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Joined: Jan 2008
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My answer is sort of off topic, except in relation to why I didn't touch my piano all weekend. I spent the weekend at the New Jersey Senior Olympics. I medalled in 3 on 3 basketball, free throws, accuracy shooting, horseshoes, table tennis and darts. Lest you get too impressed, most of the medals were won because I was one of only two or three in my age group. (it pays to be older). I guess I would now be considered one of those kids who lets sports interfere with their piano practice. LOL


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Haven't posted here in months, so I figured I should chime in again. During the holidays I spent my time working on Festive Dance, Scherzo, Introduction and Dance and Streets of Laredo. The first two I've already played for my teacher, the last two I'll play this week. I'm pretty happy with them, so I started on Plaisir d'Amour today. It seems easier than the previous ones actually.

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Mom3gram--that is so AWESOME!! Isn't childhood BETTER the second time around???? I think so!! Congrats on achieving those medals!

Now...get back to practice!!

Welcome back Physics...glad you came back! Isn't it great when some pieces we work on seem to go easier. It really motivates one to continue on! Songs are like a puzzle to me...some you just "get"..others it's a struggle. Go figure!! Have fun, most of all!

Nancy


Piano Obsession Log:
Began Piano 12/25/09 on Yamaha starter digital keyboard
Playing on circa 1917/18 Chickering Grand Piano since July 2010
Finished Alfred Book 1-August 2010
Started Book 2--August 11, 2010
Alfred Favorites Book

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Not much going on here. I've been sidetracked by some other hobbies lately. Still getting a little piano practice in each day but it isn't productive practice.

Working on Alexander's Ragtime Band. I can play the 1st page and hope to start the second page this week.

Planning on starting Theme from Solace. I'll probably just do the left hand and get that down first. I'm going to take this one slowly.

I sing in a group of 3, and we're planning on doing an "a cappella" (voices only, no music) piece as our pianist is non-existent right now. The soprano and I have our parts down and now we're going to add in the tenor. I spent this evening just playing the tenor line over and over. The song is in Ab (4 flats) so it was tough to begin with. Hope I can bang out the line well enough for us to practice. It's not difficult, but I've never played for a purpose other than for my own practice. Know what I mean? Looking forward to playing for our practice and hope my mind doesn't go blank and become non-functional. smile


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You sure are a busy person Gracie! SO TALENTED!! Good luck with the 4 flats!!!! I have a hard time just doing the scales!! Yikes!!! Good luck with the performance!

I've been struggling with the Hanon exercises, I am up to the whopping #2!!! I get the ascending part, but the descending is a horror!! Fingers sure don't go where you want them!

I have Morning is Broken for my piece for the week. It's not hard, and I like the broken chords better than the "Oompah, pah" chords...which I guess are called broken too..but I like the single notes with this song..so that's the way I'm playing it! The third option for the song uses 8th notes...I can't figure that one out...but I will attempt it. I only have tonight to practice....I've been concentrating on a song from my All Time Favorites book...Plaisir D'Amour, which is an absolutely lovely arrangement, even though it's simple...I've been working and enjoying it immensely! Hope to get to be able to record it perfectly (yeah right!!)

I know, I know..I keep on promising recordings......

Is everyone in Book 2 playing hooky??????? Let's get this back on page one people!!! What is everyone working on????? Be it piano or something else????

Happy Piano Playing!!

Nancy


Piano Obsession Log:
Began Piano 12/25/09 on Yamaha starter digital keyboard
Playing on circa 1917/18 Chickering Grand Piano since July 2010
Finished Alfred Book 1-August 2010
Started Book 2--August 11, 2010
Alfred Favorites Book

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Still polishing "La Raspa" and "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow", and thinking about skipping ahead because there is another Mexican type song coming up and I need a change.

I love Plasir D'Amour, and have fooled around with it from a friend's copy of "All-time Favorites". It's also coming up in our All-in-one Book 2, and I wonder if it's the same or whether the one in "All-time Favorites 1" is a little easier. Sometimes Alfred uses the same song in several of their books with slight changes to make it easier or more difficult. I guess I will find out when I get to it.


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I'm doing "La Raspa" next Mom3gram!!! Yes, I don't know if the Plaisir song is different. My book is in the key of G and has mostly broken chords in the base part. When you get to it, please let me know.

I'm so glad that I bought the All Time Favorites. I think it has many of the same songs that AIO Book users have. It would be nice to know though, if they are simpler. Maybe I should buy the AIO. I did all three in the Basic series...I didn't realize until I bought them that the AIO had more stuff in it. Live and learn...and stop hitting that "Buy Now" button!!! Music stores have gotten beau coup bucks from me this year!! I'm stimulating the economy!!!

I saw the movie "Fiddler on the Roof" the other night (for the first time!) and now I want "Sunrise, Sunset"...need to look at my Broadway book to see if I already have it! $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Have a good evening everyone..going for a walk on this beautiful fall day, and then practicing .... oh yeah, guess I will feed the hubby at some time!

