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#2137454 - 08/22/13 10:09 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
AimeeO Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 04 2013


Registered: 05/20/10
Posts: 803
Loc: New Orleans
I'm still getting back into the swing of regular, concentrated practice!

Consecutive Hanons are coming along slowly. It is a lot of work, and I'm noticing lazy fingers if I try to speed it up too fast. I'm starting to get through 5-8 at 60 bpm error free, so I'm trying to bump up 1-4 to 70, and will keep getting 5-8 down at 60.

We're dredging up a piece I've worked on previously.. Mozart 545. My teacher uses it as a teaching tool off and on, and we're pulling it back out. It's interesting to go back to older stuff from time to time and try to improve on it. It's never been up to speed, or perfect by any means - or even completed. This week's goal is to clean up the first half of the 1st movement. I forget what awesome exercise that piece is!


We use the Suzuki books as "new" weekly repertoire. We start a page a week. The music in those books is fantastic(just have to check other sources from time time time dynamic-wise - they tend to leave some out). So, last week we started on first movement of Clementi's 36 no 3. Goal for this week is to get measures 1-13 somehat faster, and to be able to get through 13-26 at a slooow pace. The trills are terrifying.

Might try to get a Grieg recording or two in, too. I might try to get just audio for now, and if I'm feeling super confident I'll go for video closer to the recital. I think I'm really close, but I'm still not crazy about how I handle measures 12 and 22.

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#2137526 - 08/23/13 03:35 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: AimeeO]
SwissMS Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/11
Posts: 853
Loc: Switzerland
I really like this thread. It is fun to see how everyone approaches their practice, and I learn a lot from everyone!

I spoke with my teacher about a technique issue I still have. My hand is too flat, and I tend to hold my thumbs too far away from my fingers, especially when playing fingers 4 and 5. As a result my hand is out of balance, and it is limiting my speed and accuracy. So, we are going to take a step back and I will play easier repertoire for a while to focus on trying to correct this problem. She wants me playing pieces that are close to sight readable and can be learned quickly, so my focus can be on correct movement. So, the Tchaikovsky is going back on the back burner and I am beginning some Kuhlau and Heller.

So, my Friday report:

1) Grieg pieces are done. I found Valse Impromptu difficult to make cohesive, but with some suggested changes from my teacher, it feels much better. This has been a real learning experience. My aberrant thumbs are very apparent in this piece!

2) Chopin Waltz in A minor is in the polishing stage. My goal for this week is to finish memorizing it.

3) Bach Invention 6. Memorized HT through A and 1/2 of B. My assignment is to polish this and bring it up to tempo this week before combining the last portion.

4) Exercises: Thumb "push ups". This is playing the thumb while all fingers fully relaxed resting on the keys, and then rolling the thumb up vertical and back down, maintaining relaxation. Secondly, five finger position, playing and holding each finger while maintain no movement and complete relaxation in the other fingers.

5) Heller Etude in C Op 47 #19. Learn HS, assuring relaxed hand position, especially those unruly thumbs.
_________________________


Working on ABRSM Grade 6
European Piano Party July 4, 2015 in Switzerland!

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#2137527 - 08/23/13 03:40 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
casinitaly Online   blank


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 5304
Loc: Italy
I really like this thread too !

I find it interesting that both SwissMS and Aimee0 are talking a step back to help work on technique. I wonder what my teacher will have to say to me ...still several weeks before we meet up. I'm noticing that my right thumb seems to spend a lot of time in the air...

SwissMS - I'm wondering if you might be inclined to make a small video to demonstrate the thumb exercise you just described? I can't quite picture it?
_________________________
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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#2137536 - 08/23/13 04:18 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: casinitaly]
SwissMS Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/11
Posts: 853
Loc: Switzerland
Here you go, Cheryl. Since I am just learning this myself, it comes with a disclaimer. My teacher would probably correct my technique smirk.

_________________________


Working on ABRSM Grade 6
European Piano Party July 4, 2015 in Switzerland!

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#2137541 - 08/23/13 04:41 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
casinitaly Online   blank


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 5304
Loc: Italy
Wow, talk about quick reponses! Thanks very much SwissMs, now I get it.

I have done the five finger exercise, but not the thumb one - and what I think is the hardest is keeping my 4 and 5 fingers from involuntarily springing up in the air!

Today I was practicing my scales, which (ahem, pretending to be ashamed, but just acknowledging guilt)...I have neglected over the past several weeks. I am going to have do really work on them before I see my teacher again or he's going to know for sure!!!
_________________________
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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#2137544 - 08/23/13 04:57 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
sinophilia Offline

Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014


Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 1022
Loc: Italy
How interesting SwissMS! Thank you!

Is it Friday already?!? Well I haven't practiced today yet, but I think I'm on track.

