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#2130679 - 08/10/13 07:58 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11810
Loc: Canada
Richard, good post! thumb

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#2130767 - 08/10/13 12:14 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
jotur Online   blank
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5640
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
Well, I will have to say that when I decide to do *only* focused practice it's much harder to get in 2 hours in a day laugh Altho I knew that before, and being aware of when I'm focused and when I'm not is a huge help in actually being focused.

I do remind myself, as someone, or perhaps many someones, have said here in the ABF, when I start to practice, to know what it is I'm going to do before I actually put my hands on the keys or start to play. That alone helps with the focus - the clearing away of extraneous thoughts and focusing on the music. I try to hear what I'm going to play before I start, and recall the chord progression or patterns.

One of the most common extraneous thoughts is "how many times have I played it, and what number is this repeat?" laugh I find myself counting many things in my head as I do them, not just at the piano, so when I'm doing fairly continuous repeats, which I do when I'm working on something besides just getting the notes right, the counting will sometimes interrupt the awareness/focus of the music. So then I know that I'm not quite settled/centered psychologically, and I need to either take a break, or pause for a moment and re-center.

So this week there were a couple of days when deep focus was less a possibility than it sometimes is. But I think, for me, that there are still things I can do that are helpful, even if I can't focus deeply on a particular problem. Playing pieces I know well, or even almost well, and just letting them express themselves, in many ways, is a great way to center and enjoy the music - to focus, in other words. The possibilities of the music are really endless.

At any rate, the new piece is ready to be trotted out at the gig Tuesday afternoon, and I'll be playing with it over the next couple of days. But I think being aware of where my focus is, and the details like knowing what I'm going to do, and just more often being focused as I practice small details, has helped a lot. I am more aware, more often, of what I'm playing, its familiarity, like it's just part of everyday life and I can just let it play itself.

It's a journey -

Cathy


Edited by jotur (08/10/13 12:45 PM)
Edit Reason: well, I obviously wasn't focused on grammar :)
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#2130775 - 08/10/13 12:30 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Valencia]
Valencia Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/11
Posts: 253
Originally Posted By: Valencia

1. Angel: keep the right hand non-melody notes soft and bring out melody. Do a practice recording. (I hope to submit this to the ABF recital next week).

2. Sailors' Song (which I just picked up for the Grieg recital)-play through the end of the piece (bars 53-56) to get familiar with chords, but not so much that it hurts my hand.

3. Peace of the Woods: Listen to last recording and mark bars where there are continuous hesitations. Choose a few bars and practice them through and figure out what the problem is.


Well, I had to use these daily goals over two days due to unforeseen circumstances, but that is ok. I recorded Angel, and might decide that it is "good enough" to submit to the recital for next week, even though it still needs some work. This is because I have to move on to the other recital pieces for the Grieg recital.

I'm just concerned about the volume of Angel because my digital piano records so low. I amplified it using audacity already. Is there anyone who would be willing to give it a listen by PM through a boxnet link to let me know if the volume is ok or if I need to amplify it more? Or, I suppose I could just post the link here and let anyone who wants to listen to it.

As for today's practice goals, I'll come back and post those right before I practice.

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#2130805 - 08/10/13 01:37 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Valencia]
CarlosCC Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/06/09
Posts: 1428
Loc: Lisbon, Portugal
Originally Posted By: Valencia
(...)
I'm just concerned about the volume of Angel because my digital piano records so low. I amplified it using audacity already. Is there anyone who would be willing to give it a listen by PM through a boxnet link to let me know if the volume is ok or if I need to amplify it more? Or, I suppose I could just post the link here and let anyone who wants to listen to it.

As for today's practice goals, I'll come back and post those right before I practice.


Valencia, I can help.
Just PM me.
_________________________

Youtube channel
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Self-taught since 12/2009
Don't play what's there, play what's not there.

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#2130949 - 08/10/13 06:13 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
casinitaly Offline


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 5260
Loc: Italy
Cathy - very interesting to read about how you centre and try to get into the music, and how you fight distractions.
I have a vague feeling that I'm starting to concentrate better when I am playing but it is not a certainty!

