Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) Pianoteq
Latest Pianoteq add-on instrument: U4 upright piano
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
PianoSupplies.com (150)
Piano Accessories Music Related Gifts Piano Tuning Equipment Piano Moving Equipment
We now offer Gift Certificates in our online store!
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Piano
Quick Links to Useful Stuff
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano Accessories
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Page 1 of 17 1 2 3 ... 16 17 >
Topic Options
#2126899 - 08/02/13 11:38 AM FOYD - Focus On Your Domain
Saranoya Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/13
Posts: 614
Loc: Brussels, Belgium
OK, so ... casinitaly and I were talking, recently, about how difficult it is to really focus on consistent practice over the summer, when there's no weekly piano lesson perpetually looming on the horizon, for which one must always have something more or less presentable prepared.

We have MOYD, which helps us make playing the piano a major part of our daily routine. We have AOTW, where the cheering squad is always ready to pat us on the back, even for the tiniest of accomplishments. Both of those are very valuable resources on the journey towards becoming a somewhat competent piano player. At least, they are for me. But I think the same is true for many others here.

MOYD, however, does not say anything about focused practice. It just requires one to *play* every day. That includes simply running through one or two familiar pieces while tired or pressed for time. Which means that even when we stick to our MOYD commitments, it doesn't necessarily lead to making meaningful progress each and every day. And while I'm personally very grateful for the fact that the AOTW crowd is always there to congratulate me when I *do* make progress, nobody there will really hold anyone else accountable if they don't make meaningful progress on any kind of a regular basis.

So Cheryl and I came up with something a little different. I think of it as a sort of cross-breed between MOYD and AOTW. The idea being that, instead of just promising that we'll play every day, we promise that we'll *focus* every day on actual practice. At the beginning of each week, we state the goal (or goals) that we would like to have reached by the end of the week. We then focus on that specific goal (or these goals, plural) during each of our practice sessions in that week. And at the end of the week, we report back a few things:

1) Did we reach our goal?

2) If so, which specific parts of our practice routine were responsible for it? Can we translate this to other pieces (or other fragments of pieces) in the future?

3) If not, why not? Was the goal too ambitious? Did we practice wrong? Did we get side-tracked by other things, and what can we do to avoid that in the future?

Cheryl and I originally thought of this as something we could just do between the two of us. A buddy system of sorts. But then I figured, hey, why not open this up to the entire ABF community? I'm sure there are some others here who are going through the 'summer blues', and would like to find a way to get back on track.

So, if you want to jump in, feel free!

Participation is really easy: you just post a specific goal, and the date by which you would like to have reached it. If you want to, you can include a detailed practice schedule, certain practice techniques that you're going to try, and/or anything else that you hope will help you get to where you're wanting to go. But you don't have to. Just a goal and a due date will suffice.

Once the due date has been reached, you come back here and report on your progress. You tell us whether or not your goal has been reached, what did or didn't help you get there, which bits of your practice plan (if any) actually worked, and so on.

Sounds good? Jump in! Anyone can join!

Top
(ads P/S)

Petrof Pianos

#2126904 - 08/02/13 11:56 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
Saranoya Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/13
Posts: 614
Loc: Brussels, Belgium
I'll start.

Today is August 2, 2013. By August 9 (in one week), I would like to be able to play BWV 930 at recital standard. My ultimate goal is to record it either that day or the next for the August ABF recital.

The piece has 42 measures. I broke it up into three sections, the first of which (measures 1 through 16) I can already play, though not consistently error-free. My plan is to:

1) Practice section 1 (M1-16) until I can play it error-free consistently. I plan to do this by slowing way down, and using the "five consecutive error-free repeats" approach, hands together, upping the tempo each time I manage to get my five repeats.

2) Practice section 2 (M17-28) hands separate until I can get five consecutive error-free repeats at twice performance tempo for each hand.

3) Practice section 2 hands together until I can get five consecutive error-free repeats at performance tempo.

4) Practice section 3 (M29-42) hands separate until I can get five consecutive error-free repeats at twice performance tempo for each hand.

5) Practice section 3 (M29-42) hands together until I can get five consecutive error-free repeats at performance tempo.

6) Practice the entire piece, hands together, until I can get five consecutive error-free repeats at performance tempo.

That's six days of focused practice right there (maybe more, but I hope not), which should have me ready to record by August 7. I'm building in two 'reserve' days, just to be sure.

It should be noted that in my 'private' practice schedule, I was even more ambitious than this, and I'll be working on another piece concurrently. But that other piece, with any luck, will be the focus of my FOYD post for next week.
_________________________
Beginner with some priors since 9/2012

Currently Playable
Bach 846, 926, 930
Beethoven 27/2 mvt. 1
Burgmüller 100/3, 4, 7, 12, 15, 19, 25
Chopin 72/1
Clementi 36/1
Grieg 12/1, 7
Tchaikovsky 39/9

Future
Burgmüller 109
Bartok Sz 56
Mozart K331

Top
#2126925 - 08/02/13 12:31 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
casinitaly Online   content

Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 4966
Loc: Italy
My homework for the summer is to have 6 pieces ready to present to my teacher on 17 Sept. They don't have to be perfect but they have to be in working condition. Sort of a launching pad for our new school year.

