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#2270651 - 05/03/14 06:02 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
Happy Birthday casinitaly Offline


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 4875
Loc: Italy
Cathy it really sounds like there has been a shift in your playing over the past few months and things are coming together for you in a very different (and wonderful) way!

I think your idea of practicing with distractions could be a really good one -I'm going to try it!


SwissMS it sounds like you're really coming along well with your exam preparation - and your growing repertoire is really splendid!

I thought I'd get a "good to go" on my 3 pieces last lesson but it was not to be. I actually had quite a bit of difficulty pulling off the scherzo - so when I came home I went back at it VERY methodically - and I have to say I'm stunned at how much better I was able to have it rolling after just 2 days. It was so good I even recorded it and sent it to my teacher (just in case I had a nervous attack at the lesson-- I needed evidence that it really was prety good at home!).

I really feel I'm on a fresh new path with my approach.
_________________________
XVIII-XXXIV
Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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#2270681 - 05/03/14 07:19 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 1986
Loc: Rocky Mountains
Jotur....Cathy.... On your performing on your own. You might consider some advise I saw from a very successful song writer. He said that when you put Jazz into a restaurant. The profits go up (I forget) something like 20 or 30 percent. Something about jazz causes people to go ahead and spend more at a restaurant. Go ahead and have that desert, go ahead and have another drink. Just something about it. A gig like that could be very profitable for you.

I'd also like to congratulate everybody in getting more focused. I've read through some of the more recent posts. Looks like people are getting serious. Congrats!


I"m finally getting focus, period. I have been literally fighting the past year to try to keep focus. I could bore you with a book on what was wrong. What is right is I found a System to learn piano that is finally focused. There's no tricks, no dazzling. Just good hard straight forward, smart learning at each level from the ground up. It takes into account that you must have the right mindset. You must have bilateral and trilateral thinking...even more. This system is training for any music. But it also prepares a person to be able to play the masters. The System knows what it takes to be able to do that well. Which is not easy. It doesn't leave anything out. I think it's brilliant. Finally, everything I saw on it. Now that I started it. It's verifying to me it is brilliant. None of this tricky thinking BS. I am getting focused again in my life. As well as everything for piano.
I had gotten sick and tired of fighting for focus in my playing. What I was doing just wasn't working right. This System is working right. I think I just have dealt with knowledge in the past that was just too good. Some of it, my life depended on following it. Had to get it right. I just can't adapt to half fast doing things. I need to get down understanding, and how, and why, and what for. In the end, I enjoy playing different things. But what I'm interested in learning is mastery of the keyboard. My end goal will always be to compose.
Still, I can't believe I'm actually studying Classical now... Doh! I've always said that Classical is where the real training is at. So I'm getting it now.
This system is brilliant. It is called: Artistry Alliance. Otherwise called: Artistry at the Piano. I imagine I'll be posting pieces from it in the recitals in the near future. I"m just in the beginning now with the Introduction to Music. I'm starting at ground one with this and following the thinking all the way up. I'm so impressed with it that I'm sticking to it. I want my results...to compose one day.

When I get above this beginning level. I may be posting weekly focus on this System.

This is working so well. My mind is getting back focused on everything in my life. I'm actually getting my apartment cleaned up! Cleaning up after cooking! Even planning rearranging my apartment in a better way.
_________________________
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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#2270762 - 05/03/14 11:29 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: rnaple]
aTallGuyNH Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/22/12
Posts: 500
Lots of new beginnings, and it feels like a bit of a new beginning for this thread as well. A real shot in the arm in recent days.

Ron, what sort of composing are you interested in? I feel like I am on the cusp of being able to write a basic song (regarding a dead baby possum, perhaps?), if I put my mind to it and took the time. I'd love to be able to some day. But "composing", which I'm assuming means instrumental only in the classical style, seems much more difficult.

Cathy, your journey just gets more and more interesting.

Cas, great to have you over here on FOYD now!

For me, I'm giving "Against All Odds" a rest for a bit. I need to take a strategic break to let it sink in and then come back. The rhythm is a mess and I need to "reset" basically.