Richard - I liked your comments on goals and how they help even if we don't quite meet them.

Valencia - I know Carlos said he could listen - but if you need ears for the next pieces I'm available too.

I worked on Fly Me to the Moon today and felt things were coming together better.
As was my Intermezzo in the Grieg piece - small but clear progress.

I also went on a 42km bike ride smile Longest ride yet this year.
_________________________
XVIII-XXXV
Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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#2130958 - 08/10/13 06:35 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
CarlosCC Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/06/09
Posts: 1428
Loc: Lisbon, Portugal
A 42km bike ride??? Wow, that's great, Cheryl.

I did my record for ABF Recital. I'm #42. So my objective is done, BUT I did not lose focus on the next ABF Recital.

And yes, I was helping Valencia. The sound of the piece was just fine.
_________________________

Youtube channel
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Self-taught since 12/2009
Don't play what's there, play what's not there.

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#2131204 - 08/11/13 12:12 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
Valencia Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/11
Posts: 253
Yes CarlosCC helped me out yesterday, but thank you casinitaly for offer to help! smile

How is everyone doing with the focused practice?

Yesterday I submitted The Angel to the ABF quarterly recital. Now I must focus on the Grieg pieces.

1.Sailors’ Song: I think I’ll start using the metronome on this—starting with bars 26 to 32, then 33-36. So the goal is to find a tempo that I can play those through.

2.Peace of the Woods needs lots of work. I really wanted to play it well for the recital but perhaps I’ll only be able to play it at 60%. I’ve worked hard on this piece but it’s difficult. I did a practice recording of Peace of the Woods, last week, and if absolutely necessary I could submit it to the recital, but I’d like to see if I could do better. Here are some problems:

a)Need to bring out the melody and lighten up the bass.

b)Too much blurring with the pedal.

c)Bar 7, and bars 12-23, and 26-- I often hesitate before playing notes or hit wrong notes.

d)Bars 28-30—the build up to the pinnacle--this is like a tongue twister and I often get turned around with the coordination.

e)Bar 31—this is the pinnacle of the piece: there are 2 things: hitting the notes quickly enough AND hitting the right notes.

f)Bars 32-34-accuracy is sometimes an issue

That is just the first two pages. But the second half of the piece should be less problematic than the first. (I think)...

So my focused practice is to focus on all those issues and try to improve them...

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#2131337 - 08/11/13 05:03 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2437
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
My update for the week...

Grieg Trolltog, 54/3.
I started joining the hands on Tuesday. (Praying won't save you. Ed.) This was a little tricky in M22-29. The RH wanted to synchronise on the downbeat instead of the upbeat but the trolls are skipping here, not marching. This needed thinking time between each quaver for a couple of days but it's coming together now (that's one or two seconds between quavers for a couple of practise sessions not a couple of days between quavers). I did bar by bar then two bars at a time and that seemed to work.

HS has flowed this week @ 120 except M40-47 in LH (leaps up to a tenth in octaves) so these bars are being isolated and M30-70 is consequently in sections for both LH & HT but as one section for RH. I can play both pages without the score now HS & HT.

This week I'm memorising the middle section, M71-123. It divides readily into four passages and each was memorised yesterday and today so I should be without the score before the end of the week. There are no technical difficulties here.

Mon-Fri
M71-86, M87-96, M97-112 and M113-120 HT (mem.).

M40-42, M44-47 practise 2, 3 and 4 notes/octaves at a time, LH only, no time (tech.)

M22-30 one quaver per second (sync.)

M48-55 slow, not looking at keys.

