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"40 Pieces A Year Club" for 2019
#2797076 12/31/18 11:18 AM
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This is the official signup and participation thread for the 2019 "40 Pieces A Year Challenge"! We'll use this thread for signups, tracking progress, recordings (if you decide to share them) and discussion.

The Goal: To learn, perform and experience forty piano pieces in a year.

The Method: Pieces can include any genre (e.g., classical, jazz, rock, pop, arrangements). Most of these will be (should be) below your current skill level. These pieces do not have to be completed to a polished final standard. Ultimately, the pieces are for skill building, technique development, rhythm work, sight-reading, exploring new music and having fun.

The Rules: There are no rules. It is up to you on how to craft this challenge.

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 upload any recordings that you're making (this is not a requirement). We are a supportive group, so the more you participate and ask questions, the more you will get out of the challenge!

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. 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.

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



Resources and Recommended Books

40 PIECES A YEAR CLUBS FROM PRIOR YEARS
2017
2016
2015

PUBLIC DOMAIN SHEET MUSIC
IMSLP (classical) 
NYPL Archives (Tin Pan Alley) 

RECOMMENDED BOOKS
First Lessons in Bach
Essential Keyboard Repertoire, Volumes 1-8 (Alfred Music)
Joy of First Classics, Books 1 & 2 - Denes Agay
Classics to Moderns Series - Denes Agay
Melodious Masterpieces Series - Jane Magrath
RCM Celebration Series
Lyric Moments Series - Catherine Rollin
Romantic Impressions Series – Martha Mier
Jazz, Rags and Blues Series - Martha Mier
Masterwork Classics Series (Alfred Music)
Nocturnes - Dave Brubeck
Solo Piano - Phillip Glass
Piano Works - Max Richter
The Best of Ludovico Einaudi: Piano Solo


Kawai MP11 : JBL LSR305 : Focusrite 2i4 : Pianoteq / Garritan CFX

We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams. -Willy Wonka


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Re: "40 Pieces A Year Club" for 2019
scorpio #2797078 12/31/18 11:18 AM
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Participants


Kawai MP11 : JBL LSR305 : Focusrite 2i4 : Pianoteq / Garritan CFX

We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams. -Willy Wonka


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Re: "40 Pieces A Year Club" for 2019
scorpio #2797107 12/31/18 01:15 PM
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I'm afraid that I see little benefit in this idea despite it's apparent popularity. For starters, what's a "piece"? Why give twice as much real estate to two one page pieces as one two page piece? The idea that 40 pieces is a large or significant quantity is false because it does not take the above into consideration. It seems like this thread would encourage some to learn very short pieces. But I think that is not a particularly good criterion for selecting a piece.

The guidelines talk about performing 40 pieces but I doubt most could accomplish this. Also, I don't think it's pedagogically sound to spend so much time learning pieces below one's skill level as the guidelines again suggest.

Re: "40 Pieces A Year Club" for 2019
scorpio #2797118 12/31/18 01:37 PM
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Please sign me up. I did it a couple of years ago and then got too busy . I am going to try again this year.


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Re: "40 Pieces A Year Club" for 2019
scorpio #2797132 12/31/18 02:22 PM
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I'm in also.


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Re: "40 Pieces A Year Club" for 2019
scorpio #2797148 12/31/18 03:31 PM
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I'm in. Recently I’ve been enjoying learning more complex pieces so my goal is to learn 20 pieces in 2019 plus lots of sight-reading of easy pieces (that I won't keep track of).

For the skeptics, the idea is to get better at sight reading by constantly learning new pieces. Whether they are below your level or not is up to you. I was brought up in the "one exam a year/three pieces" environment, and it's not conducive to reading music fast.

I LOVE this new way of learning and practicing. I get to pick the pieces I want to learn, and I make sure I'm constantly learning new material that interests me. The challenge, if there is one, is keeping up my favorites so I have some repertoire built up over the years. As I accumulate faves and keep them up, there is less time to focus on the current year!


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Re: "40 Pieces A Year Club" for 2019
QuinGold #2797161 12/31/18 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by QuinGold
For the skeptics, the idea is to get better at sight reading by constantly learning new pieces. Whether they are below your level or not is up to you. I was brought up in the "one exam a year/three pieces" environment, and it's not conducive to reading music fast.

I admit to being a skeptic to the idea of '40 pieces a year' until I read what you just wrote. OK. I'm in then! I suck at (sight-)reading so I hope this will work. confused


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Re: "40 Pieces A Year Club" for 2019
Tyrone Slothrop #2797172 12/31/18 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by QuinGold
For the skeptics, the idea is to get better at sight reading by constantly learning new pieces. Whether they are below your level or not is up to you. I was brought up in the "one exam a year/three pieces" environment, and it's not conducive to reading music fast.