Nancy



Piano Obsession Log:
Began Piano 12/25/09 on Yamaha starter digital keyboard
Playing on circa 1917/18 Chickering Grand Piano since July 2010
Finished Alfred Book 1-August 2010
Started Book 2--August 11, 2010
Alfred Favorites Book

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Oh, I have wished many times that I had bought the "Alltime Favorites". I actually put it on my Christmas wish list the Christmas before last, along with "Greatest Hits" and "Pop Songbook", and got the latter two as gifts. I like both of them, but I think "Alltime Favorites" had more interesting pieces. I just don't think I want to buy yet another level 1 book, and I'm nowhere near ready for the level 2 yet.

Oh yeah, I've hit that buy it now button too many times this year also. LOL


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Wow.. finally finished La Bamba.. That was quite tough. However, it does teach you I think an important lesson about rhythm and it's probably one of the faster pieces so far in the Alfred Books.

Anyway, just wanted to send a message to those who find this later. Keep on digging with La Bamba, it takes a little while longer to get than others previous, but it's worth it smile

Last edited by starbug; 09/26/10 04:48 PM.
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Congratulations on finishing "La Bamba", starbug. I put it aside and will go back to it later. It just wasn't working, and I can only take being stuck on a piece for so long, and then frustration hits. The next two pieces were way easier.

I started "Mexican Hat Dance" today. It doesn't seem too bad, but all I can say is that if anyone tries "hat dancing" to my playing, they will probably fall asleep. LOL I'm playing it really S L O W.


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My computer has been down for a week so I couldn't post any. Anyway, I'm not much further than the last time I posted. I'm pretty much finished with Alexander's Ragtime Band except for the first 4 measures of page two of the bass staff. I can play them, but I have to stop, think, and then move my hands. Needless to say I can't play the whole song through without stopping at that problem point. I'll continue to work on it now and then.

I've worked a little on Theme from Solace, but left hand only. No inspiration right now to do much more in Alfred.

Bought a new book "Burgmuller-Schaum 25 Progressive Pieces, Opus100" to work through. I bought book #1. First song wasn't hard. I've started on Arabesque and it's making me actually think more about what my left hand is doing. This'll be a great book for some advanced practice that isn't too far out of my league. This is doable if you have previous musical experience. Good left hand practice.


Started piano Dec 2009
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Yes, that second page of "Alexander's..." gave me trouble too, which surprised me a bit because I found the first page to be easy and fun. I don't remember how I resolved it, and would more than likely have trouble with it again if I went back to it now. Solace gave me a lot of trouble with the rhythm, and it always sounded a bit "choppy" but there is a good recording of it on the first page of this thread - possibly John Frank, or Undone, or someone. It helped some to hear it played correctly, but not enough to get mine musical. Another one I will have to go back to eventually.

Nothing like a new book to spark enthusiasm when you get tired of/bored with/overwhelmed with Alfred. Most people who switch for a while to something with real classical pieces say that Alfred becomes easier when they get back to it. Have fun with the new book, GracieCat.


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Just thought I'd stop by here. I don't post much but I've just started book 2 a few weeks ago so I figured I'd say hi in case I do post more often.

I got through book 1 in only around 2 months, but I was able to put in 3-5 hours practice a day for it (so it essentially took me 8 months of 1 hour practice a day). Now I'm on book 2 and I'm finding it harder to find time now uni is starting again. Only getting in an hour a day now (2 if I'm lucky).

I also got a tad frustrated with Alfred's recently. I got to Alexander's rag time and didn't like it so had no motivation, and I couldn't figure the rhythm for theme from solace. So I worked from Alfred's greatest hits no.1 for a bit, and also learnt solitude (david nevue) and two Ludovico Einaudi songs, which means I now have a 4 or 5 song repertoire (wont be performing any concerts soon lol). But by pure coincidence I was watching the Sting and heard the theme from solace and it just clicked, and then alexander's rag time fell into place soon after. La Bamba slowed me down too. I can play it up to speed but I'm still not perfectly accurate so I'm slowing it down to try and make it smoother.

So progress wise I'm on the mexican hat dance (the two after La Bamba I thought were easy and so those three are just my current practice routine to polish them up a bit).

Anyway, book 2 is certainly picking up in difficulty (albeit without a hugely engaging song list in my opinion) but motivation is no problem now I have some good supplements for it.

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I hated all the Mexican songs, but I think once you get past them the songs start to get more interesting again. I quite like Plaisir d'Amour and House of the Rising Sun for example.

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Hello Everyone!

I'm back from my vacation--I missed my piano for sure!! This week I have La Raspa--ick. I'm having a hard time getting this one to sound pleasant--all that pounding. I'll be glad when I get past this one. It's simple enough, but the finger changes are difficult. I'm also doing "Take Me Out to the BallGame" in the Favorites book along with Liebestraum--which is my favorite.