Maybe not every day
M1-39, M48-70 HS @ 80, 100, 80 (accuracy)
M42-43 and M46-47 in isolation to land well on the chords.
M1-30; M30-39; M56-70 HT @ 30-60 bpm (co-ord.)
_________________________

Brahms Ballad in D minor.
It's been a hard week with all that listening but this week is listening & analysis. Ah, the variety!
_________________________

I progressed my other Grieg pieces but did no more than refresh the memory of Bach's Little Prelude in C, BWV 933, Scarlatti's K.531 and the Andante from Beethoven's sonata Op. 79. I did no more than a couple of minutes on each this week as my time has been in demand elsewhere. My repertoire piece was Traümerei and I stretched the time of the climax chord and reduced the dynamics so as not to disturb the reverie.
_________________________
Richard

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#2131346 - 08/11/13 05:31 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
casinitaly Offline


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 5260
Loc: Italy
Valencia and Richard - I had fun looking at the scores for your Grieg pieces and seeing exactly what you are talking about.

Valencia and CarlosCC - both in the recital now ! Yippee! I look forward to hearing your pieces.

Richard - looking at your score--"the trolls are skipping, not dancing" -- I have quite an image in my mind's eye! Compared to what comes before it, the section M70-120 look comparatively "easy" (all things being relative of course!)

I first heard Traumerei in one of the ABF recitals and fell in love with it. It is definitely a goal for me to play that ... I don't know when... but I will!
_________________________
XVIII-XXXV
Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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#2131520 - 08/12/13 02:40 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
torquenale Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/29/12
Posts: 351
Loc: Italy
I think I can try and report on my progress during last week (Monday to Sunday).
The big goals:
1) Bach Sarabande: I wanted to have the second part done HT slowly -Ok;
2) Mozart Fantasia in d minor (my crazy project): measures 21-31 and 63-70 slowly HT - ok; measures 55-62 HT faster - better but still not at tempo; measures 78-85 HS - ok; improving the first two prestos - I did but I can't quantify it and I am still so far...
Other "minor" goals were improving phrasing and dynamic and tempo in Bach's Gavotte and Polonaise, and working on the hard part of my Schumann: I did, but I can hardly see any difference. I am also working on a nice little contemporary piece (Let's Handel by Michael Proksch), and it is improving.
Big fails of the week:
1) review Invention 15: I did only the first half, and it sucks...
2) to study the score of the Sarabande in order to separate the voices as my teacher told me.

Overall, this sort of scheme really works for me because it helps me to stay focused. On the other hand, it's the only period of the year when I have much time and energy to dedicate to practice, and I can't honestly say which is the main contributor to my progress.
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#2133776 - 08/16/13 09:46 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: torquenale]
SwissMS Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/11
Posts: 826
Loc: Switzerland
It is Friday reporting time! It sounds like everyone is making progress with their Grieg pieces and a lot of them are already submitted! Uh oh, the pressure is on! My teacher returns from a month vacation Monday, so I will get whipped into shape. grin

1) I thought I was finished with Melody 38 3, and I submitted it. My teacher reviewed the video though, and had a thing or two to say frown. So I may resubmit. We will have my first lesson on it Monday.

2) Valse impromptu. Hmm ugh. I still need to get the tension out of my thumb at speed. It is better, but not there yet. I need to resist my impatience and keep this slow and relaxed until Monday's lesson. I have a passable recording, but I want better!

3) Bach Inv 6 - HT through A and first half of B, fully memorized, completed. This week I will combine the last of it. I love this piece!

4) Liszt Cons 3 - I have lost my focus on this piece. I have recorded it, and I think I will let it rest for a while.

4) Streabbog - Orphan - Finished, posted to piano bar.

5) Burgmuller - Swallow - memorized. This is such a fun little piece, with constantly crossing hands. It is blazing fast, but I am not yet. I will continue trying to slowly bring it up to tempo this week

6) Tchaikovsky June - Begin A section HS in chunks. Work out RH fingering for big reaches!
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European Piano Party July 4, 2015 in Switzerland!

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#2133856 - 08/16/13 01:30 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
casinitaly Offline


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 5260
Loc: Italy
I love reading what everyone else is doing ! Thanks for sharing !

Well, am getting used to my red dot. I'm not recording every single day - but for sure every second day. It is indeed making a difference.

I got an ok recording of my Grieg piece earlier this week. Just "ok"..... Today I got a GOOD recording - one I could go with , but ....I'm inclined to do a bit more work on it and I am certain I can make it just that much better.