Currently working on "How Great Thou Art", which my younger daughter says she would like to perform with me (she would be singing) this summer at our annual church Mission Trip. It's fairly simple, but I'm still struggling with it.

Will be skipping 5/15 recital, which is a good thing for my mental health and life balance to not obsess over getting something ready. Maybe 8/15 if I can record w/ my daughter.

Oh yes... the thread is supposed to be about focus...

Hmmm...


<thinking>


<thinking some more>


<drawing a blank>


Well... I need to focus on nailing down my arrangement. Playing the chords straight out of the hymnal is terribly clunky.

Over the next week I'll focus on getting my arrangement fairly well finalized for the portion I've learned so far (the verse, not the chorus).
_________________________
"...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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#2270794 - 05/04/14 01:27 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: jotur]
SwissMS Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/11
Posts: 694
Loc: Switzerland
Originally Posted By: jotur
...ease and options. All of the reading/blogs this week seemed to relate to this. One cellist said that, in order to do the tricky/hard/scary parts that we already know with ease and options we don't really need more repetitive practice - we need to deliberately distract ourselves when we practice those, and, as one of his teachers once said, practice wrong! laugh He suggested deliberately doing something like rolling your head in a circle when the tricky part came, so that you were thinking about how that felt, instead of getting tense and worried (and practice the passage while rolling your head in a circle). His teacher suggested practicing in lots of different variations (which we know helps, but summed up by him as "practice wrong!") so that when we were performing we had options....
Cathy


This is a fascination idea, Cathy. I am going to give it a try. To perform well, one really has to have complete comfort with their music and be able to recover from mistakes on the fly. My teacher did an interesting exercise with me, to eliminate tensing up in tricky sections. She had me play fast running passages with my right hand, while she held and shook my left. All the tension left, and the passages were smooth. Another time she held my left leg off the ground and had me play. Again, all the tension left. So practicing a tricky passage with head circles sounds like a great idea. By the way, I am really impressed by the size of your ready repertoire!

Cheryl- It sounds like your methodical practising is really paying off. It is hard to have the discipline to practice well, but it sounds like you have found the secret to your success!

rnaple - The Artistry Alliance System you are using sounds fascinating. I look forward to hearing your weekly reports. I very much believe in a structured approach to learning, and this sounds like a good one.

ATallGuyNH- Doing your own arrangement sounds like a fun challenge. I think it is great that you are going to accompany your daughter singing. It would be great to hear it in the August recital!

My focus this week became abundantly clear. Wednesday I received notice of my ABRSM exam date and time - May 27. That is a month sooner than I thought it would be! My teacher deems me "ready" but I need to do some playing with distractions like Cathy suggests to be ready for the pressure to the exam. So this week:

Ruiz - La Peruanita: I love this little piece, but it is has been a challenge at make musical at speed. It is finally flowing well. This is the one that needs lots of "distraction" playing. It has lots of tricky spots.

Scarlatti- Sonata in Gm, Arden- The Sun is Setting: These are good to go, and just need performance for anyone that will listen smile

Technical: I filled an envelope with the scales and arpeggios, and pull them out in random order and perform them. It reveals any weaknesses.

Sightreading: I am so "deer in the headlights" about this. Generally I do just fine, but then I will get a piece with a tricky rhythm and three sharps, and I will get totally off base half-way through. The worst thing you can do in the test is stop or correct, you have to keep going. So, I am stepping up my efforts here, and playing with the metronome to force pressure.

Diabelli Duet: I am focussing on the tricky B section of the Rondo at very slow speed until it is confirmed. It is challenging!

Recital prep: I am doing the Tchaikovsky and Mendelssohn pieces. They just need regular slow play and performance play.

