Is this possible?

Posted by: txpianogirl

Is this possible? - 09/26/11 09:08 PM

Hello All,

How realistic is it if you have a piece that is at the stage where you can play the notes ( at a slow speed in order to play them properly ) and you have a few bits and pieces memorized, to be able to perfect ( note - wise and musically ) and memorize to play for an event in 4 1/2 weeks?
This piece has been VERY difficult for me to learn even though I have been consistently practicing it 3 - 4 hours on the days I practice. I have been making some progress but I am not sure it is enough.

It is the only piece I am working on right now so I don't want to spend my time working on it when there is a good possibility it will not be done in time for the event. I would rather try to work on something that I will be able to finish instead of coming up to the event and not having anything to play or worse yet not having it ready ( my biggest piano nightmare! ;-) )

I know it is hard to give an opinion without posting a recording - but I didn't want to put you through that!! :-D )

I would appreciate your thoughts!
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Is this possible? - 09/26/11 10:09 PM

It's hard to say much without knowing more about what kind of piece you're talking about. But even without knowing more, I'd say that it sounds way too iffy. First of all it seems extremely uncertain that you'd be able to finish learning the piece within the time -- but even if you did, the available time wouldn't be enough for you to be secure about it.

I think it's a good general rule that in order for a piece to be ready for any kind of "event," you need to already 'have it' at least a month in advance, if not more. And if it's a piece that's been giving you the kind of trouble like what you said, it needs to be even more in advance.

I say do something else -- preferably something that you learned in the past, not starting on something new.
Posted by: BDB

Re: Is this possible? - 09/26/11 10:17 PM

People's abilities vary from person to person.
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Is this possible? - 09/26/11 10:19 PM

Originally Posted By: BDB
People's abilities vary from person to person.

She gave us enough to go on to narrow it down better than that. smile
Posted by: Cinnamonbear

Re: Is this possible? - 09/26/11 10:25 PM

Happily, pianogirl, I disagree with MarkC! ha

4 1/2 weeks is a TON of time. Do not disregard the amount of work your brain can do when it is asleep. Every time you sleep, your brain re-wires. Practice. Sleep. Practice. Sleep. 4 1/2 weeks? That's more than 28 sleep/wake cycles. If you can play it slowly, then play it slowly every few days to drill the fingering. Don't play it fast on those days... Play it slowly! On the other days, play it up to speed, or close to speed(s). On the other, other days, play it any way you want!

Trust me. If you can keep nerves out of it, you're good.

Plus, you probably play better than you think you do.

I do agree with MarkC, though, that more details would be... fun. ha Share them if you want to. IMO, you're good to go! grin

BTW, You have to give up your idea of playing "perfectly." Ask Rubenstein and Horowitz and Borge. Play it WELL!!!

It is already "ready." (Faith is a curious thing...)

--Andy
Posted by: Cinnamonbear

Re: Is this possible? - 09/26/11 10:26 PM

P.S.~~ I love it when I get to agree with BDB! grin
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Is this possible? - 09/26/11 10:29 PM

CB: I guess you're more OK than I am about taking big risks with things like this. Look: She's been working hard on it, and much of it still hasn't been coming. You don't think that means it would at least be very risky that she could have it securely in 4 1/2 more weeks?

I don't believe in spinning the dice so much for things like this.
Posted by: ChopinAddict

Re: Is this possible? - 09/26/11 10:29 PM

As others have said, it is very difficult to give you advice without even knowing which piece you are talking about, how long it is etc., but if you really fear you won't be able to finish it by the deadline (although your fears might be unjustified, we don't know...), maybe you should try (as you yourself suggest) something that you feel more comfortable with and that you think you will be able to perform 100% (or close to it...) for the event.
Posted by: gooddog

Re: Is this possible? - 09/26/11 10:42 PM

I agree with what everyone has said. You might be able to do it and you might not but having a due date is a great motivator. Why not try? You might surprise yourself!
Posted by: Cinnamonbear

Re: Is this possible? - 09/26/11 10:45 PM

Originally Posted By: Mark_C
CB: I guess you're more OK than I am about taking big risks with things like this. Look: She's been working hard on it, and much of it still hasn't been coming. You don't think that means it would at least be very risky that she could have it securely in 4 1/2 more weeks?

