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#2013543 - 01/12/13 05:23 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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It all makes sense now, thanks.


Venables & Son Custom 133 Upright Acoustic Piano
Yamaha DGX-640 Digital Piano
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#2013849 - 01/13/13 10:56 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Week 44: the new desk location for the Yamaha NP11 is better. I buy a sturdy stool at the local thrift store to meet the new height requirement. I work on a companion piece to Shimmer. The new piece is slower in tempo, lower in tone, in the same key, same basic arpeggio pattern, similar harmonies.

It is revealing to me, how relatively minor changes make for a completely different mood. I call the new piece Shadow, because it is pensive and brooding in places. Shadow is a work in progress. I plan to perform what I have next Saturday at Songmakers. I may also have another go at Ashokan Farewell in front of the group. The last attempt in September was a crash and burn, so it would be nerve wracking. We will see. I am shelving some other projects to prepare for the performance day.

I am now doing about 60 minutes a day, up from 15 to 20 minutes a day during the September-December period. The increase in time makes a big difference. It felt like minimal if any progress during the three-month long period of limited time. At least I didn't stop, and slip back. I noticed more than a few others on the forum had long stretches of limited time, especially during the holidays. I have to watch my practice time, because I can get lost in the music, and my hands and wrists will complain after a longer day. I have a history of chronic use issues (hands, wrists, neck, shoulder, etc, etc, etc) that limit what I can reasonably attempt on piano.

The possibility of a new digital now looks unlikely. The desk is 42 inches wide, which is about perfect for the 41 inch wide 61-key NP11. The 88-key models are 52 or more inches wide, and there is not enough clearance for five inches of overhang on both sides. Sad. The good thing is that I didn't order a new rig (I was very close) and then find out that I don't have space for it. It may be possible to squeeze an 88-key digital in, but for now it looks like a bad idea.

As an aside, I return to my weekly yoga class. I highly recommend yoga for pianists or musicians or anyone. Yoga helps with the minor aches and pains that seem to multiply in my aging body. Breath is a big part of Hatha Yoga. Of course for flute, whistle, choir, where I have been, breath is near the top of concerns. More than a few folks in the goals thread, talked about reducing tension. Yoga, meditation would be ways to approach the tension issue, and I believe virtually all would benefit.

I find a YouTube from Allison Nisbett about some simple yoga-style stretches that she finds useful for pianists. I also view two from Graham Finch at Pianist magazine, one on tapping, staccato and legato, and another on voicing chords (varying dynamics for different notes in a chord). The magazine topics are above my level, but seeing and hearing give me more to think about. There was a video from a guy named Torley on how to play romantic piano music. Torley deconstructs some Yanni, Glass, Tiersan and then teaches some of the simple techniques that they use. It is right up my alley. Not only does it give me more to think about in terms of playing and composition, but also about process, of listening, and composing.

I mentioned the goal derived from the John Coltrane quote:
My music is a spiritual expression of who I am

With the new piece, Shadow and the companion piece Shimmer, I am getting closer to that goal. I can feel it in my bones. We will see what the live audience says. It may fall flat. That sometimes happens, a song or instrumental that I feel strongly about, gets the equivalent of yawns.

#2013855 - 01/13/13 11:16 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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SandTiger. I am very impressed with what you are doing and how you logically approaching things. I think you are doing everything right. I wish I had treated each practice seriously like there's no tomorrow. Maybe I'm a bit emotional due to a departure of our dear friend Apple. Anyway the way to go! This is the kind of approach only possible to determined adults.


Pieces for this year to be decided soon.
#2013945 - 01/13/13 03:22 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Sand Tiger]  
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Sand Tiger, I love those titles for your composition and its companion piece: Shimmer and Shadow.


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#2013988 - 01/13/13 05:09 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Not really an achievement of the week, but I got a new assignment now that Brahms intermezzo 118 #2 is somehow operational. For classical piece I'm working in the last movement of Mozart Sonata for 2 pianos in D Puano 1 part by 8/25 (for Lubec piano camp) and Haydn's f minor variations the whole thing which will take me a whole year probably. For romantic piece, i will do 2 Chopin etudes, #25 and #3. My teacher thinks I will be able to perform 25 by July. I'm still working on Bach f minor P&F from WTF Book II so we haven't decided yet. I went my second performance class. This time I screwed up more. Somehow in the middle I reverted to the second page if the piece and I could not understand why. So I repeated the section twice in an awkward way. My teacher was very encouraging and told me that I actually played better where I played and told me that I need to make all the possible mistakes before I can perform for audience. Ok. I shall try again. It's nice to have onstage performance opportunities every week though. I am trying hard to memorize the Bach piece. It will free up my mind to try out the terrace dynamics on this piece. Happy piano week for everyone!


