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#2156867 - 09/24/13 02:07 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11555
Loc: Canada
One word: Pulse. I cannot yet pull off anything fancy rubato-wise. The Grieg I submitted was the 2nd of three recordings. I tried stretching notes the way the masters did, and the pulse played hide-and-seek leaving the listener hunting. So recording 2, back to pulse. There was supposed to be a recording 3. I got sick and couldn't play. Yesterday at zero hour I tried it - there is a recording 3. But once again, the pulse meanders. I ditched the recording. The masters stretch and shrink the notes, but pulse never vanishes. I'm starting to hear when it has vanished, which is a big step forward from before, when I had no idea. In the future - maybe far future - I'd like to have a better handle on this.

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#2156988 - 09/24/13 05:45 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
casinitaly Offline


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 4869
Loc: Italy
wow - lots of action! Love it.

Richard - congrats on the good news! What a relief that must be!

I have been ill for the last few days - lacking the energy and willpower to play piano for 2 days straight! That's a first for me.

I've cut my FOYD down this week - in part because work is starting up and I've less play time available and in part because I want to really get over the hump with 2 pieces.

so -
1. fix my Grieg intermezzo. I now have the concept on what to do to correct the error I accidentally built into my performance (and it is a technique that will hold me in good stead in the future too)-- this means
a) proper pedal work for the 32nd notes and OFF for the next bits!
b) working on the new fingering of the "trumpets" to get them to flow better and more accurately

2. more serious slow practice on the Fughetta to finally eliminate the iffy parts AND focused practice on my "respiri"
_________________________
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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#2157004 - 09/24/13 06:06 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
jotur Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5440
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
casinitaly - sorry to hear you've been under the weather, hope it gets better soon.

Cathy
_________________________

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#2157036 - 09/24/13 06:51 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
dynamobt Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/07/13
Posts: 644
Loc: NH
First time posting in this thread. I have so much to work on this week, I had better get organized. Mostly I just need to manage my time to spend enough time on each area to get some results. I've been working on Beethoven's Op 2 no 1 mvt 1. It's been very slow going. Literally about a page and a half a week. Now my goal this week is to finish the movement. Hmmmmmm, are there enough hours in the day?

And I have two Schumann pieces to work on. And theory work. And I have to resurect the Tchaikovsky piece June from The Seasons.

Not sure how I am going to do all this. Honestly? I'm a bit overwhelmed.
_________________________
1918 Mason & Hamlin BB





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#2157062 - 09/24/13 08:12 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: dynamobt]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2309
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
Originally Posted By: dynamobt
I've been working on Beethoven's Op 2 no 1 mvt 1. It's been very slow going. Literally about a page and a half a week.
What constitutes 'working on'?

What's the difference, materially, from the start of the week and the end of the week And how many minutes a day does that take? How many other pieces are you working on?

On the Mazurka recital recently posted, people were complaining that one month wasn't much time for for the average job-holding amateur and precious few of those compete with Op. 2/1 for scale.

Being overwhelmed is not conducive to learning.

Given a sonata, two Schumann pieces and a Barcarolle I'd spend 15 minutes a day on each and do only as much as I could in each 15 minute slot.

Originally Posted By: dynamobt
Mostly I just need to manage my time to spend enough time on each area to get some results.
Ah, I see you knew that all along! smile
_________________________
Richard

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#2157099 - 09/24/13 09:26 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
dynamobt Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/07/13
Posts: 644
Loc: NH
I do know what to do. I just had a momentary panic. Tomorrow is a new day. We have to mow the lawn. But I will find some serious practice time.
_________________________
1918 Mason & Hamlin BB





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#2158507 - 09/27/13 09:45 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
scorpio Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/30/12
Posts: 494
Loc: Connecticut, USA
I plan to jump in and start using this thread to help me focus on my weekly goals. I do tend to wander about sometimes, and having this forum will help keep my sight on the tasks at hand. I just started lessons, so I plan to address the assignments for the week. Hopefully, I will be able to see progress as each week unfolds. My first lesson was last Monday.

Goals for Week 1:
  • Hanon Exercises 1 & 2
  • "The Entertainer" from Alfred's AIO 1
  • Start Petzold's Minuet in G Minor - focus on first 16 measures
_________________________

    Yamaha P-155

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    #2158518 - 09/27/13 10:12 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
    sinophilia Offline

    Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014


    Registered: 06/26/12
    Posts: 942
    Loc: Italy
    Argh, I knew Friday would come too soon! In the last few days I sort of got back on track, but mainly I've been practicing at very high volume, forcing the LH to be soft and smooth.

    My Czerny's study is almost ready, as my tempo is quite close to that of the recording. I'm supposed to add the pedal now, but I'd rather keep practicing those legato LH arpeggios. This week I also started a gigue by Telemann and I think it should be in pretty good shape by next Friday. Both of these little pieces are quite fast, and I'm still intimidated by fast tempos. But I found out that one gets used to speed very quickly, so it doesn't feel frightening any more, a bit like motoGP pilots who don't think they are going fast at all!

