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#1993979 - 12/03/12 04:28 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Mr Super-Hunky]
Michael_99 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 935
Loc: Canada Alberta
I remember reading the post of how you would stuggle with the 7 ft piano to and from the summer cottage and back home every season. I wondered why. Well, I am a beginner and when I got my secondhand grand, 5 ft, I was intimidated by its size as I live in a summer cottage year round, 450 sq ft. and the grand takes up half the livingroom. With the Clavinova in the corner there is no room except for me - no furniture. When I got the piano, the couple gave me a beautiful cloth piano cover. Obviously, I cover the piano. I never opened the lid mostly for fear of dust. Well, as I posted earlier, I opened the lid and wow, what a awesome sound - forget the dust - and it was then and only then was it that I realized why you had a thousand men carry the 7 ft grand to and from the summer cottage. When I saw my piano, it was in a large mansion. The livingroom was at least as large as my house.

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#1994343 - 12/03/12 08:57 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2428
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
I got promoted to 45 min. lessons!
_________________________
A good student is one who makes the teacher feel like a good teacher.

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#1994417 - 12/04/12 01:25 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: malkin]
ZoeCalgary Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/01/11
Posts: 748
Loc: Calgary Alberta
Malkin that is awesome! I remember I was excited when my teacher suggested that for me as well. Congratulations!

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#1994536 - 12/04/12 08:53 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
Michael_99 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 935
Loc: Canada Alberta
John Thompson 10. The Robin pg 17 3:00 am

The surprise is I woke up and thought about running through the piece I am working on. It is the first piece I have had to count through the measures. The piece is in 3/4 time. The good news is that the bass clef only has 1 dotted half note per measure. The treble clef has mostly quarter notes on count 1 and count 3 with count 2 always being a quarter note rest. So it could be a lot worse, but for a beginner there is plenty to deal with. I walked throught the treble clef measures several times and then walked throught the bass clef measures several times and the walked through the hands together through the measures, all, of course, very slowly. Then I added the timing/counting, 1, 2, 3 through each measure. It is like walking in a mine field because you don't want to make any mistakes through your very slow walk through. You don't want to lose your count. After about 8 times, it was shakey, but okay for me to go back to bed. It is fun to go from the piece just of notes and then very gradually pulling it together. Oh, I forgot. At measures 5, 9, & 13 I have to play a G with the 5th finger of the right hand - but - one octive apart and I always forget where my hand is, or leave the hand in the wrong octive. That has to be cleaned up, of course!

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#1994539 - 12/04/12 09:06 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
Allard Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/27/12
Posts: 327
Loc: Netherlands
Casinitaly, that is a good idea. Just going to grab the piece every once in a while to practice little bits. Got to focus more on lesson content. Christmas soon!

Malkin, the music school in my town offers 20 minute lessons. Only 20! You can buy up to 10 extra minutes, but still nowhere near the 45 minutes you get now (sweet!) or what my private teacher offers. It still seems too short on many weeks. Lesson time just flies by, doesn't it?
_________________________
David Lanz - Dream of the Forgotten Child
Nobuo Uematsu - Aerith's Theme (Final Fantasy VII Piano Collections)

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#1994582 - 12/04/12 10:49 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Allard]
Mark VC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/26/12
Posts: 110
What got me excited this week was singing at the piano. In between cussing at Philip Glass's etudes, I'm doing a couple pop tunes, including Radiohead "Pyramid Song" and the piano version of Coldplay's 'Yellow'. Really provides a nice break. Trying to sing over a C6 is improving my lungs too!

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#1994595 - 12/04/12 11:09 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Allard]
SwissMS Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/11
Posts: 694
Loc: Switzerland
Toastie - we are waiting for the piano pictures!

A Tall GuyNH - I know what you mean about chores getting sidelines when a piano is around. I have a few delinquent ones of my own.