I've done some work on all pieces, so they are in various stages of "just started", "ongoing" and "almost done"


1) Grieg (OP 12, n3) Watchman’s Song - almost done

First target: record this weekend so I can check pedalling, improve the 32nd notes and the arpeggio chords that follow, work on the ending, which is a variation of the 2nd theme with minor differences.

Second target: final recording before 24 August.

Third target: play it well for my teacher on 17 Sept.


2. Fughetta (Pachelbel) (about half way there)

First target - slow focus on measures which are giving me grief, getting the fingering clear in my brain.

Second target: Have it all note-right by Monday and record Tuesday So I can hear errors or sloppy parts and focus on fixing them.

After that it will be working on picking up the tempo.

3. Rebikoff Evening in the Meadow – (off to a good start)

Immediate focus : getting the left-hand dotted quarter-note to be light and delicate.

Aim to record for review and benchmarking on Friday 9 August

Final target: fully playable for my 1st lesson – perhaps slightly under tempo but not much.

4. Fly Me to the Moon – Bart Howard, Dan Coates arrangement
(almost done)
First target: come to terms with a couple of bars which are not particularly difficult, but I’ve been lazy and not paying attention to them much.

Second target: picking up the tempo.
Aim to record on 11 or 12 August for review

5. Two Austrian Folk Tunes (Allegretto, Moderato) Louis Kohler (just started, but they are fairly simple - the trick will be getting up to speed)

First target – by Friday 9th August be able to play all the notes properly with the right rhythm – tempo can be slower.

Second target to do first recording 15 or 16 August (we may be away so this might slide).

6) Adagio con Espressione- Sarabande – Johann Jakob de Neufville

I've already been looking at this but haven't sorted out f a few things that I find confusing - so... those are the first things to do! Then, practice as much as possible before vacation 25th August

I probably won't have this up to speed but I’d like to have it in progress and be able to get through it for my first lesson. I’ll be bringing a photo copy on holiday so I can study it!
_________________________
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

Top
#2126942 - 08/02/13 01:09 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: casinitaly]
SwissMS Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/11
Posts: 717
Loc: Switzerland
I like this idea! I work much better with clearly defined goals, so I will happily join your focussed practice thread! I think the goals need to be defined such that at the end of the week, I can assess whether I achieved them. I am not starting any new pieces until my teacher returns on the 20th, so these goals are all for learned, but not mastered pieces.

My goals for the next week:

Liszt Consolation #3 -
1) practice left hand alone in the sections with large jumps. Assure evenness and landing without accent.
2) Accurate recording at slow speed. (measurable goal)

Grieg Melody
1) Record (measurable goal)
2) Increase tempo gradually on 3 over 4 sections. (Goal 60 bpm)
20 Slow accurate practice the entire piece.

Grieg Vase Impromptu
1) Rework fingering on left hand. Test in sections at tempo.
2) Play HT at 1/2 tempo accurately with new fingering.
3) daily isolated work on ornaments

Bach Invention 6
1) Memorize hands separately.

So, next Friday I will see how I did!
_________________________


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

Top
#2126965 - 08/02/13 01:45 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
casinitaly Online   content

Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 4966
Loc: Italy
That looks like a good program SwissMS.

Glad you've joined us!
_________________________
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

Top
#2126979 - 08/02/13 02:31 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: casinitaly]
Saranoya Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/13
Posts: 614
Loc: Brussels, Belgium
Originally Posted By: casinitaly
That looks like a good program SwissMS.

Glad you've joined us!


Yeah ... seconded!

Will I ever manage to beat you to the punch, Cheryl? wink
_________________________
Beginner with some priors since 9/2012

Currently Playable
Bach 846, 926, 930
Beethoven 27/2 mvt. 1
Burgmüller 100/3, 4, 7, 12, 15, 19, 25
Chopin 72/1
Clementi 36/1
Grieg 12/1, 7
Tchaikovsky 39/9

Future
Burgmüller 109
Bartok Sz 56
Mozart K331

Top
#2126991 - 08/02/13 03:17 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2341
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
Originally Posted By: Saranoya
My plan is to:

1) Practice section 1 ...upping the tempo...

2) Practice section 2 ...at twice performance tempo...

3) Practice section 2 ...at performance tempo...

4) Practice section 3 ...at twice performance tempo...

5) Practice section 3 ...at performance tempo...

6) Practice the entire piece...at performance tempo.

That's six days of focused practice...
It looks very ambitious for someone that wants to play "at recital standard" when they can only play it "though not consistently error-free."

Are the numbers each day's goals or six things you'll be tackling each day?

I set goals and compare results every week so I admire the initiative but my experience suggests it might be better to reduce the size of the section you're working on until you can play it "consistently error-free" and then consider increasing the size rather than the tempo.