Sonatinas: Keep working on those running passages!
_________________________


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#2270806 - 05/04/14 02:24 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
jotur Online   blank
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5449
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
Ah, learning to deal with distractions. Well, today at my gig in the memory care unit Rosie rolled her wheelchair up right beside me and clapped the whole time, and a younger woman stood right next to me and kind of danced. No problema! The problem came when suddenly everyone was paying attention to a man laying on the floor in a doorway and kind of moaning :\ Speaking of distractions. This had happened a couple of weeks ago, too, and the staff was pretty blase about it. So I told Rosie it would be alright. But then I didn't see any staff, so I finally decided I'd better go check it out. Turns out the doorway led into a room where there was a staff member, and I believe I heard her say "You can too get up." So I went back and - tried - to play piano. The piano playing was like watching a piece of equipment fall off when a screw comes loose frown I had told myself a couple of weeks ago that I needed some back up pieces I could play even when I was distracted, so I made a list of them, but I was so distracted I forgot to do that laugh So I guess I'll have to figure out a way to remind myself to go to back to my "stalwarts" list when I find myself getting in trouble. Sigh. Always something new to learn, eh? Tomorrow I'm playing at the place where the 13-year-old boy was, so if he's there I'll have an immediate chance to try to remember it.

SwissMS - that is fascinating about your teacher with the physical "distractions", except I gather they weren't really meant as distractions but as physical relaxers. What a deal! I haven't tried the "rolling the head in circles" yet, but I do try to look up and look around the room, practicing to try to take in the "audience" and that's got some similar motion to it.

Ron - I would love to play in a cafe/restaurant. I actually had a gig lined up at a Japanese "tapas" place a year ago (not that I was ready for that, but chutzpah is my middle name), but one of the performing rights organizations saw they were offering live music and told them they'd have to pay fees, so it fell thru. But there's a pizza place that's quite community oriented that I'd like to aim for maybe in the fall. I sent mp3s to an artists mkt but haven't heard back from them, but will call them again in another week or so. I'm nowhere near polished enough, or interested enough for that matter, to play at a very posh place smile I'll check out your earlier link to the artistry place, too - it sounds like it could be very helpful in its approach.

ATallGuyNH - How Great Thou Art was my mother's favorite hymn. A friend and I did it at a mother's day gig a couple of years ago. I'd love to hear you and your daughter do it.

cas - I love it that you can *prove* you play it better at home laugh

Cathy
_________________________

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#2270899 - 05/04/14 09:55 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: aTallGuyNH]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 1986
Loc: Rocky Mountains
Originally Posted By: aTallGuyNH

Ron, what sort of composing are you interested in? I feel like I am on the cusp of being able to write a basic song (regarding a dead baby possum, perhaps?), if I put my mind to it and took the time. I'd love to be able to some day. But "composing", which I'm assuming means instrumental only in the classical style, seems much more difficult.


I wish to compose just for piano and voice. I have words. I have a voice. I want to record demo's. I don't want to get into my dreams so to speak. I'd write a book here just on that....Doh! This is all without the intention of profiting, or being a star, or anything like that in this lifetime.
I also confess. Maybe why I've stayed away from Classical. I'm just obsessive compulsive enough to get lost playing the Masters. That isn't my end result...not my focus.

Cathy.... You might find the System I'm doing helpful. Even though you are way ahead of a rank beginner. It does a very interesting job of building in polishing right from the beginning. Building in the overall big picture right from the beginning. Taking very simple pieces that are easy to do well. Demanding you do them well. You should look at the music in that System. I think it's brilliant. They have recordings on the website. If it is your wish...I think it will help much in rebuilding a foundation to create a polished performer.

As my Coach has in the title of one of his programs: The Magic in the Mundane. Pay attention to these seemingly unimportant things and focus on them. The results can be magical.
_________________________
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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#2271037 - 05/04/14 04:23 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2310
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
I'll be 60 next Saturday and I've spent a month researching the market for a new telescope and that is taking up a lot my time and interest so piano activity has reduced a little recently - unlike this thread, I see.

My recital piece has been keeping me occupied and will take the bulk of my time over the coming week. I thought I knew this piece but have been taken rather by surprise while preparing to record it. The Kawai has made it easy to work on slow playing just by changing to voices with soft attack characteristics, organs, orchestral strings, harps and so on. This has improved my articulation a good deal but raised the bar for my submission threshold. I have all the components in place but haven't yet managed to get them all there at the same time.

