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#1875825 - 04/08/12 08:54 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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MaryAnn Offline
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I've just ordered that book, too. I'm glad so many people like it.


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#1875827 - 04/08/12 08:58 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: MaryAnn]  
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Originally Posted by MaryAnn
I've just ordered that book, too. I'm glad so many people like it.


I'm partway through it and it's really good - now, just need to put it into practice wink I'm skipping over the parts that are really aimed at the full time performer. And laughing about how to get an ideal practice space ... to me that's one that doesn't have my daughter complaining wink


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

Kawai K3
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#1875916 - 04/08/12 11:35 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Eglantine]  
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This week, I have sight-read over 20 songs and all were with correct notes and rhythm. It may seem like a small step for others, but a large for me!


"Just practice diligently and you will do very well. You have five fingers on each hand just as healthy as mine."
~ J.S. Bach
#1875982 - 04/09/12 02:09 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: MaryAnn]  
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Originally Posted by MaryAnn
I've just ordered that book, too. I'm glad so many people like it.

eeee it just came. along with Edly's Music Theory for Practical People. Is it weird that I'm so excited about this?

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#1876034 - 04/09/12 06:28 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: RandomPianist]  
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Originally Posted by RandomPianist
This week, I have sight-read over 20 songs and all were with correct notes and rhythm. It may seem like a small step for others, but a large for me!


Well done! I wonder how many other people who think they can't sight-read attempted that much new material?

#1876045 - 04/09/12 07:10 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Hi again,

Farm Girl, I'm playing the Waltz in A minor posthumous. I'm enchanted with it! YOu are so right about all the things I can learn from it - It has already helped a lot with my pedal skills and I see a difference in the left-hand being able to play more softly now too. It is fun to see these unexpected developments.
I know it is a long term project, and I am bound to have a few more stumbles before I get to play it all the way through with a level of satisfaction - but it is worth the effort!

Ben - what fun you had with your niece! I've had the "auntie" experience at the piano and wow, it is so much fun. I am looking forward to it again when I next visit my family......still months away....:(

Sand Tiger, you're really doing some serious work and it sounds like (for the most part) you are really enjoying yourself. You seem to be doing a lot more theory than a lot of us are, and also composing -that's very exciting!

After all this chat about the Musician's Way, I think I'll have to check it out!

I always learn so much from this thread.





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#1876053 - 04/09/12 07:34 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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I have no major achievements to announce this week. I just keep plugging along! I did rediscover the metronome as a motivational tool, though. Yesterday I found myself totally unfocussed while practicing, so I turned on the metronome. Boy, did that bring everything into sharp focus. The little push from that constant click made me pay attention. For some reason, the pressure of the metronome really cements the notes in my head, and I learn more quickly. I made good progress on some sticky sections in the K545 Rondo, and it helped to test my memorization on a couple of other pieces. Using the metronome makes scales accurate and snappy for me. I have to admit, without using the metronome to test myself now and then, I get lazy!

#1876072 - 04/09/12 08:17 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Just love reading the progress you're all making and the struggles to get there. Congratulations on each step Farm Girl (welcome back), SwissMS (moving that sewing machine), Racaredo (Back is ALWAYS accomplishment), Gomer (up to speed and I'm jealous), Obidiu (hymns and sight reading good for you), SamRose (a new piano is a romantic relationship), Casinitaly (Chopin waltz will be flying one day), SandTiger (you're investing time wisely).

Such great stories...Ben Piano, yesterday I watched one of our two year olds sitting with her dad (my son) at my piano and she was enjoying it so much...that is until her mother insisted on standing next to them "policing" her actions. "no that's too hard" "just one finger at a time" "play it softly". I did add my belief that the most important thing is that she enjoy her sound making. It's an accomplishment to contradict this particular mom. It is MY piano after all. :-)

I'm working on a Chopin Polonaise and piecing the sections together. I'm hoping to get it over half speed and that will mean my left hand is more relaxed. The accomplishment is that I think it's possible.

Last edited by WiseBuff; 04/09/12 08:18 AM.

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#1876564 - 04/10/12 12:12 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Cheryl, that's a beautiful Waltz. This is the first Chopin piece I have ever played in my whole life. I remember I was so in love with the piece that my teacher had to calm me down. I almost cried. You know, it probably had something to do with teen age hormone. She told me to settle down and study the piece. I write something that I remember below. It helped me to calm down. I practiced the measures repeated throughout the piece everyday and later added difficult section as a warm up exercise every day. She told me to hold your horses, watch what you are doing and don't get drenched into the surge of emotion the piece seems to stimulate... Well, you may not need the anti-teenage hormone advise any more, but I will give it to you any way... in case Chopin excites something within you...

