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Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited?
Stubbie #2898565 10/09/19 10:46 AM
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Stubbie, I do recognize that quote. And it continues to amaze and delight me when I see how long this thread is, and how it seems to collect participants!

I am sorry to hear you’re having a tough time.
I know how disheartened I feel when something is off in my lessons.

With regards to what you and barbaram said about polishing pieces. My first teacher was never very fussed about it, but my second, and current, teacher makes it a priority to bring pieces to the best of my ability.
He feels that it’s fundamental to master making those final adjustments and really having the piece. It took me a long time to agree that this was important. I was thinking about getting through pieces to grab bits and pieces, building bricks if you will, to help me get to a higher level.
The thing is that the last stretch of getting it all coming together,paying attention to all aspects of the piece and really owning it really does take a new level of focus and dedication.
It took me a long time to be willing to dedicate the necessary time and energy to a piece.
It wasn’t until I got to playing my “dream pieces” that the concept really grabbed hold of me.

I now believe that if I had started with this teacher I would be much farther ahead on my journey.
I am not lamenting what did or didn’t happen, but I am glad that I gave “seen the light” so to speak and I really do feel the change in my learning process.

Good luck with finding the balance that works best for you!


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Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited?
casinitaly #2898582 10/09/19 11:11 AM
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Cas, yes, I think I'm missing out on some of the skills I should have with respect to bringing it all together in a piece. I certainly don't want to bring every piece I work on to the highest level. I appreciate that some of the things I work on are for teaching purposes--Mikrokosmos, for example. Each piece focuses on some concept and they are good mind exercises. And I do like getting exposed to different pieces and composers. I started piano late and it's later still now. But. As you point out, there are things you will miss if you move on too quickly with every piece.

The first piece I've chosen to "go deep" on is one of your dream pieces, Traumerei, Op. 15 no. 7. It was the first piece from Scenes from Childhood I played and even during working on nos. 1,2, 3, 4, 5, and 6, I kept coming back to it. I expect the movement from the Mozart sonata is another I will be going deep on (my teacher's choice, really). I might go back to Debussy's Reverie as well. We'll see.


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Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited?
casinitaly #2898601 10/09/19 11:57 AM
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Stubbie- it really tickles me that you know what my dream pieces are. I can tell you from experience that this is the perfect piece to go deep on!

I continue to work at it and try to improve it!
It’s a real puzzle at first, but once you start to see and feel the patterns it becomes clearer.

I hope you enjoy learning it as much as I have!


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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 #2898692 10/09/19 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by casinitaly
Stubbie- it really tickles me that you know what my dream pieces are. I can tell you from experience that this is the perfect piece to go deep on!

I continue to work at it and try to improve it!
It’s a real puzzle at first, but once you start to see and feel the patterns it becomes clearer.

I hope you enjoy learning it as much as I have!
I actually "learned" it about a year ago and is the one piece of the seven (soon to be eight) from Op. 15 that I've kept coming back to (with About Strange Lands and People being a close second). I have rarely played it through to my satisfaction, though, and as you say, for such a compact piece as it is, there's so much you can--and should--do with it. It is indeed a wonderful piece.


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Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited?
casinitaly #2898810 10/10/19 03:11 AM
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I am working on About Strange Lands and People too! It’s very pretty and not as brain twisting as Traumerei!
Yesterday in my practice session before dinner I had quite an amazing experience.
I was working on the Bach Little Prelude in C, focusing on the part where there are the trills and octaves in the left hand and the melody in the right. For the first time I could consciously “hear” in my brain what I truly SHOULD be playing at the same time as I was playing, hear the difference AND have a positive effect on the progress! It was a very different brain connection with the music and coordination- it felt amazing!
I felt “in “ the music in a completely new way.


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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 #2898818 10/10/19 04:09 AM
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I am another obsessed by About Strange Lands and Peoples. I haven't yet attempted Träumerei.

