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#2193927 - 12/07/13 11:58 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
griffin2417 Offline

Silver Supporter until Dec 29 2012


Registered: 12/12/10
Posts: 2451
Loc: Minneapolis, MN
Hi everyone! This weekend I am focusing my practice time preparing for my Tuesday piano lesson. I expect my teacher will give an evaluation of what's next over the next several weekS. Stay tuned for more!

Right now, I'm doing far less writing and more time at the piano keyboard. That's a challenge for me as a writer! smile
_________________________
Carl


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#2194462 - 12/08/13 11:20 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: rnaple]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 2107
Loc: Rocky Mountains
Originally Posted By: rnaple
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.


I will not make any of my goals for this year. I listed them back on page 1.
The biggest reason is the trouble training my autonomic mind/nervous system. It has been a much bigger issue than I ever imagined.
I also lost my M8000. Found corrosion on a major PC board inside it. I knew I could ruin it by cleaning. Perhaps keep it going a little longer by not doing anything. I decided to clean it. It's all goofed up now.
So I'm playing on my CDP-100. It has thrown my coordination for a loop. I loved my M8000. Tons of feel. The CDP is light. Not much feel to it. I'm rationalizing that this is helping me actually learn. Scrambling my autonomic mind/nervous system to not be hooked on one key mechanism/type. At the very least. It is causing me to take a step back in my training.
I wanted to upgrade to a VPC anyways. I have to wait for the first of the year to see how my finances work out with Obamacare. Rumor is it will cost me money. I must get me that VPC. I thrive on feel for doing things physically.

What I have done is to break through a complete block of playing both hands. Have started into well using both hands. I wonder if I have had the perfect combination of songs to work on? The Entertainer did much to break this barrier. That combined with a completely different song I love which is the Theme from Schindler's List. Then I have about three songs at a time I work on in Alfred's One. As you all know, Alfred's is a progression of training.

So this is a month of regrouping. Re-focusing. I hope to be better focused afterward.
I may even be posting more on this thread in the future. Maybe set closer goals and focus.
_________________________
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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#2194565 - 12/08/13 03:37 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
Valencia Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/11
Posts: 250
How is everyoneís week so far?

Here is what I will focus on in the next week:

Mazurka 17/4-When I get to my mumís place Iíll try a recording on the better digital piano there. If I can get a better one Iíll submit it to the Mazurka recital. If not Iíll submit the recording I have now.

Bethena-Iím a bit worried about this piece. I know itís only December, but this month my practice will be disrupted by traveling and visiting family. At this point the piece is somewhat of a disaster. I canít practice it too intensely because it is a very stretchy piece (lots of octaves) and so my hands start to hurt after awhile. If there wasnít a time limit then I could take my time and I think Iíd be ok, but if I have to push it to get it ready by March then I may run into trouble. And if I donít push it and proceed at this pace thenÖ.what if it is still a disaster?

Moonlight3-Still working on getting all parts of the exposition up to 88-92. And still trying to get those two problematic spots into my memory!

Tchaikovsky Nocturne 10/1-Focus on M25-40, especially 29-32 where I may redistribute some of the LH notes to the RH.

Beethoven Op. 109 Theme only-just enjoying playing this through. It is short, beautiful, and slow.

Mozart Sonata in C major-To help with alberti bass and trills. For now I'm working to bar 28.

Chopin scherzando-working on memory (which is needed to be able to play it!).

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#2194623 - 12/08/13 05:28 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Valencia]
aTallGuyNH Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/22/12
Posts: 509
Valencia - Do you have trouble reaching an octave? Or can you reach, but are locking your hand in position, causing tension?

Ron - Keep plugging away my friend. I would encourage setting short term goals. I'm impressed with Richard and others who can plan out their year ahead, and arrange to work on a particular piece at a particular time, months hence. For me though, short term goals are the only thing that allow me to do anything at all on the piano.
_________________________
"...when you do practice properly, it seems to take no time at all. Just do it right five times or so, and then stop." -- JimF

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

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

XXIX-XXXII

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#2194666 - 12/08/13 06:42 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2409
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
Ooh, lot's to read this week. That's good.

It's nice to achieve goals, Ron, but it's not as important as having them in mind while we're practising. The thread is about focus because that reduces unproductive time. With a long term pursuit such as piano, better productivity makes a big difference.

I've continued Beethoven's 10/3 Presto and Tchaikovsky's Album Leaf this week and detailed progress in their respective threads.

Chopin Nocturne, 27/1, I started memorising the piý mosso this week and expect to finish the section in the week ahead.

I resumed Scarlatti's Kp. 159 and Child Falling Asleep and will keep them on now until they're done with a few back numbers that I'd like polished up for the year end.

