone also commented that it was very interesting to see me play it since there is almost no time for tactile place-checking in the piece--you've just gotta play it!

On the third concert, I had had a particularly sour practice earlier in the day so wasn't hoping for much. That was the best version--no errors at all.

I am now working on Haydn's sonata in C# Minor as an "emotional counterweight" to the sheer joy of the Mozart. (Unfortunately, I don't have the Braille score for the other movements of the Mozart, either--but the Haydn I have in its entirety and am looking forward to exploring it since he is a composer I haven't played much.)

Thank you for indulging me while I go on a bit too long about my own small victories (sheepish grin)!

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#1913350 - 06/14/12 08:43 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: bessel]
casinitaly Offline


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 5028
Loc: Italy
Originally Posted By: bessel
Sam -

Sounds great, but please skip the gaudy sequined outfit. smile

My AOTW is to have gotten my fingers untied and nearly able to play Schumann's "The Happy Farmer Returning from Work", which from now on I will refer to as "The Happy FarmGirl Returning from Work", in her honor. smile


No, no... we want the gaudy sequined outfit ----Liberace on ice!!! smile

And I love "HappyFarmGirl Returning from Work" - what a lovely dedication!

Dottedlines - Did anyone get a video of you playing your hands over hands piece? It sounds extremely challenging!
Good for you for maintaining your composure even when it didn't go as well as you'd hoped the first time.

As for going on about your small achievement ...heck that's what we're here for!!!!!
We celebrate all our baby steps, and once in a while someone even has a giant step to report, but all-in-all, we revel in small accomplishments!
_________________________
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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#1913365 - 06/14/12 09:31 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
Sam Rose Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 673
Loc: Los Angeles
No Liberace on ice! sick

If not for the baby steps inspired by this forum (not to mention the instruction), there's no way I would have got myself past the early beginner stage where I tried to "get through" pieces of music instead of listening to them and playing them like I try to do now (with minimal success, but at least I'm aware of what I want to change). Small achievements rule! laugh
_________________________
Playing since age 21 (September 2010) and loving it more every day.
"You can play better than BachMach2." - Mark_C
Currently Butchering:
Chopin Ballade no 1 in G minor Op.23
My Piano Diary: http://www.youtube.com/sirsardonic
♪ > $

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#1913659 - 06/14/12 08:15 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: bessel]
FarmGirl Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 09/14/10
Posts: 1990
Loc: Scottsdale, AZ
Originally Posted By: bessel
Sam -

Sounds great, but please skip the gaudy sequined outfit. smile

My AOTW is to have gotten my fingers untied and nearly able to play Schumann's "The Happy Farmer Returning from Work", which from now on I will refer to as "The Happy FarmGirl Returning from Work", in her honor. smile


Hahaha, I know this piece but I cannot tell which one in my schumann piano book (Henle). It's written in German. I can find Melodie easily because that's how it's spelled. In my effort to find the piece, i wound up sight reading several Schumann. I am lucky I work from home (LOL) for two counts, 1) I can play the piano when I can and 2) I don't need to wear nice clothes. So the end result is that I look more like a farmer. So yes, your analogy is not so far off. I am indeed the happy farm girl when I find time to squeeze in piano during my work hours.
_________________________
Solo - Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2, Schubert Sonata D960 Andante sostenute (9/7/14), Bach f minor Fugue WTC Bk1, Rachmaninoff Elegie Op 3 #1, Chopin Trois Nouvelles Etudes #1



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#1913670 - 06/14/12 08:38 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: FarmGirl]
bessel Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 242
Loc: Ohio, USA
Originally Posted By: FarmGirl
Originally Posted By: bessel
Sam -

Sounds great, but please skip the gaudy sequined outfit. smile

My AOTW is to have gotten my fingers untied and nearly able to play Schumann's "The Happy Farmer Returning from Work", which from now on I will refer to as "The Happy FarmGirl Returning from Work", in her honor. smile


Hahaha, I know this piece but I cannot tell which one in my schumann piano book (Henle). It's written in German. I can find Melodie easily because that's how it's spelled. In my effort to find the piece, i wound up sight reading several Schumann. I am lucky I work from home (LOL) for two counts, 1) I can play the piano when I can and 2) I don't need to wear nice clothes. So the end result is that I look more like a farmer. So yes, your analogy is not so far off. I am indeed the happy farm girl when I find time to squeeze in piano during my work hours.


Well, I can't let you not find it... the German title is "Frolicher Landmann, von der Arbeit Zuruckkehrend", where I've left off the umlauts for lack of knowing how to put them here!

