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#2149136 - 09/13/13 12:38 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
MaryBee Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/09
Posts: 1212
Loc: Cleveland, OH
carlos -- how beautiful that your mom gave you such support for your playing, and that you in turn were able to share one of your big accomplishments with her.

wuxia - lovely playing with lots of expression.

wouter - woohoo! Playing hands together is exciting and feels so good, doesn't it? Enjoy your lessons!

sinophilia - Don't be too sure. I had thought that I would never play Moonlight. Then my teacher assigned it. Guess who won. smile
_________________________
Mary Bee
Current mantra: Play outside the box.
XVI-XXXIV

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#2149173 - 09/13/13 02:24 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
wuxia Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/04/11
Posts: 106
Loc: Sofia, Bulgaria
earlofmar, MaryBee, thanks =]
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#2149558 - 09/13/13 03:47 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
torquenale Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/29/12
Posts: 310
Loc: Italy
Carlos, I'm so sorry for your loss.
And thank you for sharing your memory with us.
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#2150262 - 09/14/13 09:14 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: torquenale]
Sand Tiger Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 1068
Loc: Southern California
Week 79: It feels like a one step back kind of week. I temporarily dropped A Thousand Years from the rotation. This week I went back to it and aack, so much feels lost and my arrangement is a simple one. My arrangement of Annie's Song sounded good for a time, but after some age, I feel unsure about my choices.

My away from piano life is getting busier. I plan to try some different things this year so the drop off isn't as steep. Last year, my hour a day for piano became 15 minutes a day for several months.

One positive is that my two octave scales in D are better though many would still rate them as poor.
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#2150265 - 09/14/13 09:45 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Sand Tiger]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 2107
Loc: Rocky Mountains
Originally Posted By: Sand Tiger
Week 79: It feels like a one step back kind of week....My away from piano life is getting busier....


That's what it's been for me. I got stung by a wasp on my eye brow on Thur. Went to a clinic. They just wanted me to take this or that and work with it. I asked if there was anything to stop the swelling? My greatest fear was to wake up Fri. morning to an eye swollen shut. They gave me a shot. Told me my only worry was getting home safe. I would be fine in the morning. Woke up Fri. morning to an eye swollen shut. Doh!
Called the clinic Fri. morning. All they did was feed me a bunch of BS. I paid $128 for nothing!
Boss took it frivolously on Thur. Friday morning he sent the only person he said was available which was the Owner of the Company. He thought he was going to get me in trouble. It backfired. Owner took one look at me and just smiled. I had to ride around with him on Fri. and show him where everything was. No way I could drive a truck like this. The Owner mad it perfectly clear to the boss how serious it was.
I was able to call the Owner this morning. Told him I could just barely force the eye open enough to see three dimensional if I have to. I can handle the route today. This is after, on my own, seeking out Benedril and Zyrtec. Falling asleep last night with my eye on top of an ice pack.

I've been much too irritable kind of in pain with this to practice. Just now seeing half way decent without trouble.

I"m really happy. On Thur. afternoon was my lesson. Was at least able to talk to my teacher on the phone. Told her about some of the hand independence training I learned about on another thread here. She liked it. Told me to run with it.

I'm about to get back into practice here.
_________________________
Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon

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#2150397 - 09/15/13 05:39 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
CarlosCC Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/06/09
Posts: 1378
Loc: Lisbon, Portugal
rnaple, what a story...
Nice to know that you're recovering now.
_________________________

Youtube channel
Box.com MP3 records

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

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#2150470 - 09/15/13 09:58 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
torquenale Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/29/12
Posts: 310
Loc: Italy
After two months I'm back home and to normal life: my job, kids' school and activities, friends. And an Internet connected computer instead of a phone.
My achievement is already "old" for this thread, but I want to share it with you anyway. 20 days ago I was leaving for a trip with my family, and we had a couple of hours to waste at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport. In the departure area I found a battered upright piano with a sign on it inviting people to share music. I told myself: why not? I forgot that I'm really shy and I don't like playing for others. But there nobody knew me and the hall was so big that nobody could hear what I was doing (only later I realized that the piano sound could be heard from a distance). So I played my very small memorized repertoire, the biggest trouble was a dumb E flat key in the middle of the keyboard... Husband and sons were incredulous!