"Measure 1 through 8 repeats 4 times with a little bit of variation. That's 32 measures out of 56 measures without counting the repeat. So, you know you can play more than half of the piece if you can play the first 8 measures very well. The tricky section comes in the middle. 17 to 24, 32 to 40. Use them as your warm up everyday, little by little." It did calm me down. Hope it works for you too.


Pieces for this year to be decided soon.
#1876608 - 04/10/12 02:17 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: FarmGirl]  
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Originally Posted by FarmGirl
Cheryl, that's a beautiful Waltz. This is the first Chopin piece I have ever played in my whole life. I remember I was so in love with the piece that my teacher had to calm me down. I almost cried. You know, it probably had something to do with teen age hormone. She told me to settle down and study the piece. I write something that I remember below. It helped me to calm down. I practiced the measures repeated throughout the piece everyday and later added difficult section as a warm up exercise every day. She told me to hold your horses, watch what you are doing and don't get drenched into the surge of emotion the piece seems to stimulate... Well, you may not need the anti-teenage hormone advise any more, but I will give it to you any way... in case Chopin excites something within you...

"Measure 1 through 8 repeats 4 times with a little bit of variation. That's 32 measures out of 56 measures without counting the repeat. So, you know you can play more than half of the piece if you can play the first 8 measures very well. The tricky section comes in the middle. 17 to 24, 32 to 40. Use them as your warm up everyday, little by little." It did calm me down. Hope it works for you too.


Dear Farm Girl,
thank you so much for sharing that very special memory with me. (us !) ..... This is my very first Chopin too, and it has come at a time when I'm very emotional (for a lot of reasons) so.... yes, there is a bit of balance required. I can play the first 8 measures by memory, accurately - and just a little bit faster than a couple of weeks ago (sometimes even with my eyes shut smile ) For me the really tricky parts are, as you said, bars 17-24, which I had looked at by myself but had trouble with. Just this past week I worked on them with my teacher and over the weekend I feel happier with my progress. Bars 32-40 somehow don't seem as "scary" as 17-24..

Bar 21 is the "killer" for me but even that is starting to seem like it will happen.

There is something very very special about this tune - it touches emotional chords (pun intended) that somehow match with whatever mood you are in when you start to play.

I've been making little benchmark recordings to see how my progress is going - as you know it is hard to realize where you are, objectively, while you're playing.

Thanks again to you, and Jim, and everyone who is so encouraging - this is a great thread to start my day!



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#1876634 - 04/10/12 05:12 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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I got my grand piano this morning! Pictures and an audio sample are in the piano forum
Here


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
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#1876637 - 04/10/12 05:37 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Congratulations Sam! Your piano looks terrific. I’m glad you got such a beautiful instrument.

#1876654 - 04/10/12 07:42 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Sam Rose]  
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Originally Posted by Sam Rose
I got my grand piano this morning! Pictures and an audio sample are in the piano forum
Here


Congratulations! Your "baby" has a beautiful voice - may you spend many years making beautiful music together!


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#1876694 - 04/10/12 09:14 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Yesterday afternoon I spent an hour tuning the harpsichord - for the first time - to Werckmeister III temperament. OMG. Today I've just been playing the usual pieces - especially the Purcell and Croft - and it just sounds so different! I'm loving the unequal temperament!

(I suppose I should try a meantone tuning too, for comparison. Maybe a project for next weekend.)



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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#1876699 - 04/10/12 09:28 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Congrats Sam - what a beautiful piano. I haven't had a chance to listen yet. Sounds fantastic too - still very envious sick about your ability to pick up tough pieces as if they were twinkle twinkle after so little time playing! wink

Yesterday was the last day of spring break for my kids but my wife was at work - result: A full day of playing the piano smile That would be an achievement in itself but my realization was that I had almost zero pain or discomfort. The only niggle was slight shoulder pain occasionally but that's because I start slipping in posture. Fixed that and it immediately went away. I could never have played that long without discomfort a year ago. Relaxation, Alexander technique ... still a long way to go but so far, so far ...

Last edited by Andy Platt; 04/10/12 08:01 PM. Reason: Listened to the link.

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

Kawai K3
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#1876712 - 04/10/12 09:47 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Cheryl, after I read your post, I had to go to my piano and play the piece. It's as lovely as I remember. It's not a large work by any means but it's Chopin every bit of it. It's a crowd pleaser too. Your teacher may disagree with me but you don't need to play this piece very fast. The speed with which you can execute the toughest measure (say, it is 21 right now) should be your target speed when you start the piece. If you start too fast, you may find the measure 21 tricker than ever! From the write up in my music, I think I had a different spot I had trouble with. I hit wrong note at Measure 31 (should be B in the base). I must have mashed the notes between 33- 40, my note says "every note focus!!".

Eglantine, I am looking forward to hearing the newly tuned sound of the harpsichord.

Sam, thank you for the pic. It looks and sounds gorgeous.