I don't believe in spinning the dice so much for things like this.


MRKC: Let's talk about her in the third person! She thinks she can work up another piece "perfectly" in 4 1/2 weeks? Given the amount of info we have at the time, I would say, "Play to your strengths! You already say you have a few bits memorized note-wise AND musically, perfectly. That's wonderful! Keep going! How many bits? What's the piece?"

MRKC, in addition, who said anything about BIG RISKS? It's an EVENT. Is that a big risk? Especially since she plays better than she thinks she does? Oh, wait... We don't have information!

MRKC, "spinning the dice?" 4 1/2 weeks is a TON of time!

MRKC, plus, she's from Texas, right PG?

Pianogirl, BDB was the one who gave the advice as such: "Those who know your mistakes don't need to be reminded. Those who don't know, don't have to have it pointed out to them." Or some such phrasing. BDB?

Pianogirl, PHRASING.

Do good!

--Andy
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Is this possible? - 09/26/11 10:45 PM

Originally Posted By: gooddog
....Why not try?....

Because success is of great value, not to mention comfort with the performing experience. Failure and discomfort are worth avoiding to the extent we can. I'm very surprised that there's so much opinion on the other side. To each their own smile but I think it's very ill-advised.


CB: I disagree with just about everything you said.
Everything. smile
Posted by: KeysAngler

Re: Is this possible? - 09/26/11 10:56 PM

If you don't play it well at this event what are the consequences?

A risk/reward analysis might help determine which direction to take.
Posted by: Cinnamonbear

Re: Is this possible? - 09/26/11 10:57 PM

Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: gooddog
....Why not try?....

Because success is of great value, not to mention comfort with the performing experience. Failure and discomfort are worth avoiding to the extent we can. I'm very surprised that there's so much opinion on the other side. To each their own smile but I think it's very ill-advised.


CB: I disagree with just about everything you said.
Everything. smile


I do not believe in having everything "securely." We do disagree!!!

I believe in playing something I know as though I am playing it for the FIRST time, EVERY time. Just because I know it, does not mean that it is secure. It might be firm, though. ha (Slowly every few days, pianogirl, to solidify the fingering. Let your brain do the rest! (PUN: rest. grin)) And, because I know it, and, because I am playing it for the first time for the hundredth time, and, because I am listening as I play, it means there will undoubtedly be a surprise to me. That's what I love about making music and making meaning.
Posted by: Cinnamonbear

Re: Is this possible? - 09/26/11 10:58 PM

Originally Posted By: KeysAngler
If you don't play it well at this event what are the consequences?

A risk/reward analysis might help determine which direction to take.



Wow, KeysAngler--

You're good! grin
Posted by: Cinnamonbear

Re: Is this possible? - 09/26/11 11:02 PM

Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: gooddog
....Why not try?....

Because success is of great value, not to mention comfort with the performing experience. Failure and discomfort are worth avoiding to the extent we can. I'm very surprised that there's so much opinion on the other side. To each their own smile but I think it's very ill-advised.


CB: I disagree with just about everything you said.
Everything. smile


MarkC, even about PHRASING? ha
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Is this possible? - 09/26/11 11:03 PM

Originally Posted By: KeysAngler
If you don't play it well at this event what are the consequences?

FEELINGS.

--------------------

To CB and the others who think she should just go ahead:

I think you are downplaying (actually probably ignoring) this part of the 1st post:

"This piece has been VERY difficult for me to learn even though I have been consistently practicing it 3 - 4 hours on the days I practice. I have been making some progress but I am not sure it is enough."

Have y'all really considered that? Does that really sound to you like enough to advise the person to go ahead? If it does, so be it. But I think it's very poor advice.

So....Txpianogirl, there you are. You've got both sides here. Take your pick.
Posted by: rocket88

Re: Is this possible? - 09/26/11 11:08 PM

When in that position in the past, it has never worked out for me. It was a hard lesson to learn that only those pieces that I have well under my fingers will come out ok, and by ok I mean playing well, as compared to avoiding to not crash and burn.

