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#2110803 - 06/30/13 07:09 PM My Summerkeys 2013 Report
Sam S Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/07
Posts: 1424
Loc: Georgia, USA
Just back from my Summerkeys vacation and I had a great time again this year.

If you don't know what Summerkeys is, it's a music camp for adults in far northeastern Maine in a little town named Lubec. A good intro is my report from 2011: What I did on my Summerkeys vacation

This is my third year. It was a different experience this year because I went the third week in June, the very first week that is is open for the summer. It was a much smaller crowd of only 6 piano students and 8 cellists. I actually liked this much better than the larger classes in July. I got to talk to every piano student and hear them all play several times during the week, which really created a sense of a shared experience between us.

The skill levels varied from beginner to fairly advanced. The most advanced student was playing a Chopin Etude, but there was also Chopin, Bach and Satie among others. There were no popular/jazz players. Ages ranged from twenty-something to senior citizens.

The format was the same as previous years. There were three piano classes during the week that everyone attended as a group. We discussed theory, playing problems, and played for each other (no pressure!). We also had 2 performance classes with no faculty allowed where we could play for each other - that's always a lot of fun and much-needed practice for playing in front of people.

There were 2 faculty recitals. Richard McIntyre played an organ recital on the old pipe organ in the Church (a 1912 Moller) on Wednesday night. He played pieces by Mendelssohn, Halsey Stevens, Samuel Barber, Charles Stanford, Brahms, Buxtehude, Respighi, and Bach. Also an original composition. Very impressive. I took an "intro to organ" lesson from him and got to play on the big pipe organ, which was a lot of fun. I was terrible! Too many keyboards, plus pedals!

Then John Newell, one of the piano teachers, played a piano recital on Thursday night. His theme was "American Landscapes", and he played all American music by Barber, Ives, Feldman, Gershwin, Glass, Pace, Brickman, and an original composition which was variations on Amazing Grace. Another excellent recital. I was particularly impressed by the Barber (Excursions), and I know that the Gershwin preludes are playable by many here on the ABF.

Then on Friday night we had the "recital". I played Schumann's Arabeske, and it went better than it did at my teacher's recital. Not perfect, but I was happy with it. I used a mixture of memory and playing from the music this time, and that seemed to work much better for me.

My teacher this year, for the first time, was Bruce Potterton himself, the founder and inspiration behind the Summerkeys program. He is an excellent teacher, and he helped me with many things that were puzzling me about the Arabeske and a Chopin Nocturne I am working on.

So I had a great time. I hope I get to go again next summer, and if I do, I think June will be my first choice.

Here is the Summerkeys web site: summerkeys.com

And when I was done with Summerkeys, I went and hiked the 100 mile wilderness on the Appalachian trail in Maine. Yikes!

Sam

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#2110813 - 06/30/13 07:18 PM Re: My Summerkeys 2013 Report [Re: Sam S]
PianoStudent88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3183
Loc: Maine
Thanks for the report!

Originally Posted By: Sam S
he helped me with many things that were puzzling me about the Arabeske and a Chopin Nocturne I am working on.

Can you say what are some of the things that were puzzling you? Not for details for me about how to play these pieces, but because I'm wondering what kinds of things puzzle a pianist who is at a level to be able to approach these.

Quote:
And when I was done with Summerkeys, I went and hiked the 100 mile wilderness on the Appalachian trail in Maine. Yikes!

Yikes indeed! That's amazing! Congratulations!
_________________________
Ebaug(maj7)

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#2110821 - 06/30/13 07:37 PM Re: My Summerkeys 2013 Report [Re: Sam S]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 2107
Loc: Rocky Mountains
Sounds like a great time. Thanks for the report.
BTW: I understand the trails in the north east are rather rocky. Is it true where you went?
_________________________
Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon

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#2110825 - 06/30/13 07:54 PM Re: My Summerkeys 2013 Report [Re: Sam S]
dynamobt Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/07/13
Posts: 719
Loc: NH
Thanks for the report! Glad you had a good time with good lessons and a positive recital!! During a year we don't have a major vacation planned, I really want to think about doing this.
_________________________
1918 Mason & Hamlin BB





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#2110994 - 07/01/13 05:49 AM Re: My Summerkeys 2013 Report [Re: PianoStudent88]
Sam S Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/07
Posts: 1424
Loc: Georgia, USA
Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88
Thanks for the report!