I'll also return to the Joplin pieces and the Beethoven Largo in the week ahead.

Oh, and while I think of it, I'll start working on M9-16 of the Rondo at 8pm on Wednesday, September 10. laugh
_________________________
Richard

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#2195115 - 12/09/13 04:02 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: zrtf90]
SwissMS Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/11
Posts: 762
Loc: Switzerland
My weekly progress report:

Venetian Boat song: This is mostly memorized now, with a couple of sticky spots. It is flowing pretty well at 130 (6/8 time), but I would like to finalize it at 156 (52 per dotted quarter). I am really enjoying this piece. I think I will do some baseline recording this week.

Chrysanthemum: The A section is at tempo, the B section has a couple of sticky spots, and C & D are still at slow tempo. I am practicing the chord progressions without the base note on beats 1 & 3, to ingrain the correct chord fingering. Then when I put it back together, the chords fall under my fingers easier. I think I see a light at the end of the tunnel on this one.

Sonatina in C: I completed the Rondo HT. It is a pretty good workout for running passages, Alberti, and sustained fifth finger. I am playing this movement at 50% speed until it is more automatic. The 1st movement is working nicely at 90 bpm now, no unevenness in the runs! So, now I need to slowly advance the tempo.

March - Song of the Lark: There is a fair amount of finger pedaling in this to maintain clarity of the voices. So, this week I am focusing on those sections, trying to be sure all three voices work. This has some major finger stretching to maintain a good, clear legato.

Christmas songs: I am enjoying playing simple arrangements in my new Christmas Book. It is great sight reading practice!

Repertoire: I am working on reviving a few pieces that that have slipped out of memory due to lack of time. I find it hard to find enough time to keep them maintained. I can play them with the music, though. So I hope to dedicate 1/2 a day to renewing them.

Technical: I set a goal of completing the grade 7 technical requirements this year, just because. Well, I will fail this goal this year. I am close, but I just have not developed the speed in all of the scales, broken 7th's, deminished 7th's, arpeggios, etc. It has been a good learning experience though, because I have learned that how one plays is more important than how fast one plays. As I improve my technique (a big goal this year) I am increasing my ability to play faster, smoother. So, I still hold the goal, but I will allow myself longer to develop the skill.
_________________________



European Piano Party July 4, 2015 in Switzerland!

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#2195914 - 12/11/13 07:40 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
sinophilia Offline

Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014


Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 988
Loc: Italy
I read this thread smiling, thinking that sooner or later I will also tackle the wonderful music that other members are working on. But I'm happy with my pieces too!

I managed to make a video of the Tchaikovsky. It is too slow and the left hand should be softer, but at least I have a starting point, and April is still quite far away. I am now practising it at 130-140 bpm (that would be the eight note) and new hesitations come to the surface. I still don't understand why I can type so fast on the computer, but can't make two grace notes fast and smooth on the piano. The hardest thing for me right now is speed, but I'm working hard to conquer it, pushing myself more than I would like to, and then going back to slow practice.

I started my D section of Joplin. Not terrible, but there are new left hand chords. I keep practicing the B section and it's slowly improving, but will take a long time to get decent. Making a video of this one will be h ell, I know that already.

After one month, I can play Schumann's Melody at about 50 bpm (quarter note). Eventually, I managed to memorize the left hand. Taking it up to about 70 will be my goal for the next few weeks.

Bach's Musette is not too bad after ten days, but it's now in that intermediate state when one needs to really take it to the next level. It's pretty but I have a hard time forcing myself to study it everyday.

My Xmas song is decent now - it's incredible how long it took me to memorize 8 meager bars! I don't like it very much though, repeated notes and little jumps here and there make it impossible to "make it sing". The pedal just makes it worse - or I can't use it correctly.

Not many clear goals here, mainly I'm just ploughing on to make my current pieces performance-ready. Most of them are in that almost-cooked state that lasts forever. I might pick a new small piece for variety, and I must work more on reading. Did some Beyer yesterday and it's so relaxing.
_________________________
Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW
Martha Argerich... is an incarnation of the artistic metaphor of the "eternal feminine" that draws us upward. (Sergio Sablich)

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#2198002 - 12/15/13 03:03 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: sinophilia]
SwissMS Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/11
Posts: 762
Loc: Switzerland
Originally Posted By: sinophilia
...Not many clear goals here, mainly I'm just ploughing on to make my current pieces performance-ready. Most of them are in that almost-cooked state that lasts forever..


Oh do I know this feeling! That is where all my pieces are except the Tchaikovsky, which still has some sticky parts that will not come together easily. This "done", but "not done" phase seems to last a long time when trying to bring a piece up to performance standard!