    Now I have to wait for the new issue of Pianist to be here, so I will have another 3 beginner pieces for the next two months, and for my Joplin Favorites book so I can start working on the Maple Leaf Rag (very long-term goal).
    _________________________
    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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    #2159635 - 09/29/13 12:42 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: sinophilia]
    SwissMS Offline
    500 Post Club Member

    Registered: 01/09/11
    Posts: 694
    Loc: Switzerland
    My goals were brought into sharper focus yesterday. My teacher announced an end of year recital at the end of November. That puts a deadline on some of my pieces!

    1. Kuhlau 20-1: I am working on even, clear runs and Alberti base in the first movement, and slowly bringing it up to tempo. This week, I need to memorize the Andante II, and begin chunking through the Rondo III. I doubt I will make the recital with this one!

    2. Villa-Lobos: First movement is memorized, and my goal is to bring it up to tempo. The 2nd movement needs to be memorized this week. This will be one of my recital pieces.

    3. Chopin Mazurka: I have completed the basic learning, now I need to memorize this one as well. This will be my 2nd recital piece.

    4. Bach Inv. 6: This is basically completed. It will become a repertoire piece. I am not comfortable with this one as a recital piece!

    5. Joplin - Chrysamthemum: Begin chunking.

    6. Grieg pieces: Next Saturday my teacher is having a piano party for us adult students, and I will play these there. I guess I better work at practice performing them!
    _________________________


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    #2159645 - 09/29/13 12:59 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: sinophilia]
    rnaple Offline

    Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


    Registered: 12/23/10
    Posts: 1975
    Loc: Rocky Mountains
    Originally Posted By: sinophilia
    .... But I found out that one gets used to speed very quickly, so it doesn't feel frightening any more, a bit like motoGP pilots who don't think they are going fast at all!...


    Is that like when I went to Traffic School in Calif. Everyone had to introduce themselves and their infractions. (kinda like AA) There was always a sweet little voice behind saying something like: "I got a ticket for doing 115mph on I5 in San Clemente".
    For you Europeans.... That's 185 Kph.
    _________________________
    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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    #2159800 - 09/29/13 07:37 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
    zrtf90 Offline
    2000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 02/29/12
    Posts: 2309
    Loc: Ireland (ex England)
    Glad to hear you're getting better, Cheryl. Hope your energy returns soon.

    There's a returning sense of normality now in my practise. My recital pieces are in good enough shape for the time remaining so there's no pressure on them.

    Brahms Ballad 10/1
    I hadn't forgotten much in the fortnight away so I've extended M41-47 up to M59 now and finished the first page (to M26). The last phrase was easy and I'd been through it enough in my HS warm-ups. The rest is readable HS so it's only a matter of memorising the second page and work the last half of the final page then join all the sections together. That should be easy enough in the next five weeks.

    Handel Sonatina HWV585
    The trills I added last time were smooth enough so I'm happy to call this piece finished now. It's a pretty little thing and I'll enjoy playing this on the occasional weekend for a while.

    Scarlatti Kp. 159
    I've fixed M4-12 and the whole page is memorised now. The next two pages are pretty much the same figures at different pitches so that bodes well.

    Schubert Ständchen
    I'm about finished this piece. M61-65 aren't really difficult. The rhythm/pattern changes so they're difficult to prepare for while playing. They're easy enough in isolation; it's just putting them into place. I might try and record this before starting on the Liszt version. That will give me a reference point of where I am or should be.

    Liszt Schlummerlied
    There are some tricky arpeggios here but I may have improved my arpeggios from my recent splurge on Die Zelle in Nonnenwerth, there's a tricky semiquaver accompaniment in 1 & 2 while the inner fingers are awkwardly placed and some hand crossings now and then. This week I just tackled the arpeggios in RH alone, M57-64, and started the main theme HT. Much of this came back quickly from last year but there's still some hefty work to do before Christmas.

    Dvorak Silhouette Op. 8/1
    I only intended doing the analysis and fingering this week but the start and finish look straightforward enough so I've memorised that and got it up to a reasonable tempo. The body is also straightforward comprising only four phrases, three of which barely differ but I haven't started those yet.

    Chopin Mazurka Op. 7/1
    I really like this old friend. I first memorised it many years ago but my sister moved away with the score before I got it into permanent memory and I relearned it when I bought Chopin's Mazurkas complete. I must have practised the final left hand chord more than all the other measures in the piece combined but still my hand wants to jump up to F instead repeating the Bb in the bass.