I picked up the Alfred's Xmas book 1 and 2, and was disappointed in Book One's simplicity. So, I will just save it for one of my grandchildren when they want to learn to play and concentrate in book 2.

My teacher is going to be out for the entire month of November, so no lessons. I'm motivated anyway, but I will still miss them. It will give me some time to go through some of my supplementary material. I just got the sheet music for "Imagine" by John Lennon, so I'm itching to get started in that too! I'm in no need of sheet music to go to though. I have PLENTY!!

Good luck to all with all those Mexican songs! Just keep on keeping on!!

Happy playing!

Nancy


Piano Obsession Log:
Began Piano 12/25/09 on Yamaha starter digital keyboard
Playing on circa 1917/18 Chickering Grand Piano since July 2010
Finished Alfred Book 1-August 2010
Started Book 2--August 11, 2010
Alfred Favorites Book

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Where is everyone???? Enjoying the autumn weather???? Let's get through this book two together!!

I had my lessons yesterday...kinda perturbed about it. My teacher had choir practice yesterday, so wanted me to come out early. I left work early to get there, and all she did was look at her watch, which screwed up my playing totally. She has done that a couple of times with various things, like checking on her dinner, etc. Lastly, she lives in a tri-level house with 3 small stair cases to get up to get to the piano room. It's ok, but she puts her laundry on the stair cases to dry..and I have told her before that I need a railing to use due to my bad knee...and she had more wash there yesterday..which really screwed up my knee! Yikes...I'm seriously thinking that the pain vs what I am gaining is tilting in the negative.

I'm done complaining! Thank you for listening/reading!

I passed Liebestraum and Take Me Out-even with my boo-boos...she knew I had memorized the pieces and had no problem playing them earlier for my hubby's nurse. So, I was mad at myself I let the distraction bother me.

Didn't do so well at La Raspa...this was the most difficult piece for me, so I just gave up on trying to play it correctly last night. So, I've got to perfect it for next time. Which is fine by me..I don't like to move on if I'm still struggling with something..no matter how irritating the song is!! I am on a mission to play it so it sounds NICE!

Instead of working on "Imagine", "Sunrise, Sunset" has captured my imagination! It's my first real sheet music..not simplified, so I was surprised that I could actually do a slow version, TWO HANDED, first try!! Yeah!! Love the harmonies on that..so that's going to be my project right now.

So that is my status for this week...in a funk about the lessons...but hopeful in my own abilities to play! I'm really, really, considering dropping the lessons.

What's everyone else up to????

Nancy


Piano Obsession Log:
Began Piano 12/25/09 on Yamaha starter digital keyboard
Playing on circa 1917/18 Chickering Grand Piano since July 2010
Finished Alfred Book 1-August 2010
Started Book 2--August 11, 2010
Alfred Favorites Book

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I haven't been working on Alfred's in my lessons - my new teacher has me working on Beyer etudes, to clean up my technique. It's working, too. I still play things I already know from Alfred's, because although some of the etudes are very nice (especially 2 of the 3 I'm working on right now), I need to spend part of my time playing things I already know.

We'll be done with the Beyer book soon - we didn't start at the beginning, because I wasn't an absolute beginner - and he says then I can either go back to Alfred's or choose something else.



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I have been spending alot of time doing my keith snell books. I am almost done with level 2. From Alfred's I am working on Theme from Musetta's Waltz. Is anybody starting to think about Christmas Music.

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I start Musetta's Waltz today. I have been thinking about Christmas music as well. I really wanted to have at least 5- songs down and recorded by then so that I could make a cd with my kids singing along. They love Christmas music so it shouldn't be difficult getting them to help. smile


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Hello everyone!

I'm back from vacation now...and ready to work!! I started right away on the piano yesterday after throwing in my wash from vacation. I have missed it sooo much! I was able to work through my songs pretty well..even with a whole week of no playing! Guess that daily practice is starting to pay off!

I have decided to stop my lessons from my piano instructor for the reasons in my last post and others. I don't know if I will get another one...just not now at least..with winter coming. We are in the boonies, 22 miles to the nearest store, so I don't get out much during the winter. The county doesn't plow much around here, so I will be learning on my own and joining the self teaching thread I presume!

I'm still working on a regular piece, Sunrise, Sunset, which is just beautiful. I'm going to put my Alfred 2 away to work on Christmas songs...maybe go through a song in Bk 2 every week or two. I've almost got La Raspa down. That fingering is sure tricky!

Anyone else doing Alfred Christmas Song book????

Happy Playing!


Piano Obsession Log:
Began Piano 12/25/09 on Yamaha starter digital keyboard
Playing on circa 1917/18 Chickering Grand Piano since July 2010
Finished Alfred Book 1-August 2010
Started Book 2--August 11, 2010
Alfred Favorites Book

[Linked Image]




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