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#1889058 - 04/30/12 08:41 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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WiseBuff Offline
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Brighton Colorado
Jim F
This is off the top of my head (see how good my memory is/isn't)
Scales for level 5 include A maj, E maj, Eb maj, Ab maj, F#m, C#m, Cm, Fm
2 octaves at 104 bpm legato (any of them) and staccato(not all of them)

Same keys arpeggios hands separate at 80 bpm
Same keys broken tonic and dominant chords and cadences hands together in root and two inversions

Also the "scale pattern" found in the exam book

I bought the syllabus and have to keep referring back to it to remember everything I'm supposed to learn. I was taking a practice theory exam tonight and got stumped on filling in the appropriate rests in a few lines of music. I can read rests when playing but to have to fill in the blank made my mind go blank too. Sure hope they use the American words...I'll really get lost with quivers




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#1889511 - 05/01/12 04:46 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: JimF]  
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Originally Posted by JimF

Well, willy nilly I look at the metronome and I'd misread it! It was set on 92 not 72!!! So I had just played a full 20 clicks above my "wall". Go figure. Sometimes piano is just weird.



Yea things definitely do work that way sometimes. I just got back from my lesson and my teacher was really excited about my progress with 36 no 1! She told me to keep practicing but that we can move on to other pieces! She told me to work on op 36 no 3 from Clementi and Chopins op 28 no 6. I'm pretty excited about the Chopin piece. But now I'm going to practice before I have to go to work! Is there a thread just for random chatting about piano and pieces?

#1889548 - 05/01/12 05:57 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: pckhdlr305]  
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Legal Beagle Offline
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Originally Posted by JimF

Well, willy nilly I look at the metronome and I'd misread it! It was set on 92 not 72!!! So I had just played a full 20 clicks above my "wall". Go figure. Sometimes piano is just weird.

Hahaha... Jim, I just had to respond to this. That's absolutely awesome.

And I also have to ask... have you ever seen the movie "The Rookie," with Dennis Quaid?

It's the true story of a washed-out baseball pitcher who decides to try a late-in-life comeback. Early in the movie, he's wondering if he still has "the stuff."

Check out this scene (must watch to the end to get the point). When I read your story about the metronome, this immediately came to mind...








"Wide awake, I can make my most fantastic dreams come true..."
- Lorenz Hart
#1889585 - 05/01/12 07:17 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Brighton Colorado
Love that scene


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#1889737 - 05/02/12 12:47 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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I'm actually starting to kinda *read music*.


Yamaha P95
Just starting "piano advantures" - at page 50-60-odd.
#1889784 - 05/02/12 02:35 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Okay, my achievement is that after 2 months of working hard and NOT giving up I finally have my Schubert piece memorized!! smile This one was particularly difficult to memorize, with lots of key and harmony changes throughout on top of 4 sharps. So now I have all of my 3 major pieces memorized for my next recital. Yea!

#1889931 - 05/02/12 10:51 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: JimF]  
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Congrats to ZoeCalgary and Albynism for taking their exams. That is quite an accomplishment!

I am considering taking the ABRSM exam here in Switzerland, and I have been doing the requirements for each grade consecutively for the last couple months. Currently I am working through Grade 3, and may take that level or level 4 this fall. The level 3 pieces were more challenging at tempo than I expected.

Until I started this process, I never realized how weak my technical skills were. My teacher in the US did not believe in teaching scales because he felt many kids had all the musicality driven out of them by mindlessly playing scales. My teacher here in Switzerland believes learning scales, arpeggios, and broken chords is essential to advance as a pianist. So, I have only been learning them for about six months. Who knew there were so many scales?? Major, melodic minor, harmonic minor... sheesh! So, my accomplishment of the week is that I have finally learned all the required scales through grade 3 in four octaves at 80 bpm hands together. I am still working on HT for the Arpeggios and broken chords at speed.

Another light bulb moment for this week, is I realized how important it is to stick to one fingering religiously when playing a piece. Often when I speeded a piece up, I would get sloppy with the fingering, and I started to make errors. This created a speed wall for me that was unnecessary.