Originally Posted By: Sam S
he helped me with many things that were puzzling me about the Arabeske and a Chopin Nocturne I am working on.

Can you say what are some of the things that were puzzling you? Not for details for me about how to play these pieces, but because I'm wondering what kinds of things puzzle a pianist who is at a level to be able to approach these.





This is one of the trouble spots in the Arabeske. It's difficult to make musical sense of this section. The top notes need to be connected (legato). That requires finger substitution - for instance, the first b is played with 5, but then, while holding it down, 4 is substituted for 5 so 5 can be free to play the following d. Then the c is played with 4 and 5 is substituted so 4 can play the b. And so forth. I also had difficulty playing the 16ths, usually making them into triplets.

Things like this are very subtle, and not obvious at first glance. It's much easier to just connect things with the pedal (which is what I was doing). In fact, it didn't really occur to me that I should connect the top line. This is something I need to learn to recognize for myself without a teacher pointing it out.

Sam

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#2111000 - 07/01/13 06:05 AM Re: My Summerkeys 2013 Report [Re: rnaple]
Sam S Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/07
Posts: 1424
Loc: Georgia, USA
Originally Posted By: rnaple
Sounds like a great time. Thanks for the report.
BTW: I understand the trails in the north east are rather rocky. Is it true where you went?


Yes, the trail in Maine is mostly roots and rocks. In places it's closer to rock scrambling than hiking. And then there are the bogs.

Can you find the trail in this picture? Notice the white blaze in the lower right corner!



Sam


Edited by Sam S (07/01/13 06:06 AM)

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#2111011 - 07/01/13 06:43 AM Re: My Summerkeys 2013 Report [Re: Sam S]
WiseBuff Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/03/05
Posts: 812
Loc: Brighton Colorado
Sam S.
2 years ago your detailed story of the Summerkeys experience inspired me and intrigued me. I am here in Lubec at a rental home on Main Street (internet is really the only connection with the outside world--cell service is spotty here). Last night was the orientation for newbies. There are four of us this week. A couple from Vermont (she plays piano and he plays cello) and a woman from Boston who sounds like an advanced pianist. Two spouses (mine and Boston's) heard the orientation and realized that we will be VERY busy this week. We start today (Monday) with a piano class and then I have practice time in M6 and a lesson with John Newell in the middle of the practice time. Tonight we'll have a get together at the restaurant at the wharf...lasagna can you believe? We've been here since Tuesday and according to the natives this is unseasonably cold weather...52-60 degrees and with the humidity that feels bone chilling. So far this morning the fog is still heavy and I can hear the fog horn from West Quoddy Light warning the ships. I'm fascinated by high and low tide (I'm an inland girl from Colorado so tides are a novelty). The tides here in the Bay of Fundy are the highest in the world up to 20 feet change every 6 hours.

My fingers are anxious to have some piano time this morning. The adventure begins and I hope Jim finds something to do. :-)
_________________________



Love to learn

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#2111020 - 07/01/13 07:11 AM Re: My Summerkeys 2013 Report [Re: WiseBuff]
Sam S Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/07
Posts: 1424
Loc: Georgia, USA
Originally Posted By: WiseBuff
Sam S.

My fingers are anxious to have some piano time this morning. The adventure begins and I hope Jim finds something to do. :-)


Hope you have a wonderful time! Is Jim a walker? There is a public beach (a stony Maine beach) that you can walk to by going down Water Street on the other side of the bridge. And lots of trails over on Campobello Island and out at East Quoddy lighthouse. And a trip up to the lighthouse at the tip of Campobello is a must (at low tide, the only time you can walk out to it).

If you make it to Eastport, be sure to check out Ray's Mustard Mill - and buy some mustard.

Sam

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#2111413 - 07/02/13 08:00 AM Re: My Summerkeys 2013 Report [Re: Sam S]
WiseBuff Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/03/05
Posts: 812
Loc: Brighton Colorado
We came last week to get to know a bit of Maine before my SummerKeys experience. Lubec is a very small town with warm, friendly people and this week a lot of chilly, wet, foggy weather. The house we're staying in is an old one with recent remodeling...hardwood floors, IKEA furnishings, and beautiful yard. It smells old...an unusual phenomenon for someone from Colorado where that is rare.

