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#2273684 - 05/10/14 02:23 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
briansaddleback Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/27/14
Posts: 220
Loc: Irvine CA
Yes I should strive for something like that. Maybe not 1/5 of my time as I don't perform regularly but maybe at least play each piece I know through once or twice a day at least to keep them knee jerk fresh.
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#2273724 - 05/10/14 04:26 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: briansaddleback]
Sand Tiger Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 1022
Loc: Southern California
Originally Posted By: briansaddleback
Yes I should strive for something like that. Maybe not 1/5 of my time as I don't perform regularly but maybe at least play each piece I know through once or twice a day at least to keep them knee jerk fresh.


One easy way some manage old pieces is to dedicate one day a week for repertoire. This works out to 14% if each day is equal time. The 20% is just a guide. That said, if two weeks destroyed any competence. A more frequent rotation may be useful.
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#2273839 - 05/11/14 02:12 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
aTallGuyNH Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/22/12
Posts: 504
Thanks to all who said such nice thoughts and encouragements re: my work situation. I put in nearly 70 hours over the course of 5 days (including the 16 hour day that led to my initial post on the topic) of very intense focus. Enough was done that I can have a normal weekend though, which was worth it -- particularly for Mother's Day.

Fortunately these sorts of hours are not the norm, I would burn out for sure! Situations do arise though from time to time, once or twice a year on average, and then one has to knuckle under and make it happen.

The worst of these that we had lasted for nearly a month and took a team of ten people working 60+ hour weeks (I hit 80 on some weeks) to finish the work. It was not uncommon to have conference calls that started at 11pm, and managers (that's me) would debrief and plan for the next day sometimes starting as late as 1am.

Nobody wants to go through that. However, when you have a team that is willing to be committed at that level, there is a bond and espirit de corps that runs very deep and is very satisfying.

A lot of petty interpersonal/political garbage suddenly evaporates (assuming it's a good team that steps up when needed, instead of going into the toilet) when there are six or seven figures (substantial money for us, although it may sound trivial depending on your industry and scope of responsibilities) riding on what you as a team are able to deliver on a brick wall deadline.

Back to music...

Despite the craziness this week, I did manage to squeeze in some time at the keys, which helped my general mental state (not nearly as much as listening to others who actually know how to play though smile )

AOTW - Did a 1st run through of How Great Thou Art w/ my younger daughter singing. I don't know the whole chorus yet, but the verse is doing OK (if a little slow). It was nice to play/sing together.

So far I have not been able to convince her that just because our worship team treats the 1/4 note in the 1st syllable of "won-der" as an 1/8 note, doesn't make it so. She's been hearing it this way her whole life, so the proper rhythm sounds weird to her. mad

She sounds pretty good though! That top note is a toughie for her, will be interesting to see if she wants it badly enough to take the time to do vocal exercises. If not, there may be some more transposition in my future.
_________________________
"...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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#2273842 - 05/11/14 02:22 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Stubbie]
aTallGuyNH Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/22/12
Posts: 504
Originally Posted By: Stubbie
We spent the hour (hour plus) on fundamentals like relaxation, arm weight, working on Bar Line Disease, which I have in spades.

Bar Line Disease? confused

What is that?
_________________________
"...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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#2273901 - 05/11/14 09:03 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: aTallGuyNH]
Stubbie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/16/10
Posts: 376
Loc: Midwest USA
TallGuy, In the context of the piece I was playing, Bar Line Disease is a noticeable pause as my left hand searches for the next chord in the following measure. This is because of my poor feel for keyboard topography, i.e., I can't make leaps without glancing at my hands. My teacher gave me specific instructions on how to go about working on this, which include practicing the LH leaps and then adding in the last RH note of the measure and first of the next, then adding the last two RH notes of the measure and the first of the next. She emphasized mental preparation and anticipation for the moves. Sounds simple, but it only looks simple if you pull it off correctly. smile
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#2273914 - 05/11/14 09:26 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
Exalted Wombat Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 1195
Loc: London UK
You can overthink this sort of thing. Put your hand in the first position. Now in the second. Now try it faster. Now practice it a bit... It ain't rocket science.

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#2274050 - 05/11/14 02:26 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
wimpiano Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/13
Posts: 1212
Loc: The Netherlands
Not sure where I should post this elsewhere, it's some kind of achievement anyway:
I created another recording:
https://soundcloud.com/wim-piano/telemann-fantasie-in-e-minor
It's closer to the tempo it should be but it's more machine like and you can hear that I'm playing as fast as I can which doesn't make it any better.

