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scorpio Offline OP
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This is the official signup and participation thread for the 2017 "40 Pieces A Year Challenge"! We'll use this thread for signups, tracking progress and recordings (if you're making them) and discussion and support.

The Goal: To see if learning 40 piano pieces a year can make us better players.

The Method: Participants will aim to complete 40 pieces a year of various skill levels. Most of these will be under your current skill level, which is up to you to interpret! These pieces can include classical, jazz or any other genre. These pieces do not have to be completed to a completely polished final standard - they are about skill building, learning, sight reading, exploring new music and having fun.

For more details about the inspiration and source of this challenge, please read these pieces by Elissa Milne:

Where Did the 40 Piece Challenge Begin?

The Surprising Power of Quantity

Suggestions for Getting Started

Tracking Your Progress: Please check in with this thread when you complete your pieces - we'll keep a running total for everyone at the top and edit it as needed. Please feel free to also upload any recordings that you're making (if you're comfortable with that) and ask any questions, get support or just suggestions for more music!

Some Notes About Skill Levels and Competition: We all have many different backgrounds and skill levels, so this challenge will look different for each one of us. Our goal is to support and foster people's drive to complete the challenge, no matter what skill level they are at. Please be kind and refrain from bringing negative attitudes into the thread, whether towards yourself or towards others! This is about meeting the challenge (and the piano) where you are rather than comparing yourself to others.

Resources and Recommended Books

ONLINE
IMSLP (classical)
NYPL Archives (Tin Pan Alley)

RECOMMENDED BOOKS
Joy of First Classics, Books 1 & 2 - Denes Agay
Easy Classics to Moderns & More Easy Classics to Moderns - Denes Agay
Intermediate Classics to Moderns - Denes Agay
Early Advanced Classics to Moderns - Denes Agay
Melodious Masterpieces, Books 1 & 2 - Jane Magrath
Celebration Series - various levels
Lyric Pieces - Catherine Rollin
Romantic Sketches and Jazz, Rags and Blues Books - Martha Mier
Nocturnes - Dave Brubeck
Solo Piano - Phillip Glass
Piano Works - Max Richter
First Lessons in Bach

2017 Participants (74)
Albunea - 25
Anita Potter - 47
apassionata - 40
Arty Movie - 45
Birdgolf - 55
Bobby Badd - 40
BrianDX - 42
Bsw - 4
bSharp[C]yclist - 46
cathryn999 - 12
Colin Dunn
Crocus - 1
dancingfish - 40
Davidonabus - 15
DiggPlyV - 60
DutchTea - 12
fishandchips - 38
GillesJ - 16
gingko2 - 28
Golden Wattle - 10
greensam
lvojnovic - 9
JackMusic - 8
JDavid - 7
JoBert - 28
joename
johan d - 15
jotur - 12
Keselo - 67
Kingfisher - 40
krumpetina - 4
lizzie3 - 4
Lonelymonk
Maik - 2
Marleigh - 49
Medved1 - 40
mel lem - 61
Meria - 21
michaelvi
mom3gram - 28
Montuno - 8
MossySF - 7
Muove - 8
noahsarts - 58
NorwichTim - 45
OrangeredStilton - 7
Orco - 2
PatrickBl
PianogrlNW - 26
Pianoperformance
PianoStudent88
QuinGold - 40
Ralphiano - 22
Rosewood17 - 30
SadieLady - 43
sara elizabeth - 37
Saranoya - 4
Schuberto - 9
scorpio - 17
ScottsWald - 3
sinophilia - 55
Soo - 33
squidbot - 4
Stellaria - 40
Sundew - 6
sunnycsm - 4
SwissMS - 40
ThePawn
torquenale - 14
ViennaAutumn
WiseBuff - 24
xyzzyFL - 23
zillybug - 19
Zilthy - 7
zrtf90

Congratulations to all on a very successful 2017 40 Pieces Challenge!

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Last edited by scorpio; 01/02/18 10:23 AM.

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Wheeeeeeeeeeeee! I'm first! grin


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I'm in smile


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I'd like to join as well! smile Thank you! (I signed up just for this, actually)

Last edited by Davidonabus; 12/24/16 12:55 AM.

Back to learning the piano after a short 25 year break
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2017 "40 Pieces A Year Club Progress"
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I'm in too! First timer smile



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I haven't even posted my final list in the 2016 thread yet (still have computer problems, so I can't finalize the recordings) but yes, I'm in too!

EDIT: I don't want to scare away the first timers (welcome!) so I thought it's probably better to point out that recording is entirely optional! It's simply something I have decided for myself, that I consider a piece done when I manage to get a recording that I am willing to share online without feeling embarrassed by it. But that's just my own personal approach. You are welcome to find your own - with or without recordings.

Last edited by JoBert; 12/24/16 06:58 AM.

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I'm in again.


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I'm in. I'll be one of the most new players on here (2 months in). My goal is to get 40 pieces, and hopefully to not wear tired of learning this new hobby.

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I'm in again.


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Me too, me too! I am in for 2017. I feel this is the most valuable activity that I do to progress.

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I will join you all in this endeavor in 2017.


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Sure. Playing many pieces is key in my opinion. But, a multi-movement work doesn't count as one, does it? For example a french suite counts as six pieces, yes?

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Everyone can make their own decisions, but if I play a multi-part piece such as a Sonata, I count each movement as a separate piece for this challenge.

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Originally Posted by noahsarts
Sure. Playing many pieces is key in my opinion. But, a multi-movement work doesn't count as one, does it? For example a french suite counts as six pieces, yes?


Welcome aboard, noahsarts!

Don't worry about what constitutes a "complete" or "sufficient" piece. The number "40" could be any number. That is just the particular number the originator of this program chose.

Think of the pursuit of "40" pieces as a mere proxy for "pursuit of lots of pieces." Take some time to read the three articles scorpio has linked in the first post above. They explain the pedagogical foundations and the benefits of this program. Generally, it seeks to obtain the benefits of selecting, starting, and finishing a high number of pieces, that the more traditional form of studying just few pieces per year misses.

So, you just decide for yourself whether you want to count the French Suites as 6 pieces, or, as 1 piece. I think most would consider them as 6, since they are distinct and have their own personalities and attributes.

The answer is less clear in the case of Sonatina, where one could hold that the two or three pieces are really just parts of one piece. However, again, the parts have distinct characters, oftentimes with differing meters, etc. So, one should feel free to count sonatina parts individually.

Most importantly, just play, and play a lot of different pieces. Get a lot of repetitions of the ENTIRE CYCLE of mastering a piece. In the end, that is the ability we are seeking.

And, welcome to Davidonabus, dancingfish, greensam, and Muove. It is nice to see all of you. It will be nice to see all of you progress.

Happy Holiday, everyone!

Last edited by Ralphiano; 12/25/16 11:13 AM.

Ralph

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I would like to join too. Birdgolf


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In for 2017 as well. Hope it will go as well as 2015 and 2106!


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Please count me in! It'll my first time in this attempt. smile


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Last year I tried and miserably failed after three pieces frown
but I'm still convinced that this challenge can be really useful, so please sign me up again for 2017!


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I'm in! This will be a good challenge and good way to track my process. I think I will go for very simple pieces to improve my sight reading skills.


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Yes please. I think this is a great idea!

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