Sunday night I found myself anxious to get started. One of the SummerKeys folks pointed me to a piano I could play and that felt good after five days with no keys. The official week started yesterday at 9 am. We met at the main house and then split into two groups for Group Class: performance or theory. I chose performance and we walked over and up (lots of hills here) to the Summer Street house. SummerKeys owns a couple of houses in town and at the Summer Street house there is a grand in the living room, an upright in another room and a Baldwin grand in the kitchen. The kitchen is not used for cooking up anything but music. We introduced our backgrounds, our hopes and our fears and then played a bit for the instructor. There is a lot of opportunity to confront the nervousness about performing here and it is all very supportive..relaxed. After group class I went to the shed...like a TUFFshed with two piano practice rooms in it. Mine was a Yamaha grand and I practiced for two hours on the music I'd brought with me. In the middle of the session the sun came out for the first time since we've been here and I stood outside in the flower filled yard to enjoy the moment. Inside the house is a library of music available for use during the week but I think I'll be too focused on what I brought. My teacher, Mr. Newell, came for my one hour private lesson and he looked through my working music and wants me to play a movement from the Mozart Viennese Sonatina on Friday night. In the one hour he dissected the first two pages of the allegro and worked with me on tension, hand placement, aural awareness, with a goal of articulating Mozart more musically. It was intense but not intimidating. I had another hour of practice time and came back to the house tired and hungry. Today I'll make sure I take a cushion for the piano bench. :-) Hope I can absorb some of the wisdom into my playing


Edited by WiseBuff (07/02/13 08:02 AM)
_________________________



Love to learn

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#2111434 - 07/02/13 09:00 AM Re: My Summerkeys 2013 Report [Re: WiseBuff]
Sam S Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/07
Posts: 1424
Loc: Georgia, USA
Thanks for the report Wisebuff - seems like I'm still there. I spent many hours on those pianos. One of the highlights for me of Summerkeys is playing on all the different instruments. As pianists we need to be able to cope with different actions and pedals and so forth. I think the Yamaha C7 at Summer Street has the most even action, although the pedal gave me some trouble. The Baldwin in the kitchen is nice too, but once again, I had to adapt to the pedal. Wait till you play the Steinway in the Church! It's loud...

Keep the reports coming!

Sam

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#2111592 - 07/02/13 01:24 PM Re: My Summerkeys 2013 Report [Re: Sam S]
casinitaly Offline


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 5259
Loc: Italy
Sam and Wisebuff - thanks for sharing your experiences - it sounds like a wonderful place, with great programmes and teachers!

..and a beautiful location too!
_________________________
XVIII-XXXV
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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#2111594 - 07/02/13 01:26 PM Re: My Summerkeys 2013 Report [Re: casinitaly]
ClsscLib Offline

Platinum Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 1819
Loc: Northern VA, U.S.
Originally Posted By: casinitaly
Sam and Wisebuff - thanks for sharing your experiences - it sounds like a wonderful place, with great programmes and teachers!

..and a beautiful location too!


Yes, thank you both!

I'll be going to Summerkeys for the first time in a couple of weeks; I can hardly wait!
_________________________


"People may say I can't sing, but no one can ever say I didn't sing."

-- Florence Foster Jenkins

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#2111596 - 07/02/13 01:28 PM Re: My Summerkeys 2013 Report [Re: ClsscLib]
casinitaly Offline


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 5259
Loc: Italy
Originally Posted By: ClsscLib
Originally Posted By: casinitaly
Sam and Wisebuff - thanks for sharing your experiences - it sounds like a wonderful place, with great programmes and teachers!

..and a beautiful location too!


Yes, thank you both!

I'll be going to Summerkeys for the first time in a couple of weeks; I can hardly wait!


Maybe you'll see FarmGirl when you are there!
_________________________
XVIII-XXXV
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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#2111607 - 07/02/13 01:49 PM Re: My Summerkeys 2013 Report [Re: casinitaly]
Andy Platt Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2419
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: casinitaly
Maybe you'll see FarmGirl when you are there!


She'll be the one being chased around by security guards!
_________________________
  • Liszt - Liebesträume No. 3, S541
  • Schumann - Ende vom Lied, Opus 12.8
  • Haydn - Sonata in Gm, Hob. XVI/44

Kawai K3

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#2111627 - 07/02/13 02:17 PM Re: My Summerkeys 2013 Report [Re: casinitaly]
Ragdoll Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/03/12
Posts: 689
Loc: Illinois
Quote:
Sam and Wisebuff - thanks for sharing your experiences


I'll second that! It sounds like a great experience. I hope this thread stays active for awhile and everyone who attends will report on their fun and learning. Pictures would be a big + too grin
The EPP as well, on a different thread of course.
_________________________
Ragdoll

Just be yourself, everyone else is already taken.


