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Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly] #2243244
03/08/14 03:35 PM
03/08/14 03:35 PM
Joined: Nov 2012
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Illinois
Ragdoll Offline
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Haven't been around in a bit, I have been down with something I assume was the flu for 9 days. Horrible stuff!! sick.
I have one small and one huge AOTW though, at least I think so.

Small AOTW: I got three of my music books spiral bound at Office-Max today for $4.00 each. I love that they will stay open at the piano now. Not that crappy plastic comb binding either but a nice coil binding. laugh yippie

Huge AOTW: I have signed on with a new teacher for a 90 trial period. I surely hope it works out as I'm needing some help to be sure. I am feeling my motivation fading a bit lately, so DOUBLE YAY!

Disclaimer... I have no affiliation with Office Max


Ragdoll

At first, she only flew when she thought no one was watching.

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Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly] #2243265
03/08/14 04:16 PM
03/08/14 04:16 PM
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,999
Midwest USA
Stubbie Offline
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FarmGirl, your mention of your meal preparation method and comparison to dog food called to mind an advertisement shown on late night TV (I've become addicted to the Perry Mason series shown in rerun). This dog food is presented in such a way as to appeal to humans. The dog food contains Life Source Bits (R) that are said to contain berries and nuts and all sorts of healthy goodies. They look--to me, but what do I know--like purple lumps of shriveled grapes. Perhaps you should give some thought to adding some Life Source Bits (R) to your own preparations???

JazzyMac, Good luck with your upcoming recital. I hope you're continuing to play at least a few other pieces than your recital piece.

Ragdoll, I've been meaning to get that done to some of my books. I hate those stapled things that won't stay open. And big congrats on finding a teacher. Yay!


My own AOTW is kind of a double negative type of thing. My teacher didn't pass me on one of my pieces, which was good. I was getting worried that she was passing me too liberally (I know I'm not playing these pieces anywhere near performance level; I'm learning two new pieces a week, which is a challenge for me). So I was glad she flagged me on this.

I wasn't pedaling correctly. We spent some lesson time working on it, and I'll be bringing the piece back to next week's lesson.


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Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly] #2243326
03/08/14 07:40 PM
03/08/14 07:40 PM
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Australia
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earlofmar Offline
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There hasn't been too many achievements of late but happy to report two in one week.

First one is finding motivation again to work on Clementi's Sonatina No 2 which I have been working on for about four months. For me a new piece starts of with a honeymoon period when practicing and learning is a joy, then there is a slump when I realise I won't be able to play it like the professional recording I have. Then comes the third phase which I am just entering, when I can live with it not being perfect and I find I have overcome a lot of the troubling spots. Now I just have a few areas needing work and a re-found determination to complete this piece.

Second one is getting out a rut with my sight reading practice. I didn't feel I was progressing much with SR last year and started using a program (sightreadingfactory) as my main source. Setting the program for the key of C I worked away at the exercises and suddenly I found I was improving. The reward was only there when I played in C though, any other key and I returned to reading at a snails pace, so naturally I avoided other keys lol. Anyway a few days ago I started in another key and seem to have gotten over that particular mental hurdle.


Problems with piano are 90% psychological, the other 10% is in your head.

Kawai K8 & Kawai Novus NV10


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Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: earlofmar] #2243547
03/09/14 10:11 AM
03/09/14 10:11 AM
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Posts: 1,365
Southern California
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Sand Tiger Offline
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JazzyMac, I have a suggestion for your recital piece. Practice starting at different points, just in case. I also suggest working on another piece in parallel. That will give the brain more variety. The recital piece is the priority, but doing other things helps keep it fresh. If you don't have any new ones, rotate some of the old ones through.

Week 104: The Coursera on songwriting is winding down. Just one more assignment to turn in. I can thank Piano World, because this forum led me to the Mozart Coursera, which led to this other one. It feels like a shame that virtually no one on Piano World seems interested. None here have said they are taking the course. Oh well, people are interested in, what they are interested in. What I find interesting others find boring, and vice-versa.

I completed and recorded my new song Looking to Alaska. The piano track is better than the vocals. Singing is difficult. Even good competent singers may not like the sound of their recorded voice. For the below average singers, it is a frightening experience to record, upload and then have strangers assess the recording. The graders are told not to focus on the singing, but a good singer tends to get higher marks and more positive comments than those that struggle with the task. After I wrap up the course, I'll post something to my blog about the experience and link some of the recordings.

