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#1896786 - 05/14/12 03:53 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Eglantine]  
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casinitaly Offline

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Far far away
Originally Posted by Eglantine
Well done, Mary Bee.
I too am back to going through counting the beats super-strictly in this piece, as I feared the addition of ornaments had streeetched time in various places, and not in a good way. Counting is an excellent way of keeping things under control.
Doing it without the trill first, as you did, seems the most sensible.

This last week, lots of progress on the Baroque ornaments: there are now 5 I can recognise and execute. Colour coding each type with a different colour highlight pen - at the suggestion of a fellow student - really helped the de-coding process, and now they're automatic. There are 105 ornaments in the piece, an average of one per bar or so, so it's been a fab piece for practising ornaments, and learning them has been key for getting the piece right.



Ok, I just can not imagine what this piece sounds like!!! When will we get to hear it? Please, please, pretty please!?


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#1896815 - 05/14/12 04:55 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Eglantine Offline

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Another Country
Well all I can say is it's still a festival of flubs and in no way ready for recital posting yet. Though it has the virtue of no 'added dog' laugh

But every day it gets better, so maybe in a couple of weeks on piano bar? (I also still haven't done a tune up, and the top C is diabolical - 2 different notes, both not right!)


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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#1896816 - 05/14/12 04:58 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Eglantine]  
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casinitaly Offline

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Far far away
Originally Posted by Eglantine
Well all I can say is it's still a festival of flubs and in no way ready for recital posting yet. Though it has the virtue of no 'added dog' laugh

But every day it gets better, so maybe in a couple of weeks on piano bar? (I also still haven't done a tune up, and the top C is diabolical - 2 different notes, both not right!)


I will be watching for it! smile
(with or without "added dog" smile )


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#1896857 - 05/14/12 05:56 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Yesterday afternoon I hosted a pre-recital get-together/rehearsal for some of my teacher's adult students.

There were four of us, plus some spouses, all strangers to each other. I've got to hand it to Mrs JimF, she laid out a beatiful spread of munchables which, combined with some beverages, really broke the ice quickly. Before you knew it everyone was talking piano in one way or another...practice routines, performance nerves, memorizing tips, how long have you played?, what kind of instrument do you have?.. it was like having PW right in my kitchen!!

Before too long we had chosen an order of performing and headed to the piano room. Everyone played great.....ahead of time we decided we would all go up twice, so that took some of the pressure off and I think resulted in a lighter atmosphere.

I went second and was able to get through the MacDowell piece pretty well. I even followed it immediately with the Ravel Prelude, since I hadn't officially yet chosen which I am playing at recital next week (the Ravel is much easier but I really want to play the MacDowell). There was a lot of oooohing and ahhhing over my piano 3hearts, which everyone fell in love with. It made me feel very very lucky to have such an instrument to play all the time.

After everyone played twice there was more chatting and grazing at the eats table. Everyone wanted to keep returning to the piano to just fiddle a bit. One woman grabbed one of my jazz books and sight read (haltingly) a Joplin piece, after which I laid on a rendition of Someone To Watch Over Me (I confess I'd been practicing it all week in case the opportunity arose grin ) followed by The Shadow of Your Smile. This got a rousing ovation, which really made my day.

By the time everyone left we were all talking about doing it again, and maybe not waiting until next year's recital either.
I would encourage anyone who has ever even thought about doing something similar to grab the bull by the horns and just make it happen. There are so many ways this was a positive for all of us in our little group....it seems silly that we had not done it sooner.

Jim


Last edited by JimF; 05/14/12 05:59 PM.

Tarantella, Pieczonka
Sonatine, No.2 Menuet - MRavel


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#1896889 - 05/14/12 07:25 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: JimF]  
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Sounds like so much fun, Jim!


Mary Bee
Current mantra: Play outside the box.
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#1896903 - 05/14/12 07:59 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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MaryAnn Offline
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That's great, Jim!