Michael 99 - Congrats on your Grand Piano. Have fun with it. Besides, all a piano room needs to hold is a piano! When I first purchased my M & H BB I had it in a small dining room. It more than filled the space. However, I found my practice time blossomed. A grand can be quite an inspiration! I now have an Avant Grand, but it gives me the same effect.

Casinitaly- I feel your pain on retraining scales. My present teacher has me playing them very slow and checking the position of each finger. I know it is worth it but it takes more patience than I have sometimes.

Sand Tiger - I use the Musician's Way time suggestions also. I downloaded his daily and monthly charts and use them to track progress as well.

I had my second lesson since returning to piano after 2 1/2 months, and I am happy to say I have all my pieces back up to where they were before my illness. My instructor was pleased enough to assign the next parts. The Chopin Waltz in close to being ready to record, the Bach is learned and entering the polishing stage, and I am learning the "stormy" section of the Chopin Nocturne. It will then be complete. Overall I am really happy with my progress this week, inspite of having house guests since Saturday. I have only been able to practice about an hour early mornings before they wake up. (Thank you silent mode!)
_________________________


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#1994650 - 12/04/12 01:24 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: SwissMS]
MaryBee Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/09
Posts: 1208
Loc: Cleveland, OH
SwissMS - maybe we can both record the Chopin Waltz for the next ABF recital! Mine's not there yet, but it should be ready in time for a February recording.
_________________________
Mary Bee
Current mantra: Play outside the box.
XVI-XXXIV

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#1994658 - 12/04/12 01:33 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: MaryBee]
SwissMS Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/11
Posts: 694
Loc: Switzerland
MaryBee - I am thinking about it (Chopin Waltz), so maybe we can! I am between that and the Bach. It could be fun for us both do the waltz though!
_________________________


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#1994874 - 12/05/12 04:43 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
aTallGuyNH Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/22/12
Posts: 500
Originally Posted By: aTallGuyNH
I'll probably make a separate post to solicit advice on this, so as not to clutter AOTW.

I did create a separate thread re: my specific situation, which has garnered lots of great advice already: http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1994852.html#Post1994852

Originally Posted By: EdwardianPiano
You have a very full life A Tall Guy! I'm a bit like you when it comes to doing jobs and strimming the grass LOL.
Yes, full... and quirky in terms of the things I wind up doing. For instance, tonight I was doing electrical work until 1am for a family member who inadvertently ran through a cable with a circular saw. Oops! blush No injuries fortunately. Never a dull moment...

Originally Posted By: Sand Tiger
Originally Posted By: aTallGuyNH
Originally Posted By: Sand Tiger
I again like to suggest the 20/20/20/40 break down in practice time suggested in the book The Musician's Way. If a person is interested in sightreading 20% of the total time. I like 20% on old pieces, 40% on new, the other 20 and 20 on scales or theory, or sightreading.

I'm curious as to how you manage this given that you (for the past week anyway) are practicing 15-20 minutes per day. Do you actually break it down as 3/3/3/6 on a 15 minute day? Or do you focus on one thing per day in a five day rotation, taking two days for the new material? Or something else?


You guessed it. The break down is for overall time for the week or month, not for each practice session. Another person might do three separate 20 minute practices each day for an hour a day, but the same idea applies. It is a rough guideline, not any kind of rule, that seems to have served me well in my nine months of practice time.

This is just incredibly helpful... I can't overstate it. I am planning to use this as my basic foundation for how I will proceed. It is especially helpful to me given the variability of my practice time. If I start to think in terms of percentages of time that starts to sound more manageable and disciplined.

Originally Posted By: casinitaly
TallGuy...well, that was quite a post. I can understand not doing some chores in favour of playing the piano. That happens regularly here smile However I can see why your wife would be pretty ticked off with you for playing the piano when there are chores from 2005 still waiting to be done.

Well, we are equal opportunity in the department of "things we should do but don't". I didn't provide a list of her foibles, but it would balance the picture quite a bit, FWIW. This is a piano forum though, so...