HS doesn't have to be twice as fast, just faster (10 per cent faster according to Chang). Longer sections than for HT are appropriate but you may find tempo comes naturally as the frequent and accurate repetition makes the playing easier.

Playing faster is not a skill I need to work on. (That can be misread.) Playing faster than I can read is enough of a goal for then the music must be memorised. That means all I have to do is allow the impulses to work on autopilot while I think ahead to what's coming next. I don't have to deliberately speed up as much as think further ahead. If I try to increase tempo I make mistakes and discover that the piece is hard to play.

If I keep it slow enough that it's easy to play (right) I get it up to speed quicker and without wrong notes. I have to monitor the tempo and keep it in check instead of having to build it. Or, as I once put it, I gradually relinquish restraint. (Thanks, Bob!)

Try comparing results with your next two pieces, one increasing tempo when you get it right, the other increasing section size.
_________________________
Richard

Top
#2126992 - 08/02/13 03:19 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2341
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
Originally Posted By: casinitaly
1) Grieg (OP 12, n3) Watchman’s Song...

First target: ...check pedalling...improve......work on...

Third target: play it well...

2. Fughetta (Pachelbel)
First target...getting the fingering clear...

Second target: Have it all note-right...So I can hear errors...and focus on fixing them.
Good goals, but are they SMART (Specific, Measurable, etc..)?

Let's look at pedalling. I have a big problem here myself. You can't just not use the pedal on a Romantic piece because it's designed to be played with pedal and we use that to move our hands from one position to another without breaking the legato.

When we practise without pedal we must expect it not to sound right and mentally compensate for it rather than declare it as wrong or try to compensate with our hands.

Originally Posted By: casinitaly
Looking at the score I would try pedalling on the quarter notes. I'd try actually playing it to test my theory, but I'd be doing it so slowing it wouldn't sound right anyway.
This is from the Grieg Recital thread. Going so slowly is exactly the way to do it. O, if I had the patience!

Pedalling correctly is a timing issue just like learning to co-ordinate the hands. If you lift too soon you get a break in the sound wall. If you lift too late you blur the harmonies. As long as the suspension is still ringing at the reduced tempo, more likely on an acoustic than a digital, you should hear it and practise timing the change.

You might try keeping the same few measures isolated until you can tick all the essential boxes; right notes, right order then right rhythm, right articulation, right duration, right dynamics, right pedalling rather than moving on and having to come back later to fix an issue. Your second cycle can improve something, smoother phrasing, lighter touch and so on without having to 'fix' errors.

And again (I'm becoming a bore now) (What d'ya mean, becoming? Ed.) keep the sections small until they're easy and the tempo rises of its own accord. Increase the size of the sections rather than increasing the tempo. When you've got a 16 bar section with a few holes in it, when do you fix them? And how keen are you to actually get down and do it? When you're about to join two 2-bar sections it's easy to fix both sections first so that when they do become 16 bars they're accurate, easy to play and often faster.

Check with your teacher before you adopt this approach but I seldom played a piece through for my teacher. The sad fact is they can only remember the worst mistakes or the latest ones but if you insist on playing in small sections they catch them all and none need to be fixed later.
_________________________
Richard

Top
#2127014 - 08/02/13 04:05 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: zrtf90]
Saranoya Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/13
Posts: 614
Loc: Brussels, Belgium
Originally Posted By: zrtf90
The sad fact is they can only remember the worst mistakes or the latest ones but if you insist on playing in small sections they catch them all and none need to be fixed later.


Um ... not necessarily. I have to say, I've rarely caught my teacher *not* hearing a mistake I'd made, and I *always* play entire pieces (or at least, entire sections of pieces) at my lessons, because I still can't read well enough to start smack-dab in the middle of anything. Or, well, I can start in the middle if I'm really forced to, but then it takes me a full minute (and when I have my teacher or anyone else looking over my shoulder, a full two minutes) to find my spot in the score, identify the notes, and figure out where my hands need to go on the keyboard.

Once, I saw my teacher take actual notes (as in pencil on paper notes) as I played, so she could give me accurate feedback once I was done. But mostly, she's just a very good listener.

While my teacher and I both know that I should try to unlearn the unhelpful habit of playing through each section from beginning to end on most of my repeats, I also think that forcing myself to play through an entire piece at most lessons is something that will ultimately help me reach one of the primary goals I had in taking up piano lessons: to get over my performance anxiety.

Going to a lesson, and playing a piece for my teacher from beginning to end, is actually remarkably close, for me, to performing in public, in terms of how nervous I get, and the effects that has on my body. That would no longer be true if I mostly used my lessons playing small sections.

And by the way, it's not like I never play smaller sections. There was one very troublesome spot in measure 5 of BWV 930. Tonight, I got that ironed out by isolating measures 4 through 6, and putting them on sloooooow infinite loop until I couldn't do it wrong anymore. I can now actually get 5 error-free repeats, hands together, of measures 1 through 16.