I was actually thinking of doing something a little similar at my house. Though I've only got a digital, so noone will be impressed with my piano. I had a party recently and some of the guests who play piano were suggesting we have a piano salon, where we invite all the people from work who play. I'm a little nervous because a couple of them play really well, but I think I will go for it anyway. They are nice people; they realize I've been playing less than a year. Perhaps I should consult Mrs JimF about refreshments!

My achievement of the week has been to get some of my old pieces back. I've been taking it kind of easy because of my wrist pain problem. I could play the old pieces without pain before, so it seemed worth trying to get them back now (I'm a little shocked how fast I forgot!). So for the salon, I will probably play 2 minuets and a gavotte (this is my current piece, which is almost ready). They're all about a minute long.

#1897120 - 05/15/12 03:14 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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I tried very hard to record after work today but could not by 9 PM EST. But i learned a lot by listening to my recording. I will record mine within a couple of days and post it to piano bar. My husband was home early and it made it difficult. At times I wish he would play golf or something. I understand golfers get out of the house hours at a time.



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)
#1897121 - 05/15/12 03:22 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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My "achievement" is that I realized that not everything in life is perfect. So, I posted to the recital even though I was half sight reading (so there are a couple awkward pauses) and the piano is so out of tune I'll bet many of the listeners will shut it off during the first measure. I decided that I don't care. I want to participate, and that is what I have available right now. When life gives you lemons, force everyone else to eat them laugh


Playing since age 21 (September 2010) and loving it more every day.
"You can play better than BachMach2." - Mark_C
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#1897147 - 05/15/12 05:03 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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casinitaly Offline

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Far far away
Jim, that sounds like so much fun. And the good thing about your get together is that everyone is able to participate at their own level. I've had music parties, but have invited friends who play other instruments/piano/and have tons more experience than I do. I often end up feeling on the fringe because I can't keep up!

MaryAnn, congrats on getting your old pieces back! - Do be careful with the pain --- you don't want to create a long-term problem.

FarmGirl, I'm sorry you couldn't get your recording done. Can you not negotiate "recording time" with your hubby? Get him to take the dogs for a long walk maybe smile
I'll watch for you in the piano bar!


Sam , I doubt you're giving us lemons, but if you did...I'll make a lemon meringue pie! Look forward to hearing your submission (you really did squeak it at the last minute, didn't you?)


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#1897232 - 05/15/12 08:47 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Eglantine Offline

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FarmGirl, commiserations. Looking forward to hearing it in piano bar.


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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#1897408 - 05/15/12 02:18 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: MaryAnn]  
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MaryAnn,

Quote
...I was actually thinking of doing something a little similar at my house...


Go for it. The piano doesn't matter. And I wouldn't worry too much about some folks being more advanced....they were beginners once too and are usually supportive of newer players. Also, it is a good thing to watch and hear better players...you will see that they make mistakes just like we do!

I you are still worried about it, you could start with a smaller group of just 3 or 4 people that you think are closer to your level.

It occured to me while thinking about my get-together that people come to PW seeking support for what can be a pretty solitary and even isolating journey (learning to play). The get-together with like-minded souls traveling the same path is just a real world analog of what we already do in the digital domain online. As you might expect, the analog version has a certain richness and unevenness that actually adds to the experience, IMO.


Tarantella, Pieczonka
Sonatine, No.2 Menuet - MRavel


Estonia L190 #7284[Linked Image][Linked Image]
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#1897516 - 05/15/12 06:23 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Sam - that is indeed an achievement. Maturity strikes again! laugh

JimF - what a great story. The Denver piano party I got to go to was so much fun, and I'm really looking forward to the next one in June. I'm with you, if folks can possibly swing it it's worth the time!

Cathy


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#1897615 - 05/15/12 10:03 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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My achievement of the week was to get in really productive practices yesterday and today. At least they felt like productive practices--they were late morning practices--I'd had my coffee and I was physically and mentally ready to play.

