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#1807607 - 12/17/11 11:28 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Plowboy Offline
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C# minor and Bb Major are the ones that give my fingers fits.


Gary
Essex EUP-111 at the mountains
W. Hoffmann T-122 at the beach
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#1807647 - 12/17/11 12:24 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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PianoStudent88 Online content
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Exalted Wombat, I find that the "2-3" fingering of B, Gb, and Db makes them the easiest for me -- once I got used to which of B/C and E/F each one has for white notes. By 2-3 fingering, I mean the regular pattern of which fingers go on the groups of 2 and 3 black notes.

Plowboy, Bb major was the last major scale I learned. Curiously, I find it much easier descending than ascending. Usually the opposite is true: I have a harder time descending. And minor scales, hmmmph, don't get me started! I've just started learning minor scales, and after getting to feel comfortable with the majors, I'm having to get used to the neophyte feeling of struggling with minor key fingering. I'm sure they'll come, but: bah.


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#1807659 - 12/17/11 12:50 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Is it a fingering problem, or a notes problem? Can you play the scale correctly with ONE finger?

#1807677 - 12/17/11 01:39 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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For the minor scales? A little bit of both, for the black key minors. I need to slow down and get the notes clearly in my mind, then the fingering will be easier because I'll know where I'm going.

I just played through all the white key harmonic minors, so there's hope.


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#1807679 - 12/17/11 01:43 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: PianoStudent88]  
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Originally Posted by PianoStudent88
For the minor scales? A little bit of both, for the black key minors. I need to slow down and get the notes clearly in my mind, then the fingering will be easier because I'll know where I'm going.

I just played through all the white key harmonic minors, so there's hope.


Good! Analysing a problem is three parts of solving it! (Though it's amazing how many people SAY, quite clearly, what needs doing - then don't:-)

#1807685 - 12/17/11 01:53 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Scales - So I can remember the right notes for each scale so that's not the problem. And, the number of sharps/flats don't scare me either. As it was noted playing up on the black keys can often feel easier on the hands. It seems to be that starting on a finger other than 1 is what throws me off. Even more so when each hand starts on a different finger such as in the F# Minor Harmonic scale. (RH can start at 2 or 3; while LH starts at 4)

Also, I'm learning the related minor harmonic and melodic scales for each major scale and the fact that the fourth fingers cross at different notes just throws me for a major twist. For instance F# Minor Harmonic - Right hand fourth finger on G#, Left hand fourth finger on F#.

And, in the minor scales I have to remember that in the harmonic scale the 7th note gets raised ascending and descending, and the melodic scales have the 6th and 7th notes raised ascending and go natural descending.

So far my tough scales are B minor melodic/harmonic, F#minor harmonic/melodic, and Bb major gets me all twisted up sometimes too.

I do find though that the more I play them the fingers just seem to know where to go and I can remember all the rules of raising 6th,7th, and going back to naturals in the descending part of the scale.

It's interesting that I remember many of my major scales from 20 years ago. I just don't remember learning the minor scales in their various forms so these are all new to me and will just take more time to get into memory.

Also, I don't mind playing them either as once I think I got the fingering down I try to practice other things like playing gradually louder as I go up the scale and softer as I come back down and ending softly. Also, when I get really brave I play them with different rhythms and that's when I really know if I know the scale! Then playing a scale legato to staccato can throw me off for a loop too so I add that to the mix when everything else is solid.


Preparing Grade 6 RCM.

#1807758 - 12/17/11 05:18 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: FarmGirl]  
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[quote=FarmGirl]Andy - hey, you need to enjoy the success sometimes:) BTW, is "swollen head" expression similar to "so and so is getting too big for his britches"?

Let me tell you I learn a lot of words in this forum. In my notebook of colloquial English, I make entries like this. I note the words , who I heard from and definitions.

Benpiano - real hum-dinger (something extraordinary large or an excellent person or thing)
Mr. S/H - It's frigging xxx ( I think he is emphasizing something with a hint of frustration)

I'd pay good money to read some of those 'translations'!


Mr-BISHONEN.