I will try your 'small sections' method. But it may not work for me. I'm weird that way, in that I usually can't start actually practicing a piece until I have it memorised. And in order to memorise it, I need to 'hear' the overall shape of the piece while I'm playing it. Which means I need to think in entire musical phrases first; not single measures, or pairs of measures. Only once I can do that can I drill down to the really troublesome spots and start isolating them.

Which means that, yes, according to all the 'efficient practice' theories, I'm doing it wrong. I stumble through the initial memorisation phase, and only once I have a piece memorised do I go back to the score, in order to drill down to smaller sections and iron the kinks out. But really, it seems to be the only method that's ever worked for me, so far.

Like I said: I'm weird that way.

Thanks for your insightful contributions, though. I really appreciate that. I do wink.
_________________________
Beginner with some priors since 9/2012

Currently Playable
Bach 846, 926, 930
Beethoven 27/2 mvt. 1
Burgmüller 100/3, 4, 7, 12, 15, 19, 25
Chopin 72/1
Clementi 36/1
Grieg 12/1, 7
Tchaikovsky 39/9

Future
Burgmüller 109
Bartok Sz 56
Mozart K331

Top
#2127031 - 08/02/13 04:53 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2341
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
If your way works for you and you've thought it through there's no point changing it. Seek change when it's not working.

You're not doing it wrong, efficiency or other measures aside, if it works for you. You have an ultimate goal, overcoming performance anxiety, and your system is geared to that. You can't get more efficient than that.

And memorising first is far more efficient than any amount of practical strategy at the keyboard. The point of working on single measures is to overcome the inability to memorise a long phrase. You don't seem to have this deficiency.

You seem to have a very conscientious listener for a teacher, too.

I'm glad it's all going well for you. I'm also looking forward to hearing you play the G minor prelude so stop reading my verbiage and get to practising! smile
_________________________
Richard

Top
#2127068 - 08/02/13 06:19 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: zrtf90]
casinitaly Online   content

Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 4966
Loc: Italy
Thanks for your detailed and thoughtful reply Richard, I do appreciate it very much!

You point about the goals being "smart" is a good one. In fact I was thinking of that as I wrote the post- I realized that the way I'd written them down here really wasn't "specific, measurable, etc" but I do have more detail in my head compared to what I wrote here. Perhaps I should have taken more time to write it all out.


1) Grieg (OP 12, n3) Watchman’s Song...

With regards to the pedalling - I have been using the pedal in this piece but I am finding that while I'm playing I don't always have the ability to listen as well as I would like.

In part that is because I am still "working" on this piece. (In older, more familiar pieces that are very comfortable, I find it much easier to listen)

If I record myself, I can detach from the reading and playing and just evaluate - I have learned that's important for me. I have noticed (more than once!) that I can be convinced that I am doing fairly well on a piece, yet when I listen to my recording I really hear the hesitations, weak points and sloppy pedalling.

I have 2 great pieces with pedalling right now - the Grieg and the Rebikov - both requiring very different technique.


I believe I do understand what you are saying about not compensating with the hands. For the last few months I have been trying to get the pedalling in as soon as I have run through a piece once or twice to get the feel of it, trying to avoid a delay in adding that dimension. It isn't easy for me - I am just getting used to actually enjoying the "bigger sound" that pedalling produces!

You quoted me:
Originally Posted By: Richard
Originally Posted By: casinitaly
Looking at the score I would try pedalling on the quarter notes. I'd try actually playing it to test my theory, but I'd be doing it so slowing it wouldn't sound right anyway.
This is from the Grieg Recital thread. Going so slowly is exactly the way to do it. O, if I had the patience!


I am developing the patience to play more slowly (not as slowly as I should, but getting better at it) - but in the case above I fear that I'd be going so slowly that the first pedalled note would die out before I managed to play the rest of the measure!


Originally Posted By: Richard
Pedalling correctly is a timing issue just like learning to co-ordinate the hands. If you lift too soon you get a break in the sound wall. If you lift too late you blur the harmonies. As long as the suspension is still ringing at the reduced tempo, more likely on an acoustic than a digital, you should hear it and practise timing the change.

You might try keeping the same few measures isolated until you can tick all the essential boxes; right notes, right order then right rhythm, right articulation, right duration, right dynamics, right pedalling rather than moving on and having to come back later to fix an issue. Your second cycle can improve something, smoother phrasing, lighter touch and so on without having to 'fix' errors.


This is excellent advice!

I have been working (as you suggested) on smaller sections. Today I was working on just 4 measures of the Fughetta - I couldn't coordinate my fingers and the timing on the notes. I played them over and over, slowly, slowly and more slowly!

I think I've got it now (we'll see how the notes flow tomorrow!)

My teacher does like me to work on small sections - and he does encourage me to play very slowly but accurately. Once I can actually play the notes we work on refinements.

I often play a full piece for my teacher, and he's quite amazing at spotting errors. But let's also keep in mind that my pieces to date have been no more than 2 minutes long - and many are even less. That's just starting to change so maybe in the future I won't be playing whole pieces.