Kuhlau - I am up to 100 bpm/quarter tempo on the 1/16 runs now, and they are still relaxed smooth, and even. I am getting close to performance tempo, but I have learned not to push it too much. The minute I tighten up I back off a bit. The Alberti's in the Rondo are now flowing well too. This week will be more of the same on this piece.

Mendelssohn- I make errors when I increase tempo due to memory lapses, so this is in the "hold back" stage until memory is secure.

Joplin- Same as above: Hold back and play slowly error free until it is more confirmed.

Tchaikovsky- The deeper I dig into this piece, the more I discover. The notes are learned, but the voicing needs a lot of work. That will be the focus this week.

Christmas songs: I just started one I hope to complete this week to record.
_________________________



European Piano Party July 4, 2015 in Switzerland!

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#2198131 - 12/15/13 06:08 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2409
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
A short week. Much of my time went on preparation for the Chopin Ballade for next year and a couple of days were given over to Christmas shopping, card writing and icing the cake.

I've made progress on my Scarlatti piece, Kp. 159, and expect to be able to join the three sections for the year end. I recovered Bach's Sinfonia #1 over the week too. I expected that to take longer as it's been a while since I played it last.

I completed M29-48 of the Chopin Nocturne and just have M45-48 to secure better in memory then all I have left is the stretto from M67-83.

I didn't have any time for the Beethoven, Tchaikovsky or Joplin this week but I have enjoyed what little I've done.
_________________________
Richard

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#2201576 - 12/22/13 07:42 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2409
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
Is the focus on the festivities for everyone this week?

The Nocturne's Piý mosso is getting smooth but little more than half the HS speed and the LH is beginning to settle into the leaps in the appassionato but I still have to take the six lines, from M29-52, as three separate parts while my timing gets ingrained. I've started the stretto and it isn't much to memorise and not too hard so the whole thing will be playable from memory within the week, though still in sections. Progress speeds up a lot once the score is gone.

The last sections of Pine Apple Rag have some fiddly bits that needed working in very short sections in order to get the tempo up but we're getting along now.

M8-12 of the Tchaikovsky is keeping me tied up. It looks so easy and was quickly memorised but I'm having to try lots of different practise tricks to get this passage right. My fingers seem convinced of a simple pattern that doesn't exist and its causing me to hit wrong notes. I need to find a way to interrupt this. I went on with M25-31 and that's OK.

The Beethoven Largo is going fine and the Presto is picking up too.

I'm done for the year now and won't be learning any new material until January 6 but will spend piano time with a few repertoire pieces that need repair or recovery. I'll have learnt twenty-two pieces this year when I finish the Scarlatti and Child Falling Asleep, both only days away, but I only have eleven of them currently in memory. I want to have closer to twenty before January 6 when the festivities finish and the new year starts proper. I also have a few missing from last year's bundle but I'll leave them for the coming year as they're mostly trifles.

Have a great holiday, everyone! I've really enjoyed sharing the journey with you all this year and I look forward to joining you again in 2014. Pax vobsicum.
_________________________
Richard

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#2201704 - 12/23/13 03:51 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
sinophilia Offline

Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014


Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 988
Loc: Italy
Happy holidays Richard and everyone else!

The last ten days have been quite productive. I got a fast enough recording of Tchaikovsky, and I will be contented with that for now. I will go back to it later on to see if I can improve my articulation.

I also have my Xmas video, will post it later in the related thread. It is musically appalling but my violinist and I had a lot of fun! I think you will have a good laugh too. Nobody will be ashamed to post anything here ever again grin

My goal for the final days of 2013 is just to get a recording of Schumann's Melodie at 70 bpm. I started Beethoven's Minuet in G and I already know that it will accompany me for a long time. Godowsky's fingering is brilliant but hard for me to learn.

For next year, I downloaded several books from the official conservatory program in Italy. It's mainly the usual stuff, Beyer, Czerny, Bartok and the like, some of which I had already started, and I want to go through the 1st year material as quickly as I can and then move on to the 2nd year stuff. I haven't set a deadline yet but I want to start asap so I can see how fast I can go. Would love to devote about 1 hour to that every day, on the digital. At least that's the plan!
_________________________
Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW
Martha Argerich... is an incarnation of the artistic metaphor of the "eternal feminine" that draws us upward. (Sergio Sablich)

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#2208154 - 01/04/14 02:43 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: sinophilia]
SwissMS Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/11
Posts: 762
Loc: Switzerland
The Holidays have come and gone, I am back home in Switzerland, and it is time to get serious about this year's goals. I have reset my FOYD list to target specific weaknesses and try to have effective, focussed practice this year. I created a weekly practice sheet to work with to help with this.