#1807769 - 12/17/11 06:02 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: ZoeCalgary]  
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Since we seem to be on scale work:

My scale assignment this week was to play C major in 10ths - left starts on C while right starts on E in the next octave up. It took a while to get the hang of it but I seem to have it smoothed out now. Speed and control isn't quite up to regular scales yet, but I think it will come in a few more days.


Tarantella, Pieczonka
Sonatine, No.2 Menuet - MRavel


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#1807849 - 12/17/11 09:51 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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I am struggling with Debussy's Reverie. My teacher suggested I learn the end of the piece and then go back to tackling some more of the harder parts. He said something about making you feel good knowing that at least you can tackle a piece's beginning and end. So, this week I learned the last 20 measures and can already play the first 48 measures at almost the right tempo. Do I feel better? Nope... especially since I know that what I have to tackle next are the 6 measures before the last 20.

Last edited by VicPinto; 12/17/11 09:52 PM.

Assigned by teacher:

Chopin Valse F Sharp Minor (Posthumous)
Debussy "Reverie"
#1807887 - 12/18/11 12:10 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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I am new here, well I read a lot but don't post. Wanted to share something. I played my first ever recital two weeks ago (played a simple arrangement from Brahms first symph. IV mvmt.) and it was a train wreck. This week, my son's piano teacher invited me to play in their winter recital. Played Brahms again and NAILED IT! Very redemptive and encouraging!!

#1807910 - 12/18/11 01:42 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: mr_super-hunky]  
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Originally Posted by Lateralus Ag
I am new here, well I read a lot but don't post. Wanted to share something. I played my first ever recital two weeks ago (played a simple arrangement from Brahms first symph. IV mvmt.) and it was a train wreck. This week, my son's piano teacher invited me to play in their winter recital. Played Brahms again and NAILED IT! Very redemptive and encouraging!!




Originally Posted by mr_super-hunky
crashing and burning is good for you. Once you've done it, you know what it's like. You've lived through it. suddenly you will find a huge weight made out of stress lifted from your shoulders and you will come back so much stronger.

The difference will be due to your new casual attitude and the removal of a formerly unknown fear that you have now conquered. This is also the point where your confidense in your playing will grow and build from.

This will happen to you too. You'll see!



High five Bro!

Welcome to the forum.


I told you Lucy!

Last edited by mr_super-hunky; 12/18/11 01:48 AM.
#1808018 - 12/18/11 10:38 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Lateralus Ag]  
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Originally Posted by Lateralus Ag
I am new here, well I read a lot but don't post. Wanted to share something. I played my first ever recital two weeks ago (played a simple arrangement from Brahms first symph. IV mvmt.) and it was a train wreck. This week, my son's piano teacher invited me to play in their winter recital. Played Brahms again and NAILED IT! Very redemptive and encouraging!!


Welcome and congratulations!


"You are the music while the music lasts" - T.S. Eliot
#1808035 - 12/18/11 11:47 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Lateralus Ag]  
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Originally Posted by Lateralus Ag
...and NAILED IT!


That's cool smile Congrats.

Cathy


Cathy
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#1808119 - 12/18/11 02:25 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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ZoeCalgary, Congrats! I like your Fantasia in E Minor by Telemann very much. You really bring the baroque sound out of the piano. smile

Wisebuff, good laughter, good food, and good music with friends and family sounds cozy. Reminds me of the music parties the family of Bach had once in awhile.

Swissme, All your pieces you are working on are very difficult. I wish I could work on the WTC pieces. But if it takes a lot of time even for you, then maybe it's better for me to wait.

Eglantine, congrats on getting a harpsichord! That's a big achievement and much bigger excitement, because you work on a lot of Bach pieces.

LisaE, msirukandjisting and Lateralus Ag, welcome on this forum and this topic!

Pianostudent88, Andy Platt, sorry to hear your heads got swollen, haha. You must be doing something good though.

Ukbuk, interesting how relaxation works. It's a major issue I'm adressing now. I'm gonna look at my pinky too.

Plowboy, playing delicately and a nicely tuned piano together should be delicious. Thumbs up for your major achievement this year. thumb

My AOTW is that I learned my first scale. Interesting to read how you are doing on scales. I tried a lot of times before, but after a few runs I got bored. That's not a good way to learn scales.