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#2111761 - 07/02/13 06:28 PM Re: My Summerkeys 2013 Report [Re: Sam S]
JimF Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/08/09
Posts: 1818
Loc: south florida
Let me add my thanks to Sam and WiseBuff. Keep it up guys. thumb

Oh, yeah, FarmGirl is gonna tear that place up! grin
_________________________
Nessun dorma - G.Puccini
Solfeggietto - CPE Bach
La Fille aux cheveux de lin-Debussy



Estonia L190 #7284





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#2111770 - 07/02/13 06:49 PM Re: My Summerkeys 2013 Report [Re: Sam S]
Rickster Offline


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8583
Loc: Georgia, USA
Sounds fantastic, Sam!

And, as someone who has heard you play in person, you were probably the most advanced player there! smile

Sam is modest, ya'll, but he's a great classical performer! And, his wife plays the flute like a pro! smile

And, to top it off, he's a great guy!

All the best!

Rick
_________________________
Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel

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#2111852 - 07/02/13 10:24 PM Re: My Summerkeys 2013 Report [Re: Rickster]
AZ_Astro Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 09/19/12
Posts: 477
Loc: Tempe, Arizona
I enjoyed reading this and I am intrigued about the possibility of going next summer.

Thanks for posting the report.
_________________________
Kawai KG-5. Korg SP-250. Software pianos: Ivory II, Ravenscroft, Galaxy Vintage D, Alicia's Keys, et al.


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#2111873 - 07/02/13 11:11 PM Re: My Summerkeys 2013 Report [Re: AZ_Astro]
zillybug Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/11/11
Posts: 133
Loc: USA
Thanks for the report Sam and Wise Buff. I was there last week with a friend, It was my second time and my friend's first. She loved Summerkeys as much as I do and we are hoping we may be able to come for the two weeks in June next year. We both had Bruce as our teacher. I had him last year and liked him so much that I requested him for us both this year. We live about 3 hours north of NYC where Bruce teaches during the year. She liked Bruce so much that she is thinking of going down to the city a few times during the year to take lessons with him. In her words, "He is the most inspiring and motivating teacher that I have ever had." One of the things that I really like about Bruce is how he can figure out what is causing you problems and then break it down and make exercises out of the part of the piece to help you get it. I asked Bruce what he suggested for technique and he said scales and Bach. I also need to improve my sight reading which is pretty bad. Bruce's suggestion was to play a lot of easy duets with my friend because you have to keep going when you play with someone else.

There was a range of skill levels from beginner to one student who was actually a piano and organ teacher. At the Friday night performance class, She played Brahm's Intermezzo in A. That is one of my dream pieces that I want to play before I die. I played a Chopin Waltz in b minor. Let's just say I was much happier with my performance of Consolation by Mendelssohn last year than I was this year. The waltz is not really a difficult piece but with the repeats it's about 7 pages long and I can't seem to keep my nerves under control that long. Sometimes I wonder why I keep trying to play in front of an audience. During the 2 performance practice classes, I played it just fine but during the performance on Friday, I messed up the chromatic part and had to start it over again. I know this piece so well but when I get nervous my memory goes out the window. During the spring, I was having my lesson and playing the waltz and I thought I heard someone else come in the room but I managed to keep my concentration and kept playing. When I finished, I looked up and a whole adult class and their teacher were standing there. My teacher said you did great concentrating but I thought you were going to have a heart attack when you saw everyone standing there clapping. Now if I could just have everyone go out in the hall until I get started and into the piece that would be great.

Bruce gave the faculty concert on Wednesday night. During the first half, he played pieces by Palmgreen, Mozart and Chopin.
The second half consisted of music by Debussy, Messiaen, and Poulenc. It was a great concert and I was so happy that I got to hear Bruce play.

Summerkeys is such a great experience. Everyone from the other students to the teachers to even the people who live in the town are so nice, We went to services at the Congregational Church before we left on Sunday and they were very welcoming.
We exchanged e-mails and phone numbers with a retired gentleman at the church and he called to see if we got home alright.