I have also been bringing my fughetta up to a peppier speed --- which has brought out some new rough spots...so this week I will be backing off a little, focussing on the new rough spots and then trying it all together.

Evening in the meadow I've got the left hand chord pattern memorized now except for the last 6 bars or so - I want to get that down pat. I notice I still fumble a little on the melody line in 2 points so I will dedicate time to those.
I'm still playing it fairly slowly, but it is smoother than a week ago and that is good.

Fly me to the Moon has been somewhat neglected so I will have to dedicate my time to becoming more certain of the 7th chords in the bass and the arpeggios in 2 spots.

My Austrian tunes are limping along ..... This coming week the other pieces will get shorter bursts of attention and these will have longer spans of time dedicated to them.

My difficulties in the Austrian tunes are to have different patterns in LH and RH.... they are only 8th notes and quarter notes, but what can I say... that's what is tricky for me!
_________________________
XVIII-XXXV
Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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#2133865 - 08/16/13 01:53 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
PianoStudent88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3183
Loc: Maine
I was doing great until -- I can't even place quite what -- I hit a roadbump this week and have barely practiced. I've learned a few more measures on my Bach Prelude which pleases me a great deal, but I haven't touced my Grieg pieces at all. I could blame it on choir dress rehearsals and working evenings, but there's something else going on that I can't put my finger on. Not lack of focus, but I can't put a name to it. I think I need to cultivate some kind of feeling that is generous to myself whenever I sit down at the piano, whether I think I'm making progress or not.
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Ebaug(maj7)

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#2134352 - 08/17/13 01:25 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
Valencia Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/11
Posts: 253
How is it going Pianostudent88? Sorry to hear you are having a struggle with the practicing. Is it that you don't feel you are making sufficient progress with some of your pieces? This often happens to me, and sometimes for what feels like long periods of time. It's frustrating. Maybe it's that the pieces need time to settle in the brain and hands?

For me this week, these goals took me about 1 hr to figure out. If I get them done sooner than in a week, I'll adjust them:

1. I wasn't getting anywhere with Peace of the Woods (Grieg) so I've decided for now that what I have is good enough for the recital. Luckily i already have a recording for it, and I think i will just submit that.

2. Sailors' Song (Grieg)-Don't yet know what to do to get this one in to shape. I'll figure that out today.

3. Chopin Prelude-focus on bars 29-32 hands together. This week I'd like to get bars 22-32 going HT.

4. Rach Prelude-Memorize bars 6-8. Play bars 6-8 and 14-21 through with metronome at about 52 per 8th note (?I think...need to go back and check). If i can, start memorizing 16-21.

5. Chopin Ballade-a) Memorize bars 153-157, then play through 126-157 memorized. b) bars 106-114, with a focus on bars 110-113 (just to play, I don't think I can memorize this).

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#2134642 - 08/18/13 01:53 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
PianoStudent88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3183
Loc: Maine
Valencia, thank you for your kind concern. I did feel a bit like I wasn't making progress; working with a very narrow focus on a few measures. But also I was really busy in the evenings this week (and tempted by watching baseball when I wasn't busy). Tonight I ended up with a good chunk of time and had a lovely practice. I have actually made progress, and I've started several new sections (and a whole new piece, to boot) and feel good about them.

Maybe I just needed some time away from practicing to renew my perspective.
_________________________
Ebaug(maj7)

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#2134681 - 08/18/13 05:16 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11810
Loc: Canada
The last goal I wrote was this:
Quote:
Grieg doesn't vary it at all. I noticed that a few performers made it sound interesting rather than blah. All of them do something interesting with timing. They stretch some notes (like rubato), make some things a bit faster. I'm trying to hear what they are doing and make sense of it. Then experimenting (to make sense of it). Then if I can figure it out...

That's where I was. The piece is in ABA form, it's supposed to be sad about "things gone". The A sounded like it was dragging. If I sped it up, then it was inappropriately jaunty. But if I tried to stretch the notes like I described, it simply sounded out of control. I thought I was never going to get it. Well, apparently I got it.