This week I played A minor natural, they key of Für Elise, every day though. And I achieve it, but I'm still not excited about it.


Chris

Playing since May 02 2009
#1808472 - 12/19/11 02:21 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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all this talk of scales: should I be using a book for practicing these, or just figure them out and play them?

#1808496 - 12/19/11 07:18 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Nova Scotia, Canada
Well, survived my first recital (barely). I played "Still, Still, Still" - a very simple, short arrangement. Started off okay, but by the end my hands were shaking so badly I could barely hit the keys, but did finish it. Then I was to play one of my Grade 1 RCM pieces for my exam in January. Did the first half then went completely brain-dead. It was like I looked down at the keys and couldn't remember for the life of me what they were for, let alone which ones to hit in which order! Add to that, I was the only adult there out of the 6 my teacher has. At least one other had promised to show up, but apparently her grandmother died (like I believe that!!)But I remembered people here telling how they messed up their recital and lived to tell the tale, so was able to NOT run from the room crying! Then at the end, the teacher encouraged people to play "casually" while everyone chatted and had a snack, so she and my daughter TOLD me I had to play that piece again. And guess what - played it perfectly! So I was proud of myself for getting back up on the horse that threw me! Not sure if I want to go through that again, but probably will. Determined to conquer my fears!

#1808543 - 12/19/11 09:56 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Sam Rose Offline
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I had lesson number two yesterday. It ended up going over two hours, and I loved every minute of it (even though it's costing me a fortune). We worked on technique in scales in particular (especially the thumb tucking, which is where I tend to break the even rhythm) and some other technical issues. I find his teaching to be just super, and he always seems to be able to get very quick results out of me even with technical issues that are somewhat abstract and hard to explain.

He wrote out all the scales and I'm supposed to learn octaves in all of them. EEK! At least with octaves there are no fingering issues (as I only know the fingering for C major, and the other scales that use the same fingering).

He assigned me C major arpeggios with fingering for both hands as well.

We discussed the Chopin Ballade no 1 that I'm working on, and how to approach it. He said we could either go the easy way or the hard way (and I knew exactly what was coming here). The easy way: finish up the piece and get some general tips and such. It would sound ok, but sloppy to the discerning ear. Or, start from the beginning and go through it with a fine-toothed comb. I said I'm willing to do the latter.

So my assignment for next lesson is to go through the first page or two (and more if I can) and play with NO rubato or embellishments, and with COUNTING. I've never counted before, so this will be annoying at first, but hopefully not too much. I learned the first couple pages at a point when I didn't really know the difference between an eight note, quarter note, or half note, and didn't know what a tie was (and there are more; basically, I only did the notes, imitating what I heard on recordings). As I got further in the piece, I understood more of the notation so it's less sloppy. He said it's unbelievable that I managed to get it as good as I did (I know the first 6 and a half pages and the last 3. I need to learn the middle 3.), and I'm excited to make it better!
Also, there were many sloppy areas as far as fingering, or letting go of notes that I should be holding, or pedaling too much, etc. At least the notes are right wink

All in all, I'm really enjoying having a teacher, and I think I picked one up at pretty much the right time for me (and a GOOD one too!).

Last edited by Sam Rose; 12/19/11 09:59 AM.

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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#1808554 - 12/19/11 10:12 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Sam Rose]  
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Good for you, Sam!
Counting is HUGE! Once you've mastered it, you should have very little difficulty with rhythm in future pieces- and they will get tricky!
BTW, I often use the numbers/count to "sing" my way through some classical pieces that HAVE no words- I just have to be sure not to sing OUT LOUD smile


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



#1808556 - 12/19/11 10:24 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: piano joy]  
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Sam Rose Offline
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Originally Posted by piano joy
Good for you, Sam!
Counting is HUGE! Once you've mastered it, you should have very little difficulty with rhythm in future pieces- and they will get tricky!
BTW, I often use the numbers/count to "sing" my way through some classical pieces that HAVE no words- I just have to be sure not to sing OUT LOUD smile


Pieces that have trickier rhythm (like Fantaisie Impromptu, which I've done) I have no idea how I would count. I guess that's what the teacher is there for. I'm going to play that piece for him next lesson so he can help me iron it out. It's a deceptively simple piece, so I think there will be less to fix compared to the Ballade.