This was the original recording:
https://soundcloud.com/wim-piano/telemann-fantasia-in-e-minor-tres-vite-or-is-it-trop-lent

Which one should I use for the recital? (I already uploaded one but I can still change it if I'm not mistaken).
(O and I know their both not quite good wink )


Edited by wimpiano (05/11/14 03:44 PM)
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#2274145 - 05/11/14 05:25 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
casinitaly Online   content

Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 4971
Loc: Italy
You could change if you wanted to.

My personal preference is for the "original" one. The second one just feels rushed and much less smooth. Perhaps it is at what is deemed to be the correct tempo, but I think the tempo of your orginal recording is more elegant. I can see the dancers in it - I can't see them in the new recording.
_________________________
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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#2274412 - 05/11/14 11:23 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Stubbie]
aTallGuyNH Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/22/12
Posts: 504
Originally Posted By: Stubbie
TallGuy, In the context of the piece I was playing, Bar Line Disease is a noticeable pause as my left hand searches for the next chord in the following measure. This is because of my poor feel for keyboard topography, i.e., I can't make leaps without glancing at my hands. My teacher gave me specific instructions on how to go about working on this, which include practicing the LH leaps and then adding in the last RH note of the measure and first of the next, then adding the last two RH notes of the measure and the first of the next. She emphasized mental preparation and anticipation for the moves. Sounds simple, but it only looks simple if you pull it off correctly. smile

Got it... I cheat by favoring songs/pieces in the key of B or Db... way easier to find the black keys without looking.


Edited by aTallGuyNH (05/11/14 11:24 PM)
_________________________
"...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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#2274586 - 05/12/14 06:13 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
wimpiano Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/13
Posts: 1212
Loc: The Netherlands
@casinitaly, thanks! 8Octaves gave similar feedback and so did my brother. I will try to create a more musical recording without emphasis on speed, if it doesn't work out I'll keep the original submission.
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#2274718 - 05/12/14 10:27 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: wimpiano]
Exalted Wombat Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 1195
Loc: London UK
Originally Posted By: wimpiano
@casinitaly, thanks! 8Octaves gave similar feedback and so did my brother. I will try to create a more musical recording without emphasis on speed, if it doesn't work out I'll keep the original submission.


Better to play slowly, but musically! Speed will come. There are lots of good things about your playing and, as someone said, the slower version is really beginning to dance!

But are we doing wimpiano any favours by ignoring the elephant in the room? The one that sits on the music every four bars, preventing it from proceeding? That habit really shouldn't be allowed to continue.

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#2274731 - 05/12/14 10:47 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
wimpiano Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/13
Posts: 1212
Loc: The Netherlands
@Exalted Wombat, you made me curious? I am having my lessons tonight so please tell me..
Do you mean the pauses?


Edited by wimpiano (05/12/14 10:51 AM)
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Schimmel 116 S ..

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#2274732 - 05/12/14 10:49 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
bstark Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/01/14
Posts: 13
Loc: Hillsboro, Oregon
This week I got excited when I was able to pick up a new song very quickly. I also got a new digital piano (Casio PX-350), which was exciting. The key action is so different that what I am used to it was a bit shocking for me... my playing definitely will take a step back while I get used to it, but I am glad I made the switch now. The simple songs I thought I had down, don't sound so good anymore. Certain notes are much loader etc... I like it because I can see I have a lot more control someday, but right now it is just an adjustment.

I practiced at least an hour every day for the past few weeks, and so much this weekend my fingers were worn out.

My goals for this week, record a few songs and upload to sound cloud. I am such a beginner, as an adult it is a little embarrassing playing such simple songs, but there is something magical about being able to look back and see where you came from.

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#2274746 - 05/12/14 11:15 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: wimpiano]
Exalted Wombat Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 1195
Loc: London UK
Originally Posted By: wimpiano
@Exalted Wombat, you made me curious? I am having my lessons tonight so please tell me..
Do you mean the pauses?


Yes, the pauses. I hope they weren't a considered decision :-)

Listen to this YouTube clip. It's a terrible performance, perfectly drilled, perfectly mechanical and with no musical content whatsoever. There's much more music in your slow version. But it does illustrate how the piece proceeds without stopping at the traffic lights all the time!

(To be fair, that's how young children play. The musicianship will come later. But I'm meant to be encouraging YOU at the moment, not HER :-)

http://youtu.be/ZW_pkFHP-Ew

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#2274817 - 05/12/14 01:04 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Exalted Wombat]
SwissMS Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/11
Posts: 717
Loc: Switzerland
At my lesson today I ran through my scales and my exam pieces without error! I was pretty excited about that! I am feeling pretty ready. My teacher had a couple of suggestions for better presentation, but overall, she thought things sounded pretty good. So, I am going to think positive. Nerves could torpedo me, but if I hold it together I think I will do fine. I keep reminding myself that I am doing the exams for fun!
_________________________


Working on:
Handel - Allemande in A Minor
Bach - Inv. #14
Beethoven - Sonata #79 2nd mvmt
Kuhlau op. 88 - 3

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#2274868 - 05/12/14 02:19 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Exalted Wombat]
wimpiano Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/13
Posts: 1212
Loc: The Netherlands
Originally Posted By: Exalted Wombat
Originally Posted By: wimpiano
@Exalted Wombat, you made me curious? I am having my lessons tonight so please tell me..
Do you mean the pauses?