Next week is my piano-versary. I guess finishing the Coursera on songwriting and performing at Songmakers is a good way to cap off my second year. I still feel like such a beginner. I knew early on that I was charting my own course on piano, so it would be silly to complain about the long list of things that I can't do. There is always going to be a list. Even the super talents have their lists. My friend, the former concert pianist, also a composer, laments that he never wrote a hit song. Maybe if he had something like the songwriting Coursera early in his career, it might have been different for him smile

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Sand Tiger] #2243559
03/09/14 10:52 AM
03/09/14 10:52 AM
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Rocky Mountains
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Originally Posted by Sand Tiger


Week 104: The Coursera on songwriting is winding down. Just one more assignment to turn in. I can thank Piano World, because this forum led me to the Mozart Coursera, which led to this other one. It feels like a shame that virtually no one on Piano World seems interested. None here have said they are taking the course. Oh well, people are interested in, what they are interested in. What I find interesting others find boring, and vice-versa.

... I still feel like such a beginner. I knew early on that I was charting my own course on piano, so it would be silly to complain about the long list of things that I can't do. There is always going to be a list. Even the super talents have their lists.


I myself am very interested in songwriting. I simply have too much I am focused on right now. Focused with that as an end. Just not the right time for me. I imagine there are others the same way.

Lists of things we can't do? Remember Bruce Lee. He studied different ways. Took what was most useful to himself. Threw out the rest. smile

My little AOTW: I'm learning understanding of chords. How chords naturally work in the left hand with notes in the right hand. How to easily understand chords and how they work. Then the study of theory with chords will come with understanding instead of leaving me out in cyber oblivion with only memorization to depend on. Am learning mastery of the keyboard. To make it my own. To be at home with it. The light really went on when we went over the simple version of Schindler's List. John has one play intervals, or a single note. While he lists the chord at the top. Learning that those chords naturally go with the notes in the right hand. Or vice versa left hand notes have a chord in the right that works naturally with it. Learning I can play that chord, or interval, or single note, or even change the chord if I want. Wonderful learning understanding.

EDIT: A little bit hoping to help with people talking about doing a piece to performance level. One thing my teacher made very clear to me. If you want to perform something. You will have to play it a billion times. You will have to play it till you're sick of it. The only thing that will stop you from dropping it from being sick of it is that you love it. ... This kinda put things in perspective for me.

Last edited by rnaple; 03/09/14 11:12 AM.

Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon
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Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Stubbie] #2243716
03/09/14 02:47 PM
03/09/14 02:47 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 2,303
Scottsdale, AZ
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FarmGirl Offline

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Originally Posted by Stubbie
FarmGirl, your mention of your meal preparation method and comparison to dog food called to mind an advertisement shown on late night TV (I've become addicted to the Perry Mason series shown in rerun). This dog food is presented in such a way as to appeal to humans. The dog food contains Life Source Bits (R) that are said to contain berries and nuts and all sorts of healthy goodies. They look--to me, but what do I know--like purple lumps of shriveled grapes. Perhaps you should give some thought to adding some Life Source Bits (R) to your own preparations???



Like the idea. Have to say, great minds think alike. I'm actually half way serious for the idea. I would not eliminate cooking completely but if I can make such human-dog-food good for teeth and health, many people live longer. I can think of people keeping a 35lb bag in their offices. You may snack on it while practice or as a late night snack with wine. If I had money, I would do it in a heartbeat.

Achievement is in the mail hahaha. I have to start recording Chopin nocturne op 15 #3 for the PC e-cital. Since I played it in public twice, my interest got diminished. Besides recording is tougher. It's much more fun to practice next pieces.

Last edited by FarmGirl; 03/09/14 02:49 PM.

1) Bach c minor fantasy
2) Morzart Rondo in A minor, K511
3) Schubert Impromptu A flat D935 No2
4) Scriabin op11 prelude #2 and #14 (Re do #2, new #14)
5) kabalevsky Variations in A minor OP 40-2
Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly] #2243724
03/09/14 02:57 PM
03/09/14 02:57 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 2,303
Scottsdale, AZ
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Maple, sounds like your lessons are going so well. It's wonderful that you like to compose. I never thought about doing that myself but I started writing accompaniment for viola pieces. My husband is a music novice and cannot get the rhythm correctly yet. So I make up chord progressions and play with him while counting. I love to create fancy accompaniment. Right now I can only do blocked chords.


