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Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited?
casinitaly #2774855 10/23/18 11:09 AM
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Mine is simple, but I'm still happy: I've made it through the blues section in the first Alfred book and finished up "On Top of Old Smokey" this morning. I really wasn't a fan of the blues, and On Top of Old Smokey was entertaining, but not exactly fun. The excitement comes from the fact that once I've got the GMaj scale down I'll be learning to play The Can-Can, which I'm hoping I will have a lot more fun with than I've had in the last couple of weeks while slogging through the blues! Woohoo!

Also, JimF, Claire de Lune is my goal piece as well, and this is my starting year... so I guess now I have a rough-estimate timeline of when I'll be able to attempt it. Thanks! ... I think (9 more years?? eek)


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Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited?
casinitaly #2775036 10/23/18 10:11 PM
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I finished one year of lessons and I still can't wait to get home and play my little electric piano and see what's next in my method books.


First Lesson Oct. 17, 2017. Faber Piano Adventures Book 3b. Yamaha P-115 for two years (good starter piano) and now a Kawai MP11SE (Fantastic piano!).
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Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited?
Downhill_Fast #2775368 10/25/18 08:34 AM
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Downhill,

Congratulations on your Alfred AIO progress..... I recall being in that exact space, having started out in AIO myself. Keep up the good work!

One thing I for sure learned in the last 9 years is not to worry about "how fast I get there." Enjoy the ride, there's really no destination.


Consolation No.2 E maj, F.Liszt
Nocturne C# minor, FChopin
Clair de Lune, C.Debussy



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Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited?
casinitaly #2775475 10/25/18 04:36 PM
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Giacomo! Congratulazioni!

What a tremendous satisfaction!!!!

I had a good achievement last week.

My teacher was out of town and my former teacher took over his lessons for the day.

I played The Town I Loved So Well (from memory) for her and played through the Chopin Nocturne I am still working on.

She hasn’t heard me play for over a year and she was gratifyingly impressed with my progress.

It was really fun - I felt confident and wasn’t at all worried or stressed about playing for her, which wouldn’t have been the cas a few short months ago!


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Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited?
casinitaly #2775487 10/25/18 05:31 PM
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I took a week off from playing my piano because it started to really go out of tune (tuner is scheduled for next week). In the meantime, I played my electric bass ( in the learning stages) and made a lot of progress there. Today I went back to playing my piano and everything I've been working on just came out flawlessly! I believe that somehow the break gives the brain/hands/ears an opportunity to nurture and settle. Anyway, it felt great to play flawlessly! I'm a happy camper!


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Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited?
casinitaly #2775612 10/26/18 08:04 AM
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thumb Thanks C. I'll bet it felt pretty good to dash off a Chopin Nocturne for your former teacher.!

Which nocturne are you working on? Between now and year-end I am going to fiddle with fun stuff.... "a bag of tricks," as my teacher calls it, for improvising from lead sheets. But after that comes a Chopin nocturne... Which one is TBD for now.


Consolation No.2 E maj, F.Liszt
Nocturne C# minor, FChopin
Clair de Lune, C.Debussy



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Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited?
casinitaly #2776816 10/30/18 02:47 PM
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Hi Giacomo!

Sorry, I haven't been online much recently and I didn't answer your question from an earlier post.
I'm working on Nocturne 21, in C Minor posthumous- it's gorgeous

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buqCZIV8uUA


My ATOW was working on a new piece with my teacher - or rather playing it for him for the first time after a few weeks of working on it on my own. I discovered that all my recent Romantic style playing had severely impinged on the style of this piece (not Romantic!) - and I had to adjust what I was doing to get it right - and I did it during the lesson! whoo hoo! (the piece is Volkmann's "A Tale Begins")
He also commended me on keeping the tempo balanced while playing it at a much slower pace.


Also- when the next student arrived, I saw he is working on Chopin as well and I asked what he was learning - and he played a bit of it for me - very difficult, in Csharp minor, but I didn't note the number.
He asked which one I was working on, and it happened to be in his book.
My teacher said "it's one of the "easier" ones, but it isn't easy" - to which I said "thank you" and he said "it's not for beginners" - and I said "Thank you" again.


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18 ABF Recitals, Order of the Red Dot
European Piano Parties - Brussels, Lisbon, Lucern, Milan, Malaga, St. Goar
Themed recitals: Grieg and Great American Songbook


Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited?
casinitaly #2777210 11/01/18 07:54 AM
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Yes, the Cm posth is really nice. It is on my list of "easier" Chopin nocturnes... but none of them look at all easy to me. I'm already intimidated and haven't even selected one yet!