Then, after a couple of days we visited several piano stores and I tried all the instruments I could; when we entered in a Steinway store we were the only visitors and the clerks were all observing us. I wanted to go away, but my husband asked if I could try some piano ("She is too shy to ask") - I could and I played a bit on a Steinway grand branded Lang Lang; I was not particularly impressed; a Boston nearby was better. I did not touch the big grands on the other side, a sign on every keyboard saying (I think) "Do not touch". But my husband knew I really wanted, so he asked for me again. I choose a long and shining grand (a model D, I was told later), I played the Chopin Prelude in C minor and it was... gorgeous!
I'm just worthy my upright, and I think I will never touch such a piano again, but it's been a really nice experience!
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#2150522 - 09/15/13 12:36 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
jotur Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5566
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
torquenale, what a great experience! I got pictures in my head of you in the airport playing smile I'd love to try some of those grands, too. Congratulations.

Cathy
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#2150539 - 09/15/13 01:23 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
casinitaly Online   blank


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 5125
Loc: Italy
SandTiger hang in there, you (and we) know that we can't always give piano top place in our daily priorities. It is frustrating to feel you've been stalled out, but at least you're seeing progress in some small (but important) areas. It isn't a straightforward journey, that's for sure!

Rmaple: oh wow - that sounds really awful! Painful and uncomfortable. I hope the swelling goes away soon and you're able to get back to your normal routines, work and piano!

Torquenale: That's a pretty neat story! How nice your husband was so supportive!
I look forward to the day when I can play something as lovely as a Chopin prelude on a beautiful grand piano! Good for you for being willing to play in the airport! Well done!
_________________________
XVIII-XXXIV
Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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#2150568 - 09/15/13 02:54 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
CarlosCC Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/06/09
Posts: 1378
Loc: Lisbon, Portugal
torquenale, great story!
Thanks for sharing.
_________________________

Youtube channel
Box.com MP3 records

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

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#2151258 - 09/16/13 12:00 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: CarlosCC]
SwissMS Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/11
Posts: 766
Loc: Switzerland
Sand Tiger - I well know the two steps back, one step forward feeling! Hang in there.

Rmaple - That sounds terrible! Wasp stings can be nasty.

torquenale - That is a great story! I admire your courage to play in such a public place. Way to go!

I am not sure this is an AOTW, only a realization. In working on the Kuhlau Sonatina today, my teacher made it clear that I am still not playing with as good of physical balance and arm weight as I could. How can she tell? Some involuntary motion happens somewhere else, such as my leg, when I get to a tricky spot. This Sonatina is fast and transparent, and shows all the faults. I can't hide behind the pedal wink. So, it is forcing me to face my weaknesses. It is teaching me a lot. It is humbling to see that I still have a looooong way to go!
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European Piano Party July 4, 2015 in Switzerland!

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#2151339 - 09/16/13 02:22 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
casinitaly Online   blank


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 5125
Loc: Italy
SwissMs your teacher is amazing. We all have a long way to go (some - like me smile a bit farther than others smile ) but she certainly is helping you to make your journey a smoother one. How wonderful.

I have my first lesson after 3 months tomorrow. ack!!!!

I hope to delight my teacher with my Grieg Watchman, and Rebikov's Evening in the Meadow.
Heck, I will be pleased if I get through them smoothly - I am bound to be nervous on day 1 back to school!
_________________________
XVIII-XXXIV
Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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#2151893 - 09/17/13 05:55 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
CarlosCC Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/06/09
Posts: 1378
Loc: Lisbon, Portugal
SwissMs, that "physical balance and arm weigh" observation is very interesting. Can you tell more details about it?