1) Bach c minor fantasy
2) Morzart Rondo in A minor, K511
3) Schubert Impromptu A flat D935 No2
4) Scriabin op11 prelude #2 and #14 (Re do #2, new #14)
5) kabalevsky Variations in A minor OP 40-2
Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly] #2244048
03/10/14 03:47 AM
03/10/14 03:47 AM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 2,303
Scottsdale, AZ
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FarmGirl Offline

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Scottsdale, AZ
C'mon, can't you guys write something!
I feel like dominating the thread.

Achievement - recorded my first take of Nocturne. I realize that I could improve more. Video is very honest. I don't like it records even my mistakes. I will make 1 recording of the piece a day until the due date 3/22.

I signed up for an adult chamber music workshop in July here in my city. It's a three day workshop. I am probably the worst performer in the shop (LOL). I think it's good I can learn stuff - my thick skin comes in handy.

I also obtained the correct score for my duet with Flute. I saw a YouTube version and asked about the score to the performer. The video was made several years ago and he now is a renowned performer. I am very excited about learning the piece.


1) Bach c minor fantasy
2) Morzart Rondo in A minor, K511
3) Schubert Impromptu A flat D935 No2
4) Scriabin op11 prelude #2 and #14 (Re do #2, new #14)
5) kabalevsky Variations in A minor OP 40-2
Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: FarmGirl] #2244063
03/10/14 04:53 AM
03/10/14 04:53 AM
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 2,432
Costa del Sol
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OK, FarmGirl, I will add to the party. I have had house guests for the last week and 1/2, so I am slipping in practice whenever I can. I still manage to get some time at the piano everyday, but less than normal of course.

However, with the constraints on my time, I have had very focussed practice. I have been attempting to be very disciplined with my exam pieces, and it is paying off. Although I can sight read these pieces slowly, I am bringing each piece up to tempo, HS, before playing them HT much. It is working! I can isolate places where my hand is out of balance and fix it before HT. One of the pieces, La Peruanita, is rather fast with tricky rhythm, and even HS it is not at full tempo yet. So my AOTW is exercising restraint, and playing each piece HS, with preparation built in, only at the tempo that is error free and totally relaxed.

My current lament, is my running passage technique. This is the reason the Kuhlau Sonatina is perennially in my signature. Every time I bring it to tempo, unevenness crops up in the running passages. It is so frustrating, because neither me nor my teacher seem to have come up with a practice technique that gets me to the next level. She says back to slow, so, I slow back down and play evenly without tension. Maybe it just takes time to develop the technique to lift the fingers from key to key evenly. I sure am not there yet!

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Stubbie] #2244070
03/10/14 05:21 AM
03/10/14 05:21 AM
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 774
Illinois
Ragdoll Offline
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Illinois
Quote
I've been meaning to get that done to some of my books. I hate those stapled things that won't stay open. And big congrats on finding a teacher. Yay!

I can tolerate the smaller stapled books, it's the collections (usually 1/2+" thick)that drive me crazy. Especially those where there are multiple pages to turn. eek I can't seem to remove clip, turn page, replace clip at any sort of reasonable tempo. ha

Thanks for the good wishes re: the new teacher. I'm looking for good things to happen too.


Ragdoll

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Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: SwissMS] #2244091
03/10/14 06:28 AM
03/10/14 06:28 AM
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Posts: 2,353
south florida
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Originally Posted by SwissMS
So my AOTW is exercising restraint, and playing each piece HS, with preparation built in, only at the tempo that is error free and totally relaxed.


If there is one thing I wish I could do more consistently, the restraint you speak of is it, SwissMS. I would make it my Sig line if there were room for it.

+1 thumb


Clair de Lune, C.Debussy
Tarantella, Pieczonka
Sonatine, No.2 Menuet - MRavel


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Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: SwissMS] #2244136
03/10/14 08:10 AM
03/10/14 08:10 AM
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 2,206
Rocky Mountains
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rnaple Offline

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Rocky Mountains
Originally Posted by FarmGirl
... Right now I can only do blocked chords.


Good place to start in composing. I'm sure you can more easily write broken chords if you think about all that classical you play. smile

Originally Posted by FarmGirl

I feel like dominating the thread.