Sometimes you just have to practice when you have time to practice, but--for me--it's a matter of treading water when I'm physically and mentally exhausted.

JimF, congrats on pulling off the piano party. And you played The Shadow of Your Smile! I'm working on that one myself. Which arrangement do you play? I'm playing my own arrangement of Joe Whitehead's (Studio Joe(?)here on PW)arrangement. I took his jazzy version and made it a little more traditional.


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#1897657 - 05/15/12 11:53 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Stubbie]  
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My achievement of the week was to figure out what was causing my hands to trip up while trying to practice sixteenth note runs over some piano chords. It turns out, I just had to pick my hand up and reposition it. It sounds so simple when I write it out. Now I can focus on speeding things up.

What a great and inspiring thread!

#1897735 - 05/16/12 04:19 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: brucepiano]  
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Congrats on your Piano party, Jim. It sounds like a lot of fun. I would love to do something like that here. I think we all need the opportunity to play in front of other people, and its great to be able to turn piano into a social opportunity!

I had my first piano lesson in six weeks yesterday. First my teacher was on vacation, then I was on vacation, then it took a couple of weeks to get back on her schedule. I am so impressed with this teacher. I think sometimes teachers do not take "older" players seriously and let them get by with mediocre playing. Not this teacher! It is not right unless it is right! I really appreciate her for that. If I could incorporate everything she tries to teach me, I would play really well. I will someday.

When I first placed Chopin Nocturne in Eb major my teacher had said it sounded too waltz-y. Now she is pleased with my playing of it, and it can go it my "maintain" stack. Yesterday I played Chopin waltz in C# minor, and she said it sounded too Nocturne-like. Oh well. So, my achievement was to learn how to play the LH from the arm better to get the short bounce in the 2-3 beat without my fingers moving off the keys. By the end of the lesson it sounded like a waltz again. The second achievement was mastering the "small" hand position enough to play the fast Alberti base sections of Mozart Rondo from K545 at speed without much finger motion.

I am continually reminded what a difference a good teacher makes. I would have never figured out these techniques on my own. I cannot thank her enough!

#1897824 - 05/16/12 08:20 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: SwissMS]  
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Originally Posted by SwissMS
The second achievement was mastering the "small" hand position


Would you mind explaining to me what you mean by a 'small' hand position?

Your performance of the Andante was excellent, btw, in the 26th recital. Very controlled and error-free throughout. Well played!



Richard
#1897934 - 05/16/12 11:35 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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My achievement of the week didn't involve a piano......I finally hooked up with that hot chick at the bank..... thumb

#1897987 - 05/16/12 12:58 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Stubbie]  
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Originally Posted by Stubbie
JimF, congrats on pulling off the piano party. And you played The Shadow of Your Smile! I'm working on that one myself. Which arrangement do you play? I'm playing my own arrangement of Joe Whitehead's (Studio Joe(?)here on PW)arrangement. I took his jazzy version and made it a little more traditional.


Stubbie - It is a Dan Coates arrangement from this book Top 50 Jazz Standards He seems to have a knack for making approachable arrangements that still have a pretty rich feel and sound.


Tarantella, Pieczonka
Sonatine, No.2 Menuet - MRavel


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#1898255 - 05/16/12 08:36 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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For 2 weeks straight I've been playing an hour of arpeggios, scales and other technical exercises and also I've been ironing out the Haydn sonata for my final exam, I am proud of the progress I made and hope to do good on my exam, it's a fast movement and I wish to make a good impression during the exams. (I will be examined by a committee of 3 professors) I know they will probably cut me some slack since I am new to the piano but I want to prove to them them that I am serious about my piano studies. Also the excuse that I've been playing for 2 years is no longer viable since next year I will study chamber music and then I can't afford to be bad at it since it involves playing with other musicians and it won't be fair to them to drag them down with me. It's my own fault I started this late and I have to catch up fast.