Pieces for this year to be decided soon.
#2014393 - 01/14/13 01:08 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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I am finally able to play the Carulli Vivace piece at 1/2 tempo and have begun to work on "I Wonder as I Wander" and "Linus and Lucy" grin.

Also started to journal my practice sessions to help my focus and be more productive with my time. I commited to increase my piano time by 25% (per 2013 Goals) but actually with the journaling it's about a 50% increase now... I notice a huge difference in my progress.


Ragdoll

At first, she only flew when she thought no one was watching.

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#2014472 - 01/14/13 03:05 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Ragdoll]  
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I had a great lesson today and received lots of praise from my teacher, which always makes my day! She was very happy with my technical work, and pleased with the progress on the Chopin Nocturne. The finishing touches are going on the Bach Prelude. It is amazing how she can see that small changes in movement can completely change how something sounds. I actually had an "I've got this!" moment today that solved the problems that I had with the flow of the 3/4 trills in the prelude. I think I finally can get an acceptable recording of this piece and move on! She must have thought so too, because I get to start something new: Bach's Invention #4 in D minor and Debussey's Arabesque I! Yeah!

Last edited by SwissMS; 01/14/13 03:21 PM.
#2014504 - 01/14/13 04:00 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Teacher gave the green light on the piece I want to prepare for the february recital. Woohoo! I had learned most of the piece before I started taking lessons, more than half a year ago, but it was quite a bit beyond my technical level and mistakes were all over the place. I've been practising a bit here and there, leaving only one very hard section. "Too bad about those four bars, you can play the rest!" Then with five minutes of trying, he was playing it. *sigh* I don't know whether to be jealous or inspired, haha.


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#2014508 - 01/14/13 04:08 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: SwissMS]  
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Originally Posted by SwissMS
She must have thought so too, because I get to start something new: Bach's Invention #4 in D minor and Debussey's Arabesque I! Yeah!


One of my current pieces and one of my old ones! The arabesque has slipped from my fingers just now frown but I think it could easily come back (and probably be better). Just watch out for those poly-rhythms! I suspect you'll find the invention quite straightforward and impossible at the same time. Impossible - why? Because it's Bach and he always, always manages to trip everyone up!!


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#2014772 - 01/15/13 07:10 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Andy Platt]  
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Originally Posted by Andy Platt

Impossible - why? Because it's Bach and he always, always manages to trip everyone up!!


Ha! Don't I know that! When I first looked at the Kleine Preludium I just finished, I thought it was easy. It took months to get my brain and my fingers to get on the same page, and another month for it to start sounding like music. I learned a lot from it though. I told my teacher I always wanted to have some Bach in the works. I may regret that.....

#2014843 - 01/15/13 10:11 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Congrats to SwissMS Allerd and Ragdoll for successful lessons and practice.

SwissMS - I love the nocturn. I haven't played it myself but have just heard someone play. It gets dramatic towards the end and she was moving all over the keys. I'm sure you are totally having fun.

Andy - you are funny. I now know why I swear at it when I play Bach. Because he trip people off! I also find Bach to be easier to hide mistakes when I'm playing. People have no idea what they are listening to anyway (they don't expect melody lines singing).

My practice is going well. I'm just sick with chest cold.


Pieces for this year to be decided soon.
#2014883 - 01/15/13 12:30 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: FarmGirl]  
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Originally Posted by FarmGirl

SwissMS - I love the nocturn. I haven't played it myself but have just heard someone play. It gets dramatic towards the end and she was moving all over the keys. I'm sure you are totally having fun.


I am loving the Nocturne! Once I am into the Piu Mosso section, my teacher is continuing to remind me to breathe. By the time I get to the "spooky" part at the end, anoxia sets in and I come off track. It is a lot of fun, though!

#2014899 - 01/15/13 01:32 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Sand Tiger - sounds like your composing is coming a long well - and how great to be looking at options for a new digital! Thanks for the info on yoga - I know I have to do something for my neck and shoulders!