Yes, the pauses. I hope they weren't a considered decision :-)

Listen to this YouTube clip. It's a terrible performance, perfectly drilled, perfectly mechanical and with no musical content whatsoever. There's much more music in your slow version. But it does illustrate how the piece proceeds without stopping at the traffic lights all the time!

(To be fair, that's how young children play. The musicianship will come later. But I'm meant to be encouraging YOU at the moment, not HER :-)

http://youtu.be/ZW_pkFHP-Ew


Thanks, they are kind of by choice though, my teacher's choice actually. He wrote riten with a pencil in the book because he liked me too practice those. Learned (work in progress) the piece that way and forgot to let them out for the recital.
I must say though that when I try to play it continuously without the ritenuto and pause I don't succeed, it still is with small pauses. I will work on those. Again thanks for your input much appreciated.
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Schimmel 116 S ..

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#2274894 - 05/12/14 03:03 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: wimpiano]
Exalted Wombat Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 1195
Loc: London UK
Originally Posted By: wimpiano
Thanks, they are kind of by choice though, my teacher's choice actually. He wrote riten with a pencil in the book because he liked me too practice those. Learned (work in progress) the piece that way and forgot to let them out for the recital.
I must say though that when I try to play it continuously without the ritenuto and pause I don't succeed, it still is with small pauses. I will work on those. Again thanks for your input much appreciated.


Well, OK .... but there's expressive ritenuto and there's grinding to a complete halt!

This illustrates a point that is frequently (and correctly) made here - beware of practicing something WRONG! Whether a fluffed fingering or a questionable pause, play it often enough and it'll stick!

Please mention this discussion to your teacher and let us know his comments?

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#2274903 - 05/12/14 03:10 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
wimpiano Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/13
Posts: 1212
Loc: The Netherlands
I brought the matter of the ritenutos up, he said, I just want you to learn those.
I didn't mention the complete halt (as you brought up correctly) I suppose a complete halt is definitely not what he's looking for but he might think this will help me play slower (that's what he wants all the time wink )
I'll discuss it next time again and show him the example. He's quite rigid though, almost autistic, but a very nice person.
BTW. I'm definitely not RCM level 4, level 1-2 perhaps..
This kind of stuff (helpful input) is why I like the ABF so much. Thanks.


Edited by wimpiano (05/12/14 03:14 PM)
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#2275290 - 05/13/14 07:27 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: wimpiano]
Exalted Wombat Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 1195
Loc: London UK
Slow practice generally goes hand-in-hand with very strict time-keeping. Don't start a fight with your teacher, but if he feels like sharing his reasoning behind these instructions I'd be very interested. Though a slight rit. at the end of sections is musically arguable, I can't imagine he intended THAT much, let alone the full stop. But ask him.

"Levels" are only a general guide. But if this piece is rated Level 4, I'd say you were definitely working up to that standard even if you aren't quite there yet! You certainly aren't stuck two or three levels behind.

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#2275369 - 05/13/14 09:44 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
evamar Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/02/12
Posts: 541
Loc: Spanish living in UK
...managed not to cry after coming back from holidays, seating in front of the piano and keeping looking at the keys without being able to figure out what to do with them...
frown
_________________________
Serious since Dec 2013. March 2014, Kawai CA95!

Time you enjoy wasting was not wasted



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#2275396 - 05/13/14 10:26 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: evamar]
Exalted Wombat Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 1195
Loc: London UK
Originally Posted By: evamar
...managed not to cry after coming back from holidays, seating in front of the piano and keeping looking at the keys without being able to figure out what to do with them...
frown


I've been playing for most of my life, and that still happens :-)

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#2275409 - 05/13/14 10:49 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: evamar]
aTallGuyNH Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/22/12
Posts: 504
Originally Posted By: evamar
...managed not to cry after coming back from holidays, seating in front of the piano and keeping looking at the keys without being able to figure out what to do with them...
frown

Push down! thumb
_________________________
"...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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#2275499 - 05/13/14 01:56 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: aTallGuyNH]
evamar Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/02/12
Posts: 541
Loc: Spanish living in UK
Originally Posted By: aTallGuyNH
Originally Posted By: evamar
...managed not to cry after coming back from holidays, seating in front of the piano and keeping looking at the keys without being able to figure out what to do with them...
frown

Push down! thumb





Now I just need to figure out which ones and in what order...
_________________________
Serious since Dec 2013. March 2014, Kawai CA95!

