I thought I would start an optimistic thread to share our most recent happy.moments at the piano :p
Today, I was the first to arrive at my music college in London, meaning I got first pick on over 2 dozens of Steinways Model Bs and several angry looks from older pianists who arrived a couple of minutes later than me
Edit: NVM I just realised there are similar versions in the ABF.
I was happy yesterday when I got my Cooper edition of Beethoven's Sonatas. Today has not been a very good day - I have a bad cold and I wanted to watch the solar eclipse (albeit partial) at the beach and it was terribly cloudy and it even rained where I am. (I had already prepared my camera for the eclipse, so it was disappointing.) But I enjoyed watching it online. Oh, I have just found something that made me happy.
Both yesterday AND today - successfully playing through my first Chopin Etude from memory with only a couple mistakes! Such a feeling of accomplishment. Also blowing away my teacher with the progress made on the etude - let's just say, last time he heard it a week ago it wasn't so good, now it is only a week or two away from being performance ready...
I saw a wonderful concert at the Casa Da Musica (Oporto, Portugal), featuring the "Remix Ensemble" and music of Pierre Boulez and Bruno Montavani. Piano was used throughout, along with celeste, and a large cimbalom (a type of Dulcimer.)
Nothing yet, but even if there is a thread like this on ABF, it's great to have one here too. I think this forum, or any forum for that matter, needs positive threads. OK, so I'm happy this thread is here!
Our living room is arranged in a way that puts a comfy chair near, but behind, the piano bench. The comfy chair is often occupied by my book-worm daughter, who has become very familiar with my grumblings and admonitions to myself when I practice. Today, I was quite taken with an arrangement of a tune I've been preparing for a Christmas gig, and exclaimed, "My goodness, is that ever going to be beautiful!!!" "Yeah," she said, "If you can learn to play it right."
I came home form teaching today, not too happy, because I'd had to deal with too many student problems... So, the teaching part could easily improve tomorrow...
But thanks to this great thread, I realised that there's a lot to be happy: I - finally - completed making the fingerings for the third movement of the violin/piano sonata in A major KV 526. In my partition, it's 18 pages long and I've been at it for about two weeks This really made my day...
Practicing for hour long Christmas program of arrangements by Bayless, Wellstood, Coates, Iles, Garson, Deford, Zielisnki, Rosenblatt, etc. to be performed 12 times at two senior centers starting in December. An elderly woman comes up to the piano and starts singing wildly off key as I play. She tells me the story of how her Mother promised their piano to whichever child learned how to play the best. Unfortunately, their home had a fire and the piano was destroyed. Another elderly man comes up and gazes seemingly transfixed by my performance.
Practicing for hour and a quarter long Christmas program of Xmasarrangements by Bayless, Wellstood, Coates, Iles, Garson, Deford, Zielisnki, Rosenblatt, etc. to be performed 12 times at two senior centers starting in December. An elderly woman comes up to the piano and starts singing wildly off key as I play. She tells me the story of how her Mother promised their piano to whichever child learned how to play the best. Unfortunately, their home had a fire and the piano was destroyed. Another elderly man comes up and gazes seemingly transfixed by my performance.
I came home from doing errands this afternoon, and my dog, Scherzo, was so happy to see me that she repeatedly jumped up to eye level with me and barked in my face. Actually, this is a daily occurrence, and it never fails to make me happy. Now she's asleep at my feet.
After weeks on a plateau, I'm finally making progress on the last few pages of Ballade #3. Best of all, my teacher has released me from my self-imposed cage and I am beginning to understand that I am "allowed" to express the music much more than I had been. I was always reticent to over-express and as a result, I under-expressed. It's very liberating and I'm liking what I'm hearing, which is making me very, very happy. I've almost conquered the rushing thing too. God, my Liszt sounded really heartrending today!
Tomasino - the dog thing - here too, only times 2! As I opened the door from the garage into the house, one cocker was literally climbing on top of the other to be the first to say hello.
Edit: one more thing: two couples I know, have announced they will soon be getting married, thanks to the passage of Washington State Referendum 74. That makes me happy.