Originally Posted By: casinitaly
However there are some other significant differences too: I don't have kids, and my hubby has his own little "addiction" with computer simulators, so we're quite happy to do our own thing side-by-side.

I know that one of the reasons I don't tackle certain chores is that they seem overwhelming - I have been known to let them go until I don't know where to start. Then, generally, things come to a head and in a frenetic burst of energy I tackle them and voilà... I wonder why it took me so long to get to it.
I am the same way, definitely.

Originally Posted By: casinitaly
However not doing things that end up costing you money....well, that's rather self-sabatoging, isn't it?
Not to mention really, really ticking off your wife.
Your whole story of "sneaking off" to play piano just doesn't sound good to me - not good in terms of your communications with your wife and kids, not good with just being honest with yourself.

I agree, but it isn't quite as dysfunctional as I may have presented it. It is not as though I am sneaking around in the sense that my wife is unaware that I am engaging in "spousal rubato", if you will. She knows that I am working on the song for her, it's just that when she hears me practice (not the stuff for her of course) it bugs her in that moment. She is very supportive overall -- she definitely wouldn't have agreed to get the spinet tuned otherwise.

Originally Posted By: casinitaly
From what you've said it seems to me that piano in and of itself is not the problem.
Your wife would probably be irritated by any activity that kept you from doing some of those outstanding tasks!

Agreed, piano is not the problem whatsoever. I didn't intend to imply otherwise, but rather that "my practice time is screwy, here's why, and how can an effective piano method/plan fit in?"

Regarding irritation from any activity, it seems that there are some activities that are more likely to elicit a negative reaction. Puttering on the computer for instance is better than puttering on the smartphone. Maybe a laptop just looks more like it might be work? I don't know...

History is repeating itself here. There was the same dynamic with my parents, except that he was a musician and playing (guitar) was not just something to do for pleasure, it was his vocation for much of his working life. There was always a chore that needed to be done very shortly after he started playing! He could have been hanging around doing nothing much for hours beforehand, no questions asked, but pick up that guitar and...

It's like playing an instrument broadcasts "leisure!" to everyone around us.

Originally Posted By: casinitaly
From what you have said, it seems to me that you're very aware of all that needs to be done, and I would venture to suggest, since you gave us all the info, that if you undertook to find some balance between the things that really need to be done and piano playing, you'd find a lot more harmony in your home!

I know you are right. However, it all feels very Sysphean. There is just a never ending cavalcade of stuff that I'm quite sure would suck up 200% of time if I allowed it to do so. I guess that's life, I just don't manage it well.

Originally Posted By: casinitaly
Yesterday I was practicing my scales and getting very irritated. My new teacher has me working on keeping my hands in a better position (I tend to keep my 4 and 5 fingers up in the air WAY too much), and he has me working on shifting my fingers more horizontally rather than lifting up and over. I'm going nuts trying to fix this - he easily convinced me of the long term benefits of doing this, with an eye to more complicated /faster pieces-- but I'm also feeling a bit crankly and cross and wonder my my first teacher never addresed this problem? grrrr.

How are your #4 & #5 doing? Frustrating as the first teacher retrospection may be, collectively your posts have made it very clear that your new teacher is dramatically more effective for you, so that's great! I'm very happy for you in that regard. I hope to "get lucky" in that regard at some point in the future when I can afford a teacher.
_________________________
"...when you do practice properly, it seems to take no time at all. Just do it right five times or so, and then stop." -- JimF

Working on: my aversion to practicing in front of my wife

1978 Vose & Sons spinet "Rufus"
1914 Huntington upright "Mabel"

XXIX-XXXII

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#1994903 - 12/05/12 06:44 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: 4884
Loc: Italy
Hello again!

TallGuy - I'm sure that there are two sides to the coin and I know that in our household there is a lot of "give and take" - we each have our strengths and weaknesses (fortunately different ones, so it balances out!)... I didn't really think everthing was all one-sided in your home -- I was just responding to what you put out there smile A limited perspective, for sure.