I always knew you were one of those girls. Oh your lucky husband. smile

Originally Posted by SwissMS
OK, FarmGirl, I will add to the party. ... It is so frustrating, because neither me nor my teacher seem to have come up with a practice technique that gets me to the next level. She says back to slow, so, I slow back down and play evenly without tension. Maybe it just takes time to develop the technique to lift the fingers from key to key evenly. I sure am not there yet!


Just a thought. Everyone knows that I know nothing. smile .... Have you tried playing it too fast? Then back down to correct speed?

Last edited by rnaple; 03/10/14 08:11 AM. Reason: typo

Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon
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Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: rnaple] #2244173
03/10/14 09:20 AM
03/10/14 09:20 AM
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Southern California
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Sand Tiger Offline
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Rnaple, the Coursera on songwriting will likely be offered again in October. Pat Pattison from Berklee College of Music is one of the top names in songwriting. I suggest anyone interested in writing songs with lyrics, make this a priority. Berklee students pay $40k to $50k per year to have instructors like Pattison.

The course is exceptionally good. The lectures are entertaining, the quizzes reinforce the material. The assignments start slow, but I still found them challenging. By the end of six weeks, a person will have a complete song, if they do all the work.

I'd guess about half the participants are true beginners. There are no prerequisites. The majority likely have less musical skill than anyone reading this post. Many don't play any instrument and don't read music. The course focuses on lyrics, maybe 10% is about the underlying music. For non-musicians there are free loops for people to set their lyrics to.

Again, it is a great course, and free. The only cost is the time to take it. Make it a priority, it is better than 99.9% of the other stuff out there. Pat Pattison is likely better than 99.99% of piano teachers in terms of teaching songwriting--he is that good.

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: rnaple] #2244309
03/10/14 01:40 PM
03/10/14 01:40 PM
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 2,432
Costa del Sol
SwissMS Offline

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Originally Posted by rnaple

Just a thought. Everyone knows that I know nothing. smile .... Have you tried playing it too fast? Then back down to correct speed?


Thanks, rnaple. It is a good thought, but unfortunately the speed that I am trying for is faster than I have ever played before. I practice it slow, medium, and as fast as I can go! It will get there eventually. That is the purpose of learning these sonatinas!

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly] #2244334
03/10/14 02:07 PM
03/10/14 02:07 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 2,303
Scottsdale, AZ
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FarmGirl Offline

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SwissMS
Is the run composed of patterns or scales or chords (3rds, 8ves for example).
Patterns and scales come quicker than the runs with chords for me. Because there are ways to practice them


1) Bach c minor fantasy
2) Morzart Rondo in A minor, K511
3) Schubert Impromptu A flat D935 No2
4) Scriabin op11 prelude #2 and #14 (Re do #2, new #14)
5) kabalevsky Variations in A minor OP 40-2
Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Sand Tiger] #2244498
03/10/14 09:54 PM
03/10/14 09:54 PM
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 1,273
Cleveland, OH
MaryBee Offline
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Cleveland, OH
Originally Posted by Sand Tiger
Week 104: The Coursera on songwriting is winding down. Just one more assignment to turn in. I can thank Piano World, because this forum led me to the Mozart Coursera, which led to this other one. It feels like a shame that virtually no one on Piano World seems interested. None here have said they are taking the course. Oh well, people are interested in, what they are interested in. What I find interesting others find boring, and vice-versa.

I'm still working on my final piece for the Intro to Classical Composition course in Coursera. Yes, I know the course is already over, and I missed the deadline to submit for peer review. But I've been having such fun (and lots of frustration!) trying out different techniques that we learned, that I'm not ready to give it up.

I'm also getting some more intense theory lessons and composition hints from my teacher to help me along. In fact, we've been so busy with that, I've only played through about three pages of music during the last month of lessons. This is probably a good thing, though, since I messed up my wrist at work doing too many marathon programming sessions involving serious mousing. So I'm wearing a wrist brace, I've cut back on my practice time, and now that the software is about ready for release, I'm going to be backing off on the keyboard/mouse use.

Anyway, enough rambling. The point is, I think I'm going to continue exploring this composition path for a while and see what I can learn and where it takes me.


