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#1827221 - 01/18/12 04:18 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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On the subject of loud pianos... if we ever get a nice acoustic I'm going to at least see if playing wakes up the kids after they're asleep... some kids will sleep through anything, so it's worth a try!

Good luck, Andy!



Started playing: February 2011. Still having fun.
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#1827259 - 01/18/12 04:58 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Andy Platt]  
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Andy,

Sounds like it is time to start the "get up an extra half hour early for 30 minutes of morning practice" program.

That way you end up going from your old 1 hour to 1 hour and 15min, and not down to 45 min.

You can then thank your wife for the good idea. 3hearts

win-win!


Tarantella, Pieczonka
Sonatine, No.2 Menuet - MRavel


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#1827313 - 01/18/12 05:53 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: MaryBee]  
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Originally Posted by MaryBee
Originally Posted by Teodor
My achievement is that I can play Invention 13 by Bach now with no effort. A few weeks ago I was going to post here asking for advice because I couldn't bring the hands together. Now I'm working on voice leading which is my weakest point and the notes are not the problem any longer. I also have it memorized by now, I haven't looked at the score in 2 weeks and I can pretty much start from anywhere within the piece. I'm struggling to keep the tempo down because I realize I started to play it too fast for my current ability and it causes slips. smile
Good for you, Teodor. I've been working on this piece too, and I'm kind of stuck at 85 bpm right now. Faster than that, and my hands get out of sync. I don't have it memorized, though, and play from the sheets. Do you think having it memorized would help to play it faster?


I think you will have an easier time if you can see your hands playing it. There is a lot going on and you should work out what movements to use to play each section. Also you need to have the fingering nailed before you can increase the tempo. I can now play at performance tempo most parts, while I was crawling through it while using the sheet. I'm only ever looking at my left hand but it helps a lot. I've worked out all the technical problems already by dissasembling the invention apart and isolating each logical element. What helped me was to first make sense in my mind of all the motifs and their response in my head. After this putting the two hands together was suddenly easy and now I can't even remember what exactly was difficult technically. Make your own logical connections between the elements and the speed wall will crumble.

Last edited by Teodor; 01/18/12 05:55 PM.

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#1827600 - 01/19/12 03:32 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Sam - I'm always so amazed at what you can do at the piano after such a short time, you must have music in your bones smile Complimenti!

Andy - I think you are right to choose your marriage over the piano - but I also think that there could be some other solutions. I too wondered why not play a bit after the kids have gone to bed. I think it would be lovely for them to fall asleep listening to you play (obviously you may have to select specific soothing pieces for that time of day).... of course we don't know what your house is like, or any of the myriad details that have led to this decision, we just hope you can get back your full hour!

I see we have a number of new comers in the thread - I love to see that! Always remember, no achievement is too small to report and feel good about. As adult beginners we MUST focus on the small steps and take heart from them.

We have all experienced the sensation that when we try to add some new dimension to our music we take two steps backward....well, just keep in mind this thread is for when you take a step forward. It helps you focus on all the things that are going right.

My AOTW is two-fold. The first is that I'm going to have a lesson after almost 2 months of missed lessons. (for various reasons....) -- the second is that last night I was looking at my first Jazz book that I got in....September I think, and I tried out some of the pieces that I hadn't been able to coordinate. I won't say that I played them perfectly - but I was doing significantly better. It was very satisfying.


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#1827755 - 01/19/12 11:19 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Thank you for all your input. I have had all your thoughts and suggestions myself and more. No, my family will not let me play earlier in the day or later. I'm not going to even attempt to battle that one. If there's one person who hates my practice even more than my wife it's my daughter and her bedroom is right over where the piano is. And no, I basically have no control over that either.

I already squeeze in a few minutes when I can, I'll have to try to do more of that. And more at the weekend.

I think the bottom line is that half of the people in my family just can't stand to listen to me practice. It's that simple. Blurgh.

Anyway, venting over. I had a discussion with my teacher and we have concluded I will have to be even more efficient with my practice time than before. And do more memorization away from the piano.


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

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#1827767 - 01/19/12 12:01 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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That's an excellent way to look at it Andy. I had my first son during the first summer of my tenure track job. I spent nine months "freaking out" about how I was going to get everything done once he arrived only to find later that I actually got more done in the years following his birth and this was because I quickly learned to become maximally efficient.

While half of the members of your family can't stand to hear your practice, I imagine I am quite safe in saying that all of the members of the ABF love to hear the results of your practice.


