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#2601574 - 01/06/17 10:13 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Silver Keys Offline
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I played at an Open Mic for the first time last night!

OMG, was I ever nervous! My hands were absolutely trembling! I opened with "To a Wild Rose, by Edward McDowell (which I consider easy), and I got stuck about 12 bars in--something I never done before. I tried again, and again I got stuck. By then, the fight or flight instinct was screaming at me! Walk away; crash and burn, or do something... I jumped ahead, re-entered the song past the sticking point and finished it without any more errors. I started to settle down a bit in my second piece--an arrangement of Bruce Springsteen's "Tougher Than The Rest", which I was able to bludgeon my way trough, mistakes and all. Finally, I concluded on a high note with "Somewhere My Love" and Lara's Theme, (both from Dr. Zhivago, with minimal mistakes that I was able to cover.

I was really surprised at the resounding applause that I received. I confess that I did announce beforehand that this was my first open mic and that I only took up piano a little over three years ago, but still the sincere applause and complements I received afterwards was very gratifying. Maybe I am cut out for this after all!

Clay


So much music and so little time!
-----------------------------------
1916 Mason & Hamlin BB
Yamaha P155
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#2601588 - 01/06/17 11:23 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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@silver keys
Clay, congratulations!!!!! I am so impressed that you defeated the 'flight' to turn this into a success. Really awesome job-- and just as reassurance, it does get easier each time you do it.

Keep up the great job thumb

#2601594 - 01/06/17 11:48 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: dogperson]  
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Silver Keys - That is a fantastic achievement! It is great that you persevered through a memory block. From the response of the audience, it sounds like you did great. You are a true performer now!

#2602096 - 01/08/17 03:13 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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What a great way to start the year Farm Girl. How did Santa manage to get that down the chimney!
As for Ralphiano and Isabelle1949 I wonder if your world is rose coloured now! I remember having the greatest suprise when I first went back to piano as an 'older' adult was that I had to be wearing glasses. It took some getting used to and I have my special 'piano glasses' now that make a huge difference. The optician was offering a second pair for free so I went ahead and got them.

My achievement for this first week of the year has been to really work with the metronome.
I played my Chopin Nocturne op27#2 all the way through last lesson and that was his recommendation for me to become more fluid and confident of all the 'frill's. I can play them all but slow right down to be sure of some of them. I found an app on my iphone that I can sit right on the score with flashing lights and sounds so I have to pay attention to it! I know Chopin is not played to strict tempo but this really showed me where to spend time putting things together seamlessly.
I'm so sold on it's use as a practice tool I used it with some of the Bach Inventions - quite a challenge yet again! I was suprised how much I varied tempo around to get the ornaments in - good thing I'm playing solo!


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#2602130 - 01/08/17 10:41 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Congrats on the improvement, PalmPirate! I'm curious, how are your piano glasses different from regular ones? I ask because I wear bifocals and find reading some scores difficult.

Clay, woot! Congrats on your performance and kudos for your courage!

I don't really have an accomplishment, other than slightly improving my sight reading, and managing to acquire a copy of Rankin/Bass's 1977 Hobbit piano solo book on Ebay. Nostalgia heaven. (Waiting eagerly for delivery!)

Last edited by Inkwolf; 01/08/17 10:43 AM.

"Are we there yet ?"--dmd
#2602133 - 01/08/17 10:54 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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A lot of musicians find bifocals and varifocals difficult to work with. A simple pair of 'reading glasses' of suitable strength work much better. I've never found any need to go beyond the cheapest - one strength is waiting for me next to the computer monitor, another by my tv chair, another lives round my neck for reading. I own one pair of prescription glasses, kept in the car for driving. Then, should there be an incident, I can't be accused of failing the eyesight requirements.

#2602137 - 01/08/17 11:11 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Exalted Wombat]  
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I purchased "fixed distance" glasses for playing piano after finding that I was tilting my head up to read music through the lower part of my progessive lenses. The fixed distance glasses are often referred to as "computer glasses" and allow your head to be level when looking at the music. I need correction for both distance and reading, and these glasses optimize the view at 60cm from my face, which works perfectly for piano. Before that I literally wore reading glasses over my progressives to play piano!

On a interesting note, I asked for "vision impaired" on my first ABRSM exam before I purchased my fixed distance glasses. The examiner presented my with a sight reading test that was HUGE ~60CMX60CM. The notes were 3cm tall! It was so large I could not comprehend it. So, I asked for the regular test! The examiner said they have people that are very impaired but still do the sight reading exam.