With regards to the procrastination thing....something that have I tried is the idea that you can do anything for 15 minutes, and if you spend 15 minutes doing something it is better than never getting to it at all. On (very) rare ocassions that 15 min has stretched into more!

As for my n 4 and 5 fingers, - they are starting to behave a bit better, but I've still got a ways to go! I love my new teacher, I must say!

Malkin --- congrats on getting a longer lesson time! With my new teacher I've only got 45 minutes, and I'm hoping to get 1 hour in the new year....I hope he will have the time! I know it is just 15 minutes, but he's got back to back lessons for five or six hours.....we shall see.

Michael, what fun to get up early and work on music! It sounds like you've worked out your approach very logically and that it is starting to come together for you! For hitting that top G - are you jumping from a G with your thumb to the G with N5? Can you make the stretch or are you really "jumping" up? This is a good time to balance between reading the notes and looking at your hand, if you can't just stretch. I've practiced "jumps" simply going over and over the leap, even with my eyes shut, until the feeling becomes familiar.


Allard: A 20 minute lesson? That sounds absurd! Unless they are working with very small kids for the most part... What do you have with your private teacher?

Mark: Singing at the piano! woohoo!!! My dream......

SwissMS, thanks for your commiserations! smile It really sounds like you've made a wonderful recovery both in your health and your music! I'm so happy for you! (and a bit jealous of your work on Chopin!)

MaryBee - a double header of Chopin would be great fun! It is so interesting to see how different pianists play the same piece!

My ATOW was actually playing BETTER in front of my teacher than I did at home! That's a first. lol..... I had been so terribly frustrated with working on the scales, I feel like I'm going back to zero. I understand exactly why he is having me do this, but I feel so uncoordinated !!! I couldn't even play my scales hands together because I kept getting mixed up. I had a total melt down about an hour before my lesson...yes...it was sad.

However at the lesson my wonderful teacher reassured me that making changes does create confusion, and encouraged me to not get fussed about it, showed me strategies for working on the point. We also looked at my Beethoven (German dances 1 and IV) and he said he was pleased with my handling of the stretching issue I'd been working on - and he thought my hands together was fine. What surprised me though, was that he said he didn't care at all I completely ignore the tempo - what he wants me to do is focus on moving my hands into the right play first time every time, even if that means playing at a snail's pace or playing and virtually stopping.

So.... I'm still upset I'm having to going back to correct things - but the stress factor is out of the picture. Back on track. 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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#1994981 - 12/05/12 10:58 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: aTallGuyNH]
MaryBee Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/09
Posts: 1208
Loc: Cleveland, OH
Originally Posted By: aTallGuyNH
Regarding irritation from any activity, it seems that there are some activities that are more likely to elicit a negative reaction. Puttering on the computer for instance is better than puttering on the smartphone. Maybe a laptop just looks more like it might be work? I don't know...
Sounds somewhat familiar, except for me and my husband, the issue was money rather than time. We found a good solution by designating a monthly allowance for each of, which we could spend as we liked, no questions asked. This eliminates the need to explain and justify "unnecessary" purchases, and allows us to enjoy buying things we want, without guilt and bad feelings. Of course, if you exceed your allowance, you've got some explainin' to do!

So I wonder if that idea would work for leisure time. You know, like you have one hour a day to spend doing whatever you want.
_________________________
Mary Bee
Current mantra: Play outside the box.
XVI-XXXIV

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#1995070 - 12/05/12 02:22 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
BeccaBb Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/11
Posts: 905
Loc: Thunder Bay, On Canada
Congrats Malkin on your increase in time! Bet you will find your covering so much more now!

Mark, singing is so much fun. Good for you!

SwissMS: congrats! Only a few lessons and back to where you were? That is fabulous progress!