Christine










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#1827809 - 01/19/12 01:26 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: GlassLove]  
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Originally Posted by GlassLove
That's an excellent way to look at it Andy. I had my first son during the first summer of my tenure track job. I spent nine months "freaking out" about how I was going to get everything done once he arrived only to find later that I actually got more done in the years following his birth and this was because I quickly learned to become maximally efficient.

While half of the members of your family can't stand to hear your practice, I imagine I am quite safe in saying that all of the members of the ABF love to hear the results of your practice.


I think it is a safe bet:)


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#1827997 - 01/19/12 05:49 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: GlassLove]  
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Originally Posted by GlassLove
While half of the members of your family can't stand to hear your practice, I imagine I am quite safe in saying that all of the members of the ABF love to hear the results of your practice.


thumb


"You are the music while the music lasts" - T.S. Eliot
#1828013 - 01/19/12 06:12 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Andy I am sorry to hear your story. Maybe it's time to get a digital again. I haven't had anybody complaints about my playing yet but with all the scales I've played lately I believe I'm driving my husband crazy. I am soon to get a digital piano though so that should eliminate this problem and it gives me night time or early morning practices too. I did tell my husband that if he were playing I would have bought him a digital piano long ago because let's face it. Practice doesn't always sound nice. To the player you are perfecting a section or technique but to a listener it just sounds boring and repetitive after awhile. I hope you can find the time somehow. I would be devestated if I was told to play less by anybody so I can imagine how you feel!


Preparing Grade 6 RCM.

#1828130 - 01/19/12 09:12 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: ZoeCalgary]  
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Originally Posted by ZoeCalgary
Andy I am sorry to hear your story. Maybe it's time to get a digital again.

Unfortunately it was my wife who got rid of the digital, insisting ...

Originally Posted by The Wife
You are only having one piano shaped object in this house


All in all I've improved more having an acoustic than I ever thought possible so I have to stay with that. Perhaps it's time to look into adding a silent option but they aren't as common in the US as the UK and aren't cheap.


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

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#1828198 - 01/19/12 10:53 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Andy BTW you have a nice piano so between the 2 I would take the acoustic myself! Wishing you lots of enjoyment with it! And here's to hoping you can sneak in way more time than those 15 minutes you lost. How about 2 shorter sessions or more? I often play something short like exercises or scales just before the kids go to bed. Adds up to over an hour in a week and I can hear the difference!

On a different note does your family perhaps feel shut out of this part of you? Piano can be very isolating and perhaps this is the problem? Just a thought. I remember when my teacher told me this i said i know it is isolating and thats part of its appeal for me. I get to be in my own world for that hour or so a day. Anyway I do wish you All the best. Hopefully as with most things something will change for the better soon.


Preparing Grade 6 RCM.

#1828445 - 01/20/12 12:52 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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My achievement of this week was changing my mind about how to get both hands working together. Previously I've trained hard right and left hand independently and then attempted to use the same tempo and play with both hands. It worked well so far (as a beginner playing the most easiest training pieces so far), but kind of stopped working this week. After a lot of failures on one piece I've slowed down a lot (perhaps to 1/10 of speed of independent hands) on this piece and finally it started working again.
So achievement of this week is a saved rule in my mind: starting with slow speed, you will move faster forward. :-)
Indeed, nothing which people will not repeat over and over even to me, but sometimes its a sole responsibility of a man to control his own impatience and get some rules himself...


November 2011: piano entered into my life.
#1828455 - 01/20/12 01:05 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Hey if I never mentioned things that most people already learned I wouldn't have anything to talk about!


Current Life+Music Philosophy: Less Thinking, More Foot Tapping

Ars Longa, Vita Brevis
#1829374 - 01/21/12 11:40 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Today I picked up the 1st movement of Beethoven's Pathetique. I had been so confused about the allegro con brio left hand notes (half note and eighth note hybrid?), so even though I would have attempted to start learning it November 2011, I had given up and put it aside. I decided to bite the bullet and ask. Just as I was going to post the question on this forum, I did a search, and lo and behold, the question had already been answered in a previous thread:

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1212205.html

Thank you to the original posters!

Now I can start working on it again without hesitation. I really like Beethoven Sonatas, and am hoping to be able to learn all of them in my lifetime.

I have also fallen in love with all the Chopin Etudes, especially since I started working on 10/3, 10/12 and 10/2. In particular, I am amazed at how much my left hand dexterity had improved after working very slowly on 10/12 (still working to get the tone and evenness to sound better, and getting rid of my lousy over pedaling habit). 10/2 is a very good exercise for my 3-4-5 fingers, but I think I might have hurt my pinky (my flesh got pushed further in under the nail..ouch).