    Upcoming:
    Work the ending of the Brahms Ballad, continue Bach Sinfonia 11, Scarlatti Kp. 443, Chopin Prelude 2 and restart the Pine Apple Rag. My repertoire piece this week is Beethoven Bagatelle Op. 119/1. My next classical piece in this group will probably be Schubert's Scherzo in Db so I can start analysing that.
    _________________________
    Richard

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    #2159819 - 09/29/13 08:26 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
    jotur Offline
    5000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 09/16/06
    Posts: 5440
    Loc: Santa Fe, NM
    Yea for the Joplin pieces - they should be really fun. And sinophilia - I love the few Telemann pieces I've played so it'll be interesting to hear how you like it.

    What little focus I can muster paid off last night at a dance - I don't think I used the sheet music for more than maybe one or two out of about 25 tunes! That means I could actually track the dancers, see where they were in the dance and get us back on if we had mis-played a tune, tell if the caller was going to be ending soon, see if the music was too fast or too slow, and just pay attention in general! Maybe there's hope!

    So this week it's back to repertoire review, Joplin's Original Rags, making up some basses for Scottish tunes for a dance the end of October, playing the accompaniment for a Kezmer waltz one of the fiddler's brought, and, if there's time, getting back to playing some easy tunes by ear in all keys. And - focusing.

    Cathy
    _________________________

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    #2160113 - 09/30/13 02:52 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
    torquenale Offline
    Full Member

    Registered: 12/29/12
    Posts: 267
    Loc: Italy
    As reported weeks ago, in August, having time to do so and thanks to this thread, I started to write, every Sunday, a detailed plan for the following week: for each piece I'm working on, the precise things I want to obtain (i.e. bars 20-25 hands together slowly, first section add dynamics and so on).
    Even if, especially at the beginning, I was too optimistic, now I'm sure that it's been really beneficially for my improvement. I stopped to repeat the pieces but focused on particular aspect I need to work out.
    This week I'm starting lessons again and so I will have a guide again, but I'm sure that now I'm more able to organize my practice sessions. I feel like I'm growing up...
    _________________________

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    #2160287 - 10/01/13 01:56 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: torquenale]
    sinophilia Offline

    Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014


    Registered: 06/26/12
    Posts: 942
    Loc: Italy
    Originally Posted By: torquenale

    This week I'm starting lessons again and so I will have a guide again, but I'm sure that now I'm more able to organize my practice sessions. I feel like I'm growing up...


    And it's a great feeling!

    I have to add a tiny Mozart's Allegro to my work for this week. I think it should be good enough by Friday, it's only a handful of measures, plus I got a decent recording of my Czerny study, so I'm putting it away for now. The new issue of Pianist was a bit disappointing, since there are only two beginner pieces and one is the Bach's minuet that I've already learned! So I bought a back issue too, and found a few little gems to work on in the next two months. Now to the printing and planning phase smile
    _________________________
    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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    #2160393 - 10/01/13 09:23 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
    griffin2417 Offline

    Silver Supporter until Dec 29 2012


    Registered: 12/12/10
    Posts: 2409
    Loc: Minneapolis, MN
    My practice time decreased somewhat last week because I was busy preparing to move into my new piano room! yippie It's not completely finished yet. However, I am now comfortably working in it with all of my supplies and materials nearby. I can also close the room off from other distractions. I'll gradually get the painting and decorating done later. It feels great to have my my own space to do my music!

    I was able to put more time into working out most of the fingering issues with the four measures of Clair de Lune that I've had to rework. I'll be scheduling a session with my piano teacher and will hopefully have the fingering issues resolved very soon. In the meantime, this week I'll be focusing my attention to memorizing Measures 43-49.

    Prelude in D-Flat Major, Opus 28, No. 15 (Chopin) - I didnt get very much done on this last week Therefore my goal this week will be the same as last week --to focus on measures 70 thru 90. I will give a lot of attention to drawing out the melody in measure 85-90.

    O Holy Night and Gymnopedie 1 may not get very much attention for the remainder of this week. I'm expecting to have lots more time for these next week.



    Edited by griffin2417 (10/01/13 09:26 AM)
    _________________________
    Carl


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    #2161748 - 10/04/13 01:38 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
    sinophilia Offline

    Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014


    Registered: 06/26/12
    Posts: 942
    Loc: Italy
    So... I had a quite productive week, with 1-1.5 hours each day.

    Mozart's tiny Allegro was not so straightforward, but I have it down at semiquaver = 120. Will have to make that 160, but I got the LH/RH pattern.
    Telemann's Gigue is also memorized and flowing, will need to speed it up just a bit and repeat the last four bars a few more times.
    I should be able to record them both by Tuesday.

    Yesterday I started another Mozart piece, German Dance. It has an interesting LH arpeggio with pinky held down for the whole measure, I tried a couple of different hand positions and I'm getting somewhere.