As far as singing, that's the trouble I have with counting. I'm tempted to count in a sing-song kind of voice, but that's just embarrassing for me. But counting in a monotone is hard too, because it's separate from the music. I guess for the "out loud" portion I'll do it in a monotone, but when I count in my head I can sing it as loud as I want laugh


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
My Piano Diary: http://www.youtube.com/sirsardonic
♪ > $
#1808572 - 12/19/11 11:05 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Lisa, that's a wonderful story,and good for you for going back to play it. I will have to say that I prefer playing background music, and though I play solo gigs 3/month at seniors venues, I wouldn't do a recital. Maybe you've got "dinner music" piano in your future - it's really fun smile

Sam - I love following your progress. Learning new stuff is the best, no?

Cathy


Cathy
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Practice what you suck at - anonymous
#1808599 - 12/19/11 12:10 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: jotur]  
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Sam Rose Offline
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Originally Posted by jotur


Sam - I love following your progress. Learning new stuff is the best, no?


Thanks Cathy! I'm glad there's at least one person I'm not boring!

The only thing better is learning old stuff wink


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
My Piano Diary: http://www.youtube.com/sirsardonic
♪ > $
#1808642 - 12/19/11 01:29 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Sam Rose]  
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jotur Offline
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Originally Posted by Sam Rose
The only thing better is learning old stuff wink


Been there, still doing that. I have notes going back to 2005 on one of my standard repertoire pieces, and I'm still working on it smile

Or is that not quite what you meant? laugh

Cathy

Last edited by jotur; 12/19/11 01:30 PM.

Cathy
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Practice what you suck at - anonymous
#1808734 - 12/19/11 03:27 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: MaryAnn]  
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JimF Offline
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south florida
MaryAnne,

Highly recommended: Alfreds Scales, Arpeggios, Chords and Candences - amazon link

I can't imagine not having a reference work to look up standard fingering or to correct occasional brain cramps. This book has all the major/minor scales with fingering for multiple octaves. All the arpeggios with fingering. And the chords for every scale degree in every key. For eight bucks you can't go wrong IMO.


Tarantella, Pieczonka
Sonatine, No.2 Menuet - MRavel


Estonia L190 #7284[Linked Image][Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
#1808906 - 12/19/11 09:15 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Sam Rose]  
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MaryAnn Offline
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Originally Posted by Sam Rose
Originally Posted by jotur


Sam - I love following your progress. Learning new stuff is the best, no?


Thanks Cathy! I'm glad there's at least one person I'm not boring!

The only thing better is learning old stuff wink
Don't be silly, Sam. I'm sure there's way more than one person you're not boring!

JimF: thanks for the tip. I'll get that next time I'm ordering from Amazon.

Last edited by MaryAnn; 12/19/11 09:16 PM.
#1808934 - 12/19/11 10:55 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: MaryAnn]  
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This past Oct, I started taking lessons (after wanting to for eons).

As of about 2 weeks ago, I could competently play through this at proper tempo and from memory:
Prelude #3 by Carolyn Miller (early intermediate)

Last week, I started the next piece (a bit easier) and can play about 3/4 of it decently, albeit a bit slower then full tempo., from memory:
More Fireflies by Carolyn Miller (late beginner)


3 pages of fun each :-D Fairly beginner stuff for most, but they are real pieces and they sound like real pieces (unlike some page out of alfred :P).

#1810150 - 12/21/11 05:53 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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JimF Offline
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Welcome to the thread Gomer. It sounds like you are really off to a great start.

My lesson this week was a rollercoaster. She loved my scales in 10ths and another exercise and complimented my progress on the MacDowell piece. I gave her a copy of MaGraths for Christmas and she shocked me with a gift of a very nice Ravel CD as well as a nice new score for one of his Preludes - which I'll start this week. The downer was my performance of the Christmas Song. I had played it without error not two hours earlier at home, but somehow managed to mangle it at the lesson. cry Arrrrggghhhh, I feel like such a head-case sometimes. I'm having guests over for Christmas so I hope it goes better by then. I also wanted to get in a recording, if possible, but we are having a pool put in and it seems every morning during practice there are jackhammers,tractors, chainsaws, etc. all wailing away not 30 feet from the piano. f Arrrrrrgh, the dogs will love the pool at least, and they never fail to love my playing smile.

