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#2607778 - 01/24/17 12:19 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: DrJeff]  
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Originally Posted by DrJeff
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
Congratulations on the kind words on your practice and congratulations on your (belated) Third Piano Anniversary! thumb


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#2608085 - 01/24/17 06:37 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Italy
Happy birthday SwissMs! Hope you're enjoying it to the fullest!


My ATOW is just fixing a problem of legato in my In Church. Yes, I know I played it in the e-cital, but I'm still working on it and it is actually sounding much better, so , well worth the effort! I had abandoned it for a few weeks while I focused on Traumerei, and now I'm refining it.

Traumerei is working its way into my brain and fingers, parts of it are memorized simply because I've played them so much. This week my focus will be smoothing out legato interval chords and trying not have better volume balance.

I was supposed to have started on a "just for fun" piece, but I didn't because I wasn't really in the mood to start something new as I'm having so much fun with these two. My teacher didn't seem to mind that at all. smile


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#2608101 - 01/24/17 07:16 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Happy Birthday SwissMs!!!!

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Tarantella, Pieczonka
Sonatine, No.2 Menuet - MRavel


Estonia L190 #7284[Linked Image][Linked Image]
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#2608109 - 01/24/17 07:31 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Hello to all my AOTW friends. I haven't been around much lately, so it is nice to see what everyone is up to here.

For the first time in quite a while I have some sort of AOTW..... progress has been extra slow for me recently as I've been spending a lot of time on another hobby and work, trying to adjust to a new schedule for piano. So I was particularly pleased at today's lesson when I was able to demonstrate some very visible progress on Ravel. Even more so because, based on a recommendation of my teacher, I had read an article on "interleaved practice" that just clicked with what I was working on. When I applied it during the past week, I could literally feel the change in practice routine making a difference No doubt in my mind it was a huge contributor to my making some headway, even with fewer total hours of practice than recent weeks.

I'm pretty sure that article or something like it was posted on PW somewhere at one time, but I'll dig it out and post it if anyone is interested.

Jim



Tarantella, Pieczonka
Sonatine, No.2 Menuet - MRavel


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#2608189 - 01/25/17 12:46 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: JimF]  
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Originally Posted by JimF
Hello to all my AOTW friends.
I'm pretty sure that article or something like it was posted on PW somewhere at one time, but I'll dig it out and post it if anyone is interested.

Jim



Please do. Thanks, and, congratulations on the improved progress in your practice sessions.


Ralph

Casio Privia PX-760
Pianoteq Stage
Pianist since April, 2015
#2608221 - 01/25/17 03:34 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Ralphiano]  
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Thanks for the Happy Birthday Casinitaly and JimF! I had a warm sunny day, with lunch on the beach!

I am really happy with my new teacher. Between now and the exam I am taking two lessons a week via Skype. One lesson is repertoire and technical work, and the other is sight reading and aural. Yesterday I had my second lesson of aural and sight reading, and it was very challenging. I cannot say that I have an achievement as such, but I do have a good handle on what needs to be done and a road map of how to get there.

She also managed to fix my scales and arpeggios. She suggested visualizing a straight, red line on the keys in front of the black keys. Then I play the scale or arpeggio, aligning my fingers up to that line. Prior to that, I was playing my thumbs flat and too far out and my other fingers too far into the black keys. That simple visualization of lining up my fingers resulted in better synchonicity and a better sound, especially in the third apart scales. Arpeggios also became much more secure. So that is a huge AOTW for me!

#2608233 - 01/25/17 04:25 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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SwissMs, glad you had a good birthday! It's great to hear how well things are going with your teacher too. The red line for arpeggios sounds like a useful tip indeed.

JimF - nice to year your ATOW too - you've been less than excited about things for a while. I have heard about the interleaved practice but I don't remember much about it - I'd like that link too please!


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#2608237 - 01/25/17 05:32 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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SwissMs, that sounds interesting, I must give it a try. And delighted you had a good birthday!
JimF, I remember reading about interleaved practice here before, glad to hear it is going well for you.


