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Pen Pal Thread
#2684030 10/22/17 06:26 AM
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Since there's been talk of "pen pals" here and in the Pianist Corner, I thought I would give this thread a try. My thinking is that we all like to talk about what we are doing and playing, to get encouragement, share ideas, and share enthusiasm with others with similar interests. Why not do this here in the forum, where we all came to find these shared values, rather than privately.

I imagine this thread would be similar to the What did you play today thread but rather than just listing a few things, opening it up for discussion and conversation.

Interested?


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Re: Pen Pal Thread
cmb13 #2684032 10/22/17 06:45 AM
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I'll begin - yesterday, I went to work in the morning. Yes, very annoying as it was Saturday, but it was a big day as my hospital just implemented a $50 million dollar EMR and yesterday was Go Live. We all expected total chaos, but we were prepared and it wasn't that bad. Then again, I'm pretty good with computers and it may have been harder for others.

I finished rounds at about 1 pm, but right then I got a call from a patient that she was coming to the hospital for a problem, yet wouldn't arrive for a while. So, I wandered to a small lobby that has an out of tune Yamaha grand (there are several lobbies with grand pianos, and I've played on this one before, but never would play on the one near the main lobby). There were two people there, a security guard and a visitor sitting on a sofa waiting for someone. So I sat down and played, not too concerned about them.

I worked on Sirius for a few minutes, as I have it pretty much memorized, then I tried the Chopin Peelude in E min, and the Bach Prelude in C maj, realizing I don't have them memorized but wishing I had. I tried to use the sheet music from my iphone 7, but it was too small to read without scrolling, and it darkens after a short while. It was then that I began to see the value of memorizing at least a few pieces.

I also played Autumn Leaves, which had been my favorite go to song for a while, but realized I was getting sloppy with the B section so I'll need to brush up on this as well.

Later in the day, when I got home, I worked on The Debussy Prelude (Flaxen Hair), lines 2-3. I've already completed the second page, so I'm nearly finished with it, albeit far from good. It's definitely a little above my level. I ran through Moonlight Sonata once and the Chopin Prelude twice, and the Bach Prelude a few times toying with memorizing it. I just did the first 10 measures or so with an eye towards memorization.

Then my wife and daughter came home, we had dinner and watched the first two episodes of Season 2 of This Is Us, having just finished the first season. Then watched the Yankees lose, a little sad that we wouldn't get a reprise of the Yankees Dodgers World Series of my youth (although I really don't care very much).

Didn't get to scales yesterday.

TMI?


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Re: Pen Pal Thread
cmb13 #2684082 10/22/17 12:07 PM
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Well, I guess I'll bite. Back when I first joined this site, I participated in the Alfred's threads, which I quite enjoyed. At some point after I'd finally gotten a proper teacher, we both got bored with Alfred's and I ended up leaving that thread behind.

One of the last pieces my Dad learned was Autumn Leaves. Dad played piano for 80 years or so, and played piano till his last day. So I have a special fondness for that song now.

I am quite pleased with my piano work today - I got in a satisfying practice and then managed to get the last movement of the sonatina I've been working on recorded.


Schumann - Sheherazade Op. 68 No 32, Ravel Prelude in A minor 1913, Scarlatti Sonata in D Minor K32/ Soundcloud

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Re: Pen Pal Thread
cmb13 #2684090 10/22/17 12:37 PM
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I've been working on recordings for the online recital. Yesterday, I recorded Sonatina in F Major (Diabelli, No. 1st Movement) and also Sonatina in G Major (Clementi, No. 2, 3rd Movement) - RCM 4 pieces. I don't know which I'll submit yet.

I too started with Alfred's, but moved to following the RCM syllabus. I still go back to Alfred's though. It doesn't take me long to learn most of those pieces. This morning I tried Black Forest Polka. I was surprised I could get through most of the polka without stumbling. Of course it would take time to polish, but still it's fun at times to hack away at those pieces.


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Re: Pen Pal Thread
cmb13 #2684096 10/22/17 12:48 PM
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Oh cool you're working on that Disturbed version of Sound of Silence, I really enjoy that cover. I liked the original too though.