I recorded Clementi's Arietta and found out that when the RH plays loud, my LH remains soft (and it shouldn't!). I'll keep playing it every day to improve the dynamics and see if I can achieve that light brilliant touch that it requires. Since I'm comparing myself to Pianist magazine's Chenyin Li recording, it will be a hard job.

I have Corelli's Sarabande almost to tempo and it's really lovely, with two tiny trills. Will probably need another week to get a recording.

I started the third minuet of Bach's Suite in G minor and was quite amazed to see that I no longer find it difficult to figure out the different rhythms in the two hands from the very beginning (obviously at a super slow tempo). I guess I'm reading better and it helps. I'm pretty sure this will take at least 2 or 3 weeks tough, as it's another Allegretto...

Speaking of reading, I picked up Bartok's Mikrokosmos again and went through the first half of Volume I as sight-reading exercise. Then as it gets more difficult I will use these pieces as "quick studies".
_________________________
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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#2137898 - 08/23/13 06:13 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Valencia]
Valencia Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/11
Posts: 256
Hi Everyone!

This week I’ve had a lot of significant pain in my right wrist, and several days I didn’t even play. For Peace of the Woods, the more I listen to my recording, the less I like it. However getting another recording seems even less likely now with this hand pain.

For other pieces:

1.Sailors Song-haven’t played it much because of the pain. I think I will have to modify the bigger chords so that they don’t hurt my hand. This week I’ll aim to play the piece through and maybe get a preliminary recording of it.

2.Chopin Prelude-last week i only got through 4 bars. This week i'll do another 4- bars 25-28.

3.Rach Prelude. I memorized bars 6-8, but will have to memorize 16-21 before trying those bars with the metronome. So memorization of that section is what I’ll work on this week. If I get it done I can put the metronome to it.

4.Chopin Ballade-I memorized bars 153-165, but didn’t work on the other bars I’d planned because of hand pain. This week I’ll keep playing through the scherzando by memory, and also try to memorize 166-179. That’s probably too many bars to memorize, so I’ll just see how far I get.

5.Beethoven, Op 27/2 3rd mvt-How did I get myself into this? My goal this week is to break this piece into sections for learning, and memorize bars 1-13. My work on this piece probably won’t last as there are already so many impossible pieces on my plate. It’s just that every once in awhile I get a bit obsessed with wanting to learn one of Beethoven’s sonatas.

6.Ocean-My goal this week is to come up with a plan for how to work on this piece for (consistent)accuracy at increased tempos. It’s memorized and I can play it through, but how to increase the tempo and maintain accuracy? Probably need to use the metronome in a series of steps. (I'm not looking to play it at tempo, but would just like to get as fast as i can manage).




Edited by Valencia (08/23/13 07:50 PM)
Edit Reason: changed mind about prelude

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#2138064 - 08/24/13 02:25 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014


Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 1383
Loc: Cameron Park, California
Nice goals, Valencia. Be sure and ask for help if you experience persisting wrist pain as there are quite a few knowledgeable and philanthropic members around - it's never something you want to ignore.

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#2138106 - 08/24/13 05:47 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
sinophilia Offline

Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014


Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 1022
Loc: Italy
Valencia, that's an impressive set of pieces! Is it the first Chopin Ballade you are working on? Wow! I listen to it almost every day and can't get enough of it.
_________________________
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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#2138747 - 08/25/13 12:16 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
Allard Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/27/12
Posts: 342
Loc: Netherlands
I initially avoided this thread since, uh, I don't really make goals and just do whatever I fancy at the moment. That more or less worked, but it means I hardly get anything done when I don't feel like playing, for whatever reason. Lately these reasons have been the hot weather, complaining neighbours and the piano being out of tune and making annoying noises. Well, she's getting tuned next week, so no more excuse for slacking!

Last week, inspired by CarlosCC's awesome recital performance, I decided to get my own version of Life up to shape. This involved replacing a section that I don't have the technique for (and won't be able to get in the near future). I tried a few alternatives and settled on one that I like. I've then played the piece through once a day over the last few days, with my balcony door open. Should be ready to record soon smile

I've also been working on another David Lanz song: Return to the Heart. It's an upgrade from the simplified version I learned a year ago. I can play half of the song reasonably well and have been focussing on one trouble section. The other trouble section needs work - I tend to get distracted by the inviting look of the first three pages.

Next week, then, I have several goals and even something akin to a plan!

My piano is getting tuned Wednesday morning. Monday and Tuesday I plan to work on the troublesome fourth page of Return to the Heart. Life can use another playthrough to make sure it flows well with the new section.

Wednesday is going to be busy. I want to make recordings of Life and a short Final Fantasy song I've been working on: Waltz de Chocobo. Assuming that goes smoothly, there should be plenty time left to shoot a few dozen takes on Grieg 43.3 for the recital. I haven't attempted to record it yet, so fully expect to find and have to work on some trouble spots.