#2608441 - 01/25/17 06:13 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Here's a link to the article I referred to upstream:

interleaved practice article


In my case I broke what I wanted to work on into half a dozen very small segments of as little as 2 beats or as long as a full phrase, depending on difficulty. Then, instead of practicing each segment with multiple repetitions before moving to the next section (as I normally would), I practiced each segment only once. Then went back and repeated the whole cycle multiple times....in different orders and always with a pause to think first about the next section. Then I did variations of that each day.



Tarantella, Pieczonka
Sonatine, No.2 Menuet - MRavel


Estonia L190 #7284[Linked Image][Linked Image]
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#2608447 - 01/25/17 06:37 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Thanks for that Giacomo! I started reading it, but realized I'm too tired and should read it when my brain is fresh. From what you said and the little I read, I can already imagine which bars of Traumerei I'm going to apply the method to!



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#2613058 - 02/09/17 09:39 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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My ATOW is actually being TOTALLY unprepared for my lesson... but not cancelling. (I actually could not bring myself to cancel), and it was a great lesson. Yes, I confessed that I was unprepared and had no idea what we should work on.

The suggestion of my teacher, which we did for the entire lesson, was to talk and play through new repertoire I should have been working on at home this last week. We discussed fingerings, identified problem sections/possible solutions, and discussed how I would approach new repertoire alone.

SOOOOO, never be afraid to go to a lesson and admit that you are not ready for a lesson. You can still learn a lot! It really was energizing.


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin

"My toy was my piano" -Alicia de Larrocha
"Just waiting until I can retire from my day job so my piano can be my toy"- dogperson
#2613121 - 02/10/17 04:16 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: dogperson]  
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Costa del Sol
dogperson - That sounds like a good lesson indeed, and thanks for the reminder that every lesson is valuable, even if you are unprepared. I am always anxious when I go into a lesson when I feel I am not prepared enough. Your reminder puts it into perspective!

I am so happy with my new teacher. She has been a conservatory teacher for 25 years, and normally only teaches post ABRSM 8 students. So I feel very lucky to have her. After each lesson she sends notes that are a critique of each piece or technical exercise, much like one would receive from an examiner in the exam. It points out the strengths as well as the weaknesses, so I know exactly what to practice and how to do it. She never says "fail", she says "revised", which means needs more work! My AOTW - an "excellent!" on my scales, and "improved" on all of my exam pieces. It is nice to feel like I am making progress.

She ask me if I would be willing to pair with another student next week via Skype and play exam pieces for each other. I agreed to do so. It is a little scary, but exciting!

#2613127 - 02/10/17 04:45 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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SwissMS so happy for you! That does sound intriguing to SKYPE perform for another student. Way to go Dogperson, I have students (not piano) who opt out when they are unprepared so I'm glad you showed up and learned. I'm anxious before lessons even prepared...usually I learn something useful.

Ahhhh...I do have an AOTW for a change. Our piano group (all students of the same teacher) had our Chopin piano party on Wednesday and I played a Waltz in A minor Opus 34 no 2. Lovely piece and I felt good about my performance. A higher level piece and my accomplishment was playing it after only 2 months of practice.


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#2613144 - 02/10/17 07:12 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Orig. land of Svear&Götar
These pieces take longer and longer to complete.
Working on getting one octave scales in the LH in 32nd notes at the tempo of 70 quarter notes per minute.
And that against other activity in the RH, in a melody mainly in thirds, and a light sprinkle of 6ths.
It sounds great at that tempo and a very nice technique to have.


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.
#2615529 - 02/17/17 06:03 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Recently, a fit of intelligence set in on me, but, I'll probably be over it soon. I was struggling to play a series of descending chords, legato, with each succeeding chord requiring the use of many of the same fingers as the preceding chord. The "legato" part was the problem.

Suddenly, on my own, without provocation, explanation, or remuneration, I came up with the brilliant idea of using the sustain pedal to sustain the first chord until moving my hand to play the next. I thought of it on my own! Never before had I used the pedal without being told or shown to do it by someone else. Could this be a sign of adulthood?