Unfortunately with that version of the title it's clear that the farmer is, for Schumann, male... but we'll ignore that. smile
_________________________
Started playing: February 2011. Still having fun.

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#1913773 - 06/15/12 01:11 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: bessel]
FarmGirl Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 09/14/10
Posts: 1990
Loc: Scottsdale, AZ
Originally Posted By: bessel
Originally Posted By: FarmGirl
Originally Posted By: bessel
Sam -

Sounds great, but please skip the gaudy sequined outfit. smile

My AOTW is to have gotten my fingers untied and nearly able to play Schumann's "The Happy Farmer Returning from Work", which from now on I will refer to as "The Happy FarmGirl Returning from Work", in her honor. smile


Hahaha, I know this piece but I cannot tell which one in my schumann piano book (Henle). It's written in German. I can find Melodie easily because that's how it's spelled. In my effort to find the piece, i wound up sight reading several Schumann. I am lucky I work from home (LOL) for two counts, 1) I can play the piano when I can and 2) I don't need to wear nice clothes. So the end result is that I look more like a farmer. So yes, your analogy is not so far off. I am indeed the happy farm girl when I find time to squeeze in piano during my work hours.


Well, I can't let you not find it... the German title is "Frolicher Landmann, von der Arbeit Zuruckkehrend", where I've left off the umlauts for lack of knowing how to put them here!

Unfortunately with that version of the title it's clear that the farmer is, for Schumann, male... but we'll ignore that. smile



Yep, I found it and I played it. I know the song. This is exactly what I thought. I used to imagine an arcade game called "Whac-A-Mole" whenever I play the piece. Joke aside, now grown up, I noticed several interesting thing. Let me list them here.

1) There are actually 4 voices. I never noticed it when I was a kid. I was simply playing loud and enjoyed the syncopation.
2) From voicing perspectives, I think measures 9 through 12 are gold. It's beautiful. Especially measure 0 and 10. If I am learning this piece, I will play the soprano and base in these measures everyday until I can play it smoothly and then add the middle voices. See if you can still hear the melody in the soprano and echoing voice in the base. These measures are repeated later in 15 and 16. I call these measures farmers tender moments, whatever it is. Good luck and enjoy. I think you can swoon many farm girls in Ohio with this song.
_________________________
Solo - Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2, Schubert Sonata D960 Andante sostenute (9/7/14), Bach f minor Fugue WTC Bk1, Rachmaninoff Elegie Op 3 #1, Chopin Trois Nouvelles Etudes #1



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#1913879 - 06/15/12 08:00 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
DottedNotes Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/16/12
Posts: 59
Loc: New York
No, no video ... Once I get my piano tuned later in the summer, I'll have somebody record it and post a link for anybody interested.

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#1913892 - 06/15/12 08:30 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
Rusty Fortysome Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/25/11
Posts: 194
Loc: USA
The ability to continue playing daily is an achievement, I think.

My achievement is that I am playing 34 songs (a third are mere bagatelles or pleasant practice pieces) daily. On the down side, 11 are not memorized and so I struggle to learn them all together, which slows down my progress. Monday I begin a 34th and then I will stop learning new pieces for the year, turning to learning music basics and theory from August to Christmas. By 2013 I should have all 34 in good shape and have lots of understanding behind the playing. Lots of work.
_________________________
Currently working on/memorizing...
"It's You" from Robotech
"He's A Pirate"
"Crazy Bone Rag"
"Claire DeLune (finally)"

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#1913949 - 06/15/12 10:45 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Rusty Fortysome]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2375
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
Originally Posted By: Rusty Fortysome
...Monday I begin a 34th and then I will stop learning new pieces for the year...


My advice is to not stop learning new material. Memorising, like sight reading, improves from daily practise. If you're memorising your pieces they really will benefit from time off (otherwise they may go stale on you). Even if you forget them it's far better to learn them afresh - they really won't take very long if you've already had them in memory.

If you have 22 pieces memorised you should be able to get away with playing them only once a week rather than once a day. Drop them into seven groups and just do one group each day - think of the time saving!

What's the situation with the 11 that aren't memorised (but you'll still be learning a new piece on Monday)?

Try this (it might look complicated but an exercise book by the piano makes it very easy in practise):-

Mon-Fri: one phrase a day on each of three new pieces to be memorised to about half speed; three memorised pieces from your 'most recently memorised group' for taking up to tempo and long term retention; one piece from your long term group for revitalisation and refreshing; reading/sight reading.

