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Tonight I'm working on Satie "Gymnopedie #1". Got a version for easy piano a while back. The pandemic lockdowns & reopenings is driving everybody crazy. Being at home many hours a day means more music practice since I can only spend so many hours in front of a computer.

Originally Posted by Animisha

Can't think of a better piece to play. It's short and sounded lovely. In my younger days found this piece in a beginner recorder book with just the melody (no bass line). Probably going to get the piano sheet for practice.

Thanks for sharing...

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Originally Posted by Animisha
Dogperson, here it is!


It's very nice, Animisha. When you play this song it has a special charm. Lovely.

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Thank you so much thepianoplayer416 and Iaroslav! I love this piece so much.


Playing the piano is learning to create, playfully and deeply seriously, our own music in the world.
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I didn't get to bask in the luxury of "finishing" Standchen for very long.

Today I started on a new piece, one that is definitely way, way above my pay grade. It is Rachmaninoff's G minor Prelude Op 23 no 5. I have never played anything remotely fast like this prelude, nor anything that leaps around as much as it does. I'm pretty sure I won't ever get it even close to tempo, and I'd guess I'll be working on it for many months. Sounds like just the kind of thing everyone, including myself, usually advises players to avoid. Nonetheless, I'm hoping it is the perfect piece for me right now because it requires all the things I can't do (or maybe just have not tried)..... playing fast, flying around the keyboard, sustained intensity .... playing with abandon. My goal is to loosen up my playing, even if I fail to do justice to this beautiful prelude. So, am I nuts?

Excited to have this challenge for my AOTW.

Jim

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Prelude Gmin op23 no5-Rachmaninoff
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Originally Posted by JimF
I didn't get to bask in the luxury of "finishing" Standchen for very long.

I am sorry Jim! Actually I was going to congratulate you with this, when my video got quoted, and I forgot about it.

But, even though you didn't get applauded - you got to play Ständchen! And that is one of the most beautiful pieces I have heard in my life. And I don't think that I'll ever be able to play the full version. I have played an easier version and I loved practising it. But such joy it must be to be able to play Ständchen.


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Hi Animisha,

I agree, just playing Standchen is very satisfying and thank you for your comments. To be clear, though, what I was bemoaning in my opening sentence upstream was my decision to take on another stretch piece right away. I am just celebrating each baby-step in this long piano-journey, no matter how small, to keep myself going.


Prelude Gmin op23 no5-Rachmaninoff
Standchen-Schubert/Liszt arr
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Hi Jim,

I missunderstood!

Yes, sometimes it feels so sad to let go of a piece and start with a new one. Good luck with your Rachmaninoff!


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It’s been a hellish week, watching helplessly, pressing buttons to donate to charities working on the ground. My teacher could see I was languishing to step up with my exam pieces…and when I listened to a woman who was about to tend to her garden for upcoming planting season, she had to pick up arms instead and learn to defend her home, her country. It gave me the kick I needed knowing how fortunate I am. So happy to hear my feedback from my teacher that I locked down 3 of 4 pieces, nailed the rhythm on jazz piece, and here we go on final piece. One of the pieces I hope to submit for recital will be dedicated to the refugees of Ukraine, especially the kids. Praying that we find a way to help them re trauma and separation.

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I have an achievement to report.
I had my end of the semester recital today. I played 2 pieces out of the three pieces required for jury (next Thursday). I changed romantic period piece from Chopin Ballade 3 to Chopin Nocturne 9-2 in the end of March. I picked 9-2 because I thought it was an easy piece. Oh well. It’s not so bad read and play it but performing it in front of other people from memory was a different matter for me. Not so many notes to hide back. I felt exposed. The first time I played it in front of other people, it was bad - I had huge memory loss. Second time it went better and today I finally played it the way I like. The other piece I played was b flat minor Bach prelude from book 1 of WTC. Since this is my first semester they allowed me to play only the prelude. I promised that I would memorize the fugue before the next semester. The third piece that I have to play for the jury (I did not play today) is Mozart a minor Rondo - I have to memorize the remaining 20% now.

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Well done Farmgirl!


Prelude Gmin op23 no5-Rachmaninoff
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Sonata Pathetique-Adagio LVB
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Thank you Jim for always being here for me.
It was quite a semester. The change from junior exec to a community college student was much more drastic than I anticipated. In the end I’m happier and gained quite a few young friends from my theory class and string orchestra. I will write a long post soon. After the jury.