The weather was not very cooperative for outdoor activities but we did visit Acadia on the way up and then visited Campobello Island on Saturday. We did the tea with Eleanor. It is free and the ladies who did the presentation were amazing.

Everybody please keep the reports coming. It' great to read them and it is like being back there again. I often read them over again during last year to get my Summerkeys fix.

Judy

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#2112001 - 07/03/13 05:37 AM Re: My Summerkeys 2013 Report [Re: Rickster]
Sam S Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/07
Posts: 1424
Loc: Georgia, USA
Thanks for the compliments Rick, I only wish I played as well as you think I do!

Sam

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#2112002 - 07/03/13 05:45 AM Re: My Summerkeys 2013 Report [Re: zillybug]
Sam S Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/07
Posts: 1424
Loc: Georgia, USA
Originally Posted By: zillybug

Everybody please keep the reports coming. It' great to read them and it is like being back there again. I often read them over again during last year to get my Summerkeys fix.

Judy




Thanks for the report Judy - sounds like you had a great time!

Bruce did the same thing at my lesson - immediately identifying the problem area and coming up with a way to practice it. That's one of the signs of a great teacher.

I have a love/hate relationship with playing in front of people too. Sometimes it goes well, sometimes it's a disaster. I know I need to force myself to do it at every opportunity, it's just tough to face the anxiety.

Sam

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#2112030 - 07/03/13 07:22 AM Re: My Summerkeys 2013 Report [Re: Sam S]
WiseBuff Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/03/05
Posts: 812
Loc: Brighton Colorado
Thank you for sharing your story Judy. I was amazed that SummerKeys has been going for 22 years with amateur (mostly) students coming and often year after year. So many of us have performance anxiety or tension that is a roadblock to sharing our music. Our performance class has one late beginner, two intermediates and one very advanced player. All were friendly and supportive.

Each student gets a schedule of practice time assigned to one of the many available spots in town. My schedule said 9:45 for Tuesday but they also said with fewer students (an advantage for the earlier week) there could be more available. I'm an earlier riser but on vacation I sleep in until 6 or so. :-). I asked if I could start at 7 but SummerKeys has a good relationship with the neighbors and wants to keep it that way. At 9 am I went over and looked for an urtext version of the Mozart Viennese sonatinas in the kitchen/library and found a 1945 edited version. There were many differences from my Palmer edited version. Hmmmm. It was tough not gathering up a great stack of music to explore. The practice time just goes so fast. Again, the day was rainy with heavy fog making the place seem surreal; foghorn sounding in the distance. My schedule assigned me to M1 for Tuesday practice on a Baldwin grand that feels much like my teacher's grand. I wish I could describe the touch like the pros do in comparing pianos. I started with scales and I played through a few simple pieces from a book from the library for brain warmup. Then my Grieg piece which I'm still studying section by section. The initial section by section work goes so slowly for me; I may never get to a long piece. Then I settled in on the Mozart trying to understand where the tension lurks in my body that shows itself when I play. I'm thinking I may need a music psychiatrist to uncover my fear of making mistakes in front of others. No lessons on Tuesday...just 3 hours of intimate time with the Baldwin. I might have played on for a few more hours but also wanted Jim to have some company. We drove over to Campobello island and had lunch at the golf course restaurant..my first crab roll was yummy. We drove to the East Quoddy Light but decided that our shoes wouldn't serve us well to walk across the slippery rocks and beach that are the trail to the lighthouse. It is only accessible during low tide so you can get stuck out there if you're not careful. In the evening, we drove to Machias (30-45 minutes) to enjoy a concert by a group called Four Strings and a Whistle (cello, violin, and flute). One of the pieces was composed by my teacher, John Newell a very contemporary piece that my husband said evoked Stephen King for him. I went to sleep last night with Mozart in my head in some chaotic order that may have been mixing some Debussy and Grieg in there.
_________________________



Love to learn

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#2112112 - 07/03/13 10:44 AM Re: My Summerkeys 2013 Report [Re: Sam S]
jotur Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5640
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
I love reading these. It's much better for me to read about someone who loves having 3 hours to practice than to try to do it. I think I have ADHD or something - I don't think I could do three hours, even if I took some significant breaks to stretch, or something. I'll have to try it at home first smile

But what a wonderful opportunity. I liked it, Karen, when you said you were trying to find "where the tension lurks in my body" because that is so key for me, too. So much of the way you seem to problem solve resonates for me -

Thanks, Judy, for chiming in here, too - another perspective on Summerkeys just makes it sound all that much better.