I admit to being a skeptic to the idea of '40 pieces a year' until I read what you just wrote. OK. I'm in then! I suck at (sight-)reading so I hope this will work. confused


Great! I think you'll find most participants say their sight reading improves with this challenge. Remember that the goal is your own: It's not a bad idea to learn one challenging piece every month (or two) and then one little piece every week or so, most of which you might later forget. I find that has worked for me, but the goals are yours to set – and change if they are not working. (I'm currently learning a 4-page piece that is progressing at one line a week, but it's so beautiful I'm not inclined to give it up!)

Last edited by QuinGold; 12/31/18 05:16 PM.

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Re: "40 Pieces A Year Club" for 2019
QuinGold #2797176 12/31/18 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by QuinGold
my goal is to learn 20 pieces in 2019 plus lots of sight-reading of easy pieces (that I won't keep track of).

This is exactly it.

This club/challenge is whatever you make it. It doesn't need to be 40 (it can be 20, 60, whatever); you can modify this concept to suit your needs for improving at the piano.

The idea is to see more music over time. By doing so, you hope to improve sight-reading skills and practice strategies. The aim is to learn to become more efficient.


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We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams. -Willy Wonka


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Re: "40 Pieces A Year Club" for 2019
scorpio #2797184 12/31/18 05:50 PM
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Sign me up. One of my goals for 2019 is to improve my sight reading.


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Re: "40 Pieces A Year Club" for 2019
scorpio #2797211 12/31/18 07:39 PM
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Almost all good sight readers never "practiced" their sight reading. They just played through tons of music because they were interested in the piano literature. Although 40(I'm guessing mostly short 1-2 page pieces) is better than less than that amount, that's only 1-3 pages/week and a minimal amount. It seems like less than 10 minutes/week.

Re: "40 Pieces A Year Club" for 2019
scorpio #2797255 12/31/18 11:17 PM
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I would like to join again. --Birdgolf


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Re: "40 Pieces A Year Club" for 2019
scorpio #2797304 01/01/19 03:19 AM
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Hi - Please sign me up for the coming year !

Re: "40 Pieces A Year Club" for 2019
scorpio #2797307 01/01/19 03:35 AM
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I discovered this group at the beginning of 2018, and would love to join again!

Re: "40 Pieces A Year Club" for 2019
scorpio #2797316 01/01/19 04:18 AM
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I'm just starting out on piano, but I'd like to participate if I may smile

Re: "40 Pieces A Year Club" for 2019
scorpio #2797367 01/01/19 07:52 AM
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I'm in again.

My personal goal will be the same again as last year, to leave me some room for larger and more difficult pieces: I want to reach 20+ completed (and recorded) pieces, plus whatever else strikes my fancy. I also reserve the right to include some pieces that I already started (and counted) in 2018, that I plan to work on more.

As scorpio said, the challenge (at least here in this thread) is whatever you make of it. For example for me it is not about sight reading (having only played from scores my whole life with almost no memorization at all, I'm pretty good at that already). For me it is about giving me structure and finishing goals, so that I don't meander from one piece to another too much, without ever finishing any of them. Well, and of course one of the original challenge's goals: To be exposed to more different music. (Although I must admit I still tend to gravitate back to a small group of preferred composers even with this challenge - but the challenge helps to mitigate that tendency).

Re: "40 Pieces A Year Club" for 2019
scorpio #2797393 01/01/19 09:40 AM
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I'm in. I didn't make 40 last year, so this year I think I'll set the goal of 20 and then see if I can beat it. I did find that it kept things fresh to sprinkle easier, shorter pieces in amongst the stretch pieces. I stopped doing that so much towards the end of the year, so now's the time to hit reset and start up again.

Good luck everyone and happy practicing!


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Re: "40 Pieces A Year Club" for 2019
scorpio #2797409 01/01/19 10:36 AM
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Thank you scorpio!

I've been waiting for the 2019 version of this thread so sign me up. While I'd love to bang out a piece from First Lessons in Bach I'm not ready for that this year so I'll be using the "Religous Favorites" book from the Bastien Older Beginner Piano Library Series to start with. Basically easy hymns in C D F G with right hand meolody and I IV and V7 in the left hand. I think I'll be able to keep moving through the Faber method books and do one of these a week on the side.

Alan Chan has a playlist on his You Tube Channel of this book if anyone wants to check it out.




Last edited by Chili_Time; 01/01/19 10:41 AM.

First Lesson Oct. 17, 2017. Now in Faber Piano Adventures Book 3b. Kawai MP11SE.
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Re: "40 Pieces A Year Club" for 2019
scorpio #2797490 01/01/19 02:48 PM
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Chili Time - I'm working on one from the "Religious Favorites" book right now (Nearer My God to Thee). I've used a few of them in the previous years' challenges too.


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Re: "40 Pieces A Year Club" for 2019
scorpio #2797659 01/02/19 02:26 AM
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Please sign me up. For now, I'll mostly be working on Alfred's Adult Book 1, plus whatever supplemental pieces my teacher prescribes. On the side, I am looking forward to working on easier pieces from "Essential Keyboard Repertoire- Volume 1", as and when I get time.

Hopefully, it will be a fruitful year!


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