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Legato octaves at a fair clip (for me) without blurring or holes.

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Originally Posted by FarmGirl
...It was quite a semester. The change from junior exec to a community college student was much more drastic than I anticipated. In the end I’m happier and gained quite a few young friends from my theory class and string orchestra. I will write a long post soon. After the jury.
My experience as well--going from scientific research to music "theory" was quite the leap for me. The first thing I had to come to terms with was that the theory in music theory is not at all like theory in the sciences. Through my good (or bad!) example, Mr. Stubbie took music theory this past semester and he, too, had to make the adjustment to the different mind set needed. We both also enjoyed getting to know the much younger students.


Originally Posted by keystring
Legato octaves at a fair clip (for me) without blurring or holes.
Congratulations! I have to admit that I have not even tried to master legato octaves. Maybe someday.


My own AOTW: A little over two years ago I started learning Debussy's Arabesque I with someone else here on PW. I didn't get very far. Now I've started it officially as a lesson assignment and it is coming along much, much better. Progress is sometimes difficult to see in the short term, but long term--it's there.


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Originally Posted by Stubbie
My own AOTW: A little over two years ago I started learning Debussy's Arabesque I with someone else here on PW. I didn't get very far. Now I've started it officially as a lesson assignment and it is coming along much, much better. Progress is sometimes difficult to see in the short term, but long term--it's there.

Congratulations Stubbie!

Originally Posted by Stubbie
The first thing I had to come to terms with was that the theory in music theory is not at all like theory in the sciences.

I remember feeling curious about music theory - it must be sooo interesting! - until I realised that music theory means learning that a half note is held twice as long as a quarter note and more of those kind of facts. I think that I have started to learn music theory at least fifteen times, but there are always other, more important, things disrupting my progress...

My own AOTW: Practising a new piece and realising: one year ago it would have taken me longer to learn this.


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Originally Posted by Animisha
I remember feeling curious about music theory - it must be sooo interesting! - until I realised that music theory means learning that a half note is held twice as long as a quarter note and more of those kind of facts.
Have you looked at music theory through a microscope? Music theory as a practical discipline encompasses the methods and concepts that composers and other musicians use to create music.

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Originally Posted by Nahum
Originally Posted by Animisha
I remember feeling curious about music theory - it must be sooo interesting! - until I realised that music theory means learning that a half note is held twice as long as a quarter note and more of those kind of facts.
Have you looked at music theory through a microscope? Music theory as a practical discipline encompasses the methods and concepts that composers and other musicians use to create music.

Yes, I understand! But I used to think that music theory was a theory of music, trying to answer questions like: How come a certain sequence of notes is experienced as music?


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Congratulations to Keystring and thank you to Stubbie.

I finished jury! Yay. It means that the semester is over. Strangely i’m more encouraged than before to practice. It was great to perform and have people come to me afterwards saying how beautiful it was. It was not a gigantic piece but there is an incredible joy in knowing that my performance moved people.

As I mentioned before I learned a lot. I will list what I learned here first before I write a long post.