Casinintaly, I wish you a pleasant school year!


Edited by CarlosCC (09/17/13 07:08 AM)
_________________________

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

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#2151978 - 09/17/13 09:08 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: CarlosCC]
SwissMS Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/11
Posts: 766
Loc: Switzerland
Originally Posted By: CarlosCC
SwissMs, that "physical balance and arm weigh" observation is very interesting. Can you tell more details about it?


As I understand it, any lack of balance in the body position inhibits the touch on the piano and affects accuracy and tone. Body weight should be centered low in the pelvis and slightly forward. This frees up the shoulders, allowing the arm weight to be transferred from the shoulders to the keys. Even if I am playing at the extremities of the keyboard, or crossing over in front of me, I try to keep my weight centered on my seat bones, and not collapse side to side or forward or back.

When I have noticeable involuntary leg movement or my playing seems out of balance, my teacher has had me stand up, and keeping my back straight, do a knee bend of 20 degrees or so, and then play. This completely isolates the arms from the rest of the body. I am able to transfer more weight to the keys and get the feel of playing with arm weight instead of holding at the wrist.

It is difficult to describe, but I am beginning so "sink" into the keys better and I am producing a better tone as a result. I hope that makes sense!
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European Piano Party July 4, 2015 in Switzerland!

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#2152105 - 09/17/13 11:55 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
jotur Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5566
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
Thanks, SwissMS - I've never really understood the weight thing, so this sounds like a good way to experience it - maybe it will help my forte!

Cathy
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#2152219 - 09/17/13 02:27 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
tangleweeds Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 11 2012


Registered: 12/21/08
Posts: 1269
Loc: Portlandia
Yes, thanks SwissM, for the nice clear description. What you're talking about fits in nicely with the kind of weight and movement explorations that I've been working on.
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#2152319 - 09/17/13 05:05 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
casinitaly Online   blank


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 5125
Loc: Italy
My lesson went well - I wasn't too nervous.

I played my Fughetta, Evening in the Meadow, and the Grieg Watchman piece.

Fughetta I stumbled where I thought I would but recovered.
Evening in the Meadow went reasonably well, though the pedal on the school's piano is MUCH different than mine and it threw me off a bit. T suggested I play it even slower, which suits me as I think it sound better slower, but had thought it was meant to be faster. I was glad to be wrong.

Grieg was going fine until my teacher stopped me pointing out that I was playing a B instead of an A in the last sets of chords throughout the intermezzo!!!!! ack. I managed to learn it incorrectly.

I was a bit distressed with the error in the Grieg piece and a few other small things I hadn't got quite right, (mostly connected to pedalling) but he was very encouraging and said these things happen during periods of independent study and it isn't a big deal to fix them. Of course I know that, but it was nice to have him say it specifically.


Overall, it was a good lesson and we went over things for me to work on to improve these three pieces. We didn't get to the other 3 which was fine with me as they were weaker.
_________________________
XVIII-XXXIV
Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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#2152352 - 09/17/13 05:52 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
JimF Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/08/09
Posts: 1748
Loc: south florida
Nice to hear you had a good return to lessons, C. Today I had a decent one too, following what was probably my worst ever last week. Sigh....and so it goes. We have reinstituted an easier weekly throw-away again in addition to the more challenging stuff. I have to say that is so much fun after working exclusively at the bleeding edge of my ability for quite a long time. Bless my teacher for sensing when I need some fluff to wipe that overly-determined look off my face.

Oh, before I forget. Can you point me to where I pick up one of those sig thingies for the quarterly recitals?