Then in the weekend, I can finally start the homework my teacher gave me before summer, lol. He gave me his Clementi 6 sonatinas book. I tried the first one, but it sounds beyond awful with the way my piano sounds now. Going to give it another chance. Assuming it doesn't sound completely demoralising anymore, I'll do the first movement and take a look at the second.
_________________________
David Lanz - Where the Tall Tree Grows
Nobuo Uematsu - Aerith's Theme (Final Fantasy VII Piano Collections)

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#2138760 - 08/25/13 01:10 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
jotur Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5659
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
Thanks for the video, SwissMS - nice to see new ways of learning things.

I'm trying to get a couple of reels up to tempo for a Scottish party the band's doing in October. The tempo in and of itself isn't really the problem, and with the lead sheets I actually do fine. But I'd really rather play by heart. That's more complicated.

With the lead sheets we have for Scottish a dance pianist named Paul Machlis (who also plays new age now and has some albums out) decided on the chords maybe 30 years ago. So since the whole band is playing I need to play mostly the same chords the other backers are playing. And, while they're not random, and they sound good, they're still not the "obvious" progression, so I just have to memorize them :\ I pay attention to how they sound, so I have that in my ear, but I then can't play the chords in any other inversion, either, since what I hear is the bass line I've come up with.

I also pay extra attention to tension. There isn't any when I'm reading the lead sheets, because then I don't have the extra step of having to think about what comes next. But knowing the tune well enough that it just trips out of my mind is a different story. There are reels I know that way, but these are three new ones, and we're not likely to play them again for another couple of years. I'm thinking about adding a 15 minute mini set of traditional music to my seniors program so that I play them more often.

I sometimes play just the melodies so that I do get that familiar with them, and could just sit down and play them anywhere on the piano.

But the hardest part is playing the chords everyone will be playing :\

Cathy
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#2138949 - 08/25/13 07:43 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2458
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
My Sunday night FOYD update.

The Grieg Recital is looming and tension is mounting.

Grieg Trolltog 54/3 (5 days x 30-40 mins)
M40-47 has been the bugbear. The leaps are long for the speed and accuracy required. The bottom octave suffers if I watch the top end and the tempo and RH suffers if I watch both. Slowing down, on the other hand, causes the piece to lose its sparkle so my main concentration has been looping M40-43, slowly enough to be easy and accurate, in half bar, full bar, two bar and four bar cycles then join them onto M38-39. I have to repeat that for M44-47 and join onto M43.

The final chords in M43 and M47 are just different enough to aggravate. I have to remember to move my index finger to play the chord in M43 as 1-2-5. 1-3-5 was too much of a stretch while in M47 I have to remember the extra jump to A but maintain 1-3-5. Finger memory doesn't work here. Ah, me!

I see why my dictionary lists Grieg between grief and grievance.

The rest of the piece is just getting easier. It was a doddle to memorise, easy patterns, memorable lines and no surprises, so I'm able to do a good bit on my desk at work.
______________________

Grieg Gangar 54/2 (5 x 10-15)
I've put the long crescendo together from M40 to M80 and it sounds promising.

M25-40 is deceptively difficult. The pesky little RH chords need a lot of concentration to get right. The thumb can lay over for the adjacent keys but the index finger is stretched after 3 & 4 play the semiquavers before them. Remembering which chords use the layover while remembering the LH chords is very draining. I need to watch the keys too so using the score is out and I've been without it for a while now anyway. This section needs to be automatic. How long have I got? Tick-tock, tick-tock.

M1-26 is Ok but I didn't work on this section this week.

I've still got M80-84 and the coda hanging like stragglers but they're done and there's not much to them so they'll be appended easily.
______________________

Grieg Berceuse 38/1
Grieg Springdans 38/5
I didn't work on either of these this week. I needed a rest from them but I played through both yesterday and today, complete (first time for Berceuse), and they're better for the break. I should be able to start recording soon. In fact, I need to start recording soon!
______________________

Brahms Ballad 10/1 (3 x 10-15)
I've gone carefully through the score now and identified the difficulties, which are not that great, and I've played M1-26 from the score in the past so it should be easy enough to do eight measures from the first page and four from the second each week. I didn't actually start practising this week but I have a schedule drawn up.
______________________

Bach Sinfonia 11 (4 x 10-15)
M17-25 is this week's two handed spat. I'm playing M1-36 HS daily and M36-73 periodically and they're very close to being memorised but I'm playing very few of the ornaments just yet. I like to get the main notes in on their own first so that I'm aware of what I'm trying to decorate. I can keep the metre better that way and I tire of too much melisma in Baroque music on modern instruments though it works well in this piece; it's very like a sarabande.
______________________

Scarlatti Kp. 443 (4 x 5-10)
There are no technical obstacles in this piece. I'm on the development section, M55-73, and remembering the fingering is harder than remembering the notes!
______________________

Chopin Prelude 28/2 (4 x 2-5)
A very short, one page piece with no technical hurdles. The difficulty is covering (and touching) the LH notes before they're played (for precision) and relaxing as soon as they're down to avoid heaviness. Remembering the sequence in M9-12 while playing the RH is exhausting (the page looks ugly and it's hard to tell which note pair I'm on).