FOYD goals this week:

Technical: Per Grade 7 two keys daily - Work on 4 octave scales(M &m) at 1 note/beat, two notes/beat, 3 notes/beat, 4notes/beat 76 bpm. Do broken and blocked triads, 7th's, and dim7th's at 60. Arpeggios - tonic and 7th's at 60/4.

Venetian Boat Song: Make a baseline recording this week. Achieve 100% accuracy at 110bpm five times through. Then test at performance tempo for weak spots.

Chrysanthemum: Isolate the sticky spots, play 7 times correct, increase until up to tempo, then recombine and play entire section.

Kuhlua Sonatina: Record 1st and 2nd movements. Assure runs are even legato. Play third movement with metronome at 60 to check for rhythm errors and look for weak spots. Begin increasing tempo.

March: Check rhythm with the metronome on this one too! Play in small sections assuring accuracy, good expression, and well balanced voices. Combine small sections when satisfactory.

Good Humor: This is an etude for rapid Alberti and arpeggiated 7th's. I had started it several months ago, and have added it back to the job stack. Goal for this week is to relearn with slow accurate play.

Heller Etude in C: This is an Etude to strengthen the 5th finger. Same goal as above.

BurgmŁller L'Orage (The Storm): Another etude for tremolos, and rapid shifts between hands. Goal for this week, learn A section.

Repertiore: My goal is to have one hour of memorized repertoire by the end of the year. I will play two pieces each day, and allot time as needed for "repair".

Sight Read: My goal is to sight read at tempo at grade 5 by the end of the year. To that end, I plan to spend 1/2 hour daily on sight reading.

That should keep me busy!
_________________________



European Piano Party July 4, 2015 in Switzerland!

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#2208252 - 01/04/14 05:51 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: SwissMS]
aTallGuyNH Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/22/12
Posts: 509
SwissMS -- When my daughter needed a talking to yesterday about needing to have a little ounce of dedication in practicing her trumpet (she doesn't want to practice, and doesn't plan to stick with trumpet long term because she has too much to juggle, but doesn't want to be a "quitter" either so her plan was to just coast for the rest of the school year and then not take it next year), I held you up as my gold standard for doing whatever it takes to arrange your life around your musical goals. smile


For me, I'm back to being focused after a long hiatus since Nov 15th... I'm working feverishly on my arrangement of "Against All Odds" for the Feb 15th ABF Recital. I have my 1st draft basically done. My goal for this week is to have it "finalized" (it will of course be tweaked endlessly as I go along), including fingering, by Saturday Jan 11th. That will give me 5 weeks to get it performance ready... a very tight squeeze for me.
_________________________
"...when you do practice properly, it seems to take no time at all. Just do it right five times or so, and then stop." -- JimF

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

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

XXIX-XXXII

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#2208283 - 01/04/14 07:00 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
jotur Online   blank
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5559
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
Well, I was beginning to think my focus was going to go to the proverbial place one uses a handbasket to get to, but after Christmas things sort of settled down. I did get out my hammered dulcimer and had some friends who are also rusty on their instruments over this afternoon, but by gosh I think I'll still play some piano this evening!

For at least the first part of this year, besides just trying to focus, I'm particularly working on the accents and syncopation in my Joplin piece. When I've played ragtime before I've essentially just emphasized the off beat, or whatever, but I actually think it is more subtle than that to do right. So I've been taking it slow and really paying attention to the way it sounds. The good news is that I heard those ideas show up in Bethena, which isn't my next recital piece but was once long ago, and which I still maintain. So that was really cool to have the cross-over.

And that kind of attention to the niceities of interpretation I think will should be a big part of what I do over this next year - I have a pretty good set of repertoire, and can add a little at a time, and mix and match for gigs, so actually playing with more sophistication will probably really pay off. And be a lot more fun smile

But I was particularly relieved to not be completely scattered after the holidays.

Cathy
_________________________

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#2208496 - 01/05/14 05:28 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: aTallGuyNH]
SwissMS Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/11
Posts: 762
Loc: Switzerland
Originally Posted By: aTallGuyNH
SwissMS -- When my daughter needed a talking to yesterday about needing to have a little ounce of dedication in practicing her trumpet (she doesn't want to practice, and doesn't plan to stick with trumpet long term because she has too much to juggle, but doesn't want to be a "quitter" either so her plan was to just coast for the rest of the school year and then not take it next year), I held you up as my gold standard for doing whatever it takes to arrange your life around your musical goals. smile


Wow, aTallGuyNH, Thanks! laugh
_________________________



European Piano Party July 4, 2015 in Switzerland!