I think about going back to Alfred's but honestly it takes me forever to learn pieces (or so I tell myself) and the other ones I'm working on I'm more interested in.


Schumann - Sheherazade Op. 68 No 32, Ravel Prelude in A minor 1913, Scarlatti Sonata in D Minor K32/ Soundcloud

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Re: Pen Pal Thread
cmb13 #2684103 10/22/17 01:02 PM
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Thanks for pointing that out. I should change that. I instead decided to work on the arrangement by Viktoriya Yermolyeva. I donated a few dollars to her and she sent me the sheet for that. It's in a different key (eâ™­ minor), but I do like arrangement. It's difficult though ;0

Last edited by bSharp(C)yclist; 10/22/17 02:20 PM.

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Re: Pen Pal Thread
cmb13 #2684114 10/22/17 02:05 PM
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I am an intermediate level. I admire CMB, just to sit and play. Though I can speak in front of an audience with ease, I have a hard time playing the piano in front of people. However, this past year, my instructor plays one a month for the nursing home my dad was in, so I started playing 1 song prior to his start. At least now my glasses don't fog out from being nervous, that is an improvement. My instructor has me work on something that is always a stretch, so I have been working on Habanera (from Carmen) by Bizet.


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Re: Pen Pal Thread
cmb13 #2684115 10/22/17 02:09 PM
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CMB, was that EMR Ep*c by chance? Haha.


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Re: Pen Pal Thread
DFSRN #2684123 10/22/17 02:54 PM
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No it's Cerner - I've been Cernified! Such a pain.....


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Re: Pen Pal Thread
DFSRN #2684126 10/22/17 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by DFSRN
I am an intermediate level. I admire CMB, just to sit and play. Though I can speak in front of an audience with ease, I have a hard time playing the piano in front of people. However, this past year, my instructor plays one a month for the nursing home my dad was in, so I started playing 1 song prior to his start. At least now my glasses don't fog out from being nervous, that is an improvement. My instructor has me work on something that is always a stretch, so I have been working on Habanera (from Carmen) by Bizet.


Nursing homes are great ways to begin playing live - no pressure! The residents just like seeing younger people being active and having fun, they don't care how good you are.


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Re: Pen Pal Thread
MeganR #2684127 10/22/17 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by MeganR
Well, I guess I'll bite. Back when I first joined this site, I participated in the Alfred's threads, which I quite enjoyed. At some point after I'd finally gotten a proper teacher, we both got bored with Alfred's and I ended up leaving that thread behind.

One of the last pieces my Dad learned was Autumn Leaves. Dad played piano for 80 years or so, and played piano till his last day. So I have a special fondness for that song now.

I am quite pleased with my piano work today - I got in a satisfying practice and then managed to get the last movement of the sonatina I've been working on recorded.


Megan thanks for biting! Autumn Leaves is so pretty, and can be played at so many levels with such variety. It's a great learning tool with an intro to ii-V-I and improv, and to chord inversions, etc.

I'm no longer following the Alfred thread either. I'm not sure about recording this time, I'm not ready. frown


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Re: Pen Pal Thread
cmb13 #2684134 10/22/17 03:45 PM
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Yesterday was a “piano day’ for me smile In the afternoon I went to a piano showroom to look and touch different brands of acoustics. I liked Steinway D the most but I will not even tell you what I played on it, probably no one dared to play an absolutely primitive 2 line beginners piece on that piano but it was the only one I had memorized smile The good thing is I have no problem playing in front of people, actually I can’t wait when I reach a point when I can start doing that!

Re: Pen Pal Thread
cmb13 #2684166 10/22/17 05:54 PM
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CMB, I am 57, my piano teacher (26 yo) is very talented with a MS in music and plays multiple instruments. He is a church orchestra and choir director. The nursing home residents and their families love to see him play. For a young person not trained in the medical profession he is wonderful with the geriatric population. I hired him to play for Father' Day last year when my dad was living last year. I invited the entire nursing home and their families. The residents responded to him so well, I called the facility director and suggested the facility hire him one day a month to play for the residents. He has been playing at the nursing home for over a year. One resident told me, "it is the highlight of my week when he comes to play." One resident was a church pianist and a music teacher for over 50 years and had a stoke. She went to the piano and with one hand accompanied him, it was wonderful to see. I decided to pursue my interest because our health is not promised to us tomorrow. I tell people don't put off what you really want to do. I have heard too many people say I wish I would have.............. I plan to play over the holidays at the nursing home during dinner time.