Ragdoll - sounds like some serious progress going on in your world -that is just great!
SwissMS - isn't it grand to get praise from the teacher! And and "I've got it" moment too! Wonderful! and new music? Does it get any better? smile

Allard - I'm so glad you're going to play in the recital - this will be number 2 for you I think? I wonder what you are going to present to us?

FarmGirl - I hope you get over your cold soon!!!!!!!

My ATOW was to show my teacher that I COULD play my darned German Dances! So there!
smile He was really pleased to see that I'd been able to get the phrasing right on the 4th dance (he wondered if I'd be able to change, as I'd wandered into playing it incorrectly over the holidays and had it down pat, incorrectly, but I got it back on track!!!!!)
As for the 1st Dance, I did it well enough that he said I'd learned what was important from it and it wasn't important to work any further on it.

Now I've got to wrap up my jazz piece for the recital, work on my baroque piece and I'm starting on Schumann's "Melody". I will also be starting on An Old Romance Composed by Stephen Heller in the near future.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Ygai-XlfN8

My teacher said that Heller isn't extremely well known, but he wrote some lovey pieces which he (Heller) modestly referred to as "studies" but which are charming bits of music.
Let's see what I do with it smile








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#2014932 - 01/15/13 02:36 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Casinitaly, will the German Dances go into the piano bar? Would be fun to see the place dancing laugh

My piece has been played on the recitals before, but... well, it's my favourite too! The alternative would be playing another David Lanz piece, and everyone knows I play nothing else, haha. I'm practising piano daily and aim to participate in all the quarterly recitals. Yesterday I actually played my piece in a sort-of-public place: the local music school's public baby grand. It doesn't sound very good, yet playing on a real instrument, with the occasional passer-by listening, feels so much better than playing my digital at home. I even didn't mess up everything.


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Nobuo Uematsu - Final Fantasy 7 Main Theme
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#2014938 - 01/15/13 02:49 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Reading this at mayo clinic.
Cheryl that's fantastic. I'm glad you showed him what you can do. The Heller piece is beautiful. Sounds like you are making lots of progress.


Pieces for this year to be decided soon.
#2014940 - 01/15/13 02:50 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Ragdoll - sounds like some serious progress going on in your world -that is just great!


Oh yah, and my lesson today was just terrific! Teacher says she noticed a real difference too. We even had time to play a duet I had never seen before yippie. It was a very simple one which I can't recall the name of except it was from "Pocahontas". Sight read it with a couple mistakes but perfect the second go round. I'm so stoked today!

FarmGirl , thanks for your kind words. Hope you feel better soon, I'll lift you up in prayer.


Ragdoll

At first, she only flew when she thought no one was watching.

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#2014973 - 01/15/13 03:44 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Casinitaly, nice to hear that your lesson was OK today!

I didn't have mine - I only have lesson every second Tuesday - and my AOTW is that I succeeded in practicing scales every day in the last week. The fact is that I prefer studying/ plying my pieces, and scales were always left for... tomorrow.
But in the in another thread I promised myself to practice scales (and arpeggios) at least once a week in 2013, and I'm seeing the strength of a public commitment.


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#2015255 - 01/16/13 03:55 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: torquenale]  
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Cheryl, congratulations on whipping your German Dances into shape! It must feel good to put them on the shelf. That Heller piece is beautiful. Have fun with it!

#2015290 - 01/16/13 07:00 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Allard: No, I don't think my German Dances will go to the piano bar. I'm not keen enough on them to want to record them. I really want to move on!
As for your piece having been played in a recital before... That's never a problem! You've already realized that the same pieces show up more than once - sometimes even in the same recital. It is always great to hear a different take on a familiar piece. Good for you for taking the opportunity to play in a public place!!!!

FarmGirl - I hope you're not at the Mayo Clinic because you're so sick you have to be there!!!!! I don't know what kind of progress I'm making, to be honest, I'm so unclear. I know that changes are happening, but it feels desperately slow. I'm excited about the new pieces though, that's for sure - Get well soon!

Ragdoll - what a fun lesson. I loved playing duets with my former teacher. I hope to be able to play some again in the future..... it is really exciting to play with someone else. I can hear the enthusiasm in your "voice"!

Torquenale --- good for you for working on those scales. I think we all tend to put them off as much as we can... they just aren't as much fun as music. But at some point we do buckle down and do them....It is sort of like doing the dishes after a wonderful meal...not fun, but you always need the clean dishes.