Just attended a fantastic all-Chopin concert by Jeffrey Siegel. It was particularly great not only because of his fantastic performances, but because of his patented conversing with the audience before and after performances about the history of the programmed pieces (in addition to an unexpected encore of op. 64 no. 2 - which turned out to be the best performance of the piece I've ever heard), breaking the norm.
It's close to two years that I haven't had a piano at home. I bought one a short time ago at Emmaüs, which is similar in some ways to the Salvation Army. Cost me 50 bucks.
An upright it is. Made in England, E.C. Phillips and Co, Hackney. Never heard of E.C. Phillips and Co, and never been to Hackney, but I think that with a little tender loving care this is going to be a great instrument. I've had it since Saturday, it's been breathing the air of our home, getting to know the kids, getting to know the odors and the temperatures, the sunlight that streams in the mornings. It is definitely getting accustomed to its new home, I can feel it relaxing, settling in.
So it will be for a few weeks, and then we'll see about getting it into shape.
I try to find something that makes me happy each day and usually I manage to do so.
Today, I passed my chamber music exam. Got some really good comments from my teacher. It was not perfect but it was a step up from the previous lesson when me and the violinist were dragging the tempo behind the performance level. Now it's just right and I only have a few spots to fix in the sonata we are playing. Unfortunately for me this was only for the first movement. Now I have to begin the second movement which is an Allegro and the technical level is much higher which means I will need lots of work to achieve it. It was so nice to see my piano professor play it today, she was showing me how it should sound and if you saw her you'd be happy too because she was enjoying herself immensely while reading it for me and it was quite interesting to see someone who genuinely loves music and is an excellent performing artist, do their magic. I want to be like that one day too.
Another thing that made me happy is that I got to talk with my favorite singer and got to tell her personally what I think about one of her songs. I also got a comment from her on a lesson I made for playing her song. She was delighted that I took the time to record it.
Also I got my results back from my piano methodology class (how to teach piano) and I have 100% on the exam and the professor complimented me on it and also she told my piano professor which also brought it up today during the lesson which was nice. She was very proud that I am doing so well.
Today: an adorable seven year old girl who just switched from me teaching her drums to playing piano getting so excited at learning te music alphabet and playing/naming all the keys on the piano. Also a great famiy I teach a triple lesson to being stoked on playing jingle bells today!
And then yesterday I was requested to play my Chopin Étude in a master class in Monday and I've spent a good 5-6 hours nailing it down and really pulling stuff together on it. I think I should have a to speed quality performance of it for Monday. .
Simply, sitting down and playing the piano. I two choices. I can play the pieces I am learning or I can play pieces in book 1. The pieces in book 1 I have been playing for a year which is a joy. The pieces I am learning are a joy, too, because it is like walking a tightrope, concentrate, no mistakes, keep it musical, no stopping, steady pace to the end of the piece - if I am lucky - then repeat again and again, and again, and again, etc.
Today, while playing Beethoven's Pathétique, I felt so utterly moved and happy I really thought I was in another dimension (you know, as discussed in a recent thread). (It's not the first time this happens to me with this piece.)
That I could focus, and Rachmaninoff 1st sonata is finally starting to sound like a real piece.
Ditto - just replace your Rachmaninoff with Beethoven violin sonata 8 for my post. I had given up on it for almost a week because I kept thinking it was taking me way too long to get it up to speed compared to what others at my school can do. Then my prof told me I was finally getting to where I need to be pianistically in general, which gave me hope again.
I got asked to play a recital for some important people in 2 weeks at a private event, to launch new concert series. Now just have to learn/re-learn the repertoire... But I'm pretty happy to be part of something so exciting!
I just completed my 82nd read through of the complete piano works of Scott Joplin. I started this sometime around 1976 or so. I was the piano player in a military big band and there was a 'history of jazz' concert where I had to play the Maple Leaf Rag.
Not too long thereafter I started working on other rags and before I knew it I started working my way through the entire book. I'll work through the book when I don't know what to practice ... or sometimes when I get the urge to overdose on ragtime.