#1889954 - 05/02/12 11:31 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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I've been on vacation for a week in the north of Portugal in a very beautiful hotel (hotel Bussaco). There was a piano in the living room and of course I could not resist and played a few pieces by memory. I managed to play even though the piano was a little out of tune.
The living room was beautifull and huge (see below images) and had some tourists who were resting after dinner. After 1 hour, and when I got up from the piano, an old lady (Spanish tourist) spoke to me, thanking the wonderful time she had to hear me play. Needless to say I was "flushed"... I thanked the lady and I was happy to have made someone happy.
This is why music is wonderful.
This was my AoW.

The Hotel (http://www.almeidahotels.com/nm_quemsomos.php?id=12):
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And me:
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#1889957 - 05/02/12 11:34 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Carlos, what a beautiful experience. You'll treasure that for awhile. And the story and pictures are truly inspiring.

Cathy


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#1889980 - 05/02/12 12:23 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: SwissMS]  
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Originally Posted by SwissMS
Major, melodic minor, harmonic minor... sheesh! So, my accomplishment of the week is that I have finally learned all the required scales through grade 3 in four octaves at 80 bpm hands together. I am still working on HT for the Arpeggios and broken chords at speed.


How many notes per beat is that? Two or four?

Quote
Another light bulb moment for this week, is I realized how important it is to stick to one fingering religiously when playing a piece. Often when I speeded a piece up, I would get sloppy with the fingering, and I started to make errors. This created a speed wall for me that was unnecessary.


One of the gradual improvements I've noted is that it's much easier for me to get the fingering right from the beginning which means I can stick with it. As you note, if you don't - forget about it!

But sometimes the fingering I want to play doesn't actually work and, yup, then it's a hard hard slog to overcome it!!


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

Kawai K3
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#1889986 - 05/02/12 12:46 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Andy Platt]  
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That would be two beats per. I am still kind of new at this scale thing. Grade 3 actually only requires two octaves at half that speed, but my piano teacher wants four octaves as fast as I can do accurately. 80 bpm is my consistently accurate speed right now. Above that I come off track (Let see, was that harmonic or melodic??).

#1890024 - 05/02/12 03:00 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Legal Beagle]  
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LB - As usual, we are on the same page. wink The Rookie is one of my all-time favorite baseball movies - and that memorable scene is also a favorite.


Tarantella, Pieczonka
Sonatine, No.2 Menuet - MRavel


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#1890028 - 05/02/12 03:11 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: CarlosCC]  
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What gorgeous photos, Carlos. You must be enjoying that vacation!


Mary Bee
Current mantra: Play outside the box.
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#1890074 - 05/02/12 05:09 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: fingerspitzngefuhl]  
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Originally Posted by fingerspitzngefuhl
I'm actually starting to kinda *read music*.

Congratulations!


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#1890333 - 05/03/12 07:17 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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@MaryBee - It is indeed a very diferent hotel!

@jotur - Yes, I was very touched when the old lady got up from the couch (with the difficulty normal for an aged person) and walked up to me to pass those simple words. It is a moment I will not forget.


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#1890714 - 05/03/12 08:52 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Another Country
112 bars of John Blow's Ground in Gamutt (G minor)... Perhaps the longest piece I've attempted to learn since returning to the keyboard.

I thought I had attempted to reach further than my grasp. Yesterday, even just the LH was missing some twiddly bits. Today I've mastered a few ornaments (following Purcell's Rules for Graces), the LH ones only so far, and all the twiddly bits are vanquished. HT is still slow, and I need to regularise some RH fingerings, but I feel it's a lot better overall, I'm feeling much more at home with all the chords, sequences of thirds, syncopated sections, ledger line notes.

I'm quite surprised at just how chromatic some sections are... Some chords sound almost 'modern'.
I can find only one recording of this piece on Youtube (as part of another recording) and the sheet music is not on IMSLP. Blow does not seem to be widely known, but he's definitely worth exploring.


Currently working on: F. Couperin - Preludes & Sweelinck - Fantasia Chromatica
J.S. Bach, Einaudi, Purcell, Froberger, Croft, Blow, Frescobaldi, Glass, Couperin
1930s upright (piano) & single manual William Foster (harpsichord)
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#1891220 - 05/04/12 04:43 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Eglantine]  
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Hi, all. smile

I hadn't followed this thread at all until a few days ago, when I peeked in and found that a number of my favorite PW friends are here. 2hearts

So I'll play along...