SwissMS - thanks! I've been listening to the Heller and reading the score - (I was too tired last night to play after work, and I haven't had a chance to get to the piano yet today..... but it won't be long now!


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#2015344 - 01/16/13 09:30 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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I have a small achievement:

When I went to press Control-Alt-Delete on the computer, I used fingers 3 and 5 very confidently without even thinking about it. I used to have to really concentrate on pressing these with my thumb and second finger... back in the days before piano. Finger 4 behaved itself perfectly and didnt interfere at all. Yay for finger independence!

I love piano moments that happen at work.

Last edited by Toastie; 01/16/13 09:33 AM.

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#2015349 - 01/16/13 09:47 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Toastie]  
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Originally Posted by Toastie
I have a small achievement:

When I went to press Control-Alt-Delete on the computer, I used fingers 3 and 5 very confidently without even thinking about it. I used to have to really concentrate on pressing these with my thumb and second finger... back in the days before piano. Finger 4 behaved itself perfectly and didnt interfere at all. Yay for finger independence!

I love piano moments that happen at work.


That's actually pretty cool.

Your post prompted me to do a Control-alt-delete to see which fingers I use!

I use 2&4, but I can see that 3 & 5 could be comfortable too.


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#2015404 - 01/16/13 11:48 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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I printed out some sheet music, and I'm ready to rock and roll with my 'training'! The learning begins here, going ahead with Mikrokosmos and aiming to start on some Tchaikovsky later on which I might get ready for an ABF recital in the 3rd or 4th quarter if I'm awesome enough (unlikely).

I also bought loads of classical piano music to get myself familiar with the genre. Yippee..


Zaahir

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#2015658 - 01/16/13 06:34 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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I had my first lesson on how to use the foot pedal today. Cannot wait for the next lesson. Mind you, all we did was play a couple of chords with the pedal. Its a whole different issue playing a whole tune with pedals.

#2015770 - 01/16/13 09:32 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: adultpianist]  
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Cannot wait for the next lesson. Mind you, all we did was play a couple of chords with the pedal. Its a whole different issue playing a whole tune with pedals.


Especially when the score has one bracketed indication in the first measure and only says Ped Sim for the rest of it grin


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#2015882 - 01/17/13 02:53 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Or just "con ped" with no clue how and where :s


David Lanz - Skyline Firedance Suite
Nobuo Uematsu - Final Fantasy 7 Main Theme
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#2015892 - 01/17/13 03:35 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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It took me FOREVER to lean to use the pedal - -- no, to even TRY to learn to use the pedal. I hated the increased swell of sound at first!

I'm still not really comfortable with it, but I'm getting there.

I had endless discussions with my teacher about why there weren't more indications and she said that for the most part it is just too subjective.

There was a cute post in the teacher's forum where they talk about things kids say. One little girl asked what the elephants were for (the old-fashioned Ped notation looks a bit like an elephant if you use your imagination smile



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#2015905 - 01/17/13 04:25 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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casinitaly,

I totally agree with you. I have a Clavinova, and it only has 2 pedals which I thought was sad, but I never use the 2 pedals. Well, I have a grand now and it has 3 petals and I don't use any of the pedals,

Mind you, I am only a beginner and few pieces call for pedal use. I will use the pedal as part of learning when called for and otherwise probably not.

#2015947 - 01/17/13 07:20 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Michael_99]  
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Some people are good enough to know when to pedal where the score does not indicate. You have to listen and know when the pedal will enhance the bit in the score

#2017454 - 01/19/13 07:25 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Posts: 2,269
Scottsdale, AZ
Well I totally sucked today during our studio class. I started adding unacoda, new pedal change last night after my lesson. Then on stage today, I could not remember the damn thing. I was all over until my teacher finally told me to start over without the new pedal. I managed to play through it but it was bad. I felt like dragging my shakey fingers. Also I met full member of her studio class. I am the least advanced them all. It's seriously humbling experience.

Last edited by FarmGirl; 01/19/13 07:27 PM.

Pieces for this year to be decided soon.
#2017483 - 01/19/13 08:14 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: FarmGirl]  
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,446
Stubbie Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Stubbie  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,446
Midwest USA
Don't be too hard on yourself, FarmGirl. That was a big bite to chew--starting to learn una corda and playing it in a studio class right away.

Take some deep breaths, get a good night's sleep, and get back at the piano.


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