Mark is right...a less than satisfying to me performance (or a disaster, or anything in between) hurts inwardly in a way that damages one's ability to play well w/o fear the next time. At least that is how it has been for me, so I now have a rule---whenever possible, I only play to my strengths.
Posted by: Damon

Re: Is this possible? - 09/26/11 11:10 PM

Originally Posted By: txpianogirl
Hello All,

How realistic is it if you have a piece that is at the stage where you can play the notes ( at a slow speed in order to play them properly ) and you have a few bits and pieces memorized, to be able to perfect ( note - wise and musically ) and memorize to play for an event in 4 1/2 weeks?
This piece has been VERY difficult for me to learn even though I have been consistently practicing it 3 - 4 hours on the days I practice. I have been making some progress but I am not sure it is enough.


First of all, how long have you been working on it? What type of an event is it? You paint a very incomplete and kind of bleak picture. Without knowing more though, I can say that a deadline is a very strong motivator but you have to have the spare time to make use of it. It may be a good idea to have a backup piece.
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Is this possible? - 09/26/11 11:18 PM

Originally Posted By: rocket88
....a less than satisfying to me performance (or a disaster, or anything in between) hurts inwardly in a way that damages one's ability to play well w/o fear the next time....

That's a huge part of where I'm coming from. I don't look at an event like this as just a single thing; it's part of a process, part of our journey of making music and performing. I put a very high value on doing our best to ensure "success experiences," even if it means we're restricting ourselves sometimes, because of exactly what you're saying. It enables us best to build on each experience for the next ones. The "hurt" of a single failure is bad in itself and worth avoiding, but the worst thing about it isn't the hurt or the failure itself but how it affects our "journey."

People might say (and I bet they will!) that it needn't affect the journey. But it does, at least some -- and the main thing is that SUCCESS not only feels good but is a positive thing that only helps you build for the next times. I put a great premium on that.
Posted by: rocket88

Re: Is this possible? - 09/26/11 11:21 PM

Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: rocket88
....a less than satisfying to me performance (or a disaster, or anything in between) hurts inwardly in a way that damages one's ability to play well w/o fear the next time....

That's a huge part of where I'm coming from. I don't look at an event like this as just a single thing, even though the "hurt" of a single failure really is bad enough in itself. Even more so, it's part of a process, part of our "life journey" of making music and performing. I put a very high value on doing our best to ensure "success experiences," even if it means we're restricting ourselves sometimes, because of exactly what you're saying. It enables us best to build on each experience for the next ones.


Which ultimately makes one a better player, IMO.
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Is this possible? - 09/26/11 11:23 PM

Originally Posted By: rocket88
Which ultimately makes one a better player, IMO.

Yes. It vaults us forward.
Posted by: rocket88

Re: Is this possible? - 09/26/11 11:41 PM

Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: rocket88
Which ultimately makes one a better player, IMO.

Yes. It vaults us forward.


And the opposite vaults us backwards. Yikes!
Posted by: txpianogirl

Re: Is this possible? - 09/26/11 11:44 PM

Thanks for the replies - a lot of interesting thoughts! Sorry I left out the piece, it's Kabalevsky's Piano Sonata no.3 and I have been working on it exclusively for two months now.

My teacher seems to think it's possible but I am a little worried.
I have heard that it is best to secure a piece at least a month in advance -
and I have to admit it is very nice to already have a piece learned and memorized ahead
of time as it gives you a lot of time to work on it musically.

Here is some more information to go by:
Basically the way I have been working on the piece is I have started at the end and am working backwards. I am trying to tackle the most difficult parts of the piece ( which is probably a good 90% ) - I will take sections (sometimes I will practice by sections and sometimes I will practice it a measure at a time) and break them apart. For example, working hands separately, working on separate voices, blocking notes into chords, different rhythm patterns or simply going through a passage slowly.

It is just a little confusing as to why these sections are still difficult. I could be giving up a little soon but I would almost rather be on the cautious side then be without a piece...
Only time will tell - I'm just trying to be safe!
The deadline idea is good, I might try that.

Thank you all again for your help!
Posted by: Cinnamonbear

Re: Is this possible? - 09/26/11 11:46 PM

Originally Posted By: rocket88
When in that position in the past, it has never worked out for me. It was a hard lesson to learn that only those pieces that I have well under my fingers will come out ok, and by ok I mean playing well, as compared to avoiding to not crash and burn.