I'm very proud of myself, and of the sounds I am now making. smile


Ralph

Casio Privia PX-760
Pianoteq Stage
Pianist since April, 2015
#2615628 - 02/18/17 04:13 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Ralphiano]  
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Orig. land of Svear&Götar
Discovering a new ability that one's brain can perform, is always rewarding.


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.
#2615670 - 02/18/17 07:19 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Two discoveries got me excited. First, my sight reading is improving out of sight thanks to the 40 pieces a year challenge; and second I discovered my heartrate drops (thanks fitbit)when I'm playing something I love and I'm in the zone (you know, that kind of away with the fairies thing that happens).


The difference between dreams and reality is action.
#2616972 - 02/22/17 01:08 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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You know the way our progress is not linear. Sometimes it can feel really glacial, and then we experience a bit of a breakthrough.
It's subjective of course, but my AOTW is that feeling that a number of things have come together, and that I have actually made some progress smile

I made a recording of a section of a piece I'm working on yesterday, so I could pay closer attention to how it really sounds & what to focus on. There's lots I need to work on still, but loads about the recording was so much better than I expected. It was a really satisfying feeling!

#2616975 - 02/22/17 01:13 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Barbaram, - that is indeed a great feeling.

My ATOW is not exactly week-specific - just that at my latest lesson it hit me that for the past month or so, at EVERY lesson, my teacher has been saying "good", "that's improved", "better", and sometimes even "very good".

This kind of feedback has not been so forthcoming until very recently - I feel like I've really moved to a new level and that's very exciting.

I have pretty much got Traumerei under my fingers and next week I will have a substitute teacher as mine is away - but the week after we'll start working on the pedaling.
I am also starting on a new Diabelli sonatina - Op 168 N. 1 in F


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#2619727 - 03/02/17 06:17 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Gosh, how did we drop down to page 3?

This week my teacher was out of town, and I had a lesson with my first teacher. She hadn't heard me play since last June at another lesson where she subbed for my current teacher.

I was really pleased to get her feedback - she noticed a big difference in my reading fluidity (I sight read part of a sonatina for her) - and she was impressed with my work on Traumerei.

It was great to hear she noticed the big changes I've been feeling.

Who else has an acheivement to talk about ?


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#2619753 - 03/02/17 08:04 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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I haven't been here in many months due to frustration about how limited I was playing on that 49 key Yamaha.

But I'm back now since I've gotten my hands on a Casio Privia PX-160 so now my real work begins. Definitely been an eye opener and I've only had my new DP since yesterday.


[Linked Image] XXXVII-XXXIX

Casio Privia PX-160
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#2619759 - 03/02/17 08:23 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Finally...green lights from teacher to move on beyond measure 25 of Debussy arabesques 1. I have conquered triplet over quarter notes...so much effort from my teacher's side to find the different ways for it to click..so many hours practicing at my end. The elegance is not there yet, but we are moving on...it took 7 weeks of sheer focus to get here ..but I was also working on Satie gnossienne4, which we are now done. Effort does pay off, lot and lots of patience though!


Dream came true : playing the piano
Kawai CS11/Yamaha Arius 161
lessons: 150 hours + counting
#2619788 - 03/02/17 10:55 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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casinitaly, Getting some unanticipated, or not ususal, positive feedback sounds great. It certainly suggests that your teacher has high standards. It sounds like you are at a wonderful spot in your journey. Good for you! smile

Anita Potter, when you give the keys a rest, check out the Casio's recorded music library. I have the PX-760, which has the same internals as your 160. There are about 50 recorded songs, and it is an outstanding collection. They are so well played, that I usually end up preferring them over the recordings by some of the piano "greats" posted all over YouTube. I especially like Schubert's Moments Musicaux No. 3 and Schubert's March Militaire. I think they are numbers 10 and 12 in the library.

Pianoperformance, well done. Triplets over quarter is such a nice sound, like a nice ornament. For me, the key to those has been hand relaxation. Good luck with the rest of the regimen.


Ralph

Casio Privia PX-760
Pianoteq Stage
Pianist since April, 2015
#2619832 - 03/03/17 02:43 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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I was having a hard time getting my fingers to match my mind. I practiced a melody with my right and just 1&5th position with the left using a metronome at 67 to start. After practicing off and on in a three day period(slowly), when I went to play it again on the 4th day, it seemed natural and the muscle memory was much better than before.