SwissMs, your teacher sounds like she really knows how to stretch your technique as the repertoire advances. She must have had some fantastic teachers herself.
_________________________
Solfeggietto - CPE Bach
La Fille aux cheveux de lin - Debussy
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#2152388 - 09/17/13 07:04 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
scorpio Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/12
Posts: 528
Loc: Connecticut, USA
My achievement of the week: I made an appointment for my first lesson with a real teacher! I am very excited. My plan all along was to start lessons this month, so I am on schedule.

Funny story, when the secretary asked about my piano experience I mentioned that I played on my own for eight months. She paused, then said I better assign you to a teacher that is good at breaking bad habits. blush

I am already nervous... the stress I put myself through...
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Kawai MP11 :: JBL LSR305 :: Focusrite 2i4 :: Pianoteq Standard

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#2152544 - 09/17/13 09:56 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
Stubbie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/16/10
Posts: 391
Loc: Midwest USA
My AOTW was, after being away from the piano for 2+ weeks while on vacation, playing the day after we got home for someone other than Mr. Stubbie. Okay, it was my sister, who was visiting, but I was acutely aware of being rusty and having someone else listening in. My playing wasn't good, but I didn't keel over in a dead faint or anything, for which I am thankful (and somewhat surprised). smile

Torquenale, congrats on playing the public piano at the airport. I encountered only one piano on our trip. It was an old upright in the lodge on the north rim of the Grand Canyon. It was closed up and had a "Do Not Play" sign taped to it. Sheesh!
_________________________
Wherever you go, there you are.


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#2152724 - 09/18/13 02:23 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
casinitaly Online   blank


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 5125
Loc: Italy
scorpio: good luck with your new phase of study! Let us know how it goes.

Stubbie: it is always a challenge to play for someone "live" no matter how sympathetic an audience they might be!

Jim - glad you're teacher has been sensitive to your state of mind. I bet your new "throw away" pieces are going to be at a significantly different level than they were a year ago! smile

To get the recital thingy in your signature put the following link inside img brackets.

http://www.pianoworld.com/ABF_Medals/1medal.jpg

After the next recital change it to 2medals
After the 10th change it to 10xmedals smile
_________________________
XVIII-XXXIV
Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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#2152804 - 09/18/13 07:49 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
aTallGuyNH Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/22/12
Posts: 509
Ron, I hope you are feeling better now.

Scorpio, sounds like a big step, and a wise secretary. smile Best of luck. I wish I had time and cash for a teacher.

Cas, sounds like you are off to a good start, and it's good to have you back.

My daughter and I got to meet dynamobt at the Mason & Hamlin factory tour, which was a lot of fun. From the tour thread...

Quote:
I put together a little slideshow:


Sadly, this is not me playing. It is a stock audio clip from YouTube's Video Editor, called "Talkies" -- it seemed to fit well for the feel of an old fashioned factory.


I played what I know of Clair de Lune (a little more than half, "the easy parts" as I say) on a model CC, their 9' concert grand. Most everyone was gone by then, except Frank & Kathy and the M&H West Coast Sales Manager. Even so, I was extremely amped up with a lot of adrenaline, I think because I was looking forward to it for so long, and my hands shook a lot. I did well enough to be pleased given the circumstances -- even measure #17, which is my toughest one -- and Kathy clapped at the end, which was very kind of her.
_________________________
"...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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#2152995 - 09/18/13 01:24 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: aTallGuyNH]
SwissMS Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/11
Posts: 766
Loc: Switzerland
AOTW - I received those much longed for words from my teacher "You have really improved!" at my lesson today. Like JimF, I have returned to easier pieces so I can focus on technique. My teacher calls it "filling in the gaps". It is good to know it is starting to work!
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European Piano Party July 4, 2015 in Switzerland!

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#2153137 - 09/18/13 04:27 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
casinitaly Online   blank


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 5125
Loc: Italy
SwissMS -- ah magic words indeed! It is funny how we know in our own hearts and minds that we have improved, and yet, when the teacher says it--- it seems more real!
Congratulations.