Mark is right...a less than satisfying to me performance (or a disaster, or anything in between) hurts inwardly in a way that damages one's ability to play well w/o fear the next time. At least that is how it has been for me, so I now have a rule---whenever possible, I only play to my strengths.


Rocket88, I LOVE what you're saying, and agree with you and Mark that it vaults forward, BUT we don't have enough information from Texas Girl. 4 1/2 weeks is a TON of time, unless you are playing Mozart, in which case you would need a lifetime. I would be happy to be proved wrong, but not at Texas Girl's expense. (How's THAT for equivocation, Mark?)

txpianogirl, where are you with details?

Also, if we are vaulted backwards, it is only for a time, DEPENDING YOU WHO YOU ARE.

txpianogirl, where are you?

Mark, notice I said "we." grin
Posted by: Cinnamonbear

Re: Is this possible? - 09/26/11 11:52 PM

Originally Posted By: txpianogirl
Thanks for the replies - a lot of interesting thoughts! Sorry I left out the piece, it's Kabalevsky's Piano Sonata no.3 and I have been working on it exclusively for two months now.

My teacher seems to think it's possible but I am a little worried.
I have heard that it is best to secure a piece at least a month in advance -
and I have to admit it is very nice to already have a piece learned and memorized ahead
of time as it gives you a lot of time to work on it musically.

Here is some more information to go by:
Basically the way I have been working on the piece is I have started at the end and am working backwards. I am trying to tackle the most difficult parts of the piece ( which is probably a good 90% ) - I will take sections (sometimes I will practice by sections and sometimes I will practice it a measure at a time) and break them apart. For example, working hands separately, working on separate voices, blocking notes into chords, different rhythm patterns or simply going through a passage slowly.

It is just a little confusing as to why these sections are still difficult. I could be giving up a little soon but I would almost rather be on the cautious side then be without a piece...
Only time will tell - I'm just trying to be safe!
The deadline idea is good, I might try that.

Thank you all again for your help!




Hey, TPG! You posted while I was writing!

You see? I am right! You have plenty of time. You are already at 90%, and more than a month out. Jeeze Louise! And it's Kabalevsky to boot! Jeeze LOUISE! Keep doing what you're doing and you'll be FINE! BTW, you still did not tell us what EVENT this is.
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Is this possible? - 09/26/11 11:55 PM

CB: I still disagree 100% and can't believe what you're saying. smile

Originally Posted By: txpianogirl
....Sorry I left out the piece, it's Kabalevsky's Piano Sonata no.3....

Golly! I don't think any of us would have guessed it was such a long or complex piece. Not that it's the longest or most complex piece in the world smile but still.

I gotta believe that anyone who is working even half-seriously on such a piece must have lots of other possible pieces to play, things you've learned before and that you knew fairly securely. I say pick one of those.

Quote:
....Basically the way I have been working on the piece is I have started at the end and am working backwards. I am trying to tackle the most difficult parts of the piece....

Very often that's exactly how I work on pieces too.
Starting backwards, because otherwise, the end is the part that we work on least -- but we want the end to be very secure.
And the hardest parts, because it helps to have them "softened up" by the time we're playing through the whole piece. Plus, it feels good to know as soon as possible that we can really play them.
Posted by: Cinnamonbear

Re: Is this possible? - 09/26/11 11:59 PM

Plus, you have a teacher. JEEZE LOUISE!!!

What Mark said...

Drill the ending. A big finish counts for a lot. Leave them wanting more. That's the rule.

TPG: What's the event? Are you from Texas?
Posted by: Playagain

Re: Is this possible? - 09/26/11 11:59 PM

HI, Txpianogirl,

You don't sound very positive about the possibility of learning and memorizing the piece for the event. You said, "...when there is a good possibility it will not be done in time for the event." A "good possibility" doesn't sound like you feel it will be ready.

You also mentioned basically that it would be your "biggest piano nightmare" to not be ready or to not have anything to play.

How long does it usually take you to learn and memorize a piece that is of like difficulty? Can you keep up with your practice schedule for the next 4 1/2 weeks? Do you work well with deadlines when you're having difficulty?

Is this particular piece something you really want to play for this particular event? Or is there something else you would like to play that you are sure you could memorize and play for the event?