SwissMS and Marybee: I'm looking forward to your dueling waltz's now! smile

Cas: Congrats on what I didn't think was possible! LOL I backtracked myself to fix some horrid playing myself. It was discouraging at first (and I made myself do it! LOL) but now that I've improved those areas I'm so glad I did. smile I'm sure you'll find the same thing.

My AOTW was making my first composition last night! It's only three bars long and has a terrible ending (it sounds like it just stops out of nowhere lol) but it's all mine and I'm just pleased as punch. smile
_________________________
Becca
Began: 01-12-11


Floundering and Lost
Roland RD300NX

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#1995266 - 12/06/12 12:29 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
MaryBee Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/09
Posts: 1208
Loc: Cleveland, OH
Teacher told me tonight that I can consider the Chopin Waltz done! I didn't think I'd get to this point so fast with it, because just a few weeks ago I was having so many problems with it. Concentrated practice really does work. I am still going to give it a few more weeks to get really comfortable with it, and finish memorizing it. Maybe I'll have my recording done very much ahead of time for the February recital.

Becca, that's very exciting about creating your first composition. Were you inspired by Nikolas' December Compositions thread?
_________________________
Mary Bee
Current mantra: Play outside the box.
XVI-XXXIV

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#1995338 - 12/06/12 07:41 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: MaryBee]
Ragdoll Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/03/12
Posts: 664
Loc: Illinois
Quote:
Teacher told me tonight that I can consider the Chopin Waltz done! I didn't think I'd get to this point so fast with it, because just a few weeks ago I was having so many problems with it. Concentrated practice really does work. I am still going to give it a few more weeks to get really comfortable with it, and finish memorizing it. Maybe I'll have my recording done very much ahead of time for the February recital.

Becca, that's very exciting about creating your first composition. Were you inspired by Nikolas' December Compositions thread?


I love to hear my teacher say those words. Congratulations MaryBee. Yes there is a distinct difference between practice and rehearsal. Can't wait to hear it grin

Congrats to you as well Becca. I have "composed' (and I use that term lightly) short things but never written them down. Guess I should though, however they sound currently. Thanks, you've inspired me.
_________________________
Ragdoll

Never get directions from someone who hasn't been there.

Just be yourself, everyone else is already taken.


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#1995431 - 12/06/12 12:14 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
BeccaBb Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/11
Posts: 905
Loc: Thunder Bay, On Canada
Way to go Marybee! Nikolas's thread definitely had me thinking about it. smile Where it came from I have no idea. I was just mulling over chords and heard a little tune in my head, so I wrote it down.

Your welcome smile Maybe we should have a first compositions thread.. lol
_________________________
Becca
Began: 01-12-11


Floundering and Lost
Roland RD300NX

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#1995758 - 12/07/12 03:24 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
Michael_99 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 935
Loc: Canada Alberta
C D E F G A B C
5 4 3 2 2 3 4 5

B C# D# E F# G# A# B
5-4--3--2-2--3--4--5
As John Thompson says: During this book, it is advisable to adhere to the above form-the scales divided between the hands-until scale construction in all keys has been thoroughly mastered. This obviates the necessity of passing the thumb undre and the hand over- a procedure which is comprehensively taken up and illustrated by examples in the second Grade book.

-almost achieved but for a few - but while I never counted sheep to try to go to sleep as a kid, I always slept on my side, left or right, but recently as I try to run the major scales through my brain before I go to sleep, I notice I now only want sleep on my back. When I was lacking energy to play the piano sitting on the bench, I played my digital piano keyboard on my back on the floor for a few months. Maybe that affected the brain and how it wants me to sleep. I don't know. It is sure a nice way to learn the scales though.