Also I am playing some 4 hand arrangements of 3 piano preludes by Chopin next week I have only a week to prepare them and if I manage to pull this off I will be extremely happy with myself, since it has never before taken me any less than 1-2 months to play something decently. The notes are easy but it will be a sight-reading challenge since I have to play with notes in front of an audience with another pianist and one of the preludes is rather fast paced in some parts. (which I already memorized just in case). The cool thing is those arrangements are very fresh a composer from my town who is very famous in Bulgaria made those and this will be the first time they will be performed publicly, this is a huge responsibility.

Last edited by Teodor; 05/16/12 08:39 PM.

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#1898336 - 05/16/12 10:48 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Teodor, this sounds very intense! You're putting in a lot of hard work, but it sounds like you are making very good progress. Keep it up!


Mary Bee
Current mantra: Play outside the box.
[Linked Image] [Linked Image] [Linked Image] XVI-XXXVI
#1899027 - 05/18/12 05:08 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: JimF]  
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MaryAnn Offline
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Originally Posted by JimF
MaryAnn,

Quote
...I was actually thinking of doing something a little similar at my house...


Go for it. The piano doesn't matter. And I wouldn't worry too much about some folks being more advanced....they were beginners once too and are usually supportive of newer players. Also, it is a good thing to watch and hear better players...you will see that they make mistakes just like we do!

I you are still worried about it, you could start with a smaller group of just 3 or 4 people that you think are closer to your level.

It occured to me while thinking about my get-together that people come to PW seeking support for what can be a pretty solitary and even isolating journey (learning to play). The get-together with like-minded souls traveling the same path is just a real world analog of what we already do in the digital domain online. As you might expect, the analog version has a certain richness and unevenness that actually adds to the experience, IMO.
so it looks like it will be 4 pianists and a violinist. The pianists besides me have been playing for ages. Oh well, the worst that happens is I completely blow it, but they're nice people so I think they'll be understanding and supportive. This is happening a week from Sunday. I'll let you know how it goes.

#1899028 - 05/18/12 05:09 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: MaryBee]  
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ZRTF90 - Thank you for the compliment on my Mozart K545 andante performance. It was error free, which is a first for me for something this long.

I will try to answer your question "Would you mind explaining to me what you mean by a 'small' hand position?"

The best place to learn it is with scales. The hand stays rather compact in width as it moves up and down the keyboard instead of stretching across the palm. The arm does the moving instead of reaching with the fingers. On an Alberti base that covers an octave, the arm moves a little and wrist rotates a little instead of widening the hand. On Alberti in the five position, the fingers barely move. A slight rotation of the wrist does it all. The key is to keep the fingers very close to the keys. The arm movement for larger movements originates at the shoulder, and it takes very little. I hope this makes sense! It is hard to verbalize.

#1899056 - 05/18/12 07:25 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Yes, that makes sense to me now, contracted hand position, playing with wrist rotation instead fingers. Thank you. smile



Richard
#1899163 - 05/18/12 11:13 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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casinitaly Offline

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Far far away
MaryAnn it sounds like you're going to have a great music party!

Teodor - you're working so hard -and seeing such good results. I hope we get to hear the 4 hands by the Bulgarian composer! In boca al lupo for your exams! (That's Italian for "break a leg" !)

I had a nice lesson today -and started working on Gymnopedie 1. What weird hand movements! But such a delicious sound. When I showed it to my teacher she said "Oh, you've picked something easy for a change?" with a twinkle in her eye.
We also reviewed a rough spot in the Chopin, which I have not abbandonded. She told me again that she never imagined I'd be able to get so far on it so quickly. I felt very pleased.