1) Music is no longer my hobby but life. I became honest about myself. I don’t have talent but I love music and don’t mind making efforts. I’m not good enough to charge money. How about playing free at retirement homes, hospitals and amateur circles? I can do that and I can strive to deserve peoples time. It became my new goal.
2) I’m ok and all right. For years I struggled thinking why I do music in spite of lack of musicianship. I could not help it because I love music. But I had zero confidence and easily affected by people’s comments. For example my teacher says “I don’t understand why you cannot do this.”, I hear in my head “that is why I’m no good”. I don’t think it was not a good match my teacher and I. I was overly sensitive due to my strong inferiority complex. I felt driven to the point that I have no sense of rhythm or almost sound deaf. I was withdrawn. Then I took the theory 1 and aural perception classes with the music majors. I did more than all right. I had good sense of rhythm. I had to work hard to associate intervals and chords with the names but I heard different items as different and the same items as the same from the beginning. I felt huge relief. I got A in both theory and ear training.
3) Getting a new teacher changed my world. I could not quit the current teacher because she is teaching at the college but I decided that I needed a change. I felt like I’m not learning anything under her because she does not really teach except for making me feel bad (could be her way of teaching?) by pointing at all what I do wrong without telling me how to fix it. The worst thing is she asked me to go to lunch, invite all the young students over and have us old retirees to take turns to pick up the bill. I could not stand for the time spent the meaningless conversation and money. It looked me we oldies have to support talented young people. I say no. I worked hard to save money to go to college after retirement. Anyway making long story longer 😉, my new teacher actually teaches me. She focuses on “how to fix it” rather than stopping at “I don’t know why you cannot do it”. I look forward to go to lesson. I even heard her voice like a positive enforcement when I was performing. She often says with a smile “you can do it”. She gave ne detailed memorization technique for Mozart rondo. Using it, I memorized the five pages four days.
4) I can assert myself musically to meet challenge.
As I mentioned above I have had strong inferiority complex that makes me target for abuses. They can smell my blood. In studio class, I had memory loss in the middle of Bach prelude. Then this guy who has been playing the piano four years and only play Bach (not very well) by choice started commenting on my performance. I told him that I just had memory loss but he did not stop. He came to the stage and said “let me show you” and started playing my piece at couple of spots. A couple of chords only. I was stunned. I told him that I appreciate your help but he do have my performance plan. I analyzed the whole piece and marked where I bring up the base vs soprano, where I culminate up and stress beautiful dissonance and resolution. I just could not do it in testing memory stage. I got my permission from my teacher to perform with the score for the recital to show how i perform with my plan. The performance was best ever. I used all the new knowledge I learned from the theory one. Even my professors said it was superb. The guy left promptly without talking to any of us.
5) the last lesson. It was a mistake to use the studio as a testing ground. Piano studio collect people from all stages of learning. I probably have to play near performance level pieces. People in early stages of learning cannot understand what I can vs not, they just judge me with piece the way I performed. So no more sight reading or memory testing at studio. I don’t want to have “let me show you…” episode again. This guy also told me “I remember you were playing the prelude and fugue 4 years ago from Book 1 when I started. Now I’m in Book 2.” I don’t like to be bozo’s doormat anymore.

Phew. A long post.

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Yes, that's a good question; only it belongs to the field of musical psychology.
BTW: any sequence of notes, organized rhythmically and intonationally, will be perceived as music. Furthermore, this applies also to sounds in nature:

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Originally Posted by Nahum
Yes, that's a good question; only it belongs to the field of musical psychology.
BTW: any sequence of notes, organized rhythmically and intonationally, will be perceived as music.

Nice!!!!!! Jurassic Park! The combination of the photo and the sounds is so relaxing. Very much enjoying that - and still listening while I'm typing right now.

On the recent friday night, I was using a sound recorder to record a roughly-played tune on a digital piano - associated with another thread - for seeing if neighbours, or anybody listening once only - and only once, can possibly tell if the piano sound came from a digital piano, or from an acoustic. And - real Australian crickets could certainly be heard. I whole-heartedly welcome them. Some of Australian nature contributing to the music hahaha. Clicks - I think - came from my finger nails. I have to cut nails!

Piano recording featuring real Australian crickets

The achievement will be in including real Australian animal sounds in our music like this. Brought to everybody by yamaha P-515 with sound coming from the onboard speakers, and recorded by a portable audio/sound recorder placed nearby. Another achievement ----- it is a Friday the 13th recording. But there is no bad luck involved at all hahaha. Fear not!

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Hi FarmGirl, thank you for your update. Congratulations for finishing your semester! Your post was very interesting to read.

Originally Posted by FarmGirl
I don’t have talent but I love music

Originally Posted by FarmGirl
It was great to perform and have people come to me afterwards saying how beautiful it was. It was not a gigantic piece but there is an incredible joy in knowing that my performance moved people.

FarmGirl, this is your talent. To be able to play in a way that moves people, this is huge. I know that you have worked hard to develop this skill, but still, the talent part is that you can hear how to play so people are moved by your playing.

I am happy for you that your new teacher is such a good match. Your old teacher doesn't sound very nice. I have also had a teacher for a short while - she was very good in noticing everything I needed to improve, but I kept hearing her saying "No no no no no!" to me, and her voice stayed with me also when we did not have a lesson.

Are you off now until the next semester? Do you have any piano plans?


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