So the next goal is to try to finish the piece.

I also worked on understanding my digital better (that's why I had the input on soft pedal earlier). Now I know how soft pedals work, and how on my DP it barely does unless I use a choice of piano which cuts out some of the tones which then destroys loud low sounds. frown I'm realizing that you have to know what you're working with, and what you can and cannot do with them. I was blissfully using the soft pedal assuming it was doing something, and never really checking what it does do (not much).

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#2134713 - 08/18/13 07:55 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
casinitaly Offline


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 5260
Loc: Italy
Pianostudent88, glad you got over the hump that was holding you back. Keystrings interesting to learn more about your pedals - I've been doing the same thing since you posted on the "pp" thread I started a few days ago! Valencia - I admire you for taking on Sailor's Song - it is a great piece, but not simple!

Overall things are going well but I find that the "tricky bars" of my fughetta are haunting me. (The ghost must have escaped from my Grieg piece!)...... I thought they were set in my brain, but they aren't.
I have tried going slowly, super slowly, super-duper slowly. It
is mostly the left hand that isn't working, but not only.

I think the problem is that instead of having a half note and 2 quarter notes in the RH, there is quarter, half , quarter,
while in the left there are 8 quarter notes.

I don't really understand why I find this so challenging.
It is driving me a bit mad.

Other works are coming along well. My focus for the coming week is going to be on refining the Intermezzo of my Grieg piece a bit more. Beating the challenges in the Fughetta, slow practice of the second half of the 1st Austrian tune (the second has been abandoned).

I want to record Evening in the Meadow again for a check on fluidity. I'm playing it at slow tempo, and I think it is ok. I have the left hand memorized and that's important for hitting the block chords. If it all comes together I'll up the tempo a little bit. If not... more practice at this tempo.

Fly Me to the Moon needs more focused attention - I've been "playing" too much and not studying enough.

_________________________
XVIII-XXXV
Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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#2134748 - 08/18/13 10:01 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2437
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
Originally Posted By: casinitaly
Overall things are going well but I find that the "tricky bars" of my fughetta are haunting me...I thought they were set in my brain, but they aren't.
I'm glad things are generally going well, Cheryl, but it's frustrating how many times we have to learn the same day's extract before we truly get it, isn't it? It really does feel like Groundhog Day!

Originally Posted By: casinitaly
I have tried going slowly, super slowly, super-duper slowly.
I cannot find this score on IMSLP and don't know the piece so specifics aren't available.

As a counter to the slow playing ( smile ) try this:
Take a small extract - hopefully the trickiest bit (though I'm not sure if this is one area or a recurring rhythmic pattern) and put your hands in position with the fingers holding down the last notes from the previous (easier) bit.

1) Check what the next notes are and what fingers are required to play them. Be thorough and check every note and finger but once they're known rush quickly to the next step.

2) Check to see if any of the current notes are to be released or whether some are tied. Again, be thorough but once you're done rush quickly to the next step.

3) Position your fingers over the next keys or mentally prepare the change if those fingers are already holding down the current note(s). This is the most important step because it will make or break the next one. Take as long as you need over this, checking and rechecking each finger and making sure it's ready to do its job. Remember it's this mental application that makes piano playing difficult! Once it's done though, and you're sure you're going to get it right, rush once again to the next step - there's no time to lose here. You can't stop and make phone calls or grab a bite to eat!

4) The tricky bit - take your time over this bit, it's the time up to it and after it that needs to be quick. Simultaneously play the next notes and release the previous ones (not the tied notes, of course). It doesn't matter how long you spend on this step as long as it happens in an instant and that it's right. While you're learning the piece it won't hurt to slightly lift the non-playing fingers just enough that they're not touching the keys.

5) Don't pause for breath when you play the notes but check immediately that all the right notes played and none of the wrong ones. If it didn't work repeat the previous steps (from 1 to 4 but no more than them) and try again. When you get it right it's worth it to re-inforce these last few steps by repeating them a few times but once that's done move without hesitation onto the next note(s) and rush headlong onto the new step 1.
This rushing is crucial for the method to be successful!