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#1899168 - 05/18/12 11:22 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Originally Posted by casinitaly
I had a nice lesson today -and started working on Gymnopedie 1. What weird hand movements! But such a delicious sound. When I showed it to my teacher she said "Oh, you've picked something easy for a change?" with a twinkle in her eye.
We also reviewed a rough spot in the Chopin, which I have not abbandonded. She told me again that she never imagined I'd be able to get so far on it so quickly. I felt very pleased.


That's a tough piece CAS ... but very satisfying. Phrasing the melody but keeping it p is tough - as is making the left hand chords quiet enough that the melody can float over. I haven't got it to where I will record it for posterity yet.

Go for it!!!


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

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#1899364 - 05/18/12 04:53 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Eglantine Offline

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Another Country
Well my teacher seems very happy with the Blow. As a 'beginning'.

He's suggested I shorten the trills to 6 rather than 8 notes. And relaxing. And, as I already know, my LH trill is so much better. But then I'm a leftie. I need to even them up.


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]
#1899367 - 05/18/12 04:56 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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My trills are terrible. I'm gonna put a lot of work into them when I get back to my grand piano. It's hard to improve much on them when you practice on a DP frown


Playing since age 21 (September 2010) and loving it more every day.
"You can play better than BachMach2." - Mark_C
Currently Butchering:
Chopin Ballade no 1 in G minor Op.23
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#1899401 - 05/18/12 05:36 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 59
DottedNotes Offline
Full Member
DottedNotes  Offline
Full Member

Joined: May 2012
Posts: 59
New York
I took the ABRSM Grade 7 exam in early May--and discovered I am terrible at (1) clapping back rhythms; and (2) playing scales/arpeggios with hands separately.
I don't have the marks back yet, so perhaps it's premature for me to begin practicing for Grade 8 ...
But since the pieces appeal to me, I have started:
Bach: Prelude & Fugue in B Flat Major from WTC 1
Mozart: Sonata in D, K. 284 (1st movement)
I'm not sure whether to play Debussy's "Valse Romantique" or Chopin's "Nocturne in B, Op. 32, No. 1". (The big leaps in the Debussy concern me--I'm trying to improve my overall accuracy), but on the other hand, I'm not sure I will remember all the fine details of the Chopin ...
Anyway, there's a section in the Mozart with a lot of hand crossings. My achievement of the week is to play it at tempo with no errors. Mozart is so hard! There can't be any errors at all!
I'm hoping that, when the new exam syllabus comes out in July, I don't get tempted to change pieces. I memorize very quickly since I use Braille music and have to have both hands free in order to play anything. But learning what it feels like to play the piece properly--especially if it contains lots of big leaps or crossing hands--takes a lot longer. The number of correct repetitions required to make the movements automatic is pretty high.

#1899409 - 05/18/12 05:46 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 4,094
PianoStudent88 Online content
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PianoStudent88  Online Content
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Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 4,094
Maine
DottedNotes, congratulations on your success with the Mozart! I bet it sounds wonderful.

I've been practicing for clapbacks on the US equivalent to ABRSM, and if yours are anything like ours, (and if ours are like the practice materials), then they're supremely HORRID! All you get is a vague meandering monotone melody that makes no harmonic sense, no rhythmic sense, and has no accents to help you find the beat. And you only hear it twice. I can't imagine when any musician would need to do something like that, unless perhaps they suddenly landed on Mars and their life depended on clapping back some wierd bit of Martian music that they had heard briefly, that was used as a secret password to escape from imminent execution.


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#1899421 - 05/18/12 06:09 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: PianoStudent88]  
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 1,273
MaryBee Offline
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MaryBee  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 1,273
Cleveland, OH
Originally Posted by PianoStudent88
I can't imagine when any musician would need to do something like that, unless perhaps they suddenly landed on Mars and their life depended on clapping back some wierd bit of Martian music that they had heard briefly, that was used as a secret password to escape from imminent execution.
laugh But then, perhaps they are just trying to make sure that all those astronaut musicians are well-prepared.


Mary Bee
Current mantra: Play outside the box.
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