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#2208910 - 01/05/14 07:20 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2409
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
I read some weeks ago of an initiative to re-record and post earlier recital pieces to see what progress had been made. As I took the turkey out of the oven this Christmas it suddenly dawned on me that just as meat needs to relax after cooking, my pieces also need this standing time to mellow. I've decided to let my pieces relax for a year before recording them for the quarterly recitals.

I have found it difficult to keep all my recent pieces in memory. I had thought it may be advancing years but I think it may be more to do with my learning process. Recital pieces need many consecutive weeks of practise in order to make the date and each section needs regular upkeep. Normally I use the weekends to run through parts I've memorised so far, reinforcing the memory and maturing it as I go but recital pieces don't get this valuable extra period of two days on and five days off.

While the themed recitals have stretched me and my learning ability they have added stress and some of the pieces still retain that stress when I play them. I'm reducing the amount of new material I cover each week and adding instead older pieces that need relearning with a more relaxed attitude.

This week my focus will be on:
Bach Sinfonia No. 1 that I recovered just before Christmas and will probably submit for the February ABF recital instead of the Chopin Nocturne that I'm holding back a year.

Scarlatti Kp. 159. I've just about finished this piece and can play it straight through but still have some areas I'd like to strengthen before I put the three parts finally together.

I revived the Mozart K.545 over Christmas, I do love this piece. I've to wrap up the Rondo this week and next.

The two Joplin pieces will fill up the rota. I've kept these simmering over the holiday period. I've not played every day this last two weeks but with time off from work I've had long days on the bench and I'm raring to go for the new year, which looks very exciting in piano terms with the Rachmaninoff and Chopin collaborative efforts.
_________________________
Richard

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#2209072 - 01/06/14 12:53 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
griffin2417 Offline

Silver Supporter until Dec 29 2012


Registered: 12/12/10
Posts: 2451
Loc: Minneapolis, MN
Greetings everyone! There hasn't been much point in me posting until after the holidays. I finally got my one Christmas piece recorded. I have gotten most of Clair de lune memorized. My teacher has said it is time for me to start doing some live practice performances with some friends. I'll start contacting some friends here at home who I know want to do this. I'll keep you posted as to how that goes.

My focus for this week:

I am just getting started with "Invention #8 in F Major" by J.S. Bach. Right now I am slow practicing the right hand of the first 12 measures. This is my first time I've worked on any of the Inventions. I'm delighted that my teacher suggested this one.

Prelude in D Flat Major by Chopin. I put this piece aside in November when I realized I couldn't concentrate and give it the proper attention needed. Now I'm ready to take it back up. This week I will play it through to identify the measures needing the most attention.

Gymnopedie 1, by Erik Satie. When I recorded this In 2012 for the Satie themed recital it was performed as a work in progress. Now I want to bring it back and finish working it up for some live performances. Much of my work will be working on dynamics and expression as I memorize it.

Clair de Lune, memorizing measure 49-58.

One more thing. I recently started doing a few basic yoga exercises I found in a book, Musicians Yoga. It was recommended on one of these threads. I am finding it helpful with reducing stress and tension while I'm practiceing. I think it may be helping me with focusing.


That's it for now. Have a great week everyone!



Edited by griffin2417 (01/06/14 07:22 AM)
_________________________
Carl


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#2211975 - 01/10/14 04:33 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
sinophilia Offline

Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014


Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 988
Loc: Italy
Hi guys! I didn't forget this thread, it's just that I've been busy with guests and parties, and then figuring out a practice schedule for the next few months.

I'm currently working on three pieces only:
Bach's Little Prelude BWV 939 - My goal is to bring it up to 60 bpm and possibly record it by the end of the month
Bach's Invention no. 1 - Very long-term! Maybe June? But a bit every day keeps the doctor away!
Joplin's Maple Leaf Rag simplified - Almost done; need to speed up the third section, polish a couple of spots and put it all together... easy uh? grin I will start recording next week and we'll see what happens.

Other than that I'm spending some time every day either on Beyer's op. 101, Czerny's op. 599 or Bartok's Mikrokosmos book 2, plus some sight-reading. I also borrowed Norton's Microjazz 1 from a friend and it's really nice.