Wisebuff, Polonaise, wow! I am looking forward to it. That's one of the pieces I would like to do someday. My list is growing every day.


Pieces for this year to be decided soon.
#1876718 - 04/10/12 09:53 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Eglantine, that is so neat that you are doing your own tuning. I'm trying to learn - (but at the moment I'm hosting the professional tuner, who is making my baby sing again!).

Andy that is really fantastic. I find I can play for longer too now, but I still tend to play with a significant number of short breaks - but isn't it grand to be rid of the tension and pain!

Farm Girl - my teacher is perfectly content with me playing this slowly - in fact she encourages me to go slowly! I also noted that B on page 2 - in fact I circled it and wrote B!!! smile

I'm glad that you were prompted to pull out the music and play it again - we are really sharing our experiences now! (at different ends of the spectrum, but still sharing and I'm loving it! )


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#1876733 - 04/10/12 10:33 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Sam, that is wonderful. I think that piano deserves you smile

Eglantine - I love harpsichords. A friend of mine tuned his in 1/6 comma meantone and we played old Scottish music as fiddle/harpsichord duets. Wow, did they sing!

PW is wonderful. It's where I've learned about relaxation and playing with ease, as Andy and cas are doing. What a difference it's made for me. Now if I can just learn to get the volume out of it that one of the other dance pianists does!

Cathy


Cathy
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Practice like you are the worst; play like you are the best - anonymous
#1876750 - 04/10/12 11:12 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Not really an accomplishment, but...

my piano is freshly tuned and I have 90 minutes before I have to go out ...guess what I'm going to do?
smile



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#1876782 - 04/10/12 12:25 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Enjoy your freshly tuned Piano, Casinitaly. What a joy!

The Chopin waltz in A minor is such a beautiful piece. Have fun with it. I have added to my long backlog of pieces that I would like to play. The more pieces I learn the more I want to learn!


#1876879 - 04/10/12 03:22 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Eglantine, I was already envious of your harpsichord, and now I find out you can tune it too. How cool ! (I've already told my roommates that if they see a harpsichord sitting out by the side of the road with a "free" sign on it, to be sure bring it home for me...). I do find it interesting to push the buttons on my DP to make it play in different tunings, but it's harpsichord sound just isn't very convincing. frown

Cas, enjoy your fresh tuning!

Sam, I said it in the other thread, but I'll say it here too: it's a lovely piano, and you definitely deserve it (as one of our adult prodigies!). Too bad you'll have to leave it behind for the summer.

And SwissMS, I agree with you about metronomes. I used to hate them, but I now admit the problem was my overly elastic sense of rhythm o_O . Since I've made progress with that, I've come to find them quite invigorating.

My achievement of the week is finally pulling out of the little depressive slump I've had since being sick for so long. I think my body just forgot how to be energized. I've been eating better now also, and I think that's also contributed to my increasing energy level. (Hmm, maybe I'm ready for some quality time with that metronome...)


Please step aside. You're standing in your own way.

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#1876900 - 04/10/12 03:48 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: tangleweeds]  
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Originally Posted by tangleweeds
.....overly elastic sense of rhythm o_O......

Love that phrase! (& strongly identify with it!)


Carol
(Started playing July 2008)

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#1876964 - 04/10/12 05:47 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Eglantine Offline

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Another Country
Casinitaly, glad to hear you are back in tune in - ahem - equal temperament! (I'm making an assumption there that you don't use one of the other tunings popular with pianists.)

Cathy, I've yet to explore the different meantone tunings, having only just grasped the difference in principle between 'the meantones' and 'the well tempereds'. Time for more head in books, methinks.


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]
#1877166 - 04/10/12 11:40 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Wow, spring has sprung and it sounds like not only the flowers are blooming. New pianos (congrats Sam - it's gorgeous!), new tunings, leaps and bounds all around. Wow. Congratulations to everyone.

Here in Ohio, alas, it is snowing.

But inside, I just had a great 45 minutes on the keys, mostly working on Fur Elise. I'm doing it sans pedal for now (having never used that dang thing before), but it is oh so fun. I'm getting my fingers wrapped around the part where the first chords come in, up until where the repeat of the beginning part starts again. My teacher hyper-boosted me over those chords last weekend, huge guided progress, and I feel like it's going to come... though I still have to get to the part with the droning A note and RH chords, but that' doesn't *look* so bad...

Anyway, I'm loving it because I love Beethoven's way with music, and this is my first piece by him. What fun.

So, a belated Happy Spring to you all, and may your playing keep you happy even if the weather does not cooperate. smile



Started playing: February 2011. Still having fun.
#1877193 - 04/11/12 12:34 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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FarmGirl Offline

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Cheryl, I forgot to warn you about the risk of playing Chopin. It's very addictive. I normally try my best to stay away from them. As I looked at your post, I noticed my feet moving toward my piano and myself start reading from the Chopin Waltzer.... My mind is telling me "no no no tomorrow is my lesson. I should be doing the Rach piece.."