I'm spending most of my time on the LH chord changes and securing the memory. I expect to finish this piece like the number 6 before it with little time on the rack but long weekend reviews without the score.
______________________

Bach Invention 1 (2 x 2-5)
I love this piece and I love this version but I've been too fatigued most days this week to do much on it and I don't want to be half-hearted about it. I may continue this next week and move it further up the order.
______________________

I'm keeping up with the Grieg again this week, of course, and the Brahms. My 'other' pieces will be Bach Invention 1, triplet version; Scarlatti Kp. 87 and Schumann Child Falling Asleep Op. 15/12. I should do another Bach piece but I'm 'working' on Bach in my repertoire piece. The Grieg stuff is preventing me from varying many classical or Romantic pieces - but not for much longer.
_________________________
Richard

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#2141391 - 08/30/13 01:42 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
Valencia Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/11
Posts: 256
Bobpickle, thanks for the note about the wrist pain. smile It’s a little better this week but I’ll see how this next week goes. I’m trying to stay away from pieces that might make it worse right now. I’m not sure if it was caused at the piano or not, but piano can definitely aggravate it if i'm not careful.

Sinophilia
, yes it is Chopin’s 1st Ballade. smile but while my goals may look impressive, pieces like Ocean and the Ballade are still largely out of my reach. But I just can’t seem to help taking on at least some of those pieces to study. I was inspired to try the Ballade after seeing Sam Rose play it. I may never be able to play it like he does, but I wanted to try to learn it anyway.


This week has been a strange one practice-wise. I spent much of it going through Beethoven’s sonatas, trying out various movements and imagining what I might like to play. My mother had some serious medical issues this week so that was on my mind making it difficult to focus intensely on my regular practice. Here is what I got done along with next week’s goals:

1. Sailors’ Song—got a recording of it, so at least now I’ve got something. Recorded this when I found out my mum had to go into the hospital but before we knew exactly what the situation was, when I thought I might have to leave here and go to stay with her for awhile. So, it’s not a great recording, but it’s a recording!

2. Chopin Prelude-I got through bars 25-28, now I will add them to 21-24 and 29-32. Mostly I’m just trying to get the notes into my fingers.

3. Rach Prelude-Wow this is difficult to memorize. :\ I only got through bars 17 and 18 this week. And they are not solid. Next week I’ll keep reviewing 6-8, 16-18 and also try 19-21.

4. Ballade-I had to go back to the scherzando because even though I memorized the last bits of it last week, it didn’t all stick. I’ll go through it a few times this week just to make sure that it in my head. I want to move forward with other parts of this piece but it takes so long to memorize solidly. I might look at some of the bars after the scherzando and try memorizing parts of them away from the piano using the score. I’ve done this in the past and it’s helped.

5. Beethoven-Op.79-Andante: I like it and want to learn it. Will start with bars 10-16. May need to consult with others about how to do the trills in bars 13 and 14.

6. Beethoven-I went through bars 1-14 of the Moonlight 3rd (by memory) though I’m a little shaky from 9 on fingering wise. I’ll try it again this week and maybe add 15-20. Also want to look through the piece and find the parts that will be especially hard so that perhaps next week I can pull those out and start working on them. I’m still not sure that I will commit to learning this entire piece right now.

7. Beethoven-Op. 2 No. 1 1st mvt-Another piece I am considering learning and so trying on this week. I’ll listen to the piece, look through the score and think about how to divide it up for learning.

8. Ocean-I usually have so much fun practicing this, but this week it was a bit of a mess. For metronome work, I will start at half time (so 40 per half note) and see if I can handle that. My practice on this one must be somewhat limited or I will drive my downstairs neighbour crazy.

9. Next recital piece?-What will I play for the next ABF recital? There are a couple of pieces I was working on before that are on the backburner. Maybe I can start one of those. Or I could pick a new piece learnable in 3 months time. I’ll give thought to this.


This looks like a lot, but much of it is just reinforcing work (memory or otherwise) that I’ve already done, or exploring pieces that I might like to play.

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#2141434 - 08/30/13 03:07 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
sinophilia Offline

Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014


Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 1022
Loc: Italy
So, I haven't practiced much this week, since I had a lot of work and spent the rest of my time thinking about pianos blush

Corelli's Sarabande is memorized and recorded. Such a lovely little piece.

I haven't spent much time on Bach's minuet but the first part is almost okay; will start the second part tomorrow and then try to speed it all up. This looks similar to the other two minuets I learned so it may be a little easier, but another 2 weeks will be needed.

I'm sight-reading volume I of Bartok's Mikrokosmos and I can see how much easier it is than some months ago. Next week I should be done with it.

