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#1866623 - 03/22/12 12:58 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: GlassLove]  
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Christine - Yes, you are right, and I do feel good about being able to hear what I may not quite be able to produce. My teacher always puts the smiley face on this issue too. grin

Cheryl - It is Handel's Gavotte in G Major, which I think is a pretty standard piece of the Baroque literature.
How is the Chopin Waltz going? Have you gotten to the tough arpeggio yet?....your speed comment in another thread made me think of it because that section really tripped me up.


Tarantella, Pieczonka
Sonatine, No.2 Menuet - MRavel


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#1866635 - 03/22/12 01:15 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: JimF]  
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Originally Posted by JimF
Christine - Yes, you are right, and I do feel good about being able to hear what I may not quite be able to produce. My teacher always puts the smiley face on this issue too. grin

Cheryl - It is Handel's Gavotte in G Major, which I think is a pretty standard piece of the Baroque literature.
How is the Chopin Waltz going? Have you gotten to the tough arpeggio yet?....your speed comment in another thread made me think of it because that section really tripped me up.


I really like that Gavotte - I asked because I'm pretty sure he wrote several and, yes, I think you're right, it is well known, and a standard for that period.

I played page 1 of the waltz for my teacher today - I was a bit "spacey" as I woke up with a migraine this morning, and though the headache was gone, I was still a bit dopey from having taken some meds to get rid of it. We laughed a lot.

I have indeed reached the fast arpeggio - and I can play it.... but not fast! lol What was funny was she said she'd play the left hand and I should just play the right.... and I did, but she missed her cue! I got it right, and she didn't - we laughed quite a bit once again because we both knew it was a bit of a fluke.

I can play the first page, slowly and started on the second page today. I think that I'll soon have the whole thing committed to memory (which is necessary because I have to see what my hands are doing part of the time!!!)
But for getting it up to tempo and sounding charming....well, that's a long term project!



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#1866715 - 03/22/12 03:38 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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As I mentioned in the DP forum, my achievement is finally ordering a PX330. So, around the start of April, I should be done with my 61-key "toy".

Did that get me excited - nah, not really. smile smile smile

Last edited by cheechako; 03/22/12 03:38 PM.
#1866775 - 03/22/12 05:08 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Have fun! I really enjoy my PX-330. My favorite is making it play one hand's part for me while I practice the other hand's part (or you can make it play the other part of a duet). The built in metronome has pretty nice sounds, and if you're playing more modern styles, it can be fun to use some of the backup patterns as a jazzed-up form of metronome.


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#1866881 - 03/22/12 08:15 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Last week I found the ABF following a lesson where it became clear I had practiced fervently, diligently, but incorrectly for a week. frown It was kind of demoralizing but comments on this board helped me realize that all learners face such situations and prevail. This week I'm happy to report that I succeeded in unlearning errors and getting the hang of those quick little grace notes in Toreador as well as the 1/8 notes followed by 1/16ths that bedeviled me last week. Listening carefully to the CD that goes with the Thompson grade 3 book really helped. grin
Also, I see others who found it odd to not polish pieces but move on to others at the teachers' behest. That got me too, but now I see the logic of getting the technical skill and polishing on my own. That's even more fun done at my own pace.
Finally, My teacher does a really interesting mix, Thompson for skills, Big Note Piano Best Songs Ever for contemporary variety as well as skill. Off to Fly Me to the Moon with a jazzy bump to it!


many hands many smiles

Big Mama Yama U1
#1867049 - 03/23/12 07:01 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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I agree Manyhands - it is strange to get used to not polishing pieces, but at our early stages it is more important to grasp the concepts that are introduced in each piece.

I think that for a lot of the pieces we study, we're much better off studying them for a bit and then putting them aside and LATER :):) coming back to them when we've got our skills a bit more under control.

I've been doing a bit of that recently and find it very satisfying to see that I can do better on pieces I struggled with a few months ago.