Oh, I made a simple spreadsheet to log the minutes of practice for every day of the year, if anyone wants to download it it's here:

http://file.sinophilia.org/practice_template.numbers.zip (Apple Numbers)
http://file.sinophilia.org/practice_template.xls (MS Excel)
_________________________
Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW
Martha Argerich... is an incarnation of the artistic metaphor of the "eternal feminine" that draws us upward. (Sergio Sablich)

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#2216967 - 01/19/14 01:40 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
jotur Online   blank
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5559
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
Well, I'm not getting as much practice time as I did last year in this month, partly because the distractedness is just the way I'm working now, partly for other reasons. But I've had 3 solo gigs in the last two weeks, and the band played a dance today, and I'll have to say they went well. I was much more centered than I was before the holidays, and I think my playing was much more confident. I've been focusing on current repertoire and really getting it into my awareness, and I think that and the last 4 years of really paying attention to, at the very least, how much time I spend at the piano, and the last year of paying really close attention to what I'm doing, has paid off. After one more solo gig this month, tomorrow, I'm going to really spend time on Joplin, and, if I can, something new for the quarterly recital. If I can't really get something new, I do have some repertoire pieces I haven't done for a recital.

But it is such a relief to find the centeredness, because I think that's going to be a nuisance for awhile, and I'll need to find some new ways to deal with being antsy much of the time. But onward and upward!

Cathy
_________________________

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#2217159 - 01/19/14 02:05 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
griffin2417 Offline

Silver Supporter until Dec 29 2012


Registered: 12/12/10
Posts: 2451
Loc: Minneapolis, MN

Cathy, I totally relate to what you're saying about being centered. I've started doing some of the simple deep breathing yoga exercises to help me get centered in my practice sessions. I've found it helpful in dealing with all of the various distractions.

Hi everyone! I had a wonderful session last week with my teacher. We spent quite a bit of time on the "Raindrop" Prelude and Invention #8. I will spend the majority of my practice time on these two pieces this week.

With the Invention I'll get accustomed to slowly playing the right and left hands separately.

The "Raindrop" prelude will get a major amount of my time. I put this aside temporarily while I worked on getiting Clair de Lune up to speed. I was finding it difficult to work on both at the same time. I now seem to have gotten beyond that problem. With Raindrop I've identified 6 areas to focus on this week as I start the process of memorizing and fine-tuning.

As was suggested by my teacher, I've scheduled a few private practice performances of Clair de Lune with some friends. The first will happen this week! I am working on preparing for it today. I'll let you know how things go.

I also plan to work on Gymnopedie 1. I think I'll just keep it real simple and do some practice recordings to analyze my next steps with this piece. I'll be meeting with my teacher within the next few weeks to get it to the next level.

Richard, I'll be sending you a PM about the Rachmaninoff piece. My teacher is still trying to determine the best time in February to get me started with this piece. Stay tuned!

Diana, thanks for sharing the spreadsheet. I think I'll find it very useful.

That's it for me. Have a good week!
_________________________
Carl


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#2218367 - 01/21/14 05:36 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2409
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
I spent most of the holiday going over some pieces I wanted to finish and revisiting recent material I had forgotten then I took a week off and cleared up my desk and the area around the piano the week before last.

The only new stuff last week was the Tchaikovsky and Joplin recital material. This week will be much the same again but the new material will be different sections of the same pieces.

I'm not in a hurry to start the Rach, Carl. It's not going away and I still have the motivation.
_________________________
Richard

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#2218506 - 01/21/14 10:16 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: griffin2417]
aTallGuyNH Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/22/12
Posts: 509
Originally Posted By: griffin2417

As was suggested by my teacher, I've scheduled a few private practice performances of Clair de Lune with some friends. The first will happen this week! I am working on preparing for it today. I'll let you know how things go.

I also plan to work on Gymnopedie 1. I think I'll just keep it real simple and do some practice recordings to analyze my next steps with this piece. I'll be meeting with my teacher within the next few weeks to get it to the next level.

Hopefully we'll get to hear a Clair de Lune recording at some point. I may have expressed that sentiment previously? Not sure... anyway not to harp on it if I did, it's my favorite piece though, so I'm always interested to hear what people do with it.

As for Gym #1, I tried that two years ago when I was just barely beginning on my piano journey. It was an eye opener to realize that just because there are very few notes does not at all mean that the piece is easy! I'll have another go at it eventually.

My focus at this point is still "Against All Odds". My arrangement work petered out close to the end -- I just got sick of trying to figure out a few bars near the end, so I switched to "learn to play the rest" mode. I'll finish out the arrangement when I have a better feel for playing what's been completed already (although even that is still being polished a bit).

The learning to play aspect is going fairly well. I've got the fingering down for ~1/2 of it. Goal for this week is to get the balance figured out.

