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#2022675 - 01/28/13 08:05 AM one recording a week - Catherine Shefski and goplay
Sam S Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/07
Posts: 1419
Loc: Georgia, USA
One recording a week is a little more stress than I want in my life, but that's exactly what this piano teacher did. I read about her on the Nancy Williams piano blog. Piano teacher Catherine Shefski made a resolution to record one new piece a week for a year. The recordings are at Soundcloud , a recording site that is new to me. Looks like lots of interesting things going on there.

Catherine Shefski also has a pdf ebook called goplay that has a lot of good info in it about motivating students to practice and engage in music.

Very interesting, but I think the quarterly ABF recitals and now the Mendelssohn Recital are enough to keep me involved and engaged...

Sam

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#2022679 - 01/28/13 08:10 AM Re: one recording a week - Catherine Shefski and goplay [Re: Sam S]
Allard Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/27/12
Posts: 341
Loc: Netherlands
One recording a week? I wouldn't know where to find the time! Sixteen in a year is already going to be a challenge for me: one entry to every monthly piano bar and one to every quarterly recital here.

Does the book help self-motivating students?
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#2022688 - 01/28/13 08:22 AM Re: one recording a week - Catherine Shefski and goplay [Re: Sam S]
casinitaly Online   blank


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 5131
Loc: Italy
Wow. Well, I "could" make one recording a week. I doubt that anyone would want to listen to 75% of them though! smile

I have started recording more, but not for sharing -- I record to evaluate how I'm doing. I find it is easier to figure out where my weak spots are when I can sit back and listen, rather than trying to evaluate when I'm actually playing.
_________________________
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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#2022697 - 01/28/13 08:38 AM Re: one recording a week - Catherine Shefski and goplay [Re: Allard]
Sam S Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/07
Posts: 1419
Loc: Georgia, USA
The goplay book is a free pdf. It's a booklet with some ideas to motivate students to get involved in music.

Sam

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#2022708 - 01/28/13 08:56 AM Re: one recording a week - Catherine Shefski and goplay [Re: Sam S]
CarlosCC Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/06/09
Posts: 1378
Loc: Lisbon, Portugal
I will keep a record each 3 months. Yes, it is for ABF Recitals...
Thanks for sharing.
_________________________

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#2022718 - 01/28/13 09:24 AM Re: one recording a week - Catherine Shefski and goplay [Re: casinitaly]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2409
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
Originally Posted By: casinitaly
I have started recording more, but not for sharing -- I record to evaluate how I'm doing.
Me, too!

I can't believe how lazy I've been, how shoddy my practise is and how unready I am to post anything!

My new DP makes recording a doddle; what a boon to improvement! smile
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#2022720 - 01/28/13 09:33 AM Re: one recording a week - Catherine Shefski and goplay [Re: Sam S]
Sand Tiger Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 1068
Loc: Southern California
>> Ms. Shefski wrote:
I found my teaching philosophy evolving away from the rigor of traditional pedagogy toward something I simply started calling “Go Play.”
>>

Ms. Shefski also has a blog entry about letting go of perfectionism. I don't have time for the e-book at the moment. I would appreciate it if anyone familiar with her approach could outline it in a couple of paragraphs, highlighting the major differences from traditional classical instruction.

I can see how someone with a lot of experience and strong at sightreading could do one new piece a week, but do not see how it translates to intermediate level hobbyists who still have so much to learn. I am observing that most on the forum, take several weeks to months to learn a new complex piece. Does the Go Play method, mean much easier pieces or something else, if it means one new piece a week? I would be interested in the answers.

As an aside, I am big advocate of "go write" for composers and songwriters. A new tune a week would a fast pace for hobbyists, but for someone that has the time and the passion, it would be a good goal. Any beginner songwriter or composer that worked at that pace for a few months would see tremendous growth.
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#2022822 - 01/28/13 12:50 PM Re: one recording a week - Catherine Shefski and goplay [Re: Sam S]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5321
Loc: Philadelphia
Letting go of perfectionism is critical to making a once-a-week recording possible. It's also critical to have a backlog of pieces to perform. Looking at the list, quite a bit of it is "standard" repertoire anyone should have learned at some point (with allowable substitutions). It's also critical to perform pieces just below your ability level. This makes the reading easier, the learning faster, and the performance better. Notice, the title isn't, "Go play 52 pieces you can barely wrap your mind around." It's just, "Go play." This type of program isn't designed to perform the 52 hardest pieces you can find (or even one of them).

Looks like Week 18 might be difficult, but maybe not. The movement is so repetitive that it's not that hard to learn in only a few days. And since she played the entire sonata, I'm guessing it was either already in the repertoire, or she had at least a few weeks to work on it (while playing the other movements).

Another tough one, the Fantasie-Impromptu (and Minute Waltz while we're at it). But these are pretty standard pieces. I would expect also part of her repertoire before starting.

A more interesting one is #2, the Moszkowski. Would be very interested to know if that was "new" or "already in the repertoire". But in looking at all 49 weeks, I'm not seeing anything that looks like it was "just learned". Some might be touched up, but nothing sounds completely fresh.