I also managed to record a jazz piece from Alfred's book 3 that was giving me headaches. I just had to imagine I was playing it on my future acoustic piano... grin
_________________________
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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#2141479 - 08/30/13 05:46 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
JimF Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/08/09
Posts: 1828
Loc: south florida
Hello all you FOYDer's. I've been following along somewhat since day one, but have avoided getting involved because I really didn't need another thread to spend lots of time on, and because I felt that I usually practice in a pretty focused way.

Lately, however, I'm increasingly finding myself looking back on recent practice sessions and wishing I had done them differently. Invariably the problem is trying to accomplish too much, either in that one session, or in a series of sessions prior to some perceived or real "deadline".

I've actually come to the conclusion that my biggest problem is setting these little goals or deadlines...you know the type... "get page one hands together by next lesson"....that sort of thing. It is so deadly because it puts the cart before the horse. I know this but time after time I've been guilty of it, so I need to come here, confess my sins, and get to work just focusing in on that day's task. Where it ends up at the end of some artificial time period is whereever it ends up. And if I focus every day, that spot is going to be better than if I let the "goal" control how I practice on any given day.

Don't know if this ramble makes sense to anyone else, but it does to me. So, I'm in.

Tomorrow is Saturday, so time for about 3 hours:

No more than 20 minutes without a 2-5 minute break.

1. warmup play MacDowell, scale of week Db 4oct 16ths @ 88bpm for quarters with shift to triplets and back, hanon exercise scales in legato chromatic minor thirds-slow.

2. Mozart - LH block chords for g-minor section, RH last page phrases, one at a time. HT Page one, first time HT meas.7-8, review 1-6, try 9-10, all super slow, no errors allowed.

3. Puccini - page 2 and 3 block positions for LH arpeggios, also as written. page 1 HT super slow meas 8-16, review 1-8.

4. Stella by Starlight lead sheet - meas 1-8 LH 7th chord seven note arpeggio pattern

5. have fun on a standard out of Coates book.
_________________________
Nessun dorma - G.Puccini
Solfeggietto - CPE Bach
La Fille aux cheveux de lin-Debussy



Estonia L190 #7284





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#2141536 - 08/30/13 08:18 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: JimF]
aTallGuyNH Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/22/12
Posts: 509
Jim, that made perfect sense to me, FWIW.

That seems like a very reasonable list for three hours.

For me, I've been (mostly) lurking too. I've probably had three hours or so of bench time total -- much of that being little chunks of a few minutes here and there, constantly interrupted -- in the past 5 weeks, so it's tough to do much in the way of goal setting in those circumstances.

Back in January I kept a log of my playing sessions, it was a rare time when I was fairly disciplined about what I was doing and how often. Total average daily bench time? Just over 20 minutes.

Right now I'm feeling slightly incredulous that I've ever learned anything (and yes,that is 50% frustration and 50% patting myself on the back).

Overall, I need to focus on rhythm. That's nominally my only goal, but I also don't want to embarrass myself at the Mason & Hamlin piano tour on 9/9, and I'd really like to play something or another adequately for Boston Street Pianos in late Sept/early Oct (I work down there -- so it's inevitable that I'll wind up at a piano with some coworkers), and I'm trying to keep "Song #2" for my wife under my fingers even though I've stopped progressing on it for a couple months. So... I'm not a happy camper at the moment.


Edited by aTallGuyNH (08/30/13 08:29 PM)
Edit Reason: fixed over-inflated # of dry piano weeks, it's been 5, not 6.
_________________________
"...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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#2141606 - 08/30/13 11:53 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014


Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 1383
Loc: Cameron Park, California
I've had a similar summer, aTallGuyNH. My problem was that I couldn't help but look at problems as respective wholes instead of break them down into small digest-able parts. As a result, I'd always feel overwhelmed and end up doing nothing. Obviously this is the wrong way to go about overcoming any challenge (the antithesis of the idiom, "one day at a time"). My teacher prescribed to me a simple plan of practicing three different things relevant to my goals for just 10 minutes apiece daily (something literally anybody could find or make time for) and from that, I rekindled my practicing. Perhaps trying to stick to a similarly basic and facile structure might help you to rekindle your practicing too.

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#2141690 - 08/31/13 07:27 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Bobpickle]
SwissMS Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/11
Posts: 853
Loc: Switzerland
Valencia - That is an impressive list of pieces to work on. I hope your hand pain resolves quickly! I know how frustrating that can be.

Allard - It sounds like you have quite a few things on the go. Good luck with your recordings.

Jotur - It must be fun and challenging to coordinate with other band members in playing a new piece from lead sheets. Your ear has to be really tuned to the other players. Good luck with your memorization.

Richard zrtf90- I am impressed by the number of projects you keep on the go all of the time, in addition to maintaining repertoire. You set a great example.