I have spend 2 months in rehearsals for my own 'Piano Stories' (4 hands, single piano, thus the rehearsing)... I have spend 2 months (1 month prior to the beginning of the rehearsals and 1 while rehearsing) to compose those works and make them... as good as I possibly could. I spend a couple of weeks on the score, and another 2 months to correct completely silly and idiotic errors (time signatures missing, clashing of elements, wrong number of bars, etc)...
And yesterday I spent 2 hours recording and videotaping the whole set, with a wonderful pianist, named Myrto Akrivou. She actually doesn't use the Internet so she won't see this, but she's been nothing but wonderful.
And now, right before typing this post, I was editing the audio files: There was minimal editing needed: Everything with 4 takes (No. 6 was the trickies of all, and this may actually need some editing) works wonderfully! I just get to keep the last take, since it's the best and nothing else is needed. Mastering will not happen by me, so it's fine as well... And the video files are all wonderful, so I get to make some nice nifty live playing videos (so you'll get to see me play the piano in person. A real acoustic Steinway... hehe... no midi in this case).
Well, this was yesterday, but my teacher and I set my rep for next semester and I spent an hour or so last night doing the preliminary breakdowns of the pieces into number of measures and major sections! SO stoked on what we chose.
Today I spent a good few hours chatting with a pretty girl. That is all.
I'm happy, because I was able to make 3 other people happy today excluding myself. My wife, my daughter in law to be and one of my two sons.... Making other people happy by giving of ourselves, our time, volunteering or something else is wonderful too.
I was happy that my jury is over, byt I'm not very happy that I had a mediocre performance at the jury because I got nervous(again), and unhappy that my request to get into another teacher's studio was rejected by the professor after my jury.
I had a mild cold, no temperature and I couldn't hear too well. I could hear the piano when I played but I couldn't hear the phone ring or hear people speaking only seeing their lips move. I eventually went to emergency and they looked at my ears and said they look damaged and clean out the ears but they only had the handheld thing they put to their eye when they look in the ears as opposed to the ear clinic which had a camera in the ears and monitor screen . I only put drops of mineral oil in my ears to clear out the wax. Well, emergency referred me to the ear clinic and today I saw the ear doctor who said my ears are not damaged and the doctors thinks there is water behind the ears is how the doctor explained and to return in a couple of months and if the ears haven't drained, they will put drains in my ears which I have had before. I was very happy I could hear every morning so I thought I was okay with everything, but when the doctor said there was no ear damage, I was extremely happy, which means I was worried, and my ears are getting better everyday. It is not easy to get new ears for Christmas.
I sight read through two Beethoven Sonata movements without much difficulty - mvt.1 of 31 no 2 and mvt. 1 of 31 no 3. HUGE feeling of success. A year ago I couldn't have even come close.
Congratulations! What changed to allow you to do this this year that you couldn't do this last year? In other words, what did you do to get to this point?
Consistent piano practice? Exposure to more works? Being asked with an hours notice to accompany singers for auditions/performance/other things that forced my sight reading to get better? Being given larger amounts of music to learn in shorter periods of time? Being around musicians who are far better than me and being forced to step up to their level? Not 100% sure what it was! I assume it was just a combination of all of that! I'm just SO happy about it! Sight reading has always been my downfall because I was taught for 8+ years by ear and didn't learn to read till about 5 years ago. Hopefully in another year I won't have to be embarrassed when asked to sight read in class [of course, in a year I won't have class to be in any longer....]
After having only worked on my new rep since Friday, I can play the first two and a half pages of Chopin 25 no 1 at a near performance tempo with pretty accurate musical competence [If I take it to about 3/4 speed I can bring out everything], I can play hands separate, at tempo, for the first two pages of 10 no 4 and hands together at speed for the first 8-10 measures, and I learned to entire first movement of Beethoven 27 no 1! Quite a productive weekend, .
Surfing on a crisp California winter morning with great friends, beautiful waves, and we were in the water before the sun broke the horizon. Always a good start to a day!
Bloody he** man, some of us can but dream . . . Rain on, harvest moon . . (asterix denote automatically altered letters! lol)
. Perks of living on the on the south west coast of the United States! Sometimes location is everything.
