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Re: frustrated and new to forum [Re: diviajar1] #2848924
05/16/19 05:07 PM
05/16/19 05:07 PM
Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 326
Salish Sea
Qwerty53 Offline

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Qwerty53  Offline

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Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 326
Salish Sea
No. 3 is generally considered Grade 4. (It might be “level 1” according to Henle, but the Henle grades are a lot harder than most.)

Opus 36, No. 1 is easier.

Try the Piano Syllabus search, enter Clementi for composer, Sonatina for title: you will get a list of all his Sonatinas and an indication of the grades for each (sometimes even for the separate movements) as assessed by a variety of organizations (ABRSM, RCM, Henle etc.). Piano Syllabus website


”Mister Upright,” Yamaha YUS5.
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Re: frustrated and new to forum [Re: PatG] #2849307
05/17/19 03:03 PM
05/17/19 03:03 PM
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 161
Detroit
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Fidel Online content
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Fidel  Online Content
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Posts: 161
Detroit
Unfamiliar with this piece I looked up the score on IMSLP. IMO this is too difficult for someone with 16 months experience. If I include playing it with classical phrasing & articulation, then it's out of the question for someone at 16 months. It's too much.

I advise putting this piece down, coming back to it next year and trying something easier. It's naturally frustrating playing something that's too difficult. It's naturally impossible to be consistent with something that's too difficult. Pieces closer to your experience level are much more enjoyable.

I realize you have to push yourself to get better. Trick is to figure how much to push because too much is bad.


"the lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne." -- Chaucer.
Re: frustrated and new to forum [Re: joe80] #2849400
05/17/19 08:02 PM
05/17/19 08:02 PM
Joined: Apr 2019
Posts: 175
Hawai'i Island
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BigIslandGuy Offline
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Hawai'i Island
Originally Posted by joe80
In my teaching experience, students are usually inconsistent because the practise the wrong way, or inefficiently.

You really have to practise very small sections, and I mean, very small, over and over, slowly. Students often try to play through the piece too soon.

So for instance, in the Clementi first sonatina, you have the opening motive "ta ta-te ta" on beats 1, 2 and 3. Practise that motif "Ta ta-te ta" slowly, different dynamics. Use the fourth beat as the up-beat to the next measure so "ta TA ta-te ta" (upper-case Ta being beat 1). Then do it again, and again. Slowly. Speed up gradually. Then put the two motifs together, allowing your brain to think of the two individual motifs that make up that statement.

Second measure, fourth beat, that's the up-beat to the scale, so you start "ta Ta-te ta-te ta", stay on that last "ta", it's the passing of the finger over the thumb. Be careful there. What movement are you making to pass the finger? Is it efficient and effective? Then move on to the next part of it, etc etc. Break down the whole piece like this. Don't play through it from beginning to end. It will take you a couple of hours to do the first two pages. Do the second two pages in the same way. Work like that for 3 days in a row. After 3 days, play it through. Slowly. Increase the speed gradually each time you play it. If you're still having problems, at least now you can analyse exactly where, and exactly why, because you'll have the small motifs clear in your head.

I am almost certain that will eliminate any catastrophes you may be experiencing! Good luck!


This some really good advice. When I'm learning a hard piece, I chop it all up into little bits where the challenges are, then start stringing them together. And those little tiny things, like joe80's example here, can eat your lunch. One of the biggest challenges in learning to practice efficiently is learning to troubleshoot those little details. Hang in there!

Re: frustrated and new to forum [Re: Qwerty53] #2850056
05/19/19 03:49 PM
05/19/19 03:49 PM
Joined: May 2019
Posts: 4
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diviajar1 Offline
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diviajar1  Offline
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Joined: May 2019
Posts: 4
Originally Posted by Qwerty53
No. 3 is generally considered Grade 4. (It might be “level 1” according to Henle, but the Henle grades are a lot harder than most.)

Opus 36, No. 1 is easier.