It sounds, and is intended to be, a little tongue in cheek but, seriously, it really is crucial to spend time on each step and to rush between steps and not rest on your laurels. When you're doing it right what you hear may not seem like music but once the brain "gets it" it needs to spend very little time on it and the steps really do start to fly. You don't get progressively quicker, you go from having to think about it (seconds between each note) to it being automatic (fractions of a second between each note); close to zero BPM to about 60 bpm, just like that!

The difficulty really is the patience and care required for the brain to 'get it'.

Originally Posted By: casinitaly
It is mostly the left hand that isn't working, but not only.
For me, it's six of one and half a dozen of the other with a bit of pedalling foot thrown in. smile

Originally Posted By: casinitaly
I don't really understand why I find this so challenging.
It is driving me a bit mad.
Me too! It's not as if takes ten years or something to master this instrument, is it? smile
_________________________
Richard

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#2134749 - 08/18/13 10:01 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
sinophilia Offline

Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014


Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 1009
Loc: Italy
We had 4 days off around the 15th of August (public holiday) and I didn't spend much time at the piano, anyway I managed to practice a bit.

So I have the Clementi at 80 bpm - a bit slower than it should be but it sounds okay and to be honest I'm sick of it!
My Bach minuet is acceptable at 100 bpm, although it turned out much more difficult to make it sound nice with the left hand doing the most important part. It's so stiff and unable to get the dynamics right! It's been a good exercise but I don't think I can do better right now.

Three days ago I started another nice 1-page piece, a sarabande by Corelli, and I have the first half to tempo. I should be able to finish it off by the end of next week.

Then I started seriously with my long-term piece (Chopin - ouch) and I spent several half hours on it. This will need a lot of work but it's so rewarding to play such beautiful music.

All in all, I'm quite happy with my routine. My progress is excruciatingly slow but it's okay, I'm enjoying every minute of it 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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#2134753 - 08/18/13 10:06 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: sinophilia]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2691
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
Sino--did you abandon the Stravinsky?

I am moving so slowly on the Largetto that any less progress would be completely stuck! I am working HS to 'get' the melody--still!! After weeks I can finally sort of hum some sections of it. The most interesting thing about this particular work is that it is difficult cognitively and I can only work on it for very short periods of time.
_________________________
A good student is one who makes the teacher feel like a good teacher.

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#2134806 - 08/18/13 11:59 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
casinitaly Offline


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 5260
Loc: Italy
We enjoyed the same holiday as you Sinophilia , but I guess we're more "stay at homes" than you are, as I got lots of piano time in! smile
Both you and malkin seem to have made some nice progress.

Richard, I've printed out your suggestions and will give them a try! My challenge is that I (so far) can't rush these notes or I mess them up. Perhaps I just have to do the mental preparation A LOT MORE, to make it work.

I don't know , but I really love this piece and want it to work. And darn it...I'm almost there!!!

Don't worry about me resting on my laurels, I have to earn them first!
.... and just as an aside: Italian university graduates are called "laureati" - and they actually get a laurel crown to wear! I haven't been to a grad ceremony so I don't know if this happens as they get their degree, or if it is after with their friends, but it is really charming.
_________________________
XVIII-XXXV
Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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#2134811 - 08/18/13 12:20 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: malkin]
sinophilia Offline

Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014


Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 1009
Loc: Italy
Originally Posted By: malkin
Sino--did you abandon the Stravinsky?


No, not at all, but I am really just skimming over it, using it mostly as sight-reading exercise - although of course I cannot really sight-read most of it! I'm currently on number 4. These pieces are so weird!


Cheryl, we actually stayed home too, but there's so much to do out in the garden now that it's not so hot anymore... plus we had a Ferragosto party with neighbors and friends.