These etudes are doing wonders for me. I still haven't perfected 10/3 yet, even though I had started working on it July 2011. I started working on 10/12 in September of last year, and just finished the whole thing this January. I still can't play it perfectly either. BUT, I did notice that after working on 10/2, parts of 10/3, i.e. the measure with ornamental notes that require the use of the 5th finger, sounds stronger and firmer. I dug out that old Mozart Fantasie in D Minor, which I tried playing last year, and to my surprise, even though I was committing so many mistakes from memory lapses, the presto parts came along smoother. I picked up Golliwog's Cakewalk again, which I hadn't touched for so many months, and I think my tone was better and my touch more relaxed, too! By golly, I think, after so many months of blood, sweat and tears, I must be finally improving!

I do feel a tad disappointed that I can't play the pieces I learned last 5 to 6 months ago because I concentrated too much on the etudes. I think I will ask you guys in another thread how you keep old pieces from getting rusty so I don't digress too much here.

Andy: I feel your pain! People at home also complain about my piano playing, too. I get embarrassed sometimes, especially those days I get carried away. I think you came up with a very good idea, that is, becoming more efficient with practice and memorizing away from the piano. I read that the best way to memorize a piece is away from the keyboard. I would like to do that, too, but I think I need to brush up on theory. smile

Sam: Wow..you had only been playing less than 2 years? I'm very envious. You must have put in a lot of work to be able to play like that in such a short time. And you memorize your pieces too! Pretty neat! What's your practice schedule like? I would like to imitate, if I could smile

KarelG: I hear ya! At the risk of being even more hated at home, I have to play very very slowly, hands separate. I have to be strict with learning proper fingering, too, and I get so impatient, especially when there's so much i want to learn. I think that is the cause of all my flubs. I will keep that in mind..patience..delay gratification for greater rewards later smile

#1829394 - 01/22/12 12:18 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Teodor - Thank you for the suggestions on the Bach Invention. I guess I do have some of it memorized, because I realize that I am looking at my hands during some of the tricky-for-me parts. I agree about needing to have the fingering completely figured out before speeding up. I had thought that I had it all set, but then when I started to speed up, I realized that I had to redo some of it. It's interesting what you said about making logical connections between the elements. I'm starting to realize that really studying and thinking about and understanding the music you're trying to play, ultimately makes it easier to play.

GlassLove - how is your Spiegel im Spiegel coming along?

Cas - oh, two months without lessons would be hard! After three weeks without lessons over the holidays, I think I was experiencing withdrawal symptoms. But sometimes having that time to working on our own gives us a chance to explore some different areas, which can be fun. Enjoy that Jazz!

Andy - I'm sorry your practicing is causing some hardship in your household. I hope you find a way to still be able to accomplish your goals during your more limited time. I end up practicing a lot after my husband and grandson are in bed, and luckily they can sleep through it. I know the practicing sometimes drives them crazy during the day.

WannabePT - Learning all the Beethoven Sonatas -- what an ambitious goal! Now that is something to work for! I've also been working on Chopin 10/3 off and on. I think it is the most difficult but also the most interesting piece I have ever played. I got stuck on one section a while ago and set it aside, but one of my goals is to finish it this year. I can relate to your experiences with pulling out old pieces and seeing the changes. I recently did the same thing with the Mozart C minor sonata that I had learned last year. Although I had forgotten a lot of it and was rusty with it, the great thing was, I could think about how I wanted to play it, and was able to do most of what I wanted without a struggle. The trills were right on, I could control the articulation, and I could play with the dynamics that I wanted. It was a really nice surprise.

KarelG - yes, slowing down when I first put hands together works wonders for me too.

One of my recent AOTWs:
I started teaching my 7-year-old grandson to play piano. We have been having such fun! Counting keys, finding keys, learning the note names, playing simple pieces. When we sat down for our first "lesson", he said to me, "Nana, now the piano is yours and mine!" He also told me that he needed to decide how long to practice each day. He asked how much I practice, and I said about 1 or 2 hours every day. I think that took him aback, but he recovered quickly and said, "Well, you're a lot older than me, so I think I should practice for 10 minutes a day." laugh


Mary Bee
Current mantra: Play outside the box.
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#1829411 - 01/22/12 12:47 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: MaryBee]  
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Originally Posted by MaryBee