Try the Piano Syllabus search, enter Clementi for composer, Sonatina for title: you will get a list of all his Sonatinas and an indication of the grades for each (sometimes even for the separate movements) as assessed by a variety of organizations (ABRSM, RCM, Henle etc.). Piano Syllabus website

Thank you. I didn't know that site.

Indeed it looks very difficult!

Re: frustrated and new to forum [Re: PatG] #2851053
05/22/19 09:46 AM
05/22/19 09:46 AM
Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 73
Central PA
S
spartan928 Offline
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spartan928  Offline
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Posts: 73
Central PA
This is a great question as I was tackling the first 2 sonatinas and encountering similar issues. That is, playing smooth at home and butchering at practice. Here is what I did that helped immensely; do not rely on muscle memory. What worked for me was finding holes in my memory by playing the piece very slow, hands separate from memory. This exposed gaps all over the pieces where my brain did not really recall the notes, it was cruising on muscle memory. Next, I practiced very slow, hands together and immediately stopped if I made a mistake or anticipated one, then brush up on those measures and continue. Again, run through slooooow and expose your weaknesses and focus on strengthening those before playing through at tempo. I found this exponentially improved the pieces at practice and rectal.

Re: frustrated and new to forum [Re: spartan928] #2851058
05/22/19 10:08 AM
05/22/19 10:08 AM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 7,003
Tyrone Slothrop Online content
Tyrone Slothrop  Online Content

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Posts: 7,003
Originally Posted by spartan928
I found this exponentially improved the pieces at practice and rectal.

This 'Freudian slip' was pure gold. grin


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
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Re: frustrated and new to forum [Re: Moo :)] #2851539
05/23/19 04:25 PM
05/23/19 04:25 PM
Joined: May 2019
Posts: 16
Florence, MT
P
PatG Offline OP
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PatG  Offline OP
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Joined: May 2019
Posts: 16
Florence, MT
Moo smile Thanks for your comments. Yes, that is the piece I've been working on for about 6 months. I'm actually on the 3rd section now. I do have a little more than 18 months of learning. The 18 months is current time. I did take a year as a young adult and did play on and off without lessons in between those times but not very much. My teacher picked the song and she determines when I'm ready to move onto something else. She recently added Reverie in F major by Debussy. I can't play the Sonatina up to the correct tempo, but keeping the tempo I can play throughout the piece with the right rhythm and articulation. I'm learning lots of things by playing it, for example trills, which is still hard for me, learning to play the runs evenly, how to play staccato keeping my fingers close to the keys and having a light touch to mention a few things.

The Debussy piece is definitely a hard piece for me. But again, my teacher has certain skills that she wants me to learn. At first I thought I'm not gonna be able to play this. But each week I'm getting better. I won't get it to where someone with 8-9 years of playing could, but who cares. I will have learned a bunch of things and I can be proud of what I accomplished compared to when I started it. Which remains me that I do record myself close to the beginning of a new piece I've started and than again when I pass it. That's when I can see my progress, which is encouraging.


Love learning the piano now that I am retired.
Re: frustrated and new to forum [Re: PatG] #2851549
05/23/19 05:19 PM
05/23/19 05:19 PM
Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 1,177
M
Moo :) Offline
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Moo :)  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 1,177
I think the risk of your teachers method is you will only play maybe 3 pieces a year and you will likely feel frustrated. I think it would be better for you to be playing more pieces within your level. I also think you progress faster this way. Whatever you do please talk to your teacher if you are feeling frustrated and please tell him if you think a piece is too hard. Your teacher cannot read your mind and I think it is a risk if you do not say your opinions in lessons. I hope you enjoy learning the piano. My suggestions are just from my experience. I have some pieces which I work on a long time but I would balance it with the other piece being an easier one. This helps give some variety and interest. I would strongly suggest you read play it again alan rusbridger. I found it a very good lesson in what not to play. He tries (and I think fails very badly!) to learn Chopin Ballade despite trying for a year. An excellent book to learn the pitfalls of learning a piece too hard imo. Good luck!

Last edited by Moo :); 05/23/19 05:21 PM.
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