I'm not as advanced as many pianists here, but I would say that if I had written what you wrote, I would consider playing something else that I was more confident of learning, memorizing, and having ready for the event.

Whatever you decide, I wish you all the best! Good luck! Kathy
Posted by: Cinnamonbear

Re: Is this possible? - 09/27/11 12:02 AM

Originally Posted By: Mark_C
CB: I still disagree 100% and can't believe what you're saying. smile [...]


For real? Then we definitely see the world differently. We should get together some day and discuss the universe. grin

Do you not see that 4 1/2 weeks is a TON of time?
Posted by: Cinnamonbear

Re: Is this possible? - 09/27/11 12:10 AM

Originally Posted By: Playagain
[...] You don't sound very positive about the possibility of learning and memorizing the piece for the event. You said, "...when there is a good possibility it will not be done in time for the event." A "good possibility" doesn't sound like you feel it will be ready.

You also mentioned basically that it would be your "biggest piano nightmare" to not be ready or to not have anything to play. [...]


cf. all of AngelinaPogorelich's hyperbole. Txpianogirl plays better than she thinks she does, and the audience will think so, too.
Posted by: Kreisler

Re: Is this possible? - 09/27/11 12:11 AM

Originally Posted By: txpianogirl
Thanks for the replies - a lot of interesting thoughts! Sorry I left out the piece, it's Kabalevsky's Piano Sonata no.3 and I have been working on it exclusively for two months now.


Two things:

1) I'm pretty sure I know where those tricky parts are, and I may have some fingering/distribution/technique suggestions. Feel free to post about it here and I'll do my best to help.

2) If you decide to play it, then you need to get it in front of people as soon as possible. Even if it's not 100% memorized/ready, start playing in front of an audience - any audience. This is one of those pieces that feels different in front of an audience than it does in practice (because it's so athletic.) Getting used to the feel of performing it will help a great deal.
Posted by: txpianogirl

Re: Is this possible? - 09/27/11 12:11 AM

Cinnamonbear, I am so sorry! I think you misunderstood me - I meant that about 90% of the piece is difficult! :-)

The problem with me pulling something out of my repertoire is that I have started with a new teacher this year and I do not think she wants me to play something I have already learned.
I think more what I had in mind was trying to work up a piece I had started learning with this teacher but then dropped - but I think it is still a little further along than Kabalevsky.
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Is this possible? - 09/27/11 12:15 AM

Originally Posted By: Cinnamonbear
Do you not see that 4 1/2 weeks is a TON of time?

That's a big part of how we see this differently, because I think it's hardly any time -- and besides that, there's another big part that we see differently too.

Let's look at the "4 1/2 weeks."

You know some math, right? grin
Remember "graphs" and "curves" and stuff? (I could call it calculus, because that's sort of what it is, but that might be too intimidating, so I'll just call it graphs and curves.) smile

Take what she said about her progress with the piece so far.
Make a curve out of it. (I mean an imaginary one, in your mind; I don't mean to get a pencil and paper.) smile

Extend it for another 4 1/2 weeks. Does that give anything close to "piece learned"?
If you think it does, we disagree on what it means to have a piece learned. I think the only way we can make the curve reach "piece learned" in that amount of time is if she suddenly starts learning better and faster. That's a gamble, at best, and utterly reckless at worst.

But let's even say she does get to "piece learned" in 4 1/2 weeks. That would still leave us with a huge disagreement.

It seems you think it's fine to bring a piece to a performance as soon as you have it "learned."
Do you?
It sure seems like you do. And I think that is total folly. Once you have a piece learned, that's just one step toward having it ready for a performance, at least if you care about having a good chance for success. It then takes some time to work out the rough edges (and there will always be some rough edges, most of which you won't have any idea about yet) and time to get secure and confident with it, including preferably doing some run-throughs in front of at least a person or two.

How much extra time do we need for that? It varies. Sometimes just a few days, usually much more. In this case, almost certainly much more, because with a piece that has been giving someone the kind of trouble that was stated in the OP, I think it's very unlikely that this final phase would be quick.