#2602138 - 01/08/17 11:13 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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For piano, my bifocals are wrong in every way. The distance correction isn't right to see the music and the close correction at the bottom of the lens is wrong for a glance to the keyboard.

My favorite glasses for piano are readers that I have "outgrown" for actual close work.


Having power is not nearly as important as what you choose to do with it.
– Roald Dahl

#2602142 - 01/08/17 11:28 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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I just been to the optician, and asked for prescription for 'intermidiate' (aka computer, piano) as my current lenses for short sight is hopeless...from the test lenses, I bought my music score..OMG... what a difference, I just can't wait for my new glasses to come in.

Last edited by Pianoperformance; 01/08/17 05:14 PM.

Dream came true : playing the piano
Kawai CS11/Yamaha Arius 161
lessons: 150 hours + counting
#2602150 - 01/08/17 12:30 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Well Inkwolf, I think you have your answer about the 'piano' glasses. Yes, mine are what the optician officially calls 'Computer' glasses. Before I had them it was a problem tilting head up to focus through progressives and my neck complained after a long practice session. I keep them on the piano and rarely bother with them for the computer though it is much better if I do. Maybe a second pair next time I change prescription. Regular 'readers' from the pharmacy don't do it for me - slightly 'cross-eyed'. Had to laugh at SwissMS exam experience with the huge scores!


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#2602305 - 01/08/17 09:39 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Cheapo reading glasses don't work at all for me. My eyesight is not identical in both eyes. The "piano glasses" I got about a year ago are just the cat's meow. Wish I'd gotten them earlier.


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#2602307 - 01/08/17 09:49 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Interesting point. My eyes aren't identical either. I used to buy two pairs of cheap readers - different strengths but same design - and swop lenses. Then I realised the utility of having different optimum focus distances for each eye. Sort of poor man's bifocals, but with a full field of view for each strength. It suits me.

#2602318 - 01/08/17 10:34 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Bring your scores with you to make sure it works. That's what I did when I got mine. Now I need one for fiddle. It's slightly different distance.


Pieces for this year to be decided soon.
#2602319 - 01/08/17 10:41 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Exalted Wombat]  
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Originally Posted by Exalted Wombat
Interesting point. My eyes aren't identical either. I used to buy two pairs of cheap readers - different strengths but same design - and swop lenses. Then I realised the utility of having different optimum focus distances for each eye. Sort of poor man's bifocals, but with a full field of view for each strength. It suits me.

We piano players are nothing if not inventive - from fingering to bi-focals - no accounting for individual idiosyncrasies, you go with what works lol !


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#2602337 - 01/09/17 12:13 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Learned a big (for me) Schumann piece (#10 from Davidsbundlertanze) in about a month, using my teacher's new mantra of "figure it out" rather than "practice it" My tempo is a lot slooower than what you will hear on professional recordings, but I can get it moving, and my hands aren't getting tense, and I can really feel a flow. Now working on not letting the interior voices/triplets overwhelm the melody. In other words, trying to make it into real music.


Mason & Hamlin A ('97)
#2602440 - 01/09/17 11:49 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Medved1]  
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Originally Posted by Medved1
Learned a big (for me) Schumann piece (#10 from Davidsbundlertanze) in about a month, using my teacher's new mantra of "figure it out" rather than "practice it" My tempo is a lot slooower than what you will hear on professional recordings, but I can get it moving, and my hands aren't getting tense, and I can really feel a flow. Now working on not letting the interior voices/triplets overwhelm the melody. In other words, trying to make it into real music.
Curious about what "figure it out" entails. I can guess, but I'd like to hear you expand on it.

(P.S. If you want to answer on the FOYD thread, that would be cool.)


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#2602445 - 01/09/17 12:12 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Medved1]  
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Originally Posted by Medved1
Learned a big (for me) Schumann piece (#10 from Davidsbundlertanze)

WOW1 Fantastic! I haven't come across this collection before.

I only recently have tried Schumann as an adult
op15 no 7 ( of course ) and no 17 ( so sweet - I learned it for my little grand-daughter and she remembers me playing it for her when she was tiny and always asks for me to play it), Opus 82 no 4(this I did for Halloween!) They are a delight and I do want to try more. I took about a month over each of them and they have their different challenges. Your pick is a bit more challenging but I might get the score and see what happens!

I love that Piano world introduces me to so much more piano pieces than I would find by myself.