Sat-Sun: Long term memory pieces not played during the week; the memorised sections of pieces you're learning but didn't work on this week; technique (scales and arpeggios etc in the 'key of the week'); reading non-memorised pieces and/or investigating forthcoming attractions; improv/composition/fun/other musicianship work.

----------------

I work on 12 to 20 new pieces concurrently, one or two weeks on and six to eight weeks off for assimilation (and improvement without practise!).

I take my last 15 memorised pieces, three a day, Monday to Friday, (or three a week depending on their state and cover the rest at weekends), until they're ready to drop into my long term memory group.

One piece (or one section of it) from my long term memory group gets worked every day for a week and the rest are played through at the weekends until they're in permanent memory.

Pieces in permanent memory I've held unplayed for over fifteen years and restored with frequent playing over a few weeks (without going back to the score) though normally I give them a few plays every six months or so.
_________________________
Richard

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#1914264 - 06/15/12 08:00 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
Recaredo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/04/11
Posts: 1091
Loc: Southeast of Spain
Your advices about memorising are always very interesting, Richard.


My AOTW: I’ve played my Beethoven’s piece complete, which is a true achievement to me. But right now my playing on this music is like a sea of indecisions. I should work on every section separately again, in order to get confidence. You know, two steps forward, one step back smile.

_________________________

My website

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#1914388 - 06/16/12 05:26 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Recaredo]
SwissMS Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/11
Posts: 737
Loc: Switzerland
Wow! I love this thread. There are always so many encouraging achievements, and is fun to hear about everyone's piano journey, both the baby steps and the major accomplishments!! Sharing the baby steps is what keeps us all going forward.

I have had house guests this past two weeks, so I have not been practicing as much. I managed at least an hour on most days, though. I have Solfeggio memorized, but I am only playing it at about 2/3'rds speed. I am focussing on fast positioning for the next phrase and 100% accuracy before I try to increase the speed. My teacher has me playing it staccato to assure evenness is the 16th's. It seems to be working so far. When it is at full speed the legato should be easy!

I have gained a real appreciation for Mozart's K545 Rondo in the past few weeks. I have learned so much from it. My teacher LOVES Mozart, but only if played well. The phrasing on this piece, the quick position changes on the Alberti base, and the need for crystal clarity have been a real struggle. This piece is like a comic Opera, and although it is not that difficult to play the notes, it is very difficult to tell the story and play it well at speed. I am determined to get it up to my teacher's standards. So far she is happy with a little over 1/2 of it.
_________________________


Working on:
Handel - Allemande in A Minor
Bach - Inv. #14
Beethoven - Sonata #79 2nd mvmt
Kuhlau op. 88 - 3

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#1914392 - 06/16/12 05:56 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Recaredo]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2375
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
Originally Posted By: Recaredo
I should work on every section separately again, in order to get confidence. You know, two steps forward, one step back smile.


No, no, Recaredo! Every step back, in this context, is a step forward!

MIDI sequencers store four pieces of information for each note: pitch, velocity, start time and duration. MIDI actually sends a note-off message rather than sending duration data. For staccato notes this isn't as practical for us but for held notes it is. It forces you to look at rests as well as notes, dynamics and articulation.

Pick an awkward phrase. Place your hands in the starting position, with all the fingers resting on the keys. Relax. Relax your spine. Relax your neck and shoulders. Relax your arms and hands. Relax your fingers.

Start by considering the note data and get ready to play the first note/chord. Relax with all your fingers on the keys. Play the note using just the finger weight. Release it if it's staccato, without taking your finger off the key, but otherwise hold it while you consider when to release the current note and play the next one. Relax. Play the next note. Repeat to the end of the phrase. Use only as much motion as you need. Keep your fingers relaxed and glued to the keys. Listen.

Repeat until you're going at about half speed. Then you can let your fingers come off the keys for wrist staccato etc. When you need to make a leap, consider when you need to look at the target key (a beat or two beforehand) and prepare it accordingly.


Originally Posted By: Recaredo
Your advices about memorising are always very interesting, Richard.


Thanks, Recaredo. Funny you should say that! smile

_________________________
Richard

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#1914579 - 06/16/12 03:12 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
Sand Tiger Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 1051
Loc: Southern California
Sam Rose, I enjoyed reading about your adventures in New York. That kind of confidence tends to be a rare thing.

Andy Platt, being officiant is a big deal. Good for you.

DottedNotes, there is nothing small about public performances of pieces written by Mozart & Haydn.