JimF - I love the Coates books! I do most of my sight reading and just playing for pleasure from Dan Coates arrangements.

Here is my report and my goal setting for next week.

1) Grieg Waltz Impromptu - Focus on ornaments. The 4-5-4 inverted mordants are not clean and do not "snap" the way I want. I am not transferring weight to 5 well enough. I hope to get one more recording with improvement in this area.

2) Bach Inv. 6 -"A" section I can do 7X through without error at tempo. I still have a couple of sticky places in 1st 1/2 for "B" section. Stay with this another week until I achieve 7X correct at tempo.

3) Kuhlau Sonatina - My goal for the week was to learn and memorize the first movement. That turned out to be over ambitious. The movement is learned, but not memorized and I have some sticky places. Goal this week is to work on the runs and sticky spots and finish memorization. Goal: 7X accurate at 2/3 tempo.

4) Heller 47 #19. This is being utilized as an exercise to improve technique. Continue slow play with good positioning.

5) Villa- Lobos. This week I listened to recordings with the score and read through hand separately. The goal for next week is HT 1st two pages memorized.

6) Telfer - Rivers Flowed on Mars - This is another piece for technique. The goal for this week is to continue working slowly with good legato.

7) Repertoire maintenance - Spend a minimum of 20 minutes per day playing memorized pieces.

9) Start sight reading 20 minutes a day again. I let this slip for a couple of months.
_________________________


Working on ABRSM Grade 6
European Piano Party July 4, 2015 in Switzerland!

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#2141799 - 08/31/13 12:14 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2458
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
Welcome, Jim. I hope this thread helps you as much as it's helping me.

I've been updating my journal every week with progress and next week's goals since I've been back at the piano so I didn't think the thread would help me all that much but having to collate my thoughts for public consumption makes me think a little more about them and I've found better focus and sometimes better solutions - just by having to 'think out loud' so to speak.

Valencia, you and I briefly discussed the Chopin Ballad in a PM a while ago and now you're listing it on your FOYD update. This is rekindling the spark and I may have to make time for another crack at this myself.

SwissMS, thank you for the compliment! I notice your own list is not too brief or shabby even though you're rather cagey about your eighth goal! smile

On a personal note, going back to sight reading for 20 mins a day would make me want to drop it! I think a shorter time every day is enough to keep it a habit and continue growth. I've also found doing it first helps me because the brain is very fresh and it's different music every day. It's a nice way to start the day's practice using the brain but not tiring it from repetition.
_________________________
Richard

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#2141852 - 08/31/13 02:40 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
jotur Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5659
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
Wow, a lot of you folks have far more going on than I do laugh I've found that trying to get 2 hours of focused practice in a day is not very easy for me, even broken up in chunks. Maybe with practice I'll work up to it.

But this week I've started adding riffs and varying basses to many of my "by ear" and song book melodies, filling them out and making them lusher. I was pleased that some of the riffs translated easily from one key to another, and sometimes they came out altered a little in their rhythm, so that added some variety. Much easier to do this spontaneously than trying to memorize such minute changes in the score laugh I don't envy you folks playing classical.

I've also payed attention, again, to "ease" in playing, so the musicality comes across with more fluidity. That is such a key for me to play anything, both in public, and by heart. If there's no musicality, phrasing, no story to tell, I can't remember a thing, much less play dance music at tempo.

Cathy
_________________________

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#2142151 - 09/01/13 07:44 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
JimF Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/08/09
Posts: 1828
Loc: south florida
Well, yesterday's practice went ok, but I needed more time than I expected for almost every item on my list. So I'm going back at it today with no change to the tasks...determined to NOT move on just because I can already feel Tuesday's lesson approaching.
_________________________
Nessun dorma - G.Puccini
Solfeggietto - CPE Bach
La Fille aux cheveux de lin-Debussy



Estonia L190 #7284





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#2142185 - 09/01/13 09:44 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
griffin2417 Offline

Silver Supporter until Dec 29 2012


Registered: 12/12/10
Posts: 2465
Loc: Minneapolis, MN

Okay, I know this is the thread that is right for me! Earlier this year I decided to quit doing postings on the PWF because it was taking too much time away from my limited time for piano practice. FOYD coincides very nicely with my piano studies.

Earlier this week I made a commitment to myself to write some weekly goals beginning today. That's when I realized that this thread is the perfect place to post my goals, and get some ideas for my practice routines. It also has the wonderful benefit of being in touch with some my friends from RST and meeting new folks as well!

I'll be back a bit later today with my goals, and what I'm working on. I gotta go practice to determine what those goals will be! smile
_________________________
Carl


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#2142186 - 09/01/13 09:46 AM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
PianoStudent88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3206
Loc: Maine
I've been sporadic in my practicing, but I'm still plugging away at my three Grieg Lyric Pieces. I've progressed from solely doing small sections to doing run-throughs, and then returning to the sections that the run-throughs show need work. Truth be told, I know what those sections are before the run-through, but I've been itching to make music beyond the ongoing focused work on small sections.