The Chopin Ballade has made good progress and is documented elsewhere. There are many benefits that I've had from my daily sight-reading and piece of the week initiatives. I'm finding it so much easier to play without taking my eyes off the score and I've just taken Mendelssohn's Gondellied, Op. 19/6, up to tempo from scratch in three weeks. I've almost memorised M18-24, which weren't really playable from the score straight off, but I've put the piece aside already as playable from the score.
_________________________
Richard

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#2271079 - 05/04/14 06:07 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
jotur Online   blank
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5449
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
Ron - the website is really interesting. I like the "teaching music, not notes", and I can see why it appeals to you. I book marked it so I can go back and explore a little more.

Richard - ah, a new telescope. Indeed an endeavor worthy of slighting a little piano.

You want to know what went wrong today? Yes, you say?

G2 stopped playing. Except when it happened to feel like it.

You have no idea many pieces you play that use G2 until that great little bass note run in the key of F totally fails. I tried, during one piece, and one piece only, to use a different inversion of G than what I had practiced, but had the sense to abandon that attempt - that's a triumph of focus right there. But on some waltzes the bass became (silence)-pah-pah, (silence)-pah-pah. Something else to practice more than I have.

There were, frankly, the usual number of foul ups, which is what I'm supposed to be alleviating. On the other hand, there weren't *more* than the usual number, which I thought was pretty good, since I could feel that loose screw trying to throw the wheel off.

Sigh. The beat goes on.

Cathy
_________________________

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#2271110 - 05/04/14 07:04 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: jotur]
aTallGuyNH Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/22/12
Posts: 500
Just pop down to G1 for the "oom"!

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

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#2272022 - 05/06/14 06:35 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
Happy Birthday casinitaly Offline


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 4875
Loc: Italy
Richard - I hope you're going to be celebrating in good style!

Cathy - your performances with their distractions sound really challenging ....but notice how you keep coming through with flying colours!

New focus this week: Working on 1st movement of a Gurlitt suite (I've already done the 2nd and 3rd) - first objective is to work thorugh it looking for the patterns, getting the fingering sorted out, second task is to check the dynamics so that I learn them along with the notes.

For the Diabelli duet, I need to practice the sections for which my teacher helped me find better fingering. These parts are repeated several times so even though there are only about 6 measures to work through, it is a significant portion of the piece.

For the Schubert duet I will do some similar work - again about 6 bars with new fingering.

I tried an interesting exercise with the "Fra le Rose" duet...I was playing the secondo and singing the primo. That was really tricky at first but once I got into it, it was really helpful and ...truth be told...really fun.

I'm also going to be starting another new piece but I haven't yet decided which one.......To Be Announced!
_________________________
XVIII-XXXIV
Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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#2272041 - 05/06/14 07:47 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
jotur Online   blank
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5449
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
Down to G1, eh? I do do that on a couple of pieces, so just maybe. . .

Flying colors laugh laugh laugh

Cheryl - I read your AOTW - sounds like you're on a roll smile

Cathy
_________________________

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#2272478 - 05/07/14 05:34 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
Happy Birthday casinitaly Offline


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 4875
Loc: Italy
Can anyone explain how I should be playing bars 9 and 10?

I understand how to manage the staccatto legatto in the bars 1 and 5, but I can't figure out how to manage 9 and 10....


Gurlitt Morning Song


Thank you.
_________________________
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
#2272488 - 05/07/14 06:27 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2310
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
Cheryl, the difference between M9-10 and M1, M5 is that the phrase starts with six notes instead of three. There's no need to handle them differently.

I'm not sure what you mean by managing the staccato legato unless your confusing the phrase line with a call for legato - in which case how did you manage M1?
_________________________
Richard

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#2272497 - 05/07/14 06:38 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
Happy Birthday casinitaly Offline


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 4875
Loc: Italy
Thanks Richard.

For M1 and M5 I am playing the RH: F staccatto and the A B C legato. LH: C staccatto and F G A legato.

I had to play measures like that in the Heller "An Old Romance" OP 47, N 3 - and I thought it was the same thing. (The Heller is, coincidentally, on the page right before this piece!)

So following that line of thought, I can't figure out how to manage M9-10, RH

After reading your comment, I now think that perhaps I've misinterpreted it.
...hmmm. I'm confused. frown
_________________________
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
#2272511 - 05/07/14 07:08 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2310
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
No, these chords are all staccato - just phrased together.