I didn't get a laurel crown to wear on my head when I graduated, but as most people I got a laurel wreath to put around my neck after the ceremony smile


Edited by sinophilia (08/18/13 12:22 PM)
_________________________
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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#2134955 - 08/18/13 04:59 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2437
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
Sunday night is FOYD night for Mr Terse!
smile

Grieg Trolltog 54/3
The middle section is memorised and easy enough so I'm without the score now and can concentrate more on the first two pages.

I kept up with M40-47 and had intended just doing the LH octaves but I couldn't keep to that. The LH is fairly comfortable in M30-39 without needing to be watched so I can shift my gaze during M39 to put the RH in position for M40 ahead of time. This makes HT much simpler and I can manage a good error free tempo if I stick to one measure at a time and even faster cycling a half bar at a time. It's the biggest jumps that are awkward. I have to go from M38 because the transition into the octaves is the hardest part but this passage is quite workable now in HT but even HS this is half the speed of M30-39.

I didn't play M22-29 every day but the sticking point was, again, the transition to the LH octaves and this has also become smoother now and the crescendo is building up with a little ritard creeping in.
____________________

Grieg Gangar 54/2
Grieg Berceuse 38/1
Grieg Springtans 38/5
Gangar still has slow passages requiring some co-ordination. The ornamental notes do not lie well in my fingers and needed some difficult fingering changes in order to accommodate them and these are harder but ultimately achievable. They would never have been fast enough as written. It is in eight sections but the other two are in three and two sections respectively and are in the preliminary recording phase with no remaining difficulties.
____________________

Brahms Ballad in D minor 10/1
I've done my analysis and I start going though it bar by bar at the piano from tomorrow looking at fingering, technical difficulties and distribution of notes between the hands. That's likely to take until Wednesday so Thu and Fri I start actual practise or I may use the time to plan my schedule and section order as I'll have a better idea of what problems I'll be facing.

This piece is a dialogue between Edward and his mother after he returns home stained with blood. The mother asks questions in the Andante sections while the boy answers in the piu mosso sections that he's killed his hawk or his horse. In the Allegro the boy finally admits that he's killed his father and in the fraught exchanges blames his mother and curses her.

There are several crescendos starting where all the dynamic markings are FF and one passage marked sempre FF. I'm not sure exactly where the biggest climax of the piece needs to go just yet.

There is far more dramatic potential here than in his duet, opus 75/1.

The harmony is fairly simple and the patterns are readily identifiable and easy to remember.
____________________

Handel Sonatina HWV 585
A lovely piece, easier than a Bach Invention. I added in some ornaments this week and tried not to let them interrupt the delicacy flowing through the piece. I started this piece six months ago, this was its sixth week but it has not been a high priority and only taken a few minutes each day.

Scarlatti Kp. 159
Only just started. I memorised the first page this time last month but my syncopation wasn't flowing in M4-12. M9-12 is better now but M4-8 is still iffy. I've to fix this before turning the page.

Schubert Standchen
I want to finish the easy version of this before I go on to Liszt's more famous version. I believe both piano transcriptions are the work of Liszt and there is little difference in the main part of the serenade but one verse is rendered in LH and the coda is more elaborate. This week I've just focused on the syncopation (syncopation again, is this coincidence or trend?) at the start of the coda.

Fauré Romance Sans Paroles 17/3
My repertoire piece this week and a former ABF recital piece (my first). I'm playing it more slowly these days (the new piano has reverb) and a little more expressively.
____________________

My other pieces for the coming week will be Bach's Sinfonia 11, Scarlatti's Kp. 443, Chopin's Prelude No. 2 and my repertoire piece is Bach's Invention No. 1. The last few times I revisited this piece I tried the triplet version so I'll be continuing that. I'm avoiding playing the regular one until I've finished the conversion.
_________________________
Richard

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#2134956 - 08/18/13 05:01 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2437
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
Originally Posted By: casinitaly
Richard, I've printed out your suggestions...
I am a curse on trees!
smile
_________________________
Richard

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#2134963 - 08/18/13 05:10 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: zrtf90]
casinitaly Offline


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 5260
Loc: Italy
Originally Posted By: zrtf90
Originally Posted By: casinitaly
Richard, I've printed out your suggestions...
I am a curse on trees!
smile


I use recycled paper, and I print on both sides, and after I use the paper for crafts with my students smile

As for your list above, I took a minute to look up the Handel piece and the Scarlatti - and now I'm listening to the Stanchen...I had to look up that word - (it means Seranade) - and it is a beautiful piece.