One of my recent AOTWs:
I started teaching my 7-year-old grandson to play piano. We have been having such fun! Counting keys, finding keys, learning the note names, playing simple pieces. When we sat down for our first "lesson", he said to me, "Nana, now the piano is yours and mine!" He also told me that he needed to decide how long to practice each day. He asked how much I practice, and I said about 1 or 2 hours every day. I think that took him aback, but he recovered quickly and said, "Well, you're a lot older than me, so I think I should practice for 10 minutes a day." laugh



I think your 7 y/o has the makings of a genius! Haha. So cute, and lucky to be starting lessons at the age of 7 with a nice granny to work with. smile

#1829696 - 01/22/12 02:06 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Andy - it may be worth looking into adding the silent feature to your accoustic. They are indeed fairly common in Europe, -When I was shopping there were tons available. I'm really happy that the piano I "fell for" already had the option built in, straight from the factory.

KarelG - I think you are right - it doesn't matter if others have told us something, or we read it over and over. Until we have the experience ourselves, we don't really understand. Slowing down works ! Good for recognizing and setting your own rules!

WannabePT - It sounds like you are making wonderful progress. I heard the Golliwog Cakewalk for the first time just after I started lessons- my teacher introduced me to the Bergamaque Suite and I really liked it - it is very interesting to hear the hints of early rag-time sounds that pop up in these pieces.
As for keeping older pieces from getting rusty - well, in my case many aren't worth maintaining! lol... however, those that I really love, I tend to use as warm-up/cool down pieces. I am sure the neighbours hear certain pieces and think---ok, it will stop any minute now!

MaryBee, I have found that time after time I thought I had learned a piece only to fall apart with it when playing for others or trying to go faster. It is so hard to figure out HOW to really embed pieces in our brains.
I love it that your grandson claims a share in the piano now! That is marvellous - and his logic is delightful. You must be having a wonderful time.!


I had my lesson and it was great fun. My teacher got a big kick out of my new jazz books,and we played a jazz duet - what a blast!



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#1829708 - 01/22/12 02:26 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Marybee, Thanks for asking about Spiegel im Spiegel. Its going pretty well. It is the least favorite piece of the cellist, but my favorite (of those we are playing together). We've managed to make it through about 2 pages without a mistake (always one made by me blush)
I must say that I have begun to question whether or not I want to continue playing with her though. Because I am so inexperienced, I have to genuinely memorize the piece to play with her effectively. Memorizing pieces that don't sound nice by themselves hasn't been all that fun. And....it does take time away from other things that I would love to play. My teacher has suggested that instead, we begin to play more duets together (or even to play more duets with my son). This way the work I would do to play with someone else could be more developmentally appropriate.

Last edited by GlassLove; 01/22/12 02:26 PM.

Christine










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#1829722 - 01/22/12 02:46 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: GlassLove]  
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Originally Posted by GlassLove
Marybee, Thanks for asking about Spiegel im Spiegel. Its going pretty well. It is the least favorite piece of the cellist, but my favorite (of those we are playing together). We've managed to make it through about 2 pages without a mistake (always one made by me blush)
I must say that I have begun to question whether or not I want to continue playing with her though. Because I am so inexperienced, I have to genuinely memorize the piece to play with her effectively. Memorizing pieces that don't sound nice by themselves hasn't been all that fun. And....it does take time away from other things that I would love to play. My teacher has suggested that instead, we begin to play more duets together (or even to play more duets with my son). This way the work I would do to play with someone else could be more developmentally appropriate.


I'm sorry to hear that the duets with the cellist hasn't worked out as well as you had hoped.
Might it help if you tried simpler pieces? Or would your cellist be bored?
You've such made good steady progress since you've started, I'm sure you could have tremendous fun with duets - I hope you find the right solution for continuing to explore this musical path!


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#1829731 - 01/22/12 03:04 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Thanks Cheryl. Finding things that we could play together was a REAL challenge. At our last session she suggested that we play pieces that I play from memory. I thought it sounded really unappealing (not the idea but rather our actual playing) because we were each playing the melody. I don't have any trouble pacing myself along with someone doing exactly the same thing that I am, and I felt that this really defied the point of playing with another musician. As we were doing it, I truly was thinking in the back of my mind....."I could be working on my other pieces right now!!!"
Easier pieces would bore the cellist. It was really nice to give it a try so I don't feel disappointed and I would definitely consider doing it again in the future, perhaps after I have become better at sight-reading and better at controlling my nerves.


Christine










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#1829779 - 01/22/12 04:52 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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This past week I had one of the nastiest head colds I ever had, and my nose was running like an open faucet. My biggest achievement is that I found a way to play the piano every day without flooding the living room.