Originally Posted By: txpianogirl
Cinnamonbear, I am so sorry! I think you misunderstood me - I meant that about 90% of the piece is difficult! :-)

I realized that from your 1st post -- I thought it was implied. It's a big part of where I've been coming from, and why I simply could not believe some of what I was reading here -- including in KREISLER's post, which, although measured, is far more encouraging than I think is wise.
Posted by: Playagain

Re: Is this possible? - 09/27/11 12:23 AM

Hi, Cinnamonbear! Hopefully she is just being too hard on herself, but it's hard to know without knowing her. smile

You must learn things pretty quickly. 4 1/2 weeks doesn't seem like a lot of time to me. I guess I need to work harder to get more done. smile Take care, Cinnamonbear! Kathy
Posted by: Cinnamonbear

Re: Is this possible? - 09/27/11 12:24 AM

Originally Posted By: Mark_C[ ...
Let's look at the "4 1/2 weeks." [...]


Mark, have you ever "fasted" for 4 weeks? It is a TON of time!
Posted by: Cinnamonbear

Re: Is this possible? - 09/27/11 12:30 AM

Originally Posted By: Mark_C
[...] I think the only way we can make the curve reach "piece learned" in that amount of time is if she suddenly starts learning better and faster. That's a gamble, at best, and utterly reckless at worst. [...]


I have said in other places that I like reckless playing (Kudos, to you, MarkC, for spelling "reckless" correctly. I spell "CaddyWhompus" with a "w" and an "h".)
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Is this possible? - 09/27/11 12:32 AM

Originally Posted By: Cinnamonbear
I have said in other places that I like reckless playing....

You do realize that you changed the subject, don't you? grin

Reckless playing, I would have an easier time understanding.
I was talking about reckless thinking and reckless decisions.

Originally Posted By: txpianogirl
The problem with me pulling something out of my repertoire is that I have started with a new teacher this year and I do not think she wants me to play something I have already learned.

Why not find out?
You're assuming.
If your teacher would make you play an unconfident, unlearned piece for such a reason, all I can say is that it would be a very poor reason.
Posted by: Cinnamonbear

Re: Is this possible? - 09/27/11 12:37 AM

Originally Posted By: Cinnamonbear
[...] I think the only way we can make the curve reach "piece learned" in that amount of time is if she suddenly starts learning better and faster. [...]
It is called a curve for a reason. I do think you are not giving the brain enough credit for its enormous potential. Remember your driving lessons? You accelerate OUT of a curve! De-celerate in, accelerate out. Accelerate, txpianogirl!
Posted by: Cinnamonbear

Re: Is this possible? - 09/27/11 12:43 AM

Originally Posted By: Kreisler
Originally Posted By: txpianogirl
Thanks for the replies - a lot of interesting thoughts! Sorry I left out the piece, it's Kabalevsky's Piano Sonata no.3 and I have been working on it exclusively for two months now.


Two things:

1) I'm pretty sure I know where those tricky parts are, and I may have some fingering/distribution/technique suggestions. Feel free to post about it here and I'll do my best to help.

2) If you decide to play it, then you need to get it in front of people as soon as possible. Even if it's not 100% memorized/ready, start playing in front of an audience - any audience. This is one of those pieces that feels different in front of an audience than it does in practice (because it's so athletic.) Getting used to the feel of performing it will help a great deal.


Also, TX, take Kreisler up on his offer (1), and his advice (2). ALL pieces are like this (2).
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Is this possible? - 09/27/11 12:48 AM

CB: Be honest:
You're just being stubborn now. ha

Did you even notice what she said about the "90%"? It seems like you didn't, because assuming you're taking her situation seriously and don't want to mislead her, you would need to factor it into your thinking, and you haven't.
Posted by: Cinnamonbear

Re: Is this possible? - 09/27/11 12:53 AM

Originally Posted By: Mark_C
CB: Be honest.
You're just being stubborn now. ha

Did you even notice what she said about the "90%"? It seems like you didn't, because assuming you're taking her situation seriously and don't want to mislead her, you would need to factor it into your thinking, and you haven't.


O.K., Mark. I admit you are right.

But have you fasted for 4 weeks? There is a different kind of calculus at play, here. And we still don't know if she's from Texas, or not. It makes a difference, I assure you.
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Is this possible? - 09/27/11 01:18 AM

Originally Posted By: Cinnamonbear
O.K., Mark. I admit you are right.