    Right now I'm not working on any of my long-term stuff. I'm waiting for my book of Joplin arrangements so I can start with Maple Leaf Rag and decide how much time I need for that. I am keeping a list of the pieces I've been learning this year and I've already written down a few things I want to learn in 2014. I feel I need to push myself a bit more so I added a few ambitious pieces to tackle while I continue to work at a slow but steady pace on level 1-2 music. I think the next 5 months will tell if I'm going in the right direction (I will be "2-year-old" by 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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    #2162393 - 10/06/13 03:42 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: sinophilia]
    SwissMS Offline
    500 Post Club Member

    Registered: 01/09/11
    Posts: 694
    Loc: Switzerland
    It sounds like everyone is making great, organized progress with this thread! I am really enjoying reading how everyone approaches learning there pieces.

    Yesterday was my teacher's piano party for the adult students, and I successfully played my Grieg pieces. So, they are done! Now I need to focus on polishing the Na Corda da Viola and the Mazurka for November.

    Goals this week:

    1. Villa Lobos - Voice the four note chord progressions better. The inner notes are too loud and ruin the flow of the melody. Memorize the "salsa" section, and "sing" the left hand melody with smooth legato. Work on closing arpeggios and tremolos.

    2. Chopin - Keep doing slow practice until I have build in automatic preparation and finish memorizing.

    3. Kuhlau- 1st movement: Continue to work on smooth, even 1/16th note runs and increase tempo gradually. Tempo is currently 90/quarter, my goal is 120. Second movement: Work on phrasing and bring up to tempo. Begin the Rondo.

    4. Joplin: "A" section is in hand. Begin work on "B" section. I am having fun with this one.

    5. Telfer - When Rivers Flowed on Mars- This is finished, but I want to record it.
    _________________________


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    #2162513 - 10/06/13 12:22 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
    Valencia Offline
    Full Member

    Registered: 12/06/11
    Posts: 244
    I missed posting last week! Since the last time, I’ve mostly worked on 3 pieces:

    1.Moonlight 3rd mvt-- I’ve almost got it memorized—been though the whole score, but there are a few bars where my memory fails me most times. In a week or two, I should be able to play it through completely from memory. Yay! smile However, THE HONEYMOON IS OVER with respect to everything else. How will I ever be able to play this with increasing tempo? What is really challenging is the Alberti bass. It’s one thing to play it slowly, but…… And there is the same Alberti pattern in the right hand. My fingers are like blocks of lead! This week the goal is to continue with memorizing, and figure out how to approach this piece from here.

    2. Chopin Mazurka 17/4-Figure there are 9 weeks for me to prepare before the December recital. Can I do it? This week I’ve got to work on page 3 which has some crazy RH stretches, so I’ll have to find a way to play it without hurting my wrist.

    3. Mysterious Barricades-I’d really hoped to have this ready in time for the November quarterly recital. I’m sad to say I don’t know that I will make it. There is still a month though, so we’ll see. This week, focus on accuracy and tempo for parts B (especially) and C and D.

    Have a great week everyone!

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    #2162623 - 10/06/13 03:52 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
    griffin2417 Offline

    Silver Supporter until Dec 29 2012


    Registered: 12/12/10
    Posts: 2409
    Loc: Minneapolis, MN

    Frankly, I don't really feel like writing any new goals for this week. I am slogging through the work I have to do with the Clair de Lune revisions. It's not an easy time when I have to do this, and I do best when I eliminate distractions. I will be meeting with my teacher this week. He is also a wonderful coach for me at a time like this. Also, I've moved my keyboard and supplies into a new room where I can close the door and focus on my work.

    That's all I have for now! smile
    _________________________
    Carl


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    #2162662 - 10/06/13 05:13 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
    FarmGirl Online   content

    Silver Supporter until Jan 02 2013


    Registered: 09/14/10
    Posts: 1892
    Loc: Scottsdale, AZ
    1. Mozart sonata for two pianos in D Allegro Molto Piano 1 - Mid term recital is Oct 20. Decided not to play Grieg. It's frankly not my cup of tea. So this time I will be only doing one duet. Working on it at least 10 min to maintain. We will have 2 rehearsal before the recital.

    2. Chopin Mazurka Op 63 #3 - love this piece. Had worked on it a week and played through it in our studio class on last Th. My teacher spotted 5 wrong notes right away, guess I'm not ready to be on my own yet. She also commented on my pedaling and communicating mazurka like pulse. Need to play B section more carefully minding which notes to hold and accent. She was pleased with my voicing in the last couple of lines to bring out fugue like dialogue between left and right hand. Decided to end the piece with surprising forte with slightly faster pace at the final measure. Having fun with this.

    3. Schubert Sonata Op 120 2nd movement - working on this piece about the same hours as Mazurka. This one is a little bit more complex so I can only play about 2/3 of the way. The harmony is incredibly interesting. I noticed that the piece does not follow usual dominant 7th resolving to chord build on the tonic type logic. There were very interesting Chords that look like the 7th chords but do not fit any 7th chord definitions. My teacher told me those were 6th chord built on the flat scale and introduced me to German, Italian and French versions. I am so interested in this and decided to read more. The chord has sparkling tension. I love the way Schubert uses the chord.