TallGuy - that tour looks like good fun - and your daughter is a sweetie-pie!

Another ATOW...or maybe of the decade - not piano related.... Mr. Casinitaly and I are signed up for ballroom dancing lessons ! woohoo!
_________________________
XVIII-XXXIV
Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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#2153259 - 09/18/13 07:01 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
aTallGuyNH Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/22/12
Posts: 509
Poor poor Mr. Casinitaly. I've felt his pain before. Tell him not to worry, it will be over soon enough. smile
_________________________
"...when you do practice properly, it seems to take no time at all. Just do it right five times or so, and then stop." -- JimF

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

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

XXIX-XXXII

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#2153890 - 09/19/13 04:16 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
torquenale Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/29/12
Posts: 310
Loc: Italy
It's a week that I'm back home (after 15 days without practicing) and I don't have any piano - related achievement to mention. I'm just trying to complete my homework for the summer (partially self-inflicted) and, as usual, I find that it was too much.
I'm waiting for my first lesson to give me more motivation, but it will be in 10-15 days (children's activity weekly planning to be completed before I can think about mine) and I know that the teacher will find in my playing many flaws that I'm not able to hear by myself...
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#2154844 - 09/21/13 01:25 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
MaryBee Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/09
Posts: 1212
Loc: Cleveland, OH
The story that Carlos told of sharing his music with his mother inspired me. For my mom's birthday last week, I put together two CDs of my ABF recital performances, including liner notes. She loved them.

My mom was the one who sat down with me when I was little and showed me how to play my first song -- "Do, a Deer". And she gave me one of her old books to learn with -- John Thompson's Grade 1. With six small children to take care of, that's about all she had time for, but it was a wonderful start. So this was a thank you for that gift she gave me long ago.
_________________________
Mary Bee
Current mantra: Play outside the box.
XVI-XXXIV

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#2154856 - 09/21/13 02:30 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
peekay Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/31/13
Posts: 184
That's great MaryBee!!
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#2154884 - 09/21/13 07:00 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 2107
Loc: Rocky Mountains
Scorpio....That's a good one! Great you're getting a teacher.

TallGuy... Must have been great to play a piano like that.

MaryBee... Such a nice gift to be able to give mom. Something like that is worth more than diamonds.

Oh Cas... I bet your husband is really looking forward to the dancing. Probably with a modest attitude. I know I'd like to be able to ballroom dance. Just to be able to. Please mention to him a Russian saying I know: Life is movement, and movement is life, and dance is a celebration of life.

If you all noticed the Joplin thread. I'm actually gonna participate in my first recital! I think it's funny. The music itself. I keep telling Whizbang that it's all her fault I stumbled into Joplin at this time. smile I somehow take to it. I think it's all the rhythm in it. It is helping me to learn. Making it easier. Getting my two hands to play at the same time is a major problem for me. My teacher says I'm going good. She always points out that I play my chords without looking at my hands. That's real good? (at this point?) Put that together with Joplin's original work. Kinda like a duck taking to water. I'm flirting with the original. Even though I only signed up for the easiest "A" part only.
_________________________
Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon

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#2154885 - 09/21/13 07:01 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
Toastie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/10/12
Posts: 210
Loc: UK
So much moving and inspirational stuff going on here at the moment.

I'm just ambling along as usual, nothing much to report. Soon I will be going to hear some more advanced students play again. I could play something there myself, but I think I'd rather wait until I'm at a higher level. It's something to aim towards I guess, though I don't have much desire to perform anyway. I would rather do it when I have something to actually show off. Another reason is that I am centre of attention a lot in my job, so when I'm not at work I prefer to be one of the onlookers. I have analysed it a lot, and concluded that I'm not scared of performing; I just don't like to perform something that isn't up to my own high standards. Perfectionism strikes again. There - I have successfully talked myself out of it for a few more years, job done.


Edited by Toastie (09/21/13 07:02 AM)
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