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#2602699 - 01/10/17 12:37 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Stubbie]  
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Originally Posted by Stubbie
Originally Posted by Medved1
Learned a big (for me) Schumann piece (#10 from Davidsbundlertanze) in about a month, using my teacher's new mantra of "figure it out" rather than "practice it" My tempo is a lot slooower than what you will hear on professional recordings, but I can get it moving, and my hands aren't getting tense, and I can really feel a flow. Now working on not letting the interior voices/triplets overwhelm the melody. In other words, trying to make it into real music.
Curious about what "figure it out" entails. I can guess, but I'd like to hear you expand on it.

(P.S. If you want to answer on the FOYD thread, that would be cool.)



done! if I have done this right, here's the link to the answer on FOYD :-)

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/2602696.html#Post2602696


Mason & Hamlin A ('97)
#2602702 - 01/10/17 12:42 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Palmpirate]  
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Originally Posted by Palmpirate
Originally Posted by Medved1
Learned a big (for me) Schumann piece (#10 from Davidsbundlertanze)

WOW1 Fantastic! I haven't come across this collection before.

I only recently have tried Schumann as an adult
op15 no 7 ( of course ) and no 17 ( so sweet - I learned it for my little grand-daughter and she remembers me playing it for her when she was tiny and always asks for me to play it), Opus 82 no 4(this I did for Halloween!) They are a delight and I do want to try more. I took about a month over each of them and they have their different challenges. Your pick is a bit more challenging but I might get the score and see what happens!

I love that Piano world introduces me to so much more piano pieces than I would find by myself.


I too have gotten some great ideas from reading what other people are working on - another great thing about this board! I'm not familiar with opus 82, so I'm going to go take a look - thanks! The #10 was a huge jump for me - and in fact my teacher suggested that I try some of the Opus 68 pieces give myself a break and some breathing room while I was working on the big one, which was a good idea.

Last edited by Medved1; 01/10/17 12:44 AM.

Mason & Hamlin A ('97)
#2602967 - 01/10/17 06:59 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Italy
I have piano/computer glasses too. I can't get the "off the shelf" drugstore types as I am astigmatic in both eyes. I have "precocious" cataracts too, which are causing me grief at the moment. I have an appointment this week and hope to either get a new prescription (though six months ago the dr didn't think I should bother as he felt I'd have surgery before needed new glasses). We shall see.

I too have learned about so much music from other people here in PW - especially through the recitals. I'm going to be using the AFB Recital Index shortly to look up Debussy pieces that I have enjoyed listening to, and which may be suitable for a new piece, starting in a month or so.

I had my first lesson of the year today - after a 3 week break. It went really well.
I had practiced Traumerei a lot, and very efficiently - and it showed! I was pleased.
My teacher said that for next week I should think about starting a new piece " just for fun, - without any specific learning objectives". I think I'm going to take a piece from my new Dennis Alexander book "Especially in Jazzy Style" book 2.



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#2602991 - 01/10/17 07:57 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Thanks so much for the glasses answers, everyone! Next time I get new glasses I will have to see what it costs to add a fixed-distance pair.


"Are we there yet ?"--dmd
#2603178 - 01/11/17 09:37 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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My AOTW I think is a *proper* practice session yesterday after a couple of weeks where energy, motivation and time were all a little lacking and I allowed myself to mostly do what I felt like at the bench. Actually, "what I felt like" was mostly still quite good practice, but I was cherry picking rather than having discipline and structure.
Yesterday I was able to get enthusiastic about doing what should be done :-)

#2603705 - 01/12/17 03:57 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: barbaram]  
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I had my second lesson with my new teacher, and I am very glad I have found her. She seems just what I need, and I have already received practice advice that has paid off. So, this week we made a big decision - I am going to sit the ABRSM grade 7 exam in the May/June period instead of waiting until this fall. All three pieces are in the polishing stage, and she is excited about helping with all of the components of the test: pieces, sight reading, scales and arpeggios, and aural. I sight read a couple grade 7 tests, and she critiqued them, so we know what needs to be done to improve that. She has already done a lot to improve my technical work and pieces. Just committing myself to go forward with this is my AOTW. There is a lot of work ahead, but I am excited!

#2605260 - 01/17/17 09:43 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: barbaram]  
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So last week's AOTW for me was this:

Originally Posted by barbaram
My AOTW I think is a *proper* practice session yesterday after a couple of weeks where energy, motivation and time were all a little lacking and I allowed myself to mostly do what I felt like at the bench.