I am astonished, honestly, at the number of works you have on board! All of which seem to be very elaborate and challenging - and beautiful!

I hope we get to hear some of them later!
_________________________
XVIII-XXXV
Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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#2134980 - 08/18/13 05:40 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2437
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
Originally Posted By: casinitaly
I am astonished, honestly, at the number of works you have on board! All of which seem to be very elaborate and challenging - and beautiful!
I skip the elaborate and challenging bits. smile

I'm spending time on the Grieg pieces for sure. The Brahms Ballad isn't piano time yet. The rest are only two or three minutes a day. I do a slow run through maybe once or twice a week (sometimes only HS) then only a few bars a day.

Originally Posted By: casinitaly
I hope we get to hear some of them later!
The Grieg pieces will be up around September 15. The Brahms Ballad on November 15.

The rest, I fear, may be no more than transient vibrations in the ether as I satisfy my selfish desires for entertainment.
_________________________
Richard

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#2134985 - 08/18/13 05:48 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: zrtf90]
casinitaly Offline


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 5260
Loc: Italy
Originally Posted By: zrtf90
I skip the elaborate and challenging bits. smile



Ah, well, I wish I'd thought of that earlier, my repertoire would be amazing by now! smile


I knew we'd hear the Grieg soon - and I'm delighted that the Ballad will be available in November, after reading your description I think it will be wonderfully dramatic!
_________________________
XVIII-XXXV
Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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#2134988 - 08/18/13 05:53 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
dynamobt Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/07/13
Posts: 719
Loc: NH
I have three movements from Beethoven Sonatas to work on for the next two weeks. I've lost a week of the three weeks I had by still having to work on my second Grieg piece to get that recorded. Now that's done. So, my goal will be to read through each movement, locate the difficult sections and start my focus on those. My goal is to have something to play of each different movement. Not to really "play" them, but enough to have something to work on in the lesson. I want to keep my goals modest. These are the first Beethoven Sontatas I have worked on. I'm a little scared. But also motivated.
_________________________
1918 Mason & Hamlin BB





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#2135099 - 08/18/13 11:06 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
PianoStudent88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3183
Loc: Maine
dynamobt, may I ask which sonatas? That's very exciting!
_________________________
Ebaug(maj7)

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#2137182 - 08/22/13 01:21 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
casinitaly Offline


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 5260
Loc: Italy
Well, some structured practice sessions paid off this week. It seems, perhaps, that tricky segment in Fughetta has been conquered. I think. It was hard to rush through it Richard, but after several runs through it, it started to get easier. We will see how it is after 2 weeks with no piano! (vacation is imminent!!!)

For Fly Me to the Moon, FINALLY the left hand chords seem to be coming more naturally, more spontaneously.

My Austrian tune has improved marginally - but I like it the least and work on it the least, so what can I expect? smile

Evening in the Meadows is coming along very well. I have it almost memorized (from sheer repetition!) - the challenge now is evenness with the left hand - I play a block chord with pedal and hit a note almost immediately in almost every bar. Sometimes I still land too heavily.

I have noticed a global relaxation and reduction in tension in my arms, hands and shoulders - which is great.

I have tried getting new recordings of my Grieg piece but it hasn't come out as well as I would like --- I've improved quite a bit on the intermezzo but I'm having trouble getting a coherent performance that I love. ....but I feel it is possible - it could happen. I hope before heading out on holiday but if not...maybe when I come back I'll be fresh and ready to let it flow from my fingers.

I plan on bringing several of my pieces with me, and a manuscript notebook for working on writing them out by memory. I find that this can really settle the pieces in my mind.
_________________________
XVIII-XXXV
Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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