I think I will take some time tomorrow to make a chart of my goals / practice time & checklist. It isn't something I would normally have the patience to do - but I think that for this project it will be helpful.
_________________________
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

Top
#2127069 - 08/02/13 06:20 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
casinitaly Online   content

Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 4966
Loc: Italy
Originally Posted By: Saranoya
Originally Posted By: casinitaly
That looks like a good program SwissMS.

Glad you've joined us!


Yeah ... seconded!

Will I ever manage to beat you to the punch, Cheryl? wink


We'll see 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

Top
#2127119 - 08/02/13 07:47 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 2070
Loc: Rocky Mountains
If a person fails at FOYD.
Do they then go to the DOYD thread? Dead On Your Doorstep.
Especially if they've done MOYD. Like FOYD. The natural progression is to DOYD.
DOYD is the thread for all the whining excuses. smile


Seriously.... I think FOYD is a good idea. If I ever get focused.

EDIT: I wanted to add. There is a big difference between whining excuses and being brutally honest in finding fault. I've run into this before. Been accused of just not being this or that. When the reality was that person didn't know how. I had to learn for myself. Be honest. Also find a source and found a teacher who knew better. Had answers as to why this or that. I overcame. I will overcome with piano. I have a good teacher.

Right now I don't think anything I could contribute to this thread would be interesting to anyone. My focus, my problem is simple. Everything I work on has the same focus. Overcoming my autonomic mind not wanting to accept training. Not wanting to change, develop, sophisticate. It rebels in interfering with most of my mind. The answer is to just keep at the practice. Be patient, don't stop.


Edited by rnaple (08/03/13 03:27 AM)
_________________________
Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon

Top
#2127202 - 08/02/13 10:54 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
AimeeO Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 04 2013


Registered: 05/20/10
Posts: 803
Loc: New Orleans
I think this is a great idea!
I'm in, but will probably post my FOYD Wednesday.
Looking forward to it!!

Top
#2127293 - 08/03/13 02:55 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
Anne H Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/02/13
Posts: 116
I love this idea. I definitely need help focusing.

Each day this week I want to:
1) Try three takes of my Grieg piece for the recital.
2 Work on a Bach invention for 20 minutes.
3) Spend 20 minutes on Golliwog's Cakewalk.
4) Spend 20 minutes on my Rachmaninoff prelude.
5) Play something for fun for 20 minutes.


Edited by Anne H (08/03/13 02:58 AM)
_________________________
Works in Progress:
Joplin - Binks' Waltz
Winston - Carol of the Bells
Bach Inventions
Einaudi - Berlin Song, Reverie

Top
#2127295 - 08/03/13 03:19 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: rnaple]
Saranoya Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/13
Posts: 614
Loc: Brussels, Belgium
Originally Posted By: rnaple
If a person fails at FOYD ...


I know you're joking. And thanks, I laughed out loud at that. But in all seriousness, unless one gives up on it entirely, I don't think there is such a thing as 'failing' at FOYD.

Sure, sometimes we won't reach our stated goals. To call that a failure at FOYD, however, would be missing the point.

The important thing is, when we miss our targets, to ask ourselves *why* we missed them, and report back. Reporting back will force us to clearly articulate what happened, and how and why it happened. Knowing these things is the first and most important step towards fixing the problem -- whatever the problem may be.

So to my mind, anyone who reports back to this thread on a regular basis -- whether they do it daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or even just once or twice a year -- is successfully applying the concept of FOYD. We hope it will allow them to make steady progress along the way, but whether or not they actually do so is not the most important thing. The most important thing is to keep trying something new, as long as the old doesn't work.

Just my two cents. As always, YMMV.
_________________________
Beginner with some priors since 9/2012

Currently Playable
Bach 846, 926, 930
Beethoven 27/2 mvt. 1
Burgmüller 100/3, 4, 7, 12, 15, 19, 25
Chopin 72/1
Clementi 36/1
Grieg 12/1, 7
Tchaikovsky 39/9

Future
Burgmüller 109
Bartok Sz 56
Mozart K331

Top
#2127310 - 08/03/13 04:19 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
sinophilia Offline

Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014


Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 977
Loc: Italy
This is great, I'm in! Only problem is, my work routine changes so much from one week to the next that I never know how much time and energy I will be able to devote to the piano.

Anyway, these are my goals for the end of next week:

1. Bach's Minuet in G minor from BWV 822: I've been working on it for one week and can now play it HT very slowly; I need to bring this to about 90 bpm (and then to 120, but this will take a few more days). It's tricky because it's the same as the one I've already learnt but with treble and bass inverted (how clever!), so fingering and hand movements are completely different. And the melody is now in the bass, so LH needs to be louder than the RH.

2. Stravinsky's Les Cinq Doigts n. 2: I'm learning one of these 8 pieces each week, as "quick studies" (as Graham Fitch calls them) to improve my reading and learning speed. I don't want to record this, I'll just practice the tricky parts. This one is quite fast and has 16th notes so it'll be good for my very slow fingers.