My big achievement next week will be to devise a method on how to play the piano without taking my hands off the keyboard, while coughing up a storm.





Unrealistic expectations:
Beethoven rondo op 51 no 1
Mozart Sonata No. 7 in C major
Beethoven OP 27 No 1

Absolutely must do:
Learn to sight read
Learn music theory
Re-learn ONE piece to at least almost perfection. (Mary had a little lamb?)

#1830438 - 01/23/12 05:39 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Christine, I think the important thing is that you aren't disappointed and you're already looking at otherways to make music with those around you!

Singsong - I hope you feel better soon!

My "achievement" isn't really an achievement - it is ...... I don't know what it is...?

Tonight, I was playing with my headsets, (because it is 10.30pm and I am a good neighbour) - and I invited my husband to listen. I have 2 headphone plugs - so ... got him wired up and FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER..... he starts pushing keys. It was really fun to see him experimenting.
And he actually got a bit of a groovy bass line going. I was surprised, and and grinning away.

Then it's my turn. I start to play and he starts to laugh. I stop, turn to him and say "What????"... and he says "It sounds so different on the digital - no wonder you don't like it".

I am so glad he "gets it" all.



[Linked Image]
#1830500 - 01/23/12 06:52 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Recaredo Offline
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Granada (Spain)
Hi!

Delicious anecdote, Cheryl!


My achievement of this week is a bit silly, but I’m proud of it. Until now I was fearful of putting my fingers between two black keys, I don’t know why, but I had to do hard movements to play some passages. But I’ve realized that if I do that, the black keys don’t eat my fingers!

#1830682 - 01/23/12 11:54 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Lain Offline
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Originally Posted by casinitaly
Christine, I think the important thing is that you aren't disappointed and you're already looking at otherways to make music with those around you!

Singsong - I hope you feel better soon!

My "achievement" isn't really an achievement - it is ...... I don't know what it is...?

Tonight, I was playing with my headsets, (because it is 10.30pm and I am a good neighbour) - and I invited my husband to listen. I have 2 headphone plugs - so ... got him wired up and FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER..... he starts pushing keys. It was really fun to see him experimenting.
And he actually got a bit of a groovy bass line going. I was surprised, and and grinning away.

Then it's my turn. I start to play and he starts to laugh. I stop, turn to him and say "What????"... and he says "It sounds so different on the digital - no wonder you don't like it".

I am so glad he "gets it" all.



How sweet, I hope my future other half enjoys playing the piano!


"You are the music while the music lasts" - T.S. Eliot
#1830854 - 01/24/12 09:39 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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FarmGirl  Offline

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Scottsdale, AZ
Hi I could not write to the forum for a while since I got a new Golden Retriever pup. I'm practicing but really could not find time to write a post. I do enjoy everyone's achievements. Hope I can post this weekend.


Pieces for this year to be decided soon.
#1830878 - 01/24/12 10:19 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Achievement of the week? Enrolled in my Advanced Diploma of Music. laugh


I love sight-reading! One day I will master it.

http://www.youtube.com/user/Acrozius?feature=mhee
#1831207 - 01/24/12 09:23 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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While my daughter was rehearsing for an ordination at church (she's going to be an acolyte - candle bearer), I was practicing / playing in the church hall. A friend was there waiting for her daughter too. After I have finished playing Debussy Arabesque #1, she asked if I wanted to become a concert pianist after the kids were through college!!

My non-achievement of the week ... I haven't got a recording of the arabesque for the ABF recital that I like. Grrhh.


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

Kawai K3
[Linked Image][Linked Image][Linked Image]
#1831330 - 01/25/12 01:56 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Lain Offline
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Just came back from a concert with Bach, Schumann, and Liszt. Out-of-the-world experience! Hello~!


"You are the music while the music lasts" - T.S. Eliot
#1831368 - 01/25/12 04:35 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Andy Platt]  
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Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted by Andy Platt
My non-achievement of the week ... I haven't got a recording of the arabesque for the ABF recital that I like. Grrhh.

Oh . . . I should probably make a start on my own video. crazy


I love sight-reading! One day I will master it.

http://www.youtube.com/user/Acrozius?feature=mhee
#1831599 - 01/25/12 02:33 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Maechre]  
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MaryBee Offline
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MaryBee  Offline
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Originally Posted by Maechre
Enrolled in my Advanced Diploma of Music. laugh
I didn't know what this was, so I did a quick google of it. It sounds like it covers a huge range of topics. Is it something you do in a classroom setting, or through an individual teacher?


Mary Bee
Current mantra: Play outside the box.
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