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#1996289 - 12/08/12 07:40 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
badgerops Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/03/12
Posts: 9
Loc: Qld, Australia
I've just today managed to pull off both hands going up together 2 octaves of C Maj evenly quite a few times. I've got to admit that it was a specific thing that I wanted to be able to do early so I'm happy. However I notice that the experienced members that post in ABF tend to advise that beginners should not be spending too much time doing scales. So when I want a break from my Alfreds book i.e. when I start getting frustrated with my fingers inability to do what I want them to do, should I practice sight reading or something else instead?

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#1996873 - 12/09/12 11:15 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
Sand Tiger Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 995
Loc: Southern California
Week 39: A steady state week. I practiced every day. I did some scales, some exploring. I tried a new key for me, C minor. I am attending a choral concert later today. Shortest update ever from me, and it fits the mood and time constraints of the week.
_________________________
my piano uploads

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#1997082 - 12/09/12 08:09 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
FarmGirl Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 09/14/10
Posts: 1909
Loc: Scottsdale, AZ
Hello ABF! I'm finally back to 21st century, mainland of US and piano. Phew. That was hard. I'm going to have to ATP soon since the plane is going to depart soon.21century comment is not about Hawaii but about my parents! Aghh! I'm very happy to see them but t'was hard to live without air conditioner. It's too cold for them. I only practiced one day of all 11 days we were there!
_________________________
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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#1997142 - 12/09/12 11:00 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
aTallGuyNH Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/22/12
Posts: 500
Originally Posted By: casinitaly
As for my n 4 and 5 fingers, - they are starting to behave a bit better, but I've still got a ways to go!

Speaking of 4th and 5th fingers...

Unfortunately, I've had a grand total of about 10 minutes of piano time over the past week. I've been playing stenographer for my wife's final (monstrous) project for a course she is taking.

This has involved a tremendous amount of typing, during which it occurred to me that there were some aspects of typing that are quite analogous to piano. I've always thought of myself as a pretty good typist -- I taught myself to touch type as a kid, I motor along at a good pace -- but after doing some critical self-observation, I'm realizing I'm not so good at it as I had thought.

The thing that really jumped out at me was the fact that my hands were hopping around much too much. Why? It turns out that I've been favoring #2 & #3 my whole typing life, hopping my hand around the keyboard while severely underutilizing #4 & #5. So, I'm totally revamping my typing (on the fly), hoping it will improve my #4 & #5 dexterity on the piano as well.

I've been hitting the musictheory.net exercises as time allows, and can now recognize intervals (on the keyboard, not on the staff) at a glance with a decent level of accuracy. This is helping me identify chords as well, seeing them as collections of intervals. Still need to learn how to do that on the staff -- the issue there is that it is more difficult to recognize when BC and EF are in the mix at a glance. Making steady progress overall though on the theory side. I can recognize many key signatures now intuitively, i.e. without having to figure out what they are.

And... piano tuner is scheduled for 12/21... woohoo!
_________________________
"...when you do practice properly, it seems to take no time at all. Just do it right five times or so, and then stop." -- JimF

Working on: my aversion to practicing in front of my wife

1978 Vose & Sons spinet "Rufus"
1914 Huntington upright "Mabel"

XXIX-XXXII

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#1997275 - 12/10/12 08:25 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: aTallGuyNH]
Andy Platt Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2375
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: aTallGuyNH
I've always thought of myself as a pretty good typist -- I taught myself to touch type as a kid, I motor along at a good pace -- but after doing some critical self-observation, I'm realizing I'm not so good at it as I had thought.

The thing that really jumped out at me was the fact that my hands were hopping around much too much. Why? It turns out that I've been favoring #2 & #3 my whole typing life, hopping my hand around the keyboard while severely underutilizing #4 & #5.


A few years into my working life (I'm a software engineer so it's all computer work) the young kids out of school started to make fun of my typing. It was reasonably fast - but they had been taught touch typing and I hadn't. Well, I learned with the help of a Mavis Beacon course and never looked back.

Why do I say this? Because if you have any jumping around the keyboard, you are not touch typing. Touch typing uses specific fingers for each of the letters that you type. You rest your fingers on the "home keys" (A-F and J-L) and just move the necessary finger from there.