In a couple of weeks I now know root, Inversion 1, and Inversion 2 for C, D, and Db.
I also have the C major and C# major scales memorized and can play them at a second's notice.
It is not much improvement, but a start:)

#2619847 - 03/03/17 04:18 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: guitarjunior19]  
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Pianoperformance - That cascade at the beginning of Arabesque takes a long time to master, and it is beautiful when it finally clicks. My teacher had me count first the right hand and then the left hand while playing both before she would pass me on it. Congratulations on getting the green light on it!

Casinitaly - It is really rewarding to get a favorable 3rd opinion from another teacher. It sounds like you were very relaxed playing for her, and that you have really improved!

Anita Potter - Have fun with your new piano and welcome back!

As for me, our temporary lease on our rental apartment ended at the end of February, so I spent last week packing and moving to yet another temporary apartment. Fortunately my rental piano came with me. Now it looks like we will not move into our new home until April 1, instead of the planned February 1. My new grand piano is in town, in its shipping box, waiting patiently.

As a result of this chaos, my lesson last week was the worst I have had with this new teacher. I was very tired, and as a result I messed up scales, could not remember some of the 7th chord arpeggios, and botched my Scarlatti terribly. I apologized, and to my surprise, she said "Listen, we all have bad days. You have made amazing improvement in the last two months". Such encouragement and understanding from a teacher goes a long way! So the AOTW that I will claim is simply carrying on through all of this!

#2620051 - 03/03/17 06:47 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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JimF Offline
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south florida
Originally Posted by casinitaly
Gosh, how did we drop down to page 3?


Yeah, you guys are really slacking off. grin

Um, well, what I really mean is that I've really been slacking off. My practice hours are way, way down......have a new hobby competing for my prime early-morning hours, and I so dislike Skype lessons compared to "the real thing." Even so, I'm still making slow progress on Ravel. One benefit of cutting practice hours is being forced to work more efficiently...something that seems to be happening whether by design or necessity.

But my best news is that my teacher is MOVING BACK to my town...
as soon as she can escape her current lease, but at worst by June. Just typing that makes me grin from ear to ear smile

C - I was very impressed with your Bach in the recital. Your tone and balance between the hands were perfect to my ear.

Anita - Your post brings back memories from when I first moved from a little Yamaha toy to a real DP. You will get used to it in a very short while and then never look back. Then when you get a grand you can do it all over again. thumb

It is nice to hear what everyone is up to. I may not post as much, but I check in and read the threads regularly.

Jim



Tarantella, Pieczonka
Sonatine, No.2 Menuet - MRavel


Estonia L190 #7284[Linked Image][Linked Image]
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#2620061 - 03/03/17 07:29 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Greetings. I am afraid I have to report in for absence since Feb 4th. Unexpected turn of events meant thoracic surgery scheduled next week so this was an opportunity to take a trip. Of all the most unlikely candidates for the dreaded lung cancer I had to be the one, totally healthy, clean life style and never smoked. I doubt I'll be back at the keys for a while. I did play yesterday and was amazed how much difference letting pieces 'rest' can make! Still need lots of work though and I look forward to that challenge just as soon as I can start playing again. MYOD For 2017 will have to be a miss but I shall enjoy reading how you all are keeping up with things!


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#2620063 - 03/03/17 07:41 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Palmpirate]  
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Palmpirate, you'll be in our thoughts and prayers! The piano--and your friends here at PW--will be there for you. Keep strong!


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#2620103 - 03/03/17 11:00 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Palmpirate, I'm so sorry to hear about your health difficulties. Stay positive, and bank on the lifestyle of wellness and self care to pull you through this temporary unpleasantness. I wish you the best and look forward to your return.


Ralph

Casio Privia PX-760
Pianoteq Stage
Pianist since April, 2015
#2620333 - 03/04/17 04:54 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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So sorry to hear about this bad news. Sending good thoughts your way and know all your healthy habits will give you a speedy recovery.

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