Deb
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Re: Pen Pal Thread
cmb13 #2684219 10/22/17 09:00 PM
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That's awesome D! It's a really nice thing to do. True about what you said - we never know what turns life will take. Carpe Diem!


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Re: Pen Pal Thread
cmb13 #2684345 10/23/17 08:45 AM
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Yesterday, I did my scales after skipping them on Saturday. Funny how it made me feel lousy not doing them. I still am doing the 12 major scales, and maj/min arpeggios, haven't gotten to the cadences I worked so hard to put together on MuseScore. I will do at least some of them eventually.

Then I worked on Sirus/Eye In The Sky, wasted more time refining the sheet music I created for that (compiled a score at my level from a variety of sources); I think it's complete now, so I just have to keep drilling it.

I worked some more on La Fille...getting better. That song is so unbelievably pretty with all the harmonies. I'm really working on playing it softly (pp or p); I think this is helping with technique. When I have it down, I hope to maintain it, but it'll be time to drop back to reality in terms of level for a little while. I can't believe when I see people on the recital list have performed that piece after 6 months, 1 year or 2 years of learning. I'm having trouble with it after 4 years. It's just way too complex to learn at that stage; I'm sure one could learn it but it would be akin to reading a foreign language without understanding the words.


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Re: Pen Pal Thread
bSharp(C)yclist #2684348 10/23/17 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by bSharp(C)yclist
Thanks for pointing that out. I should change that. I instead decided to work on the arrangement by Viktoriya Yermolyeva. I donated a few dollars to her and she sent me the sheet for that. It's in a different key (eâ™­ minor), but I do like arrangement. It's difficult though ;0


I was just about to comment that I was surprised she did that song in Gb minor, but noticed you edited it. I may want to try that song, great for popular repertoire. Since doing Alfred's years ago, I wanted to learn a more advanced version of Scarborough Fair but haven't found one I like.


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Re: Pen Pal Thread
cmb13 #2684362 10/23/17 09:46 AM
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I have such a fondness for the pretty pieces and a lack of fondness for some of the more advanced stuff that I just call "bashing and crashing".

Yes, that's a great story DSFRN! Very sweet. Agree completely, now is the best time to start something, whatever it is. We are not guaranteed tomorrow. I am ever so glad I decided to take up piano in my late fifties, it's so often the highlight of my day even when things get frustrating.


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Re: Pen Pal Thread
cmb13 #2684393 10/23/17 11:14 AM
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Sorry about that, a typo on my part. Lot's of black keys in that piece, like Nuvole Bianche. I just recently finished Danny Boy and working on Loch Lomond from the Alfred's 2 book, more flat keys. I like those pieces.

For scales, arpeggios, etc., I work through those that are currently required for RCM 4.


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Re: Pen Pal Thread
MeganR #2684460 10/23/17 03:21 PM
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Yes CMB, Seize the Day! Dead Poets Society, with Robin Williams he was trying to create awareness with his students. Megan, I wrote a publication called Prescription for Music Lessons in 2016 for the Federal Practitioner Journal. My article discusses the benefits of playing a musical instrument in older age. Not that I think 50 is old, lessons are not just for children and adults derive mental and physiological benefits that they may not consider. I was surprised when I started music lessons there were so few adults taking lessons. Thanks for your comments.


Deb
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Re: Pen Pal Thread
cmb13 #2684504 10/23/17 06:02 PM
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Deb, that article is excellent! Wonderful review of the topic, one that's close to my heart. My mother developed early onset dementia in her mid 60's, and that's part of why I began to learn to play. See my post in the Why Do You Play Piano thread for more details. I wonder if you wouldn't mind sharing that article in a link on here or in a new thread? I already tweeted it smile. It's a very relevant topic to many of us, I'm sure. I'm so glad you told us of it.


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