Just. Like. This!
_________________________
Richard

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#2272612 - 05/08/14 01:56 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
Happy Birthday casinitaly Offline


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 4875
Loc: Italy
Ok, thanks Richard. Fortunately that's a lot easier to do than what I thought I had to do!

I'll go over both scores with my teacher to get a better handle on why I thought the notes were to be played as I did in the Heller piece.

edited to add: the piece (as you've seen) is pretty simple... I played it tonight for my husband and he really liked it.

I've also started on the Adagio Sarabande ...hmm I'd better check who the composer is! --- and my hubby actually came in from the other room and stood in the doorway listening to me! He loved it. smile
I'm on.a.roll. smile


Edited by casinitaly (05/08/14 01:58 PM)
Edit Reason: new/more info
_________________________
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
#2274040 - 05/11/14 02:04 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 1986
Loc: Rocky Mountains
Talked with my teacher. Idiot me didn't consider the "transfer student's" info/view in her System. That's what I am. Getting very FOYD. Thus as a result of talking to her...

One) Always study from the Teachers materials. Then refer back to the Student's materials to learn.

Two) Keep studying the rank beginner materials. Thus building that foundation. This is the majority of my study right now.

Three) Start on Patterns for Pianos. Play from that now. Study it. Also write anything. No matter how small. Look for patterns and expand on them. Yes improv is good. Anything building that foundation for composing. That's what I want to do someday. Start it now in the beginning.

Four) Even though she didn't mention this. I don't think she knows I have it yet. On her website she suggested a separate series of books of etudes. Written by many Masters. By Schaum; Masters of Technique, 5 volume set. It's likened to a dozen a day or that sort of thing. Starting with the book for Primer Level. Just a little each day.

Five) She also reminded me that most of what I'm training is in my brain. Even before I play a piece. There is much for me to study and set up in my mind before I ever touch the keys. Most of what occurs in playing is in my mind. Keep that straight first. Then play.

Right now can only post that I'm doing this each day. Getting much more focused. Will post more specifically when I have clear focus of exactly what I expect to accomplish each week. My teacher got on me about all this above. I needed it. She woke me up.
I also think I failed in that I did not listen to her enough in her System. I should have recognized the "transfer student" and followed advise from there. Idiot me have only sat with the beginning. I need to listen to the System better.

I'm finding it interesting in this System. Especially point number Three above. She is grabbing ahold of my creativity and giving me something to focus on.


Edited by rnaple (05/11/14 02:18 PM)
_________________________
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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#2274041 - 05/11/14 02:05 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
jotur Online   blank
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5449
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
Roll on, cas! smile

There were a couple of good ideas in my reading this week about playing chords and fortes, so I'm looking forward to that. I'm trying to remember to use interleaved practice, rather than 100x on a section at a time. I'm still not sure how that's working, but it's pretty early in the game.

I have two gigs on Tuesday, one at 10:30 and one at 3:00. They won't be exactly the same because the audiences want different things. So I've tried to plan out how to mesh them in such a way that I'm not doing two entirely different things, and how to shift my focus from one to the other. In terms of actually playing the music I'm pretty sure that kind of planning doesn't help, but in terms of feeling confident and prepared, so that the nerves don't win all the way around I think it makes a difference. I'd rather have a plan and deviate from it than to not have a plan, however informal it might be.

So for one thing, I think I'll play the second gig "backwards" from the way I played the first gig, in terms of the set list. That way I can play things that I might not have time for in the first gig, like Bethena. But if I'm going to play Bethena first then I want to warm-up at home before I go because it's full of octaves, in both hands, and I need my hands to be flexible rather than stiff. The other thing I've done is to put colored paperclips on the index cards of the pieces that I've definitely worked up for the first gig and wouldn't have worked up if I didn't have that gig. I'll skip those in the second gig unless it turns I play faster than usual (which I sometimes do) and need to fill some time at the end. At least I'll have those as a back up.

The takeaway this week goes along with the above, I think, and really reiterates things I've read in other weeks - plan and prepare what you're going to do, both in performance and practice, before you sit down to play.