I find I discover musical decisions about the piece from playing through the whole thing that I'm not able to discover just by studying the score.

I've learned a lot from working on these pieces (octaves, arpeggios, 2 against 3, clever hand movements), but I find that for the most part I don't really like Romantic-era music (Chopin excepted), so I won't be sorry when these are recorded and I can turn my attention to other pieces.

I've been neglecting the Bach Little Prelude. I have most of the notes memorized HS. A few more measures to go, which are being harder to make stick in my head. Patience and repetition are needed, I guess.

Next goals: continue the Lyric Pieces. Pick Bach up again.

[ETA: After hearing a lot about him, I'm now reading through Graham Fitch's Practicing The Piano blog. Here's a timely post on Top Ten Tips for Trouble Spots.]


Edited by PianoStudent88 (09/01/13 10:01 AM)
_________________________
Ebaug(maj7)

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#2142249 - 09/01/13 12:39 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11850
Loc: Canada
I've been dead in the water for a week. I freelance, and work comes unpredictably. Have been working round the clock. During some breaks I've been running through my head what I want to do with the Grieg. I take breaks every 2 hours or so, when I do exercises and a bit of housework (more exercise) and during those times I'm listening to something. It's been stuff dealing with the Renaissance, for music history. I may be able to get back to piano mid-week.

Popping into PW helps in not feeling as shut out from music. If you see me post too much, that's procrastination from work. laugh

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#2142292 - 09/01/13 02:31 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
sinophilia Offline

Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014


Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 1022
Loc: Italy
keystring, are you a translator/interpreter? I've had tons of work too this month, hoping for some respite tomorrow as soon as the last job is delivered!
_________________________
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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#2142301 - 09/01/13 02:48 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: sinophilia]
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11850
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: sinophilia
keystring, are you a translator/interpreter? I've had tons of work too this month, hoping for some respite tomorrow as soon as the last job is delivered!

I only translate these days. Sometimes I miss teaching until I remember the same kind of woes they talk about in the teacher forum.

It's interesting just how many musicians and music students work in languages or are good in language, and how many people working in languages have quite a background in music. The two must be related, as is often said.

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#2142419 - 09/01/13 06:38 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2458
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
How wonderful to see you on the thread, Griffin, and hear that you're getting some practise in! smile

So, my brief Sunday night FOYD update...

Recording has taken up most of my time this week but I have three acceptable recordings in the bag. I still have Trolltog to do and I'm under pressure for it. I only really have the week ahead but it isn't quite ready.

The RH in M40-43 descends from D to E and ends on a chord using 1-2-5. In M44-47 it descends from Bb but instead of ending on C it jumps down a third to A and ends on a chord using 1-3-5. I can play the measures up to tempo HS though the octave leaps are up to a tenth and big for the tempo. By aiming my little finger for the upper octaves and my thumb for the lower ones it's workable without much eye movement but when I put hands together remembering to jump to Bb in RH and D in LH for M44 (instead going to D for both as my hands want to do) takes too much brain capacity while I'm juggling the eyes for the octaves and there is consequently quite a large drop off in speed. It's also difficult to remind myself of the skip to A using 1-3-5 instead of settling on C using 1-2-5.

There is no mechanical difficulty here. My hands can do it. It's a reserve of mental capacity that I need by either increasing finger memory or finding a more efficient mental plan, like working out where exactly I need to prepare the leaps to Bb and D in the different hands without it being too soon that I forget by the time I get there or being too late to make it work. It seems trivial but the devil hides in the detail!

There's no way I'm going to be able to do this in the time so my quandary is whether to slow everything down just for this section, maintain a slower tempo throughout, drop to RH alone for this section or compromise the score somehow (and there's a variety of ways to do this). I may try recording all the ways and pick the least offensive!

I'll continue to work on just M40-47 (M38-48) this week while I chase a decent enough recording and I have to refresh my memory of the middle section. The rest of it is all OK but this piece will stay on my pile until it's done. It's a shame it won't make the recital at a better level.

I have limited time on this piece and spending two hours a night on it will simply waste about 90 minutes a day so I need to do all my other pieces as well though I can use both of these last two weekends (and have just used this one).

Brahms Ballad Op. 10/1.
M1-8 was memorised easily enough and just has to be played carefuly until it's automatic.
M26-30 was easier than I expected despite the crossed hands and I got up to M32. This has to be kept very quiet as there's a lot of dynamics to come after it and I can't afford to run out of steam too quickly. Keeping it quiet really adds to the excitement as the figure has a lot potential for dynamic and emotional tension with the soft hammering and the two against three rhythm. I can feel it building up to something and I want to increase the intensity with the slow rise in pitch. I want to get on with it but I must exercise great restraint!