Also, please keep in mind, I'm not trying to take away from the idea--it's a very good idea, and I like it. I'm just trying to explain how it's done. If you jump in with completely new repertoire every week, and it was a Liszt etude instead of a Clementi sonatina, I would expect you to fail. But if you've got a solid 40 pieces under your belt and in your repertoire, there's no reason you can't add some fillers like Traumerei, or a Brahms Intermezzo, or a slow Chopin waltz/nocturne over the next 40 weeks while you perform what you already know.
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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#2022886 - 01/28/13 02:47 PM Re: one recording a week - Catherine Shefski and goplay [Re: Sam S]
Sand Tiger Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 1068
Loc: Southern California
Okay, I read the "book." It is only 15 breezy pages so most folks can read it in five or ten minutes. At first glance, I like the concept.

If I were offered the two choices, the first teacher offering to work mostly with a method book, the second teacher offering a GoPlay type of program, I would choose the latter. That doesn't mean it is "better" or "worse."
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#2022926 - 01/28/13 03:50 PM Re: one recording a week - Catherine Shefski and goplay [Re: Sam S]
Mark... Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 4380
Loc: Jersey Shore
To sum up the e book is that kids love digital information and have a short attention span. To motivate them use a digital learning format and make it fun. No surprises there...

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#2022986 - 01/28/13 05:23 PM Re: one recording a week - Catherine Shefski and goplay [Re: Sand Tiger]
JimF Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/08/09
Posts: 1751
Loc: south florida
Quote:
I can see how someone with a lot of experience and strong at sightreading could do one new piece a week, but do not see how it translates to intermediate level hobbyists who still have so much to learn. I am observing that most on the forum, take several weeks to months to learn a new complex piece. Does the Go Play method, mean much easier pieces or something else, if it means one new piece a week? I would be interested in the answers.


This has nothing to do with the ebook or study program under discussion, but last year for about six months another member and I traded weekly recordings as part of a reading improvement/get-out-of-your-own-way/get-over-perfection program for both of us.

We used an easier book of arrangements of jazz standards (lots of slow ballads) and the assignment was for each of us to pick a song to just sightread it through a couple of times every day for one week. Our only rule was to try very hard not to memorize as it would defeat the purpose. Then, at the end of the week just record yourself doing just that, reading it, at whatever pace and with whatever errors you got. You could do repeated takes if you wanted, but after a while we both just fell into the habit of making a single take on the seventh day and letting it go at that. Then we swapped the recordings and would start the new week with each picking a new song.

Not only was this a fun exercise that did not take up major time, but it also was quite effective at improving my reading.
It also was a help with red-dot syndrome. The first few days you would swear you'd never have anything recordable by the weekend, but come Sunday somehow the magic of multiple times reading would allow your fingers to seek out the right keys while still reading and keeping good rythmn and a slow tempo.

All in all, I'd say it was a very worthwhile thing to do.
_________________________
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#2023271 - 01/29/13 05:27 AM Re: one recording a week - Catherine Shefski and goplay [Re: Sam S]
Sam S Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/07
Posts: 1419
Loc: Georgia, USA
The Nancy Williams blog had a followup interview today with Catherine Shefski about her recording project. She discusses stamping out perfectionism in recording...

Sam

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#2023318 - 01/29/13 08:21 AM Re: one recording a week - Catherine Shefski and goplay [Re: JimF]
casinitaly Online   blank


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 5131
Loc: Italy
Originally Posted By: JimF
Quote:
I can see how someone with a lot of experience and strong at sightreading could do one new piece a week, but do not see how it translates to intermediate level hobbyists who still have so much to learn. I am observing that most on the forum, take several weeks to months to learn a new complex piece. Does the Go Play method, mean much easier pieces or something else, if it means one new piece a week? I would be interested in the answers.


This has nothing to do with the ebook or study program under discussion, but last year for about six months another member and I traded weekly recordings as part of a reading improvement/get-out-of-your-own-way/get-over-perfection program for both of us.

We used an easier book of arrangements of jazz standards (lots of slow ballads) and the assignment was for each of us to pick a song to just sightread it through a couple of times every day for one week. Our only rule was to try very hard not to memorize as it would defeat the purpose. Then, at the end of the week just record yourself doing just that, reading it, at whatever pace and with whatever errors you got. You could do repeated takes if you wanted, but after a while we both just fell into the habit of making a single take on the seventh day and letting it go at that. Then we swapped the recordings and would start the new week with each picking a new song.

Not only was this a fun exercise that did not take up major time, but it also was quite effective at improving my reading.
It also was a help with red-dot syndrome. The first few days you would swear you'd never have anything recordable by the weekend, but come Sunday somehow the magic of multiple times reading would allow your fingers to seek out the right keys while still reading and keeping good rythmn and a slow tempo.

All in all, I'd say it was a very worthwhile thing to do.


What a really interesting idea! Very worthwhile use of your time!
_________________________
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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#2023350 - 01/29/13 09:32 AM Re: one recording a week - Catherine Shefski and goplay [Re: Sam S]
Sand Tiger Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 1068
Loc: Southern California
That Nancy Williams blog has many topics that may be of interest, thanks for linking that. There are some recent ones about choosing a teacher, some old ones on performance anxiety, metronome, pedaling, finding your passion, yoga and piano.

http://www.nancywilliamspiano.com/
_________________________
my piano uploads

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