And.... I was inspired by JimF and downloaded the Gavotte in G smile . Started working on it this morning smile



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#1867320 - 03/23/12 03:04 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Manyhands,

Quote
I had practiced fervently, diligently, but incorrectly for a week.


Don't you just hate it when that happens? Been there, done that, lots. But even an old thick-headed guy like me eventually gets the message and begins approaching pieces, especially new ones, with deliberate, mindful awareness of the pitfalls that early errors can bring. See there, you've been acquiring a new skill and didn't even know it!

Glad to hear you got the kinks straightened out. Fly Me To The Moon? Now, that's something I could have fun with.....have to check to see if it is in one of my jazzy books.



Tarantella, Pieczonka
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#1867397 - 03/23/12 05:44 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: JimF]  
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casinitaly Offline

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Originally Posted by JimF


Fly Me To The Moon? Now, that's something I could have fun with.....have to check to see if it is in one of my jazzy books.



It is in your Dan Coates Jazz book, with the blue cover smile (I have it too ).


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#1867469 - 03/23/12 08:12 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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It's Christmas! My "new to me" Yamaha U1 arrived today. sounds so different from the Baldwin spinet. great resonance, a bit brighter treble than I remember, makes those oldies just pop. Moonglow's base never bounced this well. Just sat and played lesson pieces and pops to see how each sounded on new instrument. BIG. grin.
thanks for the affirmation Jim n Cas


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#1867609 - 03/24/12 05:24 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: manyhands]  
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Originally Posted by manyhands
It's Christmas! My "new to me" Yamaha U1 arrived today. sounds so different from the Baldwin spinet. great resonance, a bit brighter treble than I remember, makes those oldies just pop. Moonglow's base never bounced this well. Just sat and played lesson pieces and pops to see how each sounded on new instrument. BIG. grin.
thanks for the affirmation Jim n Cas


The full resonance of a bigger acoustic can be a bit intimidating at first, but it seems you're coping well :):)

Congrats on your new-to-you- Yamaha! May you enjoy many happy hours making beautiful music!


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#1867776 - 03/24/12 02:21 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Congrats on your new piano Manyhands! Isn't fun to hear the Big sound? As far as learning things "wrong" it happens to me regularly. I am so sure I have things right, then I go to a lesson and find out my accent is wrong, or my breaks are wrong or.... it is normal! I have decided that is why I take lessons!

My AOTW is playing the first two pages of Chopin Waltz in C# minor to my teacher's satisfaction. She focuses on correct phrasing as a primary point of learning from the very beginning. That means how each note or chord is played must be right. She works with me a lot to play from the shoulder, not the wrist or hand. Today was almost comical. My teacher is very physical in her teaching. She held my wrist down with one hand, and moved my arm with the other, while I was trying to play a rather complex phrase. I was trying not to giggle the whole time because it must have looked pretty funny. How something sounds is so related to touch, and it is hard to describe how to do it. She is trying to teach me how to gracefully move, with the energy coming from the shoulder. Eventually I did get the movements right, with her help. So, my teacher just makes me do it. It feels great when I get it right.

Playing Mozart K545 is interesting with this teacher. I think this sonata is a right of passage for many beginners, but it is not a beginner's piece. My teacher said she felt the first movement is the hardest Mozart to play well. I still have a long way to go!! At least my arpeggios past muster today!

#1867810 - 03/24/12 04:06 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: SwissMS]  
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SwissMS, - I'm listening to Chopin's Waltz in C# minor ask I type. wow.....


Your teacher sounds like mine - she has gently shaken my elbows to keep me paying attention to staying relaxed. She has nudged me to make me move my hand into a new position faster, stood behind me and tapped my shoulders to help again with the relaxation - and we laugh too.

and " my teacher just makes me do it. It feels great when I get it right". Bingo!

I had to look up Mozart K545 - and glad to say I recognized it as soon as I heard the first bars. I certainly wouldnt' call it a beginner piece - especially if you were trying to play it at anywhere near tempo.