I have settled on a climax in M44 right in the middle of a page turn so I've rewritten M41-46 in manuscript to memorise the phrase independently. That's my aim for the week ahead.

Bach Invention 1
The recording has again left this hanging over so I'll move on next week and come back to this as a new piece after the Grieg recital maybe instead of waiting for it to come round again in my repertoire section.

Benda Sonatina in A minor
I was going to start Scarlatti's Kp. 87 after finishing Kp. 149 recently but I got a delivery of sheet music on Monday including Benda Sonatinas on Ganddalf's recommendation (for my son) and Glière Op. 43 after hearing Riddler in the ABF Recital (for me). I read through the Benda book as far as number 3 and stopped there. I've added this. It was easy to memorise and much of it is already up to speed but it's such a blast to play.



Child Falling Asleep
Schumann, Kinderszenen, Op. 15/12. This looks trickier than it is but simple note redistribution between the hands simplifies it enormously. There are no difficuties at all and it's not too hard to remember. The tune is lovely, of course, and I've been humming it regularly which helps.

Anyone who's nursed a child to sleep in their arms knows that infants wake easily until they've given that big sigh that precedes the soft and steady breathing that signals full sleep and they can be laid down. I love how Schumann has uses E minor with a fitful RH figure to suggest the restlessness that precedes slumber and that big soft E major chord in M9 with a new relaxed figure in RH, rhyming with the LH and announcing the arrival of sleep. Gorgeous!

So the week ahead is recording Trolltog and getting back to more regular practise - till the next themed recital. My repertoire piece is Schubert Scherzo in Bb and my other pieces are Bach Little Prelude BWV 933, Scarlatti Kp. 531 and Beethoven Andante Op. 79/3.
_________________________
Richard

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#2142421 - 09/01/13 06:44 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: zrtf90]
jotur Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5659
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
Originally Posted By: zrtf90
There is no mechanical difficulty here. My hands can do it. It's a reserve of mental capacity that I need by either increasing finger memory or finding a more efficient mental plan, like working out where exactly I need to prepare the leaps to Bb and D in the different hands without it being too soon that I forget by the time I get there or being too late to make it work. It seems trivial but the devil hides in the detail!


I'm going thru this (yet again) on review of an older piece at this very minute (yet again) so I know the feeling (yet again) smile

Life's relentless, huh.

Cathy
_________________________

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#2142524 - 09/01/13 10:15 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: Saranoya]
griffin2417 Offline

Silver Supporter until Dec 29 2012


Registered: 12/12/10
Posts: 2465
Loc: Minneapolis, MN
Hi everyone. Good to hear from you, Richard. smile

Here are my goals for this week:

1. Clair de Lune (Debussy) - My goal this week is to memorize and record measures 15-26 and analyze. I already know that I will have to do some focused efforts with measures 23 and 24. My biggest challenge is to play very slowly to make sure of accuracy, and particular attention to the dynamics. My teacher and I will be talking about this piece later this week. I've been working on this piece in very small doses since 2011. However, now that I'm retired and have significantly increased my practice time, my teacher is noticing major progress and thinks it's time to start preparing to perform this for some small informal groups.  

2. Prelude in D-Flat Major, Opus 28, No. 15 (Chopin) - My goal this week will be to review measures 60-75. My goal is to isolate the weakest measures and break them into smaller parts for practice and recording. I will be reviewing this with my teacher later for additional ideas.

3. Gymnopedie 1 (Satie) -  Yup!  I'm bringing this one back for additional refinements after I performed it as a work in progress for the Erik Satie themed recital last year. It's now time to memorize it. I'll get into more of the details next week after I've had a chance to review the parts I'll give focused attention to.  It's not my highest priority right now, however.

4. O Holy Night (Dwight and Adams) arranged by Dan Coates - I plan to record this and a few more Christmas songs over the next few months. I will be more detailed next week on my specific goals. I just need to make sure it's listed and not lost in the other things I'm doing.

That's it for now. I'm sure glad this thread was started.  I've already seen a lot of good ideas that I am starting to use. I will post my goals each Sunday, as well as some updates. I will check in daily, however.   Have a great week everyone!



Edited by griffin2417 (09/01/13 10:18 PM)
Edit Reason: Clarification
_________________________
Carl


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#2142557 - 09/01/13 11:07 PM Re: FOYD - Focus On Your Domain [Re: griffin2417]
aTallGuyNH Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/22/12
Posts: 509
#23 & 24 aren't too bad once you get accustomed to them, you're just sliding up a bit, but the basic patterns are the same as the prior measures.

If I was forced at gunpoint to play two measures and two measures only, for the rest of my life, it would be #25 & #26. There's a whole world of possibilities in those 30 notes. Bliss...
_________________________
"...when you do practice properly, it seems to take no time at all. Just do it right five times or so, and then stop." -- JimF

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

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

XXIX-XXXII

Top
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