Now for sure I know you're joking. ha

Quote:
But have you fasted for 4 weeks?

I haven't fasted for 4 seconds. In fact, just now I took a 15 minute break for crackers with peanut butter.

Quote:
....And we still don't know if she's from Texas, or not. It makes a difference, I assure you.

Does it matter north or south Texas? grin
East or west Texas?
Posted by: Cinnamonbear

Re: Is this possible? - 09/27/11 01:37 AM

Originally Posted By: Mark_C
[...] Does it matter north or south Texas? grin
East or west Texas?


Not in this context. But if east Texas, then watch out!!! West Texas, then watch out some more!
Posted by: Cinnamonbear

Re: Is this possible? - 09/27/11 02:04 AM

Originally Posted By: Mark_C
[...] In fact, just now I took a 15 minute break for crackers with peanut butter. [...]


btw, LOL! grin Time runs slowly when you fast, most of the time, and can even run backwards when you don't expect it to. Seriously. shocked
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Is this possible? - 09/27/11 02:13 AM

Originally Posted By: Cinnamonbear
....Time runs slowly when you fast, most of the time, and can even run backwards when you don't expect it to. Seriously. shocked

Now I get it.
This guy experiences time on a different plane. grin
Posted by: MathGuy

Re: Is this possible? - 09/27/11 02:40 AM

Originally Posted By: txpianogirl
How realistic is it if you have a piece that is at the stage where you can play the notes ( at a slow speed in order to play them properly ) and you have a few bits and pieces memorized, to be able to perfect ( note - wise and musically ) and memorize to play for an event in 4 1/2 weeks?
This piece has been VERY difficult for me to learn even though I have been consistently practicing it 3 - 4 hours on the days I practice. I have been making some progress but I am not sure it is enough.

Some people have been encouraging you to go for it, but that sounds like bad advice. This sonata is obviously giving you trouble, and it would take a miracle to pull it all together in a month's time based on where you say you are and how difficult you're finding it. If you have any sort of viable Plan B - and it sounds like you do - you really need to talk to your teacher about it and make the switch.

Good luck!
Posted by: Cinnamonbear

Re: Is this possible? - 09/27/11 09:35 AM

I capitulate.

One final word about fasting. It is a way to find time when previously you thought you had none. It does not always mean giving up food, though it can mean that. It does mean giving up something, and trust me, the time is there if you want to find it.

This is the phrase that got me: "I have been consistently practicing it 3 - 4 hours on the days that I practice." (Emphasis added.)

I maintain that it could be done. However, as BDB said, people are different in their abilities, and I would add also in their methods, what they believe about themselves, walking their tightropes of competing interests, and in exercising their force of will. But, I know what it is like to want out of a piece, too, and if that is the case, my heart goes out to you, TPG.

Best wishes, txpianogirl! Please let us know how it turns out! grin

--Andy
Posted by: txpianogirl

Re: Is this possible? - 09/27/11 11:02 AM

To start with Kreisler: THANK YOU for your offer to help! Where to begin... just about everything after page 4 is difficult! laugh But to be a bit more specific some really difficult passages are: ms (I am using Schirmers btw)204 - 240 and a little bit of trouble in the recap but I think I can work it out (however I spent almost 3 hours on this section yesterday and it hasn't improved) and then ms 296 - 339. Would you have any suggestions on how to practice this (any helpful fingering would help too! wink )? I hope that makes sense - thanks again for your offer!

Thank you all for replying with so much helpful advice! I appreciate your taking the time to do that very much! I was supposed to play the piece for professor at SMU on Oct. 15th - that will not happen. Next time to play is recital on Oct. 29th (that is the event I mentioned, then the main event which I am preparing it for, the Dallas Piano Solo Competition on Nov. 5th. I feel since I changed teachers that I am swimming upstream with some other extremely talented fish...
Posted by: Drunk3nFist

Re: Is this possible? - 09/27/11 11:40 AM

Originally Posted By: Cinnamonbear
Happily, pianogirl, I disagree with MarkC! ha

4 1/2 weeks is a TON of time. Do not disregard the amount of work your brain can do when it is asleep. Every time you sleep, your brain re-wires. Practice. Sleep. Practice. Sleep. 4 1/2 weeks? That's more than 28 sleep/wake cycles. If you can play it slowly, then play it slowly every few days to drill the fingering. Don't play it fast on those days... Play it slowly! On the other days, play it up to speed, or close to speed(s). On the other, other days, play it any way you want!