Cathy


Edited by jotur (05/11/14 02:06 PM)
Edit Reason: "not" not no not
_________________________

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#2274430 - 05/11/14 11:35 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: jotur]
aTallGuyNH Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/22/12
Posts: 500
Originally Posted By: jotur
So for one thing, I think I'll play the second gig "backwards" from the way I played the first gig, in terms of the set list. That way I can play things that I might not have time for in the first gig, like Bethena. But if I'm going to play Bethena first then I want to warm-up at home before I go because it's full of octaves, in both hands, and I need my hands to be flexible rather than stiff.

If I ever have two gigs (not that I'll ever have even just one, but who's counting?) in one day, I'll certainly remember that tip. laugh

Cathy, you rock.
_________________________
"...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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#2274538 - 05/12/14 02:29 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
Happy Birthday casinitaly Offline


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 4875
Loc: Italy
Cathy, I agree with TallGuy smile
Plan and prepare. I don't have gigs but the philosophy is the same for any undertaking where you have to present and it is an excellent one. Plan A, Plan B, the back up plan and have everything you need at hand to plunge into any of them!

Ron- sounds like you're really finding your way with this new system - I'm happy for you.

I've been continuing with my small focus practice. The Sarabande is by Neufville. I'll be adding a Pastoral to the mix in the next few days (CE Bach) which is reminiscent of Burgmuller's Pastoral from Op 100.

Things to focus on this week, after meeting with my teacher will be a couple of spots where I'm not convinced of the fingerings I've chosen and pedalling improvements.

I've already decided that one of the pieces I've been working on is going to be my recital piece in June, and I am pretty sure I'm going to submit the 3piece suite for the August recital smile
_________________________
XVIII-XXXIV
Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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#2274830 - 05/12/14 01:22 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: casinitaly]
SwissMS Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/11
Posts: 694
Loc: Switzerland
jotur/Cathy - Two gigs in one day! That is impressive! Have fun with them, first and for most.

Rnaple - You teacher's "system" sounds very interesting and I look forward to hearing more. I have always wanted to play around with improv, and it sounds like you will have fun getting started with it!

casinitaly- It sounds like you have a lot of pieces on the go. I find I really like that, and it seems to bring with it a certain synergy that improves all of the pieces.

This week I have three parallel paths going. The ABRSM prep is reaching its final stages, and it will still hold my primary focus. My recital pieces are second. I can play both pieces consistently accurately note wise, but I am still working on the correct nuances. The Tchaikovsky needs a lot of work on the "bird" section. That will be my primary focus for that piece this week, working the right hand separately until the phrasing and bird calls are consistently correct.

Thirdly, on Thursday my teacher is coming over to do supervised practice and start me on Kuhlua 88 3. She is going to make sure I start it correctly, from the very beginning, instead of fixing it after I have done my "interpretation". It should be an interesting experience! She is literally going to teach me how to practice effectively. I hope it works!
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#2277487 - 05/17/14 01:56 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
jotur Online   blank
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5449
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
SwissMS - I read your report on your "practicing" session with your teacher. Wow! It humbles me to figure out just how little I actually work at piano. I think I do, but to see how "real" piano players approach a piece is, as I say, humbling. Inspirational, tho I doubt I could ever be that intense for any length of time. But it sure shows in your work that picked up much of this sense from your teacher.

The two gigs in one day - I think both went about as usual in terms of fluffs. What still amazes me, and I think is the result of the last couple of years of better, and more, practice, is that I think I'm not a wimp piano player any more. It still surprises me, and I'm glad of it. I'm still baffled over the fluffs, and i think I'll still be working on that - maybe I can take away some lessons from SwissMS's report. It's frustrating. But -

After the first gig one woman called me over to talk. She said, essentially: "You save us. And it's us older ones [she gestured around, particularly to an older man across the way from her] that need you the most. You can tell how awake we become." We talked a little more, and then one of staff came over and asked her to move so he could put the tables back for lunch. And she got kind of quiet and looked down and said "I was waiting to go somewhere [pause] where? [pause] I think it was the grave" And then she laughed as she started off, saying, "that's one thing about being old, our sense of humor." I had to laugh. She reminded me of the 91-year-old I used to deliver meals to. I asked her how long before she knew was dying she wanted to know, and she said "Oh, about 5 minutes before they pull the plug." laugh laugh

What little reading and other-than-playing I did this week fit right in with SwissMS - perform *and* practice with intention. That is such a long lesson for me to learn. I don't do intense or focus for very long, and not much on demand, either, so it's a challenge for me. But it's another tool for the journey towards fewer major flubs in performance, so a good reminder.