My AOW is getting back on track. Until about 3 weeks ago, I'd been having a great run with practice time... keeping up with MOYD and all that... really pleased with myself and my progress. Then a few weeks ago some life events intruded, as they will sooner or later, and I really let myself fall off the wagon. As one week with scant practice time turned into two... and then into three... I was really getting frustrated.

This week, I seem to have found my mojo again (keeping fingers crossed that it holds).

Edited to add: speaking of which, CAS, I need to be moved to the "back on the wagon" category in MOYD blush

Last edited by Legal Beagle; 05/04/12 04:44 PM.

"Wide awake, I can make my most fantastic dreams come true..."
- Lorenz Hart
#1891382 - 05/04/12 09:04 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Eglantine]  
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Originally Posted by Eglantine
Today I've mastered a few ornaments (following Purcell's Rules for Graces), the LH ones only so far, and all the twiddly bits are vanquished.


I have the hardest time with ornaments (though ones in the right hand are becoming easier to pick up). I went through CPE Bach's treatise on them - talk about soporific. Hopefully Purcell's Rules for Graces is a more interesting read?


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

Kawai K3
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#1891548 - 05/05/12 07:06 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Far far away
Wow, what a busy time this has been...where to start...

BeccaBb, scales are always good warm ups and help so much with fluidity and simply recognizing how to move through running passages -you're building up great skills.

Valencia - The Winter Wind Chopin piece is lovely ! You must be pleased!

Cabazon - Congrats on your first recital- how exciting!!!

WiseBuff, there's something wonderful about minor scales - they are so much more mysterious and interesting that the majors.

SwissMS - isn't it great you were able to play well for your visitors? And you are so right on the need to be consistent with using the same fingerings. Once you start doing that you are on the road to success for sure!

Pckhdlr305 - that's a tricky name to type! I know what you mean about going back to a piece, like the Clementi, where you had previously worked on it. I noticed that with my Beethoven Sonatina I'd but aside for a while. What a great feeling to see how much easier it is monthys later!

Pianostudent88 - Congrats on your recital!!!!

JimF - I think it is pretty funny you had mis-set your metronome and played so much faster. Just goes to show that sometimes progress hits at the strangest times.
(Aside: In Canada the speed limits are in kilometres per hour, in the USA they are miles per hour. A few years ago, while visiting in Canada, my American Aunt was up visiting at the same time. One of the Canadian family members borrowed the American Aunt's car and somehow didn't realize the speedometer was in MPH, and was luck to not get a ticket for driving 100MPK (160KPM) !!

Carlos, your story of playing on your holiday was wonderfully heart touching - what a lovely experience. And what a beautiful place!!!

Eglantine - you play such interesting music - I'm really looking forward to hearing what you'll play in the recital!

Meredith - That sounds very satisfying. Which Schubert piece are you playing?

LegalBeagle - welcome back on track. I saw your post earlier and was going to tease you about being Awol from MOYD, but since you've "'fessed up", I won't.
Glad to see you joining us here in AOTW.

My AOTW..hmmm what is it? I suppose in a way it is getting over my obsession with Chopin and finding some balance. I am now working on refining the piece, but also starting up with some new music - (Mozart Theme and 3 Variations and Diabelli Bagatelle)There is also a Biabelli Andante in Bflat that has caught my attention and is going on my "play soon" list.
I did my recording for the ABF recital, but when I met with my teacher she suggested adding pedal to it so I'm going to work on that this week.
I guess my achievement was being able to put the expression I wanted into my recital piece (even without pedal).

Yesterday my teacher asked if I wanted to play in a recital in a few weeks - if it is on a night when I'm free, I plan to participate. I have to decide which pieces (2) to play. I'm thinking one will be a Kabalevsky waltz and the other Soft Shoe Blues from the last ABF recital.


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#1891585 - 05/05/12 08:49 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Andy Platt]  
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Eglantine Offline

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Another Country
Originally Posted by Andy Platt
Originally Posted by Eglantine
Today I've mastered a few ornaments (following Purcell's Rules for Graces), the LH ones only so far, and all the twiddly bits are vanquished.