I've pretty well settled on skipping the 2/15 recital. Just not enough time, so this will be for 5/15 now.
_________________________
"...when you do practice properly, it seems to take no time at all. Just do it right five times or so, and then stop." -- JimF

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

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

XXIX-XXXII

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#2218716 - 01/22/14 11:28 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: aTallGuyNH]
griffin2417 Offline

Silver Supporter until Dec 29 2012


Registered: 12/12/10
Posts: 2451
Loc: Minneapolis, MN

I certainly intend to record Clair de Lune at some point, TallGuyNH. I hadn't forgotten your request. Right now I'm trying to get comfortable with playing it in front of a few people at a time. I'm also considering doing a recording of it late next month on my digital piano (Yamaha P-155) to share privately for feedback. If you or others would be interested in that send me a PM and I'll share that when I get it done late in February.

I did one practice performance yesterday with a friend who is not a musician. It went pretty well, though I made some mistakes. My challenge was to stay present with the piece and keep it going. I did achieve that, and my friend said she couldn't tell there were any difficulties. I was satisfied with that because at this point I think of it as a work in progress.
_________________________
Carl


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#2218816 - 01/22/14 02:03 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: griffin2417]
SwissMS Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/11
Posts: 762
Loc: Switzerland
Hello, everyone. I have fallen behind on the weekly reporting it seems. My lessons started up again last week after nearly a two month break, and I have been very busy "fixing" things. So, my goals have shifted from my set priorities to new priorities set by my teacher's critiques.

Venetian Boat Song: I have made several recordings, listened, and updated my interpretation accordingly. Hopefully I will get a final recording for the AFB recital this week.

Chrysanthemum: My teacher noted "flying fingers" on the RH in this, so this week it is very slow play with attention to the choreography. The left hand should be in constant steady movement, and the right should be more relaxed on the keys.

March: Right hand alone up to tempo, counting. The rhythm is not secure.

Sonatina: Fix the dynamics to be consistent with classic period. Work the running passages in 3 note, 4 note, and 8 note sections. Maintain relaxation and preparation.
_________________________



European Piano Party July 4, 2015 in Switzerland!

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#2218968 - 01/22/14 04:50 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: griffin2417]
aTallGuyNH Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/22/12
Posts: 509
Originally Posted By: griffin2417

I certainly intend to record Clair de Lune at some point, TallGuyNH. I hadn't forgotten your request. Right now I'm trying to get comfortable with playing it in front of a few people at a time. I'm also considering doing a recording of it late next month on my digital piano (Yamaha P-155) to share privately for feedback. If you or others would be interested in that send me a PM and I'll share that when I get it done late in February.

I did one practice performance yesterday with a friend who is not a musician. It went pretty well, though I made some mistakes. My challenge was to stay present with the piece and keep it going. I did achieve that, and my friend said she couldn't tell there were any difficulties. I was satisfied with that because at this point I think of it as a work in progress.


Sounds like success! I'll PM you re: feedback for your upcoming recording.
_________________________
"...when you do practice properly, it seems to take no time at all. Just do it right five times or so, and then stop." -- JimF

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

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

XXIX-XXXII

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#2223241 - 01/30/14 04:24 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
Valencia Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/11
Posts: 250
Hi Everyone. smile

Iíve been waffling this whole month. Time to get back to some focused practice!

This week:

Tchai Nocturne 10/1: This piece has been on the backburner. Focus on bars 29-39. Play slowly and get brain to register chords.

Ballade: Iíve memorized to bar 65. Some things to work on this week: 24-26 (LH) , bar 33 (little notes), and bars 36-43 (when to hold notes versus when to let them go). Also accuracy during the transitions in bars 50-51. Iíd also like to memorize bar 166 to the beginning of 180, so that I am free to practice those bars which need independent rhythms in the RH and LH. (ex. 170, 171, 172 and 179).

Moonlight 3: I need to work on alberti bass. Mine is terrible! Recently I realized how much my fingers fly around and that I have to change that if I ever want to increase the tempo of my playing. So now Iím trying to move my fingers as little as possible and my playing has become a disaster. Iím so unsteady and uncoordinated when trying to keep my fingers close to the keys. Ugh! So I will just take each albert bass section in the piece and practice it HS for now, keeping my fingers close to the keys, and trying to play it evenly.

Scriabin Prelude Op. 2 No. 2-This is a short, pretty little piece. (a one pager). My first attempt at any Scriabin.

Rach 3/2-another piece I am starting. Havenít settled yet on an approach. I might try to work on bars 2 to the beginning of bar 8, focusing on getting familiar with the chords and relaxing my hands when playing them. Then I might also work on bars 14-26, HS, then try HT. All of it very slowly. Havenít decided if I will memorize this piece or not.

Thatís it. How is everyone else doing with their practicing?

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#2224363 - 02/01/14 07:55 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
jotur Online   blank
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5559
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
I'm with Valencia - January was a spaced out month for piano. I am, however, still reaping the benefits of previous focused practice - yea!