Time you enjoy wasting was not wasted



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#2275512 - 05/13/14 02:24 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
wimpiano Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/13
Posts: 1212
Loc: The Netherlands
@evamar: buckle up and enjoy the ride. Someone said: Time you enjoy wasting was not wasted wink
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Schimmel 116 S ..

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#2275513 - 05/13/14 02:32 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: wimpiano]
evamar Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/02/12
Posts: 541
Loc: Spanish living in UK
Originally Posted By: wimpiano
@evamar: buckle up and enjoy the ride. Someone said: Time you enjoy wasting was not wasted wink


sounds familiar, I wonder why... wink

I have to record the entry for the recital... that's what worries me right now!
_________________________
Serious since Dec 2013. March 2014, Kawai CA95!

Time you enjoy wasting was not wasted



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#2275546 - 05/13/14 04:07 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
briansaddleback Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/27/14
Posts: 220
Loc: Irvine CA
I am finding out slow practice is beneficial as well. I have such a tendency to quickly memorize and then play through w blazing speed of no technique.
That is what I'm doing w Chopin minute waltz. Play it slower this week.
_________________________

Cloches a travers les feuilles
Minstrels

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#2276840 - 05/16/14 03:30 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: briansaddleback]
SwissMS Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/11
Posts: 717
Loc: Switzerland
Yesterday I had my day of "supervised practice" with my teacher. She wanted to see me at home at my piano and observe how I practiced. She spent about three hours working with me. What a learning experience!

First we worked on scales and my exam pieces, adding some more finishing touches, and then we started a new piece, Kuhlau's Sonatina in A minor Op 88 #3. Slow has a whole new meaning to me now. We took it literally bar by bar HS, and made sure everything was perfect with preparation built in, before moving on. Absolutely no errors were allowed. Everything was at a snail's pace. She kept me on the same phrase until my fingers knew where they were going before they moved. Then we added each new part to the learned part and assured everything worked. After a couple of hours of this, I was toast, but the the part that I had learned was secure. Her philosophy was to learn a piece very slowly, never making an error, with correct choreography, thinking ahead to the next move. To do that required much slower than my normal "slow". Making a mistake even once means the brain records something incorrectly, and risks that error cropping up later. This was possibly the most valuable lesson I have ever had.

My teacher set up this practice session because she could tell that my practice methods were inefficient and were holding back my progress. And, probably because she was tired of trying to fix what I had broken! So my AOTW is getting a clue how to practice better!
_________________________


Working on:
Handel - Allemande in A Minor
Bach - Inv. #14
Beethoven - Sonata #79 2nd mvmt
Kuhlau op. 88 - 3

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#2276868 - 05/16/14 06:47 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
casinitaly Online   content

Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 4971
Loc: Italy
SwissMS, what a great session - and great to have this focus before you get into the exam situation.

This is what my teacher has been trying to get me to do ...and I'm just starting to get it- it makes a huge difference!
_________________________
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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#2276916 - 05/16/14 09:06 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
aTallGuyNH Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/22/12
Posts: 504
Originally Posted By: casinitaly
SwissMS, what a great session - and great to have this focus before you get into the exam situation.

This is what my teacher has been trying to get me to do ...and I'm just starting to get it- it makes a huge difference!

This requires great patience, of which I have very little. Immediate gratification is more my style. <sigh>

AOTW: I improvised something that I thought was actually somewhat interesting. So I thought, "this isn't so bad, why not submit to the recital?" And off I went to grab the phone and record a couple takes based on the general theme. The 1st one seemed decent enough, despite the dog deciding to move around a bunch -- which he like to do whenever the red dot is going. Converted to MP3, and I was ready to go.

FOTW (Fail of The Week): The recital is on the 15th. That means it starts on the 15th, it doesn't close on the 15th. Doh!!! cry bah
_________________________
"...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
#2277295 - 05/17/14 12:09 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
Anne H Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/02/13
Posts: 116
I learned two new pieces this week that I really like - I might even try and get them recorded next week. Regular practice for more than five minutes a day definitely helps.

Also (and this is totally not my achievement) my father in law brought up my new piano bench that he made me. It's custom made to my height and totally gorgeous. It also has a ton of storage for my ongoing music projects, which makes my clutter hating husband happy.








Edited by Anne H (05/17/14 12:12 AM)
_________________________
Works in Progress:
Joplin - Binks' Waltz
Winston - Carol of the Bells
Bach Inventions
Einaudi - Berlin Song, Reverie

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Stuck in method books.
by Chris H.
Today at 06:45 AM
Repeated note legato
by noobpianist90
Today at 02:16 AM
"Y.Becker" # 6839 (pin)
by Maximillyan
Today at 01:54 AM
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