I would suggest getting a computer program (I assume you can do that online these days) to learn that.

Apart from that, I have found that learning to relax my fingers at the piano keyboard directly translates to the computer keyboard too which is definitely a bonus!


Edited by Andy Platt (12/10/12 12:05 PM)
_________________________
  • Liszt - Liebestršume No. 3, S541
  • Scarlatti - Sonata in D minor, K. 213

Kawai K3

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#1997279 - 12/10/12 08:31 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
Andy Platt Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2375
Loc: Virginia, USA
I played in the adult recital at the piano studio yesterday. There were actually only four of us who played which was a shame. I played the first two movements of the Kuhlau sonatina very nicely - couple of minor slips and a clunker of an ending to one of the sections wink

Bach was less kind - I had a major memory slip and couldn't complete it. That's the trouble with Bach inventions - there aren't any good points to reset in the middle. Though I realize I need to develop some. I thought I had it pretty well memorized but recital nerves proved it wasn't so.

The other pieces played yesterday were a simplified version of Chopin's Eb Nocturne (I've told my teacher that is my next piece no arguing ... not simplified of course!), Mozarts Rondo all Turca (nicely played too) and one of the Chopin "Deux Nocturnes" (Op. 55)
_________________________
  • Liszt - Liebestršume No. 3, S541
  • Scarlatti - Sonata in D minor, K. 213

Kawai K3

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#1997343 - 12/10/12 11:44 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: 4884
Loc: Italy
I'd just like to point out that the quote on the typing has nothing to do with me, it was TallGuy's reply to me. smile I actually AM a good typist - probably better than average, because for a long time I earned my keep at a keyboard!
Your points on using the same fingers for all the letters is bang on though Andy--- on the other hand - no pun intended!!! I noticed that for typing I can keep my hands in a fairly "flat" "just touching the keys position, without having any flying up in the air in wasted movement. This gives me hope for improving my piano problems!

Andy how great to participate in a live recital- even if there were only 4 participants. Sorry you had such a fiasco with the Invention - but it sounds like you're coping well and not traumatized !

I wonder if we'll hear YOUR Chopin at the next ABF recital? I think it is going to be a Chopin-fest!

_________________________
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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#1997348 - 12/10/12 12:17 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
Andy Platt Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2375
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: casinitaly
I'd just like to point out that the quote on the typing has nothing to do with me, it was TallGuy's reply to me. smile I actually AM a good typist - probably better than average, because for a long time I earned my keep at a keyboard!


Ooops - I fixed the quote!
Quote:
I wonder if we'll hear YOUR Chopin at the next ABF recital? I think it is going to be a Chopin-fest!


No chance for February - almost certainly the Sonatina or Invention. May - 50/50, I would expect to see it in August.

This of course assumes my teacher doesn't talk me out of it ...
_________________________
  • Liszt - Liebestršume No. 3, S541
  • Scarlatti - Sonata in D minor, K. 213

Kawai K3

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#1997424 - 12/10/12 04:11 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
casinitaly Offline


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 4884
Loc: Italy
Andy - don't let your teacher talk you out of it!!!!

I'm aiming for a Chopin --but at the rate I'm going it will be May or August for me. ...I don't know if I should put a smilie face (because I'll be working on it) or a sad face on that (because I'm still cranky about playing catchup and correction)...hmmm.

Well, as this is my 3,000th post, I think it should be something special - so how about a "toast" to the special old friends in this thread, who've kept it going so long and so enthusiastically - and to the wonderful newcomers who have joined in so passionately!