As for my week #14, I continue working on Ashokan Farewell, now six weeks in. I tried something new this morning, recording myself calling out the chord changes, and then listening to that and trying to play the left hand part with my eyes closed. This helped me find what is near obvious to many, especially those with teachers. Some of the chord changes, such as D to Bm7 are simple if a person anticipates them (adding one key).

I would like to say this exercise was a silver bullet, but when I tried hands together again, sightreading the ABC notation, it was not much better. Still, I think the new exercise, chord changes called out and trying to play them with eyes closed will help.

I mentioned morning practice. That is a new thing, doing a short 15 to 20 minutes in the morning, then filling out to an hour for the day, later. Breaking up the practice time seems to help with the hand discomfort. Using headphones, also seems to help because the hands don't pick up the vibration from the keyboard. I continue playing with the fingerless gloves, and soaking the hands briefly in warm water after practice.

I am into week three on my yet unnamed new composition in A major. It sounds nice, but I am still wanting more and continue to nudge it.

I continue watching some of the Yale music appreciation courses. My attention does wander at times, as does that of the students in the class, but I am learning some more terminology, structure, and music history.
http://oyc.yale.edu/music/musi-112

Thanks for all the reports and comments.
_________________________
my piano uploads

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#1914660 - 06/16/12 07:14 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
Recaredo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/04/11
Posts: 1091
Loc: Southeast of Spain
Thanks for your advices, Richard, I’ll follow them.
_________________________

My website

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#1914727 - 06/16/12 11:22 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
Andy Platt Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2391
Loc: Virginia, USA
Ugh, the recital did not go well today. Too many memory issues in the Rameau - nerves, pure nerves. And they came out of nowhere - was fine, walked to the piano, blurgh.

I was first and the next two caught my memory issues I think. Doh!

By the end, I had recovered and did some credible performances for the preludes. Particularly the C minor which was very nice.

Oh well, it doesn't always get easier, sometimes it just gets worse ... but next time will be better I'm sure!
_________________________
  • Liszt - Liebesträume No. 3, S541
  • Scarlatti - Sonata in D minor, K. 213

Kawai K3

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#1914771 - 06/17/12 03:42 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Andy Platt]
FarmGirl Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 09/14/10
Posts: 1990
Loc: Scottsdale, AZ
Originally Posted By: Andy Platt
Ugh, the recital did not go well today. Too many memory issues in the Rameau - nerves, pure nerves. And they came out of nowhere - was fine, walked to the piano, blurgh.

I was first and the next two caught my memory issues I think. Doh!

By the end, I had recovered and did some credible performances for the preludes. Particularly the C minor which was very nice.

Oh well, it doesn't always get easier, sometimes it just gets worse ... but next time will be better I'm sure!


Andy, I am sure you played better than you think. The thing you should be proud of is that you were able to recover on your own which is an incredible feat by itself. You should pat your shoulder for the playing through the piece and playing the chopin piece well. It's so easy to be influenced by the mistake in the first piece and mess up the second piece. It shows your personal strength and maturity as a musician. Congratulations for completing the recital well.

I think the part of reason why it does not always get easier is because our expectation changes as well. First time, you are happy if you can somehow make yourself "do" this recital thing. After a couple of times, you start demanding much more out of it. Don't you think we tend to be a harsh critic when it comes to our own performance?
_________________________
Solo - Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2, Schubert Sonata D960 Andante sostenute (9/7/14), Bach f minor Fugue WTC Bk1, Rachmaninoff Elegie Op 3 #1, Chopin Trois Nouvelles Etudes #1



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#1914847 - 06/17/12 10:06 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
Sand Tiger Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 1051
Loc: Southern California
Andy Platt, yes, it seems like if one person gets the yips, it is contagious. Did you record your performance? Listening back may not be pleasant, but will give you more information.

Can you talk about your preparation, the day of the recital, the day before? I find that sleep, rest (physical and mental) diet, exercise are all important parts of my lead up to performances. I prefer light physical practice plus mental walk throughs.

I know there is a ton of information on memorization, entire threads, chapters of books. What might you do different? Did you have any written material at all? I know it is different for classical, but I find a set list with the first few bars written out to be useful to have. Sometimes my mind feels so completely blank that I forget what piece I am going to play.