And I stayed pretty successfully in that zone all week.
This week's AOTW, not coincidentally, is a *really* good lesson, with solid progress on pretty much everything I had earmarked to work on during the week.

SwissMs, great news about your exam decision. Given that you have your pieces at the polishing stage then I think you are absolutely right to go for the May/June session. You still have a lot of time to get the other components up to where you want them.
You know we will all be rooting for you here on ABF!

#2605398 - 01/17/17 04:43 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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My AOTW is was taking place today at the end of my practice session.
Got my paint-brush-like one note sequences of 4-3-2-1-end on staccato on 3 up the next chord tone....in the RH fluently and moving the pattern up on chord tones 3 times, and ending on the octave....against a staccato chord pattern in the LH at a decent and vital tempo. Keeping a steady no-coin-dropping-attitude in the RH.

Just the 1st 8 bars so far, and memorized on the 3rd day without even trying. Surprising myself again.

1st day's experience was reading a couple of notes at a time and at a snails pace, and I couldn't synchronize L and R hands. Hands separate was no problem.

Can learn hands separate and later join them together, without the perceived impression of learning the same piece twice. Those days are gone.

Only 24 bars left to do on this piece now smile

Last edited by RaggedKeyPresser; 01/17/17 04:48 PM.

Working through Czerny's first baby beginning steps for classical piano.
Hoping to graduate well within two years of study. Now at #75 of Opus 599 and behind schedule.
#2606443 - 01/20/17 12:27 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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I have been working on my Chopin Nocturne Op 27 no2 for about 18 months now and can play it all through,and am so very nearly there. I wish I have so much more practice time! Because I've so many 'sections' out of context it has been a revelation to work with that beast the 'Metronome' to sew them all together which I started back on Jan 8th. I can manage it with all the frills at 1/3 time and have put that beast away. As long as I just go slowly I should have it up to speed, acurately, soon enough. As they say - Speed is for free! And I'm so glad to have reached this point with this particularly beautiful Nocture.
As far as other progress, well, not much. We went off to the Emanuel Ax concert which was wonderful but cut out some serious practice for a few days though I did play through to maintain MOYD.
Other news earlier in the week drove me to seek out a Brahms Hungarian Dance to expend some pent up energy in a way that Chopin cannot! No 1 in G minor - at least I could do the first 2 pages. and fell in love with it - so that' what I want to work on in 2017!



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#2606546 - 01/20/17 06:12 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Maybe an achievement or not: I have a piano duet partner!!! Nothing lights a fire under you like knowing you are going to play duets!!!


Always working to improve "Chopsticks". I'll never give up on it.
#2606789 - 01/21/17 01:13 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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That is an awesome achievement! I bet you will find that playing with another musician will not only light a fire under you, but it will also advance your skills like nothing else!


So much music and so little time!
-----------------------------------
1916 Mason & Hamlin BB
Yamaha P155
#2607065 - 01/22/17 02:04 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Fairly pleased with my week of practice. Sightreading parts of sonatas by Mozart and Beethoven. Not stopping for mistakes, if I can't pull of the whole chord then I pull off part of it, but don't stop to "find it".

Biggest deal for my week was connecting with an old friend who is insterested in piano duets. I am so stoked about this. I had a duet partner about 15 years ago, until she moved to another state.

And, maybe a dream of mine will soon be realized. My biggest wish is to play the Bach-Busoni Chaconne. Well, I have that music and it might be a pipe dream at best. But, tonight, I found a transcription for 2 pianos, four hands!!! I'm not sure I will be able to sleep tonight!!! So excited!!!

How did my desire to play the Chaconne come to be? Many years ago we hosted a competitor for a piano competition. She was a doll from Canada of Polish descent. One of the pieces on her program was the Chaconne. I heard her practice it many times and thought, this is what the music must sound like when you enter heaven. I had to have it. Maybe now. Thanks for reading my crazed raving tonight.


Always working to improve "Chopsticks". I'll never give up on it.
#2607703 - 01/23/17 08:17 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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New Jersey
I received another nice compliment while practicing on the grand piano at our church yesterday morning. One of our youth group leaders came out from the adjacent kitchen and said that my playing had "centered" her. Apparently she had come in that morning stressed out from working on a project...

Due to my traveling at the end of December and early January, I never logged in to remark on the passing of my third piano anniversary. Progress is slow, but it is there!

My thanks to all the regular posters here, I really enjoy reading about your accomplishments.

Jeff


Yamaha DGX-650
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