Thanks to everyone for all the support and encouragement!
_________________________
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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#1997459 - 12/10/12 05:27 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
Toastie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/10/12
Posts: 210
Loc: UK
Congratulations on getting to 3000! Long may you continue to impress us with your wisdom and kindness, and share with us your piano progress xx
_________________________
Complete Beginner August 2012
'Play Piano' Book 1 - finished
'Play Piano' Book 2 - finished
Grade 1 Sight Reading - finished
Grade 1 Exam Pieces
Grade 1 Scales
The Easy Piano Collection Classical Gold
Yamaha U3

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#1997478 - 12/10/12 06:00 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
JimF Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/08/09
Posts: 1677
Loc: south florida
Quote:
...I think it should be something special - so how about a "toast".....


Here, here, I'll drink to that!

Congrats on 3K and a gazillion reads for this thread. As for being a bit cranky on playing some piano-retrofit... I think we all have to do that from time to time. Had you flip-flopped it and started with the current teacher and moved to the first one, we might be discussing all the new things that your "new" teacher is showing you! LOL.

In general, I think teaching piano must be very difficult because every student seems to experience the instrument and the requirements it makes on us differently.

True story... a few weeks ago I was hacking through Moonlight Sonata for my teacher and had to glance at my hands. Of course I was totally lost in the score when I looked up and had to stop a few measures later. My teacher asked me why I stopped and I said I lost my place in the score. When, she asked? Like three measures ago, I said. She said, "and you just winged it for three measures, yet you were looking at the score the whole time?" Yep. I was staring at it, but not at anything in particular. Like I said, I had lost my place.

She was blown away by this exchange, particularly when I told her that sort of happens pretty often. First, she said she never knew I wasn't still reading the score. Plus, she assumed I would stop at the place where I got lost, but the fact is there is always (for me) a little bit more that is already "in my ear and fingers" even when I get lost. It is finding my place again that is the problem. So we are working on that, but never would have noted it as a particular problem had we not come across it in such a fortunate way. Poor teachers have to be mind readers sometimes.

AOTW: Teacher said I'd had a breakthrough in the "scales in bursts" that we've been on for a long time. Its all about relaxation of my hands and wrists, so I'm quite pleased to have made some noticeable improvement.
_________________________
La Fille aux cheveux de lin - Debussy
Ma Mere L'Oye - Ravel
Mozart Sonata K545

Estonia L190 #7284





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#1997567 - 12/10/12 08:19 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
manyhands Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/19/12
Posts: 119
Loc: Md
my lesson last week with Catherine Robbins A Lovely Mood and all dynamics and pedals got checked off much to my surprise. In the pops dept the teacher told me itis time to move up from Big Notes to Easy Piano books. I graduated!! All suggestions for book purchase, arrangers and vendors would be welcome.
_________________________
many hands many smiles

Big Mama Yama U1

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#1997711 - 12/11/12 02:45 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: 4884
Loc: Italy
Thanks Toastie, and Jim!

Jim, you could be right about what might be happening had I had these two teachers in reverse order, but we'll never know!

Your description of getting lost in the score sounds quite interesting. It is funny that you say teacher have to be mind readers - I fully agree. In fact I have often said that I have to listen to what my students want to say rather than what they are actually saying. (I teach English to Italians)....sometimes it works and sometimes we end up staring blankly at each other for a minute while we puzzle through what's going on!

Great success on the scales! Congrats! I'm feeling marginally less awkward - probably because I'm not working hard enough at letting go of the irritation. I'm sure that if I could let go and just get on with it it would be easier. My new objective for the week - not to play better, but to play without crankies smile

ManyHands! That's a lovely bit of progress. One thing to watch out for is that some books claiming to be Easy Piano aren't! I wanted to buy some Easy Piano for my niece and I went to the Hal Leonard site to check them out - there are more than you can shake a stick at! Several different genres are available - but if you like pieces from musicals they really shine in that area.

What I would really suggest though, rather than buying on line - is to go to a shop (if possible) and check out the books in person before you make your purchases.

I get most of my music from Amazon UK but I often have to check out the amazon.com site to view pages, or search on other sites to see sample pages. It can be a bit of a hassle sometimes.
_________________________
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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