Memory faults tend to be the most dreaded type of mistakes by solo performers, so you are not alone. You have already come to the secure thought that next time will be better, and you have already demonstrated your nerves at other times with good performances.
_________________________
my piano uploads

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#1915023 - 06/17/12 07:45 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
WiseBuff Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/03/05
Posts: 807
Loc: Brighton Colorado
Andy
You have my empathy. I'm glad the preludes felt good to you. That makes it an achievement (and the fact that you didn't just quit). :-)
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Love to learn

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#1915141 - 06/18/12 06:14 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: WiseBuff]
SwissMS Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/11
Posts: 737
Loc: Switzerland
Andy, pulling things together and doing a good job on the Chopin preludes after having memory issues on the first recital piece is a huge accomplishment. It shows that you can keep a cool head even when things are not going well. That should give you confidence to make your next recital a breeze!
_________________________


Working on:
Handel - Allemande in A Minor
Bach - Inv. #14
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Kuhlau op. 88 - 3

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#1915157 - 06/18/12 07:48 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
Andy Platt Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2391
Loc: Virginia, USA
Thanks FarmGirl - I can assure you it was that bad. My teacher asked, "What happened? You've never done that before." My memory of that event is as clear as my lack of memory of the pieces was.

SandTiger - I've read "The Musician's Way" this year. One of the things he talks about with memorizing (everything in the book is to be done "deeply" so, of course he says you have to memorize "deeply") is that if you haven't got it memorized deeply, read it. The truth for most of us is we never have it memorized that deeply, it takes too much time we don't have available to us. And, to be honest, I thought that the Rameau was memorized pretty well.

WiseBuff and SwissMS - thanks, I agree.

What I have to figure out is how to tackle the nerves head on. Because they literally came out of the blue, I didn't have time to address them. Which means I have to head them off. I think the various techniques about doing your pre-run through completely as a performance might help. I suspect I was just pushing any thoughts of the performance to the back of the mind, letting them fester and come rushing out, instead of bringing them out in a controlled fashion.
_________________________
  • Liszt - Liebesträume No. 3, S541
  • Scarlatti - Sonata in D minor, K. 213

Kawai K3

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#1915365 - 06/18/12 05:53 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
For my achievement this week I have to thank our forum member Richard (zrtf90), who has posted at length in the past few months on the benefits of really slow practice. Thanks to Richard, I've finally figured out what this really means.

I have always tried to practice slow and advocated it myself to others, but after reading yet another of Richard's posts on slowing down, it just clicked that I really don't slow down enough to where I make it effortless, as he has described it. And I think that effortless is the operative word here. To add to Richards voice, I realized that much the same advice is given, in one form or another, in most of the books I've read.

With my teacher away for two weeks and me starting on 3 or 4 new pieces in her absence, I realized it was a good time to really slow it down. For instance the little Mozart minuet that I was working on was not difficult to put hands together at the slow speed I'd normally choose (after I had already played it for a while HS). But I would get random errors every now and then and I didn't really like the tone. Also I noticed that now and then a note or rest didn't get its proper full value. So I started slowing it down and didn't stop until it was just comically easy to play without error, with good tone, and with all the right note durations. If quarters at 60bpm wasn't working I dialed down to 40bpm. When the metronome bottomed at 40, I switched to eighths at 60 or lower. Whatever it took. It turned out I needed something quite a bit slower than my first choice... an observation that turned out to be true across the board with all the pieces I am working on.

I can't describe how liberating it felt to finally be able to think freely while playing the right notes the right way. Before long I found I was really looking ahead and thinking about dynamics, phrasing, and articulation nuances. Now I want to put those elements in and practice them just as slowly. Another benefit I didn't expect seems to be that I find it easier to just keep my eyes glued to the music. I have no idea why, but somehow that urge to look down all the time was also greatly reduced.

How I went this long without really knowing the meaning and the FEELING of truly slowing down is a mystery to me. What I would have done previously is keep drilling these pieces in sections and making occasional errors...thinking all along I am going slow enough and I am correcting them...but it would never actually get "easy" like it feels now on these pieces at slow speed. I do not think it will be any problem at all to speed it up from this point.

So, thank you Richard. I have applied this to the other things I am working on and the benefits are equally apparent.

Jim
_________________________
La Fille aux cheveux de lin - Debussy
Ma Mere L'Oye - Ravel
Mozart Sonata K545

Estonia L190 #7284





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#1915593 - 06/19/12 06:54 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2375
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
<blush>

Thanks, Jim!

I'm delighted for you! Those difficulties will now vanish before your very eyes and pieces of great import and technical challenges will just seem a whole lot closer and a lot more accessible. You now have the key to the "big" door! Enjoy the treasures within!
_________________________
Richard

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