Cathy
_________________________

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#2112246 - 07/03/13 03:04 PM Re: My Summerkeys 2013 Report [Re: jotur]
ClsscLib Offline

Platinum Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 1819
Loc: Northern VA, U.S.
Originally Posted By: jotur
I love reading these. It's much better for me to read about someone who loves having 3 hours to practice than to try to do it. I think I have ADHD or something - I don't think I could do three hours, even if I took some significant breaks to stretch, or something. I'll have to try it at home first smile

But what a wonderful opportunity. I liked it, Karen, when you said you were trying to find "where the tension lurks in my body" because that is so key for me, too. So much of the way you seem to problem solve resonates for me -

Thanks, Judy, for chiming in here, too - another perspective on Summerkeys just makes it sound all that much better.

Cathy


IIRC, you can sign up for shorter practice "chunks." I signed up for 3 hours because I love the thought of being able to practice that long. I wish I could at home, but it's nearly impossible.
_________________________


"People may say I can't sing, but no one can ever say I didn't sing."

-- Florence Foster Jenkins

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#2112303 - 07/03/13 04:33 PM Re: My Summerkeys 2013 Report [Re: Sam S]
torquenale Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/29/12
Posts: 350
Loc: Italy
Thank you for your reports! It seems like a nice experience, and I don't know if here in Italy there is something comparable, where even beginners are welcome.
Both my my children are at a music camp these week, I envy them and you!!
_________________________



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#2112304 - 07/03/13 04:34 PM Re: My Summerkeys 2013 Report [Re: torquenale]
casinitaly Offline


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 5259
Loc: Italy
Originally Posted By: torquenale
Thank you for your reports! It seems like a nice experience, and I don't know if here in Italy there is something comparable, where even beginners are welcome.
Both my my children are at a music camp these week, I envy them and you!!


I don't know of anything like this here for adults either. It would be wonderful !
_________________________
XVIII-XXXV
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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#2112349 - 07/03/13 06:14 PM Re: My Summerkeys 2013 Report [Re: Sam S]
FarmGirl Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 09/14/10
Posts: 2026
Loc: Scottsdale, AZ
I haven't read the thread yet. I will. I have been busy with fire extinguishing. I mean I was out a week and just got back on last Saturday. Sounds like everyone is having great time at SummerKeys. I cannot wait for mine.
_________________________
Solo - Rachmaninoff Elegie Op 3 #1, Schumann Op 12 Warum and Grillen and Mozart K 475 Fantasy C minor
Collaboration - Concerto in C for Oboe and orchestra attributed to Haydn edited by Evelyn Rosewell