    4. Bach f minor P&F WTC Book I - reading it little by little 5 min a day

    5. Rachmaninoff Elegie Op 3 #1 - i read it through in the spring. But did not have enough time to practice. One of my weekend items.

    6. Chopin Nocturn Op 27 #2 - I'm putting it off

    7. Mozart Fantasie c minor K. 475 - I will read this 5 min a day as well. I plan to play this August 16 in Tokyo Japan. We have an all day piano recital for amateurs.
    _________________________
    Solo - Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2, Schubert Sonata D960 Andante sostenute (9/7/14), Bach f minor Fugue WTC Bk1, Rachmaninoff Elegie Op 3 #1, Chopin Trois Nouvelles Etudes #1



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    #2162706 - 10/06/13 06:27 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
    zrtf90 Offline
    2000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 02/29/12
    Posts: 2309
    Loc: Ireland (ex England)
    The week started really slowly as it's been six weeks since I ran through this group but by Wednesday I was back up to speed and progressing nicely.

    Brahms Ballad 10/1
    The last half page had only a couple of difficult bars so it's been an easy week memorising these. I have the piece in five sections now, two of which are ready for preliminary recording. I've to memorise most of the second page but that shouldn't be too hard as it's sinking in from my weekend readings. The first half of the last page has all those rich chords to remember so I need to revisit those this week.

    It's not a fast piece and there are no tempo issues here but I think the final problems will be maintaining the articulation when the big chords come up to full volume. I'm a bit ginger with them at the moment as I don't want to hit a wrong note before they're at least semi-automatic.

    Bach Sinfonia 11
    This is very slow going but I'm using organ sounds to keep the tempo down. It's working well and progress is being made but, as is always the way with my Bach work, it's just not as fast as other stuff. The big problem for memorising is that with Bach it's not just when to play the notes but when to release them and when to change finger on them. There's so much more to remember and the music is also very dense.

    Scarlatti Kp. 443
    The development is coming on strong and I'm into the recapitulation now.

    Chopin Prelude 2
    I learned some wrong notes at the last bash but the corrections make the whole thing easier to memorise now I've got the right notes. The print is terrible and hard to distinguish sharps from naturals so I've written it out by hand and it's a lot easier now. I'm also transposing the piano up a few notes so it's easier to distinguish pitch in the bass notes while they're going into memory and not being heard as dull thuds.

    Pine Apple Rag
    This is getting back into memory more rapidly than I expected since my bash at it last summer, mostly reading from the score, strangely enough. The A section is wrapped up and I'm into the B section already and not much difficulty there.

    Beethoven Bagatelle Op. 119/1
    The new figure introduced in the coda always takes me by surprise but the piece was swinging again by the end of the week. I was drawn to the other G minor bagatelle, Op. 126/2, during my weekend reading. I wonder how soon I can add this one to my pile.
    _________________________________________

    We're into the last quarter of the year now (goodness, where's it gone?) and I'm close enough on my remaining pieces to have 21-24 pieces done this year depending on how well I wrap up those remaining. The pieces I finished at the start of the year are fading in memory now and may need some touching up before January. I played both Mendelssohn pieces at the weekend and while 62/3 is holding up well 62/1 is fading. My other Grieg piece, the Notturno from the Feb recital, has also been left to fester during the Grieg recital and I've forgotten the blessed coda again already though the double notes in the più mosso are getting nice and smooth. The runs in the Mozart Fantasy also lost something without their daily grinds but Die Zelle in Nonnenwerth, although it's quite recent, is getting very smooth. I may leave adding any more pieces then and refresh these over the next few weeks. I want to have the year's 20 new pieces at my fingertips by Christmas.

    Up this week along with the Brahms Ballad are Benda Sonatina and Schumann Child Falling Asleep, both of which are easy and should be finished well before Christmas but the Schlummerlied may need extra time so I'll slot this back in again. For a Bach piece I think it might be best to revise the Allemande from last year as I keep forgetting parts of the second half and I need to fix this.
    _________________________
    Richard

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    #2163356 - 10/08/13 09:29 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
    PianoStudent88 Offline
    3000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 06/16/11
    Posts: 3153
    Loc: Maine
    I'm back from a week traveling. It's a relief to be able to play the piano again. I'm letting myself luxuriate in the pleasure of playing and not being too analytical about practicing. The analytical practicing mode will return in a while I'm sure, but for now I need to just play. I'm brushing up on piano pieces for Frank's piano party on Sunday. Actually this does include a certain amount of careful systematic practice, but just isolated spots, nothing from scratch.

    Pieces include some Anna Magdalena Notebook minuets, Bach Little Prelude BWV 999 and Prelude in C, Beethoven A Therese, Grieg lyric pieces, my wierd and wonderful friend Khachaturian, and some Philip Glass.
    _________________________
    Ebaug(maj7)

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    #2164214 - 10/10/13 12:49 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
    AimeeO Offline

    Silver Supporter until Jan 04 2013


    Registered: 05/20/10
    Posts: 795
    Loc: New Orleans
    Checking in after a few weeks!