Cathy
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#2277727 - 05/18/14 01:56 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 1986
Loc: Rocky Mountains
Cathy.... a bit of point of view from humor first... Guessing it really pays off to play the second gig backwards when you're playing in a home for dyslexic people... right? smile
Seriously.... enjoyed your write up on the old people. That's about the only "performing" I have ever thought about wanting to do. When I was a kid in high school. I worked at a retirement home part time. I felt so sad for those people. A couple of them were the source of much humor. Mr. Bedner loved to escape and go buy booze at the closest liquor store. Every once in a while we'd hear on the loud speaker: "Mr Bedner escaped!" I'd see him come back. Halls were like 12 feet wide. He'd be bouncing off one wall then the other. One night a nurses aide couldn't ignore a huge lump in the middle of his bed. He was trying to hide a six pack under the mattress. smile
I really should work up some kind of repertoire and go play at some of these homes. I know at least one has a big Grand in the entry Hall to the place.

Cas and SwissMS.... gee...both got teachers coming over. Sounds good. Glad to hear about y'all's seriousness and focusing in on things.

Myself...still mostly soaking up info on my new System. Talking to the teacher. Has some great tips. She loves to talk in abstracts. I relate to that so easily.
I went ahead and bought my license for Reaper. Also a good metronome. Can set the beat note wherever I want. Helps to pick up the rhythm with different time signatures. I got some very different ones to pick up on now. Other than that...this week playing the first four pieces in my Masters of Technic primer level... Cramer: 3 finger study, Wolff: Imitations for 3 fingers, Krause: 5 finger study, Krause: 4 finger exercise. Also disciplining myself on these with the metronome and extents of the timing for each.

I also confess.... even thought I shouldn't be.... couldn't keep my hands off the keyboard with The Crisis...Ennio Morricone... it's just so beautiful with the strings pad on the synth turned on... Magically beautiful. Then my hands wonder off on Schindler's List and maybe a bit of Rag Time... I'm just a slouch. Need to be more disciplined and focused with my time.

EDIT: Geesh... I write too much in a post too quick. Guess that's why I'm a writer. Doh!


Edited by rnaple (05/18/14 02:00 AM)
Edit Reason: Rambling of an old fool.
_________________________
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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#2277737 - 05/18/14 02:23 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
Happy Birthday casinitaly Offline


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 4875
Loc: Italy
Ron: just a quick note--- My teacher doesn't come to my house. I have lessons every week during the traditional school year (and then a horrible gap that lasts for 3 months!!!!)
_________________________
XVIII-XXXIV
Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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#2277749 - 05/18/14 03:10 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
jotur Online   blank
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5449
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
Well, Ron, I haven't had anyone escape yet, tho there was one when I first started playing that apparently wanted to - she'd keep saying "you call that playing?!" "play something we know!" "that's too loud!" et al.

It would be worth it to go play. You don't need "heavy" rep, or to have it memorized, or anything. The music itself resonates for them. And any kind of music - stuff like I play, classical, new age, anything will do it. So whenever you want to do it don't be shy.

Cathy
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#2277750 - 05/18/14 03:19 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 1986
Loc: Rocky Mountains
Sorry about that Cas... Didn't pay enough attention. Was thinking you had your's coming over for some reason. My Bad.

Focus for this week... keep playing the four little exercise/studies I mentioned. Add Burgmuller: D minor study, Cramer: Alternating hand patterns, and Beringer: C major 5-finger etude. Keep playing all 6 studies and the etude all week. Maybe longer. This is just a sideline to my studies. Most of study is reading, mental training, ear training, singing piano pieces, and Patterns for Piano which is study on theory and composing.