But I trust my teacher and will just keep putting one finger in front of the other, so to speak... especially appropriate since it is all those fast runs that freak me out!

crazy

Giacomo


Consolation No.2 E maj, F.Liszt
Nocturne C# minor, FChopin
Clair de Lune, C.Debussy



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Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited?
casinitaly #2777226 11/01/18 10:20 AM
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Home again, that means no piano since the EPP Sept 8th! I was so nervous going back to my keys yesterday I just messed around sight reading and checking out new possibilities, a few old favorites, worked on a few ‘tough passages’ before I got out my recital pieces again. I only played the Debusy Bergamesque Prelude, because I think that was my strongest piece, and ‘Wowed’ myself...... if that’s what taking a break does then I’ll take more, well not really, but what a difference. I found myself being much more confident and didn’t mess up, and maybe more importantly, I didn’t worry about the odd missed note or finger placement. I felt much more relaxed and gave myself a smile once I’d finished. I guess I really am hard on myself and can afford to lighten up quite a bit. Thanks all of you for a wonderful weekend at St Goar. It was a big stepping stone in my piano journey!

All this writing about Chopin Nocturnes.... No 20 and 21 the Cmaj and the C# minor are beautiful, neither can be called ‘easy’..... so my next goal is to finish - and record, maybe even submit - Opus 27 #2. I’ve been at it on and off for over a year now so time enough!


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Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited?
casinitaly #2778516 11/05/18 06:57 PM
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My AOTW — or month or year — was to play my Piazzolla piece yesterday at a piano party, a.k.a. performance class, for my teacher’s other adult students. Ten days ago I told her I thought I couldn’t do it, or shouldn’t: I made errors every time I played, and I did not want to inflict this pain on listeners who love music! She persuaded me to play it at the end of that lesson, for her next student and herself, on her gorgeous 9’ grand, which I’ve never touched before (my lesson is usually on a nice 6-1/2’ grand, but it had a broken something that day). I couldn’t see my two listeners, just the big beautiful piano, and I played this piece, which I love, better than I ever had. I surprised myself.

Since then in my practice, I’ve been able to shift my attention more to work on the phrasing, dynamics, all those things that make playing expressive; at the same time, somehow the wrong notes began to tame themselves too. My playing is still not reliably accurate every time, but so much better. Yesterday, although my hands were shaking, I played for an intently listening group of 7 knowledgeable pianists. It was exhilarating! There is far yet to go in shaping the “musicality” but I didn’t disgrace myself or hurt my listeners’ ears or sense of beauty. My teacher wrote me a note that she was proud of my progress. Me too! This feels like a big breakthrough!

Last edited by Qwerty53; 11/05/18 06:58 PM.

Currently at home with Mister Upright.
Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited?
casinitaly #2778527 11/05/18 07:25 PM
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You had me at Piazzolla! Which one? Milonga? Libertango? Big fan of his piano works (or at least the piano versions of his works). Great job, QWERTY!


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Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited?
cmb13 #2778549 11/05/18 08:37 PM
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Thank you, cmb13! Yes, I have noticed your upright-piano avatar popping up when there is mention of Piazzolla! I played Invierno (Winter), from the suite called Cuatro Estaciones Porteñas (Four Seasons of Buenos Aires). Three months of hard work and it is just barely listenable, but it is starting to sound better. I’ve submitted it to the quarterly recital (first time!), but I am hoping to record a better performance to upload before it closes. It would be nice if the piano tuner could get here in time, too. Oh well: work in progress!

Another student played the Milonga del Angel yesterday. I love that piece; maybe that’s next. Adios Nonino, Oblivion, Libertango... they do make my puny efforts at Schumann’s Album for the Young seem a bit pale by comparison.

Last edited by Qwerty53; 11/05/18 08:38 PM.

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Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited?
casinitaly #2778584 11/05/18 10:45 PM
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PIazzola for sure! (I stumble through the simplified versions, but love the effect, and dream of playing the "big kid" versions).

My AOTW is that, 10 years after I learned it "the wrong way", I learned an easy Chopin piece, Cantabile in B-flat major, the right way. Using 2 hands on the LH part until it the progression made sense. Finally implementing the advice of my teacher to back off to HS if HT wasn't working. Using the metronome to break through the "brain farts". It flows now.

Wonder if I could actually play it for my teacher without my hands getting sweaty. I am still debating whether to try to not get sweaty palms, or just get used to playing with them.


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Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited?
Medved1 #2778707 11/06/18 11:59 AM
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Hi Medved1! Congratulations on your Chopin!