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#2112656 - 07/04/13 07:04 AM Re: My Summerkeys 2013 Report [Re: Sam S]
WiseBuff Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/03/05
Posts: 812
Loc: Brighton Colorado
Wednesday came quickly because I couldn't sleep well and by 9AM I wanted to play piano (my schedule said 11:00). I found the Yamaha grand in the shed was open and sat down to work on the Gm scale for John. No sunshine yet; just the sounds of some beautiful music from the next room. The scale cannot go fast until and unless the thumb comes under the 2nd finger immediately as you play the 2nd finger. By slowing way down I could see that my thumb isn't coming under until the 3rd finger plays. We have some work to do to retrain my lazy thumb. The opening notes of the Mozart are clues to the relaxation issue. Half note octave chord; half note octave chord; half note octave chord; followed by staccato notes. Must move INTO the keys and then relax. Hmmmm. Multiple trys leave me frustrated. I closed my eyes and imagine the waves coming INTO the shore and then receding. Press; relax. That's better and I can feel it throughout my body. The two hours were evanescent...just gone before I knew it but I'd worked on Grieg; Debussy and a lot on Mozart. Time for group class in the Summer Street kitchen. Richard played a 21st century kind of dissonant piece for us and he is very talented. When asked my reaction I had to admit that I don't "understand" that genre of music and it doesn't connect well with my brain. That led to a fascinating dissection of the genre and specific piece of music which opened the listening experience for me. We learned finger stretching exercises to do before we start playing and listened to Bernito play his Sater piece...no time signature to the piece which led to another interesting discussion. Now time to go to the church parsonage for practice up the hill up the hill. The door is locked so I recheck my schedule and yup I'm in the right place at the right time but locked door. I start down the hill down the hill to the office and realize I'm starving and fortunately Jim is at the house. Choice here: play piano or eat lunch with husband. The fish sandwich was excellent and I felt much more ready to play again. There are no lunch breaks built in so sometimes one must make the priority decision. Jim and I found the back door to the parsonage open and I set up to play on a Mason Hamlin with lovely sound. John arrived an hour later (moving teachers rather than students is the procedure here) and listened to my progress on Mozart. LOVE the encouraging style here with small manageable steps to noticeable improvements. I move my fingers too far off the keys...we're talking small differences here but huge improvement when I capture what he means. I depress the keys crisply but don't release quickly so I must figure that out and I think it's related to tension. On Friday I'll play this allegro piece slowly to capture the articulation we're practicing. The last hour of practice was spent slowly reinforcing what John and I worked on.
The sun is out!! The sun is out!!! Jim and I enjoyed a walk down by the waterfront looking in the shops and reading the history.
At 5 I met up with a few of the other students and we played for one another. I played a River Rhapsody by Melody Bober that I really like but don't plan to perform here. I wasn't nervous because I had low expectations of myself on that piece...hmmm...learning more.
Dinner at the Wharf for fresh salmon. Another couple who are here at SummerKeys were staying at the Wharf Inn so we shared a table and lots of stories enjoying the social time before the Wednesday concert at the church. Gregory Biss played Beethoven and Chopin before intermission (I don't ask Jim to sit through the entire concert so we stay until intermission). Sleep sounds really good.
_________________________



Love to learn

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#2113100 - 07/05/13 05:32 AM Re: My Summerkeys 2013 Report [Re: WiseBuff]
Sam S Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/07
Posts: 1424
Loc: Georgia, USA
Sounds like another great day Wisebuff. I never, even in July, had a problem finding a piano to practice on outside of my assigned hours. There's another practice shed behind the house next door to the main Summerkeys house with a Chickering grand in it too.

And I usually made a sandwich and took it with me for a quick lunch during a practice break.

Interesting fact about Gregory Biss - he is the uncle of concert pianist Jonathon Biss. He's been my teacher the last two times at Summerkeys in July.

If you sit down at the Jetty, and are lucky, you'll see the bald eagles nesting on that island between Lubec and Eastport. I've also seen harbor seals fishing at the jetty during tide changes.

Sam

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#2113577 - 07/06/13 06:25 AM Re: My Summerkeys 2013 Report [Re: Sam S]
WiseBuff Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/03/05
Posts: 812
Loc: Brighton Colorado
Thursday and Friday the sun came out, the water glistened and the chilly practice rooms from earlier in the week suffered in the heat. And yet the piano time was still amazing. No interruptions. No thoughts of work. Just focus on the music. Each piano offered something to learn from. Thursday I had the concert grand Steinway in the church and it resonated in that big room built in early 1800s. Friday I had the Yamaha in the Summer Street house set in a room with a bay window and a view of the water. White lacey curtains floating from the breeze of the fan. Friday morning we had tragic news from home. Our dog, Della, died. No apparent cause and she was only 9. We are heartbroken and so is the rest of the family. The group was so supportive and that helped. Again in group lesson we talked about how to build sure fingers and speed with scales done with different rhythms and arpeggios. Don't stop on the technique...it becomes even more important as the music becomes more difficult. I played the Mozart Viennese sonatina movement 1 for the group but the errors and stops were significant. Still we focused on analyzing the piece and how to improve it. EVERYTHING is a work in progress is the motto here. We had lobster rolls for dinner at the Water Street Inn where two guitars and voices were adding life and song to the little place. I discovered that the husband of another SummerKey participant and I have some overlap in our scholarship interests. We shared emails for further conversation. At 730 the student recital began with the cellos alternating with piano performance. My piece went tolerably well (more right notes than wrong and many nice spots) and was given smiles and applause. Everyone's performance was appreciated and accepted. A reception with wine and snacks followed at the SummerStreet house. A whirlwind week all in all and I can see why people come for several weeks to absorb more from the attentive teachers and the remote environment that supports true concentration. Time to pack and head back west with a new list of music to try. I promised John email updates on any progress.
_________________________



Love to learn

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