Wishing all of you a very happy holiday season full of great piano performances.

Jim


Tarantella, Pieczonka
Sonatine, No.2 Menuet - MRavel


Estonia L190 #7284[Linked Image][Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
#1810383 - 12/22/11 02:26 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Posts: 2,101
Costa del Sol
This was a one step forward, two steps back week for me. I arrived at my lesson on a cold, snowy day and absolutely could not play. I started with my Bach piece and could not make my hands move fast enough. I couldn't even get through the first measure. It really shook me up, even though I knew that it was probably just from the cold. That added enough angst that I played everything with tension, making a ton of mistakes. I practiced a lot this last week, four hours a day or more, so it was frustrating to do so poorly in a lesson. However, I did learn a lot during my lesson. My struggle with the Bach prelude is because I have been trying to learn it in too large of chunks and I am playing too fast for this stage of my knowledge. So I need to SLOW DOWN, analyze the progressions, and play HS. I have also been having pain in my right hand at the base of the fourth finger the past couple of weeks. We identified the cause. I tend to stretch my hand rather than move or rotate my arm when I play. When I tried things with the arm involved, I had no pain and no tension. That is a major discovery because I was afraid I might be developing Carpal Tunnel or RSI. We also agreed that I needed to put more time on scales to improve my technique. I have only been playing a few months since my return to the piano, and I haven't really developed enough confidence and precision on the keyboard. So even a "bad" lesson can be a very good one!

#1810399 - 12/22/11 03:29 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: SwissMS]  
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 25
msirukandjisting Offline
Full Member
msirukandjisting  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 25
Australia
swissMS

Have many 2 step forward and 1 step back days myself....

Progressing, no matter how small the step is....

I downloaded Stairway To Heaven and have roughly got it together - practice practice practice to make it perfect - I also transposed it to Violin music, now that really is a Stairway To Heaven (for a quick death) lol


Love my piano - love me!!! - I'm not a person without my piano...orrrr.... You never know what you can do till you have a go...
#1810406 - 12/22/11 03:44 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 93
PianoU1 Offline
Full Member
PianoU1  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 93
uk
Passed grade 7 on tuesday with 82/100. Pleased with that.My Bach piece was a nightmare due to nerves but did well everywhere else. Looking forward to playing some new pieces in 2012!!


Piano Yamaha U1
Studying Grade 8 piano and 6 theory

Currently working on:
Chopin Nocturne in C# Minor
Beethoven Sonata Op10.no.1
Martinu Columbine Sings
Chopin: Waltz 69 no.2
Scott Joplin: Pineapple Rag




Achievements:
Grade 1-7 Piano (LCM)
Grade 1-5 theory (LCM)
#1811498 - 12/23/11 10:15 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 242
bessel Offline
Full Member
bessel  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 242
Ohio, USA
My AOTW - first lesson in about 2 months, having returned from the sunny, chilly, far south. As seems common in our reports, I managed to flub fabulously on a piece (Bach minuet in G) I've been playing flawlessly** at home, though I made it pretty well through the first half or so of the sonatina I'm working on, which is all I know so far. So, we concentrated on my flubby spots in the former and the "leading edge" of the latter - all good. And very exciting in that I think I can see the light at the end of the tunnel for this movement of this sonatina (Clementi 36 no 2 3rd mvmt)... it's going to come together in this lifetime, really.

And today has me yearning for a nice acoustic, preferably a fine grand in this dream, since I think a fair bit of my flubbing at lessons may be driven by the difference in feel between our dp and my teacher's grand - much harder action on the latter. Or at least that's a good excuse for the moment. smile


** Poetic license disclaimer: "flawlessly" = "pretty well for me", not "well for a pianist" or better. smile

Last edited by bessel; 12/23/11 10:17 PM.

Started playing: February 2011. Still having fun.
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