Congrats on your arpeggios :J)


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#1867852 - 03/24/12 06:05 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Hi there! I regret not being able to write to the forum as often as I used to. My life has been somewhat chaotic in the last 2 months starting from unexpected reengineering in my group and a friend's death in addition to my new puppy rearing. These are my excuses. Due to reengineering, I am busier than before but the situation did calm down now. What did i learn? Well, I really cannot live for the future. It may be meaningful to prepare for retirement, but hey, being here and now seems to be much more important. I am glad I have piano in my life. It's my best friend who I get back to all the time. Anyway, I have been practicing the same pieces off and on throughout the time. I am going to play the Rachmaninoff prelude 23 -5 for the recital coming up in May. I read Jim F's posts with interest. I too have to play with a bunch of kiddies. Unfortunately, I have to play in the end. I think it's much nicer to go first. I did it only one time 3 years ago because I had to fly out to Paris on business on Saturday. The recital started at 10:00 AM and my flight was 1:00 PM. I figured I can spend 15 min at the recital since it's only 20 min to the airport. It worked and it was actually better than last year. I don't like to sit still and listen to all those different pieces. It was pretty bad for my fragile memory... While I was listening to those, I realized that I cannot remember the second line of my piece any more. I peaked through my book but it made it worse... I started feeling exasperated. Yes, I had memory loss last year. This year I am going to have to come up with a different strategy. I will be playing in the end again. Do you have advise for me?



1) Bach c minor fantasy
2) Beethoven sonata g major 14 No. 2 (re do)
3) Chopin a flat major Ballade (schubert Impromptu A flat D935 No2)
4) Scriabin op11 prelude #2 and #14 (Re do #2, new #14)
5) Bartok. 4 old tunes and Scherzo)
#1867861 - 03/24/12 06:41 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Good to see you FarmGirl. Sometimes memory just needs a refresher, but it's still there if you shake the rust off.


Only in men's imagination does every truth find an effective and undeniable existence. Imagination, not invention, is the supreme master of art as of life. -Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski
#1867903 - 03/24/12 08:17 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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sometimes once you start it just flows. my teacher says "trust your hands." Haven't done a recital. you are brave!


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#1867922 - 03/24/12 09:10 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: PianoStudent88]  
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Originally Posted by PianoStudent88
Oh, one more thing on the Satie (in contrast to your teacher's hating it). I learned Gnossienne No. 1 first, and would have loved to play it for my teacher's upcoming recital, but she nixed it as too strange for the audience. So I thought, oh well, no Satie. But then as I was learning the First Gymnopédie, she thought it was very pretty and asked if I would play it for the recital. Whoo-hoo!

Everyone plays two pieces, so I'll be playing Beethoven's Sonatina in F, and then the Gymnopédie.

I just have to poke my head in...

I can't understand why anyone would dislike the first Gymnopeédie or Gymnopedie (there seems to be a controversy over spelling). If I have a student who has the ability and hand size to play it, it's pure fun to teach. And it stretches tonality quite a bit.

Why do teachers want to stay in rigid little boxes? I would NEVER tell students that I don't like something they like when it is correctly written and part of any musical world that is respected. Hmm. <scratching head>


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#1867929 - 03/24/12 09:23 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Gary D.]  
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Originally Posted by Gary D.
Originally Posted by PianoStudent88
Oh, one more thing on the Satie (in contrast to your teacher's hating it). I learned Gnossienne No. 1 first, and would have loved to play it for my teacher's upcoming recital, but she nixed it as too strange for the audience. So I thought, oh well, no Satie. But then as I was learning the First Gymnopédie, she thought it was very pretty and asked if I would play it for the recital. Whoo-hoo!

Everyone plays two pieces, so I'll be playing Beethoven's Sonatina in F, and then the Gymnopédie.

I just have to poke my head in...

I can't understand why anyone would dislike the first Gymnopeédie or Gymnopedie (there seems to be a controversy over spelling). If I have a student who has the ability and hand size to play it, it's pure fun to teach. And it stretches tonality quite a bit.