You might try embracing the sweaty palms — or embracing a handkerchief just before you play!

There is this idea of reinterpreting one’s performance jitters as a kind of exaltation or elevated level of being: to see and feel it as extra energy, beyond our normal state of being.

The challenge for me is learning how to focus this extra energy on my playing: to quiet or ignore the part of my attention that is providing running commentary like “what does my teacher think?” and “oh no I fluffed that note/I hope I don’t fall apart in the next measure/oh my is this the one time I get a clean recording I’m almost there...” Not easy! I have managed a few times to feel that focused hyper-attention on my playing and it is delicious, but it still just comes in flickers.


Currently at home with Mister Upright.
Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited?
Qwerty53 #2778737 11/06/18 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Qwerty53
Thank you, cmb13! Yes, I have noticed your upright-piano avatar popping up when there is mention of Piazzolla! I played Invierno (Winter), from the suite called Cuatro Estaciones Porteñas (Four Seasons of Buenos Aires). Three months of hard work and it is just barely listenable, but it is starting to sound better. I’ve submitted it to the quarterly recital (first time!), but I am hoping to record a better performance to upload before it closes. It would be nice if the piano tuner could get here in time, too. Oh well: work in progress!

Another student played the Milonga del Angel yesterday. I love that piece; maybe that’s next. Adios Nonino, Oblivion, Libertango... they do make my puny efforts at Schumann’s Album for the Young seem a bit pale by comparison.


LOL I'm transparent I suppose. :cheers:


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Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited?
casinitaly #2778812 11/06/18 06:13 PM
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Qwerty53, congrats on the Piazzolla! It's so encouraging to hear experiences like yours--first the doubt, insecurity, shaky hands--and then finding your way through to make beautiful music. thumb

Medved, congrats on the revived and re-tooled Chopin. It sounds as though you and your teacher came up with some good practicing ideas to make it happen. Another thumb .



My AOTW is having lessons for the past three weeks with a substitute teacher. Even though he was a mere child wink , he had some good suggestions; being under a "fresh" eye on occasion is not a bad thing.


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Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited?
Qwerty53 #2778862 11/06/18 10:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Qwerty53
Hi Medved1! Congratulations on your Chopin!

You might try embracing the sweaty palms — or embracing a handkerchief just before you play!

There is this idea of reinterpreting one’s performance jitters as a kind of exaltation or elevated level of being: to see and feel it as extra energy, beyond our normal state of being.

The challenge for me is learning how to focus this extra energy on my playing: to quiet or ignore the part of my attention that is providing running commentary like “what does my teacher think?” and “oh no I fluffed that note/I hope I don’t fall apart in the next measure/oh my is this the one time I get a clean recording I’m almost there...” Not easy! I have managed a few times to feel that focused hyper-attention on my playing and it is delicious, but it still just comes in flickers.


Good advice - I will try to make it happen. You know, I had been wondering why the metronome works for me (in measured doses) - certainly it reduces the urge to rush things, but maybe also it inserts itself in between the part of the brain that is focusing on the music and the part of the brain that is honking away with the running commentary.

Stubbie, glad the "fresh eye" is useful!


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Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited?
casinitaly #2778944 11/07/18 11:36 AM
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Hey, Qwerty, I'm wondering where you got the sheet music for the Inverno? I've been looking around but not sure I see anything definitive for piano specifically. Thanks!


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"You Can Never Have Too Many Dream Pianos" -Thad Carhart
Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited?
cmb13 #2778972 11/07/18 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by cmb13
Hey, Qwerty, I'm wondering where you got the sheet music for the Inverno? I've been looking around but not sure I see anything definitive for piano specifically. Thanks!

Finding Piazzolla scores is not easy! I have had some limited success with Elkin Music and with SheetMusicPlus, but it seems that most scores are back-ordered, seemingly forever.

Invierno came as part of the whole Four Seasons suite for piano (Tonos Publishing) that I ordered through a (German?) website called Musicalion.com. Price in Euros plus overseas shipping (12.50 euros, about $14.35) made it a bit pricey but it did arrive within just a week or so.

I've just sent email to a fellow student who has the Angel suite (Tonos), to ask him where he got it. The Milonga del Angel was available in the 2009 edition of the RCM series, as I understand it, but I haven't been able to get my hands on a copy of that book.


Currently at home with Mister Upright.
Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited?
casinitaly #2778975 11/07/18 02:13 PM
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Stubbie, thanks for the words of encouragement!

Interesting that you found the "fresh eye" helpful -- I'm curious to know what kinds of advice you received that helped.


Currently at home with Mister Upright.
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