    More of the same..
    - Still doing drills with Hanon(1-4 and 5-8 in groups), and slowly getting those 4 fingers how I want them

    - Mozart 545. mvt 1: We are going through this very, very slowly. We are fine-tuning things at about a little over half the tempo I hope to play it at. I've learned it in bits and pieces since starting lessons, but now we're going to perfect it. It has been an eye opening experience. We're really focused on technique, and different the different ways I can play each section.

    - Clementi 36 no 3, mvt 1: This will be my recital piece, so focusing on evening things out. This week I will focus on the last 4th of it, which seems to have gotten lost in the shuffle.

    - New Mozart from the Suzuki book. Rondo, from Divertimento in D Major, K. 334. First page of this in the book, and I want to focus on keeping it slow for a change. I tend to try to speed up too fast.

    - Finishing touches on the little Bartok piece (Sz 42.. one of those Teasing songs), from the Suzuki book. Basically I need to get my tenutos and marcatos straight in this piece. I keep getting them backwards.

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    #2164769 - 10/11/13 08:45 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: zrtf90]
    aTallGuyNH Offline
    500 Post Club Member

    Registered: 07/22/12
    Posts: 500
    Originally Posted By: zrtf90
    We're into the last quarter of the year now (goodness, where's it gone?) and I'm close enough on my remaining pieces to have 21-24 pieces done this year depending on how well I wrap up those remaining.

    This boggles my mind. I'm basically trying to get four "done" per year, for the ABF recitals, and not doing very well at that.

    For the 11/15 recital I'm working on Bach Prelude in C, BWV 846. My goals to complete by 10/20:
    • 1) Slow slow slow, get it right.
    • 2) Don't look at hands, except briefly for certain jumps.
    • 3) Have 1st half under the fingers.
    • 4) Have last 4 measures under the fingers.

    By "under the fingers" I mean that I can't read very quickly, so I have to either have it memorized or close enough so that I'm just using the score at a glance to keep me on track. One of the nice things about this piece though is that it is so repetitive that it is quite conducive to being able to read ahead. I'm trying to do that, but find that even with the repetitive nature I tend to goof because I break concentration on my fingers while my eyes process the next measure. Ten fingers, two eyes, but only one brain <sigh>. I can't think of a more ideal piece on which to work on this though... should be easy here.

    It doesn't matter how slow it is (for this week), and I'm not concerned about 100% strict rhythm just yet, but it should be smooth without hesitations.

    Feedback is welcome. I have no teacher, so I do the best I can with input from you all here on ABF.
    _________________________
    "...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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    #2164773 - 10/11/13 09:12 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
    sinophilia Offline

    Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014


    Registered: 06/26/12
    Posts: 942
    Loc: Italy
    Ouch, the November recital! I will probably submit one of the short-term pieces I've been recording in the last two months, there's not enough time for me to learn something more complex. I got my Joplin book today and I want to start asap!

    I haven't been able to achieve this week's goals, as I only practiced 4 days out of 7. I recorded Mozart's Allegro but it's not smooth at all, and the Gigue is not solid enough either. The new pieces, Mozart's German Dance and Haydn's Gipsy Dance, are on their way, but the first one will take forever to get to tempo. The second one is nice because it's well suited to learning HT from the very beginning, in very short, fast sections. This is different from my usual super slow first sessions. Then I found that I must be more daring when I need to get a piece up to speed, and not necessarily increase speed slowly and gradually, but instead do a fast "burst" now and then. Sometimes it just works and it's a great feeling.

    I have studied 14 pieces in the last 6 months, so I'm quite happy, although most are throw-away pieces; I can still play only 4 or 5 of these.
    _________________________
    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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    #2164979 - 10/11/13 06:01 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
    zrtf90 Offline
    2000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 02/29/12
    Posts: 2309
    Loc: Ireland (ex England)
    Originally Posted By: aTallGuyNH
    Originally Posted By: zrtf90
    ...I'm close enough on my remaining pieces to have 21-24 pieces done this year...
    This boggles my mind. I'm basically trying to get four "done" per year, for the ABF recitals, and not doing very well at that.
    There are a few things in my favour here.

    First of all, being 'done' may be little more than memorising. Once I've played a piece from memory (either in parts or as a whole) it's effectively 'done' because I can then practise it in my sleep and away from the piano as well as at weekends, when I take a break from learning new stuff and concentrate more on my existing repertoire.

    Secondly, many of the pieces I learn are below my technical level and offer no difficulty other than memorising and interpreting. Often these are pieces I've loved for many years and haven't had the time to learn before or are new finds that won't leave my head. I have an automatic passion for them.