But now that work has let up a little, I have 4 projects on the burner - a piece for the ABF recital, the Joplin, a couple of pieces for St. Pat's with the band, and whatever the gig pieces for Feb are.

So it was a treasure to spend time on the Joplin today, playing all the way thru so that I could begin to hear it all in my head and not get lost, chunking a couple of trouble spots, hearing that some of the work on accents and phrasing has paid off. And then taking out one of my repertoire pieces for the ABF and really work on turning it into a waltz instead of a slow air laugh That's coming along.

And then just playing thru, and chunking a little, the pieces in my stack of repertoire cards. Yesterday I got a call at 2:45 for a gig at 3 - sheesh - and doing that refreshment in rotation made a huge difference in being able to just fake my way thru an hour's worth of music! I'm hoping to be able to do all 2 hours worth reliably by the first of May, + the Joplin and the St. Pat's for cushion.

I've found that really having a specific set of gigs that I want specific things for, and musicality goals, helps a lot with motivating me to get to the piano, even if I'm not sure I can stand to sit still. I can, mostly, get 15 minutes in, anyway, if I know I'll see progress the next time I sit down. Whew! It's a journey.

The "stay relaxed" is an important thing for me, too, like SwissMS. I am really looking forward to Chrysanthemum!

Cathy
_________________________

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#2224880 - 02/02/14 09:35 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2409
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
My recital submission is in now and I'm ready to start the Rachmaninoff as soon as Carl gets the green light.

I've spent January planning how I want to manage my time and pieces. Having the Bach piece(s) ready to go and well seasoned has been a great bonus. I've a few new pieces to learn this year but I want to spend a lot more time consolidating pieces from the last two years that are suffering from neglect and the sooner I get back to them the easier it will be to recover them.

I have my Joplin pieces memorised and getting fluent, though still in four parts each. I still have a bit of difficulty remembering the differences for the section repeats here and there and get myself into a perpetual motion kind of thing every so often but I'm getting quite confident. The Tchaikovsky is coming on and I'm slowly sorting out the awkward M10 passage between work on other sections.

Alongside these three pieces I shall refresh my Bach Allemande in Eb and Scarlatti sonata K. 149 this week and pick up the Beethoven Largo.
_________________________
Richard

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#2224947 - 02/03/14 01:08 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: zrtf90]
carlos88 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/18/13
Posts: 94
Loc: Colorado
I wrapped up a first round of lessons with a new teacher, second round starts in May. (She's off teaching at a university now). I told her in the first lesson that she had covered more than my previous teacher had covered in a year.

My Dec./Jan. was the most intense piano learning period I've ever had. Most of the time was spent on Bach's Italian Concerto, first movement, but I also had a chance to work on a Mozart Fantasy, and a 4-hands 1-piano Mozart piece, which was a blast.

Worked on my first lead sheet with a teacher, using my rusty music theory. I could barely hang onto most of the conversations :-)

Currently wrapping up the Bach for the February ABF recital, mostly working on the ornaments, the jumps, and making the right hand of some phrases more legato.


One of the best parts of the lessons was having a teacher who was very analytical, and who enjoyed playing and demonstrating technique. For example, she explained the physicality of playing trills, with the small wrist/forearm wiggle, along with how to make the ornaments part of the phrases. This was one of the things we ended up working on each lesson.
_________________________
I'd rather play badly than not at all...

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#2225003 - 02/03/14 04:50 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
sinophilia Offline

Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014


Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 988
Loc: Italy
Since all three recital pieces are done, I'm switching to two easy things from Pianist magazine, a minuet by Mozart and an arrangement of Leo Delibes' Waltz from Coppelia. Both require a very light touch. The latter is quite fast but they shouldn't take me more than two weeks to learn - hopefully. Then the plan is to go back to Bach's Invention no. 1, which I started in December. I only studied the first few measures but I felt it gave me some advantage when I learnt the Little Prelude for the quarterly recital. So I will continue my work on it, slowly slowly, even if it is way above my level.

I'm sticking to my technique work, with my daily Beyer/Czerny/Bartok. All of these are getting beyond my sight-reading ability, but I can still play 2 or 3 exercises through every day, very slowly, paying attention to the technique taught. I love this kind of extremely clear and progressive little things, they make me feel I may be on the right track after all. I'm definitely learning what patience is.

Just for fun, I learned an arrangement of Can't Help Falling in Love from Alfred's Greatest Hits book 3. Now I think I will try Speak Softly Love. I need some quick gratification every now and then!
_________________________
Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW
Martha Argerich... is an incarnation of the artistic metaphor of the "eternal feminine" that draws us upward. (Sergio Sablich)

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