I am reasonably happy with my playing of ASLaP now and I have a recording I am pretty happy with, I think improved somewhat over my recording for the last ABF recital. I also have a decent take of The Poet Speaks from the same series. I am definitely struggling with Hasche Mann, I just can't play quickly, and especially quickly and accurately.

The problem with The Poet Speaks you can learn it too quickly and it doesn't stick. When I did a new recording for it on my new piano I had to relearn it.


Last edited by KevinM; 10/10/19 04:10 AM.
Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited?
casinitaly #2898950 10/10/19 12:42 PM
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Reposted from Kevin's earlier thread:

I switched to a full time faculty member earlier this year. She is a full professor, and she is absolutely amazing. The grad students / new faculty were good, but she is on a different level. I guess that's why she's been there 20 years.

She pushes me harder, but explains why and how to improve this and that. Interestingly, at the last lesson, she wanted me to push my limits, play faster, more dynamically and in doing so she stated that if I just continued to do what was comfortable, I as playing but not progressing. She felt that the way forward is to push...this will enable progress. I left one teacher b/c he kept saying play faster without telling me how. She, uniquely, shows and tells how.

So that's my AOTW - learning to play outside my comfort zone, until I improve and the new skill is my new comfort zone. I'm practicing the Chopin 72.1 Nocturne in E min faster, with faster runs, and the Grieg Sonata (part II) in this fashion.


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Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited?
cmb13 #2898954 10/10/19 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by cmb13
Reposted from Kevin's earlier thread:

I switched to a full time faculty member earlier this year. She is a full professor, and she is absolutely amazing. The grad students / new faculty were good, but she is on a different level. I guess that's why she's been there 20 years.

She pushes me harder, but explains why and how to improve this and that. Interestingly, at the last lesson, she wanted me to push my limits, play faster, more dynamically and in doing so she stated that if I just continued to do what was comfortable, I as playing but not progressing. She felt that the way forward is to push...this will enable progress. I left one teacher b/c he kept saying play faster without telling me how. She, uniquely, shows and tells how.

So that's my AOTW - learning to play outside my comfort zone, until I improve and the new skill is my new comfort zone. I'm practicing the Chopin 72.1 Nocturne in E min faster, with faster runs, and the Grieg Sonata (part II) in this fashion.

That's awesome!!! thumb


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"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
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"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited?
casinitaly #2899463 10/12/19 11:10 AM
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Hasche Mann from Schumann's Kinderszenes requires me to get out of my comfort zone, if I am going to get anywhere I have to play it fast.

I mix up my practise on it, between slow trying to get everything right and playing it as fast as I can which is still way slow.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZrR_pWfQo7o

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited?
casinitaly #2899575 10/12/19 05:47 PM
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I snug in quietly through the back door... I have been lurking for a few weeks, and was shocked and saddened to read about Monica.

I started learning piano in December 2014, after 9 months got hit by some health problems. Started back up in November '16, but had to quit again after 3 months. That was utterly demotivating. After some time moping about, I rekindled an old love (all things ancient Egypt) and found a new one (studying stone martens), both of which only requires me to sit in front of my computer. I dusted my trusty clavinova every week, but that was it.

Meanwhile I think I've learned to live with my limitations, and I started wondering if maybe I could play some. Reading posts on PW again pushed my motivation ahead. And I opened the lid...

My Achievement of the Week: Today is the 7th day of playing piano again, and yes, I'm excited about that smile

I can only play 15-20 minutes tops, but I can do that 6-7 times over the day and evening, so it ads up nicely.I worked on Bach's Prelude (BWV 846) and Burgmüller's 'Harmonie des anges' before stopping in '15, and again in '16, so I started out on those two again. While I have to relearn them all over again, I can still remember all the things my teacher told me about playing them, and it's going pretty well. The biggest shock actually was bringing out the sheets, looking at them incredulously and going 'I was able to read that???' I'm back to 'ok, so this is middle C, lemme see, what is the next one...' Pathetic.