Why do teachers want to stay in rigid little boxes? I would NEVER tell students that I don't like something they like when it is correctly written and part of any musical world that is respected. Hmm. <scratching head>


I think you'ld like my teacher even though she tells me flat out she doesn't like Gymnopedie #1. She's so honest about it and jokes about it - you can't really take her too seriously. And even though she doesn't like it much, she works me just as hard on it as any other piece.

I kind of get why someone wouldn't like it and she was actually a little upset when I mentioned the remark about it being "furniture music" (made in this very thread).


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#1867998 - 03/24/12 11:53 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Gary D.]  
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Originally Posted by Gary D.
...the first Gymnopeédie or Gymnopedie.... If I have a student who has the ability and hand size to play it, it's pure fun to teach. And it stretches tonality quite a bit.

May I ask, what makes it fun to teach? What are the things you need to teach in it? What makes a piece less fun to teach?

What abilities are needed to play it?

I'm going to have to petition LoPresti for my claim of bad ears back, because I don't hear it as stretching tonality. It just, I don't know, sounds like itself. On the other hand, I have gotten so I can hear the difference if I get a chord wrong, so that's an achievement in the direction of good ears.


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#1868237 - 03/25/12 12:06 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: SwissMS]  
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Manyhands -- that's such a memorable time when you get a new piano and start getting to know it and appreciate all its qualities. Enjoy!

SwissMS -- that's great on the Chopin Waltz! And once you learn the first two pages (sections A, B, and C), everything else is just repeats, right? I just started learning it a few weeks ago, and can now play through the notes, but not anywhere near the tempo it needs. My teacher warned me that this one was going to be a long-term project for me, but I think it's worth it. When I first heard this played years and years ago, it was only a fantasy to be able to play it one day. Well, I'm getting closer!

PianoStudent88 -- on Satie's music. I am also surprised to hear that your teacher thinks the Gnossienne No. 1 is beyond the audience, as I think it is very accessible. Now, I can't say the same of Gnossienne No. 6. That one took me several listenings and play-throughs to even be able to start to appreciate it! I had to wonder how you could tell if you were playing a wrong note. Here's a quirky version of it for those who might want to listen:



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#1868331 - 03/25/12 04:02 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: PianoStudent88]  
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Originally Posted by PianoStudent88
May I ask, what makes it fun to teach? What are the things you need to teach in it? What makes a piece less fun to teach?

For me it is harder to teach something if:

1) I do not like it.
2) It is something that EVERYONE wants to play, meaning that I end up teaching it a lot.
3) It is effortless for me to play it and very hard to explain how to play it to someone else.
Quote

What abilities are needed to play it?

1) A solid understanding of how to use the sustain pedal.
2) The ability to clearly "bring out a melody", so that the LH chords do not over-power the RH.
3) A reach of a 9th in the LH (for example M. 24-26).
4) Not necessary, but what I would want to stress: starting on a I7 chord, a Gmaj7, is something we normally expect in jazz but NOT from someone born in 1866.

And by the way, I would not enjoy teaching this to a student who could not mostly play it without my help. smile
Quote

I'm going to have to petition LoPresti for my claim of bad ears back, because I don't hear it as stretching tonality. It just, I don't know, sounds like itself. On the other hand, I have gotten so I can hear the difference if I get a chord wrong, so that's an achievement in the direction of good ears.

That's because you have a 21st century ear. It is certainly not atonal, but in the same way that Debussy's writing was shocking at the time he was creating new sounds, it would have been quite "out-of-the-box" in the 1800s.


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#1868391 - 03/25/12 06:09 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Thank you, Gary D. That is very interesting, and delightfully analytical and organized.

I avoid the reach of a ninth by taking the top note of those chords with the RH (or two-three notes, in the case of the chords in the measure before the A minor chords at the halfway point and at the end). I wonder if I can reach it as a one-hand chord; I comfortably have an octave, and can touch (but not practically play) a tenth. Ninths are terra incognita.