EDIT: Just wanted to add. I noticed. With this classical training. These studies and etudes. Right at this point not playing hands together. But! The Brilliance! Having left hand play the same thing the right plays. But in lower octave. Left getting same training as right. Smart!


Edited by rnaple (05/18/14 04:22 AM)
Edit Reason: More old man dribble.
_________________________
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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#2278052 - 05/18/14 06:24 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2310
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
I have struggled to get my usual time on the piano recently and have settled for just keeping alive a few pieces to keep me going.

I can see that my calendar will be back to normal in about a fortnight now and life will resume its normal course.

It's delightful to read everyone else's stories of either progress or enlightenment. While I can't find the time to practise piano or attend the forum as regularly or as actively as I'd like or am able, it's good to stick my head in the door now and then and feel as though I'm keeping up.
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Richard

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#2278434 - 05/19/14 03:13 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: zrtf90]
SwissMS Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/11
Posts: 694
Loc: Switzerland
My focus this week is much the same as last week, with the addition of ultraslow HS practice of the Exposition section of the new Kuhlau piece, Op 88 #3. My assignment is to play it this way for one week, and then my teacher will reassess next Monday. She is really keeping a tight rein on this one!

My exam preparation is in pretty good shape. I plan on doing final recordings of all three pieces this week. This week will be mock exams and playing for anyone that will listen!

My two recital pieces will probably take a back seat until after the exam. Then I will focus on dusting and polishing them, and work on the Diabelli duet.
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#2280661 - 05/24/14 09:40 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
jotur Online   blank
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5449
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
All I can say is that it's a good thing it's Saturday night and there'll be bath water :\

My internet has been intermittent and my phone had so much static over the past 2 weeks I couldn't really use it. Then the phone essentially went out completely. Much to my surprise the phone company actually decided it was a problem on their end and came out today and fixed it.

But in the mean time, in the process of assuring myself it was them and not something inside I moved my whole desk/computer/printer/office machines to the other side of my office. And my desk actually started life as a dining room table, and the legs were wobbly, so I took them off and put file boxes under it and now I have a sturdy desk again. I haven't finished moving stuff around yet, so I have a long day tomorrow, but at the minute I'm pretty grimy.

And I haven't done a whole lot of piano playing. Enough, tho, that I don't feel like I've lost anything, just slowed down.

Since I felt kind of overwhelmed with other stuff this week I didn't really do any more reading, but I did review what I've noted previously, and thought that reminding myself could be productive. So, here's the review. Stuff we all know, but I kind of lose in the heat of the moment:

1. Practice performing.
2. Play accessible music at gigs.
3. The key to good performance/practice is openness and acceptance.
4. Practice recall from long-term memory, not just working memory. Interleave practice.
5. Begin moderately laugh
6. Practice with ease to have options and flexibility.
7. Practice and perform with intention.

SwissMS - have a great time at your exams smile

Ron - keep us up with all your enthusiasm about Artistry Alliance.

Cathy
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#2280707 - 05/25/14 12:30 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 1986
Loc: Rocky Mountains
zrtf90... Is good to hear from you. Keep at it.

SwissMS.... Good luck with the exams.

Jotur... Is nice the phone company finally decided to fix their problem. Everybody finds excuses easier than responsibility. Hope everything is working good now. Nice to hear about your focus.

For me. Getting down to the nitty gritty on focus here. The most basic. Am rearranging my apartment. Getting rid of clutter. Bought a good keyboard stand for my VPC. Also a 40 inch TV (real good price) to use mostly as my computer monitor and DVD player. Do much with the computer for piano and music. Instructional DVD's also. Arranging the living room to put my monitors in the best position. TV to be mounted on wall. Opening the apartment up. Keeping it nice and clean. Basically just a much better environment in which to keep my mind clear, study, learn, stay focused. I do think this is much the result of the mind set my Artistry Alliance System is training. My teacher and writer of the System told me to make sure I pull all the dandy lions out of my lawn, so to speak. Really like her. She's a real thinker. So I'm just kinda coasting on the system right now with getting my environment clear.
I'm glad she is setting up a format for lessons online and in person. That constructive criticism is always a big help.
_________________________
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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