Mary Bee
Current mantra: Play outside the box.
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Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly] #2244546
03/11/14 01:18 AM
03/11/14 01:18 AM
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 3,322
Australia
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earlofmar Offline
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Australia
third achievement of note in one week, enough to make me positively delirious.

Finally, after 110 days I got a straight through, no mistake, rendition of The Entertainer (intermediate version). First piece of my morning practice session it took me quite by surprise So happy I recorded it straight away managing a mistake free performance four times, each version a little faster than the last. Don’t know why this piece has been so hard but it has. I haven’t decided on the future of this piece, it can go either way. On the one hand I am sick of it but at the same time would like to see if I can attain a faster, musical and mistake free version.


Problems with piano are 90% psychological, the other 10% is in your head.

Kawai K8 & Kawai Novus NV10


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Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly] #2244549
03/11/14 01:43 AM
03/11/14 01:43 AM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 2,303
Scottsdale, AZ
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FarmGirl Offline

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Non achievement today.

I tried and tried to get one line of the Étude done but could not. This not even part of the 24 étude of Chopin. It's supposed to be an easier one. My teacher told me to do this before attempting other "real" étude. She told me to set the metronome to the triplets and play it with hands together after working on left hands alone. It's not easy to play four notes against three notes with metronome set with three notes. Try clapping your hands 4 times with metronome set to three bests. I did not even have time to read the fugue.


1) Bach c minor fantasy
2) Morzart Rondo in A minor, K511
3) Schubert Impromptu A flat D935 No2
4) Scriabin op11 prelude #2 and #14 (Re do #2, new #14)
5) kabalevsky Variations in A minor OP 40-2
Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly] #2244560
03/11/14 02:32 AM
03/11/14 02:32 AM
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Posts: 2,152
The Netherlands
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WimPiano Offline
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The Netherlands
@FarmGirl, sounds very confusing..

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: WimPiano] #2244593
03/11/14 04:25 AM
03/11/14 04:25 AM
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FarmGirl, 4 against 3 sounds HARD! I tend to take a very mathematical approach to tricky rhythms, breaking the count right down so that every note in the rhythm has an associated count (so for 4 against 3 you'd need to count 12 - not for the measure, just for the 4/3 iykwim). This is totally unmusical, but it's just at the beginning so that I can internalise the rhythm. After that I won't usually need to think about it too much.

Earlofmar, well done, that's a real achievement on The Entertainer. If you are a bit sick of it, maybe take a short break from it. Not so long that you have to relearn, but just enough to rekindle your enthusiasm. If you are anything like me, even a week or two of not playing a piece will mean a certain amount of rework, but not a lot - it's often a price worth paying. A personal thing though, it might not be right for you, or the right time.

MaryBee, sounds like you are getting a huge amount from the composition course, and that the timing is perfect if you need to rest your wrist and minimise playing time.

SandTiger, similarly it sounds like the song writing course hs been really worthwhile for you. At the moment time is a huge constraint for me, so I just wouldn't be able (or even want to) give a course like that priority over the other things I spend my time on. Also, to be honest, I don't think I have much talent in that direction :-)

Keystring, interesting to read your thoughts on movement etc. I've really noticed that when I play the Rondo Alla Turca, for it to "sound like Mozart" I need to really exaggerate my movements, way more than I normally would. I didn't think about it, it's just an observation on how I do it. How much I move varies a lot depending on the piece. I'm not sure how much really comes out in the music and how much is just in my head.
(I flatter myself immensely when I claim it "sounds like Mozart" by the way)

My achievements feel a bit repetitive - my Bach Invention #8 is much better again and likewise the Rondo Alla Turca, but plenty more progress required.
I'm at peace with how long the Bach is taking me to learn - I really underestimated its complexity when I first looked at the music and thought I'd learn it much more quickly. Now I recognise that even though it's only one note at a time in each hand (apart from the very final chord) the 2-voice structure is non-trivial. On the other hand when I started the Mozart I thought it was probably too difficult for me. I have since seen lists that put these two pieces at the same grade, though for me the Mozart is definitely harder.
Other than that, I'm still doing a little sightreading when I can, and I managed to spend some time on a few older pieces to try to keep them in repertoire. There's just never enough time to work on all the things I want to!
I'm not quite ready to start a new piece, but I am at the point of thinking about what it will be. Possibly one of Chopin's very easiest nocturnes, not sure yet.

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