    Thirdly, I don't work many pieces week after week. I spend a week or two on a piece then let it assimilate while I'm working on something else (or lots of something elses). When I get back to the piece my subconscious has already solved many of the difficulties and I only have to re-learn the odd bar or two. I find that this is more effective than plugging away day in, day out, on the same piece and getting very little progress for the effort. When I spend a week on a difficult passage and then leave it a few weeks it's easier when I get back to it than it might have been had I kept banging on with it and I also get the benefit of learning other things in the meantime.

    I may only get an hour or so at the piano each day but by memorising passages I can practise them at traffic lights, while frying an egg, or while I'm put 'on hold' on a call. This turns out to be just as effective as doing it at the piano but without mistakes!
    _________________________

    Memorising the Bach Prelude.

    Every half bar is repeated. You can use this fact to keep the fingers on the keys and repeat the pattern while you look ahead to the next measure. You can practise this in two or four bar chunks. You don't have to finish the piece each time with the consequent forgetting of the first four bars. Practise the look ahead just four bars at a time so that you're not overwhelmed. This way your head gets used to thinking about the next bar while you're playing the current one. Go too far with this and the effort become futile. Keep the passage short and the current notes set up an automatic reminder of the next measure.

    I would work the piece in smaller sections anyway.

    M1-4, Introduction
    C - Dm7 - G7 - C
    LH Pattern: M1 C-E, M2 top note falls, C-D, M3 lower note falls, B-D, M4 back to the beginning, C-E. Note how the tension increases as the notes get closer and decreases as they part.

    M4-M11, 1st phase, closing on dominant
    C - Am - D7 - G - Cmaj7 - Am7 - D7 - G
    LH Pattern begins on C-E then top note drops by one (increasing tension) and the next measure the bottom note drops by one (releasing it). M10 drops down a fifth to D-A to close on the dominant G maj, G-B.

    M11-M19, 2nd phase, back to tonic
    G - G dim 7 - Dm - F dim 7 - C - Fmaj7 - Dm7 - G7 - C
    The screw tightens as the top note starts to move now by semitones. Note how in M16 Bach cleverly side steps E-Gb by moving the top note straight to F and puts the RH in a holding pattern, similar to the previous part, as the LH drops a fifth again to presage the pattern close, this time back in tonic.

    M19-M25, third phase, development
    C - C7 - Fmaj7 - F# dim7 - D m7b5 - G7 - C (2nd inversion)
    The bass moves around now in large intervals trying to avoid hitting the dominant G too soon while the RH moves by semitones up and down getting closest in M23 (I think the B is the non-essential note here, not the C) as the tension seems to ease into M24 and again into M25 but Bach keeps it going by not taking the home chord in its root position. He's started a dominant pedal heralding an eventual return to tonic.

    M25-35, fourth phase, the journey home
    C - G11 - G7 - D7b9 - C (2nd inv) - G11 - G7 - C7 - F - C
    Bach leads us without rest towards the release of tension but never quite satisifies until the last possible moment with a glorious final tonic chord. Even when C major returns in M25 & M29 (the climax, the loudest point, everything trails off from here) it's in 2nd inversion and functioning like a chord in G, prolonging the dominant pedal, and in M32 it's as a seventh chord calling for F in M33 as the RH pattern finally releases that syncopated bang-banging on notes 5 and 8 of the pattern, and he spreads out the notes out gently for a final resolution.

    Note how the RH duplicates patterns. Compare, for example, M5-6 with M7-8, M12-13 with M14-15, M9-12 with M16-19. I find these help to memorise the music.

    I memorise pieces easier by practising them as independent and easily managed sections until they're all easily recalled and then combined, almost automatically, into one piece. Shorter sections are also easier to practise without errors.
    _________________________
    Richard

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    #2164982 - 10/11/13 06:05 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
    zrtf90 Offline
    2000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 02/29/12
    Posts: 2309
    Loc: Ireland (ex England)
    Originally Posted By: sinophilia
    I recorded Mozart's Allegro but it's not smooth at all, and the Gigue is not solid enough either.
    These first takes are a great way to be able to listen objectively to how we're doing and let us see/hear what we have left to do. I made a first attempt at recording my Brahms piece this week. I might as well have used a dandelion clock for a timer which makes me more likely to tap my foot on subsequent takes. I still have a problem with early measures (in all my pieces). Sometimes it takes me a few bars to settle into a tempo. I've tried singing the piece out loud to get a good tempo going before starting but it doesn't work as well as I'd like.

    I don't worry about bringing up the tempo. When I've practised enough I'll be able to play it without concentrating on it. That's when the fingers start to work at the speed of brain impulses instead of having to think about what notes have to be played first. Tempo comes of its own accord and music doesn't have an expiry date that I have to play it up to speed by.

    I also find HS practise helps for working directly on speed but, yes, short sections in bursts is also great for acclimatising.

    I tend to focus on aiming for my goals rather than achieving them, that way I can keep my spirits up when life throws a curve ball. They keep me pointed in the right direction, like a compass needle, they aren't the end itself.
    _________________________
    Richard

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    #2165147 - 10/12/13 04:00 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: zrtf90]
    sinophilia Offline

    Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014


    Registered: 06/26/12
    Posts: 942
    Loc: Italy
    Originally Posted By: zrtf90

    Secondly, many of the pieces I learn are below my technical level and offer no difficulty other than memorising and interpreting.