Pieces for this year to be decided soon.
#1877260 - 04/11/12 03:33 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: FarmGirl]  
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Sam Rose Offline
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Originally Posted by FarmGirl
Cheryl, I forgot to warn you about the risk of playing Chopin. It's very addictive. I normally try my best to stay away from them. As I looked at your post, I noticed my feet moving toward my piano and myself start reading from the Chopin Waltzer.... My mind is telling me "no no no tomorrow is my lesson. I should be doing the Rach piece.."


Let me play that part just oneeee more time...

Last edited by Sam Rose; 04/11/12 03:34 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
My Piano Diary: http://www.youtube.com/sirsardonic
♪ > $
#1877268 - 04/11/12 04:01 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Tangleweeds - glad you are feeling better - plunge in and let your music further lighten your heart!

SwissMS, I know what you mean, my "I want to play THAT" list is never-ending....and really that's already scary when you think of how little time I've been playing music. The good thing is that never-ending is never-ending......I don't have to worry about the list getting longer ha ha!

Eglantine, how did you start learning to tune? Which books/dvds did you find most helpful? Are you taking a course? I have tinkered with my piano a bit but don't like to mess with it too much, because...well, so far I just end up messing it up rather than making it better!

Bessel - once you get to using the pedal you'll be even more enchanted with your music. My teacher tried to get me to use the pedal over a year ago and I resisted terribly - I felt overwhelmed with the sound. When I started my Chopin piece I HAD to use the pedal or there would be huge gaps ...so now I'm making up for lost time (so to speak) and having a lot of fun getting the hang of it.


FarmGirl and Sam - you are so right...... and I have the Silent feature on my piano, I can play as late as I like....... this is sometimes a danger factor!!!

:):):)


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#1877283 - 04/11/12 05:06 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
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Posts: 804
Another Country
Originally Posted by casinitaly
Tangleweeds - glad you are feeling better - plunge in and let your music further lighten your heart!

SwissMS, I know what you mean, my "I want to play THAT" list is never-ending....and really that's already scary when you think of how little time I've been playing music. The good thing is that never-ending is never-ending......I don't have to worry about the list getting longer ha ha!

Eglantine, how did you start learning to tune? Which books/dvds did you find most helpful? Are you taking a course? I have tinkered with my piano a bit but don't like to mess with it too much, because...well, so far I just end up messing it up rather than making it better!

Bessel - once you get to using the pedal you'll be even more enchanted with your music. My teacher tried to get me to use the pedal over a year ago and I resisted terribly - I felt overwhelmed with the sound. When I started my Chopin piece I HAD to use the pedal or there would be huge gaps ...so now I'm making up for lost time (so to speak) and having a lot of fun getting the hang of it.


FarmGirl and Sam - you are so right...... and I have the Silent feature on my piano, I can play as late as I like....... this is sometimes a danger factor!!!

:):):)


I think tuning a harpsichord is to an extent easier than piano - the tuning pins are right there in front of you, as you sit at the harpsichord. Although there is the challenge of having two sets of strings to tune.

I went on a one-day maintenance course, to get to grips with all the mechanics, and now feel much more confident messing with the insides. Then I got myself a Korg electronic tuner, which tunes to a variety of temperaments, including meantone, Pythagorean, Werckmeister III, Kirnberger III, Vallotti, and Young which is used by some pianists.




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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#1877359 - 04/11/12 09:07 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,103
WiseBuff Offline
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WiseBuff  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,103
Brighton Colorado
Cheryl and FarmGirl
Now you have me going back to the waltz. Never did play it close to tempo so maybe learning it again will be more relaxed and make the dancers move a bit faster. I can see them dancing...one two three one two three...I'm close to 100 so at least they aren't tripping over each other. :-)

My accomplishment is having all four sections of the polonaise under my fingers...now I can connect them and polish this piece in time for my teacher's piano workshop(recital) in May.


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Wise as in learner
Buff as in Colorado Buffalo
#1877791 - 04/11/12 09:05 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]  
Joined: Jun 2011
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PianoStudent88 Offline
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PianoStudent88  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 4,013
Maine
Tonight I was playing one of my recital pieces for my teacher, from memory, and totally forgot where I was going at one point. I flailed around for a measure and a half, but even though flailing, I kept playing notes and chords in rhythm and in the general vicinity of where I was supposed to be. Afterwards, I said to my teacher, "did you notice that giant trainwreck in the first half?" And she said, "no." So that's my AOTW: to be able to successfully fake it through a concentration lapse.


Piano Career Academy - Ilinca Vartic teaches the Russian school of piano playing
Musical-U - guidance for increasing musicality
Theta Music Trainer - fun ear training games
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