Since I learned it all on my own, I would be an ideal student for you to teach it to smile .

I should tape myself playing it to check if I'm bringing out the melody enough.


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#1868468 - 03/25/12 08:59 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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I got an invite from my teacher to play at a retirement home - April 14th, should be fun. It's actually the day before our "advanced students" recital (bear in mind, like most studios, the majority of students are very much beginners so take "advanced" with a large pinch of salt).

I'm playing Für Elise and Debussy Arabesque #1. She didn't really mind which of my current or past pieces I played though when I reminded her that everyone loved the Satie Gymnopedie #1 (YET another mention in this thread!!!), she teased that it was a retirement home and I shouldn't risk putting them to sleep wink

Last edited by Andy Platt; 03/26/12 06:06 AM. Reason: Corrected word

  • Debussy - Le Petit Nègre, L. 114
  • Haydn - Sonata in Gm, Hob. XVI/44

Kawai K3
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#1868530 - 03/26/12 12:34 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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I finally had my third lesson today! It's been very hard for me to find the time to make the trip to the teacher (it's an hour and a half or so each way by public transit) but he's really excellent and it's always a treat.

The lesson went a bit over two and a half hours, but I barely even noticed the time passing. He said that he normally likes to see students at least every other week, but in my case it works well to only meet once in a while since it gives the ideas we discuss (which are mostly very technical and somewhat abstract) time to settle in and become part of my playing.

With some of the teacher horror stories I've heard, I think I really lucked out in a big way to hit it off perfectly with the first teacher I tried. So YAY! laugh laugh


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#1868642 - 03/26/12 08:12 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Sam Rose]  
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Originally Posted by Sam Rose
I finally had my third lesson today! It's been very hard for me to find the time to make the trip to the teacher (it's an hour and a half or so each way by public transit) but he's really excellent and it's always a treat.

The lesson went a bit over two and a half hours, but I barely even noticed the time passing. He said that he normally likes to see students at least every other week, but in my case it works well to only meet once in a while since it gives the ideas we discuss (which are mostly very technical and somewhat abstract) time to settle in and become part of my playing.

With some of the teacher horror stories I've heard, I think I really lucked out in a big way to hit it off perfectly with the first teacher I tried. So YAY! laugh laugh


Sam, you might possibly have the most unique lesson situation around, given the infrequency and time it takes you to get there! I will now stop complaining about my 35 minute drive. Lucky you to find a teacher who will work with you this way!


I don't care too much for money. For money can't buy me love.
-the Beatles



#1868816 - 03/26/12 01:54 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Kymber Offline
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My teacher is always trying to get me to play more "freely". She notices I am sort of timid or that I am holding my self back. But, she also notices that I do play freely sometimes. Usually when she shows me something and then will tell me to try it. I will play it just like she showed me. But then I revert back the the "timid" way again. Since I started lessons with her I have only played while reading the music and my reading has improved quite a bit. But this week as I was in the middle of playing....timidly (lol) she pulls the music away and says "look at your hands!" I was like "eh?" because usually people are trying not to look at their hands. She asked if I thought I could play the song I was working on by memory (prior to taking lessons with her I played everything by memory because I could read well. Since, my reading improved I never bothered to memorize anything anymore). I thought that I might be able to play at least some of it. And I did. She said that she thinks that when I read I get timid a stiffen up. So, I asked if she wanted me to memorize the piece for my next lesson. She said yes. That night I went home and started work on memorizing. I got it down in about an hour and she was right. I played the song with very little hesitation. Not timid or stiff at all. It felt really good to play so freely, I really needed that little boost. smile


“The doubters said, "Man cannot fly," The doers said, "Maybe, but we'll try,"
And finally soared in the morning glow while non-believers watched from below.”
― Bruce Lee
#1869013 - 03/26/12 10:08 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Stryder87 Offline
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Stryder87  Offline
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New Westminster, BC Canada
I was quite pleased the other night when I was practicing to find I seem to have made a good bit of progress on my current project. I'm getting both hands to work together better. yippie

However, my timing seems to need a bit of work as I tend to speed up as I get further into the song. I also need much improvement on my note reading as I still have to reference my cheat sheet for what note is what key on the piano. That seriously slows me down.