    The problem for beginners is that there are virtually no pieces below one's technical level. After one year and a half, even a simple 16-bar piece still requires a lot of work. This is hard to accept for me at times. But there are still plenty of satisfying moments.

    Thank you for the inside view on your practicing.
    _________________________
    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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    #2165162 - 10/12/13 05:35 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: sinophilia]
    SwissMS Offline
    500 Post Club Member

    Registered: 01/09/11
    Posts: 694
    Loc: Switzerland
    This weeks progress:

    1. Na Corda da Viola: I have been in a funk about this piece, because it seemed like it was harder than it should be, and I feel the pressure of the November Recital. So, I did a lot of thinking about it, and realized it introduced several new techniques and I was therefore not giving it the respect it required. My slow play has not been slow enough. So, with my teacher's help, I have figured out how to approach the problems, and make exercises out of the challenging sections. As a result, I have made some progress. I made a baseline video, which was very helpful (if painful), from a learning standpoint. This week I will spend a lot of time on this piece, in slow accurate play. I will record it weekly for learning purposes.

    2. Mazurka in C# minor: OK, so I didn't know what a Mazurka should sound like. It looks easy on the page, but getting the slurs, rhythm and accents correct is not so simple. So, the previous week I worked on the A and B section at slow tempo without pedal. This week I will complete the piece without pedal with proper dynamics.

    3. Sonatina in C: 1st section is still at 90 bpm, with an occasional error in the runs. I cannot increase the tempo until the runs are confidently accurate. Section 2 needs careful work on phrasing. This week I will complete memorization of this section.

    4. Joplin "Chysamthemum": This piece did not get any attention this week other than play through of the learned section. My focus is on the Villa-Lobos, and I do not want to spread myself too thin. I will come back to this in a couple of weeks.

    5. Telfer - "When Rivers Flowed on Mars" - I recorded this last week error free, but I want to try again. I am trying to make a longer recording by arranging a repeat section.

    6. Bach Inv. 6: I still have a couple of places where errors are likely to occur, so I cannot call it done yet. This week I will focus on those and possibly record the piece.
    _________________________


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    #2165780 - 10/13/13 07:34 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
    zrtf90 Offline
    2000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 02/29/12
    Posts: 2309
    Loc: Ireland (ex England)
    Evening all! How're we doing?

    My update for the week:

    Brahms Ballad 10/1 - The first two pages have been recorded and starting to sound right though page 2 is still a little sluggish. The last page is coming together but hasn't been recorded yet.

    Bach Allemande in Eb - I worked mostly on the second half to secure the memory. Of course, it was all back together by Wednesday but in a month's time it'll be gone again. I had this trouble with, for example, the last chords in Traümerei. I know it, play it from memory when I'm working on it but forget it after a couple of weeks. There's a point when you've learnt something enough times that you know you know it from then on. I haven't got this feeling yet with the Allemande but it's getting there. I think this is the difference between finger memory and cognisant memory. When you know the notes in cognisant memory you know you know them and can go straight to them and play them but in finger memory you only know that you can play them when you get there and need to play the section before them first. Cognisant memory is largely bulletproof; finger memory is a performance accident waiting to happen.

    Benda Sonatina in A min - still fun to play and all memorised but the closing phrases of each section don't quite flow yet.

    Schumann Child Falling Asleep - first, second and fourth parts done and memorised, just the third part to go and it is difficult to read with the tied notes and ledger lines but I'm enjoying learning this.

    Liszt Schlummerlied - the hard work of the week. There's a lot to do if this is to be ready for Christmas. The arpeggios are still awkward to memorise as well as play and the accompaniment is difficult to control when it spreads to two hands. Even in one hand the inner stretches are awkward but becoming more familiar. I have to be patient and trust the process.

    Scarlatti Kp. 63 - my repertoire piece for the week. An endearing little capriccio that's just perfect for finishing my practise after the demands of the Liszt.

    Chopin Nocturne Op. 27/1 - analysed this week and the first soundings taken so I know what I'm in for. Daunting LH work. The RH is playable from the score.

    I've taken on another Joplin piece for the recital as my other one is going so well and I've got till March. I'm now taking stock of where I am for the year and what I've to do and I think I might be better off finishing the pieces that are close to being done and revising the ones I learnt earlier in the year and leave the rest to next year's bundle.

    The main priority this week is the Brahms Ballad and get going properly on the Chopin Nocturne for the February recital as I think that one's going to stretch me for time. Trolltog is up for more work. It went poorly over the weekend and it feels like a while since I last went through it. I should be doing the Beethoven Andante, Scarlatti's Kp. 531 and Bach's little prelude, bwv 933 as well.
    _________________________
    Richard

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