I have the hardest time with ornaments (though ones in the right hand are becoming easier to pick up). I went through CPE Bach's treatise on them - talk about soporific. Hopefully Purcell's Rules for Graces is a more interesting read?


Andy, Purcell's Rules for Graces are reproduced in some Purcell editions, and also some editions (such as Stainer & Bell) by his contemporaries, such as Blow. There is a version of them in the IMSLP, in one of the two fat Purcell keyboard volumes (not a particularly good copy though).

All the versions I've seen are just one page: with 1/2 page description, and half page of table of half a dozen ornaments, which I think covers all of it as far as the music is concerned. So a lot less mammoth than some of the ornaments material produced by later Baroque peeps such as CPE.

It's just as well we have this, as the symbols/ornaments are different from later Baroque.

I've decided that this piece is the one where I'm going to go heck for leather on the ornaments - in part, because it's mainly crotchets that are ornamented - and make some progress on this front.



Currently working on: F. Couperin - Preludes & Sweelinck - Fantasia Chromatica
J.S. Bach, Einaudi, Purcell, Froberger, Croft, Blow, Frescobaldi, Glass, Couperin
1930s upright (piano) & single manual William Foster (harpsichord)
[Linked Image]
#1891833 - 05/05/12 05:32 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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ZoeCalgary Offline
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Calgary Alberta
I passed my Grade 4 RCM Exam! I got 81% and so earned First Class Honours! I have not yet received my written comments but am very interested in those as well.


Preparing Grade 6 RCM.

#1891959 - 05/05/12 09:48 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Congratulations, Zoe! That sounds great... hopefully the written comments will be useful to you.

My AOTW was to get back in a playing groove and have a lesson after three weeks or so of traveling a lot to deal with a "parental health issue", during which piano time was very limited. I missed it greatly.

I have managed to play enough, though, to be able to muddle through the first half or so of Fur Elise (so I'm looking forward to hearing Andy's recital submission), and I think the last half will come along soon. But today at my lesson instead of working on that my teacher introduced me to a minuet by Purcell, which we started from scratch. I have a make-up lesson scheduled for mid-week, which I'm really looking forward to, since today seemed too short...

Still hoping to record for the ABF recital... may be a bit clunky this time given my time off, but hoping to participate nonetheless.






Started playing: February 2011. Still having fun.
#1891960 - 05/05/12 09:50 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Sand Tiger Offline
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Zoe, first-class honours, that is fantastic.

Carlos, I am envious of the locale and the experience.

Thank you to all the others for reporting your progress. It is always good to hear, no matter how small it may seem at times. I find it almost always better to focus on the progress, rather than the setbacks and mistakes.

For my week #8, I posted to the Piano Bar thread for the first time. I submitted a piece for the ABF recital (different from the Piano Bar song). I spent some time learning D7, A7 and some other chords. Watched a video about how blues are a pentatonic scale plus one.

I attended a mini-concert by Steven VanHauwaert (Beethoven & Liszt). He gave a short history of pianos. How in Mozart's day they were almost fragile, and a person played politely. Then by Beethoven's day, the pianos were more robust and a musician could play harder. Then 50 years later, by the time Liszt was composing, composite metal was being used and pianists could lean into the music and put their back into it, if they so wished.

I started working on another cover piece. Spent considerable time working with the left hand only to learn the new chords. It doesn't feel any where near close. I remind myself that I have to start where I am.

For those who don't visit the Piano Bar, my contribution is at the link below.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ca-HZ9UAvDM

Last edited by Sand Tiger; 05/05/12 09:59 PM.
#1891975 - 05/05/12 10:35 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Sand Tiger]  
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Rocky Mountains
Originally Posted by Sand Tiger

For those who don't visit the Piano Bar, my contribution is at the link below.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ca-HZ9UAvDM


Your place reminds me of mine. Did you use my interior decorator? Something about the bottle of salad dressing in the upper right hand corner of the video. cool


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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#1892053 - 05/06/12 04:15 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: rnaple]  
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Costa del Sol
Congratulations ZoeCalgary. A great score with honors on your first exam is fantastic. Well done!