Also I'm getting my piano tuned today, so it'll be like having an old friend back! And the tech that came gave me more reason I should strongly consider replacing my piano with a grand, so it looks like it's about time to have another conversation with my parents about logistics of doing that. We'll see how it goes, .
Having my advanced group class over for a holiday recital, and hearing wonderful music played on my new piano. I enjoy listening to others play it, as much as I enjoy playing it! It was a great two hours filled with beautiful music, followed by yummy food afterwards. What more could you ask for?!
Just set up appointments with several piano dealerships with recital halls and churches to schedule a miniature recital series. I also found out I made straight A's this semester today. It was a GREAT day!
I was at Costco with my aunt. It's a wholesale sort of place. It's sort of like Sam's Club if you're familiar with that. Anyways, I'm pretty bored, but I was engaging in small talk with my aunt as we walked about the store lapping up whatever samples they shook in our faces when I spotted one of those keyboards that are the real deal: weighted keys, all three pedals, nothing close to a nice acoustic piano, but I was entertained for a good ten minutes or so. It's really a shame I can hardly think of something to play when I don't have my music right in front of me.
My husband, youngest son and visiting middle son went out to Pike Place Market which left me completely alone for several hours with my grand. My teacher has been trying to get me to fully understand subtle changes in volume and tone and I think I'm beginning to get it!
A wonderful "Christmas Oratorio" at St Johns Smith Square this evening, with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the Choir of Trinity College Cambridge, and a superb set of soloists. Truly festive.
Thanks for that upbeat comment Dara ... while I’m watching the birds I have fun finding “pictures” amongst the fast moving clouds ... it’s amazing how the mind matches snapshot images in an instant ... first it might be a lion ... and then goat ... which then smudges into a mischievous Troll ... however a darkening in the clouds for the two eyes is probably the most potent defining factor.
Not everybody’s cup of tea ... but then I’m a romantic.
Wonder if Canada has the same watchword in watching the clouds at dawn and sunset ... reading a weather forecast in the colouring ...
“Red skies in the morning ... shepherds warning .(rain) Red skies at night ... shepherds delight.” (fine weather)
I guess with all that water around, a sailor would come before birds ... magical colours to your photo ... which paints a picture of how close you must be to the North Pole.
Well, it would be a long walk, sail or bird flight from here to the North Pole, as I live slightly below the 49th north parallel. Hope to go out though for a bit shorter walk by the waters edge this afternoon. Cheers !
I had to replace my hard drive, and finished the whole process about an hour ago. And everything seems to be working, so I'm happy about that. There was a scary moment when the only thing on my screen was this message: "Operating system missing." Fortunately, I had the sense to check the boot sequence, and found that for some reason it was not looking at the new drive. That was easy to fix.
It amazes me how huge drive storage has become - this new one is 2T and the little external drive I used to do the transfer was 1T. My first home computer didn't even have a hard drive - you had to load the operating system and any program you wanted to use from 5 1/4 inch floppy disks (the kind that actually were flexible).
A person who I am very close to had to fly back to the UK last week to be with his mother who is not doing well. It meant that Christmas for me was not what it could have been, but I was pleased to receive an email today indicating that Andrew's mother is doing much better, and that he went to the Midnight Eucharist at Durham Cathedral, complete with incense. (And he is agnostic!)
Wish I could have been there. Vierne's Missa Solemnelle was done, a magnificent setting.
But what made me happy: A person who I am very close to had to fly back to the UK last week to be with his mother who is not doing well. It meant that Christmas for me was not what it could have been, but I was pleased to receive an email today indicating that Andrew's mother is doing much better, and that he went to the Midnight Eucharist at Durham Cathedral, complete with incense. (And he is agnostic!)
Wish I could have been there. Vierne's Missa Solemnelle was done, a magnificent setting.
We had our Xmas Day lunch on Boxing Day (My son and his lady are in catering) and provided the prepared lamb leg. The tray was too big for my oven . . Today being Boxing - Boxing Day, I got out on me bike over the hills around Lancaster. Love this time o` year.