3. Clementi's Arietta in C: it's a 1-page piece that I started a few days ago. My goal with this one is to be able to record it at about 100 bpm by the end of the week. It's very basic but there's a lot of dynamic changes and gracefulness still missing from my playing.

These are my short-term pieces; then there is a long-term one that I'm not going to reveal just yet, that might be ready for the November recital (or not! It's very challenging). And then there's my usual sight-reading practice. I finished Hannah Smith's book two days ago and now I need to sort out the other material I have and see how to move on from there.
_________________________
Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW
Martha Argerich... is an incarnation of the artistic metaphor of the "eternal feminine" that draws us upward. (Sergio Sablich)

Top
#2127315 - 08/03/13 04:39 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
casinitaly Online   content

Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 4966
Loc: Italy
Well, this thread is growing!

I find it very interesting to see the details on what everyone is working on and have some insights into what you are all aiming for!

And Ron..... you made me laugh!
My PW life has become an acronym.... MOYD, AOTW, FOYD....LOL!
_________________________
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

Top
#2127323 - 08/03/13 05:23 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 2070
Loc: Rocky Mountains
Originally Posted By: Saranoya

So to my mind, anyone who reports back to this thread on a regular basis -- whether they do it daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or even just once or twice a year -- is successfully applying the concept of FOYD. We hope it will allow them to make steady progress along the way, but whether or not they actually do so is not the most important thing. The most important thing is to keep trying something new, as long as the old doesn't work...


Thank you for a little more focus on the focus thread. smile
I will post but for longer term. My short term is rather boring.
Just keeping at it is bringing success. Have a little piece; Lavender's Blue that isn't easy to play musically. Easy to parrot. Keep going back to it. It is starting to sound like music. Like it should. The autonomic mind is giving in. Slowly...

I think I can speed this process up by focusing more on my exercise and quit smoking little cigars. The little cigars are helping my autonomic mind be rebellious. Instead of it obeying my heart.

Goals...
By the first of the year to have Schindler's List as a complete beautiful work of art. Something played as well as anyone can play it. Can do small parts that well. Both hands are a big problem right now.

By the first of the year to have another piece: Somewhere in Time. Studying it. What I hear is something closer to the original of Panganini (hope I spelled that right). Want to impov it. I only want to be playing the movie version and have an understanding and working toward an impov of my own.

By the first of the year. Have actually learned what Alfred's One has to teach. We have come to a slow progression in this book because we're trying to actually get it down, right. It's a well written book. We're paying attention to what the book is trying to teach. My autonomic mind/nervous system is slowly training. Success on a piece is when it becomes music. Perfect copy is unacceptable to me. I'm lucky with my teacher. She will focus on the one passage that gets repeated...that is what the piece is trying to teach me.

By the first of the year. Have a much better understanding of theory and reading music. When I mentioned Somewhere in Time to my teacher. She said: Hit your theory books.

Sometime by the first of the year. Having moved on to a more complex teaching system which includes three books. One is a workbook on theory. This is a system my teacher has. We're in no hurry to move on to it.


I congratulate you all who can focus goals in short term. I can't be so focused yet. Myself, am being held up by training my autonomic/nervous system to actually do what I want it to do.
Good part is my hands are becoming much more complex than they used to be.
_________________________
Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon

Top
#2127344 - 08/03/13 06:58 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
casinitaly Online   content

Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 4966
Loc: Italy
Ron it is interesting because I find that I think it is great you have long term objective- I can't see my way that far ahead. I think it is something I will have to get some help on. I know my teacher wants me to start working on longer pieces so perhaps when that happens I will start being brave enough to plan farther ahead. At the moment it all seems too vast and daunting.

Of course I have my "dream pieces" -and some which are within my grasp over the next year!!! smile but for my goals over this coming year... I'm very vague on what I hope/expect to be able to do.

However, I feel my having joined in this discussion is already getting me more set in a study pattern, which is exactly what I needed for this teacherless summer!!!

This morning I had lovely practice session - though I was a bit sad to discover that my slow work on the Fughetta had not held as well as I had hoped. I did more work on that. I'm also working on starting it at MANY different places -and struggling to resist playing it from the beginning. I know the beginning, I don't need to "study" that right now!!!
smile

I've made my "to do" list and my chart of mini steps to check off as per Richard's suggestion.

I feel pleasantly on-track!
_________________________
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

Top
#2127354 - 08/03/13 08:05 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: sinophilia]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2521
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
Originally Posted By: sinophilia

2. Stravinsky's Les Cinq Doigts n. 2: I'm learning one of these 8 pieces each week, as "quick studies" (as Graham Fitch calls them) to improve my reading and learning speed. I don't want to record this, I'll just practice the tricky parts. This one is quite fast and has 16th notes so it'll be good for my very slow fingers.