#1892094 - 05/06/12 06:58 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Lisbon, Portugal
Congrats Zoe!


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"Don't play what's there, play what's not there."
#1892122 - 05/06/12 08:51 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Posts: 748
Calgary Alberta
Thank you all for the kind words and good wishes. I feel guilty for not being able to comment on all the other AOTW's that you all post here. Since doing my exam life became very stressful as Like Bessel I am in a very stressful parental health situation (with my father). Concentration this last week has been at an all time low. I couldn't bring myself to play. When I saw my teacher on Friday (she also teaches my son) after missing my lesson earlier in the week and putting all my future lessons on hold for now) I felt sad that I couldn't share in her excitement for me when I told her my mark. She is concerned for me that I'm not playing and she urged me to keep playing even if only for a few minutes a day. My husband showed similar concern for me earlier in the week and also urged me to play.

Finally I did play on Friday evening and after awhile I felt mysel relax for a bit. Playing brought me some peace. I realized I missed it so much. My AOTW should have really been that I got my hands on the piano again. And realizing playing is what got me to this point so I could also enjoy sharing my news about my mark.

Thanks everybody for all your support and please keep those stories and successes coming. They are motivating to me and give me great joy to read.


Preparing Grade 6 RCM.

#1892573 - 05/06/12 10:00 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 1,273
MaryBee Offline
1000 Post Club Member
MaryBee  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 1,273
Cleveland, OH
Zoe, let me say congratulation to you too. I'm sorry, however, that you are not able to enjoy your accomplishments because of worries about your father. I hope that playing just a bit, as your teacher and husband have encouraged you to do, will help ease your mind.

Andy and Eglantine, I've been working on ornaments, too. In my case, it's the trills in a Mozart Sonata (C Minor, 1st movement). My teacher was so helpful with simplifying it and breaking it down into the smallest part I could handle, and then adding things back in bit by bit until I could play it in my lesson. But I at home the next day, I was still struggling with it, trying to make it smooth and effortless.

As I started feeling frustrated, suddenly all the pieces I had worked on over the past 3 years came rushing to my mind. Each one had had at least one difficult part -- something that I had to work on for days and sometimes weeks -- parts that made me feel like I would never be able to play them. But with every one, what was so hard at the time, at some point became simple and clear, making me wonder how I could have found it so difficult. So I let the frustration go, trusting that time and effort would lead to the same result this time. And it worked! Within a few days, I had the notes and timing on the trills fixed and could do it without much thought or effort. I need to remember this for next time.


Mary Bee
Current mantra: Play outside the box.
[Linked Image] [Linked Image] [Linked Image] XVI-XXXVI
#1892712 - 05/07/12 05:06 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 804
Eglantine Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 01 2013
Eglantine  Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 01 2013


Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 804
Another Country
Oh well done, MaryBee. Isn't it funny how *every* piece has some kind of summit that must be climbed? And how even just a few days can shift everything forward a step?

I'd glad you got the ornaments fixed. Did you do the 'add a note/two notes' method (gradually building)? I now have my LH ornaments all working well, so must move forward to day to the RH: more ornaments, more types of ornaments (five!)...


Currently working on: F. Couperin - Preludes & Sweelinck - Fantasia Chromatica
J.S. Bach, Einaudi, Purcell, Froberger, Croft, Blow, Frescobaldi, Glass, Couperin
1930s upright (piano) & single manual William Foster (harpsichord)
[Linked Image]
#1893300 - 05/08/12 03:30 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 2,285
FarmGirl Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 02 2013
FarmGirl  Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 2,285
Scottsdale, AZ
Hi everyone. I am very happy to see everyone is having good progress.

I don't have any AoTW except for trying to memorize my forever lasting Rach 23-5 for my recital coming up may 19. I am not ready. i have been played two weeks - work work work (sigh). I can play through the piece but make at least 5 mistakes at the same spot. I am trying to fix them one by one. i will start recording from tomorrow night. my non achievement is spending the precious time listening to Brahms Op 5 done by my old teacher who was a concert pianist. I wish I could copy her performance and share it with you all.. She is very private and I don't think she appreciate it. I think she played the best of all the Op 5 I heard in my life. I am seriously thinking to work out some distance lesson or joining her master class in San Jose...



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)
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