Maybe I should stop the project and go back to my Alfred's book 1 and carry on. I kind of stopped a third of the way through after I learned enough to frustrate myself with hunt-and-peck note-to-finger translation! confused

I couldn't help it though... I just want to play!!! blush




"Music is something so innocent and pure, it makes a person completely naked - in music you cannot lie." - Alice Sara Ott

Playing since December 6, 2011.
#1869198 - 03/27/12 10:20 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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PaperClip Offline
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Amsterdam, Holland
Hi all,

Long time I've written on this forum.

My life gets very busy with all the cooking stuff. 70-80 hours a week, working in a restaurant, going to school and doing my homework. It's fun to do, but I'm not used to work so hard, heh.

I've 10-20 minutes time for playing piano each day. Wish I had more time. frown

But at least I play smile




Chris

Playing since May 02 2009
#1870114 - 03/29/12 01:57 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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casinitaly Offline

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casinitaly  Offline


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Joined: Mar 2010
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Italy
Gary D. It was very interesting to read your thoughts on what makes a piece interesting (or not) and fun (or not) to teach -thanks for joining us!

Andy - another opportunity to play in public! What fun! I'm sure you will be a big hit and much appreciated.

Sam I'm glad you're enjoying your lessons. Personally I don't think I could cope with that commute, but I'm glad to hear you feel it is worth it!

Kymber, that sounds like a really positive experience, being able to relax and let the music flow!
I agree - I feel more tense when reading too - I tend to do a lot of memorization.

Stryder87, that's great! It is exciting when you can feel the progress happening! I think it is normal for us to speed up and slow down - probably it happens the most for the measures where we are most comfortable.

You definitely don't want to get into the hunt and peck situation - that is just frustrating and not musical - it won't be satisfying. Why not do a mixture of what you long to play, and "study"time for note recognition?

PaperClip, wow, what a routine you have! I'm glad you still manage to get some piano time in!
Nice to see you here again!

I continue to chip away at my Chopin, and I've gone back to the Musette in D (Bach) which I abandoned a while back because the stretching required was aggravating my tension problems. Last night I was goofing around trying to play the first part of both these pieces with my eyes shut (to see if I could "hit" the right notes on the leaps). I was pleasantly surprised at how often I actually could do it!




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#1870233 - 03/29/12 08:42 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Costa del Sol
MaryBee, it is great to find someone else working on Chopin's Waltz in C#minor. It is a fun one isn't it? I just managed to get the "C" section under my fingers, so I have finally played through the whole thing! The 8 against 3 in the C section threw me. I can do 2-3 or 4-3 all day, but 8-3? That gave me pause. I think I have it now, slowly. I am a long way from final tempo for the waltz, though!

CasinItaly, playing the Musette with your eyes closed is quite an accomplishment. It is a great piece for keyboard familiarity, I think.

Kymber, that is really interesting about being more tense with the music, but it makes sense. If you are not sure where your hands should go, you are more likely to be tentative. I like your teacher's approach. I have only recently started to try memorizing more pieces and I think they do flow better without the score in front of me. The Bach prelude that I am working on is fast and complex and the only way I can play it without tension, is by memorizing it, section by section.

#1870697 - 03/29/12 08:55 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: SwissMS]  
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MaryAnn Offline
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Japan
Originally Posted by SwissMS
CasinItaly, playing the Musette with your eyes closed is quite an accomplishment. It is a great piece for keyboard familiarity, I think.
This explains why I am struggling so much with Musette. I apparently have no familiarity with the keyboard. It's so frustrating because most of the parts are not so difficult, it's stringing them together that I can't get... Anyway, I feel I'm almost there with the minuet I'm working on. It seems being away from the piano for most of March helped with that piece.

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