Number 2 is my favorite so far!
My teacher has suggested that I play all of them-perform all of them--so I am working on keeping them up as well as learning the new ones. Initially we thought this would be a task for the summer, but I now think it will extend well into the summer for the southern hemisphere.
_________________________
A good student is one who makes the teacher feel like a good teacher.

Top
#2127366 - 08/03/13 09:09 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: malkin]
sinophilia Offline

Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014


Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 977
Loc: Italy
Originally Posted By: malkin
...but I now think it will extend well into the summer for the southern hemisphere.


LOL! Indeed, they are not as easy as they look... plenty of tricky bars, and dissonances.
_________________________
Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW
Martha Argerich... is an incarnation of the artistic metaphor of the "eternal feminine" that draws us upward. (Sergio Sablich)

Top
#2127427 - 08/03/13 11:56 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: sinophilia]
SwissMS Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/11
Posts: 717
Loc: Switzerland
This thread is coming together. It is interesting to see what everyone is working on, and how they are approaching their practice. I think we will all learn from each other, and improve our practice because of it.

Casinitaly, I have played the Rebikov piece you are working on. It is beautiful! Have fun with it.
_________________________


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

Top
#2127462 - 08/03/13 01:05 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: SwissMS]
casinitaly Online   content

Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 4966
Loc: Italy
Originally Posted By: SwissMS
This thread is coming together. It is interesting to see what everyone is working on, and how they are approaching their practice. I think we will all learn from each other, and improve our practice because of it.

Casinitaly, I have played the Rebikov piece you are working on. It is beautiful! Have fun with it.


I always like to know that someone else has played a piece I'm working on - it makes me feel even more connected to the group.
This isn't the first piece you've worked on before I have ... I guess I'm following in your footsteps !
_________________________
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

Top
#2127486 - 08/03/13 02:08 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
PianoStudent88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3172
Loc: Maine
Originally Posted By: casinitaly
though I was a bit sad to discover that my slow work on the Fughetta had not held as well as I had hoped.

The practice method I am following (dare I say Bernhard on this thread?) gives complete permission for everything you have mastered at the end of one practice session to be forgotten by the beginning of the next session. This is normal. You just repeat the same steps to bring it back up to the same place it was yesterday. Do this every day. You should find that it is faster as the days go by each day to bring it back up to snuff. Then one day you'll be able to play it first thing the same way you played it yesterday, and then you know that it is learned.

I find this very freeing. Truth in advertising: I haven't been doing this long enough (only a few days) to see it borne out yet in my own practicing. But it seems like an insightful and helpful idea.
_________________________
Ebaug(maj7)

Top
#2127496 - 08/03/13 02:35 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
jotur Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5508
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
I just finished a focused practice session, and for me that *is* the goal. I tend to be scattered, and focusing for long is difficult.

I have goals that are as broad as piece-orientation - I'm always looking to expand my repertoire so I don't bore the seniors to death. And I have those laid out in a monthly practice schedule. I have new material, developing material, material almost ready for performance, repertoire, experimentation pieces. But I don't do detailed for each day. That kind of schedule has never worked for me.

But I do try to be focused every time I sit down at the piano.

Today I did a quick review of the introduction and verse of a piece I'm working on. That involved playing it slowly and noticing/being aware/understanding the chord changes, putting them in context of both the specific chords and their place within the key - whether I was using a I-IV-V or a ii(II)-V-I as an example. I noticed where I didn't quite remember what was next or how it went, and then chunked a couple of 2-measure pieces, slowly again.

I went over the 4 measures of the chorus that I had learned yesterday, with the same procedure, and then put all of it together a couple of times, a little up-tempo, and musical.

The next 2 measures were a repeat, so I added the 2 measures after that. Again, I focus on the chord progressions, the phrasing, etc. I always try to make it music from the beginning, even in its very small chunks.

And lastly, I played everything I've learned so far on that piece - kind of my reward.

That was a half-hour. I'll try to get in 3 or 4 more sessions today, on different pieces, and doing different kinds of things. I have several dance tunes I've only recently gotten up to speed, so I'll reinforce those. I have several pieces I've learned by ear and I'm experimenting with different accompaniments, variations, and key signatures.

In dance tunes it is imperative that I hear them in phrases, and as a story, because otherwise at tempo they're just a flurry of notes that I forget, and there's never a solid tempo or pulse. I learn the phrases/story when I'm playing slowly - I hear it differently at different times. But it helps immensely in playing at speed to be able to hear the pick-up notes, the staccatoes and legatos, the little breathing spaces, and to be able to vary those to some extent.

So at any rate, detailing out a day or week at a time would drive me crazy laugh I have way too much on my monthly schedule to get to all of it every day, so that gives me some variety in my choices, and some leeway to attend to whatever has grabbed me recently, while still approaching a set of overall goals.

I find that reading others' approaches is inspiring and fascinating. Thanks to all of you who post these threads!

Cathy

P.S. I haven't always practised this exact way, tho some of it has been there from the very beginning. I keep learning.


Edited by jotur (08/03/13 02:44 PM)

Top
#2127532 - 08/03/13 04:08 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
aTallGuyNH Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/22/12
Posts: 504
Despite being only just a wee bit past one day old...