This is VERY helpful. You could not have said it any better. I LOVE the 'rewire, rewire' analogy! :P
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Is this possible? - 09/27/11 12:52 PM

I guess you didn't see, he took it back. smile
True, he said it well grin but it's awful advice.
Posted by: Cinnamonbear

Re: Is this possible? - 09/27/11 03:17 PM

No, Mark. I didn't take it back. I said, "I give up." I truly believe in the power of the sleep/wake cycle, and have seen it work.
Posted by: BruceD

Re: Is this possible? - 09/27/11 03:42 PM

Originally Posted By: Mark_C
[...]
This guy experiences time on a different plane. grin


So true, Marc_C; planes fly so fast, yet it takes so long to get from point A to point B by plane. Maybe he should try a different airline! smile
Posted by: BruceD

Re: Is this possible? - 09/27/11 03:49 PM

Originally Posted By: Cinnamonbear
Originally Posted By: txpianogirl
Thanks for the replies - a lot of interesting thoughts! Sorry I left out the piece, it's Kabalevsky's Piano Sonata no.3 and I have been working on it exclusively for two months now.

My teacher seems to think it's possible but I am a little worried.
I have heard that it is best to secure a piece at least a month in advance -
and I have to admit it is very nice to already have a piece learned and memorized ahead
of time as it gives you a lot of time to work on it musically.

Here is some more information to go by:
Basically the way I have been working on the piece is I have started at the end and am working backwards. I am trying to tackle the most difficult parts of the piece ( which is probably a good 90% ) - I will take sections (sometimes I will practice by sections and sometimes I will practice it a measure at a time) and break them apart. For example, working hands separately, working on separate voices, blocking notes into chords, different rhythm patterns or simply going through a passage slowly.

It is just a little confusing as to why these sections are still difficult. I could be giving up a little soon but I would almost rather be on the cautious side then be without a piece...
Only time will tell - I'm just trying to be safe!
The deadline idea is good, I might try that.

Thank you all again for your help!




Hey, TPG! You posted while I was writing!

You see? I am right! You have plenty of time. You are already at 90%, and more than a month out. Jeeze Louise! And it's Kabalevsky to boot! Jeeze LOUISE! Keep doing what you're doing and you'll be FINE! BTW, you still did not tell us what EVENT this is.


CB:

As I read txpianogirl's post, she didn't say that she has 90% of it learned but that 90% of the piece has difficulties for her. That's a lot different, I think, than your take on her post.

Moreover, she said that she has been working on this piece "exclusively" for two months, 3 to 4 hours each day that she practices, and that she is still far from secure with it. It seems to me that the remaining 4-1/2 weeks - or are we down to four weeks, now? - is not a whole lot of time to not only master the piece and all its 90% difficult sections but also have it ready for public performance.

I think we all, myself included, are speculating widely and wildly about whether or not txpianogirl can perform this per her original post. I think she and her teacher are the only ones who can reasonably answer the question.

Regards,
Posted by: Cinnamonbear

Re: Is this possible? - 09/27/11 04:26 PM

You are right, Bruce! I did mis-read that. And now that I read TPG's most current post in the thread, that she is preparing it for a competition, my eyes are wide open in WOW. shocked That's guts!

So, I stand by my encouragement, tempered with WOW, even as I have capitulated! I imagine that I would bring to a competition only pieces that I have known for years.

But with Texans, all things are possible! grin
Posted by: wouter79

Re: Is this possible? - 09/27/11 04:58 PM

Quote:
I have heard that it is best to secure a piece at least a month in advance -
and I have to admit it is very nice to already have a piece learned and memorized ahead
of time as it gives you a lot of time to work on it musically.


Exactly my thoughts. I would not try performing in 4 weeks if it is not yet in your fingers at least.
Posted by: Drunk3nFist

Re: Is this possible? - 09/27/11 05:29 PM

Hmm, in that case, I shall do the same! laugh