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I pray, that tomorrow I may strive to be a little better than I am today - and, on behalf of everybody else, I give thanks for headphones.
Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited?
casinitaly #2899581 10/12/19 06:08 PM
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Welcome back Jytte. I wish you good health and the time to make progress, though it sounds like you are doing well without encouragement.

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited?
casinitaly #2899583 10/12/19 06:12 PM
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Thank you Kevin.
Oh I think I need all the moral support I can find. Reading in here about other people starting and restarting is a great motivator.


[Linked Image]XXXVII-XXXVIII
I pray, that tomorrow I may strive to be a little better than I am today - and, on behalf of everybody else, I give thanks for headphones.
Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited?
Jytte #2899584 10/12/19 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Jytte
Thank you Kevin.
Oh I think I need all the moral support I can find. Reading in here about other people starting and restarting is a great motivator.


I have been a restarter for 11 months now after a 40 year break. Loving it, wish I had restarted sooner.

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited?
KevinM #2899587 10/12/19 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by KevinM
Originally Posted by Jytte
Thank you Kevin.
Oh I think I need all the moral support I can find. Reading in here about other people starting and restarting is a great motivator.


I have been a restarter for 11 months now after a 40 year break. Loving it, wish I had restarted sooner.


I assume you played as a kid then? Did you find things 'coming back' to you after so many years?


[Linked Image]XXXVII-XXXVIII
I pray, that tomorrow I may strive to be a little better than I am today - and, on behalf of everybody else, I give thanks for headphones.
Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited?
casinitaly #2899590 10/12/19 06:45 PM
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A surprising amount came back quite quickly. I think for the last few months now I have stopped regaining skills that were still in me, but am progressing at a typical rate for a person learning the piano. I feel I am still below the skill level I achieved as a child, but that can only now be reached by hard work.

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited?
KevinM #2899659 10/13/19 03:22 AM
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Originally Posted by KevinM
A surprising amount came back quite quickly. I think for the last few months now I have stopped regaining skills that were still in me, but am progressing at a typical rate for a person learning the piano. I feel I am still below the skill level I achieved as a child, but that can only now be reached by hard work.


That speaks to how thoroughly you learned as a child. It's amazing how the brain works.


[Linked Image]XXXVII-XXXVIII
I pray, that tomorrow I may strive to be a little better than I am today - and, on behalf of everybody else, I give thanks for headphones.
Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited?
Jytte #2899693 10/13/19 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Jytte
I rekindled an old love (all things ancient Egypt)

Been there. Done that. Have a souvenir book from the voyage. cool laugh


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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
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited?
Tyrone Slothrop #2899732 10/13/19 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop

'Been there' is great smile But I don't think you can say 'done that' about Egypt. I doubt one will ever be done with that.


[Linked Image]XXXVII-XXXVIII
I pray, that tomorrow I may strive to be a little better than I am today - and, on behalf of everybody else, I give thanks for headphones.
Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited?
casinitaly #2899861 10/13/19 04:51 PM
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I delivered the music! That’s my AOTW. Last Sunday, I played a few pieces* from my small, hard-earned repertoire in front of the other students at piano camp in Bennington VT. Afterwards, several people asked me where to get the sheet music. I took this as a sign that, notwithstanding mistakes and hesitations, my performances shared some of what I love about these pieces. For someone who did not play at all two and a half years ago, this feels great.

* Granados Valses Poéticos no. 6 (Vals Sentimental) played for a master class; Dave Brubeck Nocturne no. 6 (Softly William Softly) and William Bolcom Little Song (no. 3 from Seven Easy Piano Pieces) played for the informal last-day concert.


Currently at home with Mister Upright.
Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited?
casinitaly #2899874 10/13/19 05:25 PM
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Piano camp! That performance must have been very satisfying.

And welcome back to the piano Jytte!


I ❤️ Mendelssohn, Yann Tiersen, Heller
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