1) I absolutely love this thread.

2) I'm pretty sure that in a couple years' time this will enter into the pantheon of top threads such as AOTW, RST, the Chopin thread, etc.

3) I'm already having trouble keeping up! Arghhh!!!

Richard -- You are not a bore, nor a boor, so I hope you'll continue to push, prod, and critique whenever you get the urge. I've always found your insights to be extremely valuable. I'm hoping this will be a thread where critical thinking will be embraced, and so far it certainly looks that way.

I'll have to mull over a particular goal to post. I suffer from the same scheduling limitations as sinophilia, and the reading limitations as Sara that lead to the "memorize first, then practice Catch-22", so it's very tough to be very specific re: time frames.

Thanks so much Sara and Cheryl for dreaming this up!
_________________________
"...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

Top
#2127541 - 08/03/13 04:40 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
dynamobt Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/07/13
Posts: 671
Loc: NH
I'm with Tallguy in having trouble keeping up. In my defense, I have really been putting the screws to my Quarterly Recital submission. Now that, that's done, I hope I can catch up and take part. My practice could use better focus. I'm slightly afraid of setting out specific goals with a timeframe to reach them. But, maybe that's what's wrong with my practice. Instead of just "working hard" I need to work specifically towards something quite specific even if it has to be something small.

I really applaud people taking part in FOYD!!
_________________________
1918 Mason & Hamlin BB





Top
#2127544 - 08/03/13 04:48 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: dynamobt]
aTallGuyNH Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/22/12
Posts: 504
Originally Posted By: dynamobt
I'm with Tallguy in having trouble keeping up. In my defense, I have really been putting the screws to my Quarterly Recital submission. Now that, that's done, I hope I can catch up and take part. My practice could use better focus. I'm slightly afraid of setting out specific goals with a timeframe to reach them. But, maybe that's what's wrong with my practice. Instead of just "working hard" I need to work specifically towards something quite specific even if it has to be something small.

I really applaud people taking part in FOYD!!

I'm with you... very small is what I was thinking, such as having a goal that is essentially only about focus, not about aptitude at all. Mine will likely be of the form "practice only measures x through y, then only do full run through at end of practice session".

Basically, I need to focus on focusing. smile
_________________________
"...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

Top
#2127580 - 08/03/13 06:07 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
casinitaly Online   content

Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 4966
Loc: Italy
PianoStudent- thanks for that encouragement. I did find that getting it back today went faster than trying to get it yesterday - so maybe tomorrow will be even better. We shall see smile


Cathy/Jotur -- I have trouble focusing for any length of time on one thing too - so having several pieces on the go is very good for me. Sounds like you have a lot more on the go than I do, but the idea is the same. As for structured planning-- to be honest, this is the first time I've tried it. First time I've EVER written down a plan. I really don't know if I'll keep it up once I'm back to lessons or not - I guess it will depend on how well it works out over the next six weeks!

TallGuy - I would suggest that you, and anyone else who has trouble reading, work on that skill. It can be very liberating- and gives you access to so much more music so much more quickly! Inlanding once suggested to me that I try sight reading a new piece every day (not worrying too much about the tempo, just getting the notes right) - and to write the date on the piece -- then a few months later, try that piece again. Given that I've got a good stack of music this is not very difficult to do - start with stuff that is really really basic - dead simple, and take your time with it. If you dedicate even just 10 minutes a day to it I bet you see an significant improvement within a month!

Dynambot - you're right - small focus is important. My focus today was small groups of 2 measures. The rest of the piece is easy but these little sets are driving me mad. Small focus on them will get me over the hump, I'm sure of it.


And ... just for the record... I don't think it will be possible for anyone to keep up with making replies to each and every post - even with the best of intentions. smile
This thread has already gathered a lot of momentum!

I think it will make for very interesting - and educational! - reading.
_________________________
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

Top
Page 1 of 17 1 2 3 ... 16 17 >

Moderator:  BB Player, casinitaly 
What's Hot!!
HOW TO POST PICTURES on the Piano Forums
-------------------
Sharing is Caring!
About the Buttons
-------------------
Forums Rules & Help
-------------------
ADVERTISE
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
-------------------
PIANO BOOKS
Interesting books about the piano, pianists, piano history, biographies, memoirs and more!
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Knabe Pianos
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
Who's Online
76 registered (beeboss, Cessquill, casinitaly, 21 invisible), 876 Guests and 19 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
76027 Members
42 Forums
157201 Topics
2308797 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Repeated note legato
by noobpianist90
09/01/14 02:16 AM
"Y.Becker" # 6839 (pin)
by Maximillyan
09/01/14 01:54 AM
Why are semi-concert grands so expensive?
by ColinDS
09/01/14 12:07 AM
AMEB Grades
by Patonpiano
08/31/14 11:22 PM
Hearing loss
by Tango Vic
08/31/14 11:09 PM
(ads by Google)

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
|
Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission