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Achievement of the week - what got you excited?

Posted By: casinitaly

Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/12/10 06:46 AM

Well, after a lesson that didn't go as well as I hoped last week, I'm fighting for some perspective. I have a tendency to expect too much too soon, and I feel crushed when I fall short of what I thought I could do.

So, I confess, I've been moping a bit. However, having read Teodor's "I'm proud of myself" thread, and Mr. Super-Hunky's comment that we need more threads like that, I thought "I'm not the only one who needs a reality check every now and then".


So...... my problem last week was that I thought I'd pretty much memorized 2 pieces (one I'd been working on for a while, and one fairly new). When I tried to play them for my teacher I flubbed them beautifully.

Where is the success story here you ask?
Well, as part of effort to memorize and really get one of the pieces down pat, I decided to write it out. The first time I made quite a few errors, the second only 2 or 3 (it is about 20 measures long).
I also spent some time singing it away from the keyboard.
I then managed to play it twice, from memory, without a single error.
Just as a note, my teacher doesn't insist that I learn everything by heart, but she does encourage me to do so. Her logic is that if you know a piece by heart you "own" it in a special way.

It isn't a stunning success, but I have made progress and am focusing on that!

What are you pleased with this week?
Posted By: Teodor

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/12/10 06:54 AM

You managed to write them on paper? I'd say that's pretty impressive, I can do that but only if I have a piano near me to see which notes I'm playing or if I use software that plays what I've written in the sheet.

I'm pleased with finishing 2 pieces that I thought I wasn't going to get a pass on. I was pointing out some bad things about my playing of those but my teacher said I am way too self-critical and she gave me a pass, she said I played them good enough for my current level of experience and that I should be glad I managed to do so smile
Posted By: mr_super-hunky

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/12/10 07:30 AM

"If you know a piece by heart, you *own* it in a special way"

Oh SOOO true. I couldn't agree more as memorizing a piece allows me to spend more time working on the piece itself. The emotion, inflections, etc as opposed to concentrating on reading the score.

I know this is counterproductive in terms of improving your sightreading abilites and CAN understand a teachers objection to memorizing, however I have different goals.

Anyway, congrats on your accomplishment and thanks for the POSITIVE post. Really!

My piano accomplishment this week is a little different as it hasn't happened yet. It involves moving a 1,200 lb 7 ft grand piano up 32 steps into our summer home. We have had this done several years already without any equipment other than the custom built "cradle" the piano is placed in. It's amazing what 6 piano movers and me cracking the whip can accomplish as the piano is HAND CARRIED all the way up (and down) every year as there is no other way to do it.
Posted By: BB Player

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/12/10 07:35 AM

Originally Posted by mr_super-hunky

My piano accomplishment this week is a little different as it hasn't happened yet. It involves moving a 1,200 lb 7 ft grand piano up 32 steps into our summer home. We have had this done several years already without any equipment other than the custom built "cradle" the piano is placed in. It's amazing what 6 piano movers and me cracking the whip can accomplish as the piano is HAND CARRIED all the way up (and down) every year as there is no other way to do it.


You do that every year? Wow! It reminds me of that old joke about someone seeing their neighbor having a concert grand moved out of the house, then back in later in the day. Next day, same thing. Next day, same thing. This repeats every day for a couple of weeks and he finally asks what's going on. The neighbor says "I'm taking piano lessons".
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/12/10 07:46 AM

Originally Posted by Teodor
You managed to write them on paper? I'd say that's pretty impressive, I can do that but only if I have a piano near me to see which notes I'm playing or if I use software that plays what I've written in the sheet.

I'm pleased with finishing 2 pieces that I thought I wasn't going to get a pass on. I was pointing out some bad things about my playing of those but my teacher said I am way too self-critical and she gave me a pass, she said I played them good enough for my current level of experience and that I should be glad I managed to do so smile


Yes, I did them on paper smile . It was a very interesting exercise.
My teacher tells me I am way too self-critical as well. I think the hardest thing is not learning the piano , but learning to be patient with myself!

MR S.-H. .... My teacher has me do sight reading too! She really creates a marvellous blend of activities and challenges for me. I simply love my teacher!
At the moment I can either read and play, or not read and mostly play..:) - but I can't really move back and forth between the two.

The interesting thing is that I have a rather spectacular memory, yet I feel I have trouble memorizing this piece. It is a very strange phenomenon.


Good luck with your piano moving!!!
Posted By: mr_super-hunky

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/12/10 08:05 AM

Yup, Greg, you've got a "BB" also. You know how heavy they are. The the move is gentler than even moving it to another room in the house because as I said, we all pick it up..(mostly them).

The piano is gently tilted on its side and the legs removed (5 minutes). The piano is then placed in a special carpeted cradle (7 foot long modified dolly ) and picked up like a casket to be carried up the stairs. The paino is covered in movers blankets and then ratchet strapped to the cradle for all kinds of obvious reasons. The entire move up the stairs takes less than 1-2 minutes. Legs go back on and I'm good to go.

Everyone gets caffeinated drinks and pizza (starch = energy) as well as a several minute "warm up" of push ups to prep for the event.

I'm always so happy when the job is complete until the realization that now I've got to pay everyone. That part hurts!
Posted By: mr_super-hunky

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/12/10 08:09 AM

BTW, why is nobody sleeping?, its 2:00 in the morning!
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/12/10 08:16 AM

Well, actually it is 10 in the morning for me. . . . I can't explain the others.
Posted By: Teodor

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/12/10 08:18 AM

11 in the morning here.
Posted By: HomeInMyShoes

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/12/10 09:20 AM

Awesome memorization and if I had a dollar for everytime I flubbed something in front of the teacher...

This week I managed to play through Mendelssohn op. 53, no. 1. Probably at about half tempo and with several pauses you could drive a bus through (Monica™). But it's a beautiful piece and I'll hopefully manage it at tempo some day.

6:48am here. I've got coffee. Mmmmm...coffee.

They don't call him super-hunky for nothing. smile
Posted By: Monica K.

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/12/10 12:11 PM

I'm guessing it's a bigger challenge to move the llamas than your BB, hunky! grin Or, at the very least, messier!

My big success this week was getting a recording of my recital piece that didn't make me want to barf. thumb

...not that there's not room for improvement, and since the cutoff for submissions is still two days away, I think I'll go fire up the ol' Zoom for yet another go-around.


Posted By: GlassLove

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/12/10 12:35 PM

My accomplishment for the week (so far) has been learning where to put the trills in my Purcell Minuet and learning to do them with a turn.
It would be really great if I could actually do the trill (they sound really pathetic right now), but I will be satisfied with knowing where they go and the notes involved.

Casinitaly: that is very impressive that you can write the piece out. I have tried to do that, but have failed miserably. I am beginning to understand what everyone means by "muscle memory" now. I only think I have my piece memorized. Thanks for the idea though, it is a challenge I will work toward.
Posted By: SmokestackLightnin

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/12/10 12:46 PM

Im looking forward to trying trills out properly. I want to play a lot of blues and boogie piano and trills are a must. cant quite manage them at the moment though.
Posted By: Plowboy

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/12/10 02:48 PM

I learned to roll my wrists to get the proper "grace" out of grace notes. They actually sound good now.
Posted By: BenPiano

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/12/10 02:51 PM

Fortunately the week is young, as I have achieved nothing yet this week of significance. help
Posted By: MarthaT

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/12/10 03:23 PM

Originally Posted by BenPiano
Fortunately the week is young, as I have achieved nothing yet this week of significance. help


Same here, I have a feeling I will though smile
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/12/10 03:31 PM

Originally Posted by BB Player
Originally Posted by mr_super-hunky

My piano accomplishment this week is a little different as it hasn't happened yet. It involves moving a 1,200 lb 7 ft grand piano up 32 steps into our summer home. We have had this done several years already without any equipment other than the custom built "cradle" the piano is placed in. It's amazing what 6 piano movers and me cracking the whip can accomplish as the piano is HAND CARRIED all the way up (and down) every year as there is no other way to do it.


You do that every year? Wow! It reminds me of that old joke about someone seeing their neighbor having a concert grand moved out of the house, then back in later in the day. Next day, same thing. Next day, same thing. This repeats every day for a couple of weeks and he finally asks what's going on. The neighbor says "I'm taking piano lessons".


Reminds me of the old joke about the young husband who comes home to find the family piano in the process of reposession. He turns to his wife, "I thought I gave you the money to make the payment!" She whispers back, "You did dear, but I decided I wanted it downstairs."
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/12/10 06:17 PM

Casinitaly

Quote
I think the hardest thing is not learning the piano , but learning to be patient with myself!


+1 to that thought. I had a terrible lesson this week, mainly because that morning I found one of my dogs "playing around" with a coral snake. Coral snake venom is a neurotoxin, it can take hours for symptoms to appear, is nearly always fatal, and there's no antivenin available (not for dogs, anyway). So you wait and see if anything happens. cursing Fortunately corals have to chew on the victim a bit to deliver their venom and we were lucky this time. Anyway, it was not a good lesson and I was berating myself when my teacher reminded me that it was totally understandable that I'd be distracted and off center that day.

My closest thing to achievement this week is coming home last nite and pulling out a lead sheet for Lennon/McCartney's In My Life that I downloaded. Made it through on the first reading with slow pace but able to add most of the indicated chords with a little fumbling. I definitely could not have done that a few months ago. grin I don't allow myself much time for this sort of thing, but maybe I should because I enjoy it and it is sightreading practice I guess.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/13/10 06:30 AM

Someone, I think KeyboardKlutz, said you have to get the pieces into your memory where the adrenaline can't get at them. It sounds like a brillian plan - I'm still working out how to do it!
I tried writing out another simple piece (Air/Purcell)last night and found that I realy just couldn't do it -it was incredibly patchy...so clearly more study is in order.The other piece I've been working on (Lilla, Vinciguerra) is coming along VERY well.

I am not doing trills or grace notes yet, (except by accident when I stumble about after an error!), compliments to those of you who are making progress on that!

I went through my exercise book last night picking out pieces at random and trying some sight reading. I certainly didn't notice any great change in my speed at sight reading, but I'm starting to feel that it is smoother and that's a good thing!

What I'm really wondering about is this memory thing. Obviously I can do the writing out exercises for short simple pieces, but once I start playing longer, more complicated bits, how is that going to work?
Maybe by then the other aspects of playing will be easier and the memory work will come more easily?
I guess I'll find out!

Jim - I hope your dog is ok!!! Glad you found something fun to offset your disappointment with your lesson (though I can not imagine that anyone would have had a great lesson after such an upset!)
Posted By: Pianosaurus Rex

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/13/10 12:37 PM

Nearly got my musette down, and managed to pull of the mordent at the end of the Menuet in G with the 3th and 4th fingers. (Anna Magdalena notebook! heart)

Also progressing fairly well in the blues exercises by Oscar Peterson that my teacher gave me.

I kind of grinded to a halt in Alfred's book 1 though, but the week isn't over yet so I may still work on that!
Posted By: Cobra1365

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/13/10 01:46 PM

My biggest accomplishment this week is finding this forum!

Playing....well.....Ugh!
Posted By: Pianosaurus Rex

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/13/10 07:01 PM

Originally Posted by Cobra1365
My biggest accomplishment this week is finding this forum!

Playing....well.....Ugh!


Don't worry, the week isn't over yet!

And I personally find this forum to be very helpful. Aside from having a place to answer any question I might have (Besides my teacher, who I only get to see once a week), it is also very motivating to stick around here and read about the ups and downs other beginners are going through!

Welcome to Piano World, let's hope you'll make yourself proud this week and get to make another post in here!

P.S.
On a completely unrelated note, I just noticed I end pretty much every sentence on my PW posts with an exclamation mark, something which I otherwise don't do.
Says a thing about how enthusiastic I am about finding this forum, let's hope your experience here will be similar! wink
Posted By: mom3gram

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/13/10 07:09 PM

I played "Alexander's Ragtime Band" (the Alfred 2 version) through without a mistake. :-)
Posted By: gooddog

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/13/10 07:14 PM

I finally got the first 2 (of 4) pages of Bach's fugue in G# minor (WTC Book 2) going smoothly and up to tempo this week. I also finally ironed out the glitches in the prelude and it's up to 88 bpm. I'm very pleased with myself and I can't wait to get home from my paying job so I can get to work on page 3!
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/13/10 10:38 PM

I fired my music teacher. I'm FREE!!!

(Have finally come to the conclusion that being The Lone Pianist suits me and that I've got quite sufficient learnin' for an old hillbilly with a 70 year old Kurtzmann and no prospects)
Posted By: BenPiano

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/14/10 04:13 AM

ha Frycek, that's the spirit! grin

OK, the week started off slowly. I've been bogged down with too many pieces, and where many of the pieces are a bit out of my range. Challenging, difficult, and somewhat frustrating at times.

So I had the bright idea of starting a new piece last night (another one! eek ) . An easier one, and I'm glad I did.

Burgmueller's "Ballade" (Op. 100, No 15). Made awesome progress on it the last two nights, and it's very fun to play (and fun to play around with). Also, I didn't cheat by writing note names on the sheet and forced myself to actually read the staff. grin (luckily this one's fairly easy to memorize grin )

What a great ending to the week! smile
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/14/10 07:43 AM

I am enjoying reading about what everyone is playing and noting the strategies people are using to get over little humps!

I've been working at writing out the second piece I'm currently learning (AIR in D minor) - it isn't too long, but for some reason I find it MUCH harder (to write) than the other one I did.

Today I was looking for patterns or repetitions, something to latch on to to help me recall the progressions from measure to measure - and I noticed the patterns of D A F ----- such a simple thing, but it was a conscious "Hello - we're the notes of the Dm chord luv!" I felt delighted and silly all at the same time.

I'm still not playing it very smoothly, but it is starting to settle into the old memory cells.

(I can tell I've been playing it a lot, my husband was singing it in the kitchen last night while we did the dishes! )


Posted By: GlassLove

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/14/10 12:38 PM

Yes, my whole house is humming "The Entertainer" now. Except, it is a VERY VERY VERY slow version (it is the only way I can play it!) Perhaps when the children get home from school today I should play them the real version so they know how it ought to sound
Posted By: Pianosaurus Rex

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/14/10 12:50 PM

Haha, same here. I constantly hear everyone whistling or humming the theme to Tchaikovsky's 1812 ouverture, or the minuet in G.

I really should practise 1812 more, so that they can hum more than just the first 2 bars. (Yeah, I didn't really get far on that one yet. :D)
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/14/10 02:33 PM

Originally Posted by Pianosaurus Rex
Haha, same here. I constantly hear everyone whistling or humming the theme to Tchaikovsky's 1812 ouverture, or the minuet in G.

I really should practise 1812 more, so that they can hum more than just the first 2 bars. (Yeah, I didn't really get far on that one yet. :D)


Be careful - you never know what they'll do when they hit the cannon parts!!!!
Posted By: SAnnM AB 2001

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/14/10 04:09 PM

My biggest accomplishment this week was my first voice lesson!!! I'm not a singer (can't carry a tune in a bucket as they say) but I decided that learning to sing may improve my listening skills and help prepare me for the aural part of my piano exam (which I decided to do NEXT spring....rather than this summer)

I was VERY apprehensive and very pleasantly surprised at how much fun it was and how HARD it is to breathe!! My teacher didn't laugh (out loud anyway!!) and I'm looking forward to my next lesson in two weeks.

I haven't had a piano lesson in a couple of weeks as my teacher is away so I'm looking forward also to hopefully showing at least a little progress with my new pieces next week... of course that's when I tend to flub more than usual....sigh, sigh.....
Posted By: MaryBee

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/14/10 07:35 PM

Originally Posted by casinitaly
(I can tell I've been playing it a lot, my husband was singing it in the kitchen last night while we did the dishes! )

Wonderful!
I've been struggling for a while with voicing, trying to bring the melody out in a piece I'm working on. Well, when I was playing it the other night, my 5-year-old grandson started humming the melody. I think I might be getting close!
Posted By: Emphursis1

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/14/10 08:28 PM

Hmm.
I had my first piano lesson in about ten years today, does that count?
I also realised that the keyboard (ugh) I am using at the minute has a sustain option, although it is no-where near as good as a pedal, which has made Moonlight Sonata sound so much better.
Also, I am at least 1/3rd of the way through the aforementioned sonata.
Finally, I have also started learning to properly read music, instead of just playing by ear and memory.
Posted By: FormerFF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/15/10 12:16 AM

Well, I got that pallet of fieldstone unloaded - a little over two tons worth. Now my wrist hurts, but at least I have some time to practice.
Posted By: BenPiano

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/15/10 03:39 AM

One more thing to add to my achievement of the week: Not really spectacular, but I sat down tonight and prioritized the 7 pieces I've been working on, so at least now I have some direction. Much better than wandering around like a blindfolded howler monkey. smile
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/15/10 08:11 AM

Sounds like everyone has something to be satisfied with indeed!

I love the idea of voice lessons. I notice that I can now sing the music I'm reading fairly accurately rather than just read it in my head, which is very cool. I'd love to take voice lessons, but at the moment it isn't a possibility.

First lessons, prioritizing, tons of physical labour! (did you sing while moving the rocks FF?), mini accomplishments - THREE CHEERS FOR ALL OF US!
Posted By: Superstar

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/15/10 08:56 AM

My big achievement this week was to learn how to turn a wav file into an MP3 file with "new to me" software. Thanks to a very patient friend!! Since I am not very computer savy this was a big deal to me since this is important for posting my music on this site and doing some other things I want.

AK
Posted By: the.grey.squirrel

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/15/10 10:46 AM

My biggest achievement has to be learning to play 'Paul McCartney - Maybe I'm Amazed' at speed with the original track, such good fun with some nice jazzy parts laugh
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/16/10 09:06 AM

Originally Posted by AlleyKatt
My big achievement this week was to learn how to turn a wav file into an MP3 file with "new to me" software.
AK

I had to learn that too!


Originally Posted by the.grey.squirrel
My biggest achievement has to be learning to play 'Paul McCartney - Maybe I'm Amazed' at speed with the original track, such good fun with some nice jazzy parts laugh


What fun! "at speed" is a concept I am still struggling with for most of my work! smile
Posted By: oudeis

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/16/10 09:17 AM

I'm working on Burgmuller's Opus 100, nr 14 and 15 (Styrian dance and Ballade). Finally getting the left hand reasonably synchronized to the right in Ballade, and I'm starting to get some feel for Styrian Dance.

That Styrian Dance is my biggest achievement: those little jumps start to land correctly, pedaling begins to sound sort of ok, and tempo is not extremely slow anymore. Feels awesome! smile
Posted By: Slowbiefatwanna

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/16/10 09:35 AM

Congratulations to everyone's accomplishments. I was finally able to get past a tough(for me) section of my learn to play the Blues book. Modular 12 bar blues. It is not very smooth, but I can do it.

It really helped me to read this thread today, I was beginning to do that [being to tough on myself stuff]. Seeing how others are moving along in the journey helps more than I thought.
Posted By: Johan B

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/16/10 08:31 PM

Now day tot day I play at the end of the pianoday 'Gute nacht Freunde' of Reinhard Mey.....mmmmm...nice to relax and some noodling at the keys....... grin grin

Gute nacht Freunde

Text:
Gute Nacht Freunde, es wird Zeit für mich zu gehn.
Was ich noch zu sagen hätte, dauert eine Zigarette
und ein letztes Glas im Stehn.

1.Für den Tag, für die Nacht unter eurem Dach habt Dank,für den Platz an eurem Tisch, für jedes Glas, das ich trank,für den Teller, den ihr mir zu den euren stellt,als sei selbstverständlicher nichts auf der Welt.

Gute Nacht Freunde, es wird Zeit für mich zu gehn.
Was ich noch zu sagen hätte, dauert eine Zigarette
und ein letztes Glas im Stehn.
2.Habt Dank für die Zeit, die ich mit euch ver-plaudert hab
und für eure Geduld, wenn's mehr als eine Meinung gab,
dafür, daß ihr nie fragt, wann ich komm oder geh,für die stets offene Tür, in der ich jetzt steh.

Gute Nacht Freunde, es wird Zeit für mich zu gehn.
Was ich noch zu sagen hätte, dauert eine Zigarette
und ein letztes Glas im Stehn.

3.Für die Freiheit, die als steter Gast bei euch wohnt,habt Dank, daß ihr nie fragt, was es bringt, ob es lohnt,vielleicht liegt es daran, daß man von draußen meint,daß in euren Fenstern das Licht wärmer scheint.

Gute Nacht Freunde, es wird Zeit für mich zu gehn.
Was ich noch zu sagen hätte, dauert eine Zigarette
und ein letztes Glas im Stehn.

Best regards,
Johan B
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/17/10 06:58 AM

Originally Posted by Slowbiefatwanna
Congratulations to everyone's accomplishments. I was finally able to get past a tough(for me) section of my learn to play the Blues book. Modular 12 bar blues. It is not very smooth, but I can do it.

It really helped me to read this thread today, I was beginning to do that [being to tough on myself stuff]. Seeing how others are moving along in the journey helps more than I thought.

Good for you!
You are quite right - we are often too tough on ourselves and we need to focus on what is going well rather than be discouraged about something that went wrong.

Johan -great way to end the day! I don't speak Dutch, but I think the idea of the song (good night Friend?) seems to be one of thankfulness...now I'm curious and will have to look it up. !
Posted By: Johan B

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/17/10 04:57 PM

Originally Posted by casinitaly
[quote=Slowbiefatwanna]

Johan -great way to end the day! I don't speak Dutch, but I think the idea of the song (good night Friend?) seems to be one of thankfulness...now I'm curious and will have to look it up. !


Perhaps a bad google Italian translation, but you'll understand the content:

Buona notte amici

Testo:
Buona notte, amici, è tempo di andare per me.
Che cosa devo dire prende una sigaretta
e un ultimo bicchiere in piedi.

1.Per il giorno, hanno per la notte sotto il vostro tetto voi, per il posto al tavolo, per ogni bicchiere bevuto io, per il piatto, che lei mi chiede di te, come se nulla al mondo naturale.

Buona notte, amici, è tempo di andare per me.
Cosa dovrei dire prende una sigaretta
e un ultimo bicchiere in piedi.
grazie 2.Habt per il momento ho chiacchierato con lei, Ver-hab
e per la vostra pazienza se non ci fosse più di un parere,
garantire che non si chiede quando vengo o andare, la porta sempre aperta, dove mi trovo ora.

Buona notte, amici, è tempo di andare per me.
Che cosa devo dire prende una sigaretta
e un ultimo bicchiere in piedi.

3.Per la libertà che vivere come un ospite costante di voi hanno, grazie di non aver mai chiede cosa ci vuole, se vale la pena, forse, è perché pensiamo là fuori, che in più caldi le finestre, la luce splenderà.

Buona notte, amici, è tempo di andare per me.
Che cosa devo dire prende una sigaretta
e un ultimo bicchiere in piedi.

Best regards,
Johan B
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/17/10 05:54 PM

Dear Johan, how very kind of you!

I do speak Italian (though English is my first language) and the song is lovely.
Thanks very much!
Posted By: Glen R.

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/18/10 02:01 PM

Well, not really an achievement, so much as an alignment of the stars smile.

#1 I'm a teacher, and the school year is winding down so I now have time to play again.

#2 My parents have offered their piano since they're moving to a condo--a 1925/26 Heintzman. I had it checked out on the weekend, and it turns out it's in very good shape, only needs a tuning! I was worried that it was going to be way past it's prime.

#3 Then yesterday I got an e-mail out of the blue from my piano teacher (haven't talked to her since September), asking me if I would like piano lessons this summer. Cool!

Oh, here's a picture of the piano (of course smile ) taken when it was being evaluated this weekend. I'll post pics when it arrives at my house! If you look closely, you may even see the chipped keys from my hot wheels, 30-odd years ago!
[Linked Image]
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/18/10 02:46 PM

Well Glen, that's just downright delightful!
How lovely that a piano you grew up with is now coming to live with you!

and just think....the week has barely begun, who knows what else might be in the stars for you?
Posted By: MaryBee

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/18/10 03:10 PM

Glen, how exciting for you! My husband is a teacher, so I know how your time can just get sucked away during the school year. Enjoy that piano, the lessons, and your summer break!
Posted By: KBS1607

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/18/10 05:37 PM

I am still on my streak of practicing every day. I will be completely away from a piano on Thursday and Friday so I am sad about that.

The biggest accomplishment this week is DD's she's graduating from Wash. U with a double major in history and art history.


Kim in IL
Posted By: Teodor

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/19/10 07:27 AM

This week I did my first exercise in harmony. My teacher jotted down the melody of a simple children song and asked me to add left hand using tonic, subdominant and dominant chords. It worked great, and I was pleasantly surprised at how cool it sounds laugh

Maybe now I can play happy birthday for someone and I can sort of put it together on the go instead of having to learn it first laugh
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/19/10 07:54 AM

Kim - congratulations to your daughter! Great combo! I did literature with almost enough courses for a double major in history, but not quite! And I did one lone course in art history. The fun thing is that I was particularly interested in the middle ages, and now I'm living in a place where they actually happened! smile
I brought all my university books over when we decided to stay here indefinitely (it has now been just about 16 years!)....and I've had great fun visiting so many of the places I read about.

I too have been practicing every day (144 consecutive days so far! woohoo!) We have a trip coming up and I dread being away from my piano! waaaaaaaaaaaaaaah

Shinichi - I can't wait to be at the stage where I can figure out a bit of left hand work on my own! That's really fun, and a lovely development!
Posted By: Teodor

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/19/10 12:31 PM

casinitaly, it's simple harmonies, you can learn those in a few minutes smile
Posted By: GlassLove

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/19/10 12:36 PM

Hi Teodor,
This is a skill I want to have. My husband is in LOVE with an old Greek folk song (a Hadjidakis tune) and actually once said, "That would bring tears to my eyes if you could play that." I have my relatives in Greece looking for the sheet music, but until they find it (if they do), I have begun to play just the melody by ear. I am at a loss as to what to do with chords though.
Your lessons sound really fun. Much more theory-filled than mine. You take two lessons a week though right?
Posted By: Glen R.

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/19/10 01:16 PM

Originally Posted by casinitaly

Well Glen, that's just downright delightful!
How lovely that a piano you grew up with is now coming to live with you!
and just think....the week has barely begun, who knows what else might be in the stars for you?

Thanks! And you're right, who knows what will come next...

Originally Posted by MaryBee
Glen, how exciting for you! My husband is a teacher, so I know how your time can just get sucked away during the school year. Enjoy that piano, the lessons, and your summer break!

Yes, teaching is such a double-edged sword. On the one hand summers off, but on the other you're crazy busy during the year. I'm definitely going to enjoy the summer! (My piano will have to share it with my 2 little girls though smile )

By the way, we have another thing in common--I was a software guy before becoming a teacher.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/19/10 01:54 PM

Originally Posted by Teodor
casinitaly, it's simple harmonies, you can learn those in a few minutes smile

Thanks for the vote of confidence! I'm going to take the plunge! Maybe I'll call on you for coaching Teodor!

Greg, I'm a teacher too - ESL - and in a way I hate my summers off - most people I know don't have the whole summer free, and those that do tend to head out of town, so I'm at home with no one to play with! .......... But this year I have my piano! smile
Posted By: KBS1607

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/19/10 02:45 PM

Quote
I brought all my university books over when we decided to stay here indefinitely (it has now been just about 16 years!)....and I've had great fun visiting so many of the places I read about.


Casi,

I wondered if you were an ESL teacher. That is so interesting. Are your piano lessons in Italian? Or are you teaching yourself?

My daughter would love to see more of that part of the world.

Kim in IL
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/19/10 02:52 PM

Originally Posted by KBS1607
Quote
I brought all my university books over when we decided to stay here indefinitely (it has now been just about 16 years!)....and I've had great fun visiting so many of the places I read about.


Casi,

I wondered if you were an ESL teacher. That is so interesting. Are your piano lessons in Italian? Or are you teaching yourself?

My daughter would love to see more of that part of the world.

Kim in IL


My lessons are in Italian smile My teacher doesn't speak English (yet!).... as soon as she is ready I'm willing to swap English lessons for piano lessons, but right now she's swamped...

The funny thing is that she calls the notes do re mi and I call them C D E...sometimes we get a bit confused, but we get along splendidly. She is a perfect match for me in terms of personality and style.
Posted By: Glen R.

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/19/10 04:11 PM

Originally Posted by casinitaly

Greg, I'm a teacher too - ESL - and in a way I hate my summers off - most people I know don't have the whole summer free, and those that do tend to head out of town, so I'm at home with no one to play with! .......... But this year I have my piano! smile

I've been lucky a couple of summers. My wife used to teach, so we had at least one summer off together. This summer we get together since she's still on maternity leave for baby #2. Next year it'll also be good because I'll be able to spend the time with my little girls, rather than sending them to daycare. Of course I also get some good piano time smile
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/19/10 05:34 PM

I did it! lol..... Happy Birthday and Twinkle Twinkle and I'm a Little Tea Pot - with chords, no music.
A baby step, but a most satisfying one!

Posted By: kokomo61

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/19/10 06:12 PM

I haven't been able to play a lot lately, but I was able to figure out the chords/structure to "Skid Row / Downtown" from "Little Shop of Horrors". I've got it to the point where I can play along the track in real time, with only a few glitches.....
Posted By: John_B

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/20/10 02:38 PM

I don't usually have an 'achievement of the week' but I do feel a bit chuffed at the moment!

A bit of background - last December I returned to the piano after ~40 years absence (initially buying a Techics DP to test the waters, then getting Kawai CA63 DP). Even when I was playing the piano, as a teenager, I was pottering rather than systematically studying. Subsequently I seriously took up the classical guitar and have played that off and on (more off than on) over the years.

Anyway, last week my piano teacher gave me Schubert's Minuet D334 to look at, in addition to continuing to work in the interpretation of Shostakovich's Prelude in C maj (from the Op 87 set).

I found the Schubert quite difficult - the fingering and the various voices made it a real challenge for me. I concentrated on the minuet section (which seemed to me by far the most difficult) and left the trio till later.

Last night I had my lesson and started with the Schubert, playing the 'minuet' section through.

At the end my teacher was quiet (ominous, I thought) and then said 'remarkable' a few times ('remarkably bad' I wondered). He then said he would bring his mother in to hear (who is also a piano teacher) but he, correctly, thought that would make me nervous, so didn't.

He said I had done remarkably well (it's Grade 6 standard)!



Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/20/10 03:44 PM

Kokomo61 - now that is great fun! I haven't seen Little Shop of Horrors for years, but remember being very entertained by it!


John, you must be chuffed indeed! Complimenti! Bravo! I'd be chuffed too!

(note: Canadians and Americans don't use "chuffed" - I only learned it a few years ago when I started hanging out with Brits and Irish folk!.....The first time I heard it, my friend said "I was really chuffed yesterday"....andI cautiously said "Oh, yes..?" with a question in my voice, inviting him to continue (I was wondering - angry?, irritated?, amused? I hadn't a clue. He went on to tell his story and all was clear - but it was a funny example of how two English speakers don't always communicate at first try!

Posted By: BillM

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/20/10 07:28 PM

Originally Posted by casinitaly

(note: Canadians and Americans don't use "chuffed"


Cas - thanks for the clarification. When I saw John's post I didn't know if chuffed was good or bad.
Posted By: John_B

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/20/10 08:24 PM

Chuffed.

One online dictionary gives "very pleased, proud or happy with yourself". I suppose it is all those things but, to me, there's also an element of "quietly very pleased, proud or happy with yourself" about it.
Posted By: Lalala

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/20/10 10:31 PM

let's see these week I learned a new arpeggio and I almost have half of the 1st page of Heller op45 no1 : )
I'm feeling more motivated to play again... Bach was killing me... D:
Posted By: billy4030

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/20/10 11:46 PM

I'm stoked.
Just got my results for Gr3 AMEB last night, A-Honours.

I had some lessons 35yrs ago when I was 12, not having touched a piano since then, now 48 and now had 7months of lessons, and loving it. I did put in lots of practice though. Now onto Gr4, and got to get a good result there. I guess its true, you get out what you put in.
Posted By: BenPiano

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/21/10 03:37 AM

Originally Posted by billy4030
I'm stoked.
Just got my results for Gr3 AMEB last night, A-Honours.

I had some lessons 35yrs ago when I was 12, not having touched a piano since then, now 48 and now had 7months of lessons, and loving it. I did put in lots of practice though. Now onto Gr4, and got to get a good result there. I guess its true, you get out what you put in.


Congrats! That's something to definitely be proud of! smile
Posted By: joyoussong

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/21/10 04:09 AM

I'm just thrilled that my arm's healed enough that I'm easing back into something like a regular practice routine, & I didn't lose that much - back to learning Festive Dance & Scherzo from Alfred's Book 2, working through Hannah Smith's sight reading exercises, some Hanon, scales, triads, etc.
Posted By: lydecker

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/21/10 05:51 AM

Originally Posted by John_B
I don't usually have an 'achievement of the week' but I do feel a bit chuffed at the moment!

A bit of background - last December I returned to the piano after ~40 years absence (initially buying a Techics DP to test the waters, then getting Kawai CA63 DP). Even when I was playing the piano, as a teenager, I was pottering rather than systematically studying. Subsequently I seriously took up the classical guitar and have played that off and on (more off than on) over the years.

Anyway, last week my piano teacher gave me Schubert's Minuet D334 to look at, in addition to continuing to work in the interpretation of Shostakovich's Prelude in C maj (from the Op 87 set).

I found the Schubert quite difficult - the fingering and the various voices made it a real challenge for me. I concentrated on the minuet section (which seemed to me by far the most difficult) and left the trio till later.

Last night I had my lesson and started with the Schubert, playing the 'minuet' section through.

At the end my teacher was quiet (ominous, I thought) and then said 'remarkable' a few times ('remarkably bad' I wondered). He then said he would bring his mother in to hear (who is also a piano teacher) but he, correctly, thought that would make me nervous, so didn't.

He said I had done remarkably well (it's Grade 6 standard)!





Kudos!
Posted By: Teodor

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/21/10 06:37 AM

Originally Posted by joyoussong
I'm just thrilled that my arm's healed enough that I'm easing back into something like a regular practice routine, & I didn't lose that much - back to learning Festive Dance & Scherzo from Alfred's Book 2, working through Hannah Smith's sight reading exercises, some Hanon, scales, triads, etc.


Might I ask what was wrong with your hand that made you stop practice?
Posted By: Andy Platt

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/21/10 01:22 PM

Getting this in an email from my teacher:

Quote
I am happy because you chose the new piece and that means that you'll practice them with even more excitement-even though I think this is not possible since you are already so enthousiastic and so responsible student :-)


I love non-native English speakers. It always sounds so much better!!
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/21/10 01:46 PM

Originally Posted by Andy Platt


I love non-native English speakers. It always sounds so much better!!

I love non-native Enlgish speakers because my job is to teach English smile
Kidding aside, isn't it great to have such clear positive feedback from our teachers?

Lilyanna: I am not familiar with Heller OP45, but I'm going to look it up! Good for you for finding something that keeps your enthusiasm up!

Billy4030 - WAY TO GO! That's pretty exciting!

joyoussoung: I had to slow down playing in February as I was straining my forearms...it drove me nuts - I can imagine your excitement at getting back to the ivories!

Seems everyone is on the verge of wraping up a pretty good week! Well done!
Posted By: Monica K.

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/21/10 02:32 PM

My big achievement of the week: Now that classes are over for the summer for me, but the kids are still in school, I have had the luxury of being able to spend an hour or so each morning in a quiet house in an effort to get some recording done. I managed to get good takes of two different pieces. yippie
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/21/10 07:31 PM

Wow, what an up and down ride this piano thing can be.

Last week dogs trying to suicide on poisonous snakes and a lesson gone awry.

This week the Bach HT is proving much easier than the last Bach piece, my first sonatina is down to working on dynamics, and I've almost learned the new Tchaikovsky piece. Best of all, after the lesson I asked my teacher how hard is the Chopin A-minor Waltz and she suggested it be my next piece. Really looking forward to that. thumb
Posted By: jotur

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/21/10 07:50 PM

I got my living room cleaned up after the re-roofing and the junk that came down from that smile

It's not piano, but it makes playing the piano more pleasant.

Cathy
Posted By: joyoussong

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/22/10 01:53 AM

Originally Posted by Teodor
Originally Posted by joyoussong
I'm just thrilled that my arm's healed enough that I'm easing back into something like a regular practice routine, & I didn't lose that much - back to learning Festive Dance & Scherzo from Alfred's Book 2, working through Hannah Smith's sight reading exercises, some Hanon, scales, triads, etc.


Might I ask what was wrong with your hand that made you stop practice?


I fell & cracked a bone up by my elbow about 7 weeks ago. Also mangled my wrist & the soft tissue in between. So I've been having physio & gradually getting it working again. I started back playing about 2 weeks ago, just for 10 minutes a day at first, mostly scales & working through old repertoire that I had been able to play. But now I'm back working on the pieces I was supposed to be learning. My teacher's on holiday right now, so I have about another 3 weeks before I'll have a lesson.
btw, sorry for the delayed answer - I'm in a different time zone, & it's been a really busy day. First chance I've had at the computer.
Posted By: Pianosaurus Rex

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/23/10 12:39 PM

Big achievement this week, managed to find some sheets to the lovely Genesis song "Anyway", and to my surprise managed to get the right hand down in one evening without much trouble. (Not up to speed though! Some parts are a tad tricky, like spanning a minor fifth between my 3rd and 5th finger, and more awkward fingering I have to work out :D)

The left hand is proving to be quite bothersome though, but I'll get it eventually!

Here, have a listen to the original recording;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpGUV5IkyLc#t=5m22s


Having progressed this far on Anyway, I think I'm going to put it aside for awhile and continue on with the musette from the Anna Magdalena notebook, and the prelude in C from WTC.

Let's see how well I do on those.

Carol;
Really sorry to hear about your arm, but it's good to see you are slowly picking up where you left again! Good luck with it, let's hope it all heals well quickly! eek
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/24/10 06:57 AM

Monica – how satisfying! Have you uploaded the new recordings? Which ones are they?

Jim – I just started on the Clementi sonatina too! I have managed to walk my way through it a couple of times. I made this choice on my own and will be talking to my teacher about it this week, but I think it is a great project as it incorporates so many of the exercises she’s been giving me since January. I looked at the score and thought “hey, I can do THIS!”…. I can do it…s.l.o.w.l.y. but that will pick up. It is by far the longest piece I’ve looked at, and I’m very keen. Very cool that you are moving on to Chopin as well! Sounds like you’re really doing some great work.

Jotur, - Cathy, getting your surroundings in order makes for a more tranquil frame of mind! Good for you. What are you working on these days?

Joyoussong – Another Canadian! Which time zone are you in? I’m originally from Ottawa, now in Italy - so we’re Ottawa +6 hours. Be careful with your arm – don’t over do things!

Pianosaurus Rex (love your nickname btw) – Anyway sounds like a lot of fun to play. You’ll have to let us hear it when you feel ready to perform!

My satisfaction this week came mostly from doing a TON of sight reading – and feeling that I’ve made a significant improvement, in accuracy if not in speed smile . As I mentioned above, I’m also starting in on the Clementi Sonatina. I downloaded a very simple version of it in January and last week got the score for the “real deal” –I’m very UP about this!
Posted By: Pianosaurus Rex

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/24/10 08:26 AM

Originally Posted by casinitaly

Pianosaurus Rex (love your nickname btw) – Anyway sounds like a lot of fun to play. You’ll have to let us hear it when you feel ready to perform!


Sure, if you want to I'll upload it, but it still needs a lot of work. The left hand is an *insert vulgar word*, and I'm still quite a bit from the original speed.
I may need to look for some better recording gear too, but I'll see what I can do.

Originally Posted by casinitaly
My satisfaction this week came mostly from doing a TON of sight reading – and feeling that I’ve made a significant improvement, in accuracy if not in speed smile . As I mentioned above, I’m also starting in on the Clementi Sonatina. I downloaded a very simple version of it in January and last week got the score for the “real deal” –I’m very UP about this!


Oh, dang! I really need to do that too, I was gonna go to the library for some sheets to practise this on but I keep forgetting. =/
Might do that this afternoon! Good luck on the sonatina, by the way. wink
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/24/10 09:11 AM

Originally Posted by Pianosaurus Rex

Sure, if you want to I'll upload it, but it still needs a lot of work. The left hand is an *insert vulgar word*, and I'm still quite a bit from the original speed.
I may need to look for some better recording gear too, but I'll see what I can do.

I'd love to hear where you are with it. As for being at the "original speed"...I'm in slow motion for the moment, still very much just getting the feel of it.

Where in particular are you finding the left hand awkward?
Maybe we should start a thread for newbies to this piece!

Originally Posted by Pianosaurus Rex


I was gonna go to the library for some sheets to practise this on but I keep forgetting. =/
Might do that this afternoon! Good luck on the sonatina, by the way. wink

I wonder if I can get pieces from the library? I will have to check.
I use the links in the sticky post at the top of this forum for a lot of my sight reading music.


Posted By: Pianosaurus Rex

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/24/10 09:51 AM

Originally Posted by casinitaly
I'd love to hear where you are with it. As for being at the "original speed"...I'm in slow motion for the moment, still very much just getting the feel of it.

Where in particular are you finding the left hand awkward?
Maybe we should start a thread for newbies to this piece!


Yeah, I was thinking of opening a thread for Anyway to ask some questions about recommended fingering for a few of the bars. But I wanted to play around with it myself for a bit before asking. :P

I'll see if I can make a decent recording of it on my DP using my laptop, since that's all I have to make recordings for now. Sound quality will probably be horrendous. =/

Originally Posted by casinitilay

I wonder if I can get pieces from the library? I will have to check.
I use the links in the sticky post at the top of this forum for a lot of my sight reading music.


Hehe, I'm not even sure myself, actually. XD
The library is pretty close though, so it's worth checking. Especially since it's just sightreading material, I only intend to read it once, so I'd much rather rent a few books than to buy them for that one time I read them through.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/24/10 09:55 AM

Originally Posted by Pianosaurus Rex
I'll see if I can make a decent recording of it on my DP using my laptop, since that's all I have to make recordings for now. Sound quality will probably be horrendous. =/


That's the only way I can do it as well. It isn't stellar, but it isn't horrendous! smile

I may pop over to the library even today to see if they have sheet music smile
That could be very interesting indeed.
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/24/10 06:12 PM

casinitaly,

I think you will like the Clementi. Are you going to learn the whole thing? My teacher only assigned the third section, the Rondo, for now. Not sure if we are going to continue with the rest of it. I don't know about the "doing good work" stuff - my teacher just seems to really like loading me up and doesn't dwell on pieces once they've reached a certain stage of proficiency. Usually she'll say something like " OK, I don't need to hear that anymore." Of course, that could mean she thinks I've gotten most of the mileage out of the learning experience, or that she's tired of me assaulting her eardrums! grin

Jim
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/24/10 09:04 PM

Hi Jim,
Well, I don't know if my memory is up to learning the whole thing right now. I haven't talked to my teacher about it yet. She may suggest tackling it one part at a time.
My teacher has a similar approach to yours - she wants to expose me to a lot of different pieces and at this point isn't concernted with getting all of them to performance perfect. We're working on developing memory skills, and finger techniques (breathing techniques too as I tend to hold my breath when playing something tricky! gasp gasp).

I think the "ok I don't need to hear any more" simply means you've got a handle on whatever the point of the piece was.

I'd like to learn the whole thing.... we'll see how it goes.
smile
Posted By: joyoussong

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/25/10 01:55 AM

Casinitaly,
I'm in PDT - in Vancouver. It's about 7 o'clock Monday evening here right now.
Posted By: happykah

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/25/10 02:57 AM

My biggest moment this week was getting through my first recital in...well, more than 20 years at least. The last time I had played in public(accompaniment for church)the soloist ended up singing a capella for several measures when I froze completely. So, I was really dreading the recital, but also knew that pushing through this milestone was necessary for me.
I did not have loads of time to prepare-sort of a last minute decision, and while I did flub a little on my last piece, I was happy overall.
Posted By: GlassLove

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/25/10 10:05 AM

Congrats happykah! That is a real achievement. I bet that audience didn't even notice your small mistake!!!!

My achievement was: I FINISHED ALFRED ALL IN ONE LEVEL ONE yippie
My new pieces are very nice. Bach Minuet 114 & 115 and a very nice romantic piece from a collection of music by Dennis Alexander. The piece is called Summer Dreams (certainly appropriate for the season smile
I rushed home from my lesson and started right in!!!
Posted By: Everdream

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/25/10 04:49 PM

Well, this is kind of a small achievement... But I think I managed to find a good teacher smile. Which is a great start. I miss playing so much.

Still waiting for my new piano to arrive (it's on its way from Germany now - it should take a week). I can't wait!
Posted By: happykah

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/25/10 05:04 PM

[quote=GlassLove}

My achievement was: I FINISHED ALFRED ALL IN ONE LEVEL ONE yippie
My new pieces are very nice. Bach Minuet 114 & 115 and a very nice romantic piece from a collection of music by Dennis Alexander. The piece is called Summer Dreams (certainly appropriate for the season smile
I rushed home from my lesson and started right in!!!
[/quote]

Thank you!
Isn't it great to be done with a level!!! I am so looking forward to completing JT's grade 1-getting close!
I'm working on some Bach now, too-and one of my recital pieces was a Dennis Alexander-his 'Falling Leaves'. Such a calming piece-just what I needed ;~)
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/25/10 05:56 PM

Happykah - what an achievement! Good for you for making that leap of courage!
Glasslove - yipee! done with level one - now you can get one of the Alfred boxes for your siggy line!
Your new pieces sound like fun - are you moving on from Lilla or still perfecting it?

Everdream - how exciting! I think finding a good teacher is fundamental to your success on this adventure!
Joyoussong - I have had the pleasure of visiting Vancouver several times - lovely city!

I will be continuing withmy Clementi, and I'm looking forward to seeing my teacher after our little break - I heard from her today and she passed the exam she was working on so at least her withdrawing fom lessons temporarily has paid off! Now to make up the lessons smile!
Posted By: GlassLove

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/26/10 12:38 AM

Hi Casinitaly,
I am still working on Lilla. I had to work so hard on the last two Alfred pieces that it dropped from my practice routine for awhile. My husband "requests" it though. By far, his favorite piece I have ever played. I was touched that my teacher chose a book of "flowing romantic music" for one of my work collections, largely because she saw my excitement in playing Lilla. So, my pieces are those I mentioned plus Lilla. I don't have a lesson again until the 14th of June. Lots of time to work on all 4 pieces!!!!!
Posted By: thumper49

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/26/10 01:02 AM

Got assigned 2 new pieces at my lesson yesterday (in addition to the two from last week that I'm working on. For those familiar with the Suzuki method books, I'm in Book 3 and working on the four small pieces in between the Kuhlau (op. 55 no. 1) and Clementi (op. 36 no. 3) sonatinas. The conservatory goes into hiatus in mid-June, but I hope to be able to get these little pieces cleaned up by fall and get that last sonatina in the bag by Christmas, along with the nasty little Bartok thing that was added in the new edition of the method. Then it's on to book 4 with lots of Mozart and some more Bach!

Thought I'd never get the Kuhlau sorted out, but it seemed to come together overnight. The Allegro movement still gives me some problems from time to time, but the Vivace is solid. Lesson learned: keep on keeping on.
Posted By: Lunatic

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/26/10 03:38 AM

I finished the ending to Mozart's Fantasy 3 in D minor (the ending is actually in D major...) in the last few days, and I'm playing in a school concert tomorrow. I'll record it soon.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/26/10 06:20 AM

Glasslove - I'm so glad you are continuing with Lilla! I use it as my warm up and my concluding piece for most of my sessions smile I am getting to play it without errors much more consistently now which is lovely (and my husband is still humming it all the time smile

Thumper: I'm not familiar with the Kuhlau- one of the things I love about this forum is being educated on so much new material!!!. Yesterday I bought the booklet for Clementi Op. 36, which contains 6 Sonatine. I'm working on the first, but all of them look like great fun!

Lunatic: Congrats on getting your Mozart wrapped up! and "in bocca al lupo" for your concert. (That's the Italian equivalent for "break a leg". "In the mouth of the wolf" - and the reply from the performer should be "crepi"..."he will die" )

Posted By: HomeInMyShoes

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/28/10 10:24 AM

I managed to finish my recordings for the Schumann e-cital. Hooray!!!

Time for a break and work on some new stuff.
Posted By: Andy Platt

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/28/10 12:56 PM

Memorized 10 bars of Mozart K545 in a few play throughs compared to taking days with some of the rest of it. Partly it's because I'm starting to "get" the piece so the flow makes sense.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/28/10 01:12 PM

HomeInMyShoes - I hadn't realized that there WAS a Schumann e-cital! lol.... What a sense of accomplishment you must have! Now we can look forward to listening to you ! that will be a treat!

Andy Plat - now that is very exciting - seeing that your learning curve is not so steep, I'm delighted for you!
Posted By: HomeInMyShoes

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/28/10 01:44 PM

^I'm looking forward to all the recordings in the Schumann e-cital. The whole Kinderszenen is covered which is great. I think Peyton has four entries for the e-cital as well. It's nice that everyone can submit whatever and duplicates are accepted so we'll get to hear a few versions of some pieces which I always like.

I'd start on some of A Charlie Brown Christmas, but the shrubs haven't even flowered out front yet so it's definitely too early.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/29/10 07:03 AM

I'm interested in the CB Christmas too, but as you say.... it is just too darn early!

I had my piano lesson yesterday and my teacher complimented me on my memorization work smile

I also played 2 duets with my little buddy (Alessandro, he's six years old). We're going to perform together in a little recital in June.
Posted By: 2picky4most

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/03/10 05:26 PM

Nice to find this self pat-on-the back thread. We all need talk about our personal achievements. At times our "non musical" friends, family members, etc. don't always understand when we say "I got it, finally, or it took me forever to learn....."

My achievement of the year, let alone the week, was taking part in my 2nd ever recital. Wow, what difference from last year's disaster! I played Guantanamera, Those Were the Days from Alfred's bk.2, & the primo part of a duet arrangement of Songs My Mother Taught Me by Dvorak as arranged by Chester Wallis. All in all I played well, 1 minor error in Those ....Days. The duet was fantastic, to the point that I'm looking forward to playing another one with the same partner. I was completely overwhelmed with the ovation & praise I/we received from the audience. I'm looking forward to next year's recital.

Now, if only I can get my fingers up to a nice fast speed for the Hungarian Rhapsody, then I will have achieved this week's goal.
__________________________________________________
Working on secondo part of Songs My Mother Taught Me;
Light and Blue




Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/04/10 06:16 AM

Ciao 2picky4most - what a great success story! I'm listening to Songs My Mother Taught Me as I type this - what a lovely piece! Gentle, slightly melancholy, something to stir the heartstrings. It sounds pretty challenging to my ear! Complimenti on getting through all your pieces with only 1 error! I'm happy if I can get through 1 piece without an error so far. If I make it through without any (a rare treat), I'm leaping with joy!

How exciting too, to play in a duet!
I think the Hungarian Rhapsody will be the icing on your cake eh?

My achievement of the week was accidental - smile
I uploaded some pieces to www.box.net for sharing, and then I was goofing around on my phone (which has internet access) to see if I could play them from the phone, and I ended up downloading one - so I made it my ring tong! I now have Verde Smeraldo by Remo Vinciguerra to charm me when someone calls smile



Posted By: deAlmeida

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/04/10 11:54 AM

What got me excited is that although I'm learning this ragtime piece in my signature for a 3 months time already I'm making progress. Things that I found impossible I'm playing at fast tempo already, I'm witness of "the miracle of practice".

What get me frustrated is "gee I'm playing the same piece every day for 3 months"!!!!!! And the final measures of the 3rd section is far harder than the rest, tricky piece...
Posted By: Superstar

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/04/10 09:00 PM

I'm really excited to see this thread still going strong!! It's a great reminder for me to focus on the positive and so fun to see all the great achievements posted here. On that note, I had a really good lesson this week. My piano teacher finally felt I had mastered two pieces, both of which I have been working on for a few months. I will be starting something new for this week. I'm really quite excited about that.

Thanks again Casinitaly for starting this thread, you're the greatest!

AK
Posted By: GlassLove

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/04/10 11:21 PM

I second AlleyKatt's opinion, you are indeed the greatest Casinitaly!! heart
My accomplishment of the week is that I reliably played my Alexander piece today with no mistakes. Now I need to breathe some feeling into it (my teacher wants me to use the pieces in the collection to develop my expression). I have been flying solo for a couple of weeks, so I don't have a sense as to whether or not I am playing it properly, with expression (I don't have another lesson until the 14th).
My Oscar Peterson book came today. I worked on exercise # 1 and the minuet. I was a little disappointed that Minuet # 1 isn't remotely jazzy. The end of the book looks scary! Kinda like the end of the Alfred's all-in-one Level one book used to look whistle
And.....one of my Greek friends found a collection of Hajidakis Piano solos for me. It is in the mail as I write. He is one of my husband's favorite composers. I will work on a piece for his birthday!!!! yippie
Posted By: Andy Platt

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/05/10 01:49 AM

So I'm not sure if this count count as my achievement of the week - but it did make me feel good. I'm learning Chopin's Prelude No. 7 (Opus 28) and starting to get it flowing a bit better. Anyway, I was listening to BBC's Lunchtime Concert and, lo and behold, there's the piece I'm learning being played. Actually he played all 24 preludes but the fact that I can play one of them is enough for me smile
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/05/10 05:39 AM

I'm really thrilled that people are still writing here too - I think we all want to dance with joy sometimes and by focusing on those moments we will see our little stumbling blocks as just that ..little problems that we are dealing with.

Al-mahed - Ragtime! Now that is great fun! You must feel great seeing your 3 months of hard work paying off! 3 cheers for you!

AlleyCat - isn't that satisfying? You'll have to let us know what your new pieces are!

Glasslove - no mistakes! Yipee! I'm still hit and miss, more than I'd like, but slowly slowly improving. I'm really getting a new appreciation for the word "focus". Don't be disappointed in Oscar - the minuets (that I've tried so far) aren't jazzy -but even as early as exercise five you're getting into boogie woogie patterns - hang in there.
How cool you are getting Hajidakis music from a friend! I have a buddy in Memphis who sends me all kinds of stuff - I'm getting a "shipment" soon via family who are coming for a visit!

Andy Platt - Chopin! I haven't really done any Chopin yet, but he's on my "really want to do" list! Isn't it a special thrill when you hear something from your personal repertoire being played?


I think we're all doing splendidly! We're the greatest!
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/07/10 05:35 PM

I've got the first movement of my Clementi memorized.
Whew.
Now.... where to start with the improvements .... there are just a few I could make (working on the art of understatement here smile )
Posted By: BenPiano

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/08/10 04:30 AM

*sigh* Improvements are hard to come by more and more frequently. I had to finally man up and drop from the rotation a couple of pieces I just couldn't get my fingers wrapped around properly, and a third is dangling precipitously close to being sent to the farm team. I'll let the two haunt me in my dreams for a bit and try again another time.

And then today I *finally* had a chunk of alone time to record video on my upright. It went exceedingly well and I recorded 3 pieces that have been simmering for some time until I could get a chance to record. Tonight I discovered that the company logo shirt I was wearing was extremely visible as it was reflected by my shiny new piano (corporate would sue my butt to oblivion if I gave the impression that they were somehow sponsoring my bumbling on the piano grin (not really)).

Next time I'll have to remember to wear my official Star Trek logo red-shirt as proof of my galactic employment with Starfleet Command. whome

On a positive note, I did start on another piece this week that seems to be going well (Clementi 36, 2), and my 5 year old son has been making some great progress under my direction in between his beginner group class and private lessons.


Sometimes it feels like learning piano is self abuse, but most of the time it's absolutely enjoyable. It's a good thing I'm addicted to learning piano, or I would have quit a while ago. grin



Posted By: thumper49

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/08/10 05:45 AM

I love Clementi 36,2! I'm planning to work that up on my own over the summer when my teacher is on holidays -- it would make a nice surprise for her when lessons start up again in September. Either that, or a nasty surprise if I mess it up. I'll be starting the first movement of 36,3 as part of my regular program in the fall.

My achievement for the week is to have made some progress on my four assigned pieces. Does anyone besides me feel like a total dork having to play Beethoven's Ecossaise K. WoO23. I can`t hear it without recalling the Monty Python skit about the Fish Slapping Dance.
Posted By: MikeN

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/08/10 06:07 AM

I've finally gotten the coda of Chopin's first Ballade fluent. So in a couple days I'll probably be able to go back to the music I was before studying. I had to finish the ballade so I could perform it at a small engagement.

So now back to the hellish but fun Godowsky Sonata.

*sigh* Godowsky just had to one of the most beautiful romantic melodies right between between 19 other minutes of technical and interpretational heck.
Posted By: BenPiano

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/08/10 06:15 AM

Originally Posted by thumper49
I love Clementi 36,2! I'm planning to work that up on my own over the summer when my teacher is on holidays -- it would make a nice surprise for her when lessons start up again in September. Either that, or a nasty surprise if I mess it up. I'll be starting the first movement of 36,3 as part of my regular program in the fall.


I really like all of Clementi's Op. 36. I would love to be able to work through all it, but I always get distracted with other stuff.

So much to learn and play, so little time. frown

Good luck with #2! smile smile
Posted By: Andy Platt

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/08/10 12:34 PM

Originally Posted by thumper49
Does anyone besides me feel like a total dork having to play Beethoven's Ecossaise K. WoO23. I can`t hear it without recalling the Monty Python skit about the Fish Slapping Dance.


When I arrived for my lesson last week my teacher was playing this. I was a little surprised (usually she's rattling off some Rachmaninov prelude). There was no fish slapping when she played it but when I do - perhaps a little!
Posted By: nancymae

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/08/10 03:57 PM

I ordered Alfred's Greatest Hits #1 and #2, the finger exercises for Alfred and the All Time Favorites for Alfred! Anxious for them to arrive!!!!!

I'm just excited about learning piano every single day!!!!

Nancy
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/08/10 04:12 PM

You know, I'm a Monty Python fan, but I doubt I'd have remembered the tune to the Fish Slapping Dance!

Here's another exciting bit that is a bit different.... My piano teacher wants to learn English, and as I'm an ESL teacher....we're going to swap lessons! How cool is that?

I already have some great ideas on how to get her started studying English with the theme of music! What fun we will have!
Posted By: joyoussong

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/08/10 04:41 PM

Cas, that's so cool!! For a while, I taught a Japanese businessman who listened to jazz & played trumpet in his spare time (what little time he had, considering his job!). But I found lots of articles, etc that I could adapt.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/08/10 04:45 PM

That sounds like fun Carol! My teacher is a real beginner, I'm going to start off using the verbs Have and Be with reference to notes, measures, beats, I can work on pronouns, singular and plurals. It is going to be so much fun!

Ok, I know this is really cheeky but it is really very entertaining, and I can't resist.

My absolute "coolest" client was (about 4 -5 years ago)... the managing director of .......


La Scala in Milano. smile
Posted By: joyoussong

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/08/10 05:04 PM

AWESOME!!!!!!

Posted By: GlassLove

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/08/10 05:36 PM

I am so excited for my children to be on summer vacation. School is OUT on Friday.
I just downloaded two duets (4 hands) for my younger son and I to play.
My older son plays the Saxophone and I found a sax/piano duet for us too!!!
Of course, this is a cheesy accomplishment, it would be better if I were writing to say that we had mastered all three of these pieces, but the thought of pursuing them has gotten me very excited!!!!
Posted By: thumper49

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/08/10 06:20 PM

Originally Posted by casinitaly
You know, I'm a Monty Python fan, but I doubt I'd have remembered the tune to the Fish Slapping Dance!


I don't remember the exact tune, either, but that Ecossaise seems to call for fish slapping, somehow! I'm just NOT a big fan of folk dances.

Totally cool that you're able to trade lessons with your teacher! And she can say that she is learning from the person who taught the director of La Scala. Wow!
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/23/10 09:30 AM

We've been very quiet about our progress lately!

I'm really pleased that this past week I have started to be able to look at my music in patterns rather than single notes. It is just the beginning - a small step -but absolutely in the right direction and it was quite a little thrill.

What are you pleased about this week?
Posted By: EJR

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/23/10 10:01 AM

This week I recovered a piece I hadn't played for over six months. A Busoni-Bach chorale prelude Ich ruf zu dir....

It took a little under 4 hours to "get it back" and playable from memory. For a full report see link in sig..
Posted By: Andy Platt

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/23/10 12:11 PM

This was really last week's achievement. My (summer) teacher had asked me to start on the second movement of Mozart K545. At the next lesson I played the opening 16 bars or so. He sat thoughtful for a minute and said (paraphrasing) "I've always thought that that movement was about the same level of difficulty as the first but you made it easy. Do the rest for next week". And that was it.

Sadly today's lesson won't be so good! The movement got harder and I goofed by trying to learn it all a little instead of concentrating on getting another section in good shape. Oh well, we live and learn!
Posted By: tangleweeds

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/23/10 07:23 PM

I'd been indulging in naughty period of neglecting my sight reading, mostly because I had reached an odd impasse where all the practice material I could find seemed either way too easy or way too hard.

But I noticed that my general music reading skills had improved lately, so I got out the Keith Snell Preparatory Level Repertoire books I had used in the very beginnings of my piano adventure, and was surprised to discover that I could sit down and read the music off the page fluently enough to get the gist of the tune pretty quicly.

Most (not all) are still too hard for me to sight read at a steady tempo, but now a new and pleasant part of my practice routine is reading through a couple of new pieces, and just discovering what they sound like.

One of my major piano goals that I talked about here last fall was to be able to sit down with a book of unfamiliar sheet music, and be able to get a few new tunes sounding musical with an afternoon's pleasant practice. It appears I am now capable of doing this!
Posted By: Johan B

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/23/10 07:40 PM

This week I found in a library-musicscore-book a arrangement of the main theme of the movie Schindlers list. It was written by the Dutch pianist Jan Vayne. Mostly is the theme written in G-minor......Vayne put it in a real new accompaniment in A-minor. I enjoyed it to play....

Also nice other arrangements in this album of Jan Vayne

Best regards,
Johan B

Posted By: Little_Blue_Engine

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/23/10 07:54 PM

I learned "Martha My Dear". It needs practice, but it doesn't sound bad either. Now I have 4 songs/pieces I can play all the way through. Yay!
Posted By: basskid

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/23/10 08:23 PM

I am a beginner of 6 months and today I started playing Fur Elise. Only took two days to learn. I have most of the "beggining" down. Just need to clean it up.

Douglas.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/24/10 06:57 AM

Sounds like some good things are happening!
Elwyn, I checked out your blog- very interesting to read about how you approached the challenge!
Andy- great feedback from the teacher! Good for you!
Tangleweed - isn't that satisfying? A real sign of progress!
Johan, - Schindler's List is one of my favourite films - thanks for posting a link to the book!
Little Blue, you are on your way to building a great repertoire!
Basskid -doesn't it feel great to get started on a new piece and feel you're doing well?

Complimenti a tutti!


Posted By: MaryBee

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/25/10 05:13 AM

I think I finally had a breakthrough in voicing on my Mendelssohn piece - Op.19 No.1. Yeah!! I was starting to feel like I was never going to get it.

Another nice thing, but not one of my accomplishments, is that when my piano tech came to tune my piano this week, he also adjusted the touch to be a little lighter. It's so much easier to play my trills and turns now. smile
Posted By: MF-Blues

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/25/10 07:37 PM

I uploaded my first MP3 recording of Enya's Watermark this week in the members recordings section, I have messed about for some time with piano but never really performed anything as complete as this so I'm quite excited about it to be honest.

Cheers

Martin
Posted By: EJR

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/25/10 07:51 PM

Deciding definitely not to read any more entries in the "...can I get to Julliard in 12 years..." (and I've only been playing for 10 weeks) thread... laugh
Posted By: nancymae

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/26/10 08:31 PM

Wow...it sounds like there are a lot of wonderful accomplishments out there!!

I'm excited this week as I just got my piano tuned and cleaned for the very first time! Now my teacher can teach me how to use those pedals!! (I have been working with a pedal-less keyboard up to this point!) Will have to go back and redo some of the music to get that pedaling down!!

My piano has been sitting, not being played for a very long time. (could be decades), so the keys were difficult to press, but they are much easier now (for the limited play time I was able to get during lunch).

Interesting to read everyone's comments!

Nancy
Posted By: Jose Hidalgo

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/26/10 09:22 PM

I am mastering a Montuno, that I want to use as warm up routine and for having fun

that's my happy tip of the week
Posted By: Mozart79

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/27/10 02:53 PM

I have been working on a Mozart piece and my teacher wanted me to try to memorize the piece and play it. I am proud of my accomplishment because I fully remembered the piece, and played it well with all the dynamics.
Posted By: Rui725

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/28/10 02:54 AM

Wrapping up my study of Chopin nocturne op9 no. 1, and memorized half of clair de lune. Also, picked up a great Sonatine collection for sight reading practice. Some are quite cute really!
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/28/10 07:31 AM

Wonderful stuff! I feel energized just reading your posts!

Trilling news MaryBee smile
I love Enya, MF-blues - I'm going to check out your recording!
EJR - excellent decision - best to avoid posts you know are just going to make you roll your eyes eh?
NancyMaey, your fingers are going to be flying now!
Joe, I'm not familiar with Montuno.... research time for me!- that's one of the things I love about this forum. I read about what others are playing and it opens up new horizons for me!
Mozart 79 - what satisfaction! Complimenti!
Rui725 - Sounds like you are on a great roll of progress here!

Thanks for sharing all the good news - it really is inspirational to read about everyone's successes!
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/28/10 04:41 PM

Today my teacher told me she was very impressed with my dedication and how well I took note of correcting technique (specifically in my case hand and arm position and relaxation)

She said I was a wonderful student! Made my day.

That along with the fact that we played sight-reading duets for an hour and a half (after the lesson), just for the fun of it!!!
I played my first Mendleson piece today.
Posted By: joyoussong

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/29/10 04:20 AM

Wow, Cas - that must've given you such a boost.
I still haven't found a teacher - waiting till I get back from vacation.
My achievement of the week, I guess, is that I can play page one of the Oscar Peterson book well enough that I've moved on to page 2. (Slow but steady.....)
Posted By: tranquillo

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/29/10 04:32 AM

My accomplishment of the week:

Practicing faithfully on piano assignments, then being able to follow that with songs played for pure enjoyment. The evening comes, I am still playing, the sun sets, the stars come out and quietness descends making tone production more clarified and rewarding. I am learning more and more how to gain sought after sounds.
Posted By: BenPiano

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/29/10 04:38 AM

Originally Posted by tranquillo
My accomplishment of the week:

Practicing faithfully on piano assignments, then being able to follow that with songs played for pure enjoyment. The evening comes, I am still playing, the sun sets, the stars come out and quietness descends making tone production more clarified and rewarding. I am learning more and more how to gain sought after sounds.


wow, well said!
Posted By: CebuKid

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/29/10 10:40 AM

Originally Posted by Rui725
Wrapping up my study of Chopin nocturne op9 no. 1, and memorized half of clair de lune. Also, picked up a great Sonatine collection for sight reading practice. Some are quite cute really!


Rui, what is the full title of that Sonatine collection? I need more sight-reading material too. smile
Posted By: Rui725

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/29/10 12:07 PM

Sonatine Colllection 1 followed with scribbles known as the Chinese language, haha.

It's a local publishing company that threw a whole bunch of Sonatines into one and sells it for real cheap
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/29/10 12:11 PM

A nice collection is the Clementi Op 36 - there are 6 sonatine. I'm working on the first one.
There are a number of editions - Amazon has some which also have CDs.
Posted By: MaryBee

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/29/10 02:25 PM

Originally Posted by casinitaly
That along with the fact that we played sight-reading duets for an hour and a half (after the lesson), just for the fun of it!!!
How fun! I wish I had someone I could do that with.

Originally Posted by tranquillo
Practicing faithfully on piano assignments, then being able to follow that with songs played for pure enjoyment. The evening comes, I am still playing, the sun sets, the stars come out and quietness descends making tone production more clarified and rewarding. I am learning more and more how to gain sought after sounds.
Ahhh. You are inspirational!
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/29/10 05:51 PM

CebuKid,

If you go to the sheetmusicplus site and seach under piano, sonatina, you will find several different collections. The Fabers have two albums at what looks like early intermediate/intermediate level.
Posted By: tangleweeds

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/29/10 06:41 PM

If you want lotsa sonatinas for sight reading, perhaps you should check out this offering from CDSheetMusic:
http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/Piano-Sonatinas-And-Standard-Study-Works-Version-2-0/7868051

Here's the contents:
http://www.cdsheetmusic.com/products/disk_contents.cfm?product=17

SheetMusicPlus has a 20% off sale on all their CD Sheet Music until August 4th.
Posted By: Pianosaurus Rex

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 08/01/10 05:17 PM

Originally Posted by casinitaly
Today my teacher told me she was very impressed with my dedication and how well I took note of correcting technique (specifically in my case hand and arm position and relaxation)

She said I was a wonderful student! Made my day.

That along with the fact that we played sight-reading duets for an hour and a half (after the lesson), just for the fun of it!!!
I played my first Mendleson piece today.


It's spelled Mendelssohn, dear. :P
But in all seriousness, it amazes me how fast you seem to progress! What piece was it that you started?

Originally Posted by tangleweeds
If you want lotsa sonatinas for sight reading, perhaps you should check out this offering from CDSheetMusic:
http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/Piano-Sonatinas-And-Standard-Study-Works-Version-2-0/7868051


You sightread that stuff? O_O
I've been busting my ass over that stuff for hours, haha! That's pretty amazing, give yourself a pat on the back!
How long have you been playing?
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 08/01/10 09:21 PM

P-Rex, thanks for the spelling correction - that's what I get for rushing and not checking! lol....

I will have to check the name of the piece we played - she kept pulling them out and we just kept plugging away at them. It was a charming piece - we're meeting tomorrow and I'll write it down.

Things have started to come together in the last few weeks. Of course everything is relative, but I definitely can feel a change in what I'm able to do, it is very exciting!
Posted By: Kymber

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 08/02/10 06:31 PM

It really is a good thing to be able to find the positive in everything we do.

I am pleased with the fact that I don't get as anxious as I used to when I go to my lessons. I am also much less critical/self defeating. Now I can practice without beating myself up over every little thing. Because of this I think I am making better progress than I have in the past. My reading is getting better as well.
Posted By: Andy Platt

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 08/02/10 06:37 PM

Getting a recording for the piano bar that I was happy enough with on take #1. It's not perfect (but what is) and I covered a big flub nicely I think (not going to say what it is!!).
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 08/03/10 02:18 PM

The MendelsSOHN duet I played with my teacher is OP 62 N. 1
It is peculiar in that the "primo" part - the easy one - is mostly only right hand until the end.

This week my achievement was that for the first time ever I played something better during the lesson than at home! woohoo!

Kymber - that sounds like great progress!
Andy - how nice you were able to cover up your "flub"..... smile I won't even bother listening for it !

(edited to add: I've just listened to your piece - lovely!!!!!! You have a really nice touch, and your playing is really even and steady. I'm inspired to put that piece on my "must learn"list! May I ask when you started plyaying? )


Isn't it stressful recording? Worse than playing in front of people because any mistake you make is always going to be there! argh!!

I'm hoping I'll have my piece in shape before the 15th to submit for the August recital. I dropped the Vinciguerra I was working on as I realized I was never going to get it anywhere near the right speed for August.
Posted By: Andy Platt

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 08/03/10 03:12 PM

Originally Posted by casinitaly

Andy - how nice you were able to cover up your "flub"..... smile I won't even bother listening for it !

(edited to add: I've just listened to your piece - lovely!!!!!! You have a really nice touch, and your playing is really even and steady. I'm inspired to put that piece on my "must learn"list! May I ask when you started plyaying? )


Thanks! I was self-taught as a teen (though I did take classical flute lessons and theory) but mostly just took guitar chords and melody lines and played piano with those. I started lessons with a teacher to play classical piano in May. I've learnt not to be embarassed about that question - although I've played for more than 20 years, I really never "learnt".
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 08/03/10 03:15 PM

Originally Posted by Andy Platt
Originally Posted by casinitaly

Andy - how nice you were able to cover up your "flub"..... smile I won't even bother listening for it !

(edited to add: I've just listened to your piece - lovely!!!!!! You have a really nice touch, and your playing is really even and steady. I'm inspired to put that piece on my "must learn"list! May I ask when you started plyaying? )


Thanks! I was self-taught as a teen (though I did take classical flute lessons and theory) but mostly just took guitar chords and melody lines and played piano with those. I started lessons with a teacher to play classical piano in May. I've learnt not to be embarassed about that question - although I've played for more than 20 years, I really never "learnt".

I had to read that twice - first time through I focussed on the fact that you started in May and gasped, thinking you must be a ruddy genius!....... Then I finished the sentence - whew- you're definitely good, but I'm not quite so intimidated now - and I'm still inspired! Complimenti again!
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 08/07/10 07:05 AM

Ok this weekI seem to have made a bit of a breakthrough in getting rid of some tension in my arms.
I've been playing around with position and found that my moving slightly farther AWAY from the keys, I seem to have a more natural "fall" onto them, which is much more relaxed.
I had tried this before in the past, but always felt I was too distant and kept creeping back.

I'm also pleased to note that I'm definitely making progress in terms of "getting the hang" of my pieces. I can see that my fingers are learning where to go with a lot more fluidity and somethings are just .......easier to do. I also think I'm practising better, more productively.
It is most gratifying.

Posted By: EJR

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 08/07/10 11:52 AM

I currently have a 'sight-reading' bug... So my achievement this week was to practice 7/7 days, sight-reading pieces & exercises for the first 15 minutes or so.

I'm using "beginner" pieces from Pianist Magazine (but many of these seem to be level 2 to 3ish (although they do have some easier 'for starters' pieces but not in every issue).

Apparently to improve you need to practice sight-reading with material that you can read 95% fluently. So for some 'easy peasy' material I dug out my very first book from my very first lesson (this is so old it cost 3 shillings). I sight read through that this week. Off course, this was very very easy and sight-reading it was a doddle and I played each piece pefectly! blush Well perhaps not! It did show me how pants I am at this. This was a very curious experience, I vaguely remember doing it the first time all those decades ago (queue wavy line moment).

So I decided to get some sight-reading method books and start working through them from the beginning...

There's a lot of series available on Amazon, but in the end settled for ordering a bunch of material from the local public library. I just got back from collecting them. Although I only ordered book 1 of each series, the whole set of one came bound in a hard cover. So effectively I've got 12 or so method books in total for £0.00.

So my final 'achievement' was finding out that the public library is an amazing resource for method books and collections of graded pieces.
Posted By: Andy Platt

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 08/07/10 12:23 PM

Originally Posted by EJR
So my final 'achievement' was finding out that the public library is an amazing resource for method books and collections of graded pieces.


You're lucky! I'll take another look at ours but I'm pretty sure there's no method books.
Posted By: Emphursis1

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 08/07/10 12:51 PM

Hmm, I'll have to have a look in the library again. I couldn't see anything last time I checked though.
It may not be the best idea, but I use Bach Preludes for sight reading practice, which is certainly helping, I am getting a lot better at it.

My 'big' achievement is bars 37-50 of 'Pathetique' mvt.2. Granted I can't play it up to speed, but I can at least get through it now.
Posted By: EJR

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 08/07/10 01:28 PM

Originally Posted by Andy Platt
Originally Posted by EJR
So my final 'achievement' was finding out that the public library is an amazing resource for method books and collections of graded pieces.


You're lucky! I'll take another look at ours but I'm pretty sure there's no method books.


The trick for me was searching the library catalogues online. The one I go to is part of a very large network. Several were in a branch 80 or so miles away but turned up in a couple of days.

I just finished working through the first (Sight-Reading for Fun, Vol 1:Preliminary by Peter Lawson). I could do this one. grin

Posted By: tangleweeds

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 08/07/10 09:38 PM

Our library has an irritating tendency to be missing the first couple of books of the great majority of its methods (lots of volumes 3, 4, & 5...). :phooey: Since my actual playing level is still late elementary, my sight-reading level is pretty low.

But I've been on a sight reading kick too. My accomplishment of the week is that I've figured out how to alleviate the tedium of sight-reading beginner material in the key of C (G or F if we're getting adventurous) -- sight read it transposed into other keys! It adds a little spice to playing London Bridge... :rolleyes:
Posted By: Andy Platt

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 08/08/10 12:09 AM

Originally Posted by EJR
The trick for me was searching the library catalogues online. The one I go to is part of a very large network. Several were in a branch 80 or so miles away but turned up in a couple of days.


Unfortunately I live in the smallest (geographically) county in the US (though it has a really great library system). However, there is World Cat and that says the nearest library that has that sight reading book is ... Ottawa!

Actually I did a bunch of other searches and there are some basic primers that should provide good material in my local library. I'll check them out (pun not intended).

Posted By: joyoussong

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 08/08/10 01:04 AM

I was away on holiday last week, but my big achievement was sitting down at my cousin's piano & playing a few pieces from memory, & with other people in the room. They weren't sitting listening or anything, but they were there & I managed to ignore them.

My cousin, btw, is 83 & still an excellent pianist. Played in a few jazz bands when he was in university, many decades ago. I hadn't had a chance to listen to him in ages.
Posted By: EJR

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 08/08/10 07:07 AM

Originally Posted by Andy Platt
Originally Posted by EJR
The trick for me was searching the library catalogues online. The one I go to is part of a very large network. Several were in a branch 80 or so miles away but turned up in a couple of days.


Unfortunately I live in the smallest (geographically) county in the US (though it has a really great library system). However, there is World Cat and that says the nearest library that has that sight reading book is ... Ottawa!

Actually I did a bunch of other searches and there are some basic primers that should provide good material in my local library. I'll check them out (pun not intended).



Andy,

I tried that World Cat search, it gave the University Libraries at Oxford and Cambridge as the nearest locations with that book to me (so I'd take it with a pinch of salt). These are further away from here than where the copies were sourced (Yeovil). Now why Yeovil (population 28000) seems to store much of the music books/sheet music for the local library network I'm not sure, since its a very rural location?


I'm glad you found some basic primers in yours. I'd also be inclined to send a list to the librarian and ask whether they can get others on inter-library loan or similar?

Posted By: MaryBee

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 08/20/10 02:10 PM

I had a great lesson this week! My teacher complimented me on the voicing on one of my pieces. And we worked through a really difficult section of another one, so that I understand how to approach it now. I was so excited to get home and start working on everything that we went over. And it feels like I'm making real progress now. smile
Posted By: joyoussong

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 08/20/10 02:41 PM

2 great things.

The first is, I think I've found a new teacher; I had an introductory lesson last week. He's a young guy, just finished his B of Music & is entering the (excellent!) jazz program at a local college in September. He has teaching experience, & from when I first spoke to him on the phone he seemed like a communicator (unlike at least one of the others I called...) He's more classically-oriented than my previous teacher, but I think that will be a good thing for a while - much as I loved my other teacher, she probably didn't push me hard enough about technique. He's got me doing Beyer etudes, Hanon as warm-up, as well as whatever else I want. Since I was doing Alfred Book 2 before, I'll probably keep on with that for a while, at least. Oh yes, & my lessons don't have to be weekly, which works better for me.

The 2nd thing that I consider an achievement is my downstairs neighbour, who has played piano for about 70 years, said my playing recently has been "beautiful!" She was referring to "Sakura," from Alfred 2 - she said when she loves hearing me play it, because it takes her back to when she used to sing it in kindergarten in Taiwan (that'd be 70+ years ago) She's commented on my progress before, but this was different. It's nice that someone found at least one of my efforts meaningful.
Posted By: Kymber

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 08/20/10 04:04 PM

This was a rough week for me. First of all I never feel I am prepared enough or practice enough for my lessons. And each week I vow to do better.

But this week I unfortunately had a pretty severe reaction to a supplement my Dr. prescribed for me. I didn't realize at first that the supplement was the cause since it is something I only had to take once a week.

Over the course of the week, after I had taken my first dose, I could feel my muscle getting weaker and weaker and the fatigue was so unbearable I barely made it through the work week. I just thought this was a relapse of some sort because muscle pain and fatigue is something I've dealt with for a long time (although through various therapies I've had some improvement).

By the time Friday came I felt like I could hardly walk and so I canceled my lesson and left work early. I really felt bad about canceling and again vowed to do better.

On Saturday night I took my weekly supplement again. Sunday morning when I woke up it hit me. OMG! It's the supplement!!! That morning I was in the worse pain I ever felt (and I can tolerate pain). Sitting hurt, standing hurt, and I had not idea how long it was going to last. I was even thinking I might have to go to the Hospital. I just didn't know what else to do. Thankfully the pain subsided after a few hours. But I still felt weak and fatigued throughout the this week. I did manage to practice but not as much as I would have liked and as usual felt like I wouldn't be prepared enough for my lesson on Friday.

Then I remembered a little one page song my teacher gave me to try out. This was to work on my reading which is far below my playing level. It was about 11:00pm all my books where packed away for the next days lesson. I pulled out the page and decided I would give it a try. I was half way through the page when I realized... HEY! I'm half way through the page! I played that little piece almost effortlessly. It's a simple song called The song without words or something like that, but the feeling was very sweet. It was the first time I sightread a song without, worry or panic or criticism. So, that was my achievement for the week.

Thanks for "listening".
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 08/20/10 04:44 PM

Marybee, how satisfying!!!! Isn't exciting when you feel something new has "clicked" and become easier to deal with?

Joyoussong - sounds like you've found a great teacher, that's super! And what a lovely compliment from your neighbour! I bet that really made your heart sing.

Kymber, what a rough week indeed - I hope the dr sorts out a med that you can take without these problems asap! Congrats on the sight reading, it must have been especially rewarding after your terrible week.

I've had a low-key week. My hands have been a bit sore - I think I've got a tendonitis situation to take care of - or something along those lines. I see a dr's visit in my near future. However, I am really pleased with how my Franck piece is coming along. I find that getting the hang of this piece (which is technically much more challenging than others I've tried) seems to be falling into place a lot faster than ever things have before.

Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 08/20/10 05:57 PM

I intend to keep polishing it, but my teacher has said she no longer needs to hear Gershwin's Someone To Watch Over Me. The version I'm playing is arranged by Dan Coates, who makes really nice arrangements. I got it from this book Top 50 Jazz Standards - Arranged by Dan Coates . When I showed this book to my teacher she liked it enough to order it for use with her other pupils. I hope the other songs are as nice as the Gershwin tune was because I've had a lot of fun learning it and its really fun to play. As Time Goes By is up next. My wife is starting to call me "the lounge act".
Posted By: joyoussong

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 08/20/10 07:27 PM

Kymber, that reaction to the medication sounds awful! Hope it's gone from your system, & that your energy & enthusiasm come back soon.

Cas, hope you can get your sore hands figured out. Glad your Franck piece is going well. Have you done any more with the OP book? I've kind of put it aside for a bit since my new teacher has introduced other new materials.
Posted By: Kymber

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 08/20/10 08:05 PM

casinitaly: Yes it was definitely rewarding (as small as it seemed-I think I needed it). Please take care of your hands and congrats on your progress.

joyoussong: Thank you! I am definitely feeling a lot better.

Btw... I really like this thread. It's nice to focus on things we accomplish instead of what we can't do (yet).
Posted By: deane0801

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 08/20/10 08:54 PM

Originally Posted by Gary Schenk
I learned to roll my wrists to get the proper "grace" out of grace notes. They actually sound good now.


just learned today what I need to do for a Chopin Prelude I'm working on. Thanks
Posted By: SoundThumb

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 08/24/10 12:11 AM

Kymber, I don't believe this! I have been suffering with headaches for several weeks now which really effect my practicing. This morning for the first time in a very long time I felt well enough to practice for a full two hours. Guess what I finished up with? A song without words!

Really hope you are feeling better. Your post has given me encouragement.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 08/29/10 04:34 PM

I finally have the first 8 bars of my piece down pat and memorized.
I've been "almost there" for a while, but after my lesson last week, I really buckled down and FOCUSED. I can now play it with or without music and get it right over and over. I'm pleased.

I also did a batch of sight reading today and can feel a bit more progress. I found 2 pieces that I want to give some focus to, both fairly short, but lovely sounding. One is a Gavotte by Hayden and the other a Bach Bourée.

Deanne - good for you! Nice to pick up on a new technique.
JimF - I've been hearing a lot about Dan Coates lately - I like the pieces that you've mentioned - are you going to post so we can hear them?
Posted By: EJR

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 08/30/10 12:29 PM

<<I also did a batch of sight reading today and can feel a bit more progress.>>
Congrats!

I also continued to focus on sight-reading this week, completing some more sight-reading method books. In addition to these I started using Bartok's Mikrokosmos for daily sight-reading practice. I quite like these for sight-reading practice, there's no text with each piece as in many method books and they seem very mathematically/systematically constructed. They have individual metronome markings for each exercise.

I took a sight-reading test. cry
Using some ABRSM grade 1-3 specimen sight-reading tests, I went through the first two at each level. It was a mixed bag, Grade 1 was harder than anticipated, but conversely one of the grade 3 went much better than I thought it would (I haven't covered grade 3 in the method books yet). I'm going to repeat this every month or so to monitor "progress" (if any!).
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 08/30/10 12:55 PM

Sounds like you are really giving yourself some interesting challenges Elwyn. Good for you !

Did you download the ABRSM materials?
I'm going to look into the other book you mentioned too. it is always fun to have more material to play with!
Posted By: TrapperJohn

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 08/30/10 01:32 PM

Finished study of Mozart's Minuet in F Major, K.6 (from the notebook for "Nannerl", his sister) - moving on to Schubert's Waltz in B minor, Op.18a, No.6.

JF
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 08/30/10 01:37 PM

Originally Posted by John Frank
Finished study of Mozart's Minuet in F Major, K.6 (from the notebook for "Nannerl", his sister) - moving on to Schubert's Waltz in B minor, Op.18a, No.6.

JF

Now, because of the information you provided with your recital piece, I know that this is an early Mozart ! I had a listen on youtube to a couple of people playing this - it is charming! I bet you had fun with it.

I'm listening to the Schubert Waltz as I type. What an elegant piece - I bet you'll do a super job on it.
Posted By: EJR

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 08/30/10 02:11 PM

<<Did you download the ABRSM materials? >>
Nope. Got them from the local public library. I'm now a confirmed library fan because they have so much material and 4 or 5 full sight-reading method series.

I also found a useful pdf online called "sight reading skills - a guide to sight reading piano music accurately and expressively..." by Faith Maydwell. I haven't read it end-to-end yet, but it has a list of graded piano music (which starts off with the Mikrokosmos) and should be available via the library.

I have bought a range of ABRSM exam pieces, but intend keeping these for testing purposes to monitor progress, whilst using collections of graded pieces and works like Mikrokosmos for daily practice.

The one thing I've realised, is that to sight read an ABRSM grade 1 piece, you have to have basically completed sight-reading tests at ABRSM grade 3 (and so currently be working on grade 4). This means that whilst working up through the SR method books you have to pick pieces to practice sight-reading with carefully (Other method books or beginner pieces like Bartok's).

This seems to imply that either sight-reading is fundamentally hard, or that the examination boards (Trinity do the same) are biased against sight-reading and favour memorisation (since memorisation is encouraged at all grades including 1.

Matching up the requirements for sight-reading and those for pieces in ABRSM syllabus gives this 2-3 grade gap, in the Trinity system its formally stated apparently (expected to SR pieces two grades below).

Perhaps, the need to have completed several initial volumes of SR method books and be currently working on middle of the range volumes (e.g working on 4 of 8 ABRSM/Trinity) before attempting pieces explains why many struggle (particularly me) sight-reading beginner "easy" pieces?
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 08/30/10 08:52 PM

casinitaly:

Yes, Coates' "easy piano" arrangements usually sound good musically and fall under the hands easily.

Although I do record on my DP, I've never spent the time figuring out how to do the whole transfer to computer, reformat, upload, etc.

I had something of a breakthrough with the Chopin A-Minor Waltz. Its been a work in progress for nearly three months and at times I've despaired of ever playing it well. Although far from finished and still below tempo, I found myself playing through it for pure enjoyment (versus practicing) this weekend. Do you ever surprise yourself with a note or phrase that you just have to shake your head at and say "dang, that was sweet"? Doesn't happen often to me, but it did this weekend.

Elwyn: I read through that sight reading pdf you mentioned. Good stuff. I liked her "blind" exercises. Also ordered the first two Mikrokosmos books, mainly because I'm a little bored with just reading the exercise book I've been working from.
Posted By: MaryBee

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 08/30/10 09:00 PM

Originally Posted by JimF
I had something of a breakthrough with the Chopin A-Minor Waltz. Its been a work in progress for nearly three months and at times I've despaired of ever playing it well. Although far from finished and still below tempo, I found myself playing through it for pure enjoyment (versus practicing) this weekend.
Wonderful!
Originally Posted by JimF
Do you ever surprise yourself with a note or phrase that you just have to shake your head at and say "dang, that was sweet"? Doesn't happen often to me, but it did this weekend.
Yes! And I both love it and hate it. Love it because it just feels/sounds so good. Hate it because then I sit there admiring what I just did and totally mess up the next phrase. laugh
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 08/30/10 09:43 PM

Originally Posted by MaryBee
Yes! And I both love it and hate it. Love it because it just feels/sounds so good. Hate it because then I sit there admiring what I just did and totally mess up the next phrase. laugh

Yup, I know that well!

Congrats on the break through Jim. What satisfaction!
I am going shopping tomorrow and if I find the Dan Coates book and the Mikrokosmos books I'll probably pick up both of them (at least vol 1 of Mikrokosmos)..if I don't find them in the shop I'll order them from Amzaon.

New music ....ahhhhhhhhhhhh smile what fun!
Posted By: Superstar

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 08/31/10 04:26 AM

Casinitaly, it's really nice to see this thread continue. It shows people really like focusing on the positive!

I have an experience I want to share this week that I believe is positive (more so than an acomplishment). I've been back at piano lessons for about 1 year after a 5 year break. I was practicing 2-3 hours per day, approx. 5 days/week. I realized that my actual practice time on my lessons was going down and I was spending more and more time playing things I just felt like playing. For me I think this a first sign of burnout. I know lessons keep me learning and challenge me technically, but sometimes I just want to play for the sake of playing. So instead of burning myself out with lessons I explained to my teacher that I would like some time off to play some "less technical music" and just relax. We agreed that I would come back to lessons mid Sept. and I will definitely do that.

I believe the positive in all this is that I made the decision without any guilt(a first for me). I'm completely ok with stopping lessons for few weeks but still playing for fun. I feel this was a good decision for me and will help me from stressing myself out so much!

Thanks again, I appreciate this thread!!!
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 08/31/10 08:45 PM

Hey AlleyCat, That sounds like a wise decision. Most of us are playing because it is just plain fun (ok, hard work, but FUN work!)
If it starts to feel like a chore, then something is wrong!
I'm glad you are comfortable with your decision and are going to "relax" for a bit. - (in fact, mid Sept is just around the corner!! ack!!!!!!!)

Posted By: AspiringChopin

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 09/01/10 11:23 PM

Just finished memorizing the RH of Fantasie Impromptu and can play at about 75% speed. Now I have to memorize the LH.
Posted By: tangleweeds

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 09/02/10 09:05 PM

My achievement of the week is that I seem to have reached a turning point in relation to reading music. For quite a while it's been something I dutifully practiced because I wanted to get better at it, but there was a certain "hold your nose and eat your spinach" aspect to the whole exercise, I did it to further a goal, and had to discipline and apply myself to work on something difficult/frustrating in order to do so.

But I've noticed that in the last week or so, I have repeatedly found myself reading through random music books from my sheet music collection, just because it's fun, a satisfying challenge. I think this marks a real turning point in my music-reading quest, in that it has acquired the intrinsic momentum of a pleasurable and healthy activity.
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 09/02/10 09:52 PM

That's great news Tangleweeds. Congrats, I know you've worked hard at it.
Posted By: Andy Platt

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 09/03/10 12:12 AM

Today's piano lesson! I played all my pieces pretty much as well as I have at home which is pretty much a first. smile
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 09/03/10 06:10 AM

Aspiring Chopin : good for you! What a solid start to your new piece!
Andy: Isn't that exciting? (It is pretty rare for me too, I wonder if you've hit a turning point? Keep us posted!!

Tangleweeds: now THAT is really exciting - when you feel such a change sweeping over your playing - I'm delighted for you!

I don't have any real achievement to report this week, ..... I just had a LOT of fun sight-reading and trying to play by ear with both hands (I find RH is relatively easy, it is getting anything to work on the LH that stymies me ! )

Let's hear some more! Remember as beginners we are justified in being enthusiastic about every babystep of progress!
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 09/10/10 06:11 PM

Well, it isn't much of an achievement ( or much of a musical week as I was out of town for most of it....) but tonight I managed to ad-lib "When the Saints go Marching in" (which I've never played with sheet music)... in a very jazzy upbeat way - complete with chords and little bouncy notes back and forth between the two hands - ok... lots of testing and fiddling to find my way - but wow, I was giggling away as I was playing - can't wait to give it a try for my teacher!

(I know ad-lib isn't the right term... I'm having a brain foggy moment, I must have used up too many cells with the Saints smile )
Posted By: triptych317

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 09/11/10 03:11 AM

My accomplishment this week is memorizing and playing Star Light Zone from Sonic the Hedgehog 1 (arranged by Gori Fater) in 2-4 days. Still rough around the edges, but I've done pretty well so far! The version I have is pretty hard, but I plowed through it! Usually I'm lazy about learning new stuff, I get discouraged because of difficulty, or it takes me a month or more to learn, understand, memorize, and play a piece so this is pretty huge for me laugh
Posted By: thumper49

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 09/12/10 05:30 AM

This past week, the conservatory went back into session, so I had my first lesson since June. I had been working on the next piece in my method book (Clementi op 36 no 3, 1st movement) on my own over the summer break, and managed to play it through for my teacher without embarrassing myself too badly. She seemed pleased that I'd done so much work (thank you, MOYD list for the motivation!)even though it will probably be November before I have it polished to her satisfaction (I'm going to be travelling a fair bit for the rest of this month and have to miss 3 lessons)

I appreciate this thread, too!
Posted By: BenPiano

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 09/12/10 05:58 AM

Originally Posted by thumper49
This past week, the conservatory went back into session, so I had my first lesson since June. I had been working on the next piece in my method book (Clementi op 36 no 3, 1st movement) on my own over the summer break, and managed to play it through for my teacher without embarrassing myself too badly. She seemed pleased that I'd done so much work (thank you, MOYD list for the motivation!)even though it will probably be November before I have it polished to her satisfaction (I'm going to be travelling a fair bit for the rest of this month and have to miss 3 lessons)

I appreciate this thread, too!


I'm working on this piece right now, and I absolutely love it! The 3rd movement is giving me troubles, but I hope to grind past them and eventually get my fingers to cooperate.

Good luck with the first movement, it really is fun to play!
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 09/19/10 03:42 PM

Triptych- I don't know that pieces -I'll have to google it! (One thing I love about this forum is that I am constantly hearing about new music!) Glad you got over the feeling of being discouraged and are making good progress!

Thumper and Ben- I really like Clementi - I'm playing around with the first Sonatina in Op36 - but I have the book which contains all six of them .... I will have to give N3 some attention and see what you're talking about ! smile

My achievement wasn't so much an event of progress as simply one of great fun and giggles. I had some friends over for dinner and showed them my little improv for "Saints go Marching in" and one of them joined in with a wild bass end counter part, then another joined in higher up on the treble edge - so the three of us were pounding away absolutely having a blast!

Also, my teacher, who is fast and furiously becoming a friend (and a colleague as we're both teaching in a local middle school this year!!!) and I played a duet for my husband before the other guests arrived. He got a big kick out of that.

What can I say - no big progress, just a great evening of fun and laughter sharing a love of music with friends!
Posted By: Tubbie0075

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 09/20/10 01:27 PM

In my last lesson, I was glad I could play 4 out of 6 pages of Chopin's Nocturne in D flat without stopping despite several slips. This is a huge improvement as I tend to let my nervousness stop me from playing beyond a page. In addition, I learned the 4th page on my own without assigned by the teacher, and was commented that I managed well, being the hardest page of the nocturne. Not only that, this is only the 3rd piece I am learning after 17 years of not having lessons, and 17 years ago I only had 3.5 years of lessons. So it was a big deal for me that the teacher has such expectations from me.

A few minutes before the end of the lesson, the teacher asked for Bach's D minor prelude (WTC book 2). After a few bars, the teacher stopped me. I was doing what the teacher spent months teaching me not to. I was shattered! All the good feelings from the Chopin has vanished. I left the lesson really disappointed.

I have 2 weeks to learn the last 2 pages of the nocturne (page 5 already going well). I swear to not disappoint the teacher in the next lesson, Chopin or Bach!
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 09/20/10 01:46 PM

Tubbie - don't focus on what went wrong! Let yourself enjoy the pleasure of having done more than you hoped (or more than the teacher expected) with Chopin.

I have only once left my lesson feeling shattered - and it was AWFUL. I was blue all week.

The best thing you can do is acknowledge that something went wrong - and let go of the baggage of emotion about it.

Look at it and say ...what could I have done to avoid that? Perhaps just a bit of re-focussing, as you switched from one composer to another might have helped you to remember whatever it was you forgot.

Keep in mind, you are a begginer and what you learn in one piece might not necessarily automatically transfer over into another - you (and I and all the others here) really have to work at EVERYTHING - because as new pianists so very little comes naturally!

Be encouraged with your progress and let us know how you make out with the final pages!
Posted By: MaryBee

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 09/20/10 03:49 PM

After focusing my practice for a few weeks on just the exposition of the 1st movement of Mozart's piano sonata K. 457, I played through it at my lesson. A couple flubs, but I actually played it like I meant it! My teacher said, "Okay, good. Let's move on to the development." (He doesn't give enthusiastic praise.) But I knew that practicing was worth it!
Posted By: Basia C.

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 09/20/10 05:27 PM

Well done Tubbie and MaryBee!!!

Tubbie, so why would you have a lesson if there was nothing to correct? smile Be happy you have a teacher as a travelling companion on your journey. Really, they are there to cheer for you, and to help you learn new things, and can see your progress even if you try to mask it by forgetting things you practiced forever. grin
Posted By: Tubbie0075

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 09/20/10 09:29 PM

It was shattering because I would make good progress with the Bach in one lesson then regress in the next lesson, then progress again but regress after that. I felt so stupid and useless even though the teacher has always been encouraging.

I guess you are right. The teacher is there to help me learn. I look forward to redeem myself in the next lesson!
Posted By: sarahsays

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 09/20/10 10:44 PM

My recent achievement was pulling out cassette tape recordings (that sounds so archaic!) of piano lessons with a sensational jazz teacher I studied with and was able to hear his interpretation of "The Man I Love" which I'm now emulating. It's been several years and it was great to dust the recordings off.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 10/11/10 10:31 AM

Today I managed to play my Franck piece almost perfectly for my teacher (after totally flubbing it at our last lesson, despite knowing it quite well).

Though there were a couple of errors, I played it really smoothly, and with much better flow and feeling - I knew it was going well, and when she said "BRAVA" I really knew I'd earned it.

It was wonderful.

The othe achievement this week is of a different nature....... I chose my acoustic piano and it will be delivered on 21 October.
[Linked Image]
(One of my friends is at the keyboard, the pic is from my cell phone!)



Posted By: Maharishi

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 10/11/10 11:43 AM

Hello Cheryl!

Well done for getting it right! You most certainly must have deserved your “BRAVA”!

I used to find that I knew a piece “quite well”, but when it came to playing in public (or in front of even just one person), I might “fluff” parts of it. Often, when I next played, it was better. A lot of this is “all in the mind”, I think.

Now too, I will go back to the part or parts that I didn’t play to my satisfaction, practice the section(s) slowly and then progressively to tempo: that seems to do wonders the next time around!

Anyhow, congratulations for that, and of course for your new acquisition - it looks a lovely instrument!

You’ve already read about what got me excited during the week, so I won’t repeat myself again here!

Good luck smile

Posted By: FarmGirl

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 10/11/10 03:31 PM

I am impressed with everyone's accomplishments. I have been sick for 4 weeks with bronchites and could not do much besides clickin on the forum and listening to the Chopin Intl competition. The medicine started working yesterday and I tried playing scales and hannon. I was very happy to do that although I had to cough from time to time.
Posted By: MaryBee

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 10/11/10 06:44 PM

Originally Posted by casinitaly
Today I managed to play my Franck piece almost perfectly for my teacher (after totally flubbing it at our last lesson, despite knowing it quite well).

Ha ha. I know what you mean about the teacher's presence affecting your playing. I'm thinking of getting a photo of my teacher, and then when I think I really know a piece, put the picture up on top of my piano and try to play it again.* I'm sure it would make me totally mess up.

* just kidding!
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 10/11/10 06:48 PM

Cheryl,

Congrats on the Franck piece, and oooooooo-aaaaahhhhh wow double congrats on the beautiful piano. Fill us in on the details of why this one said "I belong to you."
Posted By: pianoist d'amore

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 10/11/10 07:22 PM

I think I might surprise my teacher in my next lesson that I can play HT C major scale (4 octaves) at M.M. 60 (though it's only Hanon's minimal tempo requirement). I don't think he'd expect that from a beginner who started learning piano only two months ago. I'm ready to move on to G major and D major now. When everything else falls apart, scales are always there holding up the fort. That's how I feel sometimes. :-)
Posted By: Sande

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 10/11/10 08:50 PM

yeh right one d"amore..!
I figured that practising scales DOES pay off allot.

My accomplise this week is that I can play chopin prelude op 28. no4 well, and are being credited that my chopin waltz was on of the best versions somebody heard which makes me more eager to learn.
Posted By: TrapperJohn

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 10/11/10 10:27 PM

Finished work on and recorded Carpenter's bittersweet Christmas song "Merry Christmas, Darling" (no, it's not too early - only about 75 shopping days left).

Continuing work and making real progress on Schubert's "Waltz in B Minor" (very lovely piece of music).

JF
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 10/12/10 06:18 PM

I love reading about everyone's progress and activities!
Christmas music already - mamma mia.... I suppose it is time to be getting ready!

Jim... why was this one the "one"... Well, keeping my budget constraints in mind narrowed the field smile

However, .... I'd been to the dealer before, and tried out several, ..this time I had planned to try a few others that I'd not seen before.

I tried a Kawai, and we all agreed that it sounded muddy - my husband said it was just darn unpleasant!

We tinkered about.. and then they said, we have some with silent mode.
My friend strolled over and played a bit on one of them, and it was nice, so I tried a bit, but when I paused, my friend tried the one beside it - and although the two pianos were practically twins (serial numbers just a few digits apart).... the sounds was totally different.

I was immediately drawn to it - literally - I felt like a magnet was pulling me. It made me say "ooooooooooh!, what have we here?".
When I sat down to play I loved the feel of it - just enough resistence to be comfortable.

I've already re-organized the living room in preparation for the delivery!
and yes... pics will follow!

cheers!
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 10/12/10 06:32 PM

Sounds like your piano found you, Cheryl.

Now I have an announcement. ......drumroll........

I'm beginning a search for an acoustic. Not in a rush and have to work out where it will go in the house. But a grand is likely. Wooohooo, now I just have to allow a piano to find me like you did. grin
Posted By: GlassLove

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 10/12/10 07:25 PM

Ahhhhh!!!! Congrats Jim!!!! I hope that you find "the one" as quickly as Cheryl found hers!!!
I still haven't found mine, but I keep looking and looking and looking.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 10/12/10 09:02 PM

Originally Posted by JimF
Sounds like your piano found you, Cheryl.

Now I have an announcement. ......drumroll........

I'm beginning a search for an acoustic. Not in a rush and have to work out where it will go in the house. But a grand is likely. Wooohooo, now I just have to allow a piano to find me like you did. grin

Oh Jim, that's wonderful news!!!!

If I weren't so excited about my own piano arriving, I might just be a tad jealous of you getting a grand - but as I'm so thrilled.... I'm just really happy that you get to go for the grand! Keep us posted as your search unfolds!

You too Glasslove - we want to know about your shopping too!
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 10/12/10 09:06 PM

Now I just have to break the news to my wife. Doh!!!
This is going to cost me a living room full of new furniture I suspect.
Oh well, the piano will need classy company.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 10/12/10 09:09 PM

Originally Posted by JimF

This is going to cost me a living room full of new furniture I suspect.


Yes, I know what you mean. I have a feeling that a very large flat screen tv is in going to appear in our house in the next few months... fair is fair eh?
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 10/17/10 09:23 PM

Ok, so this week has been slow. I'm doing some physio for the arthritis and the tendonitis in my right hand pinkie..... so I've only been playing with my left hand. A bit weird, but it has had an interesting and unexpected result.

First, I was working on memorizing one of my pieces, so decided to memorize the left hand to start with. As I was so focused on just the one hand (on a piece I actually know very well, just not by heart), I found myself really working on the weight of my hand and fingers and really felt like I was reducing tension significantly. (I've been making improvements gradually over the past month or so, but this felt like a leap forward on top of what I've done).


The other things I noticed, through working on only one half of the piece, were the patterns - I saw them with new eyes (or maybe heard them with new ears!) I found small details that had escaped me me before, and similarities to other pieces I had never noticed.
I just feel that everything fits together better than before.

I also realized that working on the memorization after I've been playing a piece for a bit is actually a lot easier than trying to memorize nd learn it at the same time.

All very interesting. ....Tomorrow I will share these thoughts with my teacher.

and ...... 4 more sleeps til my acoustic arrives smile :):)

Posted By: 2picky4most

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 10/17/10 11:22 PM



After reading elsewhere on this site that some are beginning to look at Christmas music, I decided to dig out the 3 songs I had "learned" for last Christmas. They are: Fum, Fum, Fum; Silent Night, & the almost never ending 12 Days of Christmas. I remember having problems with correct L-hand fingering with Fum,& similarly with the 12 Days piece. After looking over the pieces, & doing a quick hands separate for a couple of measures I went for broke & played the 3 of them all the way through. SURPRISE, SURPRISE, I had no problems, fingering or otherwise. The brain & hands were in sync, for once. It sure felt good. I guess I have improved since last year. smile


Posted By: dat77

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 10/18/10 02:44 AM

I have just finished my level 2 keith snell books and now I will be starting level 3. I am also thinking about christmas music to buy.
Posted By: Pianosaurus Rex

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 10/18/10 08:51 AM

Originally Posted by 2picky4most


After reading elsewhere on this site that some are beginning to look at Christmas music, I decided to dig out the 3 songs I had "learned" for last Christmas. They are: Fum, Fum, Fum; Silent Night, & the almost never ending 12 Days of Christmas. I remember having problems with correct L-hand fingering with Fum,& similarly with the 12 Days piece. After looking over the pieces, & doing a quick hands separate for a couple of measures I went for broke & played the 3 of them all the way through. SURPRISE, SURPRISE, I had no problems, fingering or otherwise. The brain & hands were in sync, for once. It sure felt good. I guess I have improved since last year. smile




It feels so great to revisit stuff that used to trouble you in the past, and realise it's actually quite easy now.
There isn't a better indicator of progress, and few things are more satisfying than that! Congratulations!
Posted By: molto_agitato

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 10/19/10 05:45 AM

Originally Posted by casinitaly
and ...... 4 more sleeps til my acoustic arrives smile :):)

How exciting! I've been taking lessons for three years now; during the first two years I practiced on a digital keyboard before I bought an acoustic (an upright). During this last year, doing the majority of my practicing on an acoustic has improved certain aspects of my playing. Moreover, I prefer playing the acoustic instead of the digital. My only problem: now I want a grand grin

Anyway, for the last couple of months my teacher has been having me work on arpeggios in two ocataves, hands together. Previously, I had spend around two years working on arpeggios in hand-over-hand form. When I first started these two octave HT arpeggios, they seemed impossible, and I doubted I would ever become proficient with them. But, they get a little better with each week, so I consider that an accomplishment.

Also, I'm working on a prelude by J.S. Bach, BWV 925, and the voicing is coming along nicely.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 10/19/10 05:51 AM

I am still doing arpeggios with just one hand, one octave! I have a way to go smile


I love reading about everyone's progress! It is great to see that revisited material is coming together, targets are being reached, books completed, and general satisfaction and contentment reign!
Posted By: Tubbie0075

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 10/19/10 09:22 AM

Rather than writing, I just share my progress in a video, which I posted in another message:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUCICFnLAaA
Posted By: CebuKid

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 10/19/10 04:22 PM

I got out of my "funk" (see other thread) thanks to all of your encouraging words.

I also played some music from my childhood book for sight-reading practice, and also, to help guide my daughter with her sight-reading too. After 2 years as an adult "restarter" (this month was my 2 year anniversary) I can now actually make these kiddie pieces sound "musical." smile

So, this has been a good week. I'm re-focused and re-energized!

Posted By: GlassLove

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 10/19/10 04:58 PM

yippie

Glad to hear it Cebukid. I am approaching my first year anniversary. I started from ground zero so my yearly progress is likely slower than yours, but I watched your video and found it pretty inspirational. Maybe I can reach just half your level by the time I have two years under my belt.
Posted By: CebuKid

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 10/19/10 05:30 PM

Originally Posted by GlassLove
yippie

Glad to hear it Cebukid. I am approaching my first year anniversary. I started from ground zero so my yearly progress is likely slower than yours, but I watched your video and found it pretty inspirational. Maybe I can reach just half your level by the time I have two years under my belt.


GlassLove, I find folks like you who start from ground zero simply amazing! My "advantage" of learning during childhood is huge, but yet, lots of you guys are much better and faster than learners than I am. Keep it up! smile
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 10/19/10 05:45 PM

Originally Posted by CebuKid
I got out of my "funk" (see other thread) thanks to all of your encouraging words.

I also played some music from my childhood book for sight-reading practice, and also, to help guide my daughter with her sight-reading too. After 2 years as an adult "restarter" (this month was my 2 year anniversary) I can now actually make these kiddie pieces sound "musical." smile

So, this has been a good week. I'm re-focused and re-energized!


Wonderful! I listened to your piece in the other thread, -... wow, I would love to be able to play like that! I've got a way to go though.... I'm not even at my 1 year mark smile
..... but I do have an acoustic piano arriving in about 40 hours smile
Posted By: MaryBee

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 10/19/10 07:16 PM

CebuKid, I did a bunch of sight reading too last night out of my favorite "old" book, Easy Classics to Moderns. What a fun break from actually practicing. BTW, enjoyed listening to your playing.

casinitaly, we're counting down with you! smile
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 10/19/10 09:21 PM

CebuKid - glad to hear our master of rags is back on his horse. There seem to be a lot of technical challenges in the material you take on, so its not surprising if it wears on you from time to time. You sounded great to me.

Cheryl - You must by dying of anticipation right about now. Try not to wear your fingers to the nub playing all day when your new baby finally arrives smile

Just got back from my lesson and, thankfully, all went well this week. Misty sounded great on teacher's accoustic - I just love those big seventh chords - and she paid me a very nice compliment. Whether it was true or not, I don't know, but I sure will take it.

Will start putting HT on the Chopin prelude this week, so its coming along. It may be the saddest piece of music ever written, but I love it. Every time I hear it I picture him fighting with his girlfriend George Sands while they are wintering in some dreary monastery in Spain or something. I know he wrote a bunch of preludes under circumstances like that, not sure if the E-minor was one of them.

Started in on Embraceable You for my next piece out of the Coates book. What a Difference a Day Made will have to wait a few weeks.

I'm glad to be able to play a few of these old standards and I'm going to try and keep them up and playable for a time, particularly while I'm looking for a piano. Gotta have something other than scales to use while auditioning pianos. blush Also, we're going on a short cruise at the end of the month, which is going to test my MOYD chops once again. Like I did in Vegas this summer, I'll be looking for a lounge piano aboard so I can sneak in some pre-dawn practice time. Wonder what the going rate is for bribing lounge cleaning crew at sea? wink
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 10/20/10 11:26 AM

Thanks for sharing my enthusiasm folks, it really makes everything all the more delightful!

Jim, a cruise! Very nice.... you'll have to let us know how the bribes work out.
I'll have to check the Chopin piece, I can't think of what it sounds like, but Eminor sounds sad to start with!

Marybee, isn't it fun to just relax with pieces that USED to be hard but are not easy?

Be back tomorrow this time... with pics smile
Posted By: btb

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 10/20/10 03:27 PM

Hi Cheryl,

Here’s the famous Chopin Prelude 28-4 in E minor that Jim is talking about ... everybody takes to this gem in entry to the magic world of Chopin ... it’s a 25 measure Largo with a haunting RH single-note outline over a LH bed of repeating
3-note chords which gently descend ... with a foxy little turn at m16 before returning to the LH chordal motif ... and closing on 3 grand sustained chords ... back to the E minor keynote.

Just faxed Chopin ... telling him about the 21 October delivery of your little piano ... he says that his Prelude in E minor should prove just your cup of tea ... but he added ... after
E minor there are 23 more Preludes waiting in the wings.

Every good wish with your new piano adventure ... kind regards.

[Linked Image]
Posted By: Andy Platt

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 10/20/10 03:42 PM

Originally Posted by btb
Hi Cheryl,

Here’s the famous Chopin Prelude 28-4 in E minor that Jim is talking about ... everybody takes to this gem in entry to the magic world of Chopin ...


I took the gem of prelude 28-7 as my entry. 28-4 is on my to do list. Just waiting for Santa to bring me Chopin: An Introduction to his Piano Works (Book & CD) for Christmas. Yeah, I know I can get it online for free, but it's not like I'm going to have time for a while anyway wink

I realize I haven't posted any achievements recently. I think small, steady progress is what's happening ... and that's any achievement, just not "of the week"!
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 10/20/10 04:53 PM

@btb - you are such a sweetie! Thank you ! I listened to a youtube video of this piece, while reading the music. What an elegant piece; I can see why it is a good "starter" Chopin! I will certainly be giving it a try.

It really is melancholy, but beautiful. I love those last reverberating chords.

Jim, you'll have to let us hear you when you are comfortable with your performance, I'm serious!

Andy ... small steady progress is what we all aim for!
...and you've now given me yet another book to add to my music wishlist!

Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 10/20/10 06:34 PM

Quote
... everybody takes to this gem in entry to the magic world of Chopin ...


Well, I should have taken the E-minor Prelude as my maiden Chopin voyage. What I actually did start with is the A-minor Waltz Op.Pos., which I barely survived as a Chopin starter.

What's really neat about reaching a point where we can start studying pieces like the Chopin is that you can envision playing them for many, many years. Getting the right notes at the right time is just the beginning. These pieces offer all kinds of little nuances of technique and opportunities for individual expression. Also, there's this feeling of connection - with all of the students that have studied and will study the same pieces, as well as with the composer him/herself.
Posted By: Pianosaurus Rex

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 10/20/10 08:50 PM

Originally Posted by btb
Hi Cheryl,

Here’s the famous Chopin Prelude 28-4 in E minor that Jim is talking about ... everybody takes to this gem in entry to the magic world of Chopin ... it’s a 25 measure Largo with a haunting RH single-note outline over a LH bed of repeating
3-note chords which gently descend ... with a foxy little turn at m16 before returning to the LH chordal motif ... and closing on 3 grand sustained chords ... back to the E minor keynote.

Just faxed Chopin ... telling him about the 21 October delivery of your little piano ... he says that his Prelude in E minor should prove just your cup of tea ... but he added ... after
E minor there are 23 more Preludes waiting in the wings.

Every good wish with your new piano adventure ... kind regards.

http://www.pianoworld.com/Uploads/files/fc28-4prelude.JPG



Ahh! The e minor prelude! It never ceases to amaze me how Chopin managed to write such a beautiful heartwrenching peace of music with such a simplistic melody on top of chromatically descending chords.

I've got the sheet music to that somewhere in my collection, and I could probably play the notes, but I have it on hold.
I want to wait until my technique is better, I don't want to botch the piece with half decent playing. :P

Originally Posted by JimF
These pieces offer all kinds of little nuances of technique and opportunities for individual expression.


That's the sort of thing I meant! laugh
Posted By: btb

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 10/21/10 03:43 AM

Can’t fault your working list Jim.

Working on:
Embraceable You - G.Gershwin
Prelude in E Minor - Chopin Op.28-4
Misty - Erroll Garner
As Time Goes By - H.Hupfield

Am reminded that "As Time Goes By" is from the movie Casablanca
with Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman ... and Sam at the piano singing

"You must remember this, a kiss is still a kiss, A sigh is just a sigh;
The fundamental things apply, As Time Goes By.
And when two lovers woo, they still say “I love you”, On that you can rely;
No matter what the future brings, As Time Goes By.”

Have you seen the movie "Play Misty For Me"
(Clint Eastwood)
in which Erroll Garner’s classic "Misty" is featured?
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 10/21/10 08:46 AM

It's here!

Yamaha P112N-S, 7 years old, with silent option! (You can see a smidge of my digital in this one too..in the bottom corner!

[Linked Image]

The first thing I played was Danny Boy smile
Then a couple of pieces I know by heart - my Vinciguerra pieces, then Doll's Complaint and Candore... now... a bit of Moonlight seranade and then perhaps I'll take a shot at some Chopin?

I'm supposed to also do some grocery shopping and ironing. What are the odds that some things just won't get done today smile

Posted By: GlassLove

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 10/21/10 09:11 AM

Its absolutely beautiful!!! Congratulations, Cheryl.
Posted By: btb

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 10/21/10 09:41 AM

My watchword (post-shopping) is ...
and that’s provided there’s no chance of running out of tea, milk and sugar ...

"to heck with the chores ... when the piano needs playing"

The cuppa is needed to fully savour my recordings after a spell at the piano.

Congratulations Cheryl on delivery of your piano ... and Danny Boy starters ... take my fond advice ... "to heck with the chores" ... there are much bigger fish to fry.

PS You might need to buy a carpet to soak up the hard floor and wall surfaces seen in the photo ... just a thought.
Posted By: joyoussong

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 10/21/10 03:28 PM

Gorgeous!!! Enjoy!!! & let us know how the silencer works.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 10/21/10 04:49 PM

Yes, I think I'll be using the silencer on and off til I get used to it smile
and yes, I might need something on the floor..... we shall see.

I'm a little disappointed in that it seems a bit out of tune - it actually sounded better in the shop before it had been (supposedly) fine-tuned.
I'm not worried, but I do think it needs another going over by a technician.

The hard thing is to stay away from it, as I'm supposed to be resting my hands for about another week. arghh.....
We have guests coming for the weekend and we'll be quite busy, so that will help!
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 10/21/10 06:19 PM

Thats just great, Cheryl. Looks terrific. How do like the Coates arrangements so far?

Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 10/21/10 06:27 PM

Thanks Jim!
I really like the Coates arrangements - they sound right, even with my skill level!

smile
Posted By: joyoussong

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 10/21/10 07:27 PM

My big achievement (today!) was to get one of the etudes I'm practicing his week to actually sound like music. It's in 3/4 time, with a left hand that consists entirely of long strings of either B-G or C-G half notes (so each measure is either B-G-B-G-B-G or C-G-C-G-C-G.) I was finding the left hand part super hard to play legato with any degree of control. It sounded SO mechanical, & I was really starting to HATE this etude. But I stuck to the rules, & practiced measure by measure, first hands separately ad nauseum, then hands together each measure 3 or 4 times each, starting with the most difficult. Luckily, it repeats a lot, so there are only about 8 different measures in the whole thing. & after I did that for about half an hour, I put it all together, & it's beginning to sound like music. I even got some dynamics working!! So, by my lesson next Thursday I should have it down.

I have 3 etudes & 2 complicated scale runs to practice for this 2-week period, & so far, the scale runs are the ones I'm enjoying most. But I seem to have learned something from the one I liked the least.
Posted By: CebuKid

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 10/23/10 03:56 AM

Well, I am officially taking a little break from playing stuff over my head, and will now concentrate on Grade 4-6 (ish) stuff for awhile.

I just played through, HT, page 1 of Waltz in A-minor (posthumous)! Granted it wasn't quite at tempo, but I covered lots of ground in about an hour (for me). smile

Starting this piece and finishing up a page capped off a good week for me.

PS-I am not versed in Chopin terminology yet...was this published after he died?
Posted By: CebuKid

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 10/23/10 03:59 AM

Originally Posted by casinitaly
It's here!

Yamaha P112N-S, 7 years old, with silent option! (You can see a smidge of my digital in this one too..in the bottom corner!

[Linked Image]

The first thing I played was Danny Boy smile
Then a couple of pieces I know by heart - my Vinciguerra pieces, then Doll's Complaint and Candore... now... a bit of Moonlight seranade and then perhaps I'll take a shot at some Chopin?

I'm supposed to also do some grocery shopping and ironing. What are the odds that some things just won't get done today smile



A BIG CONGRATS to you, Cheryl. I am green with envy. Yes, you should play Chopin. I just started Chopin myself and wish I could play it on a nice Yamaha. smile
Posted By: btb

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 10/23/10 08:10 AM

Hi CebuKid,

Congratulations on your choice of Waltz in A minor (posthumous) by Chopin

Here’s the first page of 2 for reference .

Explaining the “posthumous” tag ... on his deathbed Chopin asked for all his inferior works to be burnt (and he set very high standards) ... his close friend with an unpronounceable Polish name was the trustee ... in spite of this however ... certain works slipped through the cracks ... and this is one.

Clearly a very youthful Chopin work ... possibly at the age of 17 ... the key is C major ... with early showings of his rhythmic LH “twin double chord” waltz motif ... in later years he was to vary the 2 chords to great effect ... the tinny RH top register tweak of the last four measures on p1 would have had Chopin pitching the work into the waste-paper basket ... someone obviously fished it out and hid it away.

Don’t we all wish someone might discover yet another Chopin posthumous work.

[Linked Image]

Posted By: TrapperJohn

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 10/23/10 11:14 AM

Just got a decent recording of Schubert's lovely little gem "Waltz in B Minor" - will probably submit it to an upcoming Piano Bar or Recital.

JF
Posted By: Rui725

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 10/23/10 11:17 AM

Originally Posted by btb
Hi CebuKid,

Congratulations on your choice of Waltz in A minor (posthumous) by Chopin

Here’s the first page of 2 for reference .

Explaining the “posthumous” tag ... on his deathbed Chopin asked for all his inferior works to be burnt (and he set very high standards) ... his close friend with an unpronounceable Polish name was the trustee ... in spite of this however ... certain works slipped through the cracks ... and this is one.

Clearly a very youthful Chopin work ... possibly at the age of 17 ... the key is C major ... with early showings of his rhythmic LH “twin double chord” waltz motif ... in later years he was to vary the 2 chords to great effect ... the tinny RH top register tweak of the last four measures on p1 would have had Chopin pitching the work into the waste-paper basket ... someone obviously fished it out and hid it away.

Don’t we all wish someone might discover yet another Chopin posthumous work.

[Linked Image]



A-minor actually.
Posted By: MaryBee

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 10/23/10 03:23 PM

cas, congratualations! Yes, definitely try some Chopin when you get a chance. The Chopin 28/4 was one of the pieces I was playing when I made the transition from my digital to acoustic. Oh, what a lovely difference!
Posted By: Canonie

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 10/24/10 05:06 AM

Originally Posted by joyoussong
My big achievement (today!) was to get one of the etudes I'm practicing his week to actually sound like music. It's in 3/4 time, with a left hand that consists entirely of long strings of either B-G or C-G half notes (so each measure is either B-G-B-G-B-G or C-G-C-G-C-G.) I was finding the left hand part super hard to play legato with any degree of control. It sounded SO mechanical, & I was really starting to HATE this etude. But I stuck to the rules, & practiced measure by measure, first hands separately ad nauseum, then hands together each measure 3 or 4 times each, starting with the most difficult. Luckily, it repeats a lot, so there are only about 8 different measures in the whole thing. & after I did that for about half an hour, I put it all together, & it's beginning to sound like music. I even got some dynamics working!! So, by my lesson next Thursday I should have it down.

I have 3 etudes & 2 complicated scale runs to practice for this 2-week period, & so far, the scale runs are the ones I'm enjoying most. But I seem to have learned something from the one I liked the least.

That sounds like a seriously good breakthrough joyoussong. Hope the teacher was impressed smile

My big breakthrough was to start up my practice log notebook again. After just 2 days I already feel more focused. I've had 4 months of just playing my known pieces, relaxing and enjoying myself. But I'll become bored if I don't put the effort in and learn some new pieces! crazy
Posted By: CebuKid

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 10/24/10 07:01 AM

Originally Posted by btb
Hi CebuKid,

Congratulations on your choice of Waltz in A minor (posthumous) by Chopin

Here’s the first page of 2 for reference .

Explaining the “posthumous” tag ... on his deathbed Chopin asked for all his inferior works to be burnt (and he set very high standards) ... his close friend with an unpronounceable Polish name was the trustee ... in spite of this however ... certain works slipped through the cracks ... and this is one.

Clearly a very youthful Chopin work ... possibly at the age of 17 ... the key is C major ... with early showings of his rhythmic LH “twin double chord” waltz motif ... in later years he was to vary the 2 chords to great effect ... the tinny RH top register tweak of the last four measures on p1 would have had Chopin pitching the work into the waste-paper basket ... someone obviously fished it out and hid it away.

Don’t we all wish someone might discover yet another Chopin posthumous work.



Wow, this piece is far from being an "inferior work." It's such a beautiful and sad piece. I've been listening to lots of different versions this past weekend. I can't wait 'til I'm able to play it too. smile

PS- Ah, here is some background info. on this piece:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waltz_in_A_minor_%28Chopin%29

Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 10/24/10 02:04 PM

We've had company so I've not been online much.
Looks like a lot of us are becoming Chopin lovers !
Posted By: KurtZ

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 10/24/10 03:48 PM

I've been getting back into my Blues book. I like classical, indeed, very much so but I grew up on rock and all those dominant 7's and flat 5's just sound like home.

Kurt
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 10/25/10 08:07 PM

Have fun with it, CebuKid. Measure 21 eventually got the better of me, but I'm sure with your background playing those fast rags you will be handling this in no time. I can still hear meas 21 in my head, both the way it should sound, and then also the way it sounded (ugh) when I played it. Its a lovely piece. Wasn't it first published in something as recent as like the early 1950's?

Jim
Posted By: Greg Curtis

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 10/25/10 10:11 PM

Placing my order with Sweetwater for my brand new Roland RD700NX piano!!
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 10/25/10 10:26 PM

Cebukid... well, it seems it was Chopin who called it inferior, so ....hey, it was his piece of music, - we don't have to agree with him. He was probably is own worst critic.

Greg -getting a new piano! Yipee , how exciting!

Today I managed to maintain my volume while playing at the school, even though the piano was in the auditorium (which made it seem MUCH louder) - and even though there were still a lot of (non-music) teachers, and some workmen in the building. I'm definitely getting used to being louder. This is good.

smile

Posted By: Maharishi

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 10/27/10 08:27 PM

Originally Posted by Greg Curtis
Placing my order with Sweetwater for my brand new Roland RD700NX piano!!


Great news, Greg!! Let me/us know how you find it!!

PS

I'm off sick so no real news.. sick
Posted By: raskdog

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 10/27/10 09:18 PM

I can now play Lady Di, one of my next exam pieces, through note for note. Now, just to increase the tempo.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 11/20/10 02:47 PM

Well, we've been quiet lately? Nothing satisfying going on?

I had a "piano party" to celebrate the arrival of my acoustic - it was loads of fun. My teacher (and now friend), another pianist friend, and an accordian playing friend came over and we had a blast.
The accordian player's wife and my husband took care of some of the in-between course things as the rest of us dashed back to the living room to play (please note that I HAD prepared all the major stuff, I wasn't abandonning my role as hostess!)

We had a super time with duets, trios, quartets, improvising (um, not me, but the rest of them!) - and we've planned an evening of Christmas music for December.

My satisfaction recently has to do with
a) starting to use the pedal a bit more (still makes me feel weird but I'm also getting used to the whole sound and feel of an acoustic, so that's to be expected I think)
b) getting a great book of Christmas carols (Joy of Christmas) which I can "grow into" but also am able to enjoy by cutting out some of the double notes thoughout.
c) helping myself memorize a piece by studying the relationships of the notes (which fit into common chord structures)alternating between left and right hand.

What is everyone else up to?
Posted By: MaryBee

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 11/20/10 09:52 PM

Cheryl, sounds like you're really enjoying your piano and all the new things you're learning. And a piano party too -- how fun!

My accomplishments lately have been to finish three of the pieces I was working on: the Mendelssohn Song Without Words 19/1 that I played for the online ABF recital, J.S.Bach Prelude in C major from the Well-Tempered Clavier (which I found to be a little boring), and Mozart Sonata in C minor K.457, 1st movement. I got a high-five from my teacher on that one when I performed it at my last lesson smile smile , and I'll be playing it tomorrow at a family recital. Now it's on to my first Beethoven piece. I'm listening to some of his sonatas now, and will choose a movement from one of those. This is always an exciting time, picking out a new piece to work on and getting to know it.
Posted By: thumper49

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 12/03/10 03:43 AM

Well, this was actually the achievement of a couple of weeks ago, but I've been off the boards for a while, so I'm sure nobody minds if I report it now: I finished another method book and am now getting started with book 4 of the Suzuki Piano School. Starting a new book is always a great motivator for me. Give it a few more weeks before I start getting fed up with the first two pieces.

Cheryl, nice to see you got your acoustic. Sounds like you're really having fun with it. Your teacher sounds a lot like mine with respect to memorization: she'd love it if I could do it, but I just don't have the capacity any more. I can sometimes play a melody from memory, but both hands together? Not happening.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 12/03/10 06:23 AM

MaryBee, what fun to get a high five from your teacher! (Do you know, I only recently realized that the Song without Words was not 1 single piece but a whole slew of pieces?...ah live and learn, that's one of the beauties of this forum, so many people to learn from!)
How did your family recital go?

Thumper - congrats on your progress, how satisfying!!!
I know it can get a bit boring to repeat pieces....use other material to work on sight reading or just play pieces you've got down pat so you can really feel this move forward.

My week has been pretty low key. With the help of my teacher I "clicked" into a fixing a problem with my scales. Somehow no matter what I did I was far too often finishing my scales with the right hand in the wrong position.
A single comment from my teacher made me realize conciously what I was doing and now, almost effortlessly, the problem is solved.

I've been working on sight reading and trying to improvise a bit - I'm working on Oh Holy Night as an exercise in keeping left hand soft and right hand strong.......so far my success is quite limited, but I'll keep at it. (I wonder if the neighbours will object to Christmas music in July? lol)

Posted By: Kymber

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 12/03/10 07:00 PM

My achievement this week wasn't in my playing. It was a realization I came to while I was in the practice room. I made a promise to myself that I would take advantage of this wonderful benefit we have at work a go the the practice room during my lunch break a couple days a week (still practicing daily at home).

While I was there the other day some thoughts came to mind as I was hearing some of the other people playing (even thought they have the sound proof stuff on the walls you can still hear others play). At first I thought that I really shouldn't be there or that I didn't deserve to be there because I'm not that good and wondered if my playing was distracting the "real" piano players (I know this sounds ridiculous but it was this type of thinking that I learned growing up and despite all the work that I have done it still seems to pop up once in a while). Then I came to my senses-of course I deserve to be here! and this kind of thinking isn't getting me anywhere.

I also realized I was really only putting in enough practice to get by/to get through my lessons. It was like this is what I believe is possible for me to achieve and so I kept myself at that level. So its time I start seeing myself as a better pianist/musician and believe that this is possible for me. I will only get out of it what I put into it. (I know that is obvious but I had to believe first).

Finally, I need to play on an acoustic piano more often so the sound will be more even.


Posted By: Kymber

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 12/03/10 07:06 PM

Originally Posted by casinitaly
With the help of my teacher I "clicked" into a fixing a problem with my scales. Somehow no matter what I did I was far too often finishing my scales with the right hand in the wrong position.
A single comment from my teacher made me realize conciously what I was doing and now, almost effortlessly, the problem is solved.



Don't you love when that happens? I've had moments like that too. At first it's great mystery. Why is this happening? Then "Oh? Is that it?" Ok fixed!

One thing I got from this teacher that other teachers never showed me before is to know what note the fourth finger plays while doing multi octave scales. Just one of the many neat little tricks that have really helped me a lot.
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 12/03/10 08:51 PM

I haven't posted much lately, mainly because my search for an accoustic grand has taken up a lot of spare time.

Still working on perfecting the Chopin E minor prelude, adding una corda in places in addition to the regular pedal, lots of rubato pushing forward here, pulling back there, and trying to shape the melodic phrases. This is the first time I've really spent a lot of time on this type of thing and I'm amazed at all the choices you face. These are essentially new techniques for me, so there's a lot to learn. Things like trying to hold onto the repeating left hand chords until the last milisecond and then only allowing the fingers to rise just barely to the escapement point of the keys before sounding the chord again - wow, what a different effect this kind of stuff produces!

After working with my teacher on three or four of the lounge lizzard standards from the Dan Coates books, we decided that I can tackle these without her help - er, which is another way of saying its time to return to the heavy dosages of Bach. She assigned me the G minor minuet from AMB's Notebook this week and its coming along. Seems easier this time around, although she may just be warming me up with this tidbit for something tougher in a few weeks.

The Khatchachurian piece is really different and interesting. Kind of a haunting little melody that sets up some tension and then has a beautiful release. Its in C minor, so has a bit of that "off to the gulag" sound to it.
I'm hoping to finish it up in a week or two.

Oh, almost forgot, I pulled a fast one on my teacher this week - was supposed to assign myself a "throw-away piece" (those are too hard to sight read, but too easy to study seriously, just learn as well as you can in a week then toss them aside) but I chose one out of Coates 1960's book "Sounds of Silence" by Paul Simon. I'll get as far into it in a week as I can, but I doubt I'll really toss it aside at that point. So far so good. It has all these pretty broken chords - I don't think I've played a piece with broken chords since "Almonds and Raisins" in the old Alfred AIO days - LOL.

Well, thats about it. Hope you all are having fun.

Jim


Posted By: hoffy

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 12/03/10 09:34 PM

Can I play too?

Nice to see people sharing their achievements regarldess of how big and how small. An achievement of any level is worth while IMHO! Also interesting to hear the word "Coates" mentioned a few times. When I was doing lessons at school a long time ago, Dan Coates books were the only thing that kept me interested and even then, some of those books had the most dreary and boring modern music in them....But it appears that things may have changed a lot since! - Mental note, must check them out as some good practice material....

OK, I have achievements I would like to share as well.


  • Firstly, I have started regular practice! Last Friday, I found an online copy of a Bach Minuet. I remember doing this piece at a recital a long time ago, so I thought I would use this as a bit of an introduction. I am not sure whether it is what it actually is or it is a simplified version (I believe its the later), but it has been a good starting point, as I am familiar with the tune.

    My wife also bought for me an Alfred's book of Christmas Tunes (level 2). I have picked two from that book - Frosty and Rudolph - and have been practicing them as well.....looks like I am off and running!
  • I ordered our new Digital Piano! It's a Korg SP170. I know, a bit basic, but its a starting point. I pick it up today...but then I have a bit of a problem. It's a family Christmas present, so it has to remain in the box and under the bed until Christmas day. Oh well, my family will have to just get used to me playing on the out of tune acoustic a little longer.
  • Started the arduous task of finding a tutor. My original intentions was to go it alone for a while and see how I went. The more I thought about it, the more sense it makes to get some lessons. At this stage, I may use the group I send my daughters to, but if they don't do what I want to do (I want to learn Jazz and more modern music), I might have find someone else. Yes, to me, this is an achievement. I can be a big procrastinator....


Anyhow, glad I could share!

Cheers
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 12/03/10 10:56 PM

Hi Hoffy, welcome to the thread.

A while back (in this thread?) we were discussing a book of Dan Coates arrangements that a few of us have purchased. If you go to Amazon's site and type in "Dan Coates - 50 Lounge Standards" it should come up (its the one with a blue cover). They are nice arrangements and playable with some effort by what I would call late-elementary/early-intermediate players.

Congrats on your new digital, even if you do have to keep it hidden for a few more weeks.

Jim
Posted By: Little_Blue_Engine

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 12/03/10 11:11 PM

I finished memorizing The Beatles' "Two of Us". smile
Posted By: newpianogal

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 12/04/10 04:23 AM

Originally Posted by Canonie
Originally Posted by joyoussong
My big achievement (today!) was to get one of the etudes I'm practicing his week to actually sound like music. It's in 3/4 time, with a left hand that consists entirely of long strings of either B-G or C-G half notes (so each measure is either B-G-B-G-B-G or C-G-C-G-C-G.) I was finding the left hand part super hard to play legato with any degree of control. It sounded SO mechanical, & I was really starting to HATE this etude. But I stuck to the rules, & practiced measure by measure, first hands separately ad nauseum, then hands together each measure 3 or 4 times each, starting with the most difficult. Luckily, it repeats a lot, so there are only about 8 different measures in the whole thing. & after I did that for about half an hour, I put it all together, & it's beginning to sound like music. I even got some dynamics working!! So, by my lesson next Thursday I should have it down.

I have 3 etudes & 2 complicated scale runs to practice for this 2-week period, & so far, the scale runs are the ones I'm enjoying most. But I seem to have learned something from the one I liked the least.

That sounds like a seriously good breakthrough joyoussong. Hope the teacher was impressed smile

My big breakthrough was to start up my practice log notebook again. After just 2 days I already feel more focused. I've had 4 months of just playing my known pieces, relaxing and enjoying myself. But I'll become bored if I don't put the effort in and learn some new pieces! crazy


I'm intrigued... how do you use the notebook? Do you just log your practice hours, or do you write notes about things you're puzzling through?
Posted By: Canonie

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 12/04/10 06:28 AM

Hi NPgal
There are many ways you can log practice, you can choose what suits you at the time. I don't actually log the time (But that's a good idea, perhaps I should!). I log what Ive worked on. It can be very specific and detailed, or brief and general. Some days all a piece gets is it's name and a short comment of how it went. I can see "Bach fugue - a bit of work" as one entry.

But when I'm really working hard on a challenging piece I'll note the bar numbers, and the kind of work I did, I may note the metronome speed I reached. At one stage I even counted repititions for a particularly sticky bit in a piece. Anything thing that helps motivation and organisation. It helps move me out of the comfort zone of playing through known pieces, learning only easy pieces and grazing some easy sightreading, towards a period of real work where I tackle challenging (for me) pieces and try to improve generally.

I was logging the details of my armchair memory exercise too, which was very inspiring because I improved so much each day.

So I would say that my log helps me go from comfortable grazing to focused work.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 12/04/10 10:02 AM

Ah, great to hear from everyone! Welcome HOffy. I now have the Dan Coates book too Jim, and I'm enjoying it. My husband really wants me to learn As Time Goes By smile I wonder if my book is slightly a differentt one - I have Bridge over Troubled water, not Sounds of Silence?

Kymber you have piqued my curiousity about the 4th finger in multi-octave scales. I've never particularly noticed what happens there....lol... I know what I'll be doing at practice today!

Blue Engine - what fun to be working on the Beatles!

As for keeping the digital in the closet Hoffy...... at least you HAVE an acoustic and will be playing.
Last year we got my digital at the end of November, and I wasn't allowed to open it til Christmas.
If I had known how passionate I was going to be about piano, I would never have been able to wait it out.
When we started talking about getting a digital my husband said...ok, how about for Christmas - and I said "why do I have to wait that long?"
So, it is still my Christmas present - (and my birthday, and next Christmas too I think smile ) but we're both enjoying it ahead of time !

I was interested in reading about your log Cannonie. I keep notes but nothing so meticulous as you do. Mostly I make observations about where I'm having trouble solving something and I want to talk to my teacher about it, and notes about what I feel is starting to come together.
My teacher enouraged me to keep a "journal" of progress so that I could look back in 1 year and see how far I've come. She says that adults in particular have trouble evaluating their progress. I know she's right - I see it in my students (ESL) all the time.....one of the fascinating things about starting up with piano is being in the position of beginner learner myself. I have to put into practice what I preach to my own students about looking at how far they have come and accepting that the progress they want isn't going to happen overnight.
Posted By: MaryBee

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 12/04/10 06:31 PM

Cheryl - The family recital was such fun! This is the second year we've done this, and I hope it becomes an annual tradition. We had singing, dances, flute, violin, guitar, electric guitar, and piano performances. My parents, most of my siblings and their spouses, and many of the grandchildren were there. My performance had several flubs, most notably when my little nephew, who is not quite 2 years old, burst out singing "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" right in the middle of it. How do you play when you're laughing so hard? But the only one who noticed the mistakes was my husband, since he has heard me play it so many times at home. Everyone else just said how beautiful it was. I'm glad I got to share that with them.

Kymber - How lucky for you that you have a place to practice at lunch time! My lunch break is sometimes an exercise class, but often much less productive -- usually reading this forum! wink

JimF - How is the grand search going? Sometimes I long to have a grand piano at home (especially after playing on the one at my lesson). However, after playing on a little tinny Yamaha upright at my brother's house (see family recital note above) on which I could get no volume or dynamic range, I went home and apologized profusely to my upright, promising never to covet another piano again. wink

hoffy - Yes, you can play too! Welcome to the discussion. I think this was a great idea of Cheryl's to start this thread to celebrate our achievements. It helps us realize that we truly are making progress.

My achievement this week was getting through a difficult lesson and learning something from it. Now that I "kind of" have the notes down for two of the pieces I'm working on, my practice sessions were becoming a bit sloppy -- just playing through to enjoy the music, and letting the problem areas slide. My teacher saw this right away at Wednesday's lesson blush, and didn't want me to continue like that. So we spent most of the lesson going over how to practice. And practicing how to practice! Not a feel-good lesson, but a good lesson. Because then I went home and tried it, and I seem to be making some good progress again.
Posted By: WiseBuff

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 12/04/10 11:11 PM

Last year I bought the David Lanz Christmas eve book. Played the Christmas Waltz but struggled with the octaves on the fourth page...this year it sounds like music and I'm so enjoying it...I love Christmas music
Posted By: GlassLove

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 12/05/10 01:12 AM

How cool. Isn't it great to revisit things and find them easier??
Perhaps you should record it and share it on the Mr. S.H. link!!! Just a thought!
Posted By: Andy Platt

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 12/05/10 04:15 AM

I managed to sight read, with very large bumps(!), McDowell's "To a wild Rose". It's a beautiful piece and, though I murdered big chunks on my way through, I did play some phrases pretty well. It would have taken me three times as long, with five times the errors, six months ago!
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 12/05/10 08:39 AM

WiseBuff, that is great to hear! Inspirational!
Marybee - your family recital sounds lovely.
None of my family is nearby...... if they were I'd suggest we do this too! I'm hoping next summer I'll get to play with my nieces at least. And doesn't it feel good to sort things out during a lesson ? I think I always leave with greater enthusiasm after that sort of lesson.

Andy - good on you! ....and I think you'll have a special update for us soon?
Posted By: triptych317

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 12/06/10 12:10 AM

I had a recital today, and I managed to get through it without making a fool of myself, haha. It was mostly little kids and I was the second oldest there, so I wasn't all that nervous (at first...my hands started shaking halfway through.... DX). But it went alright though. I picked harder songs so that it would look like I've actually improved in the last 3 years laugh
Posted By: FarmGirl

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 12/06/10 07:16 AM

Triptych, congrats for your successful recital experience. It nice to come out of a recital feeling good about your performance. I am the oldest one in my teacher’s recital. She has lots of older students but so far I am the only one who does not mind making a complete fool out of herself.

My accomplishment today = I was actually practicing my next year’s recital piece. I am planning to play the 1st and 2nd movement of Beethoven Sonata Pathetique. I practiced the part that has been giving me hard time. It requires me to keep the inner voices soft while the outer voices crescendo with staccato. I played the outer voices only about 10 min. until I get the notes crescendo with staccato right. Then added the inner voices. After about an hour of struggle, I think I finally got it although I can only play them slower than it should.
Posted By: WiseBuff

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 12/06/10 12:37 PM

I've asked for a little ZoomQ for Christmas so I can be REALLY vulnerable and post recordings with PW. Next step...
Posted By: Andy Platt

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 12/06/10 05:10 PM

Originally Posted by casinitaly
Andy - good on you! ....and I think you'll have a special update for us soon?


Now I'm wondering what you are thinking about! If it's the recital then yup ... posted. If something else I'm not sure. Do I need to ask my wife any pointed questions?! wink
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 12/06/10 05:57 PM

MostImprovedDog when is your recital? These sound like "big" pieces!
WiseBuff, this is the safest environment you could hope for, for presenting your playing- don't feel vulnerable!

Andy, I meant the recital! I will go and look for your post on it!
Posted By: MaryBee

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 12/06/10 09:21 PM

Originally Posted by Andy Platt
Originally Posted by casinitaly
Andy - good on you! ....and I think you'll have a special update for us soon?


Now I'm wondering what you are thinking about! If it's the recital then yup ... posted. If something else I'm not sure. Do I need to ask my wife any pointed questions?! wink

Ha ha! I thought she meant you were expecting a baby soon. laugh

But congrats on the recital performance anyway. smile You need to add one of those pianos to your signature.
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 12/06/10 09:36 PM

Canonie. I have a notebook in which my teacher writes my assignments and any practice tips/commentary each week. In the back I keep a chronological list of all the pieces I've ever learned, and there's pages of notes I've made on some aspects of theory, a list of scales I've worked on, etc.

Your post gave me the idea to start writing on the assignment page each week. There is room for me to make an entry for each day's practice, which will be really helpful for remembering what was giving me problems the previous day, or where I need to start out the next day.

Cheryl. Its guilty admission time. You and I have the identical 50 Lounge Standards book by Coates. But <sheepish grin blush> I also went out and bought his book titled "best of the 1960's ", which is the one that has Sounds of Silence. Er...... ok, as long as I'm coming clean here... I also got his 1950's and 1930's "Decade of..." books. I did skip the 1940's book, so as you can see I have this addiction totally under control sick Whew, confession is good for the soul. I feel better already. cry
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 12/06/10 09:57 PM

MaryBee.

We all have those lapses where we get sloppy in practice habits - at least I do. The worst is when you realize that you are banging away at some phrase or couple of measures for 30 minutes or an hour and not getting it right. Its at that point I usually hear a voice in my head saying "nice going, genius, now you've practiced in the wrong way to do it."

Thats why having a teacher is so helpful. The weaknesses come out at lesson time and a good teacher will zero in on the problem and get you to focus on solutions.

The acoustic search continues. I've looked at a 70's era Baldwin, a ten year old Boston, and been to five dealerships in the last three or four weeks. Played on all kinds of pianos including Steinways, Mason&Hamlin, Yamaha, Kawaii, Boston, and a few of the chinese brands. Nothing has really grabbed me yet. The used Boston was very nice and priced right, but it was their smallest model (5'1") and I really want something 5 1/2 to 6 1/2 to get a bigger bass and longer keys. I'm very interested in Masons, but the two I looked at were very old and in poor shape, poorly prepared, and overpriced. I am working with a really good technician who is also helping me find private sale candidates.

Sooner or later something is going to say buy me (I hope). thumb
Posted By: FarmGirl

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 12/06/10 10:30 PM

Andy, I laughed so hard too. Wouldn't be funny if there was actually such update from your wife.
Posted By: FarmGirl

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 12/06/10 10:50 PM

My recital is in May 2011. Yeah, these are big pieces for me. It’s been taking while to learn them partly because I am busy and also I am lazy. I got myself a teacher so that someone else will put pressure on me. I’ve been with piano long enough that I know how to practice. It’s just “doing” is the hardest part. It’s much easier to play around Christmas songs than working on difficult 2 or 3 measures concentrating for a couple of hours trying to get it. My usual pattern is to start that sort of true practice the night before my lesson. My new year’s resolution is to include at least 3 days of real practice in my piano playing routines. Let’s see…
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 12/06/10 11:23 PM

TMID: (your name is really long!!! )
I'm working on improving my practice sessions too -but I'm also making sure I do a bit more "playing" smile I've got to keep my hard-learned pieces in my memory bank! smile

MaryBee I was wondering if Andy was wondering if he was going to have more news! lol....

JimF...... "Hello, My name is Jim, and I'm a sheet-music addict." smile
I'm glad you straighted out the mystery! I was feeling my book wasn't up to snuff! I'm so tempted to get more of the Dan Coates books, but I really need to wait a bit. I've already got alot of material (much of it given to me as gifts) that I can't really play!!!

You must be having fun shopping for your piano! I think my hunt was simplified by my space and budget constraints! I got the best piano for me at this moment..."fairly" quickly. It has taken me about a month but I finally feel I'm "almost" used to it! There are still some moments when I'm very startled at how loud it is. However, I also find it very interesting that I have almost NO interest in using the silent feature. If I'm dying to play late at night, I will... but for the rest, I'd almost rather not play than use the head phones. The silent sound is decent enough... but it just isn't the same thing.

I seem to have rambled a bit there.... oh well, just feeling in a good mood and a bit chatty.
Posted By: qtpi

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 12/07/10 03:12 AM

Achievement of the week- today, I was able to play Chopin's Farewell Walrz from memory for the first time! That is big for me because memory is my weakest link. I like to memorize because even though I use sheet music when I play, I play much better when the piece is memorized.
Posted By: molto_agitato

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 12/07/10 05:34 AM

I've been working on a little prelude by J.S. Bach, BWV 930. Most of the sonatinas I work on consist of melodies made up of scales passages, familiar broken chords, and basic I, IV, and V harmonies. By contrast, the pieces by J.S. Bach that I've studied are filled with intervals that are not very familiar to me, and there is a lot of awkward (awkward to me, that is), moving "deeper" into the white keys (toward the fallboard) to be able to better reach black notes. The result is, whereas I need few fingerings written in for the sonatina literature I've studied, I usually write in fingerings for every single note for J.S. Bach's pieces.

Anyway, I recently came across a book on the history of keyboard technique. In this book, there is a photograph of BWV 930, written in Bach's own hand, with Bach's own fingering for practically every note. Supposedly, this is one of the few pieces still in existence with J.S. Bach's own fingering. I compared Bach's fingerings with what I had written in, and lo and behold, except for two notes, all of the fingerings matched! So, this was a long winded way of saying perhaps I'm getting a better intuition for good fingering (hopefully).

It's a small victory, but I'll take what I can get!
Posted By: Canonie

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 12/07/10 11:13 AM

Originally Posted by molto_agitato
Anyway, I recently came across a book on the history of keyboard technique. In this book, there is a photograph of BWV 930, written in Bach's own hand, with Bach's own fingering for practically every note. Supposedly, this is one of the few pieces still in existence with J.S. Bach's own fingering. I compared Bach's fingerings with what I had written in, and lo and behold, except for two notes, all of the fingerings matched! So, this was a long winded way of saying perhaps I'm getting a better intuition for good fingering (hopefully).

It's a small victory, but I'll take what I can get!
Thinking like Bach - that's an excellent achievement of the week! smile
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 12/07/10 03:07 PM

How cool that you've got a photo of BWV 930 written in Bach's hand! and even better that your own fingering pretty much matches his!

In my Christmas book, there is a photo of the original handwritten Silent Night, which I thought was pretty nifty.
Posted By: PianoU1

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 12/07/10 03:31 PM

i took my grade 6 practical exam today and it went ok, no major slip-ups, just a couple of missed notes. So relieved it is over, think i did enough to pass, we shall see. My hand was shaking at one point but i managed to keep my cool! I'm looking forward now to taking a break and just playing new pieces.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 12/07/10 03:59 PM

GTPI - I had to go look up Chopin's Farewell waltz... It is very pretty - are you going to record it for us?

Piano U1 - CONGRATS! Mastering your nerves in an exam is a tough thing to do - I bet you feel very pleased.

Have fun relaxing with new pieces!
Posted By: PianoU1

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 12/07/10 06:18 PM

thankyou Cheryl.
Posted By: qtpi

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 12/07/10 06:23 PM

i am too computer illiterate and much too shy to post a recording. But I will post a recording someone made of the band I play flute in:

http://ptmvideo.blogspot.com/search/label/Family%20Events

We played Sunday night and I am in the second flute chair to the left of the director. I had to angle the flute out a little so I wouldn't hit the person next to me.


Posted By: WiseBuff

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 12/08/10 12:29 PM

PianoU1
Congratulations on your Level 6. I'm working on 5. Haven't done any of the exam process but that seemed like a good place to start. What repertoire pieces did you play?
Posted By: PianoU1

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 12/08/10 06:12 PM

thanks WB.
beethovens bagatelle in d
jennifer linn - a lighthouse in the fog
kabalevsky - variations in d
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 12/08/10 07:29 PM

A small woooohooo laugh

My teacher liked the Chopin E minor AND the Khatchachurian piece at yesterday's lesson, so I won't be playing those for her any more. And she liked Sound of Silence too and wants me to keep working on it. She got me a book of jazzy Vince Guaraldi Christmas tunes that I'm going to work on too.

My name is Jim, and it has been 1 day since I bought sheet music

Oh, and I was right, it was too good to be true - turns out there are two Bach G-minor minuets and she wanted me to work on the harder one. Oh well, I'll finish up the easier one first, and then tackle the other. I guess you can never get too much Bach. She is also going to pick out something juicy for me to start in on next week.

Cheers
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 12/08/10 09:39 PM

QTPI (I just figured out your name!! lol).... What a fun video - nothing like playing in a concert band! I played bass clarinet for 5 years and learned so much. Thanks for posting it!

Jim, I agree, you can never get too much Bach. (And let us not forget there are several Bachs - his sons also composed!)
Congrats on being 1 day clean Jim, hang in there for day two. wink
Posted By: Canonie

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 12/09/10 01:35 AM

Quote
My name is Jim, and it has been 1 day since I bought sheet music

[Linked Image].. took me a few seconds, then LOL! I suspect this is a running gag here but I haven't seen it before. Made my day laugh
Admitting the problem is the First Step. The second step is...?
Posted By: qtpi

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 12/09/10 04:11 PM

It is hard to believe how much music Bach was able to write in his lifetime!
Posted By: newpianogal

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 12/10/10 04:35 AM

Thanks for sharing, Canonie! I love your ideas for the piano journal!! (Mine would read something like: Mon.- played all wrong notes, swore heavily. Tues.- played mostly wrong notes, but only swore twice. Wed.-got through entire practice without cursing. Thurs.- actually played the notes I supposed to play! Fri.- somehow 'forgot' the song again, back to square one, profuse cursing.
Posted By: Canonie

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 12/10/10 12:25 PM

NPGal ha That's a great start you've made on your journal wink In a real journal you could ask the very pertinent question of "what were you up to on thursday night eh?" Was wine involved perhaps? or rock-climbing? And there you go - Friday is explained smile
Posted By: Andy Platt

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 12/10/10 02:45 PM

Not really an achievement but I got my new repertoire piece this lesson. And that wasn't a surprise since we'd already talked about it. Anyway, I will now be torturing my family with
Chopin's Waltz No. 10 in B minor, Opus 69 no. 2.

My teacher has also told me she is going to "torture" me this coming semester to fix my technique wink And she's throwing some theory in ... I already have a good grasp but she wants to start from close to the beginning just in case I've missed / forgotten anything along the way. That doesn't bother me but it's amusing when I had to correct her on a chord she still wants me to start near the beginning. It's all good!
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 12/10/10 09:59 PM

Quote
I will now be torturing my family with
Chopin's Waltz No. 10 in B minor, Opus 69 no. 2.


Thats a great selection, Andy. I'm listening to it now as I type. Keep us apprised of how its coming along from time to time.
Posted By: Sly Cat

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 12/11/10 02:37 AM

Today's achievement was using Sibelius 6.2 for the first time. Okay, it'll take longer to master this software than it will to master the bloody piano, but c'est la guerre and all that rot.

Today, I played about with some music - a midi of a piece I've wanted to play for a long time - translated it into sheet music (grand staff, obviously) and even made a shortened version (just to see if I could). I chopped out a middle page or so and stuck it back together so that the 'join' is unnoticeable, not only on the sheet music but even on playback via Sibelius.

Okay it's not EXACTLY a piano achievement...but in a skewed way, it is. Anyway, I'm feeling rather chuffed with myself.

Cat
Engaging smug mode...smug mode engaged. smile
Posted By: di52

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 12/15/10 12:30 AM

Well, I got to play in front of a (captive) audience - for the first time ever!!! I was visiting my father in law who is 87 and convalescing from a broken foot at a local nursing home. I knew there was a grand piano in the dining room because several years ago, both my grandmothers (now deceased), had lived the last months of their lives there, and I visited a lot. Anyway, my father in law was busy with therapy so I had some time to kill. I asked around, got permission to use the grand for 10 or 15 minutes. When I got into the dining room where the piano is, there were 3 or 4 eldery residents in wheelchairs sitting there, waiting to participate in the next scheduled activity (some sort of bowling). I didn't have any music with me, but managed to bang out most of Joy to the World, and Carol of the Bells. (Wicked Easy Versions) The crowd went wild!!! I am invited to come back any time. I just might take them up on that, only next time bring some music. What a rush that was!
Posted By: newpianogal

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 12/15/10 03:54 AM

Originally Posted by di52
Well, I got to play in front of a (captive) audience - for the first time ever!!! I was visiting my father in law who is 87 and convalescing from a broken foot at a local nursing home. I knew there was a grand piano in the dining room because several years ago, both my grandmothers (now deceased), had lived the last months of their lives there, and I visited a lot. Anyway, my father in law was busy with therapy so I had some time to kill. I asked around, got permission to use the grand for 10 or 15 minutes. When I got into the dining room where the piano is, there were 3 or 4 eldery residents in wheelchairs sitting there, waiting to participate in the next scheduled activity (some sort of bowling). I didn't have any music with me, but managed to bang out most of Joy to the World, and Carol of the Bells. (Wicked Easy Versions) The crowd went wild!!! I am invited to come back any time. I just might take them up on that, only next time bring some music. What a rush that was!


That's so sweet! :-) I hope you're able to play for them again!
Posted By: BenPiano

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 12/15/10 05:35 AM

Careful! Next time they might start making requests. smile
Posted By: Canonie

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 12/15/10 09:40 AM

That gave me a warm smile di52, how lovely. I'm glad your crowd liked your playing. I like your signature l-l-li-ine by the way wink Wish I would come upon a grand in a public space on my travels. Never seems to happen where I live.

I have no achievements to report, it's a slow week where I am more focused on resting.
Posted By: hoffy

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 12/18/10 01:36 PM

Well, its time to check in with some achievements for myself

1) - I have booked some lessons. I tell you, I am apprehensive, but excited as well! The teacher I have booked is just around the corner, is a 4th year student of the local Conservatorium (Elder Conservatorium for those who know) and a member of quite a few jazz groups. Anyhow....as long as he is good (I hope) and starts to head me in the direction I want to head!

2) - After putting it to the side after only a few days practice a few weeks ago, I have picked up the Minuet in G Major again (attributed to Bach, but apparently composed by Christian Petzold). This time I have finally started to get the second part correct. I now need to iron out the inconsistent mistakes I keep on making and start upping the tempo.

3) - So, after my extended 20ish year break, I am now playing daily. The only day I missed was last Friday, the night of my daughters dance recital (which she won the most outstanding achievement in Ballet for ages 7 and under... smile ). Heck, I even practiced some scales today!

Cheers
Posted By: EmptySpace

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 12/20/10 01:49 AM

I mastered page one of Debussy's Arabesque #1! I was having a lot of trouble with the three against two section, but found a trick here on the forum, tapped the rhythm out on my desk at work, and when I got home I successfully played it! I was so excited I almost fell off the bench.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 12/20/10 03:40 PM

Lots of good stuff happening! Chopin, new software, captive audiences, Debussy...New teacher, Bach, ah, what a lovely list.

I don't have any real progress to report, but we did have a musical evening at home on Saturday - we had a few friends over and played/sang Christmas music - traditional English/French and Swedish! What a combo. It was great fun.
Posted By: molto_agitato

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 12/21/10 07:47 AM

I'm nearly finished working on a movement of a Clementi sonatina. Duriing my lesson today, I played the exposition at what will be the final tempo, and my playing was even and expressive. But, more importantly, I didn't feel particularly anxious as I played. A year ago, when playing for my teacher, I would've felt anxious and panicked; the very idea of feeling calm when playing for my teacher would have been unfathomable. Until recently, when playing during my lessons, I felt as though I was running back and forth on a tightrope, expecting to fall off with every step.

Also, as I was playing for my teacher, I hit a wrong note (as I am apt to do). But, I didn't fall apart after I played the wrong note. Which is to say, I didn't fall apart mentally.
Posted By: FarmGirl

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 12/21/10 08:06 AM

After one whole week of business trip, I am happily back to my piano and to the forum. I had to brush up my scale, arpeggio, hannon and all those fun stuff. It always takes hours to get back to my routine. But, hey, I have to make living too. I practiced hours on Sunday to my satisfaction. I did 2 hours today. Fun. I missed it. I have friends come over after Christmas and I am sooo looking forward to have captive audience. I need to brush up my Chopin waltz I played a couple of years ago since one of the girls is nuts about Chopin. I can play some Christmas tunes and we will be happy.
Posted By: Artur Gajewski

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 12/21/10 10:04 AM

I got really excited when I put a parent/child learning system that I developed into test last weekend and started first lesson with my 7 year old daughter. She learned the names of the keys on the piano within minutes and now can instantly point to a given note on the piano.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 12/27/10 03:49 PM

Well, I did it!
I played a piece for my teacher the way I wanted to play it.
I didn't get nervous, I did make some wee flubs, but nothing serious AND I didn't freeze up over the flubs, but just kept on rolling.

whew.....:) That feels like a breakthrough. (Ok, don't worry, I'm not expecting this to happen every lesson - but maybe it will happen more frequently now that I've made it through once! )
Posted By: Andy Platt

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 12/27/10 05:37 PM

Originally Posted by casinitaly

whew.....:) That feels like a breakthrough. (Ok, don't worry, I'm not expecting this to happen every lesson - but maybe it will happen more frequently now that I've made it through once! )


I'm sure it will. It's now rarer for me to play worse at my lesson than at home. Even on the piano in the "little studio" which my teacher knows I hate! wink
Posted By: MaryBee

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 12/27/10 07:01 PM

Artur -- that's amazing that your daughter is learning so quickly. What a wonderful thing to share with her.

molto_agitato, casinitaly, and Andy P -- that's great that you are all feeling comfortable playing for your teachers now. I'm still working on that aspect of my playing. It's getting better, but very slowly.

I have a three week break from lessons over the Christmas/New Year holidays. I'm already missing my weekly lessons, and I still have a week and a half to go.

It has been fun playing Christmas music with my siblings at our family gatherings this past week. Nothing too fancy, just simple music that is easy to sight read. I noticed that some of the stuff I have been working on really helped my playing. A few week ago, we started doing chord progressions at my lessons, and it made it so much easier to play the Christmas music. I was also happily surprised when I was able to play a song in the key of E major with no hesitation at all. (One of my project pieces is in the key of E, so it must really be in my head.)

Happy Birthday Andy!
Posted By: YellowDog1040

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 12/27/10 08:31 PM

Memorization is difficult for me. This weekend I was able to memorize the first page of "Christmastime is Here" by Vince Guaraldi. This mini-victory feels great.
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 12/27/10 09:43 PM

Hey, congrats Cheryl. That is an accomplishment. I wonder if working on your acoustic has made this an easier task (assuming teacher's instrument is acoustic)?

I played the Guaraldi "Christmas Time is Here" for my parents (in their 90's) at our house on Christmas morning. Managed it quite well despite three people hovering over my shoulder, and my Dad (always the engineer) actually leaning out over the keyboard to look at the back of my Clavinova to inspect the electrical connection while I was playing! Trial by fire! Also played the Chopin E-minor Prelude - and even got a few ooohs and ahhhhs on that one.

Meanwhile, I'm a little dejected over how the piano search is going. South Florida seems a wasteland when it comes to fine pianos - the dealers really seem interested in only the lowest end, and the used market ala craigslist seems like a swamp of the same pianos sitting there month after month, with lots of very shady sounding offerings. I'm starting to think I'm going to have to expand my search to dealers in places like Atlanta, DC, Philly, and NYC area, but I'm unsure of how best to implement such a plan. Don't mean to whine too much, looking and playing lots of pianos is really fun. I just want to have more fun on better pianos.

Enjoy your Holidays and Happy New Year everyone.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 12/27/10 09:55 PM

Thanks for the vote of confidence Andy - glad you're making progress on this front too!

MaryBee - I'm so envious that you get to play with family members.... "maybe"....I'll be able to do that next summer. Maybe.
Isn't it neat how (relatively) easy some carols can be with just a few simple chords in the left hand? I've been having fun noodling about with them too. On Wednesday I'm going to an afternoon tea with some other ex-pat English speakers and I'm bringing my DP with me to accompany the singers. This will be a first and I've got my doubts about how well it will work, but what the heck -they're all friends.

YellowDog - good for you - progress on the memorization front! That is NOT easy - but it does seem to get easier as you go along.

Jim, - my lessons have been at my house recently (but until today that has made NO difference to my nerves). It seemed that the moment I got MY acoustic I seemed to feel I had to all-of-a-sudden play better! Silly, but that's how it was. I have a small Yamaha upright, my teacher has a small Yamaha grand (C1? or C3, whichever is smaller, I honestly don't remember). I'll play at her place next week.

Playing for your family must have been great fun. I played over the phone for my mother-in-law last night (she's 92) - and my husband LOVES to open up the lid and see what is going on "under the hood" so to speak, so I get what you are saying about your dad.

I hope you start having better luck with your search for your piano!!!!!!!
Posted By: CebuKid

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 01/04/11 12:23 AM

Aaaaaahhh.....I'm proud to post the first "what go you excited post" of 2011!

I "re-started" (after about a 2 month hiatus from it) my Joplin recital piece about a week ago, and have really kicked the practice into overdrive. I was off today (the 3rd), and played through the entire piece several times at tempo...previously, I've just been working on various sections, so now I'm just stringing it all together smile Now, all I have to do is refine my dynamics and play it a bunch of times for the entire month. The "learning" part is over.

What excites me more is I can now move on to other pieces - another Chopin piece, a couple of movie pieces and my next Joplin piece, "The Chrysanthimum."

Moral of the story: It seemed hopeless a few months ago...I had issues with tempo, technique, tension, etc. Now it's well within my reach. smile Sometimes, you have to "brute force" a difficult piece and more importantly, never give up. thumb

PS-my new Yamaha has re-invigorated my passion. I've learned that you have to love the piano that you play.
Posted By: Little_Blue_Engine

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 01/04/11 12:29 AM

I did some work on my piano's action this week and now have only 3 non-functioning keys! I no longer have to choose what I learn based on whether or not notes from a certain area of the keyboard need to be played grin grin grin
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 01/04/11 07:33 AM

Little Blue Engine, that has got to be a big relief - what freedom!
Cebukid - that's just ....inspirational! Gives me hope!

My achievement for this week? Had my lesson yesterday, at my teacher's home (we've been doing the lessons at my place since October,when I got my acoustic). I played her baby grand for the first time since I upgraded and was very pleased to see/feel no significant difference in the weight of the keys. I used to get really thrown switching from the digital to her piano.

I also had been able to implement some dynamics we'd talked about during the previous lesson.
I think the crowning moment was when we told me that she sees me making progress is every lesson - she said she's impressed by how well I'm able to follow her instructions and make changes.

I've been given my first Bach pieces to work on and am most pleased about that too!
A good start to the year!
Posted By: BeethovenForEver

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 01/04/11 12:07 PM

Well I am excited about re-memorizing the aforementioned Beethoven Sonata, but I am particularly chuffed this week about bars 26-33 in the 3rd movement.

Best,

Anthony
Posted By: CebuKid

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 01/04/11 12:29 PM

Originally Posted by casinitaly
I used to get really thrown switching from the digital to her piano.



cas, I'm glad to hear that. I've heard from a few others here that a digital just doesn't give the tactile and auditory feedback of an acoustic, and controlling the tone of the acoustic is difficult if you've only been using a digital (even one with weighted keys). I tried a few digitals at piano stores...they're pretty cool actually, but lacked that "electricity" that goes through your body when playing an acoustic. smile

Since getting my first acoustic in Feb. 2009, I've never had issues playing on other acoustic pianos.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 01/04/11 12:50 PM

Originally Posted by CebuKid
Originally Posted by casinitaly
I used to get really thrown switching from the digital to her piano.



cas, I'm glad to hear that. I've heard from a few others here that a digital just doesn't give the tactile and auditory feedback of an acoustic, and controlling the tone of the acoustic is difficult if you've only been using a digital (even one with weighted keys). I tried a few digitals at piano stores...they're pretty cool actually, but lacked that "electricity" that goes through your body when playing an acoustic. smile

Since getting my first acoustic in Feb. 2009, I've never had issues playing on other acoustic pianos.

You are so right CebuKid,- digitals are vry cool, but...they aren't the "real deal". ... and my digital didn't have weighted keys! When I bought it I misunderstood "touch sensitive" and thought that meant weighted. I was terribly ignorant. (not that I'm brilliant now, but I am better informed!) I had the dp out last week (to bring to a friend's place) and I was astonished at how "feeble" it felt and sounded!
I still find that my acoustic surprises me with how loud it can be, especially the first time I sit down to play each day. I have to ease into playing smile
But it is worth it. The "electricity" as you put it, takes you to a different world.


Anthony- good for you! that is great progress to have under your belt!
Posted By: JustDani

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 01/04/11 02:03 PM

Well my weekend achievement was actually a huge breakthrough for me. I've been working on a solo arrangement of the hymn "He Leadeth Me" - the arrangement towards the end was not ideal for me (just didn't like the sound of it) so I was able to re-work it and place a key change in to end it a bit differently. I'm a chicken when it comes to improvisation so this was a huge step for me.
Posted By: MaryBee

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 01/04/11 05:36 PM

Cheryl - what Bach pieces are you starting? I've been working on a very pretty Bach, Sheep May Safely Graze, these past few weeks during my winter break from lessons. I'm liking it so much, that when it comes time to choose a piece to perform for the next ABF recital, it might end up nudging out the Mozart that I've worked so hard on.

That's funny what you said about going back to your digital and how feeble it sounded. After I had been playing my new acoustic for a few months, I went back to my digital just to try it out, and I seriously though something was wrong with it because if felt and sounded so wimpy. I ended up giving it to my brother, because I knew I'd never want to play it again.

Little Blue - ha ha. That reminds me so much of the piano that I used to play as a child. Several of the hammers had broken off, and my dad tried to repair the "important" ones by wiring and gluing them back together. It was a marvel to look inside that thing and see the repairs that had been done to it over the years.

Anthony - Memorizing is the hardest thing for me, so I'm impressed that you're memorizing the Sonata. (no.8 ?) I'm going to start my first Beethoven piece this month. I'm trying to choose between his Sonata No.8, 2nd movement, No.14, 1st movement, and No.23, 2nd movement. I can't decide because they are all so beautiful. Maybe not the last one, though, because I'm afraid it's a little too difficult for me.

My accomplishment: I finally got my new glasses -- single-vision, just the right distance for reading music (or sewing, or working on the computer). I can actually see the notes on the pages again! Yippee!
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 01/04/11 05:55 PM

Originally Posted by MaryBee
Cheryl - what Bach pieces are you starting? I've been working on a very pretty Bach, Sheep May Safely Graze, these past few weeks during my winter break from lessons. I'm liking it so much, that when it comes time to choose a piece to perform for the next ABF recital, it might end up nudging out the Mozart that I've worked so hard on.

That's funny what you said about going back to your digital and how feeble it sounded. After I had been playing my new acoustic for a few months, I went back to my digital just to try it out, and I seriously though something was wrong with it because if felt and sounded so wimpy. I ended up giving it to my brother, because I knew I'd never want to play it again.


Yup - wimpy! Perfect description. And yet, I was absolutely in love with it for a long time smile It still holds a special place in my heart.

I'm working on 122, March in D, a nice little challenge!

I have special glasses for the computer (which work perfectly for reading music!) - they are bifocals though, and I can also use them for reading books. It is lovely to have something that just "works properly" when you're trying to see smile
Posted By: CebuKid

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 01/04/11 06:46 PM

Originally Posted by casinitaly
Originally Posted by CebuKid
Originally Posted by casinitaly
I used to get really thrown switching from the digital to her piano.



cas, I'm glad to hear that. I've heard from a few others here that a digital just doesn't give the tactile and auditory feedback of an acoustic, and controlling the tone of the acoustic is difficult if you've only been using a digital (even one with weighted keys). I tried a few digitals at piano stores...they're pretty cool actually, but lacked that "electricity" that goes through your body when playing an acoustic. smile

Since getting my first acoustic in Feb. 2009, I've never had issues playing on other acoustic pianos.

You are so right CebuKid,- digitals are vry cool, but...they aren't the "real deal". ... and my digital didn't have weighted keys! When I bought it I misunderstood "touch sensitive" and thought that meant weighted. I was terribly ignorant. (not that I'm brilliant now, but I am better informed!) I had the dp out last week (to bring to a friend's place) and I was astonished at how "feeble" it felt and sounded!
I still find that my acoustic surprises me with how loud it can be, especially the first time I sit down to play each day. I have to ease into playing smile
But it is worth it. The "electricity" as you put it, takes you to a different world.


Anthony- good for you! that is great progress to have under your belt!


cas, I was even more ignorant. My first purchase over 2 years ago was a cheap Casio keyboard - not touch sensitive or weighted at all! I'm still ignorant. I caught some flack on the piano corner for calling a Steinway a Rolls Royce...lol

Anyway, I am loving my new Yamaha. I love how it sounds! You can relate too, right? smile

PS-I still play the Casio on occasion, because sometimes it sounds nice to play a Joplin piece with a "flute." Now that's one thing an acoustic can not do.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 01/04/11 06:53 PM

Joplin with a flute - that's fun!

And on the Steinway... if not a Rolls, what?
Porche? Ferrari? or is it not to be likened to an automobile at all?

lol.

And yup - I love my Yamaha too! smile
Posted By: GlassLove

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 01/05/11 12:07 AM

I am just impressed that you can read with bifocals!!!! I have to take mine off to read.
They don't bother me when I read music, but I can play with or without them at this point. I suspect I am closely approaching the time when that will change.
I used to wear contact lenses, but developed a chronic condition (around my 40th b-day) that makes wearing them impossible.
Posted By: joyoussong

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 01/05/11 01:37 AM

I can't read music with bifocals either - at least, not without craning my neck, which makes everything tense up. I have a pair of full frames, but the first pair of those I got didn't work either, because they made the keyboard look curved. I got a second pair, with smaller lenses, & they're perfect.

(You can sure tell this is the ADULT beginners forum, eh?)
Posted By: GlassLove

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 01/05/11 04:03 AM

Eh....what did you say Carol???? I didn't hear you...... laugh Yep, this is indeed the adult beginners forum.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 01/05/11 07:31 AM

My husband had that problem with the curve when he got bifocals - one day I picked up his glasses by mistake and I was SO disoriented!!! The perscriptions are quite similar but the effect was realllllllly different.

Ah, the joys of being "adult" eh?
Posted By: iamtan

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 01/05/11 04:40 PM

This is such a nice thread... My achievement so far? I have, with success, started off the MOYD 2011 so far. Thanks to it, I managed to practice about 40 minutes to 1.5 hours a day since 1 Jan 2011. Otherwise, I would have missed the past several days totally.

I started my lessons in late 2007, but I have been practicing only few hours a week. Hope this will change this year, especially when I have signed up for 2011 MOYD... smile
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 01/05/11 04:48 PM

Originally Posted by iamtan
This is such a nice thread... My achievement so far? I have, with success, started off the MOYD 2011 so far. Thanks to it, I managed to practice about 40 minutes to 1.5 hours a day since 1 Jan 2011. Otherwise, I would have missed the past several days totally.

I started my lessons in late 2007, but I have been practicing only few hours a week. Hope this will change this year, especially when I have signed up for 2011 MOYD... smile


It is nice, isn't it? I think we all need to focus on what is going RIGHT sometimes, - it is far to easy to focus on what goes wrong.

I'm in my second year of MOYD now, and getting a big kick out of being part of such a keen group.

Keep up the good work!
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 01/05/11 10:05 PM

I'm also guilty of ignorance. My first keyboard was a gift, but I thought it was all I'd ever need. When I replaced that a year ago with my Clavinova I thought I'd arrived, only to find a year later that the awsome feel of an acoustic grand under my fingers is what I really crave. (hopefully I'll find the right one, but thats another story) Oh well, I'll need the digital anyway to give my wife's ears a break from my practice.

That first keyboard (unweighted) I gave to my 91 year-old mother. Athough legally blind and terribly arthitic she can still play some of her girlhood piano repertoire and the weightless keys are just right for her poor hands. LOL, when I tried to play something for her on it I could no longer find the right keys, it just felt like a child's toy.

Can't think of any accomplishments this week, and the lesson didn't go too well. But teacher says I'm too hard on myself, so I'm just going to keep plodding away. I know this is a marathon, and by this time next year I'll be able to point to real progress.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 01/05/11 10:11 PM

My teacher says all her adult students are too hard on themselves. We have to learn to be kinder to ourselves.

I have no doubt you'll show progress over this coming year Jim!
Posted By: mwrenchd

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 01/07/11 07:51 PM

Last month, I came back to the piano after a decade-plus break.

While I'm relearning a number of easy-intermediate pieces I knew as a kid, I also settled on Croatian Rhapsody as one of a handful of new pieces to learn over the next few months.

As someone who was purely classically trained, I never developed a knack for playing by ear or improvising. However, after having gotten my hands on and playing all 3 transcriptions of CR, it seemed to help me more naturally grasp the harmonic structure of the piece -- which is quite simple I realize, but a completely different way to approach learning a new piece for me.

Point being, as I was practicing a bit last night, I found myself comfortably blending the LH parts of all 3 versions and even adding in my own interpretations on the fly. That was a really satisfying feeling and something totally new for me. laugh

Posted By: EmptySpace

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 01/07/11 10:15 PM

That's awesome, mwrenchd. I might try to do the same thing!
Posted By: kreinhard

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 01/08/11 01:37 AM

Probably not a really big deal, but I discovered that I can play both 'versions' of
'When The Saints' in the Alfred's Book 1 from either version's page. It sort of stunned me when I realized I could read the melody off the bass staff while playing it with my right hand and vice versa.
Posted By: Andy Platt

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 01/08/11 02:13 AM

My teacher decided I'm the next of her adult student's she's going to "torture" (her word) by having me do a duet with her at the next recital. We've chosen (well, she gave me two choices) a duet by Schumann - Geburtstagmarche - Opus 85, No. 1.

I've started learning my half - it's one of those Schumann pieces that looks simple on paper but is really tricky to get under your fingers. It's going to be a fun piece though! You can find it here if you are interested. Should I be embarassed that (if I am translating it correctly) it says it's for "little and big kids"? Ah, I guess I'm a big kid!

Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 01/08/11 02:07 PM

Love these posts, they leave me feeling so inspired!

Mwrenchd, what fun to be making such interesting progress after being away for so long!
krienhard, that's great fun - I don't have the Saints in a music book, but one of my AOTW (new acronym for this thread lol) was to play it by ear, with chords, it was hilarious good fun.

Andy - I had a look at your link - the file is 47 pages, I'm guessing your duet is just the first couple ? or else that really is torture!!! lol... What fun. (ps. my German isn't stellar, but yup, for little and big kids)

My AOTW was that I finally managed to play a piece I've been working on that had "leaps" of the left hand. For the moment I'm only playing 2 of the 3 notes I should be including in leap destination chord, but I know this is an interim measure.....We'll see what my teacher says on Monday!
Posted By: Andy Platt

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 01/09/11 01:16 AM

Originally Posted by casinitaly
Andy - I had a look at your link - the file is 47 pages, I'm guessing your duet is just the first couple ? or else that really is torture!!! lol... What fun. (ps. my German isn't stellar, but yup, for little and big kids)!


Yeah, that would be a bit too much ... especially as it's taking me forever to get the first two lines of music. The pdf is of the entire Opus 85 and we're just doing number 1 (in the version I got from my teacher both parts are on just two pages).
Posted By: Jim2112

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 01/09/11 04:29 AM

My accomplishment of the week is probably my accomplishment for the year...I played out with my band for the first time. Halftime college basketball, but over break so probably only about 250-300...still a lot more than my previous record of my 3 family members. As an adult beginner, this is the biggest thrill I've had in many years!

(PS: Discovered too in a video my wife took to not to worry as much next time...mistakes that were glaringly obvious to me while playing first aren't as major as they seem in the moment, second get buried in the mix and in the reverb of the hall, and last aren't noticed by non-musicians anyway.)

Eight hours later and still feeling the rush!
Posted By: dlr

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 01/10/11 03:29 AM

My AOTW (last week) was finally finding a teacher, after searching for months. Actually, it's not definite yet. It's pretty sure, but I'll know by the end of this week if it's absolutely sure. Just in case, she told me to start working on Hanon and some scales. I'll be working on the last piece I learned, to have something to play for her, so she'll know where to put me as far as music to work on.

I've had about 3 years of lessons at various times in my life, a few months here and there. Previously I've had to quit due to the death of a teacher, a teacher moving, me moving. I have no plans to move any time soon, and my (hopefully) new teacher is my age (55), so she should be around for a while. The last time I took lessons was about 15 years ago. I recently bought a new-to-me piano, having sold my old one after my oldest child stopped taking lessons/playing many years ago. It's small and simple, but I love it. So tomorrow I'll pull out the music to the Mozart piece I last worked on, decide on a few scales to work on, and start hammering out some Hanon. I can't wait to hear from my prospective teacher (Judy), and hopefully get a schedule. She's starting lessons back up next week (been on winter break).

If it turns out she doesn't have room for me (has to schedule all of her piano major students first, then see if she has room for one more student), I'll be SO disappointed, and I guess I won't have an AOTW after all! But I'm thinking positive, and plan on practicing 2 hours a day this week. Hopefully by this time next week I'll have a lesson scheduled and be on my way!


Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 01/10/11 07:36 AM

Andy - thanks for clarifying! smile

Jim, that sounds like so much fun! And good to know about how mistakes that seemed obvious to you were basically not noticable!

DLR, good luck with the teacher! Fingers crossed.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 01/14/11 05:13 PM

Well, I don't know if I really have a significant AOTW, but as this is my 1000th post, I figure I'd to my best to make it a positive one.

So.............. I have made a very very tiny bit of progress on getting those leaps down - the bulk of the progress is in my head (which isn't as odd as it sounds). I think they significant factor is that I really do know exactly what I have to do in terms of timing and positioning ....which is good!!! I just can't quite actually do it yet, but I'm getting there.

Baby steps, it's the journey not the destination.
Posted By: GustavoF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 01/14/11 06:01 PM

Something silly but my teacher accepter "Fur Elise" as my next piece. So my achivement is that I am working on the piece I wanted to work! That is a good motivation!
Posted By: keyboardplaying1

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 01/14/11 06:27 PM

finally played the moonlight sonata 3rd movement from memory
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 01/17/11 11:25 AM

Well, after my whining last week, I played Gypsy Legend for my teacher this morning and she was full of compliments for me! She said I'd done a super job and she was very impressed with the feeling I put into the piece. Needless to say, I was pleased as punch.

Now she wants me to work on putting more weight into the right hand and generally to stop being afraid of letting my piano sing.

What a great way to start my week!
smile

Thanks everyone for the encouragment !
Posted By: GlassLove

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 01/17/11 11:40 AM


Nice Achievment Cheryl, that is such a beautiful piece, I am sure it sounds awesome.

okay, this achievement might be a little on the lame side, but here goes:

My new teacher regularly comments on my unconventional fingering of pieces (especially when I first met her, she changed dramatically all of the pieces I was playing in terms of fingering). Part of the problem is that many of the pieces I play are from books where no fingerings are given, and also my previous teacher was a bit on the lax side with respect to this issue.

Well, Friday afternoon, I went through the piece Arabesque by Burgmuller (from a book where no fingerings are given) and wrote in all of the finger numbers. It took more than an hour of trial and error, but I made every effort to apply all of the rules she taught me. My finished product looked pretty good to my eye, my fingers were always where they needed to be etc.). I started playing the piece and found that I only needed to look at the piano ONCE to find my spot. The rest of the time, I could keep my eyes glued on the music yippie I think she will be impressed.

I also learned two really tricky measures of Ivan Sings. This piece is a lot trickier than it looks, but I cannot wait to play it at my lesson. I find it really beautiful.

Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 01/17/11 12:33 PM

Glasslove, I don't think that is lame at all - my teacher has been insisting on fingering for a couple of months now, and I find it has made a big difference - but usually I don't have to figure it out on my own. Taking her rules and applying them was a big job - but what great satisfaction in seeing the difference it made to your playing!

Three cheers for you!
Now, I have to check out "Ivan Sings" I have no idea what that sounds like!

Posted By: jotur

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 01/17/11 02:18 PM

Applause, casinitaly! smile

Well, and applause GustavoF, and Glasslove, and keyboardplaying1, too. Wow, Beethoven from memory - that's unreal! Way to go.

Cathy
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 01/17/11 09:07 PM

GlassLove,

I did Ivan Sings a couple months back and loved it. Has that dark tragic sound and yet a beautiful melody. B-section rhythm is a bit of a challenge, especially when it reverses hands at the end (if memory serves). Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Jim
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 01/17/11 09:09 PM

Way to go Cheryl. I knew that whine was just a setup for your next AOTW. thumb
Posted By: dlr

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 01/17/11 10:13 PM

My first lesson (as a returning adult) was last Friday. It was too awesome for words! That's my AOTW, along with the every day achievements I've had as a result of practicing as she instructed. It blows my mind that I see such a difference after my first lesson ~ and I get to do it again every Friday!
Posted By: Quagles

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 01/17/11 11:20 PM

While not learning any new songs or anything inparticular useful I finally started youtubing. Starting from pretty much the oldest songs I've learned and up to the newest ones.

So far I've managed to put up 2 songs and working on putting up at least another 10 I already know / or almost know. Feels good to finally have a camera to both record audio and the video as well.

Also pretty close to finish up 2 songs both which pretty much only have one line to learn.
Posted By: mngirl70

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 01/18/11 02:04 AM

After being away from the piano for 15+ years, I decided to return to playing the piano. We went out and bought a piano and I'm so excited!!!! I wanted to share that with others. I can't wait to start playing again. So, that is my achievement this week
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 01/18/11 10:42 PM

Things went better this week. It really helped to focus my practice on smaller segments and not worry about when I would be "done." The result - we polished off the Clementi and the Bach pieces (and last week's "throw-away piece). And we settled on a piece for recital. I can't wait to get to work on it. Oh, and I drove two hours on Sunday to visit a piano store that had just beautiful instruments. Spent most of the afternoon playing some of the finest pianos made by top European manufacturers. What a fun way to spend an afternoon.

Jim
Posted By: AllShookUp

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 01/19/11 05:17 AM

My piano lessons are based on the classical genre, but I love to noodle around with my electric guitar. Learning to read music fluently is one of my goals. I recently acquired a "Ventures" songbook (one of my favorite groups from the early 60's). Although guitar notation is somewhat different, I was able to bang out some of the melodies on my piano right away and think Oh yeah, I remember that one. I've never done this before, so yeah, I'm excited!
Posted By: Teodor

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 01/19/11 07:47 AM

I got really excited because finally I can play slowly through all of this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rvk8YyuiHJ4

This a really big deal for me especially since I can play most of it without looking down on my hands and only looking at the sheet music smile

Also I notice my sight-reading improving, I was browsing though Tchaykovski's album for the young and I played through one piece and it even sounded almost like music, I suppose in a year's time I could be able to play easier pieces on the first 2-3 attempts laugh

I was trying to sight read this which went pretty well: (this is not me playing)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Go7eRxbaf84

^_^
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 01/19/11 05:58 PM

Thats great Teodor. I'm glad to see your hands are allowing you to play again. I really admire people who can perservere in face of obstacles.
Posted By: latebloomer028

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 01/19/11 06:53 PM

This week has been great because I have managed to practice for an average of one hour per day. Also, Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 is sounding a little better each day. I'm really beginning to enjoy practicing; this is always a plus!
Posted By: MaryBee

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 01/20/11 05:26 AM

dlr - Isn't that great to get so much out of a lesson? Keep looking forward to those Fridays!

mngirl70 - How exciting to get a new piano! That has got to inspire you to play.

JimF - I'm trying that approach too, of focusing on very small sections of piece. I just recently came to the realization that I don't have to practice everything every day. It has helped a lot to not feel that pressure and to be able to just concentrate on a specific area or problem. Your afternoon of trying out different pianos sounds like such fun.

My AOTW - My piano tech was here on Monday to tune my piano, and when he was done, he asked me to play one of the pieces I'm currently working on. Amazingly, I hardly felt nervous at all and was able to get through the entire first page before things fell apart. To top it off, he complimented me on my playing! Well, he may have just been trying to keep my business smile , but it was really nice to hear that anyway!
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 01/20/11 07:21 AM

I love all the updates! Teodor, good stuff, I'm so glad to see you playing again!

New pianos, new pieces and good advice to share!

I am finding that the focus on smaller sections is becoming more important as I get into more complicated pieces. The other interesting aspect of this focus is that (I think) it really helps with the memorization process, in that it speeds up.

Until recently my habit has been to try to learn the whole piece (despite my teacher trying to curb this habit)....however in the last 6 weeks or so I've been given some harder ones and I've really had to take a different approach (and finally REALLY LISTEN TO MY TEACHER!!) I saw a real difference in how quickly I learned the pieces, even with the shorter focus - and how much better fixed they are in my mind. I can start just about anywhere in the piece without a problem.

MaryBee, that's great you conquered your nerves! I haven't played in front of anyone new for a while... I'm going to have to buckle down...I just need an audience!
Posted By: Raymundo

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 01/20/11 04:38 PM

Iv just learnt flight of the bumblebee this tuesday and now just polishing it off smile and im getting an estonia concert grand for my music room but thats not till next year ,im very excited .Also i need another classical piece to learn after the bumblebee any ideas please?
Posted By: Teodor

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 01/20/11 08:29 PM

OK This week has been my best best best week ever. As a result of struggling to read harder pieces along with some simple ones, my sight-reading has greatly improved. What helped me was my second teacher (I have 2 :S) who made me play for a few days without looking at my hands at all. Now I got back to pieces I printed out before but gave up on because I couldn't even sight-read them. I was able to sight-read and slowly play through 2-3 pieces I wasn't able to even look at before without getting discouraged! That's amazing! It sucks that I played 3 hours today and made my hands hurt for the first time in a while. I'll have to tone it down and rest for 2-3 days now.

I finally sight-read hands together through the whole piece:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfAPc0A3p2c

I still can't believe it. A few months ago I gave up because I couldn't play through it at all but now it was like magic, it just all clicked together. I'm hoping to learn that piece but I'll probably not be able to make it sound good until I've advanced more with my technique.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 01/26/11 06:23 PM

That's great Teodor! Raymundo- three cheers for you!

Well, I've had minimal progress as I'm on a self- imposed restricted playing routine (sore hands).... however I'm pleased to say that more often than not I'm hitting the right keys on my leaps I was struggling with earlier AND I'm getting the right hand to play more loudly than the left (at least in this one piece I'm polishing ) AND... I'm getting some obvious dynamics into is as well.

They are all small steps forward, but that's what it is all about for an ABFer, isn't it?
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 01/26/11 07:15 PM

Sorry about your hands Cheryl. With my CTS I constantly wonder when the practice hours are going to cause the condition to worsen. Thankfully that hasn't seemed to happen yet.

Started pounding the Tosca into my fingers. The left hand chords are so rich and big sounding - I love it. Some tricky rhythms, so I'm taking it real slowwwwwwww.

You'll love this one Cheryl - I printed out in big bold typeface the libretto to E Lucevan Le Stelle in Italian and have it taped to my car's dashboard so I can sing the words while I listen to the music during drivetime. So, I'm learning Italian!!!! laugh
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 01/26/11 10:01 PM

Originally Posted by JimF
Sorry about your hands Cheryl. With my CTS I constantly wonder when the practice hours are going to cause the condition to worsen. Thankfully that hasn't seemed to happen yet.

Thanks Jim, I 'm really hoping that a bit of rest will make a difference......

Quote


Started pounding the Tosca into my fingers. The left hand chords are so rich and big sounding - I love it. Some tricky rhythms, so I'm taking it real slowwwwwwww.


Well, that's the way to do it, isn't it? You'll really get it set into the your memory bank! Can't wait to hear it!!!!

Quote

You'll love this one Cheryl - I printed out in big bold typeface the libretto to E Lucevan Le Stelle in Italian and have it taped to my car's dashboard so I can sing the words while I listen to the music during drivetime. So, I'm learning Italian!!!! laugh


Ma che bello! Sono contentissima che stai imparando italiano! Se ti posso aiutare, non esitare a chiedermi!
Ma stai attento! Non deve leggere e guidare a tempo stesso caro!
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 01/27/11 10:03 PM

Quote
Ma che bello! Sono contentissima che stai imparando italiano! Se ti posso aiutare, non esitare a chiedermi!
Ma stai attento! Non deve leggere e guidare a tempo stesso caro!


LOL. Thanks for the offer(And thanks Google for the translation). But I didn't mean to imply I'm really learning italian - just this part......

E lucevan le stelle,
ed olezzava la terra
stridea l'uscio dell'orto
ed un passo sfiorava la rena.
Entrava ella fragrante,
mi cadea tra le braccia.


O dolci baci, o languide carezze,
mentr'io fremente le belle forme disciogliea dai veli!
Svanì per sempre il sogno mio d'amore.
L'ora è fuggita, e muoio disperato!
E non ho amato mai tanto la vita!


I figure another week or so before I can give a rousing rendition in the shower - where my singing belongs and sounds best (to me). blush
Posted By: Little_Blue_Engine

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 01/29/11 12:48 AM

My piano was tuned this morning. I'm not so sure that can be considered an achievement but its sure got me excited grin Now I can make some recordings and share some stuff I've been working on and only have to be embarassed about my playing and not the piano itself! laugh
Posted By: pianocat88

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 01/29/11 02:35 AM

Maybe the tuner took out the wrong notes, too.

Posted By: Andy Platt

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 01/29/11 10:22 PM

Not so much a playing achievement ... but definitely a piano related one. I finally stepped foot in a piano store today to properly start my quest for an upright piano. The digital's days are numbered. Today's store was the local Yamaha dealer - I tried a T118, a P22 and a U1. I liked the tone of the T118 but not the action, I liked the action of the P22 and the tone grew on me (but no practice pedal won't impress the missus) and the U1 was definitely the best of both worlds. Got what I considered to be reasonable starting prices too.

Next stop the Kawai/Hailun dealer ... hopefully next weekend!
Posted By: Pianosaurus Rex

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 01/30/11 10:07 AM

Keep us updated on your piano hunt Andy! laugh
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 01/30/11 10:56 AM

Jim - just be careful when singing opera and driving - those exhuberant arm gestures could mis-lead people to thinking you're signalling a turn!

Little Blue, how nice to have a freshly tuned piano...mine is about due I think, it is starting to sound a titch off.

Andy - this is VERY EXCITING news! The U1 is what I started looking at (U1 and U3) then I found my P112, which, though smaller, has all the sound and power I need, want and can cope with ! (Plus she has a very pretty voice smile ) I'm really looking foward to hearing updates on your piano shopping!
Posted By: cheechako

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 01/30/11 10:54 PM

Let's see... finding this forum got me excited.

How about last week, since I'm new here. I found an out-of-print Liz Story volume of sheet music on-line for $110. I thought, "that's never gonna happen." Then a few days later, I saw it in my local used bookstore for $6.95!!! And I was trading in some books someone gave to my wife, so it was really free.

OK, back to this week. I was playing along to a Brian Eno song (one that I taught myself in the first week of owning a keyboard) and realized that there is a LOT more I can learn and practice from this very, very simple song. I am sure he just loops it and fades it in at the beginning, but discovered that it is a good excersise in evenly increasing (or trying to) my playing volume from bar to bar.

p.s. It has lyrics, so yes, it is a song. "By This River", if anyone is interested.
Posted By: Canonie

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 01/31/11 02:31 AM

Accidentally played my least favourite contrary motion scale correctly. First time.

It's a miracle.
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 01/31/11 08:10 PM

Andy, that's great. Isn't it fun trying all these pianos?

My search for the perfect piano continues. I've played on a lot of grands in the last two months, probably 30 or 40. The usual assortment of Yamahas and Kawais. Steinways from brand new to 100 years old and everything in between. Used Baldwins, Mason & Hamlins, Bostons, a Petrof, a Seiler, a Bluthner, a Sauter, and new and used Steingraebers and Feurichs. But I've yet to play a Charles Walter, a good Mason & Hamlin, a Schimmel Konzert, a Bosendorfer, a Steinway I really like, a Grotrian, or an Estonia. Hmmmm, have I left any out?

So far I've only had to drive about 200 miles to the furthest one. But seeing the rest and, who knows, maybe the best looks like it will require at least a longer car trip or a visit to dealers in a major city like Altlanta/DC/Philadelphia/NYC.

While I was frustrated by the whole process at first, I've come to the conclusion that it is a necessary learning experience. I've certainly changed my parameters and expectations (and budget) since I started looking. And I feel confident I can make a good choice now, where I didn't have that feeling at the start. So, the fun continues.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 01/31/11 09:26 PM

wow Jim, you really are testing out a lot of pianos. You know, I think the fact that I had a small budget and live in an apartment really helped me make my choice fairly quickly!

I hope you are really having a great time with your hunt - it sounds like it!

My lesson today was more focussed on theory given that I'm trying to rest my hands a bit - it got my brain thinking in a slightly different direction, and that's ok.

On the up side, I am feeling some improvement in the hands (well, specifically in the right) so clearly a bit of rest was essential. I'm also looking around for a dr and will be getting this problem properly checked out in the very near future.
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/01/11 10:33 PM

Can anyone help me with translating two dynamic indications? (Cheryl????)

1. "stentato un poco con anima"

2. "sostenuto e cresc. con slancio"



Posted By: MartinJB

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/01/11 10:46 PM

JimF,

This should HELP
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/02/11 07:29 AM

Originally Posted by JimF
Can anyone help me with translating two dynamic indications? (Cheryl????)

1. "stentato un poco con anima"

2. "sostenuto e cresc. con slancio"



Caro Giacomo, è il mio piacere aiutarti.

I had a look at Martin's link, and it is a very nice one indeed. I noticed though that both in his link and in my piano dictionary I can find "stendato" but not "stentato" so... a bit more research was in order.
I found that Stentato was a character in Homer's Iliad, and in music it means "loud" or "boisterous", possibly "forced/laboured".
So, " a bit boisterous, with spirit" (anima means soul/spirit/ and it also refers to the cardboard centre of the toilet paper roll. How's that for odd?


Slancio means "Dash" as in dash about, impetuosity, outburst, thus con slancio, with impetuosity.
so...sustained, with a crescendo and impetuosity.

Wow. This is not a piece for the timid smile

Spero di aver tolto ogni dubio, ma se ci sono altri, non esitatare a chiedere ancora!

Posted By: MaryBee

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/02/11 03:43 PM

I like the Chopin etude I'm currently working on. There's a section where there are two measures to be played con forza, followed by one measure con fuoco, and then five measures con bravura. I'm trying to figure out the difference between playing with force, fire, and courage! smile
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/02/11 05:34 PM

MartinJB - Thanks for that very useful link.

Cheryl - My teacher had "labored" penciled in, but I really think a bit loud or boisterous is more appropriate. It is the first measure of the aria that has a forte indication, which is right next to the word stentato. Likewise, she had written "bound forward" but sounded unsure when I asked her about it. I'm going to think about that one and maybe try to connect it more with Cavaradossi's actions and words at that point in the music.

Grazie mille per la tua interpretazione. Il mio maestro è stato molto colpito quando ho detto che sarebbe consultazione di un pianista italiano!

(and I hope that doesn't translate into something about toilet paper!)

Jim
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/02/11 05:42 PM

MaryBee, force, fire and courage! Mamma mia, I want to year your piece too!

I hope you don't spontaneously combust at the keyboard!

Giacomo! Sono felicissima di aver essere utile!
Il tuo italiano è splendido! L'unica cosa sbagliata è che entrambe - io e la tua maestra - sono donne, tu devi scrivere "la mia maestra, una pianista italiana".
(though pianista italiano would be fine for a man, you don't say "pianisto" smile )

Sei brilliante!
I still make lots of errors with the masculine and feminine forms, so you should feel proud of your stunning progress with this delightful, though frustrating, language.
I'm not even 100% sure that I've got what I just wrote quite right, but hey, it is practice and fun to play with words!

Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/02/11 06:08 PM

Quote
Sei brilliante!


Er....ummmm.....maybe not.....

Source of Jim's "brilliance"

blush I've been busted. cry

Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/02/11 06:12 PM

smile I figured you were probably using that, ... as far as on-line translators go (and generally they don't go very far!) it isn't too bad at all.

So far so good. You can still be brillante in my books....hey, I will call you Diamond Jim smile (because brillante can be "brilliant" or "diamond" .
Posted By: GlassLove

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/02/11 07:51 PM

See Jim, what did I tell you?? You haven't even played your piece yet and Cheryl is throwing diamonds at you!!! laugh
Posted By: Pianosaurus Rex

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/02/11 08:06 PM

Originally Posted by JimF
My search for the perfect piano continues. I've played on a lot of grands in the last two months, probably 30 or 40. The usual assortment of Yamahas and Kawais. Steinways from brand new to 100 years old and everything in between. Used Baldwins, Mason & Hamlins, Bostons, a Petrof, a Seiler, a Bluthner, a Sauter, and new and used Steingraebers and Feurichs. But I've yet to play a Charles Walter, a good Mason & Hamlin, a Schimmel Konzert, a Bosendorfer, a Steinway I really like, a Grotrian, or an Estonia. Hmmmm, have I left any out?


The perfect piano doesn't exist, good luck finding the closest thing to perfection though.

Please make very very sure you put August Förster and Bechstein on your list as well, I think they both have a fair chance of being the piano you're looking for. smile
Posted By: MaryBee

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/02/11 08:18 PM

Originally Posted by Canonie
Accidentally played my least favourite contrary motion scale correctly. First time.

It's a miracle.
"Accidentally"?? How does that happen?
Posted By: MaryBee

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/02/11 08:26 PM

JimF - wow! 30-40 pianos so far. You have got to be loving this!

Cheryl - I sure hope your hands heal quickly so you can soon play the piano as much and as often as you want. As for the Chopin etude, I think you'll have to wait about 6 months before it's ready. It's a real tough one, but also the most interesting piece I've ever played. Maybe you'll hear it in the August recital.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/02/11 10:11 PM

Originally Posted by MaryBee
JimF - wow! 30-40 pianos so far. You have got to be loving this!

Cheryl - I sure hope your hands heal quickly so you can soon play the piano as much and as often as you want. As for the Chopin etude, I think you'll have to wait about 6 months before it's ready. It's a real tough one, but also the most interesting piece I've ever played. Maybe you'll hear it in the August recital.


I will watch for your updates on progress MaryBee. I don't know what to do about my hands. (apart from see the dr, which is coming soon, I'm looking for a good one).
The thing is that they don't hurt when I play, it is just this terrible stiffness in the morning, and one joint that clearly has a serious issue with not moving smoothly(which from what the first dr said. (I didn't like him very much - he jumped to talking about probably surgery waaaaaay too quickly in my opinion!)

I do think there's been a bit of an improvement, I've been resting for about 10 days now. I'll give it another week or so, and continue to monitor - but getting a dr's appt is high on my list of priorities.

Posted By: Canonie

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/03/11 04:16 AM

Originally Posted by MaryBee
I like the Chopin etude I'm currently working on. There's a section where there are two measures to be played con forza, followed by one measure con fuoco, and then five measures con bravura. I'm trying to figure out the difference between playing with force, fire, and courage!

I'm just guessing, but are you then required to stretto your courage for another couple of bars? Is it 10/3?
I think you need courage just to open the book and look at this Etude!

Re Contrary Motion:
Accidentally, because it's so unlikely, so unheard of, so not what always happens that it can only have been an accident. After a few hundred days of mistakes, eventually (by probability) I will hit the correct notes with the correct fingers wink
Posted By: FarmGirl

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/03/11 04:57 AM

Cheryl, sorry to hear about your hands. I experienced it before. Usually rest is the best medicine.

My teacher finally told me that I can finish the Christmas song. I am so happy. It is a reallly busy song with lots of changes in tempo, key, time signatures etc. I so wanted to move on. It still does not sound great but I will post it in the forum recital.

Now I can go back to my Beethoven piece that I’ve been working on. I like the piece and I don’t mind practcing. I recently discovered that morning time works best for my practice. I used to do it at 11 pm or 12 am. It was hard to keep my head going. Now I do at 6:00 am. So far I have been able to practice everyday robbing sleep time from my husband.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/03/11 07:08 AM

Canonie - that sounds like "give 100 monkeys typewriters and sooner or later they'll give you a sonnet" smile In anycase, if it happens once, it can happen again - perhaps intentionally!

FarmGirl - which Christmas song have you finally been released from? (ah, wait, you are going to put it in the recital,I'll wait and see smile )

I can not imagine playing at 6am. Even if I used the silent option on my acoustic so as not to disturb anyone, I doubt my brain and/or fingers would cooperate!
Posted By: Canonie

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/03/11 07:27 AM

laugh

oooh yes, I'm slow in the morning too.
FG I'm so glad that you've beeen released from the Christamas-Song-in-January torture - I did think that was mean of your teacher! Beethoven does sound better. I was going to suggest that you refuse to play another note of it when you mentioned it b4. But since your teacher said it was good for you, who'd want to get in the way of that.

Cas, I hope you get some brisk walking in - always helps my injuries heal quicker. You could read some scores while listening to the music if you can't bear to do nothing.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/03/11 07:29 AM

Originally Posted by Canonie
laugh

Cas, I hope you get some brisk walking in - always helps my injuries heal quicker. You could read some scores while listening to the music if you can't bear to do nothing.


Walking helps your hand injuries (or other)? ...that's interesting - I wonder why..... improved circulation maybe?

I have been studying scores (I was going to start working on Moon River, but ...sigh....) so I'm doing some theory and reading - and this morning I woke up and had music in my head. I'm about to see if I can get it down on paper smile
Posted By: Canonie

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/03/11 07:52 AM

Can't remember details of the study/s but I think general fitness and movement both enhances healing and prevents injury severity. I think IMHO that with piano some sort of cross-training is beneficial. Well it can't hurt and seems to work for me. I get out and increase blood flow and swing my arms a bit - which allows them to relax completely. Nothing worse than haveing to nurse a hand carefully all day, walking allows the body to allign itself again (as long as it doesn't make your hand hurt!). Works for me anyway.

Oh ho I had better get out before it rains then!
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/03/11 09:07 AM

Well, I have been procrastinating about getting back into an exercise program, maybe this is the "push" I need to (literally) get off my bottom and get to it!

.....you have to watch for the rain, I'm moaning about the fog frown
Posted By: MaryBee

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/03/11 04:29 PM

Originally Posted by Canonie
Originally Posted by MaryBee
I like the Chopin etude I'm currently working on. There's a section where there are two measures to be played con forza, followed by one measure con fuoco, and then five measures con bravura. I'm trying to figure out the difference between playing with force, fire, and courage!

I'm just guessing, but are you then required to stretto your courage for another couple of bars? Is it 10/3?
I think you need courage just to open the book and look at this Etude!
You got it! The funny thing is, when I told my piano teacher that I wanted to learn another Chopin piece, he mentioned this one, and started playing it for me. After finished the opening section, he stopped and casually said, "and then another section starts here..." I should have asked for more details, but no. Hearing how sweet and beautiful the opening was, I fell in love with it, and decided that I wanted to learn it. When I went home that night, I listened to the whole piece and that was when I almost fell over from shock! Oh well, too late. I was already hooked.
Posted By: MaryBee

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/03/11 04:34 PM

Originally Posted by casinitaly
Well, I have been procrastinating about getting back into an exercise program, maybe this is the "push" I need to (literally) get off my bottom and get to it!
Go for it Cheryl! When I started exercising again a few years ago, it helped immensely. I had been having bad pain in my hips, making it difficult to even walk at times. Once I got into better shape, the pain almost disappeared.

Quote
.....you have to watch for the rain, I'm moaning about the fog frown
We had a snow/ice storm yesterday, and my lesson was canceled again. Grrr. Oh well, I get to look forward to a couple of weeks where I'll have two lessons.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/03/11 04:35 PM

Ok MaryBee, now, really , you have to tell us WHICH etude you are working on smile

Please and thank you .


I just saw... another lesson cancelled!!!!!! double GRRRRR, triple GRRRRRRR. That really stinks!!
Posted By: dlr

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/03/11 06:11 PM

Canonie, you crack me up smile I'll be hoping for some happy accidents this week!

My AOTW is that I gave away my old piano that had been sitting in my bedroom for months. Gone to the home of a friend who just started lessons, and was practicing on a keyboard. Yay!

As far as my playing, my arpeggio playing is becoming much more smooth. The break when I tuck my thumb under is pretty much gone. I've been working on being more expressive (proper dynamics and movement) on each piece that I'm working on. That's also coming along nicely. I really thought I was doing okay before, expression-wise. But my teacher wants more. More sensitivity to the music, bigger changes in dynamics (rather than mp to mf), more confidence. She played a section for me to demonstrate what she wants, and I was amazed. There's so much more I can do!


Posted By: Pianosaurus Rex

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/03/11 07:06 PM

Originally Posted by casinitaly
"give 100 monkeys typewriters and sooner or later they'll give you a sonnet"

Probably later!


Originally Posted by casinitaly
I can not imagine playing at 6am. Even if I used the silent option on my acoustic so as not to disturb anyone, I doubt my brain and/or fingers would cooperate!


Have you actually tried it, though? It works wonders for me, the earliest possible time to play in the morning, and the latest possible time in the evening seem to be my best practise sessions, especially when I play in the morning.
Unfortunately I can't play every morning. frown
Posted By: MartinJB

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/03/11 08:45 PM

I've been working on this piece call Spanish Serenade that has a lot of jumps and pedal in it. I played it 3 times today at lunch and made it thru with no burn notes. Just need to clean it up now. Maybe I'll have it ready for the next piano bar.
Posted By: MartinJB

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/03/11 08:52 PM

Originally Posted by Pianosaurus Rex
Originally Posted by casinitaly
"give 100 monkeys typewriters and sooner or later they'll give you a sonnet"

Probably later!


Originally Posted by casinitaly
I can not imagine playing at 6am. Even if I used the silent option on my acoustic so as not to disturb anyone, I doubt my brain and/or fingers would cooperate!


Have you actually tried it, though? It works wonders for me, the earliest possible time to play in the morning, and the latest possible time in the evening seem to be my best practise sessions, especially when I play in the morning.
Unfortunately I can't play every morning. frown


Early work best for me also. I've played as early as 4am, on my digital with headphones on, of course. I work on the hard stuff because my mind is fresh.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/03/11 08:59 PM

dlr - isn't it fun to start getting into making your playing more expressive?

P-Rex - believe me....at 6am I'm not good for ANYTHING. Putting water in the kettle to boil is a challenge! ....and I can play til about 10-10.30pm if I haven't been working all day - but if I've had a full day of work, no way...it is hopeless.

Martin - congrats on your success with Spanish Seranade. Who is the composer?
Posted By: MartinJB

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/03/11 09:06 PM

Originally Posted by casinitaly


Martin - congrats on your success with Spanish Seranade. Who is the composer?


I play it from memory today. I'll have to wait till I get home to look at the sheet music. I know it's in A Minor.
Posted By: FarmGirl

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/03/11 10:00 PM

I am in AZ and it’s been cold here too. I am huddling with my puppies at 43F (hehehe). Don’t stone me for this. It’s really cold for us. It’s gotta be 20 degrees under normal.

Chryl - I will record my Christmas song (ahhhhh I still hate this one) again this weekend. The one I recorded yesterday won’t be any good. I noticed my husband is sleeping across the piano and my zoom captured his snoring in the recording. If I cannot take a better one, I will use this but hopefully I will get a better one. Also my husband suggested that I should get a decent clothe for this (Yes! You know why I love him). So hopefully I can present my Christmas struggle in a decent outfit without the snoring noise.
Posted By: MaryBee

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/03/11 10:50 PM

Originally Posted by FarmGirl
I noticed my husband is sleeping across the piano and my zoom captured his snoring in the recording.
laugh
Quote
Also my husband suggested that I should get a decent clothe for this (Yes! You know why I love him). So hopefully I can present my Christmas struggle in a decent outfit without the snoring noise.
How about a pair of nice snuggly, fuzzy bunny pajamas (with feet!)
Posted By: MartinJB

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/04/11 01:18 AM

Originally Posted by casinitaly
Martin - congrats on your success with Spanish Seranade. Who is the composer?


Cas, There's no composer on the sheet music, but it has a copyright 1966 By New School for Music Study, Inc. It's in 6/8 A minor.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/04/11 03:50 PM

Originally Posted by MartinJB
Originally Posted by casinitaly
Martin - congrats on your success with Spanish Seranade. Who is the composer?


Cas, There's no composer on the sheet music, but it has a copyright 1966 By New School for Music Study, Inc. It's in 6/8 A minor.

Well Martin, I guess once you've got it in hand, you'll just have to play it for us!
Posted By: Andy Platt

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/06/11 01:22 AM

OK, let's see if anyone spots a pattern. My achievement/excitement this week was that I went to the second (and third) piano stores in my quest for an acoustic. This time I went to see the Hailun (bit disappointed) and Kawai (super-exicted) range. I had to go to two stores to get to see the Hailun and both K3/K5 I wanted to see - they were "sister stores" actually run by a husband and wife team.

I think the K3 is "mine" ... just have to get the wife to choose the color (she said "don't get black" but now she wants to see them to compare first). The K5 was nice but not that much nicer and I honestly found it hard to stop playing the K3. If I came down to play that every day I would be happy.

The wife at the second store urged me "just for fun" to go play the $114,000 Bechstein they had. It was a close run thing between that and the K3 but I think the Kawai has won wink
Posted By: triptych317

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/06/11 04:13 AM

My achievement of the week actually happened 12 hours ago laugh I'm in a band and I play drums for the most part, but for today I pretty much made up half (or maybe a little bit more) of the entire song on piano in an hour or so. I've never been so focused before, it was really exciting smile If I could do that at home, I would be making songs all the time :T
Posted By: Zinfan

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/06/11 06:53 AM

AOTW (first one I've posted!) is getting independent left and right hand action on a simple piece by Bartok. The piece starts out with the left hand mirroring the right hand with lots of eighth notes and a few staccato's thrown in as well. In measure 6 the left hand plays a series of rising eighth notes (G,A,B,C) while in the right hand I have quarter note staccato's played at the same time as the G and B on the left hand and it took a bit to get this right, my fingers just wanted to contine to mirror each other. I had such a big grin on my face when I got through it the first time. Now working on timing with the metronome as my teacher always wants me exactly on the beat. I have the worst time getting started on the upbeat vice the downbeat, someting I'm sure we will work on for quite some time.
Posted By: Fate

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/06/11 02:49 PM

AOTW for me - finally getting a simple song making heavy use of syncopated rhythms played hands together, with metronome. Now to go after some more complicated...
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/06/11 09:19 PM

zinfan

Congrats. I think I know the piece you are talking about. Its a great feeling when you make those technical breakthroughs. Keep it up and you'll be whizzing through Bach two-part polyphony in a jiffy.
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/06/11 09:34 PM

Andy,

That's terrific news. I'm sure you will love it. Re the color, LOL. My wife didn't tell me that black was the only acceptable color until after I went out of my way to inspect three or four mahagony pianos. tired


Not really an AOTW, but I just dropped my wife and her friend off at a cruise ship. I get to play for a whole week without headphones!!! Hope the dogs don't mind. grin
Posted By: Zinfan

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/07/11 08:50 AM

Originally Posted by JimF
zinfan

Congrats. I think I know the piece you are talking about. Its a great feeling when you make those technical breakthroughs. Keep it up and you'll be whizzing through Bach two-part polyphony in a jiffy.


Thanks for the encouragement JimF! I looked up the title of the song now that I'm at home and it is funny enough titled Song. smile It was in Masterwork Classics Levels 1-2 a book that I love to play in. Coming soon Alberti Bass in the left hand, that should be quite the challenge.
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/09/11 10:07 PM

A nice AOTW this week. My teacher was amazed at how far along I am on the Puccini. Now she's afraid I'll get bored having to play it for three more months till recital laugh I'll take that problem over not being able to play it any time.

As expected, she stuffed another Bach minuet in the working-on queue. This is my fifth or sixth Bach piece and I'm wondering when its going to be time for the preludes or two-part inventions.

Although it doesn't belong here, I have a little whine too. What's up with the fingering for the key of F# Minor? (harmonic) Sheeesh, I thought thumbs on a black key were only for emergencies. Getting this sucker up to my standard speed two hands 4 octaves is going to be a pain in the butt.
Posted By: FarmGirl

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/10/11 12:54 AM

My No1 AOTW is I figured out ZOOM Q3HD and conversion to MP3 file, with help from lots of people here of course.

My No 2 AOTW is the practice time change. I negotiated (one way negotiation) with my husband so that I need to practice at 6:00 AM. Practcing around midnight wasn't working. I was too tired. Now I love it. My brain is fresh and I think it’s more productive. My husband does not seem to mind it since he has to wake up anyway. I am banging really big since I am practicing the ending of the 1st movement of the sonata pathetique. Love those dramatic chords.

I feel great that I don’t need to play the Christmas music any more. I am back to my favorite Beethoven piece and Rachmaninoff. Beethoven piece, I will play for the coming recital in May. Life is good again.
Posted By: GlassLove

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/10/11 02:44 AM

I am really really really excited. My new teacher who insisted that I focus on "easier" music to improve my technique assigned to me my all time favorite piece of music this evening.......

Chopin's Prelude in E Minor

I actually rejected it at first. I told her that there was nothing I would hate more than to play THIS piece badly, but she encouraged me to take it on. She said that in the last two months I had managed to work through some of my "issues," and that I should be able to do it.

By the way, did I say that I was excited??
Posted By: Andy Platt

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/10/11 03:08 AM

My AOTW? This is my 500th post to Piano World - yeah! I actually didn't plan that ... I knew I was close and suddenly thought, how close.

GlassLove - I love that prelude too. The first page (in my edition) is a little above my sight reading level but not too bad (repetition helps with my sight reading - I can stumble over real simple stuff but give me 8 repeated chords and it's a breeze). The second page needs a little more work. I should tackle it, though ... it's so beautiful.
Posted By: MaryBee

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/10/11 04:21 PM

Wrapped up my piece for the ABF recital, and I'm starting a new one!!! Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata, Mvt. 1. Came home from my lessons last night and did a rough play-through for the first time. Ahhh.
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/10/11 08:06 PM

GlassLove - The e minor prelude is so much fun to play. And the process of tinkering with the dynamics and tones seems like it could go on for a long, long time. I'm sure you will have it down in no time at all.

MaryBee - I can hear you playing those big chords already.
Bum-Ba-Bummm! (that looks funny in print, but thats the way I hear it grin)
Posted By: Toastburn

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/11/11 12:08 PM

My achievement today was getting the rhythm right in a passage towards the end of the 3rd mvmt of the Pathetique. I had been putting the emphasis on the weak beats not the strong beats. Only taken me a year (or more) to realize this! Now it still needs polishing to remove some smudges and tighten up the dynamics. But a real achievement today!
Posted By: DebraK

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/11/11 12:20 PM

I think I've correctly figured out how to play the trills in the Clementi Sonatina Op. 36, No. 1. I played this piece 15 years ago when I was taking lessons, so I must have known how to play it at one time. With help from the PianoWorld forum, as well as other online explanations and youtube performances, I think I will be okay. Now I just need to practice it a lot to get my fingers correctly playing it.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/11/11 04:13 PM

I'm really enjoying reading about your AOTW everyone!
I'm a bit blue.... I'm still not playing much , trying to rest the hands - and it is killing me to be away from the piano so much.

I am trying a bit of composition, working on some theory with my teacher and I've got 8 bars.
My tune is in A minor and as it started in my head when I was half awake, I called it "nel dormiveglia" (half-awake)
As we were working on it, I said I thought it sounded a bit Russian and then I started to laugh -
because "russo" is the masculine adjective form for Russian, but it also means "I snore" -
so the title of this unfinished work is "In dormivegla, "russo" "

Posted By: Andy Platt

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/11/11 04:19 PM

Am I allowed two AotW in the same week? Well, my last was a cheat anyway.

My teacher yesterday said that she wanted me to be her first pupil who got 90 minute lessons. The studio policy has a discounted rate for those "by teacher nomination only". While I'm honored I had to tell her that it was difficult enough for me to get out of work for an hour (plus travel) each week ... but I'm thinking about it.

P.S. Now I'm thinking I'm sooo bad that she thinks I need the longer lessons wink
Posted By: GlassLove

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/11/11 04:33 PM

Your song title is VERY funny, Cheryl. I am sorry about your hands and I can easily imagine how frustrating it is for you to limit your playing time.

Andy-That is really cool!! Actually, beyond really cool. I hope that you can do it. And immediately dismiss your second interpretation, trust me, she wouldn't have nominated you if she thought you were bad.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/11/11 04:34 PM

Originally Posted by Andy Platt
Now I'm thinking I'm sooo bad that she thinks I need the longer lessons wink


If you were THAT bad, she probably wouldn't want to endure another 30 minutes a week with you smile ... take it as a comliment!
Posted By: Cobra1365

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/11/11 07:21 PM

My AOTW...first "lesson" (see also "lunchtime practice while a work" thread).

Lots of good pointers and got a "doing very well considering I am self taught until now and only been playing since May and that the piece I am learning is an intermediate level piece"

Look forward to more sessions!
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/11/11 08:09 PM

I think I have to start a new thread titled "HSOTW - Head-Slap of the Week"

from my earlier post:
Quote
What's up with the fingering for the key of F# Minor? (harmonic) Sheeesh, I thought thumbs on a black key were only for emergencies. Getting this sucker up to my standard speed two hands 4 octaves is going to be a pain in the butt.


DOH!! I spent a whole day misreading a scale!!!!!!!!!!!!
DOH! HEAD_SLAP DOH!

Somehow I was trying to play a e flat instead of the e-sharp (f) that I should have been playing! Doh!

Sometimes I feel really stupid. This is one of them. E muoio disperato!
Posted By: Andy Platt

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/11/11 08:24 PM

Originally Posted by JimF
DOH!! I spent a whole day misreading a scale!!!!!!!!!!!!
DOH! HEAD_SLAP DOH!

Somehow I was trying to play a e flat instead of the e-sharp (f) that I should have been playing! Doh!


smile

But I think it probably points to you needing to spend some time on "ear" work. Because the sound of that should have immediately had you realize you were playing the wrong thing.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/11/11 09:19 PM

Oh, Jim, that's funny - frustrating for you, but funny!

I had a chuckle tonight too - I'd been working on "my composition" for a bit and while we were doing the dishes........ my husband was humming it smile
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/11/11 09:23 PM

Actually my ear did catch it right away. But I was hurrying through a practice session and just glanced again at the scale book, SAW it was e sharp, and then just shrugged my shoulders and played it as e flat for another 10 minutes - don't ask me why. By the next morning, I realized where I'd gone wrong.

doh! whome
Posted By: Akira

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/11/11 09:56 PM

After three years of lessons, learning from method books and watered-down versions of greater works, I've just completed my first classical piece (as written); Beethoven's Pathetique (2nd movement). I've been playing pop and jazz all this time, and thought to expand my musical horizons a little.

Classical isn't really my cup of tea, but it turned out quite decent and better than I thought; although when I compare to the concert pianists' version, of course I can hear a big difference. Nothing I can do about that, with only limited experience.

Still quite happy, nonetheless. Oh yeah, it was a heck of lot of work...(but worth it).

Posted By: MaryBee

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/12/11 06:00 PM

Akira, that's a great accomplishment! So are you going to try any other classical pieces, or is that it for you?
Posted By: MaryBee

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/12/11 06:08 PM

I've been working on the Moonlight Sonata for a few days now, and the music is beautiful, but this stupid song keeps popping into my head as I'm playing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=toyLQzd8HrY

Good grief!
Posted By: Andy Platt

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/12/11 06:52 PM

Originally Posted by Andy Platt
I think the K3 is "mine" ... just have to get the wife to choose the color (she said "don't get black" but now she wants to see them to compare first).


I nearly had a heart attack when I took my wife to the store this morning and she said she didn't like either the black or the mahogany and wouldn't have either in the house. Luckily it turns out that it was the polished look she didn't like, she preferred the satin black (cheaper than mahogany too), I got a price on that I liked and I've bought it!!!

She's also very worried about how loud it is ... I think she is rethinking her statement about not allowing me to keep the digital for practicing on ....

Now I have to face that long wait that many of you have had while it's prepped before delivery!!!

And I promise pictures and a recording when it's delivered.
Posted By: jotur

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/12/11 07:04 PM

Whoo hoo! How wonderful to be waiting on a new piano - congratulations.

Cathy
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/12/11 11:35 PM

hey, thats great news, Andy. congratulations! thumb
Posted By: GlassLove

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/13/11 01:35 AM

How wonderful Andy!!!! CONGRATULATIONS. Doesn't your piano have a "practice pedal?" It shouldn't be too loud.
I can play mine at night once the children are asleep and it doesn't seem to bother them, even when I don't use the practice pedal.
How long must you wait before you get it?
Posted By: Andy Platt

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/13/11 01:52 AM

Originally Posted by GlassLove
How wonderful Andy!!!! CONGRATULATIONS. Doesn't your piano have a "practice pedal?" It shouldn't be too loud.

Actually my daughter said, "It's a bit too quiet when you press that".

Quote

I can play mine at night once the children are asleep and it doesn't seem to bother them, even when I don't use the practice pedal.


I think the kids would be fine ... my wife is a different story!

Quote
How long must you wait before you get it?

Eternity. Or about a week. I can't remember which.
Posted By: BenPiano

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/13/11 05:34 AM

Congrats, Andy!
Posted By: Pianosaurus Rex

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/13/11 10:58 AM

Originally Posted by JimF
DOH!! I spent a whole day misreading a scale!!!!!!!!!!!!
DOH! HEAD_SLAP DOH!

Somehow I was trying to play a e flat instead of the e-sharp (f) that I should have been playing! Doh!

Sometimes I feel really stupid. This is one of them. E muoio disperato!


Oh my, it must've felt odd when you found that out!

Anyway, it's still quite a nasty scale. smile
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/13/11 11:52 AM

Andy!!!! I'm thrilled for you! Ah the wait is a killer.

I am so curious to hear about how you feel on the transition from dp to acoustic. You will find it SO LOUD! Especially if you've been used to turning down the volume on the dp.... Interestingly enough though, my husband has NEVER complained about the noise- I seem to be the only one intimidated by it. It took me about a month to feel "ok" with the sound level, and another month to feel "ok" with playing a bit of forte. Now I'm really testing the waters, and still no complaints. When you consider we have marble floors and hard plaster walls, (it really is pretty loud ) I think it is incredible that no on is complaining.

Can't wait to see pics of your new Baby!

MaryBee - I'd never heard that song before ...or rather, if I have heard it I don't remember it. I think it would be quite irritating to have it running through your head as you play!

Akira, -good for you! That's a lovely achievement!
Posted By: MaryBee

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/14/11 04:15 AM

Andy, how exciting! You are going to love it!

Originally Posted by casinitaly
I am so curious to hear about how you feel on the transition from dp to acoustic. You will find it SO LOUD! Especially if you've been used to turning down the volume on the dp.... Interestingly enough though, my husband has NEVER complained about the noise- I seem to be the only one intimidated by it. It took me about a month to feel "ok" with the sound level, and another month to feel "ok" with playing a bit of forte.
That was one of the hardest things to get used to when I got my acoustic. In fact, it has taken me about a year-and-a-half to feel comfortable playing ff. But then, I had my digital for over 15 years, so I was very used to it. My teacher has been pushing me for quite a while now to not be so timid with the volume. He told me last week to try to "scare" the people in my house when I play the con forza/con fuoco sections of my piece. I think I did it, because for the first time, my husband mentioned that it might be good if I use the practice pedal when I play that at night. smile
Posted By: Zinfan

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/14/11 06:01 AM

One achievement leads into another for me. Last week I decided I'd start walking to my lessons since it is only about a mile and a half and takes about 30 minutes to get there. That is great and all but during the lesson I mentioned to my teacher that I had trouble starting on the upbeat i.e. on the "and" instead of the "one" "two" etc. I just didn't have a good feel for it and it was effecting my dotted quarter notes.

For 15 minutes we worked on me marching to the metronome and trying to clap on the upbeat. I couldn't do it each upbeat but since the measure I was working on was a dotted quarter with a eighth note followed by a half note I tried doing just the one measure like so. Feet marching on "one" "two" "hand clap" feet continue to "three" "four" and it was very helpful. On the walk home I did my best impression of a crazy person as I repeated the drill with finger snaps taking place of the clapping (I'm sure clapping while walking down the street would get the white coats after me). I now feel much better about my eighth note timing and I hope to show the teacher tomorrow (and I'll have time to work it out on the way there during my walk).
Posted By: Zinfan

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/14/11 06:02 AM

Congratulations on your new piano Andy! I hope to buy an acoustic next year if all goes well.
Posted By: dlr

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/14/11 04:31 PM

Wow, Andy ~ what a week! I think it's so cool that you're going to be having 90 minute lessons! When I was younger, my lessons were 30 minutes (of torture!). My new teacher is giving me one hour lessons, and it's perfect. There's no way 30 minutes would be long enough. I'm totally excited for you.

PLUS getting a new piano! You must be on pins and needles smile I can't wait to see pictures and hear all about it when you get it into your home. Congratulations!


My achievement is finally perfecting a section of the Mozart Fantasie that had been giving me trouble. It's not a difficult piece, doesn't seem like I should be having trouble with it. But there's one section that I just wasn't quite getting. I would hesitate a couple times, every time I played it. This week I focused on that section, playing slowly, and now I can play it over and over, at tempo, without hesitation. It was a fingering issue. Now I'm so much more relaxed when I play it, because I'm not anticipating a hitch.


D
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/14/11 09:21 PM

Originally Posted by Zinfan
One achievement leads into another for me. Last week I decided I'd start walking to my lessons since it is only about a mile and a half and takes about 30 minutes to get there. That is great and all but during the lesson I mentioned to my teacher that I had trouble starting on the upbeat i.e. on the "and" instead of the "one" "two" etc. I just didn't have a good feel for it and it was effecting my dotted quarter notes.

For 15 minutes we worked on me marching to the metronome and trying to clap on the upbeat. I couldn't do it each upbeat but since the measure I was working on was a dotted quarter with a eighth note followed by a half note I tried doing just the one measure like so. Feet marching on "one" "two" "hand clap" feet continue to "three" "four" and it was very helpful. On the walk home I did my best impression of a crazy person as I repeated the drill with finger snaps taking place of the clapping (I'm sure clapping while walking down the street would get the white coats after me). I now feel much better about my eighth note timing and I hope to show the teacher tomorrow (and I'll have time to work it out on the way there during my walk).


And now, from the department of silly walks, here's Zinfan!!! grin
Posted By: Zinfan

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/15/11 12:51 AM

Originally Posted by JimF
Originally Posted by Zinfan
One achievement leads into another for me. Last week I decided I'd start walking to my lessons since it is only about a mile and a half and takes about 30 minutes to get there. That is great and all but during the lesson I mentioned to my teacher that I had trouble starting on the upbeat i.e. on the "and" instead of the "one" "two" etc. I just didn't have a good feel for it and it was effecting my dotted quarter notes.

For 15 minutes we worked on me marching to the metronome and trying to clap on the upbeat. I couldn't do it each upbeat but since the measure I was working on was a dotted quarter with a eighth note followed by a half note I tried doing just the one measure like so. Feet marching on "one" "two" "hand clap" feet continue to "three" "four" and it was very helpful. On the walk home I did my best impression of a crazy person as I repeated the drill with finger snaps taking place of the clapping (I'm sure clapping while walking down the street would get the white coats after me). I now feel much better about my eighth note timing and I hope to show the teacher tomorrow (and I'll have time to work it out on the way there during my walk).


And now, from the department of silly walks, here's Zinfan!!! grin


Haha that is great and it didn't help that I was bopping along snapping my fingers in the rain today. Only crazy people walk in the rain right?
Posted By: oudeis

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/16/11 09:27 PM

My AOTW: got a pass on Heller 47/7 ('The Hunt'), although I think I can do better than what I displayed to my teacher. Also got a pass on Bach BWVa 119, with lots of praise smile. New assignments for next week: Heller 47/8 and First Lessons in Bach/6. Challenging!!
But the biggest achievement is that I got a bit more comfortable playing my new piano (I'm still not used to the volume, so I tend to play with a bit of reservation).
Posted By: tangleweeds

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/16/11 10:30 PM

Congratulations on your new piano, and on acclimatizing to having new levels of power at your fingertips wink Enjoy!

My AOTW has snuck up on me enough times in the past few days that I think it's real -- I can now hear simple sheet music in my head when I pre-read it prior to sight reading. I keep finding myself realizing in mid preview that a piece whose name rings no bells is actually a tune that I recognize.

Stuff that I've never heard before is harder to summon in my head, but if the tune is simple-minded enough, I now can get a pretty good idea of what it should sound before I even touch the piano.

Since I've only been back to playing piano again for a couple of weeks, I think this development must be a delayed payoff from all the hard work I was doing on sight reading before my quit-smoking piano hiatus.
Posted By: GlassLove

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/16/11 11:58 PM

Tangleweeds,
That is really a wonderful accomplishment. I cannot do that yet, but I am able to imagine the possibility, thus also able to long for the ability.
It will be interesting to hear about how this new ability affects your playing. Please share in the future if you feel like it.
Posted By: Emphursis1

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/17/11 11:39 AM

AOTW? Probably finally managing to get the rhythm of bars 3/4 of Pathetique Mvt 3 right. I was thinking about it one night, something seemed to click, so the next morning, the first thing I did was sit down and try it. I could have jumped for joy!
Add that to a really good lesson this week as well laugh

I wish I could have lessons longer than 30 minutes, but I really can't afford it at the minute, so lucky you!
Posted By: Canonie

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/17/11 11:57 AM

Tangleweeds that actually made me audibly gasp. Adult learning is amazing! How is it that we can make such impossible, intangible skills become reality. I'm not surprised that it should come after a rest.. not sure why but that timing seems right somehow.

da da da DAH diDAH diDAH....... Ooooohhhh that bar Emphursis - well done smile
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/17/11 12:36 PM

I have no achievements to report, but I'm really enjoying reading about everyone's progress. It keeps me optimistic and inspired!

Way to go AOTW Team!!!!!
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/17/11 06:03 PM

Tangleweeds - What a nice breakthrough. Smokefree and can hear written music. Your synapses have come out of the fog! thumb grin

Cheryl - Yes you did. You posted a nice recording in the recital. Congrats.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/17/11 06:25 PM

Originally Posted by JimF
Tangleweeds - What a nice breakthrough. Smokefree and can hear written music. Your synapses have come out of the fog! thumb grin

Cheryl - Yes you did. You posted a nice recording in the recital. Congrats.


aw, blush Thanks Jim!
I've truly been greatly cheered by the kind support and encouragement I've had in the feedback on my piece.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/20/11 06:51 PM

Ok....lol I have composed my first piano piece!

It is about 50 bars long and I'm vastly amused with myself, my husband is quite entertained as well.

It is, of course still a first draft,and I'll review it with my teacher tomorrow - I've written a few things that sound great but are really hard for me to play - how funny is that!?

I did some tinkling at the piano, and used MuseScore to write it up. MuseScore also has a playback feature so you can hear what you've done. (Hence the writing of parts I can't play all that well)....

Once I have it refined and playable, I will share the "first final version" I expect a few modifications as I get better at this.
(How cheeky am I? I just ASSUME you want to hear it smile )

Posted By: MaryBee

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/21/11 05:07 AM

What an accomplishment! Of course we want to hear it! (How could you think otherwise?)
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/21/11 07:21 AM

Originally Posted by MaryBee
What an accomplishment! Of course we want to hear it! (How could you think otherwise?)


lol.. well, that's the cheeky part - I didn't smile

Kidding aside, I look at this thread group with particular fondness and can't wait to have something presentable to post and share with you all!

Posted By: hoffy

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/21/11 11:11 AM

What got me excited this week? I learnt how to solo....OK, not fully, but for Watermelon Man, which is the piece I have been working with. My tutor showed me a few bits and pieces playing with the blues scale on that song and cut me off at the knees and call me shorty, I got it to work! Sure, it doesn't sound like what he can do (I am in awe when I here him play), but its a start and made me happy!

The other thing I have noticed of late as well, is I am hearing better when it comes to other music. I have been downloading a lot of different jazz/blues/soul music and I have noticed that I am really starting to hear the piano a lot stronger then I used to.

Cheers
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/21/11 12:40 PM

Hoffy, do you mean improvising? Creating the rest of the piece on your own? That's really cool!

I too have noticed my hearing improving in terms of picking out left and right hand, and isolating instruments, mostly piano, but also others.
Exciting, isn't it?
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/21/11 10:45 PM

Cheryl,

I hope you haven't made it too hard, because then I can make it one of my weekly "throw-aways". I will present you to my teacher as a well-known contemporary Italian composer. thumb (well-known to those on PW's AOTW thread)
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/21/11 10:49 PM

Originally Posted by JimF
Cheryl,

I hope you haven't made it too hard, because then I can make it one of my weekly "throw-aways". I will present you to my teacher as a well-known contemporary Italian composer. thumb (well-known to those on PW's AOTW thread)


Too funny! No it isn't too hard - heck *I* can play it smile
It isn't terribly sophisticated but ....sure I'll share it- including the whole story behind and what the piece illustrates!

I will of course also have to "perform" it for you all smile
I had my lesson today and we tweaked it - and after the lesson I tweaked it again - to make it a bit easier for me to play and also to bring a bit more drama to it.

Edited to add....
Hey, I just realized you want to make my first orginal piano composition a THROW AWAY PIECE??? I think I should be offended! (.....nah....Not really I'm rofl, and flattered you would even consider it, sight unheard so to speak!)
Posted By: Cobra1365

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/21/11 10:55 PM

I made it through the first 5 measures with no mistakes!

Baby steps I keep telling myself!

Last lesson, I was amazed that I forgot a very basic premise...fingering and hand position. I was moving my hands all over the place...my "coach" (I like that term better than teacher) showed me that I could play four measures straight without moving her hands around if I were to keep my right hand in middle C position! One of those smack the forehead moments where I said "DOH! I knew that!"
Posted By: FarmGirl

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/22/11 03:53 AM

Cheryl, I cannot wait to see it too. I also appreciated you mentioned MuseScore. I did not know such service existed. I wind up not being able to see many parts of my composition due to heavy pencil marks.

As far as my AOTW is concerned, not so much. I already practiced today. Got the notes down for my recital piece - 1st movement of Beethoven's Pathetique. Now it's the hard part. The speed is not there. There are many fast runs. I think I have to completely memorize it. It will be fun (?) to memorize this. I was listening to the recording of famous and not-so-famous pianists. One person (not-so-famous one) mistakenly went back to a wrong page at repeat. Oh, they are human too:) Anyway, it was lots of fun to listen to different interpretation, quality of sounds and simply different way of playing. I will go back there and play something different now.
Posted By: BenPiano

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/22/11 05:42 AM

My AOTW was the amount of time I got on my upright since the family was away for a couple of days. (wahoo! grin )

I managed to record 4 of the pieces I've been working on with one great, two okay, and one real clunker, but that's recording. The other 3 pieces eluded successful recording, but oh well. *sigh*

I also got some serious practice time on a couple of Grieg pieces (waltz and ballade) which there is a thread here about recently. (I'm lovin' Grieg's lyrical pieces!)

And finally, I was reminded that the action on my Kawai upright is a little heavier than my Roland digital. I really should try to get more practice time on my upright when I get the chance.

A great week! (or, um, I mean a great couple of days grin )
Posted By: hoffy

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/22/11 09:56 AM

Originally Posted by casinitaly
Hoffy, do you mean improvising? Creating the rest of the piece on your own? That's really cool!

I too have noticed my hearing improving in terms of picking out left and right hand, and isolating instruments, mostly piano, but also others.
Exciting, isn't it?


Not quite, I am not sure whether what I have been taught is 100% right, but I have either been using the notes from the blues scale or the notes from the appropriate cord/scale, playing them in a rhythmic fashion and seeing what happens.
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/22/11 07:32 PM

Cheryl,

re: Cheryl's Snoring Sonata (it was something like that, wasn't it?) sleep

Quote
Hey, I just realized you want to make my first orginal piano composition a THROW AWAY PIECE??? I think I should be offended!


True enough, it does sound like I'd be putting you out with the trash. But think of the company you'd be keeping! Recent throwaways have been names like Diabelli, Gurlitt, and Bartok. wink grin

Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/22/11 07:38 PM

Originally Posted by JimF
Cheryl,

re: Cheryl's Snoring Sonata (it was something like that, wasn't it?) sleep

Quote
Hey, I just realized you want to make my first orginal piano composition a THROW AWAY PIECE??? I think I should be offended!


True enough, it does sound like I'd be putting you out with the trash. But think of the company you'd be keeping! Recent throwaways have been names like Diabelli, Gurlitt, and Bartok. wink grin

This popped up just as I was about to head off to get supper started - you made me laugh!

It is called "In dormiveglia "russo" " which is a joke/play on words.
I thought it as I was awaking up - hence "dormiveglia" which can be when you are falling asleep or waking up (half and half state of conciousness)... Then I added "russo" because it sounded Russian.
Russo also means "snore" and my teacher added the "in" So, Poetrically we could call it Russian Slumber, or .... less so... "Half awake, I snore"
We were killing ourselves laughing.

Indeed I would be in good company - I shall cease complaining Jim smile

Posted By: oudeis

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/24/11 06:57 AM

I'm still on a high from yesterday's lesson. Last week I was assigned nr 6 from First Lessons in Bach, and it kind of fell under my fingers. I knew I would surprise my teacher with the progress I had made, but apparently I did better than we both expected. It's off the assignment list, and is replaced with CPE Bach's Solfeggietto.

Funny thing is: usually I have a lot more trouble learning pieces, to the extent that I play them from memory by the time I have another lesson (due to lots and lots of repetitions). The last few pieces from First Lessons in Bach are different. I can't play them without the sheet music. My reading is definitely improving (and yes, I know that I'm not really reading when I've played a piece tens of times, but I'm still happy with this progress).
Posted By: Cobra1365

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/24/11 02:13 PM

Originally Posted by JimF
Originally Posted by Zinfan
One achievement leads into another for me. Last week I decided I'd start walking to my lessons since it is only about a mile and a half and takes about 30 minutes to get there. That is great and all but during the lesson I mentioned to my teacher that I had trouble starting on the upbeat i.e. on the "and" instead of the "one" "two" etc. I just didn't have a good feel for it and it was effecting my dotted quarter notes.

For 15 minutes we worked on me marching to the metronome and trying to clap on the upbeat. I couldn't do it each upbeat but since the measure I was working on was a dotted quarter with a eighth note followed by a half note I tried doing just the one measure like so. Feet marching on "one" "two" "hand clap" feet continue to "three" "four" and it was very helpful. On the walk home I did my best impression of a crazy person as I repeated the drill with finger snaps taking place of the clapping (I'm sure clapping while walking down the street would get the white coats after me). I now feel much better about my eighth note timing and I hope to show the teacher tomorrow (and I'll have time to work it out on the way there during my walk).


And now, from the department of silly walks, here's Zinfan!!! grin


I love that Monty Python Skit! But you can't refer to it without posting a youtube clip! It's just not good form! grin grin

Silly Walks
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/24/11 03:40 PM

hee hee good one Cobra.

So, my achievement is a bit of a passive one ...I went to the dr yesterday.
I was a bit disconcerted to see how young she was, but once I got over that, I thought she was just great. Of course it was all in Italian and there were some technical terms... fortunately I had done some homework and knew some of the terms in Enlgish and she was very careful to give examples and explainations to be sure I was following her. It worked just fine.

It is tendonitis (specifically trigger finger or "ditto a scatto", and we shall see if it can be treated with therapies.
She said that if this kind of problem goes too far without attention, it can become irreversible so I'm hoping that with this therapy it will be ok.
If not...well, we'll cross that bridge later, but I was pleased with the way she interacted with me.

I don't have to stop playing, but I will maintain my reduced playing levels for a while longer and avoid playing certain pieces that stress the pinky more than others.
She suggested stretching both before and after playing and also soaking my hands in warm water (alla Glen Gould smile ) .... interestingly - acute tendonitis likes cold, my kind, which unfortunately is called "chronic" - likes heat.

I have a little splint, or brace, to wear at night to keep the last 3 fingers of my right hand extended. (To help them relax)
I have to also put a "patch" with an anti-inflammatory med on overnight.
I have to do some massages with an arnica cream
I have to do a lot of gentle stretching exercises and some massage to the forearm.
I will also be doing some parafin treatment ( the same sort of thing you have if you get a treatment at the esthetician).

I have to report back in 3 weeks.

So... so far so good.
Let's see how it rolls.
Posted By: BenPiano

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/24/11 03:45 PM

Bummer to hear that, Cas. It's nice to hear that you're getting treatment for it.

And, by the way, "ditto a scatto" sound like it could be a title for an Einaudi piece! laugh
Posted By: GlassLove

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/24/11 03:50 PM

Maybe Cheryl will write a new piece called "ditto a scatto" while waiting for her hands to recover.

Glad your visit went well and that there is some way that you can intervene.
Posted By: MaryBee

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/24/11 04:43 PM

Cheryl, sounds there's a lot you're going to be doing to get this under control. Best wishes for a full recovery for you. In the meantime, keep up the composing! (BTW, my piano teacher is primarily a composer, with a doctorate in music composition. You would probably love talking with him. Funny thing is, even with a teacher like this, I've never composed anything.)
Posted By: jotur

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/24/11 04:48 PM

Cheryl - I'm sending good thoughts your way. It's kind of scary, huh? But I've heard of other people who had this problem, and nipped it in the bud, which it sounds like you can do. And you're the kind of person who's wise enough to do so - your own best friend smile

Take care, you're important to this forum!

Cathy
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/24/11 07:39 PM

Cobra - Thanks for posting that. I was pressed for time that day, so didn't hunt down the clip. Otherwise I would have seen it was Ministry of Silly Walks, not Department. Silly me.

Cheryl - Hope you have a speedy recovery. Do you have any idea if some particular piece or exercise was the main cause of your tendonitis? Is it the pinky in both hands?
Posted By: FarmGirl

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/24/11 10:54 PM

Cheryl, i pray for your hand. I wish I could help you. It's kinda frustrating not knowing what's going on. Not sure if it's similar to yours but I had lots of pain in my hands when I came back to piano first time. Read my story below and let me know. If you had similar experience, stop doing the particular exercises helped me. I also stopped playing every 15 minutes and did finger/hand exercise routines. A friend of mine, who was studying to be a physical therapist gave me this. He called it an opposite exercise since you move it in an opposite direction from piano playing.

1) Bend you hands slowly backwards 3 times, 2) Extend each finger up and backward from a fist position, 3) Move your hands slowly in a circular motion around your wrist.

My story
Because I did not touch piano more than 20 years, my fingers were wobbling and it was apparent that I needed to do something to strengthen my fingers. The teacher I had at that time was very enthusiastic about Pischna piano exercises. She believed in that those rigorous exercises in Pischna are good for come back adults like me to regain control and finger independence. Technically, iMO, Pischna works wonders in a short amount of time if you do it an hour a day. But there is often unwanted consequences. I started having severe pain in my hand and had to stop playing for a while. Maybe I overdid it. I practiced pishuna 1 hour a day those days. Anyway I hope the exercises above help you.
Posted By: FarmGirl

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/24/11 11:13 PM

My AOTW - I just came back from my lesson. My teacher said "Wow, it's definately coming", which made my day. I am still working on the Beethoven's Pathetique 1st movement. I love this piece. I am going to submit it to the next recital and also playing in my teacher's studio recital. I still need to work on speed while paying attention to details such as soft landing on the last note of the trills and other articulations (e.g. subito piano that suddenly come up in the sea of crescendo) etc. I really wish, desire and would like to play the long runs of 8ve like vibrating humming birds wings someday.
Posted By: rozina

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/24/11 11:48 PM

I am as well having quite some pain in my hands, specially in my thumb, and forearm. I am scheduled to see the doctor on Monday but until then I would like to do anything I can to help my hands. So I have a couple of questions about those exercises FarmGirl. When you band your hands slowly backwards, do you do it with their muscles or are you stretching it with the other hand? Same question goes for the fingers.
Posted By: MaryBee

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/25/11 12:34 AM

Originally Posted by FarmGirl
I really wish, desire and would like to play the long runs of 8ve like vibrating humming birds wings someday.
What an intriguing description! It makes me want to hear it!
Posted By: FarmGirl

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/25/11 04:06 AM

Rozina,

when you bend your hands backwards, you do not use fingers. Just streatch your hands backwards. Do it SLOWLY. When you bend each finger, use other finger to streatch it up and slowly / gently move it backwards. That's the instruction I got. Hope it works for you too. Not every 15 min any more but
I still do this exercise every night.

MaryBee,

Currently my fingers are moving more like a dorky bat rather than a humming bird. Not sure if I can make the farmgirl fingers to behave so gracefully, but I will try my best.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/25/11 06:19 PM

Thanks everyone for your kind wishes - Ben that's funny - I am probably one of the minority in ABF who doesn't know a lot of Einaudi! Christine, I'll think on it. The pieces I'm tempted to do next are 2 songs I did for guitar years ago. One is a lullaby, the other is a sort of ballad.
MaryBee, you should give composing a try - especially if you have such a good resource to get you rolling!!! Cathy ( blush ) It is always lovely to feel wanted, thanks smile
Jim - the problem pre-existed playing the piano but it was MUCH milder and I rarely noticed it. In the past few months it has gotten a lot worse and has to be managed! Sadly, it seems age has a lot to do with it, and there's not much I can do about that!
FarmGirl, thank you for your prayers, great medicine! The exercises my dr gave me were in part similar to yours - I have to extend my arm fully when doing the "bending the fingers back" gently because I have to stretch all the way up to my elbow. I also have to stretch one finger at a time on a table edge, I have to squeeze a sponge with my hand in hot water and I have to do massages. I did one last night while we were watching a film.
My hand felt great last night, but this morning when I took the splint off it was really really stiff and that was a bit disconcerting..... on the positive side, once I had wiggled them and moved on with the day, I have to say my fingers feel better today than 2 days ago. The pinky joint however is uncomfortable. (Jim it is primarily in one hand - the right. I'm left handed. I've noticed a little bit in the left hand recently but I'm doing the massage and parafin treatments and stretching on both hands, so I hope to really get control of the left hand before it gets any worse.

Again, thanks everyone for your kindess and concern, it is much appreciated.
xx
Posted By: Kymber

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/27/11 04:27 AM

Today I figured out an entire song by ear. Its the first time Ive ever achieved this and something I never thought I'd be to do. (I used to think that skill was reserved for only a special few).

I also noticed my playing is getting smoother and more even. And my fingers (all of them are feeling stronger.
Posted By: Andy Platt

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/27/11 04:36 AM

My AotW was definitely practicing the Schumann duet with my teacher. What a blast. We both finished laughing at the end of our first run-through - it's such a fun piece. We're going to play it in a couple of weeks for a recital - not sure where; my teacher says "where we go to hospitals and retirement homes and we play our music".

Cheryl - hope your hand recovers quickly and fully.


Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/27/11 12:47 PM

Originally Posted by Andy Platt
My AotW was definitely practicing the Schumann duet with my teacher. What a blast. We both finished laughing at the end of our first run-through - it's such a fun piece. We're going to play it in a couple of weeks for a recital - not sure where; my teacher says "where we go to hospitals and retirement homes and we play our music".

Cheryl - hope your hand recovers quickly and fully.



Thanks Andy.
I love hearing about your duet. I'll have to ask my teacher if she has that one.
We've had similar experiences with some of our duets - in particular "Tamborino Cinese" (which no surprise, is "Chinese Drum")... It is HUGE fun.
Good luck with the recital!
Posted By: dlr

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/27/11 10:10 PM

My AOTW is regarding my practice time. I've been able to get in 3-4 hours nearly every day. Previously I was aiming for 2, but sometimes only getting an hour. I've been able to see real progress. I'm able to spend more time on sight reading and technic. My teacher said at my lesson Friday that she sees an improvement in evenness in scale sections. Also - my teacher assigned my first Bach Two Part Invention (#8) this week. She told me to play hands separate (something I'm not used to doing) for one week, until my next lesson - just the first page. That takes a lot of willpower. I'm so tempted to attempt to put the hands together, but I told her I'll do exactly as she says. And so I will smile

My lessons are the highlight of my week. I'm so glad I found my perfect teacher!


Posted By: FarmGirl

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/27/11 11:07 PM

My AOTW is WIP now.

I am doing a lot of HS as well. There are 2 line runs that appears twice in the piece (example below). If you can see the picture below, the cirled notes (inner voices) must be played absolutely quietly while the outer voices will crescendo. It's very difficult and my patience is tried. I would like nail this down during the weekend, so it means in a couple of hours... I will report back to you tomorrow.


[Linked Image]
Posted By: dlr

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/28/11 01:20 AM

FarmGirl, I bet you'll get it down. I'll be watching to see how you came along with it. Good luck!


Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/28/11 07:48 AM

Denise that's great - I love my teacher too and I know what you mean about it being the highlight of your week.
My teacher will be here in about 20 minutes and I should get off the computer!!!
FarmGirl - that score looks like a lovely challenge! Mamma mia - I'm sure you'll get it and report back proudly soon!
Posted By: Maharishi

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/28/11 12:33 PM

Well, I suppose my greatest achievement this week has been the playing D-major scale with my RH.. and a little extract of a Schubert Impromptu..

Normally, no big deal to play, but I had an operation on my right hand last week ( eek ) and there might have been some issues… but so far, so good smile

Good luck to all here who likewise face the unknown with their hands, wrists, arms…

Greetings to all,
Posted By: dlr

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/28/11 02:17 PM

That's a wonderful achievement, Maharishi! It must feel so good just to have your fingers back on the keyboard. It may sound strange, but I find scales comforting, grounding. If something isn't going right, I can just play scales and feel at home. After a hand trauma like surgery, that scale must have felt so good smile
Great achievement!
Posted By: joyoussong

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/28/11 02:18 PM

My achievement over the past week is that I managed to find time to practice at all, with plumbers in & out, making noise, & one day even turfing ME out for the whole day - even on that day, I managed to get in a half hour before they turfed me out (to heck with the neighbours - this was unusual circumstances!)

Maharishi, what did you have done to your hand?
Posted By: Maharishi

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/28/11 04:57 PM

Originally Posted by dlr
That's a wonderful achievement, Maharishi!…


Thanks so much, dlr!

Originally Posted by dlr
…It must feel so good just to have your fingers back on the keyboard. It may sound strange, but I find scales comforting, grounding. If something isn't going right, I can just play scales and feel at home. After a hand trauma like surgery, that scale must have felt so good smile


Yes, it did feel good! And I love playing scales: if I didn’t have the clock above my piano, I’d spend all my time practising them! I just love their sound – backwards, forwards octaves, thirds, sixths, in parallel and contrary motion !!!

I was able to play a tiny bit of A maj on Thursday evening, when I came home from the clinic, but it was too much to expect – and not that wise to pursue. I tried a few scales that enabled me to keep the most natural hand positions – D-flat, A and E were okayish by Saturday, but D major excruciating so stopped as soon as I started!

That’s why today, Monday, it was really, really great to do the D major and some not-too-demanding pieces…

Originally Posted by joyoussong
Maharishi, what did you have done to your hand?


I had a cyst removed; they don’t know why it was there, but they’re doing tests: I’m so fortunate to live near a world-class hand surgery clinic. They did a really good job, and it’s healing nicely. So I’m going to continue making the most of music for as long as I can!!

Thanks for your nice thoughts smile
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 02/28/11 07:09 PM

Maharishi - hope your hand heals well and quickly! Rozina - did you see the dr today?
ok...editing this post as the problem is fixed...

Read the notes...there are 4 distinct passages to this "story".
I awoke with the first part in my head and over the past couple of weeks I've been tweaking it.

(read previous posts about the story behind the name smile

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

So, let me know what you think...it isn't "brilliant" but it was amusing and very interesting as an exercise
Posted By: MaryBee

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/01/11 05:52 AM

Cheryl, what fun! I played this to start off my practice session tonight, and it was a great lead-in to Moonlight Sonata. Thank you for posting it. And congratulations on your first composition -- hopefully the first of many!
Posted By: FarmGirl

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/01/11 08:01 AM

Cheryl, I would love to play the piece. It looks so good. I wish I had seen it earlier. It’s already past midnight here. My husband and I made an agreement that I stop playing at 11:. I can get to play in the morning a 6:00 AM, so I am not complaining.

Denise, thank you for your kind words. How’s your HS practice going? I got the inner voice volume down. I don’t have the speed yet – long way to go.

All – I discovered something neat this evening. I cooked incredibly tender beans while I was practicing. I used to burn rice a lot. I guess beans are much more suited for pianists to cook while practicing. If you are going to try it, please put lot’s of water and keep the flame low. Don’t practice more than 4 hours though. If you overdo, I think even beans will burn.
Posted By: rozina

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/01/11 12:04 PM

Yes I have seen my doctor yesterday. She says it is probably tendon inflammation so she advised me to massage my hand with ice and to get a sort of wrist band (similar to the ones for carpal tunnel) to hold my hand during activity. She also subscribed me some anti inflammation drugs to take for the next 5 days. Hopefully this will do the trick.

How are your hands doing Casinitaly?

PS: your composition look cool, I might give it a try one day in the near future laugh
Posted By: MaryBee

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/01/11 06:14 PM

Originally Posted by FarmGirl
All – I discovered something neat this evening. I cooked incredibly tender beans while I was practicing. I used to burn rice a lot. I guess beans are much more suited for pianists to cook while practicing. If you are going to try it, please put lot’s of water and keep the flame low. Don’t practice more than 4 hours though. If you overdo, I think even beans will burn.
laugh
My solution is to let my husband cook. We're both happier (and better fed) that way.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/01/11 08:40 PM

FarmGirl, I use the timer! smile

I'm glad you enjoyed playing my piece MaryBee. It is pretty amazing to think someone on the other side of the world is playing my piece!

I am getting a kick out of the enthusiasm - who knows maybe we'll have to start a "Real Beginners' Compositions" thread - that would be fun.

One week of the therapy and I do feel a bit of an improvement. I'm optimistic things are moving in the right direction!!
Posted By: tangleweeds

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/01/11 10:11 PM

When I was getting to know my brother's Japanese wife and her family, I (a aging hippie with long experience cooking brown rice the old-fashioned way) accepted the gift of a rice cooker -- what a marvelous little appliance! I can turn it on, wander off and play piano, and there is warm rice patiently waiting for me.

I've been finding myself sitting there and improvising lately, which isn't anything I'd been particularly comfortable doing before, but this feels very relaxed and low-key.

Again, I think this development is a by-product of my recent quit-smoking musical hiatus, during which time I felt like I was doing a lot of mental musical digestion, though I didn't touch an instrument for months.

I want to write more about this at some point, but I'm still feeling out the whole change. It keeps feeling like I've become a different person at the piano, which is disconcerting. The goals and plans I made for my old self feel constrictive to this new person, who keeps sitting down and just doing things I really didn't believe I was capable of.
Posted By: griffin2417

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/01/11 10:56 PM

Originally Posted by tangleweeds
When I was getting to know my brother's Japanese wife and her family, I (a aging hippie with long experience cooking brown rice the old-fashioned way) accepted the gift of a rice cooker -- what a marvelous little appliance! I can turn it on, wander off and play piano, and there is warm rice patiently waiting for me.

I've been finding myself sitting there and improvising lately, which isn't anything I'd been particularly comfortable doing before, but this feels very relaxed and low-key.

Again, I think this development is a by-product of my recent quit-smoking musical hiatus, during which time I felt like I was doing a lot of mental musical digestion, though I didn't touch an instrument for months.

I want to write more about this at some point, but I'm still feeling out the whole change. It keeps feeling like I've become a different person at the piano, which is disconcerting. The goals and plans I made for my old self feel constrictive to this new person, who keeps sitting down and just doing things I really didn't believe I was capable of.



It sounds like you are open to exploring new possibilities. That's great. Here's to wishing you an exciting and enriching journey!



Posted By: Andy Platt

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/02/11 01:06 AM

Thanks Cheryl - I took your piece out for a sight reading spin today and nice it was too. Though I lost the plot partway through. It's good practice at reading ledger lines!!!
Posted By: FarmGirl

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/02/11 06:33 AM

Cheryl, i played your composition tonight. It was really fun piece.
I could experience lots of emotion in the piece.
My favorite part was measures 28 through 38.
I think you used those dissonance chords very effectively.
My only suggestion is that you could use more action on the left hand side.
Especially, when you depict your emotional world where there is turbulence.
I know I am supposed to respect composor's intention, but can I start with p rather than mf in the first 4 measures?
These broken chord will sound better if you enter softly, I think.
It seems to match with your decription "end of a long tiring day"...
Of course, you can ignore this, since most of the times I don't know what I am talking about 3hearts Overall it is quite an accomplishment. I really enjoyed playing this tonight. Thanks. I will try to put mine up someday..
Posted By: FarmGirl

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/02/11 06:36 AM

Cheryl, you are really talented.
I almost want to play this for the March Piano Bar but I'm sure you want to do it.
So I won't. I just want you to know that I really liked it. It's so professionaly done.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/02/11 07:42 AM

Originally Posted by FarmGirl
Cheryl, you are really talented.
I almost want to play this for the March Piano Bar but I'm sure you want to do it.
So I won't. I just want you to know that I really liked it. It's so professionaly done.

Why thank you! I really appreciate that!- Yes, I plan to play it in the piano bar - I probably won't do it til the near the end of the month with my reduced practice schedule. The funny thing is that there are so many people who can play my piece better than I can, even when sightreading it!!! lol.... well, I'm sure I'll improve ...note by note!

Originally Posted by AndyPlatt
Thanks Cheryl - I took your piece out for a sight reading spin today and nice it was too. Though I lost the plot partway through. It's good practice at reading ledger lines!!!


Glad you enjoyed it Andy - I confess I found myself laughing as I wrote it up, when I realized that having created it at the keyboard it was easy to remember where the extreme notes were, but when looking at the page I went ACK!!

Originally Posted by FarmGirl
My favorite part was measures 28 through 38.
I think you used those dissonance chords very effectively.
My only suggestion is that you could use more action on the left hand side.
Especially, when you depict your emotional world where there is turbulence.
I know I am supposed to respect composor's intention, but can I start with p rather than mf in the first 4 measures?
These broken chord will sound better if you enter softly, I think.
It seems to match with your decription "end of a long tiring day"...
Of course, you can ignore this, since most of the times I don't know what I am talking about Overall it is quite an accomplishment. I really enjoyed playing this tonight. Thanks. I will try to put mine up someday


I really like those bars too - probably because they were really an experiment for me. I really don't like dissonance and it was sort of painfully pleasant to create this "off" sounding part.
I agree that the left hand could be more interesting. As it is, it reflects my limited ability to compose and play. I actually had a lot more notes in the left hand at the beginning and I took them out as I culdn't play it comfortably. the left hand played the same number of notes as the right, but with contrasting notes. I suspect it will go through some revisions in the future, but this is where I'm at.
You have my permission to start at "p" at the beginning.
In fact....:) ....... You can also play with it and do a variation on my theme if you like.

(I should also note that myself am not playing it as written at the moment. For example: the parts that have A D A in the left hand I'm shifting a bit to A D Fsharp simply because I am trying to not stretch much at all.)

I hope you do post yours someday ...soon!

rozina - I would be delighted ifyou gave my piece a try. I saw your video of Gypsy Legend in another thread, nicely done! - I hope your hands feel better soon too!!!
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/02/11 10:47 PM

OK, Cheryl's composition is my unofficial weekly throwaway (unofficial because teacher already assigned something else, but I'll do both)! grin

I did mention to her my intentions regarding the work of an Italian composer, at which point she also assigned me another Puccini aria as shown below. Maybe she misunderstood - my Italian is pretty bad wink .

AOTW was finally finishing off an etude that has been killing me for some time now.RIP to that one. I also had a breakthrough of sorts on scale speed. For quite a few months we have been working on all 24 2 handed four octave scales, going for the highest speed I can while still making it absolutely even. For the longest time I've just been kind of stuck on 60 bpm= 1/4 when playing 16ths this way (so, essentially 4 notes per second). Last week I just happened to get assigned an exercise that called for the fastest one handed 4 octave scale I could do. For some odd reason (I haven't tried one handed for months) it was almost no problem to work this up to 1/4= 75 bpm playing this as 16ths. Now I'm working on the same exercise two handed and it seems like the 60 bpm barrier is going to be gone. I have no idea how or why this happened. Now, I know this is not really fast by other players standards, but for me its a real breakthrough.

On top of that when I played my Tosca piece for the teacher she actually told me the ending gave her chills. If she was just stroking my fragile ego - well, bless her, it worked! I'll take it. All in all a good week.

Posted By: oudeis

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/02/11 11:04 PM

Originally Posted by JimF
On top of that when I played my Tosca piece for the teacher she actually told me the ending gave her chills. If she was just stroking my fragile ego - well, bless her, it worked! I'll take it.


Oh, I so understand (and love!) that feeling. Makes me work extra hard so I can get a similar compliment in next week's lesson.

My highlight of the week is not an achievement, but it got me excited: I talked to my neighbours today, and so far they haven't heard my piano. Not sure if they're simply polite, but I'm so happy. I can play without being afraid of disturbing them!
Posted By: FarmGirl

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/03/11 03:57 AM

Hey, Cheryl, thanks for your permission to start soft. I am looking forward to play your next one (OP.2?). It was funny to read that the ealier versions of the piece was actually more complex. I think composer Cheryl is walking faster than pianist Cheryl. I see, in no time, you will be composing stuff too hard for us ABFers lol.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/03/11 07:51 AM

Oudeis, sounds like your neighbours are as nice as mine! That's great.

Jim I hope you have fun with my piece - let me know what your teacher says. I bet she'll be wondering what the heck? My nom de plume is Carla Disipio which actually reflects some family background.

Farmgirl, it is easy to write music I can't play !
I have composed other songs, but they were for guitar. I am now starting to work at arranging them for piano.







Posted By: Maharishi

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/03/11 03:54 PM

Hi all,

Thought I’d post this little piece, here – I recorded it yesterday – 7 days after my operation and – for those who like the gory details, some pics of my hand: View 1 , View 2 and View 3 .

If it sounds a bit tentative in the RH, I'm sure you’ll understand why!

But don’t worry, I’m not forcing anything here, but the surgeon did say I’d be able to play again “soon after” the op smile

Posted By: dlr

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/03/11 07:23 PM

I can't say I'm exactly excited (takes too much energy), but I'm happy. I've been sick this week, and still managed to play every day. Tuesday I only practiced for an hour, but I worked on sections that needed attention, and got a respectable amount of time in (for being sick).

Feeling a little better today, and hoping to get in at least 2 hours.


Posted By: Maharishi

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/03/11 07:31 PM

Hope you get better soon, Denise and are able to get back to playing; it’s terrible not being able to spend adequate time practising...

For the moment, I'm on 20-minutes, 3 times a day frown

Take Care,
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/04/11 10:19 PM

Maharishi - OUCH! Your playing sounded great, even moreso after I saw the pics.

Denise - Glad you're feeling a little better. I know how hard it is to focus your practice when feeling ill.

Cheryl - Have the royalty checks started flowing yet?
Posted By: Andy Platt

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/05/11 01:46 AM

AotW: I can finally play through my chopin Waltz beginning to end. The trio section is still pretty rough but it's getting there. One problem - my left upper arm hurts by the end. It's the constant leaps. I'll ask my teacher though I have no doubt it will be due to tension, etc.. Or perhaps I just have to pump weights to play this!!
Posted By: FarmGirl

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/05/11 07:25 AM

Maharishi, what a beautiful sound. Please don’t overdo it. Take care.

Denise – I am glad you are on the mend.

Cheryl – hope your hand feels better too.

Andy – Regarding the pain in the arm: When I was struggling with the leap in the same piece, a pianist friend of mine told me to practice left hand separately without looking at the keys. You don’t need to make any sound. Just try to softly land on the right keys and get the feel of the distance. Only for 5 min a day. It won’t hurt your arm.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/07/11 06:08 PM

Ciao tutti,

My achievement of the week is that I spoke a lot of French lol... I was away from Thurs to Monday visitng friends and family in Paris. I played 0 piano and have gone to the Excused list in MOYD. sniff. oh well, it was worth it.

Also I believe my hand really appreciated the rest from piano and computer too.

Mararishi - I don't remember reading what your surgery was for ...was it a tendon problem?
How do you feel? I listened to your your piece and it sounded fine to my uneducated ear.

Jim, I haven't seen a cent in royalties yet. hmmm... smile

Now...off to the bench!

Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/07/11 09:00 PM

Italian Translator Alert!

Cheryl, I could use a little help. The translations I've found for my newly assigned Puccini aria are sounding a little funky to me. Could you take a crack at it? If it is any help, my understanding of the story is it is sung by the heroine (Manon Lescaut). She has left her dirt-poor young lover (Chevalier des Grieux) and is living with an elderly, rich Parisian as his mistress. But she is sad and thinking of des Grieux.

In Quelle Trine Morbide - (from Manon Lescaut)

In quelle trine morbide...
nell’alcova dorata v’è un silenzio
gelido, mortal, v’è un silenzio,
un freddo che m’agghiaccia!
Ed io che m’ero avvezza
a una carezza
voluttuosa
di labbra ardenti e d’infuocate braccia...
or ho tutt’altra cosa!
O mia dimora umile,
tu mi ritorni innanzi
gaia, isolata, bianca
come un sogno gentile
di pace e d’amor!


Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/07/11 09:43 PM

Sure Jim, I'll have a look at it tomorrow...it is a bit late for me to think poetically right now.... I'll get back to you soon!

Posted By: FarmGirl

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/08/11 03:39 AM

It's been crazy this with work. Busy... I was working during the weekend at home preparing a presentation for a two day meeting I am hosting. I am now exhausted. I managed to practice 1 hour yesterday. I will do the same today. Good thing the piece I am playing now is not very quiet. It wakes me up on the piano. Anyway, I have a question / wining (can be interpreted interchangeably).

I am working on the fast tremor section of the 1st movement of the Pathetique. I measured famous artists on the youtube with metronome. It seems like they are playing around 144 for a whole note at the cut time. I would like to get there. I think it may kill the piece if I play it too slow. I can only play at half the speed now. I wonder how I can gain the speed effectively. Is there a quick way to get there? I don't have any pain in my wrist or fingers. My recital in my teachers studio is in 2 months. I am an amateur but it does not mean that I would like to sacrifice quality. Well, I may wind up doing not so hot, but i sure like to give my best to bring this piece to a performance level.

Any advice will be appreciated. thanks.
Posted By: MaryBee

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/10/11 03:49 PM

Originally Posted by FarmGirl
Anyway, I have a question / wining (can be interpreted interchangeably).

I am working on the fast tremor section of the 1st movement of the Pathetique. I measured famous artists on the youtube with metronome. It seems like they are playing around 144 for a whole note at the cut time. I would like to get there. I think it may kill the piece if I play it too slow. I can only play at half the speed now. I wonder how I can gain the speed effectively. Is there a quick way to get there?

FarmGirl -- Some time ago I had bought this reference, The Piano Student's Guide to Effective Practicing. It has 50+ ideas for things to try during your practice to address different problems, such as speed, accuracy, expression, etc. Forgotten, under a pile of music, I didn't do anything with it until just last week. I was frustrated after trying for several weeks to get a particular section up to speed, with no success. So I pulled out this reference, picked out a couple of techniques to try, and after only two days, there was a noticeable improvement. Check it out if you can; it's a great resource.
Posted By: MaryBee

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/10/11 04:20 PM

I have two weeks worth of achievements to report. Yeah!

This one is hard to describe. I left my lessons last week with the sense that something was different, and I later realized it was because I had actually understood my teacher! Well, of course, I usually do understand what my teacher tells me (and if I don't, I ask), but this time it was at a different level. We were working on the Moonlight Sonata, and he was talking about the music and some interpretation, and instead of being confused, unsure, or overwhelmed, I was thinking, "Yes! I thought/felt/heard/saw that too!". It was like hearing a foreign language and suddenly just understanding it, without having to go through the interpretation process.

This past week I worked particularly hard on the last difficult section of my Chopin etude (see previous post), then played through the entire piece at my lesson last night. My teacher was so happy with it, he said I have to play if for my "piano forum group". smile (I think he's almost as excited about the ABF recitals as I am.) So I'm almost done with this piece. This week I'll work on memorizing the easy sections. (The hard sections were memorized long ago.) Getting excited about finishing this one. But I have been working on this for so long, I now have a question: Is there life after Chopin 10/3?
Posted By: Akira

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/10/11 04:40 PM

Farmgirl, I can't help with the "quick" way to get there, but you might find Andras Schiff's lecture helpful.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSokhP9QEqg
(beginning through 5:38)

Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/10/11 06:19 PM

Originally Posted by JimF
Italian Translator Alert!

Cheryl, I could use a little help. The translations I've found for my newly assigned Puccini aria are sounding a little funky to me. Could you take a crack at it? If it is any help, my understanding of the story is it is sung by the heroine (Manon Lescaut). She has left her dirt-poor young lover (Chevalier des Grieux) and is living with an elderly, rich Parisian as his mistress. But she is sad and thinking of des Grieux.

In Quelle Trine Morbide - (from Manon Lescaut)

In quelle trine morbide...
nell’alcova dorata v’è un silenzio
gelido, mortal, v’è un silenzio,
un freddo che m’agghiaccia!
Ed io che m’ero avvezza
a una carezza
voluttuosa
di labbra ardenti e d’infuocate braccia...
or ho tutt’altra cosa!
O mia dimora umile,
tu mi ritorni innanzi
gaia, isolata, bianca
come un sogno gentile
di pace e d’amor!



Sorry! I had a hectic few days and this request slipped my mind.
Here is my effort, which seems to match what I fuond on line after I'd taken a stab at it.
I saw that trine seems to be translated as lace curatins but I don't know why.


In Quelle Trine Morbide - (from Manon Lescaut)

In those soft laces,
in the golden alcove, there is a silence,
icy, deathly, there is a silence,
a cold that chills me to the bone

And I, who was used to a voluptuous caress,
of ardent lips and fiery arms,
now have quite another thing.
Oh, my humble home,
you come forth to me joyful, isolated, white,
as a gentle dream of peace and love.


Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/10/11 06:21 PM

Marybee, that book looks interesting, thanks for providing the link. Sounds like you've made a great breakthrough in terms of interpretation skills - that's exciting!Your progress with your Chopin sounds splendid! You'll have to let us hear it at the recital!

Farmgirl, I hope you "crack" the Pathetique... I really love that music and would enjoy hearing your performance.

I have nothing to report, it has been a very low key week music wise.

Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/10/11 07:41 PM

Cheryl,

Thanks for providing that translation. It matches up pretty well with some liner notes I found from an album of Puccini arias. I've now got this one (in italian) blown up and taped to my dashboard like I did with the Tosca. Being able to sing it (however badly) really helps when it comes time to put my interpretation on the piano arrangement I'm working from. At least it did with the Tosca.

Here's Renee Fleming singing it with the Milano Symphony Orchestra In Quelle Trine Morbide (Manon Lescaut)
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/10/11 07:58 PM

MaryBee.

Those lightbulb moments sure are..... illuminating? Can you imagine what it will be like after you have worked with the same teacher for a long time (like 5 years or more)?

I just downloaded Chopin 10/3 from imslp. Wow, if you've conquered that beast you are my hero! Well done. thumb
Posted By: MaryBee

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/10/11 08:49 PM

... AND ...
last night after my practice session, my husband said to me, "Mary, your playing has become beautiful." That made me catch my breath (and earned him a big kiss 3hearts ).

After a few weeks of slogging, I feel like I'm suddenly soaring. Of course, once I start a new piece, it will be back to that slow, hard work again, but it's a really good feeling right now.
Posted By: Andy Platt

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/10/11 10:13 PM

AotW was getting "super-fantastic" as the lesson evaluation - the only time I got that 'top' status was the lesson after our December recital.

The reason was me playing through the Chopin waltz and it is starting to get there.

MaryBee Life after Chopin 10/3? ... you'll have to let us lesser mortals know. wink That's so far beyond me right now!!
Posted By: FarmGirl

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/11/11 03:08 AM

Marybee, I will get it. i did not know such a book existed. Thank you
Posted By: FarmGirl

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/11/11 03:20 AM

Akira, thank you. It's very informative. I cannot believe such famous pianist keeps his instructions available on the web. I am going to study this this weekend.
Posted By: FarmGirl

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/11/11 03:33 AM

Cheryl, I did not see your post for a couple of days. I wondered about what happened to you. i am sooo glad you are back. I think I became a bit sensitive after we lost a couple of friends here. This thread is my favorite in the forum. i appreciate everyone's help and enjoy hearing about everyone's progress. There are lots of fantastic qualities that drawn to me to the forum, kind, supportive and music loving crowd who understand the unique challenges we all face as adult learners. Whenever i open the thread at night, it's like coming home. Now I wanna hug everone (virtually of course).
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/11/11 06:23 AM

Originally Posted by FarmGirl
Cheryl, I did not see your post for a couple of days. I wondered about what happened to you. i am sooo glad you are back. I think I became a bit sensitive after we lost a couple of friends here. This thread is my favorite in the forum. i appreciate everyone's help and enjoy hearing about everyone's progress. There are lots of fantastic qualities that drawn to me to the forum, kind, supportive and music loving crowd who understand the unique challenges we all face as adult learners. Whenever i open the thread at night, it's like coming home. Now I wanna hug everone (virtually of course).

aw, how nice to be missed! I was away from 3-7 March ....I had a chance to go to Paris for a long weekend with a friend, it was great. Then I had a very hectic return as I had moved all my Friday and Monday work to Tuesday and Wed and Thursday of this week. whew.

I agree that this thread is really great - the support and encouragement in ABF is super, but there is a little extra dash of something special in the AOTW group.

(group hug)
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/11/11 10:03 PM



[Linked Image]
Posted By: FarmGirl

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/12/11 04:29 AM

JimF, nice hug. I need a group hug again tonight. This has nothing to do with the piano practice. Let me just say that my mind is not quiet tonight.

I cam from one of the hardest hit area in Japan by the earthquake. My uncle said that my parents were okay. He lives far away from the epicenter and called them right before telephone went out. The house suffered significant damage, so he said. In addition, the front yard split into two with a large fissure, It’s so scary. It could have been the house. My parents are inland but my aunt lives on the coast and had to evacuate the house within 30 min between the quake and the tsunami. I am so happy her family made it. I just pray for them. My aunt and uncle have frail health. I hope they have the strength to overcome the hardship. My cousin must be heartbroken. She had to leave her beloved Kawaii upright in the house. She won the regional competition as a child and the piano was her baby. Lot’s of things to think about tonight. I would love to hear my parent’s voice. I cannot. Telephone does not work. I tried everything from cell phone to e-mail.

My heart goes out for people still trying to escape. I read about 350 primary school kids trapped in the 3rd floor of the water immersed school building and waiting for rescue. It’s very cold out there. The newspaper said that the kids wrapped themselves up with curtains and huddled together to stay warm. Imagine that.
Posted By: jotur

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/12/11 04:45 AM

FarmGirl - my heart goes out to you and your family and friends, and all who are affected by the earthquake and the tsunami. The destruction is overwhelming to see. I'm glad your uncle got to talk with your folks and could let you know they were ok, but it must be awful to not be able to talk with them yourself. I hope your aunt and uncle can come thru this ok, but it must be hard.

Take care, and know that all our thoughts are with you and others tonight.

Cathy
Posted By: CebuKid

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/12/11 06:17 AM

This excited me! I should've posted this here. I had a great, intense week of practice - working on a Beethoven Minuet (resurrected from my childhood), and my latest Joplin piece which is SO much easier than Maple Leaf Rag! smile I am half way through one and about a third of a way through the other!

I am excited! You guys keep me motivated. smile
Posted By: CebuKid

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/12/11 06:21 AM

Originally Posted by FarmGirl
JimF, nice hug. I need a group hug again tonight. This has nothing to do with the piano practice. Let me just say that my mind is not quiet tonight.

I cam from one of the hardest hit area in Japan by the earthquake. My uncle said that my parents were okay. He lives far away from the epicenter and called them right before telephone went out. The house suffered significant damage, so he said. In addition, the front yard split into two with a large fissure, It’s so scary. It could have been the house. My parents are inland but my aunt lives on the coast and had to evacuate the house within 30 min between the quake and the tsunami. I am so happy her family made it. I just pray for them. My aunt and uncle have frail health. I hope they have the strength to overcome the hardship. My cousin must be heartbroken. She had to leave her beloved Kawaii upright in the house. She won the regional competition as a child and the piano was her baby. Lot’s of things to think about tonight. I would love to hear my parent’s voice. I cannot. Telephone does not work. I tried everything from cell phone to e-mail.

My heart goes out for people still trying to escape. I read about 350 primary school kids trapped in the 3rd floor of the water immersed school building and waiting for rescue. It’s very cold out there. The newspaper said that the kids wrapped themselves up with curtains and huddled together to stay warm. Imagine that.


FarmGirl, my prayers go out for you and your loved ones who were devastated by this disaster.

...yes, makes piano playing seem trivial. frown
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/12/11 09:07 AM

Dear Farmgirl, my heart goes out to you, your family and all those hit by this disaster. I hope you manage to speak to your parents soon and that your aunt and uncle are getting all the help they need.
I live far away from my family too and I understand how it tears you apart when you are far away and worried about those you love.

You and yours are in my thoughts and prayers.


.
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/12/11 09:57 PM

Farmgirl, I hope your family are unharmed. I am always amazed at how fragile we are in the face of nature. We really have to live each day to its fullest. Best wishes to you and yours.

Jim
Posted By: MaryBee

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/13/11 02:21 AM

Originally Posted by FarmGirl
Marybee, I will get it. i did not know such a book existed. Thank you
FarmGirl, you're probably not too concerned about this right now, with your worries about your family in Japan. I hope you get some reassurances soon on their safety and well-being. My thoughts are with you.

But when you come back to thinking about this, I just wanted to let you know that it is not a book, but rather a tri-fold publication, with four pages containing a concise listing of exercises, descriptions, and a cross-reference for which exercises are best for different aspects of your playing that you want to improve.
Posted By: FarmGirl

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/14/11 07:45 AM

Update:
I was able to speak to my mother on the phone today. I was really lucky because AT&T and KDDI limited the phone service to the affected area shortly after my call. My mother said that the wall of the living room was gone with their cedar chest (flew out of the wall and destroyed itself on the ground) and the glass windows are all destroyed. She could see the stars now. It’s quite cold there (avg 35 F low 55 High) and going to snow again soon. No central heating, so I imagine that my parents must be bundling up themselves with whatever they have when they sleep. They have no water. That means no drinking water, no shower, no cooking, etc.. My parents in their 70’s have to walk a couple of miles to get water from the humanitarian aid station set up by the municipality. The town's grocery stores re-opened today but there is not enough food for everyone. People wait in line since 5:00 AM to buy food. Mom said it was like a black market after the WWII. I recon no experience is ever wasted. My parents consider themselves very fortunate since there are so many people still trapped in the debris elsewhere in the prefecture. I am yet to reach to my aunt who lives on the coast by phone or even text. I am still praying for her.

I know this has nothing to do with the thread but I thought I better give you guys update. Thank you for your prayers.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/14/11 07:58 AM

Dear Farmgirl - if something this important "has nothing to do with the thread", - which is all about the support we offer each other - then this thread has a problem! Thank you for letting us know you have reached your parents.

Even though you've spoken to them, of course you are still worried. People at their age having to deal with these issues, especially not having drinking water, is very serious business.

I hope you hear news of your aunt - or better yet, that you manage to speak to her yourself.

You and yours, and all those suffering from these multiple disasters, are still in my prayers.
Posted By: jotur

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/14/11 03:06 PM

FarmGirl - thank you so much for letting us know. I'll continue to keep you and your family in my thoughts as time goes on.

Cathy
Posted By: tangleweeds

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/14/11 06:19 PM

Originally Posted by jotur
FarmGirl - thank you so much for letting us know. I'll continue to keep you and your family in my thoughts as time goes on.


+1 heart heart heart
Posted By: joyoussong

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/14/11 06:47 PM

FarmGirl, I'm a bit late getting to this, but you & ShiroKuro have been in my thoughts as I've been watching & hearing the news from Japan since Friday. I hope you've had news of your aunt by now, & that you've been able to keep in contact with your mother.

Because I teach English, I've taught many students from Japan who have since returned home, & I've been concerned about them, too. This morning, I was firing off emails, but most of the addresses are old & out of date. Just one hasn't bounced back, & I'm hoping for an answer by tomorrow morning.

I just can't imagine how they'll be able to clear away all that debris - the situation must be overwhelming.
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/17/11 08:47 PM

Wish me luck, folks. I'm headed to two major cities to go piano shopping tomorrow and saturday. Hopefully I'll have something to report to you next week as a AOTW.

Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/18/11 05:43 PM

Jim, that's really exciting - I'm looking forward to hearing about your shopping results.

My week was a bit quiet, I'm doing very well with the technique practice for getting rid of the tension, and the physio is helping. I am on the right track and very pleased.

Today I had a second lesson, (we missed last week as I was away on Monday). I showed my teacher a composition I'd written years ago for guitar and transcribed for piano. I did 3 lines, a vocal line with the melody, then 2 lines for the piano. It has a sort of Alberti line in the treble stave, and simple chords in the bass. When I sat down to play it, I realized that the "leaps" on the guitar are easy but really tough for me on the piano lol.... My teacher played it though, and I sang. I think I'll re-write it as a teacher-student duet.

I'm also transcribing a ballad I wrote for guitar (again, many many years ago) to piano. It is going faster than the others, I'm getting used to the software finally!

This one I should be able to play - I may even play and sing!
We shall see.

Posted By: Teodor

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/19/11 01:51 PM

My achievement of the century is not looking at my hands while playing. As a result my sight-reading has improved greatly because I no longer lose my focus by shifting attention to my hands. I only look down when it's really really tricky but most of the time I try not to. This is something my teacher has insisted on forever and I am glad I am now implementing it, together with counting the rythm more often and not relying so much on playing by ear.

Today I played Artifact of the living from Donnie Darko (a movie sountrack piece) and I think 3-4 months ago I wasn't even able to figure out the rythm and I didn't play past the first few bars. Today I printed the notes again, I played through the WHOLE piece in one go (hands together) without even knowing the notes (I know how it sounds so it's a bit of cheating but in essence..._), I was sight-reading it and it sounded good enough to me. So I was pleasantly surprised. 30% tempo I make no mistakes, 50%-60% is ok, I try but for that I'll have to break it down a bit, and spend time on hands separately because I can't sight-read and play too fast at the same time.

Not Tomorrow from Silent Hill is another, this piece seemed impossible. I stopped learning it after the first 10 bars, I came back to it now almost a year later and I can play it, all of it, no problems, now working on playing it musically. Here have a listen to the piece, I love it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBsoTjcCGP0&feature=related (NOT ME PLAYING)

I expect to be able to play Zanarkand in maybe another year but right now it's really complicated for me. So I'm leaving it be till I am ready. But now more than ever I am certain I will be really good one day with enough practice.

What really helps me is constantly learning new etudes, easy to sight-read, always some challenges and they really push me forward. I move on to new etudes as soon as I get the thumbs up from my teacher.

I'm also playing Christoforis Dream, the first 3 pages were easy but I'm leaving it till I can play it better, there are some tricky parts I am not ready for yet.
Posted By: FarmGirl

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/19/11 05:49 PM

Dear ABF and AoTW friends,
I have an update. A couple of good news in progress.

1) I got my parents out of the Fukushima prefecture. It took them incredible 10 hours journey. They hired a young taxi driver who started a black market taxi business going back and forth between towns of Fukushima and the first train station that still have train running to Tokyo. No one else had gas. This guy has contacts with gas station somewhere. He had people on the waiting list. My parents got their ride yesterday after waited for 3 days.
2) With the help of travel agent extraordinare, I was able to book flights and obtain visas for my parents in a nick of time. I usually book flights on-line. But this time was different. As I find reasonable fare (still 1.5 times more than usual), the system returns me a notification, “the fare is no longer available”. I quickly realized that this is beyond my ability and I need a professional help. This year I happen to have one of those exclusive travel card as a birthday gift from my husband. So I tried the travel office. The agent was fantastic. She was able to hold the most reasonable ticket while searching for a better price. While holding the tickets, she was able to negotiate with other airlines to negotiate ticket exchange – you see, my parents and I already booked up our joint vacation to UK, France and Italy from the end of May. Now the situation has changed completely. My parents are not in the mood to enjoy gondola ride now. Although we still love to see “Le nozze di Figaro”. Yeah, I even booked the opera in Paris for us. Anyway, I got the tickets for $1,800 each. It is higher than usual but there is no other tickets available less than $3,500 for economy if you try to leave Tokyo today or tomorrow.
3) Piano related topic again. I practiced every day. Honestly, I did not know what I was doing. My heart was not there. But it was very therapeutic. It was the only normalcy I had. Since I could not think very clearly, I focused on getting the speed up to 180 for a quarter note in the fast tremor section of the first movement of the Pathetique. That really helped me to get my mind away from what is happening.
4) My poor cousin’s wonderful Kawaii is totally destroyed along with the house. They are living in a different shelter close to Tokyo. The entire Minami-soma city (10 to 20 miles from the reactor) abandoned the town in a 12 bus caravan. My aunt said that they first traveled 6 hours north of their town but they were turned down because the shelter was full. They drove 12 hours south and settled down the current shelter. They can stay there for a month. They are safe. The good thing is that this particular town has abundant amount of hot spring. So my aunt said that they felt human again.

That’s it. Apologies for the long post.
Posted By: jotur

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/19/11 05:55 PM

Farm Girl -

Thank you so much for the update! You have done a wonderful job for your parents, and I am so glad your aunt has found a place that is safe.

Bless you and your family.

Cathy
Posted By: MaryBee

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/20/11 12:19 AM

FarmGirl, what good news. As I read the newspaper over the past few days, I have found myself thinking about your family. I'm so glad they are finally going to be in a safe place.
Posted By: joyoussong

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/20/11 04:06 AM

Farm Girl, that's really good news. When do your parents arrive?
Posted By: FarmGirl

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/20/11 05:47 AM

Thank you everyone. My parents are currently at the Narita airport waiting for the flight. The plane is expected to arrive here in Phoenix Arizona at 2:00 PM (10:00 PM GMT) tomorrow. My fingers are crossed.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/20/11 11:49 AM

Farmgirl, what a great update. It is wonderful you were able to get your parents out so (relatively) quickly.

You will all be so much more relaxed once you are together.

I think it was great that the piano just helped distract you from the stress, even if you didn't really know what you were doing - it probably soothed your soul.

I'm also glad to hear that your other relatives have found shelter - it is very sad about the lovely piano of course, but at least the people you love are safe and sound!!!

Thank you for updating us, - may your parents have a safe and uneventful trip enroute to your loving arms.
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/23/11 08:55 PM

AOTW (and maybe AOTY) I bought my piano!! yippie

There's a post about it on the piano forum if interested. Its a new Estonia 190 in ebony and it should be delivered in about 4 weeks. I can't wait. She has a gorgeous lush voice with a buttery smooth action. 3hearts And yes, I will post pics when she arrives. grin
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/23/11 09:52 PM

Originally Posted by JimF
AOTW (and maybe AOTY) I bought my piano!! yippie

There's a post about it on the piano forum if interested. Its a new Estonia 190 in ebony and it should be delivered in about 4 weeks. I can't wait. She has a gorgeous lush voice with a buttery smooth action. 3hearts And yes, I will post pics when she arrives. grin


How exciting!!!!!!!!!!!

We will be watching carefully for the pics of your beauty!
Posted By: Andy Platt

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/24/11 01:39 AM

Congrats JimF - that sounds like a great piano. I bet you can't wait - I know it seemed ages for my K3 to show up. That's quite a way to go to buy a piano - I was complaining about anything > 20 miles!!!
Posted By: tangleweeds

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/24/11 02:58 AM

yippie yippie yippie

Congratulations! She sounds like a beauty!
Posted By: Akira

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/24/11 03:04 AM

After three years of lessons, I've been discouraged recently about how sucky my sight reading still is. Of course, I realize my assignements are getting proportionately more difficult, as my skills progress. I asked my teacher recently if we could focus on my sight reading development and he agreed, assigning pieces to sight read way below my current level. I don't mind at all playing these rudimentary songs, if it will build my reading skills.

On a whim, I replayed some of the easier pieces (but, not exactly 'baby' songs) I had worked on long ago. In my mind, I had a preconceived notion that they'd be a disaster on the first attempt, thinking the familiarity of these pieces, along with muscle memory, were long gone. To my surprise, I hadn't butchered it too badly. By the third attempt, it was good enough as not to hurt my ears.

I was pleasantly surprised that I could sight read those pieces played years ago.

This discovery got me excited and provided much needed encouragement. I wouldn't call this an accomplishment (in the sense I've reached a goal), but I'm happier about the situation than I was yesterday.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/24/11 12:04 PM

Teodor, sorry to be slow to reply to you - I really like hearing your updates because we started at about the same time (though I think even from the start you were ...(and are!)more skilled than I am. I 'm really happy to hear you're getting on well - I hope you are pain free now?

Akira - getting excited and feeling encouraged is what we're all about in this thread! Being happy with whatever progres we notice is what we aim for - we're happy for the small steps!

FarmGirl - hope your parents are thriving under your tender loving care!!!
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/24/11 07:43 PM

Akira,

Don't get too down about your sightreading. I don't think it is something that comes automatically, at least not to most folks. I've been doing 10-20 minutes daily for a nearly a year and sometimes want to scream at the rate of progress. But there is progress. Also, I have to remind myself that my real goal isn't the sightreading itself, but to make myself a strong reader of music. Hopefully that will facilitate my learning and musicianship in many ways other than just de-novo playing of random pieces.
Posted By: FarmGirl

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/26/11 07:22 AM

Hi, I am so sorry that I could not post here for a long time. Yes, my parents are here with me safe and sound. I feel much better. My parents are so exhausted from the ordeal they went through that they’ve been sleeping most of the time. Thank you everyone for keeping my family in your thoughts and prayers.

Jim F – Congrats for your piano. Cannot wait to see the pic.

My AOTW is that I somehow practiced every day. I am grateful that my parents have great tolerance for Piano practice noise. My teacher says that I actually got better this week and can resume Rachmaninoff prelude that I pushed it aside in order to prepare the piece (the 1st movement of Pathetique) for the recital in May.

My mom played the piano when she was younger and she is a pretty good dancer. She starts counting like a human metronome when I was playing and bugs a heck out of me. Whenever I get off beat, she says, “1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 oh… what happened there”. Unlike old days, she stops when I tell her “PLEEESE!!! I cannot concentrate”. She says she just is happy to see me playing again – it means that her money spent for my childhood piano lessons are not wasted. I did not remember but she says I used to do all kinds of things trying to escape from piano lessons (LOL). Anyway, good to be back to the AOTW and ABF.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/26/11 10:28 AM

Farmgirl - it seems very reasonable that your parents want to sleep! What a tremendous amount of stress they've lived through in the last few weeks.

Good to hear that despite your stress, you've managed to make some progress!

My AOTW is that I took an old book of guitar music and played almost all the songs, adding in the chords for the left hand - I mean that I had C EM AM B7 D D7 etc written above the treble clef and I had to figure out all the notes to play for each chord. The first few took a few minutes, but as I got rolling it got faster and faster and I was really pleased with how quickly I could figure out the 7th chords. (and how to "cheat" so as not to put too much tension in my hands stretching! )

All in all it was an amusing session.


Posted By: Auver

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/26/11 02:55 PM

My first AOTW post, wow.

Well my AOTW is that me and a couple of mates have been playing a boogie woogie on a few occasions (we've played public two times I think). My drummer and bassist have been getting a couple of phonecalls, and we'll probably have like 4 gigs in May...That is huge for a newbie youth band like us. We live in a small commune of 1300 people so it's really fun for us to be called to play different places. smile
I really need to start practising every day again....

Cheers.
Posted By: jotur

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/26/11 04:00 PM

Farm Girl - what good news! I'm sure there is still some stress because of having more to deal with for you and your parents, but at least that extra worry about them being safe is gone. I am so glad for you. I hope your aunt, uncle, and cousin are doing ok, too. What a lot for them to deal with. Maybe some day a new piano will bring your cousin the kind of help yours gave you during this time.

Auver, a boogie woogie band! What a treat! It's so much fun to play for a crowd that can dance to your music - love those gigs smile

Cathy

Posted By: schlittk

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 03/29/11 08:50 AM

I finally got the hang of 4 against 3's, in particular doing 4 note chords with my right hand:

2nd inversion C+,
1st inversion F+,
1st inversion G+,
1st inversion A-

while doing octaves on the left hand:

C, B, A

This really gave me a richer way to transition from chords, and I think it's given me an "epiphany moment" of understanding.

"... was blind but now I see ..."

(how fitting lyrically, anyone get the irony?)
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/07/11 09:32 PM

Wow.

I can't believe we let this thread slip to page four. Everyone must be very busy achieving great things!! thumb

Schlittk, congratulations, those polyrythmns are really tough. Did you use any particular drill or technique for getting them down?

Not much going on for me this week. The Manon Lescaut aria is coming along and I put it hands together about a week faster than I thought I would. But it still needs lots of work. At last week's lesson we tried some things to "train-wreck proof" the Tosca recital piece by having my teacher constantly interupt me so I had to restart at odd places without the score. She would also stop me and ask me to name the next base note, for instance.

Cunningham Piano was kind enough to send me a paper footprint of a grand piano so we can move it around the living room. The delivery date for my new baby should firm up in the next week or so. The anticipation is building!! yippie
Posted By: FarmGirl

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/08/11 01:14 AM

Hi Jim F, I am with you. What's up everyone else! I have been so busy with my parents living with me until May. But the No1 reason why I could not write a post her is my mother - she belatedly DISCOVERED Internet and hogging my personal laptop. I am writing this using my work laptop. She is a semi-professional Japanese dancer. So she's been practicing dancing every day and watching youtube all day - I think she is trying to learn someone else's choreography.

I am also practicing everyday. My parents have much greater tolerence to piano sounds than my husband. Since my mom used to play when she was younger, she actually loves to listen. I love to play to someone else - so I really enjoy it now. I think the 1st movement of the Pathetique is somehow getting there. I need to fine tune the dinamics and work on memorizing teh piece. My speed is still very slow. Well, I will do my best. With my teacher's approval, I am working on Rachmaninoff's prelude again.

I will be out of town for a week next week on business. Yes, I have to leave my parents with my hubby. It's tough to leave piano as well. I think this is a common challenge to adult beginners. It's just for most of you, it's the kids not aged parents.
Posted By: Andy Platt

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/08/11 01:52 AM

Originally Posted by JimF
Cunningham Piano was kind enough to send me a paper footprint of a grand piano so we can move it around the living room.


How does it sound? wink
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/08/11 07:03 AM

Schlittk--- got it smile Good for you!!!Farm Girl, you'll have to rent a second computer for your mom! smile
Jim, sounds like you're making good progress - how's your Italian coming along?
YOu must be very excited!

I've been resting and going slowly - I'm making progress with the muscle control and my technique is changing. I'm much louder, which was an unexpected change!

I'm working on 2 small pieces, taking them slowly (not because they are difficult but so as to keep focus on relaxing my arms).

I've been a bit blue with not looking at new pieces so hope to perk up a bit now....

Posted By: oudeis

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/08/11 07:09 AM

Not strictly an achievement, and more a thing of 2 weeks ago, but very exciting nonetheless.

I signed up for a course 'piano tuning for beginners'. Having the courage to sign up was actually an achievement in itself. It's a course of 1 week long, with a workshop every morning. The rest of the day we have for ourselves. That's the second part that got me excited: the course is in a beautiful part of France, so it's also my first vacation in years (the first time I spend a vacation somewhere else than in my own home).

So looking forward to it, both the course, and meeting like-minded people.

Only one minor issue: I have to leave tomorrow morning, so I'll have to pack today, but unfortunately I don't have much time to pack... I have a ticket to see Maria João Pires tonight smile Talking about a perfect way to start a piano-related vacation!
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/08/11 06:56 PM

Farmgirl, Now I've got this image in my head of your mother dancing while you are playing. What's Dad doing? grin

Oudeis, Wow, a piano tuning vacation in France. I could really see doing something like that. Keep us informed how it goes.

Cheryl, My Italian is really kinda just about as good as a parrot's italian might be. Yes, I can say (or sing badly) the lyrics to the arias. And I understand the translations. But the subtlty of meaning and nuance is faked. Just copying the recordings I've heard. I actually find it easier to "read" the emotional content in the music. Glad to hear you are back on the new pieces. That should chase the blues away. I assigned myself Gypsy Legend as a throwaway this week. I think its probably too hard for a throwaway, but I'll see how far I can get with it. I'm using the one pager that you put up on these threads a while back - assuming that's all there is to it.

Jim
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/08/11 06:58 PM

Originally Posted by Andy Platt
Originally Posted by JimF
Cunningham Piano was kind enough to send me a paper footprint of a grand piano so we can move it around the living room.


How does it sound? wink



Very flat! cry
Posted By: Andy Platt

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/08/11 07:26 PM

Originally Posted by JimF
Originally Posted by Andy Platt
Originally Posted by JimF
Cunningham Piano was kind enough to send me a paper footprint of a grand piano so we can move it around the living room.


How does it sound? wink



Very flat! cry


Just as well, if it was too sharp you might get a nasty paper cut! cry cry cry
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/08/11 09:40 PM

Originally Posted by JimF
I assigned myself Gypsy Legend as a throwaway this week. I think its probably too hard for a throwaway, but I'll see how far I can get with it. I'm using the one pager that you put up on these threads a while back - assuming that's all there is to it.

Jim


As far as I know that's it. Please don't tell me you're using it as a throwaway...sigh,,, it too me so long to get those last bars!
(I still flub if I don't pay strict attention!!)

Today I did have an "ah HA" moment. I was playing, Gypsy Legend as a maatter of fact, and realized that my arms were totally relaxed.
Of course as soon as I realized it I tensed up again, but I was able to do it a few more times. I realized THIS is what it should feel like.
It was a real breakthrough moment and I am trusting that from this point I'll take firmer steps in the right direction.

I'm glad so many people chimed in today - it is much cheerier "hanging out" with the gang smile

Posted By: schlittk

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/09/11 01:21 AM

casinitaly - thats great! I love the feeling of playing relaxed ( the way it SHOULD feel ) !

if you find yourself tensing up, don't be afraid to revert to HS practice even if you can already play HT.

play the part you are tensing up at with each hand separately, it is during this time that you can really let your arms melt into liquid and shake off all the tension!

then when you go back to HT the tension might temporarily return, but just alternate which of your hands gets your brains' attention and then you can quickly work the kinks out.
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/09/11 08:23 PM

Don't worry Cheryl. I doubt I'll do much damage to Gypsy Legend in a week's time. I picked it partly so that when I get to lesson time my teacher can say "oh, that deserves more attention than a week", which is something she will do when I pick a throwaway that's a little harder and has good musical or technical challenges. Anyway, I'm having fun with it.

Part of that work on scales at speed I described a while back was to deal with tension issues, so I know what you mean about having those breakthroughs where you finally FEEL what it is SUPPOSED to feel like. I have a long way to go, but it is nice to think you are on the right track.
Posted By: KurtZ

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/09/11 11:09 PM

My achievement is getting to play more after two months of letting some tendinitis heal and realizing the Burgmuller op. 100 pieces are within my reach. For today I don't feel like such a beginner.

Kurt
Posted By: shannonia

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/11/11 10:48 AM

I felt like I could play something well! Not really well, mind you, but my ambitions are modest:) BTW it was Fandango. Only on a forum like this could you get excited about playing a song in a kid's book and not get laughed at!!
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/11/11 10:54 AM

Shannonia, are you talking about the Fandango from the Joy of First Classics book?

I don't consider that a kid's book! Sure there are some really easy pieces in it - but there are also some tricky ones.
I did a sight reading of Fandago over the weekend in fact and might be working on it after I finish what I'm working on now....

(ps at this point all our ambitions are modest ...at least the ones we talk about publicly -I think we all have at least one big secret piano dream of great ambition! smile
Posted By: shannonia

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/11/11 11:20 AM

Casini, the bright colours and dancing children on the front page of my book just led me to assume it was for kids:) It is different from the book you mentioned.
PS I am very underwhelming when it comes to sight reading. My teacher only makes me play a few bars.
As for modest ambitions, I have big plans my friend, big plans....;)
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/11/11 11:43 AM

Ah, no kids dancing on the cover of my book smile

As far as sight reading goes, - I can "read" just fine...it is reading and playing that trips me up smile

Kidding aside, I think that I can read fairly smoothly - I understand what I'm seeing at any rate - because I learned to read music in high school and have never quite given it up totally. I'm new to piano, but not to music.

I'm really really pleased with my Joy of First Classics book (book 2 btw). Book 1 and 2 are the same level, just different pieces. I find that there is a really great range in the level of difficulty and every couple of months I let my fingers nooodle over something that "used to seem" way too difficult. Sometimes I'm pleasantly surprised!

Good luck with realizing your abmitions Shannonia!
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/11/11 06:00 PM

Shannonia,

Doesn't matter what it is as long as you play it musically. I do exercises from a book with kiddie stick-figures on every page (doz.-a-day ser. #3). I get totally juiced when I can do an exercise smoothly and make it sound like music. Who cares if it was called "kitty-cat jumps the fence", or "sliding down the bannister" (that was a toughie wink. )

Enjoy every minor success. Its all good. thumb
Posted By: Michael Steen

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/11/11 08:26 PM

I made "Why Am I Blue?" "Good People," and "The Little Brown Jug" (Alfred's #1) sound musical. I played them with virtually no errors, and I'm pumped.
On to "Chiapenecas"!!
Posted By: CebuKid

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/11/11 09:41 PM

After 2 weeks of *almost* no activity, I just finished a 1.5 hour session and not even done yet for the evening!! (it's Monday). So my accomplishment for the week is re-committing to practice, practise!

I read the word "recital" in one of the other threads, so I panicked. smile

Why am I so streaky, people??!! I would get so much more repertoire in if I just spent more time at the bench. I must say, I had fun and feel re-energized again. Maybe I need those little breaks - but I think I take way too many...lol.
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/12/11 09:41 PM

CebuKid, are you sure you took a break from piano? I thought we caught you posting here and there wink. Seriously, I think maybe the streakiness could be related to being results oriented. Not that that's a bad thing. Its pretty typical for high achievers. But improvement in piano is often so imperceptily slow that it isn't always possible to tie effort expended with results achieved. I know I struggle to find a way to just enjoy the process of daily practice, without thinking about results or progress. Anyway, enough psycho-babble, welcome back to the bench.

I'm on a serious piano high right now. Cunninghams just put my piano on a truck this afternoon. I've spoken to the driver and he expects to deliver it to me next Monday morning - 6 days to go!!

And at my lesson today my teacher assigned Chopin's B-minor Prelude. Those B-minor arpeggios in the bass are going to sound awesome on the Estonia. I am so juiced.

Cheryl, as expected I get to work on Gypsy Legend another week. She had never heard it before and really liked it. I think that gets assigned alot more in Europe than in the US. Amazon search for it turns up a blank - a pretty good indicator of use here.
Posted By: jotur

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/12/11 09:55 PM

Originally Posted by JimF
I'm on a serious piano high right now. Cunninghams just put my piano on a truck this afternoon. I've spoken to the driver and he expects to deliver it to me next Monday morning - 6 days to go!!


Woo hoo!

My achievement is that I finally played Amazing Grace right in public - a month and a little bit after the ABF recital laugh Whatever works -

Cathy
Posted By: Michael Taylor

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/13/11 04:17 AM

I am playing Canon in C......it's 4 pages. I can play 3 of 4 pages so far!!! Sounds terrible, but I feel like I am making progress! Hopefully, I will be able to play the entire piece fluently in a few more days.

On another note, I should be receiving my new piano tomorrow!
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/13/11 06:40 AM

Michael: Little Brown Jug , smile Makes me think of Glenn Miller, who certainly made it musical! What fun!

Cebukid - you are on a roll!
Jim, you must be going out of your mind with excitment! I can't wait to hear a sample of your new piano playing your latest pieces! As for Gypsy Legend, I haven't found much on the net for it either, nor can I find anything much on the composer. I love this piece... I wish it were longer. Someday maybe I'll compose a following section! smile Wouldn't that be fun?

Cathy, that's great - where did you play?

Michael T - I know Canon in D, Pachelbel, but (forgive my ignorance) where does Canon in C come from? Sounds like you're making progress - maybe you'll play it in the next recital?
Posted By: GracieCat

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/13/11 01:03 PM

I've been working on Sonatina in G. It's my first real 2 page piece, or so I thought. I've really enjoyed it. About 2 weeks ago my teacher mentioned that page 3 & 4 would be fun working through. WHAT?! She's right! I turned the page and much to my shagrin, there's 2 more pages. smile I've got the first two pages put together and hope that I can more forward to the next page, next week.

Started Minuet (bwv 116) last week. Was only suppose to work on it hands separate this week, but can already play it all hands together. It's only at half the speed it should be, but I can play it almost note perfect. I always manage to fumble somewhere.
Posted By: Michael Taylor

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/13/11 02:18 PM

casinitaly: The piece that I am working on is Canon in D (in C)!!! I guess it's an easier version of the song for newbies. I don't think I'm quite ready for a public performance......I've watched a few people get ripped to shreds! Some day I will bravely step out onto the public platform!!!
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/13/11 05:50 PM

GracieCat, Your playing really seems to have blossomed after you kind of moved away from the Alfred's as your primary source of pieces. I'm really impressed that you put the Bach together after one week, even more so if it is your first Bach piece. Which Sonatina in G are you playing, Beethoven? I remember you saying a while back that you found it more interesting when you could get your left hand more involved (or words to that effect), and I think I remember you used to play another instrument. Anyway there's nothing like Bach to get your left hand fully involved. Congrats on the good work you are doing.

Jim
Posted By: clayts

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/13/11 06:01 PM

Been out busking on the streets for the first time today got me really excited, very nervous but excited.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/13/11 09:51 PM

GracieCat, That's great progress!

Michael T - ha! You fooled me! ...So, is it reallly easier? Canon in D is one of my all time, top 5, heart-stirring favourites. How does it sound in C?

Jim...5 days to go!

Clayts: Busking ? wow.... I get nervous just thinking that the neighbours might be listening! Good for you.
p.s.... must be pretty hard to fit the old Steinway on the sidewalk!
Posted By: Michael Taylor

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/14/11 01:02 AM

Casinitaly: to my novice ears, it sounds great! I can play 3 of 4 pages so far. I should have the entire piece done by the weekend. Then I will start to perfect it. Is it pathetic that I go to sleep at night thinking about playing the piano?!?
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/14/11 06:12 AM

Go to sleep thinking of playing the piano. Wake up think about playing the piano. Go to work thinking about playing the piano. Have thoughts of playing the piano floating through the mind throughout the day........ The only time I don't think about playing the piano is when I'm playing the piano smile

Is that pathetic? I think not!
Posted By: shannonia

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/14/11 11:52 AM

That's not pathetic-that's totally awesome!! ;D
Posted By: GracieCat

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/14/11 03:06 PM

JimF, the Sonatina I'm working on is Beethoven. There's been a big difference in my playing since I quite focusing on Alfred's. I couldn't hardly play anything with my left hand until I got into playing pieces that were more than broken chords. You probably know what I mean. I have played other instruments, but none I ever care to pick up again. smile
Posted By: jotur

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/14/11 03:43 PM

casinitaly - I played for an adult day care place. But it was sure nice to play AG well for a change laugh

Looks like there's some ABF recital possibilities being discussed here -

Cathy

Posted By: Pianosaurus Rex

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/14/11 04:14 PM

Originally Posted by casinitaly
Go to sleep thinking of playing the piano. Wake up think about playing the piano. Go to work thinking about playing the piano. Have thoughts of playing the piano floating through the mind throughout the day........ The only time I don't think about playing the piano is when I'm playing the piano smile

Is that pathetic? I think not!


Sounds familiar. Actually it even goes a bit further than that, since pretty much every dream I can remember involves pianos in some way. Oh, dear, I'm going nuts!
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/14/11 04:56 PM

Well, looks like we're all going nuts in good company.

When I'm next in my home town I'll be visiting a senior's residence....maybe I'll be brave enough to play the piano for them!

I'm working on my ABF recital piece but I'm not saying yet what it is yet smile

Posted By: Pianosaurus Rex

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/14/11 05:54 PM

Originally Posted by casinitaly
Well, looks like we're all going nuts in good company.

When I'm next in my home town I'll be visiting a senior's residence....maybe I'll be brave enough to play the piano for them!

I'm working on my ABF recital piece but I'm not saying yet what it is yet smile



Meh, I have a bad experience with senior's residences, from my experience they often don't bother to properly maintain their pianos. But hopefully the one you're going to visit will. smile

Looking forward to the next ABF e-cital, I personally don't think I'll specifically prepare something for it, but I will probably record whatever I can play best at that time.


@GracieCat
Will you upload your sonatina when you've finished the piece? It's on my to-do list somewhere, and I'd love to hear other ABF'ers play it. smile
Posted By: SAnnM AB 2001

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/14/11 06:42 PM

I go to sleep thinking about piano also, especially the day of my lesson. I'm always inspired afterwards look forward to reflecting on my hour with my teacher and the advice he always has. I also go to 'piano' in my head sometimes during a stressful day. It's like a vacation in my mind.
Posted By: griffin2417

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/14/11 06:49 PM

Originally Posted by SAnnM
I also go to 'piano' in my head sometimes during a stressful day. It's like a vacation in my mind.


I do that too!

Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/14/11 07:14 PM

Wanna talk obsession?

The very first thing I do after waking up, even before coffee, is go to the piano and play this little "good morning" song. My yellow lab Alfie howls along with me - I kid you not. That's my wife's signal to wake up. He only does this for this song, and has never howled for anything else except for when I come to a big series of chords (F#7, Bmin) in the Tosca aria - at which point he always give a low distressed moan, sorta like "are ya ok,dad?".

So, even my dog is obsessed with piano!
Posted By: shannonia

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/15/11 12:31 AM

Love the vision of the 'good morning song' smile

Just finished a practise session and finally found my achievement of the week. Have been playing "The Music of the Night" from Phantom of the Opera off and on for a number of months. Got to the finale (well, my version of a finale!), sat back and had one of those moments of 'I think that was the best yet!' Hooray!
Posted By: Pianosaurus Rex

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/15/11 05:26 AM

Originally Posted by JimF
The very first thing I do after waking up, even before coffee, is go to the piano and play this little "good morning" song.


Oh, yeah, definitely. laugh

Bach for breakfast!
Or in Dutch: "Elke dag begint met Bach!", which translates as "Every day starts with Bach!"

Well, yeah, it rhymes in Dutch you know...
Posted By: Teodor

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/16/11 06:46 AM

Getting Bach's Minuet in G mostly correct when playing it is my achievement this week. I was struggling last week but I took my teacher's advice and learned the notes so that I wouldn't have to sight read and try to play it properly at the same time.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/17/11 06:28 AM

Good Morning, good morning, good morning to you.
Good Morning, good morning, and how do you do?

We all need a morning piano song, I think!

Snannonie - I love that music! You must be having a great time with it!

Jim, your dog has indeed caught your obsession...now, is that a good thing or not? smile

Teodor, glad you have found a way to make progress - will we hear your piece at the recital?
Posted By: Michael Steen

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/17/11 01:27 PM

Achievement of the week? I finally played, successfully, all the major and minor chords around the circle of fifths. Now to polish them up and get them all smooth. Some, of course, are better than others, but this has been a major goal for a long time, and it's finally here.
Posted By: Michael Taylor

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/17/11 02:40 PM

I played all 4 pages of a simple version of Canon! It still needs some work, but I am very happy with my progress. My wife enjoys listening to me play.
Posted By: Teodor

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/17/11 04:26 PM

Originally Posted by casinitaly

Teodor, glad you have found a way to make progress - will we hear your piece


Yeah the way for me is to stop whining about hand pain and be more relaxed while playing, also working out 3 times a week to strengthen the entire body. I was hesitant when I restarted in December after stopping in May but things are ok for now. Slight hand pain is bearable. As long as it doesn't get any worse I can keep going. For the recital, I want something grander like the Heller Avalanche etude. I've got it up to performance tempo which is an achievement in its own right but I need to work on the smoothness and dynamics (A LOT). It has to be ready for my may recital at the music academy so hopefully it is and I will possibly record it for this online recital as well. If not I've got plenty of things I can play by now, all of them are good music and are coming along nicely. Lately I try to be more concentrated when practicing but it's not easy to resist the urge to just jump from piece to piece and play through the entire thing over and over instead of repeating those troublesome few bars.



Originally Posted by Michael Taylor
I played all 4 pages of a simple version of Canon! It still needs some work, but I am very happy with my progress. My wif enjoys listening to me play.


That's great! I love that piece very much.
Posted By: GrouchoMarx

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/17/11 07:30 PM

Memorized the 2 first pages of Rachmaninov's Prelude in G minor. Now I just have to get it up to speed. I tested recording at about half tempo and sped it up to full speed and love how it sounds. Also began working on one of Rach's etudes.
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/17/11 08:14 PM

LESS THAN 24 HOURS TO GO........
Posted By: Pianosaurus Rex

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/17/11 08:31 PM

Originally Posted by JimF
LESS THAN 24 HOURS TO GO........


Looking forward to the pictures! smile
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/17/11 09:24 PM

Teodor, I have to be really careful about the relaxing too - I'm starting to get a lot better at it! - Do be careful not to overstress. Remember, you aren't "whining" about it - you're learning to play properly so you don't do long term damage!
I wish I could play something more challenging, but the reality is (aside from still being careful about the hands) my skills just aren't moving along very much at the moment. I'm improving technique, which is great - but my memory and coordination still need some help! lol.

Groucho - that's really impressive - will you let us hear your piece?

JimF ......... you must be SO EXCITED!!!!!!! Can't wait to see pics!!!!!

We had friends over last night and they were suitably enthusiastic over my piano and listened to me play a few pieces. It was fun. First time I've played "live" for anyone , other than my husband this year.
Posted By: FarmGirl

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/18/11 07:45 AM

Hello AOTW
I am back from the business trip to east coast and back to piano as well. The trip was very hectic. I could not touch a piano at all. But it's done and over. My teacher gave me a replacement lesson on Saturday. I practiced my first two hours in the week on Saturday just before the lesson. To my surprise, the lesson went extremely well. I played through the 1st movement of Pathetique sonata from memory first time. well, it was not smooth. At many spots, I had either slowed down or memory issues. But I did remember the correct notes. I ended well since I always practice endings as a warm up. I cannot understand why I played well for the week I did not practice... There may be some deep reason. My teacher was sooo excited and expanded my 1 hour lesson to 2 hours (extra lesson for me). She marked about 15 spots where I have to fine tune. 5 of the 15 spots, she wanted me to use as a daily warm up exercises. It's still not like professinals but I was elated with my good lesson. I am now really energized to make it better.
Posted By: oudeis

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/18/11 10:52 AM

So, I'm back from my piano tuning holiday.

A small disclaimer: it was a course in tuning for beginners, using Dirk's Piano Tuner. We did discuss tuning by ear for a bit, and practiced tuning to a A4 tuning fork, and tuning unisons and octaves by ear, but we let the software calculate the temperament.

Anyway, I had a great week and learned a lot. We started of with some basic theory of sound, followed by a little hands-on experience in tuning unisons in the middle octaves. For most of us, it took quite a lot of time to find that sweet spot, and getting it reasonably stable.

During the week we revisited that section a couple of times, and instead of 10 minutes per unison, I managed to decrease the time to 1 or 2 minutes.

We ended the week with some more practice tuning the upper treble on the grand. Where in the middle octaves a small nudge on the tuning hammer was enough to get to the final position, here a similar nudge was almost enough to change the pitch to the next note smile

Besides learning the basics of tuning, we also learned the mechanics of the vertical and grand action, and the basics of regulating, including some practice on action models (both vertical and grand). We also practiced making new strings and putting them in (also on a model).

The achievement of the week is that I worked on my own piano yesterday. Tuned a rogue unison, and lowered the action a bit. The upper treble had hardly any sustain, and after testing with a guitar plectrum, I found that the hammers were striking the strings too high. After lowering the action it started to sing! Without this course, I would never have had the courage to do so, and wouldn't have known what to adjust. Took a bit more work than expected though: not only lowering the action and regulating the capstan screws, but I also had to adjust the silent system.

A second achievement (yes there were more) is that I could easily adjust from an upright that was quite difficult to play to a nicely regulated grand.

The location was also very beautiful. In France, in the Dordogne area, in a very rural area. Weather was great, 20 C in the afternoon, with strong sun. It's a great area if you like chateaus/castles/churches/old villages/etc.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/18/11 11:30 AM

Oudeis, that sounds like a fantastic week!
Absolutely fascinating - and so practical too.

Excellent AOTW!
Posted By: jotur

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/18/11 03:44 PM

Welcome back, Farm Girl! Maybe you had "beginner's luck" after being off the piano awhile laugh - Actually, breaks are good sometimes, because they give your brain a chance to consolidate some stuff.

oudeis - what a wonderful vacation! Thanks for all the details - made me salivate laugh And how cool that your piano now sings - sounds like a perfect outcome.

Cathy
Posted By: Teodor

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/18/11 07:45 PM

Played for about 30 people today in uni. It was spontaneous, I was practicing and they walked in for a lecture, so I decided to play 4-5 pieces for them to see how I handle the stress. Easy, there was no stress. Mostly because I thought only 2 girls walked into the room but when I turned around after I was done the room was full of people :S

So that's what I need to do next time I have a recital. Imagine I'm playing alone and enjoying myself.

Achievement of the week: I can now play through Fur Elise and I can't remember what was hard about the hard parts anymore. It's not up to tempo yet but everything except for 1-2 bars is going smoothly.

Originally Posted by casinitaly
Teodor, I have to be really careful about the relaxing too - I'm starting to get a lot better at it! - Do be careful not to overstress. Remember, you aren't "whining" about it - you're learning to play properly so you don't do long term damage!


Today I really overdid it during practice. I was bashing at those chords ff all the time and that wasn't a good idea... But I was so excited to play that one part of the piece that I couldn't help it. Which is ok, do it once like for a performance but there is absolutely no need to play so hard when practicing a passage 10 times in a roll, not to mention nowhere in the dynamics does it say to play so loud laugh

My hand is ok by now. I ran a couple of miles and it really helped me relax the muscles.
Posted By: jotur

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/18/11 11:49 PM

JimF - today's the day, right?

Cathy
Posted By: MaryBee

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/19/11 03:55 AM

Hi everyone. I feel like I've been gone for a long time. I was sick for a week or so, and work was hectic for a while, so I barely had enough energy just to get my daily practice in (and on a couple days, it was only for a few minutes). But I'm feeling good again now, and back to reading the piano forums.

I did something interesting and fun the other day. My teacher suggested that I might tend to listen more closely to my playing if I raised the lid on my piano (an upright), or even removed the front cover. So I tried it; I took the front off my piano, and played it that way for a few days. I remember as a child I use to prop open the front of our big upright and watch the hammers move as I pounded the keys. But I had forgotten how fascinating that was. Doing it again after so long, seeing the hammers move in response to my playing and pedaling, I felt a much stronger physical connection to the instrument that usual.

The other interesting thing about it was that my 6-year-old grandson usually shows very little interest in playing the piano, but with the front open, he spent about 20 minutes the first day and a half hour the second day, playing and watching. That was unexpected!

I started a new piece a few weeks ago -- Clair de Lune. My teacher had me try something different with a tricky section of this. He called it playing "note-by-note". You play the section as slowly as you need to, but you must play the notes with absolutely no mistakes. You repeat this 3-5 times in a row. If you make a mistake, you have to start the repetitions all over again. I didn't think it would help much, but I did it anyway. And surprise! When I went back the next day to play that section, it was fairly easy. Another successful practice technique! smile
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/19/11 06:19 AM

Jim - thinking of you today - and hoping for pics before the sun sets in my part of the world! smile

Teodor, good for you - that's fun, and a great experience.

Marybee! Welcome back, I was wondering where you'd gone !
I took the front off my piano a few weeks ago (just for a little while during the lesson - it was really interesting to hear how much richer the sound was - as though it had been "unchained" - I can imagine how fascinated your grandson was. My husband also like to look at the "works" in motion.

Great news about your new practice technique. I've tried that too and find that it does indeed make a difference.

Yesterday I played duets with my teacher (prima vista material) and it was great fun. She had a collection of material (I didn't see the name on the cover, I'll have to check what they were called). I did better than usual on some of them, but what the REAL achievement was that when my fingers got confused, I was able to keep my place well, (I sang the notes I wasn't playing lol) and then pick up again fairly quickly. She said I am really good at this (probably because I played in band and I'm good at following what is going on)....She said I understand how to work with another musician. That put a smile on my face!

When we were playing the duets, there were some parts where she had to play notes I had just finished playing and everytime her hand slipped into the space where mine had just been (or still was!) I started to crack up, it just struck me as very funny.

I LOVE playing duets - it makes me feel like I can play a lot better than I really do.
Posted By: Butteman

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/19/11 11:44 AM

MaryBee,
I use the "note-by-note" practice tip all the time on difficult parts. Sounds like you have a very good teacher. Also Practicing V-E-R-Y S L O W L Y has helped me to be able to play a section perfectly, playing the right notes in the right time.
A few other tips: practice for short periods rather than long sessions. Master 2 measures (or 1 phase) perfectly in 2 minutes rather than playing a whole page and learning nothing. And finally start at the “end” of a piece, the last 2 measures and work backwards. Keep adding one or two more measures until you are at the beginning of the piece.
“Practice does not make perfect. Practice makes permanent.Only perfect practice makes perfect. Practicing mistakes will be more likely to make mistakes permanent.” smile
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/19/11 11:45 AM

Originally Posted by Butteman
MaryBee,

“Practice does not make perfect. Practice makes permanent.Only perfect practice makes perfect. Practicing mistakes will be more likely to make mistakes permanent.” smile


This sounds like a musician's tongue twister!

Great post Butteman - (I liked the part I didn't quote too!)
Posted By: Teodor

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/19/11 07:28 PM

Today was a great day! GREAT! I mean AWESOME! First I sight read some really difficult pieces. Then about 20 people showed up for a lecture and I played for them carefree. I had no worries at all, I just enjoyed playing for them! I think I am on the right track by practicing in a public place like that. The more exposure I get to performing, the better I will become one day when I am a good player and I will play with no nerves. If you do something a hundred times it's no longer a problem, right? So no more stage fright.


BTW tomorrow will be an even BETTER day. I'm going to a concert and will hear Mozart's Requiem live!! FINALLY! As well as two of his operas!!!!
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/19/11 08:09 PM

Teodor, I feel charged with energy just reading your post.

Good for you - keep it up! and enjoy your Mozart concert!
Posted By: Teodor

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/19/11 08:15 PM

Thank you. Yeah I mean, I realize I am happy for no big reason but sometimes you can manipulate yourself into being happy if you manage to find value in the little things that happen. I keep really busy these days and I have zero time for feeling down. I spent half a year being depressed because of the tendonitis, so I'm making up for that.

I'm taking a pianist friend with me. Thank god, I remembered to call her, all my other friends bailed on me and I already had tickets for the best seats. At least I know she will appreciate the good music.
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/19/11 09:47 PM

Thank you all for thinking of me. Yes! My beautiful new piano has arrived and I am loving it. We removed most of the old living room furniture, so the room doesn't presently have much in it except the piano. I was hoping at least the rug would arrive in time but it is supposedly being delivered later today. I can't resist posting a pic anyway. (hope I did this right) It was taken with my phone so its not very good. Will try to do the piano justice at a later date when the room looks a bit more inviting. The sound is incredible. I'm learning Chopin's B-minor prelude and those beautiful bass arpeggios sound so gorgeous it makes me stop playing so I can just hear them sustain a little longer.


[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]
Posted By: Pianosaurus Rex

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/19/11 10:02 PM

That's awesome Jim! Now update your sig, it has arrived! laugh
Posted By: jotur

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/20/11 12:16 AM

JimF - wow. Just wow. It's a beauty, and it's so cool that it sounds good, too.

Teodor - what a great post. Made me smile.

Cathy
Posted By: MaryBee

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/20/11 02:08 AM

Jim - How beautiful! I'm just imagining the sound - it must be wonderful.
Posted By: FarmGirl

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/20/11 04:03 AM

JimF that looks beautiful and big. My gosh, it looks like a real concert piano. I am soooo happy for you. cannot wait to hear how it sings.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/20/11 05:53 AM

JimF - wow!! Gorgeous! I can't wait to hear how it sounds.
You must be 100% thrilled!

I'm so happy for you!
Posted By: GlassLove

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/20/11 12:49 PM

OH MY GOSH it is absolutely beautiful. Congratulations to you!!! I cannot wait to hear it.


My achievement of the week is in the form of a decision. My teacher invited me to take hour long lessons because we just weren't making it through all of the work that I had done each week in 1/2 hour. I can't wait for my first hour long lesson, I imagine it will be much more relaxed and it will be fun to balance playing and theory a bit more.
Posted By: Teodor

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/20/11 07:46 PM

Back from the concert. Spent the rest of the evening with two lovely ladies, both musicians. Today I heard Mozart's Requiem... Also after the concert I talked to the concert master and just by the way I asked to play the steinway and sons concert grand, so he said it was ok and left me with it for 5 minutes. Those were some of the best 5 minutes of my life...
Posted By: tangleweeds

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/20/11 07:49 PM

Congratulations, JimF -- what beautiful piano! Enjoy this special time of getting to know your new friend! smile

Posted By: oudeis

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/20/11 08:09 PM

Originally Posted by Teodor
Also after the concert I talked to the concert master and just by the way I asked to play the steinway and sons concert grand, so he said it was ok and left me with it for 5 minutes. Those were some of the best 5 minutes of my life...

Wow - I can't imagine ever having the courage to ask something like that (and if I was ever given the chance, I'd be too afraid to damage it)! Way to go!! You sure know how to make someone jealous smile
Posted By: Teodor

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/20/11 08:16 PM

Well... I figured if you really wanna do something, go for it, you never know. I spent the entire night glancing at that concert grand and I told me friend "I wish I could try this piano" then I just told myself "why not? What's the big deal?" and did it. Plus I was very happy with what I just heard in the concert so I told the concert master how great it was then we talked a little bit about Rachmaninoff and how I wanted to listen to his third piano concerto some time, then we talked about how good music is when you want to just enjoy yourself and forget about all your troubles, and we sort of bonded a little bit, so it was kind of easy to ask about playing for a minute.

I played this and it felt like driving a sports car compared to my earlier practice on an upright earlier that day:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rvk8YyuiHJ4

Sorry if I'm making you jealous, I'm just so happy right now for too many reasons.

One thing is for sure, I'm going to dream about this piano and I regret not playing through Fur Elise on it now I have to wait till the recitals, I can't wait to try the music academy's concert grand.
Posted By: SAnnM AB 2001

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/21/11 06:19 PM

Today I began a new piece. I had played around with first two pages for a couple of weeks but only started it 'officially' at my lesson today. It's Tchaikovsky's June: Baracole. Definitely a stretch for me but I'm loving the challenge and looking forward to studying it with my teacher. He's already given me new ways to practice and, as always, I'm inspired and excited to have piano in my life!!!
Posted By: FarmGirl

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/22/11 06:34 AM

I went to Nobuyuki Tsujii's concert tonight. It was wonderful. He got standing ovation. He played Mozart's sonata 330 (I think), Beethoven's Tempest and Mussorgsky's picture from the exhibition. I was actually very sleepy when I got to the hall but his playing was so passionate that I did not even blink. He's got some technique to die for. A complete finger independence. When I close my eyes, at times, the music sounds like coming from two pianos. I am totally inspired.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/22/11 10:39 AM

Teodor, you've had a great week, that's for sure!
SAnnM - isn't it exciting to feel you're stretching and growing with your skills?
FarmGirl - what a splendid evening. I need to get out to a live concert soon.... there is nothing like a live performance to stir the soul.


I don't remember when I last wrote about an achievement ,... maybe Monday after my lesson...but what I have noticed overall the last few days is that I'm getting a lot better with my prima vista work. That's very encouraging.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/22/11 03:16 PM

This is an OT AOTH..... I 've started up a new business initiative in the small town I live in - English lessons with a twist - theme oriented mini courses, reading groups, small groups etc.... I've been working to get it known through local Facebook connections, local shops and networking like crazy. I've made flyers and posters and new business cards and a website .... Slowly but surely it is getting attention. This week I held a "meet the teacher night" at a local café, (which has agreed to host my reading groups...for free!)...and a journalist saw the advert for the event on FB and did a write up on it. I got about six paragraphs, and my contact info was published. Is that totally cool or what?

smile
Posted By: GlassLove

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/22/11 04:38 PM

That is beyond cool. Congrats Cheryl. I am sure you will attract a lot of students with your clever idea. I certainly would be intrigued by it.


SannM: Lucky Duck!!! I wish I could learn June. That and October are my two favorite "Seasons" pieces. I listen to them at least once a week and fantasize about being able to play them. I suspect it will be a few more years for me. I would love to hear how you are doing with it periodically.

Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/22/11 07:16 PM

That's great, Cheryl. I'm picturing you seated at a piano on a poster advertising "Learn English through Music", "Use your favorite lyrics to improve comprehension and phrasing" "no instrument or prior musical background needed." "Wow your friends at kareoke" Of course, all of the preceding is written in Italian, so I'd never understand it unless I got online and asked you to interpret it. thumb grin

I'm sure that has nothing to do with what you are actually attempting, but I like the image anyway! whome

Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/22/11 07:35 PM

SannM - I'd not listened to June before, at least not since I started piano. Very beautiful piece. Is there a particular pianist's recording of it that you really like?

Christine - I chose a short easy Schumann piece for a throwaway this week called Chorale. It has been a year since I did some of his pieces from Album for the Young and I had forgotten how lovely his music always sounds to me. Also, his pieces always seem to require a sort of intricate fingering where the two hands are working in very close proximity to each other (if you know what I mean) while trying to maintain a real singing legato.

I am sure you are all sick of hearing it, but I am just loving my new piano. 3hearts Today was the first time I really felt I was controlling it versus the other way around. I feel like I can spend hours doing the simplest things like scales or arpeggios because there are so many ways to bring out different sounding tones.

I think I've become an acoustic-holic! crazy
Posted By: CebuKid

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/23/11 01:31 AM

Now this is dedication. I even ate here at the piano..LOL

[Linked Image]
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/23/11 06:42 AM

Originally Posted by JimF
That's great, Cheryl. I'm picturing you seated at a piano on a poster advertising "Learn English through Music", "Use your favorite lyrics to improve comprehension and phrasing" "no instrument or prior musical background needed." "Wow your friends at kareoke" Of course, all of the preceding is written in Italian, so I'd never understand it unless I got online and asked you to interpret it. thumb grin

I'm sure that has nothing to do with what you are actually attempting, but I like the image anyway! whome


Well....... would you be surprised to learn that I often do use songs in class?...and that I very often will sing a line or two from a song which illustrates the word or grammar structure we're looking at smile
lol... I like your images too Jim !

Cebukid - That's ....pretty obsessive smile
I'm curious - do you read music from your pc or is it there just for recording?
Posted By: CebuKid

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/23/11 04:57 PM

Originally Posted by casinitaly


I'm curious - do you read music from your pc or is it there just for recording?


Hi cas, yes, recital's coming up, so I'm in "freak-out" mode right now. crazy

I recently purchased that table top music stand that you see there, but will eventually find a way to put my scores on the laptop...not a big priority though since I still like reading paper scores...and yes, I figured out how to record the digital. If I can't get my recital piece up to my standard, I may go digital only because it's so much easier to record. With the acoustic, there is so much work:

1.) Open the lid
2.) position my H1 recorder
3.) position the Camcorder
4.) combine the 2

...all that work and I keep messing up this piece that was supposed to happen 2 recitals ago...LOL. With the digital, I just hit the record button on audacity. smile I'm still debating whether to submit video this time around.
Posted By: jotur

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/23/11 05:08 PM

casinitaly - what a great idea! I love people who have creative ideas for businesses - maybe because that's not my strong point laugh

Cathy
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/23/11 06:30 PM

Originally Posted by jotur
casinitaly - what a great idea! I love people who have creative ideas for businesses - maybe because that's not my strong point laugh

Cathy


Thanks Cathy. I'm pretty excited about it...and praying it takes off!!
Posted By: Pianosaurus Rex

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/23/11 06:54 PM

Originally Posted by JimF
I am sure you are all sick of hearing it, but I am just loving my new piano. 3hearts Today was the first time I really felt I was controlling it versus the other way around. I feel like I can spend hours doing the simplest things like scales or arpeggios because there are so many ways to bring out different sounding tones.

I think I've become an acoustic-holic! crazy


What a delight huh? I for one am not at all sick of hearing you talk about your grand, it's fun to read, and I can really connect with it. So please don't refrain from posting about it. There's just nothing like a real piano, especially a grand, so I'm just really happy for you.

Cheryl- Best of luck with your new English lessons, hope you'll find lots of students!

CebuKid- Geeh, that looks familiar!
I'd never choose reading from a laptop over real paper though!
Posted By: GlassLove

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/25/11 10:42 AM

Originally Posted by JimF


Christine - I chose a short easy Schumann piece for a throwaway this week called Chorale. It has been a year since I did some of his pieces from Album for the Young and I had forgotten how lovely his music always sounds to me. Also, his pieces always seem to require a sort of intricate fingering where the two hands are working in very close proximity to each other (if you know what I mean) while trying to maintain a real singing legato.

I am sure you are all sick of hearing it, but I am just loving my new piano. 3hearts Today was the first time I really felt I was controlling it versus the other way around. I feel like I can spend hours doing the simplest things like scales or arpeggios because there are so many ways to bring out different sounding tones.

I think I've become an acoustic-holic! crazy



Yes, I agree about Schumann, it sounds lovely but it is trickier to pull off than one might guess just looking at the music. I have not played Chorale, it is a very nice piece though, I like it a lot.
AND.....there is NO WAY anyone could get sick of hearing you talk about your new piano. How do you pull yourself away from it?
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/25/11 10:46 AM

Hi haven't really tried any Schumann yet but I'll check out the piece you've mentioned Jim.

And I agree with the others - we are NEVER going to get tired of hearing how happy you are with your piano.

What I'm sure we are all waiting for is a chance to hear what it sounds like!!
Posted By: Zuul

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/25/11 11:32 PM

Well, my achievement of the week is 2 parts.
1st - I made this odd little diddy up

Which, yeah... isn't that awesome. But I've only been playing 4 months and have no idea what I'm doing. Which brings me to the 2nd and real achievement. I'm meeting with a teacher tomorrow to talk about starting lessons. I'm nervous and excited.


-Z
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/26/11 06:19 PM

Hi Zuul,

I thought your composition was great. One minor bit of feedback - have your teacher look at the shape of your left pinky when you play it for her/him. Seemed like you had it sticking out (sign of tension) and even reverse curved at times (possible source of injury).

No reason to be nervous about the teacher, although we all seem to go through it. Mistakes are good, that's why we have teachers to correct them.
Posted By: Teodor

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/28/11 07:42 PM

This got me excited this week. I know it's not piano but I feel great. I'm finally seeing results of my hard work. I am naturally very skinny and seeing my muscles grow like this is a big deal for me as I no longer look skinny.

Posted By: Zuul

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/28/11 07:52 PM

Hi JimF
Thanks for the feedback. If you meant the last digit of my pinky finger bending upward, past being straight; it just does that. I think it's from playing guitar. My right pinky doesn't bend that way. It doesn't hurt or anything. Just flexible. I'll have her take a look at it though. Meeting with the teacher went very well. She's a super nice lady. She teaches a little guitar for beginners, I might see if she's up for learning some guitar stuff from me. Maybe I can get a piano discount? ha!

-Z
Posted By: Michael Steen

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 04/28/11 08:05 PM

Teodor,
Congratulations! I know what that feels like. I was heavily into weightlifting for a number of years until a sudden heart attack forced me to shift my focus. I still miss it.
Keep it up! You're doing great.
Posted By: MaryBee

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/02/11 09:36 PM

Cheryl, do you realize this thread is almost a year old? Thanks for starting it!

Three cool things this week:
1) I learned how to play a two-chord slur where the two chords share a note. I was having such a hard time with this all last week, and then at my lesson my teacher showed me how to shift the weight of my hand between the two chords, and it just worked! smile I love learning new things!
2) I was struggling with trying to play a set of arpeggios where one of the chords was an F-flat major. I just couldn't remember the notes in that chord and kept hesitating while trying to figure them out. So my teacher says, "I'll tell something that's going to make it really easy for you to remember this." I'm thinking he's going to reveal some arcane, super-secret trick, and then he tells me, "Just think of it as an E-major chord." Oh. Duh. And that's all it took! laugh
3) I've been working on a Haydn sonata for a few weeks, and I played through the first movement at my lesson. My teacher told me that I am just where he thought I should be after this amount of time. Now that doesn't sound like an accomplishment, but he is always so optimistic of how much and how fast I can learn, and I feel like I rarely meet those expectations. So either he's lowering his expectations, or I'm getting better at learning. Either way, it felt really good to hear that.

One crummy thing... my husband received a lay-off notice last week, and job prospects do not look good here. However, I am very thankful for three things:
1) The piano is already paid for; I can play it as much as I want, and it doesn't cost a cent.
2) It's impossible to worry when you're concentrating really hard during a practice session.
3) I was able to squeeze my lessons and piano tunings into our revised budget. yippie
Posted By: oudeis

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/03/11 05:38 AM

I submitted a ABF recital piece yesterday, although it's not up to my own standards yet. Unfortunately I have set my standards a bit too high, so I just submitted it anyway. While preparing the recording, I managed to improve a small aspect of my playing though: I can manage to play some of the parallel thirds reasonably simultaneous most of the time smile


Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/03/11 06:10 AM

Originally Posted by MaryBee
Cheryl, do you realize this thread is almost a year old? Thanks for starting it!

My pleasure indeed! I had not realized it was so long ago! I do notice how many pages we are up to and that makes me smile.

I think that we have a lot of "regulars" to this thread and it is so nice to feel caught up with what everyone is doing -and then we get new comers who give us another dose of happy energy.

Sounds like you've had a wonderful music week MaryBee!

Oudeis: good for you for getting your piece submitted. I still have to do it. I know the feeling of not being really satisfied with what you post - I feel the same way. But look at it this way --- it makes it so much easier for people to notice our progress for the next recital!

I'm really sorry to hear your husband got a lay-off notice though. Mine is on partial lay-off too, and my work has been dropping off (his coincided with the purchase of my piano too!!! I remember asking if we should put off buying the piano and he said "In the big picture, it isn't that much money"

I'm glad you are able to see the positive aspect of the problem and wish your husband all the best for finding new employment.
Posted By: griffin2417

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/03/11 08:43 AM

Last week I successfully performed and recorded my first recital piece for the ABF quarterly recital. I started playing piano again last summer after a 35+ year hiatus. I never expected to be able to play this piece satisfactorily until possibly 2012. It's a difficult piece I had performed when I was a senior in high school.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/03/11 10:16 AM

Originally Posted by griffin2417
Last week I successfully performed and recorded my first recital piece for the ABF quarterly recital. I started playing piano again last summer after a 35+ year hiatus. I never expected to be able to play this piece satisfactorily until possibly 2012. It's a difficult piece I had performed when I was a senior in high school.


That's a lovely accomplishment. You must be very pleased!

I hope to get my recital piece recorded very soon too!

Posted By: GracieCat

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/04/11 12:56 PM

Good job mom3gram!

Last night I sat down and played through the first sample page of "Wonderland" by David Nevue. I actually sight read both hands straight through. I just loved it so I jumped to the computer and bought the whole piece. I've had this piece sitting here since I started playing the piano but it had been over my head.

I'm excited because somewhere over the last 3 months I've really improved. I can see a huge improvement in my left hand. This piece is perfect because it's slow and I can process both hands at once and it sounds wonderful. I'm going to spend all day (off and on) practicing "Wonderland".
Posted By: MegumiNoda

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/04/11 01:26 PM

Well, this is not really an achievement on my part, but I'm pretty excited about it -- I've just made the deposit for going to piano camp this summer! This is the seven day program in France in August. Can't wait!
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/04/11 01:38 PM

Great progress GracieCat!

MegumiNoda - Can you tell us more about your piano camp? Where in France?
This summer is out for me - I've had too little work myself to treat myself to that expense, but (fingers crossed, except when playing piano) I hope things will pick up and next year I might be able to do that...France is just a hop skip and a jump from me!

Posted By: GlassLove

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/04/11 01:43 PM

Ahhh....sounds perfect MegumiNoda!! Like Cheryl, I would love to hear more about the piano camp!!! I have thought about going to a piano camp in the US, however, it doesn't seem to be in the cards for me this year either.

Nothing much to report on the accomplishment side for me, I am afraid. I did manage to work my Hanon exercise up to speed this week, but I also drove my family completely bonkers in the process crazy

Oh, and today I have my first one hour lesson. I am really looking forward to it!!!
Posted By: MegumiNoda

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/04/11 01:46 PM

Originally Posted by casinitaly

MegumiNoda - Can you tell us more about your piano camp? Where in France?

This is the camp at Ambialet (near Toulouse) -- http://www.ambialetmusic.com/ I first read about it from one of the discussion threads here on PWF about adult summer piano camps.

I've signed up for the Intermediate course, which seems like it will focus on Mozart sonatas and Debussy preludes, both of which I've been working on :-)

Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/04/11 02:10 PM

Wow, that's a fairytale land for a week of music for sure! You are going to have a wonderful time GracieCat.


Teodor - sorry I missed the video before - I just saw it today ..... Congrats - you are really getting into great shape!!
Posted By: jbloggz

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/04/11 02:25 PM

I'm very new to both piano and this forum (less than 1 week) but I had a major breakthrough in the last day or so. I am finally able to play "when the saints go marching in" with RH doing melody and LH doing a simply bass line.

At first I didn't see how I was possibly going to be able to coordinate my hands. It just seemed impossible. But after reading a thread on here where someone said not to think about playing 2 different parts, just think about the notes that need to be played and when (is this a good way to go about it??), it suddenly (over a hour or two) started to work. I still stuff it up regularly, but now I know I can do it.

I know this feat may seem quite trivial to most but I'm very excited about it!!! Maybe I will actually be able to learn after all.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/04/11 03:59 PM

Originally Posted by jbloggz
I know this feat may seem quite trivial to most but I'm very excited about it!!! Maybe I will actually be able to learn after all.


Congratulations!!!

The whole point of this thread is for us to revel in the joy of being able to do SOMETHING!

There are weeks where we just feel we can't get the hang of anything and then "bingo" something clicks and we are right to be very enthusiastic about our baby steps!

Posted By: Andy Platt

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/05/11 01:53 AM

I played my Chopin waltz almost exactly as I would like it today - yippee! smile It wasn't flub-free (what is?!) but it was close and, more importantly, really got the overall flow of the piece just as I want it. One month to the studio recital ....
Posted By: tinman1943

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/05/11 03:19 AM

Howdy all.
I'm not really a beginner, as I've been "playing" keyboards off and on for fifty years--but I'm still only playing at the "book 2-3" level--the sort of person who doesn't have many years of experience, just one year of experience many times!

Anyway, I got a new teacher and a full-size digital piano around Christmas time, and today I played the Bach Prelude 1 from WTC all the way through, with only a couple mistakes even. I'm hoping in another month, taking a measure a day, I can get rid of the stutters and get it up to speed!
Posted By: Teodor

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/05/11 01:42 PM

excuse my spelling, posted this from my phone

Had a meeting with a conservatory teacher today. I'm taking exams and I wanted her recommendations for pieces I should choose. First of all I'd like to mention she had 2 yamaha grands in her huge office. I got to play one and FINALLY I played on a perfect instrument. Anyway, she asked me to get some sheet music from the library, so I did. And she blew my mind away when she sightread two pieces for me. Her hands were flying across the keys, producing perfect, beutiful sounds. Hr tecjnique made even the simplest pieces sound wonderful. This is my first encounter with a musician of such high caliber... Also I met an oboy student, she was awesome, I normally fear talking to beautiful girls because I find no common ground but she was struggling with a bach piece I played before , so I just walked to her and asked her how it was going with the piece so far. And she was actually so nice to me. I expected some vague acknowledgement of my mere existence but we actually talked a bit. I'm looking forward to seeing her around the conservatory next year.
Posted By: MaryBee

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/05/11 02:16 PM

Originally Posted by Teodor
And she blew my mind away when she sightread two pieces for me. Her hands were flying across the keys, producing perfect, beutiful sounds. Hr tecjnique made even the simplest pieces sound wonderful. This is my first encounter with a musician of such high caliber...
Isn't it great to be able to watch someone who is so good at what they do?

Quote
Also I met an oboy student, she was awesome, I normally fear talking to beautiful girls because I find no common ground but she was struggling with a bach piece I played before , so I just walked to her and asked her how it was going with the piece so far. And she was actually so nice to me. I expected some vague acknowledgement of my mere existence but we actually talked a bit. I'm looking forward to seeing her around the conservatory next year.
Now, Teodor, is this really a piano-related achievement?? (Just kidding. wink ) It's fun to hear about your social adventures, too. And I guess playing piano did contribute to that achievement. smile Looking forward to hearing of further conservatory adventures...
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/05/11 03:59 PM

Originally Posted by Teodor
Also I met an oboy student, she was awesome, I normally fear talking to beautiful girls because I find no common ground but she was struggling with a bach piece I played before , so I just walked to her and asked her how it was going with the piece so far. And she was actually so nice to me. I expected some vague acknowledgement of my mere existence but we actually talked a bit. I'm looking forward to seeing her around the conservatory next year.


She must have liked your muscles too smile

What fun to meet someone who shares your love of music - and sounds like a great session with your teacher too.

ANDY: How satisfying!
Tinman : you're rolling now!

Love the updates!
Posted By: achat

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/05/11 04:25 PM

My achievements of the week are:

a) being able to record my first classical piece (very simple one: Air in D major-first half, Bach)
b) being able to put online my youtube-like web page on my piano recording.

http://web.mclink.it/MD3012/achat/channel.html

Already posted in "Beginner feedback station" topic but have no feedback at all until now! smile

Hope you like both!

Next week planned achievement: being able to add descriptions to each video...

A.
Posted By: oudeis

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/05/11 05:19 PM

Besides the recordings I mentioned earlier, I also made huge improvements in a new etude. Fast tempo, and chords in quick succesion always sounded horrendous, but the last few days I've been able to practice with much more focus, and I can I can feel and hear the improvement, it all sounds much cleaner (except for some minor squeaks an buzzes, and a faint ringing on A1 I suddenly hear). I think my ear is improving as well smile

This kind of progress makes me want to practice even more!
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/05/11 05:30 PM

That's great oudeis.

I'm really frustrated at the moment because I just had my piano tuned on Saturday (today is Thursday) .... it didn't hold, and by Sunday it sounded awful!!! I called the tuner back, and he came right away - but the next day it sounded odd. I was busy and had a computer virus to deal with so I only called him today after my piano lesson - my teacher noticed how odd it sounded too.
He said he'll come back but didn't set an appt. He's going to call on Saturday. It sounds awful and I'm hugely upset!!!!!!
Posted By: oudeis

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/05/11 05:52 PM

Oww, that is really awful, casinitaly. Was this the first time you used this tuner?

My piano was tuned 2 months ago, and as fas as I can hear it's still pretty much in tune with itself (but as I said, my ear is still developing). Not as crisp as the first few days, but still. A tuning should hold for a couple of months, unless you've had some major weather changes this week.

Anyway, hoping for you that the tuner comes back quickly, and that it sticks this time!
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/05/11 05:57 PM

First time with this tuner, first time having the piano tuned. It was less irritating BEFORE it was tuned. frown

I'm hoping he'll come back on Monday!!
Posted By: MaryBee

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/05/11 08:06 PM

cas, I'm sorry to hear about your tuning problems. I remembered reading a thread about someone else having problems after a tuning. A quick search helped me find this thread. Check out the the last posting there, where saerra mentions the different types of tunings and how well they hold. You might also post in the technicians forum, and see if they can explain why this might happen. I hope you get this worked out soon.
Posted By: Inlanding

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/05/11 10:14 PM

Hi Cas!

Without actually hearing it, my guess is that some of the unisons (most notes have more than one string) have fallen out, which will make some notes sound more sour and more irritating when played with notes that have not fallen out.

Your technician should be able to fix the stability problem. It takes a bit of technique to set the pins properly so they hold a string's pitch. It is where I spend much of my focus when I tune and where he should spend his focus - getting the unisons perfect and setting the pins solidly.

Keep in mind extreme heat and humidity swings will knock any piano out of whack, so hopefully you are not going through a severe change in humidity/temperature.

Glen
Posted By: dlr

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/05/11 11:23 PM

I haven't posted an AOTW in quite a while. Last week my teacher gave me a new and fun assignment. I asked the week before for a song that isn't classical, which is unusual. The song I chose is How Great Is Our God ~ fun, interesting rhythms, great dynamic range. So after working on it for a week, last week she told me to combine How Great Thou Art with it. I got to select a spot that it would be good to insert it, play How Great Thou Art, then a spot to flow back into How Great Is Our God. For How Great Thou Art, she gave me a lead sheet with melody line and chord symbols. I've been working on it, and it sounds pretty good today. It won't be perfect for my lesson tomorrow, but after another week I believe I'll be happy with it. This would be a piece of cake for my uber-talented mom, but I've never done anything like this, and I'm pretty excited!


Denise
Posted By: FarmGirl

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/06/11 07:05 AM

Hi everyone, I missed the forum. I was extremely busy with taking care of my parents. They were sickly when they came. They got healthier and finally went home last Sunday. Life in Japan is still tough but they missed their home. I will continue to monitor how they are doing.

I am now trying to memorize the Beethoven piece I am working on since I have to play the piece in my teacher's playing session (a/k/a annual recital). I will try to record the piece this weekend for the ABF recital as well. There are still more than several rough spots but I think recording will help me to fix those spots. I just hope the ice cream truck won't come when I am recording. It always throws me off.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/06/11 09:22 AM

Thanks for the link MaryBee, that sounds very very similar to my situation. Glen, it could in part be the unisons, but also the bass keys with only one string are wobbly so it isn't ONLY the unisons.

He was very willing to come out the first time I called him back. When I called yesterday he seemed less enthusiastic - and he said he would call me on Monday to set an appointment - I pushed for him to call on Saturday to fix the appointment because I am not willing to let this drag on!
On top of "off" notes, there is also a weird oscillating background sound like when you rub your finger on the rim of a wine glass.

My piano is where I go when I feel stressed - now I feel stressed playing my piano!!! I am so upset.
Posted By: Inlanding

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/06/11 11:01 AM

Maybe you can contact a few other teachers in your area and ask them for a good referral for a different tuner/tech.

I would hope he can get to your place on Saturday. I understand your frustration and sense of urgency to get it back into good playing condition. I hate the waiting for things like this.

I know it isn't the best thing, but do you still have your electric piano you can use at least in the meantime? ugh!!

Glen
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/06/11 11:11 AM

Originally Posted by Inlanding
Maybe you can contact a few other teachers in your area and ask them for a good referral for a different tuner/tech.

I would hope he can get to your place on Saturday. I understand your frustration and sense of urgency to get it back into good playing condition. I hate the waiting for things like this.

I know it isn't the best thing, but do you still have your electric piano you can use at least in the meantime? ugh!!

Glen

I do have 2-3 names for other tuners - 2 from the shop where I bought the piano (but they referred me to him, so if I get them to come, I expect them to be "setting things right" and not charging me!) Another tuner is one used by a friend who's son is a full time music student at University working at being a concert pianist. They have 2 pianos and they are very happy with their tuner.
Sadly, I'm quite sure he won't come on Saturday - he will only CALL on Saturday to fix the appointment.
Yes, I do have the silent option (ugh) which is better than no piano at all.
You know, if I use it at night time because I want to play, it is "acceptable". Using it during the day because the sound of my acoustic is troubling me, is totally unacceptable and makes me cranky!
grrr.
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/07/11 09:56 PM

Wow, a few days out of town and I feel like I've missed a month.

Griffin and Oudeis - haven't had time to listen to your recital pieces yet but plan to do so soon. Congrats on getting them posted.

Teodor Ok, no reason to be shy with Little Miss Oboe. Take it from someone as old as dirt - Go for it, you aren't getting any younger. What the heck, you got the studly physique thing going, and you ARE going to be a great piano player. cool What young oboeist could resist? Find some tickets to something musical and ask her out. Just do it! thumb

Zuul - How did the lesson go?

MaryBee - I know what you mean about those enharmonics like your F flat major. I'm working on a piece that has a F double-sharp and I have to keep slapping myself in the head saying "just play a g".

MegumiNoda - Wow, now thats a nice little summer camp. Please do not tell my wife such a thing exists. She would like nothing better than to toodle around the French countryside whilst I practice the piano.

Christine- I think you will like 1 hour lessons. I started with a half hour but very quickly changed it to 1 hour because we never were getting to all the material. That was over a year ago. One unexpected benefit may be that you find yourself practicing even more because you know it will get scrutiny come lesson day.

JBloggz - there's nothing trivial about getting some insight into hand independence. I think you made an important observation.

Andy - congrats on the Chopin Waltz. That is a great accomplishment and a beautiful piece of music that I listen to all the time.

Tinman - Welcome. Is the WTC prelude your first Bach piece? If so, I'm impressed - you must have gotten a little more than one year out of your forty on the keyboard!

Denise - Making your own medly sounds fun. I'd like to try it some day on a few old jazz standards.

Farmgirl - So glad your folks are better and can return to their home. Your reference to the "ice cream truck" really brings back a flood of childhood memories. Now I want a creamsicle in the worst way. laugh

Cheryl - Yikes! shocked Hope the tuning issue is resolved soon. When I got my new piano we had a tech out the next day because the delivery guys didn't correctly attach the lyre. He did a quick tune then (it didn't need much) and agreed to come back a few weeks later (which was last Tuesday) after the piano settled in. He warned me I would hear it going out of tune and I sure did. It never got as grating as you are describing, although he said it was 13 cents flat across the board by the time he came back. That's my tin ear at work. Eeek, I sure hope it holds. I can only imagine your frustration. mad cry
Posted By: Zuul

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/10/11 04:25 PM

Most EXCELLENT!!!

Just got home from my first lesson and I couldn't be happier. The teacher is a badass. I brought sheet music from a game I really like, just for the heck of it and she rocked it out, right off the bat. I was very impressed. I've got a lot of work ahead of me. Excited to have direction. Just thought I'd share. Hope all is well with everyone here on PW.

It's a great day.
Zuul
Posted By: paperkite

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/10/11 06:03 PM

Achievement of the week/month/year-so-far: I graduated to Level 3 piano!

I know that for most of you this is a very remedial level but I am ridiculously excited about it. The music in my new book is so much more interesting; it's more fun to practice! Plus, my husband, now, comes into the room to listen to me rather than running for the hills. wink It's a good piano week for me. smile
Posted By: oudeis

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/10/11 08:00 PM

Congratulations!!

My teacher doesn't do exams, so I celebrate when I get assigned a new book of etudes (or when he gives a pass on a particular challenging piece) wink. Doesn't really compare with passing a formal exam, though.

Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/10/11 09:41 PM

Finished up the aria from Manon Lescout - In Quelle Trine Morbide - at today's lesson. Also finished up Schumann's "Choral" which I had picked as a throwaway a few weeks ago. Turned out to be a bit more challenging than I thought so I worked on it an extra week. Starting to work on the Chopin B-minor hands together tomorrow morning. Less than two weeks to my teacher's recital - can't wait to get that monkey off my back. My poor wife just calls the Tosca aria "THAT SAD THING" (again).
Posted By: dlr

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/10/11 11:13 PM

Paperkite ~ that's so awesome! Graduating to the next level is totally exciting. Way to go!!!

My excitement this week isn't so much an achievement. It's just a feeling, I guess. I've been taking lessons since January (returned after many years away), and I love playing more than ever! My practice time is my favorite time of the day, I see progress, I'm playing music I like, my teacher is phenomenal. Despite the issues I've had with my hands recently, my passion for playing is stronger than ever. This makes me SO happy!

Denise
Posted By: GlassLove

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/11/11 01:51 AM

Congratulations on your first lesson Zuul!!! It is really important to think highly of your teacher. Sounds like a great match!

Paperkite: No, I don't think that it is trivial. That is wonderful news. I play the piano for at least an hour after every lesson because I am so "geeked" when I get home with new music. When it is "harder" music that sounds richer, it is even more rewarding. Congratulations on an important achievement that is the product of a lot of hard work. Enjoy!!!

Wow Jim. That is so cool that you are finished with your piece for the recital. Perhaps you will play it for the ABF recital too? I laughed when you mentioned the Schumann piece. I haven't met one that I could "knock off in a week" so to speak. I had begun to think that you were some adult prodigy with Schumann pieces as your "weekly throw away."

DLR: I am with you!!! My practice time is the best part of my day. Just happy to be playing. I am pretty sure that I am improving, it just isn't terribly obvious to my ear right now. Sorry to hear that you have problems with your hands.

My weekly highpoint (sorry I deviate from the thread title...but it isn't my achievement, it is my husband's) was that I was able to practice uninterrupted for three hours on Mother's Day. My husband took my sons out to play soccer and I played my heart out. I was out of town for a conference for three days two days before and didn't touch the piano during that time. It was so rewarding to be able to play on a day I am usually steeped in laundry, homework, etc. etc.
Posted By: Michael Taylor

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/11/11 03:28 AM

I nailed another song this week. Wedding Song from A Midsummer Nights Dream! It is a beginner/intermediate level from Adventures for Adult Beginners. It took 2 days!!! I'm trying to play a new song every week to help improve my sight reading. So far so good!
Posted By: MaryBee

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/11/11 02:30 PM

Originally Posted by GlassLove
... I was able to practice uninterrupted for three hours on Mother's Day. My husband took my sons out to play soccer and I played my heart out.
Christine , sounds like a great Mother's Day gift!
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/11/11 03:16 PM

I'm really happy to hear all your news.

My achievement of the week is that I have my piano sounding decent again.
The owner of the shop came out this morning and did some more tuning and some voicing. I'm so relieved.

Now I'm trying to record for the recital, but I'm still unwinding from feeling jittery about all this for the past 10 days!

I guess I'll have to wait til tomorrow.

Posted By: jotur

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/11/11 03:25 PM

Yea Cheryl! I'm so glad your piano's back to snuff - it was agonizing reading your frustration laugh And congratulations on your studying up on what might be causing it so that you were dealing with facts and not just letting anger or something do it. Maturity wins again! Have fun -

Cathy
Posted By: Andy Platt

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/11/11 03:38 PM

Good news Cheryl ... I wondered if you were going to have to write a book about your search for the piano sound you had fell in love with. You could have called in Grand Obsession ... wink

(For those who don't know there is an excellent book called that ... I just kept being reminded of it during Cas's posts).
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/11/11 05:29 PM

Cathy, I find it comforting that you found it agonizing smile
It really was. I will confess to having been in tears over the weekend frown

Andy - you know, had I not read that book, I wouldn't have had such a clear idea of where to start asking questions! ....I probably wouldn't have been so worried that my piano had been messed up either though... it was a mixed blessing smile

I just played for about 40 minutes. No recording, I'm not up for that, I'm just "playing" in every sense . Ahhhhhh.

oh, and for a non-piano related AOTW... I have a new client, courses start Monday!
Posted By: Teodor

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/11/11 05:54 PM

Getting slightly better at dictation and recognizing intervals...
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/11/11 06:46 PM

Great news, Cheryl. I've got fingers crossed that your tune holds this time. On my tech's advice we had him install a dampchaser system. According to him that will greatly increase my chances of maintaining stability here in humid south florida. He did tell me that (with a new piano,at least) stability can take a while to achieve - depends on a lot of factors - and he may have to come back two or three more times before the piano settles into a predictable pattern. Oh, and I know what you mean about tuners really giving the keys a whack - I could have heard him tuning my piano in the next county!!
Posted By: nancymae

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/11/11 06:51 PM

I didn't have an achievement per say, but I was able to visit my long-time friend and hear her husband play...he is an excellent piano player...has even written his own classical composition. It was sure wonderful to see someone with so much passion for music. I played my only piece I know from heart Plasir D'amore (the Alfred one in the All-Time Favorites Book)..and he said that I played very well...with alot of passion! Cool!

He had some sheet music there, but played mostly from his Ipad and used a foot pedal to turn pages. That was really cool! I still like my paper though!! :=)

Cheryl, if you are feeling stressed before practicing...for whatever reason...do some stretching exercises...your head, turn from side to side, reach up to the sky with your hands and then lower to your feet. If you know yoga, you will know what to do. This will get your muscles untensed and relaxed for your playing. Yes, stress is a terrible thing sometimes for relaxed piano playing. Glad your piano is back signing a wonderful song!

Nancy
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/11/11 07:11 PM

christine,

Quote
I had begun to think that you were some adult prodigy with Schumann pieces as your "weekly throw away."


laugh Oh, my! shocked Don't let me give you that impression because nothing could be further from the truth. Fact is, unless my teacher assigns a specific piece for my one-week throwaway, I often choose one myself that is inappropriately easy, or just the opposite. Its hard to find just the right level. The Schumann piece was definitely in the latter category, as was a Chovan piece a while back, and a Paul Simon piece before that. Sometimes I just want to see what I can do with something in a week even if I know it won't get close to being finished.

This morning I was going to choose a piece that turned out to be almost sightreadable - and you can trust me when I say for me that means it is very easy. This is actually the level I should be picking for throwaways, as the whole point is to improve my reading ability. But I noticed a Kabalevsky Waltz on the opposite page that looked interesting. After trying the first phrase a few times I was hooked, so that's it for this week. Don't know yet how hard the rest will turn out to be.
Posted By: paperkite

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/11/11 08:15 PM

JimF:
Quote
My poor wife just calls the Tosca aria "THAT SAD THING" (again).


HAHAHAHA! Your wife is hilarious. smile Good luck on your recital!

dlr / Denise :

Quote
My practice time is my favorite time of the day, I see progress, I'm playing music I like, my teacher is phenomenal.


I have a love/hate relationship with my practice time. Usually I love it! But some months, I draaaag. my. feet. wink


Nancymae / Nancy:

Quote
he said that I played very well...with alot of passion! Cool!


This is a wonderful compliment!

Teodor:

Congrats and good luck on your upcoming recitals.

Posted By: paperkite

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/11/11 08:25 PM

GlassLove / Christine:

Quote
I was able to practice uninterrupted for three hours on Mother's Day. My husband took my sons out to play soccer and I played my heart out.


I think that qualifies you for "The Best Week Ever". smile Happy belated Mother's Day!
Posted By: ChristineG

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/11/11 09:31 PM

I recorded myself playing a Bach Prelude on my MP3 recorder. Even after bracing myself for imperfection, I was very disappointed with how amateurish I sounded, but I kept playing/recording/listening over and over, and by the final version, I actually liked what I heard much better. Self-awareness can be painful, but there are rewards to be reaped!
Posted By: MaryBee

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/12/11 04:56 AM

Christine, are you submitting the recording to the ABF recital?
Posted By: GlassLove

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/12/11 04:09 PM

Hi MaryBee,
Not sure if your question is directed to me or ChristineG, but I will answer.

Unfortunately-no- I just haven't had time to polish anything. I wanted to record the Liebermann Ostinato piece for the recital (I actually chose it for exactly that reason), but it just isn't ready yet. Maybe I will have it ready by next recital.

Very much looking forward to listening though!!
Posted By: MaryBee

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/12/11 05:31 PM

Actually, I was wondering about ChristineG, because she said that had been able to record a version of her Bach Prelude that she liked.

Oh, but that's disappointing that you are not going to be submitting one for this recital. For sure in August, then!
Posted By: ChristineG

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/13/11 01:59 AM

MaryBee I still need to work on certain things, especially my trills. If I can pull it together on Saturday, then maybe I will, and thank you for asking. (although I have to say that I find the idea of an on-line recital much much scarier than a live recital in front of a small group which is what I'm used to) :-)
Posted By: Andy Platt

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/13/11 02:44 AM

Originally Posted by ChristineG
(although I have to say that I find the idea of an on-line recital much much scarier than a live recital in front of a small group which is what I'm used to) :-)


Definitely. I was nervous about my first recital at my teacher's studio but I realized everyone would "mess up" at some point. But when you record yourself and can keep recording and recording, you feel it's got to be perfect (at least as perfect as you can do).

Luckily I'm starting to get over that wink
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/13/11 10:00 AM

You know, in a way I think it would be easier to do a live recital - you go up , do it, and it is over. One shot.

Plus it isn't recorded for "posterity" lol.

However, I don't know. I've not yet had the opportunity to play "live" except in my own living room ..oh, and in the piano shop ! smile

I guess my achievement is that I did manage to record a piece for the recital. Not the one I'd planned to play, but with my ups and downs over the past 2 weeks I just didn't get enough practice in to smooth it out.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/19/11 08:12 PM

Well, I haven't actually achieved anything yet, but today my teacher assigned my first Beethoven piece! Sonata in G maj (or actually...sonatina? lol..... I confess to having enjoyed a glass or two of some very nice Sangiovese before coming on line)..


Also....I've been invited to participate in a recital with a music school at which my teacher teaches. I met a number of the people who will be involved at a Christmas music party...and I think I'll go for it.

My wonderful husband has just said "You should do it! Even if (remote though the possibiltiy might be), even if you mess it up, you can always try again next time."

I think I'd play Gypsy Legend as I'm very comfortable with it.....

Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/19/11 09:53 PM

cheryl,

Thats great about the Beethoven. Is that the one they call Sonatina 37, anh 5. no. 1?

re the recital:
Quote
You know, in a way I think it would be easier to do a live recital - you go up , do it, and it is over. One shot.
laugh Don't you hate it when people quote your own words back at ya? grin

No accomplishments for me this week. Recital is Sunday. help shocked

Chopin hands together coming along. Not working on much else except sight reading,scales and a toss-off Rondo by Turk. We decided my distraction with the recital was enough for the week. Looking around for a piece or two to work on starting next week, however - probably one baroque and one classical.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/20/11 05:49 AM

Originally Posted by JimF
cheryl,

Thats great about the Beethoven. Is that the one they call Sonatina 37, anh 5. no. 1?


Yes it is.

Originally Posted by JimF


re the recital:
Quote
You know, in a way I think it would be easier to do a live recital - you go up , do it, and it is over. One shot.
laugh Don't you hate it when people quote your own words back at ya? grin


Well, I think that's actually the first time it has happened smile
Food for thought, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to do this...I know the piece well, and I play it all the time, there's no real brushing up to do. I've improved on it since I recorded it...It's a logical choice.

In boca al lupo for your recital ! We are of course very much looking forward to hearing about your adventure and how well it went! (that isn't the royal "we", I simply am certain that I speak on behalf of all the AOTW buddies you have here!)

Nice that you've got your Chopin coming along. I have some pieces by Turk in one of my books, I'll have to see if there is a Rondo.

I will be very curious to see which baroque piece you decide to work on!!!
Posted By: Andy Platt

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/20/11 11:34 AM

Originally Posted by casinitaly
Well, I haven't actually achieved anything yet, but today my teacher assigned my first Beethoven piece! Sonata in G maj (or actually...sonatina? lol..... I confess to having enjoyed a glass or two of some very nice Sangiovese before coming on line)..


Cheryl, I love this piece - in fact I did this for the Beethoven recital we had last year:

Beethoven Sonatina in G

BTW, here's a retroactive AotW. My AotW for mid December 2010 was recording Sonatina in G for the Beethoven recital ...

wink wink
Posted By: FarmGirl

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/20/11 03:40 PM

Cheryl, first Beethoven Sonatina! Go girl. That's great and it's pretty fast progress you are making. Andy, I heard your recording above. Pretty good. I also think you made tons of progress since you recorded this one.

So, this is what i mean adults seem to progress faster than average children. Please say yes, otherwise I feel really bad. I did not like to do anything that was forced on me when I was a child. Unfortunately that includes piano. Yes, I admit, I also did not have the THING called talent. But still, I practiced (or forced to practice 30 min every day) and it took me about 5 years to play Fur Elise and 2 more years to play the Mozart's turkish march (the end of Child part of my music lessons). The turkish march was sooo bad that my folks still talk about it.

It's all under the bridge now. I have to practice some more on the 1st movement of the Beethoven Pathetique because I am playing it tomorrow. Just for the clarification, I know this piece is too big for me now to play it right. It's in my bucket list. It also consumes so much energy. I really cannot think of doing it in my 70's or 80's. So, that's the reason I am doing it right now. BTW, Playing the piece makes me soooo hungry. I am eating awful amount of food. I really have to think about working out and eating right. Otherwise I will gain 10 lb for each Beethoven Sonata. I have to resume my study on Rachmaninoff-Prelude op.23 no.5 and the second movement of the Pathetique.. My teacher assigned me these pieces to sight read a couple of months ago. I slacked. Did not do a thing... At least, i have worked on half of hte rach piece. But oh, it's zero for the 2nd movement of the Pathetique. so I have to start super duper work on them.. and then confess the truth to her on Wednesday... I had many thing happened to me but, my teacher won't hear excuses or my whining which I do a lot.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/20/11 04:13 PM

Andy your Sonatina was absolutely CHARMING! I loved it. And I love that you posted a retro-active AOTW -bravo!

FarmGirl, I think adults make faster progress than kids,...up to a point. And of course it depends on what age of child we're referring to... I've seen my teacher's other students from ages 6 to 16/18 to adults in their 40s and 50s.
Looking at the ones who made the most progress, I'd have to say it was the teens.

I honestly don't know how to evaulate my progress, you know?
My teacher is very pleased with me, so that's very nice. I'm pleased with myself, but still feeling fettered by lack of coordination. I can read a ton of music, but what I can play is pretty limited still. (um, did I mention I am very impatient smile ) I LONG to play really smoothly and sometimes feel low that I feel so slow.

What certainly helps is that the folks here are very kind in supporting every baby step and keeping my perspective fresh and realistic!!!

As for your pieces FarmGirl - I'm blown away by what you're working on and don't even dare dream to put those on my to do list yet! smile

There is one thing you said that really worries me - getting hungry from playing!!! oh dear, this could be a really dangerous side effect of playing that I had never considered.

Watch out for the dreaded Caloric Canons, the Bloated Bagatelles, the deep-fried fugues, profiterole preludes....oh dear, the list just goes on and on....;)
Posted By: Teodor

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/20/11 05:23 PM

Today, I spent some time and learned The Sick Doll from Tchaykovski's Album for the Young. The notes and rythm are extremely simple, so it didn't take more than 10 mins to play trhough it without messing up. But then I realized I always concentrate on playing thw notes but I do not listen to what the composer has to say. So far I felt great just being able to press the keys at th right time and mechanically follow all the dynamic markings. However, today I got into it really. It was as if I was inside the music while i played it. And the most curious thing happened, I started feeling emotions that were coming from the piece and were not my own but at the same time were also my own... Confusing but I have no better way to express it. I felt sorrow, a feeling of loss as if a close friend had gone away at the beginning then towards the middle part where the cresendo starts and it goes into forte from mezzo forte, I was feeling grief mixed with anger and frustration at the hopelessness of it all. And then towards the end all that was left was sadness but it was somewhat lighter as if I was so tired of being in this emotional state that I was emotionally drained. Also at the part where the rythm switches in the right hand to resemble what was being played in the left hand so far but reversed, it sounded like tears????


I am sitting here baffled at how this is all possible. It was similar to reading a really good novel in which you feel like you are there living the story.


This is not to say that I play it beautifully at this point but I felt those things while doing so. I'm excited about the future and how other pieces will be like in the future. Now I see that it can be a real adventure if you pay attention to what's behind the notes. I finally understand what my teacher means when she sometimes asks me to try and see what the story is in a piece. And if my hands are one day able to express these feelings, I believe I will then be really playing piano and not just messing around.
Posted By: Michael Taylor

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/20/11 06:03 PM

At my piano lesson today, my teacher introduced me to a Hanon exercise book. I'm pretty excited about trying something new. I'll spend a few hours on it this weekend.
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/20/11 06:05 PM

Teodor,

What a great description of finding the emotions in the music. I've had glimpses like that, where I really feel connected in a way with the composer, but nothing quite as complete as you describe. I'm envious. And I'm totally impressed that you just tossed off Sick Doll in 10 minutes. It sure took me a lot longer than that when I worked on it last year. Keep up the good work.

Any follow up on little Miss Oboe? wink
Posted By: Teodor

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/20/11 06:52 PM

Well that's 10 mins to play the notes and rhythm correctly at tempo. And it only works for some pieces for me, depends on how complex they are. Interpreting it properly might take days or weeks or never at this point as I do not think I have what it takes just yet. I don't know. I'll start memorizing it tomorrow. I want to be able to play it without having to bring the entire album to practice and also it will be easier to try and play expressively if I am not busy following the sheet music.

About the girl, I don't know I haven't seen her since. I should have at least asked her for her facebook come to think of it. Oh well, I'm in love with the piano anyway, it will do for now smile

Originally Posted by Michael Taylor
At my piano lesson today, my teacher introduced me to a Hannon exercise book. I'm pretty excited about trying something new. I'll spend a few hours on it this weekend.


Good! Those might be of help. I've played a couple. The most important thing is to start out slow imo and to build up gradually but also to make sure your hands are relaxed at all times. I was excited too at first but they turned out to be boring and not musical at all, so I gave up. Probably a mistake. I haven't been playing scales lately either...
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/21/11 09:48 PM

Michael - I'll be interested to hear what you think of Hanon - a lot of people hate him, some love him - what will your take be I wonder?

Teodor - wow ! What an great experience - this will very likely have a profound impact on how you end up playing this piece once you've got it truly in hand!

Poor Miss Oboe, she's probably wishing that you'd ask for her contact info!

As for me --- I have done just a tiny bit of work on the Beethoven piece, but I've really done well with one of the others (Vinciguerra) which is greatly satisfying. I know when I've tried to learn other pieces of his it took me days - this one I had fairly well in hand in a few hours. Now THAT gives me a handle on progress!!


And, I've confirmed - I WILL play in a recital on June 7th. OH MY! What have I let myself in for??? ack!

Just kidding - I figure it is a pretty safe environment for taking the plunge.

Posted By: KurtZ

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/21/11 10:39 PM

Oh, I have a recital on the 7th as well. I'm playing a Rameu. It's on the easy side but with a truly independent left hand part. I'm quite proud of it really. I'll also play the first piece from Burgmuller 25 easy pieces. I happened to be thinking to myself that if Chopin is College, Bach is High School and Burgmuller is middle school. You know, 6 teachers instead of one, passing periods, a locker etc. it's not THAT hard compared to what comes after it but still, it's a lot different from the primary grades. In the middle of this reverie, my teacher announces that she doesn't think I/we need to continue going through Piano Adventures step by step; that we'll both be happier with more Burgmuller and cherry picking pieces from this book and that.

That's exciting isn't it?

Kurt
Posted By: FarmGirl

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/21/11 10:59 PM

I just had a recital and played Pathetique 1st movement. Unfortunately, it was a disaster. I played in the end and I got really nervus while listening to my teacher's intoduction of this wonderful piece. I rushed. I have never played it with such speed. It's like Peter Serkin's speed. It's just I am not him, no even close! I sucked. I also repeated places I should not repeat and did not repeat where I should have repeated. I did not know.. I kept thinking "How can I slow down.." I remember thinking, OMG, it's so fast, i cannot play with this speed. Sure enough, I messed up some of the trills and some area which I never missed. You see, they say, never to run your fingers faster than your mind. I guess that's exactly what I did. I was lucky that somehow I played it through. This is the worst I have ever done. My teacher said "it wasn't so bad, you just played it a bit too fast.." She also told me that it's a very common problem for busy pieces like this. She also reminded me that she told me to identify spots where you can check the tempo, kind of like a braking / slow down stations. I felt like a crap. I did not listen to that advise. I need a drink now before I start working on my next assignment.
Posted By: EJR

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/21/11 11:06 PM

Well, I worked hard all week not to post any replies in a thread that Saul had commented on or started. It was going great...

then I cracked... sick mad shocked
Posted By: Newman

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/21/11 11:31 PM

... Getting my left hand to play a walking bass line.
Posted By: Sparky McBiff

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/22/11 04:16 AM

I got a Hiromi Uehara songbook in the mail and found two pieces in it that are hauntingly beautiful and aren't way above my level like most of the other pieces.
Posted By: Teodor

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/22/11 08:01 AM

Hi, did you take some time when you sat at the piano or did you dive straight in? I find it useful to just sit down and relax for a few seconds when I go on stage. I have this problem too with fast pieces. When I actually play them faster than the performance tempo and the result is a mess since I am nowhere good enough to keep it all together at a higher tempo.

No matter, I applaud you for your courage to play such a great piece at a performance. It can only get better from here on. smile

Edit: I sincerely wish that one day in the near future I will post here and say "My hands are cured! I can play freely and all I want now!!!" I still have hope but for now I've learned to cope with the limited piano time and the discomfort. I have plans to rest 1 MONTH with no piano and no computers and not even browsing the internet from my phone to let my hands rest completely. Just like last time I'll have plenty of book reading to catch up to and I might also study some theory away from the piano if I feel like it. Last time I managed to stay away from using my hands for the PC for less than 2 weeks. I imagine 4 weeks of no use might make things good. Only thing I am not sure about is, should I do stretches every day to keep my hands in good shape or should it be complete rest with no external stimulation?? I'll have to ask a doctor.

Originally Posted by FarmGirl
I just had a recital and played Pathetique 1st movement. Unfortunately, it was a disaster. I played in the end and I got really nervus while listening to my teacher's intoduction of this wonderful piece. I rushed. I have never played it with such speed. It's like Peter Serkin's speed. It's just I am not him, no even close! I sucked. I also repeated places I should not repeat and did not repeat where I should have repeated. I did not know.. I kept thinking "How can I slow down.." I remember thinking, OMG, it's so fast, i cannot play with this speed. Sure enough, I messed up some of the trills and some area which I never missed. You see, they say, never to run your fingers faster than your mind. I guess that's exactly what I did. I was lucky that somehow I played it through. This is the worst I have ever done. My teacher said "it wasn't so bad, you just played it a bit too fast.." She also told me that it's a very common problem for busy pieces like this. She also reminded me that she told me to identify spots where you can check the tempo, kind of like a braking / slow down stations. I felt like a crap. I did not listen to that advise. I need a drink now before I start working on my next assignment.
Posted By: FarmGirl

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/22/11 08:26 AM

Teodor, thank you for your kind words and encouragement. Yeah, I dive straight into it. I don't perform in front of others like you do. I am licking my wound now. I heard it will get better as I perform more often. I will look for some performance opportunities, volunteer or anything that gives me chance to do this more oftern.

About your hands, I think you are doing the right thing. I know it's not as easy as said. If it makes you feel any better, I have to travel most of June for business. No piano for me during those times. I won't give up though. I will keep coming back to practice. I think we soon will be comparing notes how to get our hands back into action. I think reading theory books will do you a world of good and you can learn something actually very useful. But please don't over do it. Take care.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/22/11 08:30 AM

Hi KurtZ – We can compare notes on our recitals on the 8th smile
What exactly is the Rameu piece? I’ll google it and see what you’re doing. I love being introduced to new music from people who are in the same range as I am!
I love the Burgmuller book – I played that 1st piece “Candore” in Italian, I think “Innocence” in English – for the e-cital last August. I’ve played with a few of the othes but so far haven’t sunk my teeth into any of them.
Loved your analogy on the school system and composers!
It is very exciting – good for you!

FarmGirl – I’m so sorry you are so disappointed with your performance. It may not have been as bad as you thought – but that doesn’t matter, you are feeling rotten about it.
I think it takes a lot of guts to even approach a piece like the Pathetique for a recital and I think it exciting that you’re able to take on that sort of challenge.
Listen to your teacher “It wasn’t so bad”. Remember that you don’t perform in public regularly and nerves will get the better of you. Take what you can to learn from this experience, but don’t dwell on the negative impact – that will just hurt you next time you play. Know if your heart what you can do, and let that knowledge keep your focused for the next time.

EJR – well…. I read some of those threads and then gave up on them. I think that you will not have any trouble resisting for the next while. It seems that Saul has been exiled.
You can get back to piano now wink

Captain Kawai: very cool. I cant’ do that and I sure would like to!

Sparky McBiff I’ve never heard of Hiromi Uehara –so I’ll be off to do some google research ! What fun that you’ve found pieces you really like AND they’re at a level you can manage!

Teodor, you should certainly talk to your dr. I don’t know if you have to cut out your music and piano 100% - but you do seem to be pretty intense, so reducing might help you.
I still have some pains but things are improving. One thing that is helpful for me is to soak my hands in hot water when I get up, before and after playing. Also, if I play for shorter periods of time with lots of breaks rather than sitting for a long period of time, that seems to be good for me. What is most important is that I have to (and am) developing better technique and having more relaxed hands, arms and shoulders when I play.


Love all your updates folks! You inspire me!
Posted By: Teodor

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/22/11 08:41 AM

casinitaly, I think proper technique is the key here. It will speed up recovery and will prevent such injuries in the future. The problem is I have to use a PC at the office 2-3 times a week and I don't know proper technique for that, it makes my hands sore after a while... This is why it's hard to take breaks. In the summer I can give my salary to my brother and make him work instead of me but during the school year I need the monthly income to support myself.

Doctors have been of no help to me and couldn't agree on a diagnosis. IF it's tendonitis then how come I was able to weight lift for 3 months with nearly no pain? And how come I can do pull ups and push-up right now and have no pain at that exact time I'm straining the tendons? And how come anti-inflammatory seem to sharpen the unpleasant sensations? No doctor could explain it. One of them recommended 6 months of complete rest, which is impossible. frown

Also I only play for 1:30 or 2 hours at best and I also skip 1 day ever week, sometimes 2.
Posted By: FarmGirl

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/22/11 06:30 PM

Cheryl, thank you for your kind comments. I feel much better after a whole bottle of wine, a few shots (tequila. After all, it's Arizona the wild wild west!) and a whole bag of little chocolate covered ice cream. I cannot remember the name of the ice cream. It was like a mini size klondike i got from the piano teacher's house. It was good with tequilla. Then I got hot, jumped into the swimming pool with my dogs and slept until I woke up this morning. Still smarting a little, but I am gonna be okay.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/22/11 08:05 PM

FarmGirl, I'm glad if my words helped -but are you sure you feel BETTER after all that? I feel ill just reading it !!!

Glad you're on the mend emotionally. smile
Posted By: KurtZ

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/23/11 05:33 AM

Cheryl,

It's called Minuet in Rondo Form. I've also seen it called "Little Minuet" I believe we found it in the Celebration Series Books. There are several versions on YT but most are by eight year olds and are not very musical. There's a very musical version by Cubusdk but to my ear it's WAY too romantic for a piece from the french baroque.

I'll be rolling video of both me and my son. If I can live with what I hear, I'll post in the June Piano Bar or point you to a YT posting.

I'm loving the Burgmuller. I've got it up to about half speed and hope to play it at or a little faster than 50 bpm to the half note while the book calls for about 75 to the half.

Be well,

Kurt
Posted By: oudeis

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/23/11 06:04 AM

Originally Posted by KurtZ
I'm loving the Burgmuller. I've got it up to about half speed and hope to play it at or a little faster than 50 bpm to the half note while the book calls for about 75 to the half.


Hi Kurtz,

I really like these etudes too. I still play nr 1 regularly, as a sort of warming up, or between two parts of a practice session. Even though I've played most of the etudes, I need to get back to them more often, there is so much to learn in these pieces. I've got the notes down for most of them, but making it musical and controlled is a different matter (especially number 7!)...

If you need some comparison for Burgmüller, here is Mitsuru Nagai, playing all 25 pieces (in 5 videos). Somehow these videos are hard to find, but I think there are not many better videos for these etudes.
[video:youtube]vNLOAiZoBzk[/video]

On a related note, the edition of Burgmüllers etudes that I use suggests tempi that my teacher thinks are way too high. It all depends on your ability, but in my case (with my lack of ability grin ) he suggest to play some of the faster pieces at roughly 25% slower tempo.
Posted By: FarmGirl

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/23/11 07:18 AM


for Burgmuller lovers.
I went to Japanese Google site to get this. The performance is by Takashi Fukuyama, he is a well known pianist in Japan. I think the video is taken to promote Bosendorfer piano. I caution you that Arabesque was on the faster side.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FT3veKfHZr8

The entire list is available here:

http://www.google.co.jp/search?q=%E3%83%96%E3%83%AB%E3%82%AF%E3%83%9F%E3%83%A5%E3%83%A9%E3%83%BC+%E5%8B%95%E7%94%BB&hl=ja&biw=1003&bih=521&rlz=1R2ADSA_enUS391&tbm=vid&ei=hQbaTYsBiY7yA82FrIQF&start=0&sa=N

Fyi ブルクミュラー = Burgmuller

I went to the Japense site because Burgmuller is one of the most widely used piano music for instructions. It was really fun to listening to the music.
Posted By: FarmGirl

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/23/11 07:40 AM

Ok, my ATOW after the recital. Cheryl and Teodor, I am ok now. Well, perhaps gained some pound (LOL) through the drinking and eating ice cream.

I started my assignment, the second movement of pathetique today and was pleasently surprised. I would not say it's a cake but it's not so bad. The number of pages 8 pages + 3 pages of repeat vs. 3 pages with no repeat. I was able to sight read all pages today albeit very slowly. I might be completely wrong but, apart from several spots where articulation could be an issue (staccato in the left hand in the 3rd page), it really did not look so bad. Of course, controling the inner voices are given. We should hear the melody and what a beautiful melody that is. I am very happy again. I still have to take care of Rachy's prelude 23 #5.
Posted By: Teodor

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/23/11 08:24 AM

Well, I did mess up quite a bit in my last performance but I had so much fun that it didn't matter. I was happy to play a bosendorfer (spelling?) concert grand in perfect condition and to not be nervous at all despite the huge audience. We are all just beginning with performing for other people (a lot of us at least) and messing up is to be expected sometimes.

I think you will enjoy the second movement more. It's not as demanding and is a nice cantabile piece that people love to hear. It's certainly not easy but if you could pull off the first movement this one will surely be easier for you. And to be able to sight-read through it with relative ease even at slow tempo is an achievement in my eyes.
Btw Andras Schiff has a lecture on this and all the other Beethoven sonatas, look it up on google if you haven't, you'll gain useful insight on the piece.

http://music.guardian.co.uk/classical/page/0,,1943867,00.html
Posted By: Zuul

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/23/11 03:07 PM

Many achievements have been had recently. The two that excite me the most are being able to play the C scale with both hands at the same time without messing up and most of all this...

It's the first thing I've learned on my own from reading music. It's still a bit out of my playing range but not too much. Taking lessons was the best thing I've done for myself musically. Should've started sooner. Hindsight...


-Zuul
Posted By: MaryBee

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/23/11 03:37 PM

FarmGirl -- but now after all the suffering, you get to put a piano icon in your signature! yippie

Teodor -- about your hands, something doesn't sound right. Can you consult with another doctor to try to find out exactly what the problem is and what you can do about it, instead of trying to guess? Also, do you have anyone who can help you with ergonomics at your computer? Changing a few things like keyboard height, or chair angle can supposedly have a big effect.

cas -- how exciting that you'll be performing in a live recital! Can't wait to hear the report on how it goes.

After a 3-week break from lessons, I'm very happy that my teacher will be back on Wednesday. I've make some good progress on my pieces since my last lesson (I'm starting to understand what's going on with some of those chords in Claire de Lune, and I think I have all the notes and rhythms down in my Haydn sonata), but I am definitely ready for some professional guidance.
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/23/11 10:12 PM

Farmgirl,

Don't feel bad. You got through it.

On the other hand, I had a total train wreck. blush Just completely and uterly lost my place and unable to restart in the middle. cry
Got up and returned to my seat.

Returned to the piano just before the intermission and played it just fine on the second try.

All in all a very humiliating experience. But - I'm really glad I got up and played it the second time. Also after the recital was over I went up and played two other pieces as well as my recital piece again. So, at least I got back on the horse right away.

pressed for time right now, will micro-analyse to death sometime in the next 365 days bah cry sick grin
Posted By: FarmGirl

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/23/11 11:38 PM

Jim F - I know how you feel. When you said that you stopped playing in the middle, my heart froze and felt the instant pain for you. Then i read that you got up and played it second time. Phew! I am sooooo proud of you. You played two more pieces. It takes lots of gumptions. Good for you. I think you more than made up for the little snufu and showed everyone what you can do. I will drink a glass of red wine to that tonight. We ABF'ers will rock (eventually)! We don't have enourmous talent like some prodigies but have courage and lots of love for music to stick to it and make it right. Yes, Cheryl, I will stop my little drinking habit soon(maybe after I come back from France).
Posted By: jotur

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/24/11 12:05 AM

JimF - thumb

Cathy
Posted By: Teodor

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/24/11 02:36 PM

This is not an achievement for me but I wanted to share. A friend of mine played this in our concert last week (he wasn't satisfied with his performance but I was in awe). I was kind of reluctant to play on the same night as him but I did anyway. He did this half-asleep and with no rehearsal. Also my camera doesn't give the best quality in terms of sound. His interpretation was amazing when I heard it live. Mark my words we will be paying to hear him in concert in a few years from now. He's only 18 at the moment and just finished high school.

Quote

*before the concert while we are trying out the grand*
Me: Ok... play me some Chopin
*Alex starts playing some Nocturne*
Me: Do you know the Revolutionary etude?
*Yes, of course* * starts from the hardest part and plays for a few seconds * my jaw drops *
Me: Some Rach?

*Plays a prelude flawlessly*

Me: (thinking to myself) OK, I can die happy now after hearing this



watch in HD if possible.
Posted By: FarmGirl

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/24/11 03:17 PM

Teodor - thank you for posting your friend video. He's got technique to die for. He also plays with such mature understanding of the music. Amazing. I donno about me since I am not young but you will eventually get there since you are a talented young person. It seems to me 10 year is a good point to assess one's capability as a pianist. Even for prodigies (mind you, they start around 2 or 3), it takes certain amount of time to progress from the beginning to this level.

My AOTW - Well, I was in the sightreading mode yesterday. I get into this mood whenever I get a little discouraged. I played a piano trascription of a Japanese composition for Koto (Japanese harp played w/ both hands). A real famous one is called as Spring Ocean ("Haru no Umi"). I totally enjoyed it. It's very different from the most of Western music. I will put it on the Piano Bar some time. It's fairly easy. It will be at least entertaining to many of you here.

Well, Day II of the Pathetique movement II.
I also re-started the Rach prelude 23 #5. This one is hard to read. I cannot sight read this one. For one thing, i have to strategize how to use my fingers.. Quite a bit of spread. Also the melody moves from right hand to left hand to the inner voices. I only needed to read 2 pages but I don't think I can do that by tomorrow. 1 page by max. I really have to work measure by measure and then phrase by phrase.. Probably I should not have wasted my time in tinkering around Spring Ocean piece frown
Posted By: Teodor

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/24/11 03:34 PM

WOW! YOU ARE WORKING ON MY FAVORITE RACH PRELUDE! I envy you so much right now. From looking at the notes I think one needs to concentrate on working hands separately till you have them mastered and only then proceeding to putting it hands together. Proper fingering will be a very important to perfect having in mind the final tempo. I love the lyrical part towards the middle... It's so beautiful and contrasts so well with the rest of the piece. I love every note of this prelude.

This is possibly one of the pieces I will never be able to play since I have small hands.
Posted By: Lain

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/24/11 05:06 PM

In trying to memorize a recital piece, I wrote down the harmony of the beginning of every phrase and created a visual map of the score with section numbers. I don't want to get embarrassed on stage because of a muscle memory slip.
Posted By: dlr

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/24/11 09:22 PM

My AOTW is what I did today. It wasn't actually playing, but it was piano related. I've been searching online for things to do with my left hand. I found some exercise for strengthening the left hand,for improving the left hand, for using practice time wisely, things to do with left hand when playing gospel music music, qualities of a successful piano student ~ among others. I have a 3 ring notebook and some clear page protectors. So I'll have some good reading, and some new tasks for my left hand. This has been a pretty productive and successful day for me smile




Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/24/11 09:58 PM

Thanks for the words (and thumbs) of support Farmgirl and Cathy.

In the end it all worked out OK, and I don't think its going to do me any good if I try to pick apart exactly where I went off the rails on first try. I am glad my teacher convinced me to get back up and give it a second shot, because I sure wouldn't have wanted that hanging over my head for the next year as I contemplated whether I should ever attempt it again. Now I know I can get through it and its really no big deal. The audience, which was a LOT bigger than I expected at about 150, was as kind and supportive as you could possibly want. I'll try to remember that next time.

Had my lesson today and as expected my teacher loaded me up with new pieces. Looks like I've graduated from AMB's notebook finally. Both of these new Bach pieces are really short one pagers. I asked her to pick a classical piece and she tossed in the Mozart, which looks like it might be one of his "easy" minuets that I never find too easy. The Chopin is coming along and I was able to play it through for her HT today on the first try without too many mistakes. Now need to work on keeping my right hand really soft while bringing out the melody in the left.
Posted By: MaryBee

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/25/11 02:06 AM

Originally Posted by Lain
In trying to memorize a recital piece, I wrote down the harmony of the beginning of every phrase and created a visual map of the score with section numbers. I don't want to get embarrassed on stage because of a muscle memory slip.
Lain, this sounds like an interesting aid for helping to memorize. What does a "visual map" look like?
Posted By: Lain

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/25/11 03:47 AM

Originally Posted by MaryBee
Originally Posted by Lain
In trying to memorize a recital piece, I wrote down the harmony of the beginning of every phrase and created a visual map of the score with section numbers. I don't want to get embarrassed on stage because of a muscle memory slip.
Lain, this sounds like an interesting aid for helping to memorize. What does a "visual map" look like?


I photocopied the score in a way such that the notes are barely visible, then numbered the sections I wanted to know by heart with a thick black marker. I then drilled myself by randomly playing different sections, using the physical location of the sections on the score as a cue. It was helpful initially, but I don't think I need the map anymore. Studying the harmony is probably most helpful for me, but I should probably study more music theory to add to my notes... Do you have any other tips for someone with a poor memory? laugh
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/25/11 02:41 PM

Lain that sounds really interesting! For shorter pieces I've tried writing the score out - obviously you can only do this for small pieces or for sections, but it helps me understand where my memory falls apart.

Denise - what a productive time you've been having - good for you!

Teodor, your friend is amazing!!!!!!...

JimF - did you invert left and right ? Melody in the left, background in the right?
Glad you are feeling "on track" again!

My lesson is tomorrow and I will show my teacher what I've done with the pieces she gave me last week. I haven't really touched one of them but I've done serious work with 2 of them to the point where I can play one without the sheet music albeit verrrrrrry slowly. The satisfying thing about the 2 pieces (1 Vinciguerra and the Beethoven) is that I can feel things I've learned before coming into play. Very satisfying indeed.


Posted By: FarmGirl

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/25/11 03:01 PM

Lain, I use similar technique as yours. I number them. But I have not wrote down the first code for each section. That may be very effective. I do recall i had a hard time remembering the first code of a piece. It's the mustle memory. I read music when I am studying but I stop reading (being aware of the notes) once memorized. That's when, as you know, the bad thing happens. In order to prevent this, we have to know the construction of the piece.. As you mentioned, I think the theory is important. It does come into play here.. Otherwise we will play blindly (literally) soley depending on the musle memory which is very fragile and break down easily...
Posted By: Teodor

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/25/11 04:53 PM

I "composed" (haven't written it down yet) a small piece that almost makes musical sense.

I called it the Haunted House and here is the story behind it.

Two couples decide to get away from the busy city life and rent an old house in the suburbs. As soon as they unpack and start getting comfortable strange things begin to happen all over the place. Nothing much at first but then gradually the ghost starts hunting them down one by one and one by one the people die. The ghost grows stronger and stronger after every death he causes, so in the end he causes the house to collapse, the chromatic cadence is meant to represent this collapse (it sounds explosive first when I play it as fast as possible and gradually slow it down) when the walls and ceilings are going down on the last survivors and then part of the main theme reappears but since no one remains standing it's ended in a resolved manner with a C octave in the left and C minor in the right hand.

Here is what I have so far.



But like I said it's really messy.
Posted By: MaryBee

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/25/11 05:43 PM

Originally Posted by Lain
I photocopied the score in a way such that the notes are barely visible, then numbered the sections I wanted to know by heart with a thick black marker. I then drilled myself by randomly playing different sections, using the physical location of the sections on the score as a cue.
That sounds like it might be worth a try. Thanks for the idea!

Quote
Do you have any other tips for someone with a poor memory? laugh
Sorry, no. So far I've been mostly looking for patterns in the music and marking chords. I'm terrible at memorizing. (Maybe because I never tried to do it until just two years ago.) And I don't think my teacher is a great help in this area, because memorizing is pretty much effortless for him. That's why I asked you!
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/25/11 07:20 PM

Lain - Sorry, no great tips from me for memory either. I do try to write in the main harmonic elements for most of my pieces. By this I mean I will write in the name of a chord above the notes as well as the scale degree designation (don't know if thats the right terminology). So I might end up with something written above the music like:

G(I) Em(vi) Am(ii) F#m(vii) D(V) G(I)

I've never done this specifically to help with memory - more in the hope that I will learn something about the music. Also, I've hoped that writing the chord names will help me to quickly see and identify these note combinations at some point in the future. It does reveal patterns, however, and that helps memory.

Cheryl - re inverting. The Chopin B minor prelude has the melody in the left and harmonic accommpanying chords in the right. And the right has to be played very quietly. Kind of the opposite of many pieces. Hence the challenge. I'm not familiar with Vinciguera, is there a youtube link you like? I listened to your Beethoven piece, its really nice.

Farmgirl - I don't understand what you mean by "first code", can you explain?

Teodor - Nice job. I'll take Professor Mustard in the Library with the Candlestick. grin (No, I don't suppose anyone here will get that reference)
Posted By: Andy Platt

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/25/11 07:43 PM

Originally Posted by JimF
Teodor - Nice job. I'll take Professor Mustard in the Library with the Candlestick. grin (No, I don't suppose anyone here will get that reference)


Not quite sure of the Clue/Cluedo reference but it sounds like the house needed some pesky kids to stop the ghost getting away with it.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/25/11 09:38 PM

Originally Posted by JimF
I'm not familiar with Vinciguera, is there a youtube link you like? I listened to your Beethoven piece, its really nice.


Sure!
This is the first Vinciguerra piece I learned - and really the first true bit of music I felt I'd played on the piano ..AND it is in E maj ! 4 sharps !!)
Vinceguerra, Verde Smeraldo (Emerald Green)
Another is Lilla that I played in the May 2010 recital, (only 3 sharps in that key sig.)

There are three pieces here - the last one is one of my assignements, (the one I haven't started yet) 3 preludi orientali

Vinciguerra's pieces are didactic and have themes. The first set were "preludi colorati" then the second I have is "preludi orientali" - he also has jazz preludes, preludes in the park and many many more. They are great fun.

Thanks for clarifying on the Chopin "inversion" ... I think it would drive me nuts at this point, I've just barely got my right hand playing a bit stronger than the left!!!

Quote
I'll take Professor Mustard in the Library with the Candlestick. grin (No, I don't suppose anyone here will get that reference)


I got it, but it sounded more like Peter Gunn to me smile

Teodor, that's good fun - let's hear it again when you have more done!
Posted By: polyphasicpianist

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/26/11 02:14 AM

I FINALLY found the sheet music to THIS version of the theme to Jurassic Park.



Its Hal Leonard serial number is HL.120905. Needless to say, I ordered a copy immediately. That got me excited.
Posted By: FarmGirl

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/26/11 06:22 AM

Originally Posted by JimF

Farmgirl - I don't understand what you mean by "first code", can you explain?

)[/i]


I will divide the piece into meaningful sections. For example, Beethoven's pathetique 1st movement can be divided into 35 sections. Very similar to Lain's method, I number them and make sure I can start at any number. For me, it helps me to memorize a piece better if I remember what Chord or notes each section starts. I try to be able to tell a story, Example: Section 1 - the sonata starts with the c minor chord root position. Section 2 - starts with e flat octaves. Secton 3 - the second inversion of the c minor chord followed by chromatic scale .....
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/26/11 05:10 PM

Cheryl - Nice. If it helps develop a rock steady left hand like the gal in the video it will be well worth it.

Farmgirl - Ok, makes sense now. I may try something like that with the next longer piece I get.
Posted By: Andy Platt

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/28/11 12:04 AM

My AotW was eliciting the phrase, "Move on already" from my wife, the 15th time I'd played the same measure. Kind of strange for an AotW but the point is that I can play the notes OK, just not exactly right and that's why I was repeating them so much. A few months ago I wouldn't have even been able to hear it was wrong.

And I'm hoping my next week's post will be that I've finally cracked this measure!
Posted By: joyoussong

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/28/11 02:41 AM

Isn't it great to learn how to practice? Took me almost 2 years to "get it" that it's easier to learn chunks, & to learn them slowly.

I'll be done with the Beyer études in a week or 2, depending on schedules (mine & my teacher's) & on how long it takes me to learn the 100th (& last) étude in the book. It looks impossible right now but - chunk by chunk & I'll get there. I spent some time on it this morning & I've almost got one chunk figured out.

My teacher commented yesterday how much my technique has improved in the past couple of months. I think it's from being on the MOYD list - haven't missed a day yet! The thing I've noticed is that although I still make mistakes, the music in between the mistakes sounds so much more - musical! :•)
Posted By: Michael Taylor

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/28/11 06:20 AM

I didn't accomplish anything this week. But I travelled to southern California (for work) and took the time to visit 2 piano stores. One in Ontario (50 miles east of LA) and another in Santa Monica. Although I didn't walk out with the grand piano that I someday hope to purchase, I did buy some new sheet music: a Joplin book and the Charlie Brown theme song (I promised the boss that I would learn that song.)
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/30/11 06:12 PM

Carol - good for you - how satisfying. Andy- that's a sort of compliment, really isn't it?
Michael - window shopping is a nice activity and going home with new music is great fun.

My AOTW is , for me, really quite thrilling.
I've been working on Gypsy Legend to make it sound prettier, flow more smoothly. really making sure I've got a handle on "leaping" about the keyboard. ..in Preparation for the recital next week, remember smile
Tonight I was playing before my evening class started - while I was waiting for my students.
One came in early and "caught" me playing, and asked me to play more. So I played GL, - and I did it REALLY well, with not a single glitch!!!! WHILE she was talking to me throughout the piece! lol. I know it is short but she chatted away (complimenting me). It was very funny and I was VERY pleased.!
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/30/11 07:07 PM

That's great Cheryl - sounds like a good way to get "bulletproof" on your piece. You're going to play it beautifully.
Posted By: wayne33yrs

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/30/11 07:30 PM

Originally Posted by Zuul
It's the first thing I've learned on my own from reading music. It's still a bit out of my playing range but not too much. Taking lessons was the best thing I've done for myself musically. Should've started sooner. Hindsight...


-Zuul


i think ur doing great!
Posted By: PaperClip

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/30/11 07:35 PM

Originally Posted by Zuul
Many achievements have been had recently. The two that excite me the most are being able to play the C scale with both hands at the same time without messing up and most of all this...

It's the first thing I've learned on my own from reading music. It's still a bit out of my playing range but not too much. Taking lessons was the best thing I've done for myself musically. Should've started sooner. Hindsight...


-Zuul


Wow, very beautiful thumb
Posted By: wayne33yrs

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/30/11 07:40 PM

Originally Posted by Paperclip
Originally Posted by Zuul
Many achievements have been had recently. The two that excite me the most are being able to play the C scale with both hands at the same time without messing up and most of all this...

It's the first thing I've learned on my own from reading music. It's still a bit out of my playing range but not too much. Taking lessons was the best thing I've done for myself musically. Should've started sooner. Hindsight...


-Zuul


Wow, very beautiful thumb


have u been on his youtube, he's only been learning a few months, I'm actually a bit jelous, I really need to pull my finger out and get some more theory and practicing done, (I'm self taught)
Posted By: joyoussong

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/30/11 09:02 PM

Cheryl, that's fantastic!!
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/31/11 07:06 AM

smile Thanks Jim & Carol, I must say I was really really pleased! I had been starting to feel unnerved that I was still flubbing here and there (and on such a short piece!!! mamma mia!) - So I spent a lot of time looking at the score again, I even wrote it out a few times, played while singing the notes - and it really does seem to have made a big difference.

Zuul, I missed your video before - that was really well done indeed! What is the name of the piece??

Polyphasicpianist - I enjoyed your Jurrasic Park too - I like a lot of John William's music.
Thanks for including the reference number.

Posted By: WiseBuff

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/31/11 11:47 AM

On Sunday we had a house full of people and I played one of the pieces I've been working on. Flawless...no. BUT I didn't apologize for it and enjoyed the accomplishment of sitting down and playing for an audience.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/31/11 12:02 PM

Originally Posted by WiseBuff
On Sunday we had a house full of people and I played one of the pieces I've been working on. Flawless...no. BUT I didn't apologize for it and enjoyed the accomplishment of sitting down and playing for an audience.


Believe me I don't aspire to "flawless", this was the happy result of some intense studying over the weekend and a very sympathetic audience. Had I flubbed it a bit (as is usual!) - I would not have apologized either. I agree with you that the pleasure of playing for an audience is a treat in and of itself!

Good for you!
Posted By: Zuul

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 05/31/11 12:23 PM

Wayne and Paperclip, thank you both very much. Paperclip, Thumb?

I've actually had to stop lessons for a while due to expenses. But I'm confident that I'll keep progressing just the same. I've got books and videos and the internet. It's really all about motivation, work, and encouragement. Your comments sparked an hour of scale/etude work and for that I thank you again. I'm getting closer to playing for 6 months now and I'm happy with my progress, sort of. heheh Anyway....

Casinitaly the piece is from a Super Nintendo game called Chrono Trigger. It's the background music in a place called The Brink of Time. I still don't play it correctly. But it's close enough to recognize.
Posted By: GracieCat

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/01/11 08:56 PM

Had a bad week last week. This week is a different story. Just about put Cool Breeze together. A simple piece really, but something I needed after lack of progress last week. Working on Prelude which is coming along.
Posted By: Recaredo

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/02/11 11:29 AM

This week I have just got to play the Minuet in D minor from the Notebook for Anna Magdalena Bach. My playing is not amazing, but I like it. Now I enjoy playing this wonderful minuet.

I’m starting to learn the Fantasia nº 2 by Telemann (36 fantasias for harpsichord). It looks difficult, as it has no repetitions. And the tempo is Presto, although I’ll play it more slowly, for sure. But it’s so beautiful music that I want to try it.

Regards.
Posted By: MaryBee

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/02/11 02:50 PM

Originally Posted by Recaredo
This week I have just got to play the Minuet in D minor from the Notebook for Anna Magdalena Bach. My playing is not amazing, but I like it. Now I enjoy playing this wonderful minuet.
It's great when you get to that point with a piece, where you suddenly enjoy practicing it, and just love the way it sounds. I just hit this point with Clair de Lune, and now rather than dreading it and putting off to the end of my practice session, I can't wait to sit down and start working on it.
Posted By: jotur

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/02/11 02:55 PM

Yea WiseBuff - prep for a CO piano party at Strings & Woods laugh . It's really nice to be able to play something for friends - way to go.

Zuul - sorry about the lessons, but you certainly can still progress. I've learned so much hanging out in the ABF, and the pianists corner, even tho I don't play classical and certainly not the advanced repertoire they play. But there's always tips and tricks, particularly about playing with less tenseness, that have made enormous differences in my learning ability. Stick with us! I'm glad you like playing enough to keep doing so.

GracieCat - yea for the week turning around - the Piano Bar for Cool Breeze?

Recaredo - I love your repertoire. Telemann is awesome.

I've been trying to average an hour a day this year (I almost did last year), and thru May I'm still on target smile I'm working on getting a couple of ragtime pieces at a faster speed than I've played them before - I want to be to play at a tempo which makes me tap my foot at two beats/measure instead of 4 laugh We're getting there!

Cathy



Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/02/11 03:09 PM

What a burst of activity this week! Three cheers for everyone!

Zuul, thanks for the name of the music. I don't know much about Super Nintendo, so I never would have guessed what that piece was. I hope you can get back to having lessons soon, but in the meantime, as MaryBee said, you can get a lot of coaching from the forums.

GracieCat, glad your week is turning around!!!
Recaredo, I don't know Telleman, but I too have been working on the Musette and I think it is charming - and fun to play! Glad you are enjoying your "homework" so much!

MaryBee when are we going to hear your Claire de Lune?

Cathy, that's great progress ....and dedication! And I'm just a tad envious that you get to hook up with other forum members for s piano party! Woohoo!!! I hope there will be pics and video clips!

Posted By: HeirborneGroupie

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/02/11 04:11 PM

Hi everyone. I've enjoyed reading all of the achievements on this thread. Congrats to all of you!! I'm mostly a lurker but I'm going to change that.

My achievement is simple. I managed to play today. I recently had a personal tragedy in that a cousin I grew up with passed away. She was a beautiful person and only 41. She lost her battle with an eating disorder. This hit me so hard that every time I tried to concentrate at the piano my mind would wonder.

But today....oh finally today....I sat down fully expecting the same struggle, and began to play. When I looked up a couple of hours had passed and my spirits had lifted. I'm back!!!!!!! It feels great.

Thanks for listening. I hope I didn't bring down such a positive thread.

Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/02/11 04:23 PM

Hi HG, please don't think for a moment that you've brought "down" our thread.

We are here to celebrate - and clearly you have been greatly comforted by your music. That is indeed something to lift the spirits.

You have my sincere condolences for your loss. I have beloved cousins with whom I grew up, and I would be heartbroken to lose one of them.

I'm glad your music helped you today. Thanks for coming here to tell us.
Posted By: HeirborneGroupie

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/02/11 05:31 PM

What kind words casinitaly. Thank you. I'm glad I didn't bring you down.

I'm working on Alfred 3 at the moment which I had put aside for a while. Also, I'm working on a couple of David Nevue pieces and I just bought an Einaudi book that I'm looking forward to exploring.

I'm so glad to be back.
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/02/11 07:19 PM

Recaredo,

That is a really nice minuet. Good choice for learning to hear/play the two separate melodies in bass and treble. I don't know the Telemann, but anything presto scares the bejesus out of me! Good for you for taking it on. thumb
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/02/11 07:33 PM

Quote
....enjoy practicing it, and just love the way it sounds...


LOL. laugh Just this morning I told my wife that scales, exercises, and sight reading are the broccoli, cauliflower, and spinach of my practice session. The Bach and Mozart are the meat and potatoes currently, and the Chopin B-minor is my delicious dessert 3hearts.

Yes, I have to clean my plate before I get to dessert. cry
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/02/11 07:43 PM

Welcome HG. Glad you found your way back to the bench and to this thread. Stick around. We're all about finding the good things in (piano) life to dwell on.

Are you a left coaster, right coaster, or a Disney?
Posted By: MaryBee

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/02/11 07:49 PM

Originally Posted by JimF
Just this morning I told my wife that scales, exercises, and sight reading are the broccoli, cauliflower, and spinach of my practice session.
That's so funny. My teacher often tells me, "You have to eat your vegetables".
Posted By: Recaredo

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/02/11 08:29 PM

Thanks all you for your kind comments!. This thread is really encouraging.
Posted By: HeirborneGroupie

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/02/11 08:46 PM

Thanks JimF. I will stick around.

Actually I'm a Horse country resident. I live in Ocala. I have family around Disney though.
Posted By: Andy Platt

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/03/11 12:34 AM

I had my teacher close to tears (in a good way!) playing my Chopin waltz today. I will say I did play it about as good as I can play it.

Trouble is my recital is on Sunday so I still have time to screw it up again wink

P.S. I've actually caused my nine year old daughter to cry several times while practicing. Unfortunately not in a good way!!!
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/03/11 04:28 PM

Andy,
I'm listening to 69/2 right now and picturing you in front of a spellbound audience. Good luck on Sunday - I know you will be great.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/03/11 04:58 PM

Andy - break a leg! I'm sure you'll be great, and I'll be watching for your post to tell us how much fun you had!

Posted By: Andy Platt

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/03/11 05:11 PM

I don't want to oversell my performance - it's where I want it to me but my teacher's joy was more akin to that of a proud parent than someone being overwhelmed by the emotion of the piece.

I will certainly report next week ... either in this thread or in Cheryl's "moaning" thread that seems to have falled by the wayside ...
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/03/11 05:12 PM

Originally Posted by Andy Platt
I don't want to oversell my performance - it's where I want it to me but my teacher's joy was more akin to that of a proud parent than someone being overwhelmed by the emotion of the piece.

I will certainly report next week ... either in this thread or in Cheryl's "moaning" thread that seems to have falled by the wayside ...

The moaning thread deserved to die a death of attrition. We want to see you HERE Andy.

Posted By: dlr

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/04/11 02:22 AM

What a bunch of great accomplishments this week!

I had two accomplishments that were really fun. I had my first left hand only lesson today. We had decided 2 weeks ago when I got the splint on my right hand, that I wouldn't play at all for a month, until I get the splint off and get the verdict from my surgeon. But I talked to my teacher a week ago, and she asked if I wanted a one handed lesson. So she gave me a plan, and a lot of work. I'm really excited. It feels good to have goals, and not have to spend all of this time away from my piano.

Also ~ last night I found the old hymnal (Church Service Hymns) that I grew up with. Our church used it forever, and it's the songs on which I cut my musical teeth. I loved the songs, loved sitting with my beloved grandma, whom I miss terribly, loved watching my dad lead the music and my mom play the piano. Glorious times smile So tonight I took the splint off for a short time, and played through about a quarter of the book. A lot of the hymns aren't in any modern hymnals, and I've never played them. I was grinning like a fool! I played very lightly, and didn't tax my right hand. I won't do it again, but I really couldn't resist. I've been very good for 2 1/2 weeks, as far as wearing the splint. It looks like surgery is pretty much a sure thing, since my hand is getting worse instead of better. But today was such a good day, I just don't feel the least bit discouraged about the prospect of surgery. Especially since it should give me another good 25 or more years of playing.

Wonderful, wonderful day!


Denise
Posted By: Lain

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/04/11 04:55 AM

Denise: Thank you for your uplifting post...makes me feel ashamed of all the procrastinating I do before practicing, when I have two good hands. Good luck on your surgery!
Posted By: Newman

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/04/11 10:51 AM

I had a small eureka moment when I 'saw' the patterns in first and second major inversions.

I've been using inversions for a little while now but in a haphazard way. So today I drew up two sheets of keyboard fingering charts using the circle of fifths as the structure. Two sheets, twelve chords on each. First inversions on one sheet and second inversions on another. Then I sat down to play around with them and it dawned on me. I saw the relationship between the first and second inversions in C, F, Eb, Ab, Db, F#, E, A D and G. I'd read it and got it intellectually but then I saw it. Aha!
Posted By: Newman

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/04/11 10:56 AM

Originally Posted by dlr
Also ~ last night I found the old hymnal (Church Service Hymns) that I grew up with.
Denise


Ah yes. Yesterday I heard a snatch of 'praise my soul the King of Heaven, to His feet thy tribute bring' etc. Took me straight back to school hymns. I love those tunes.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/04/11 11:59 AM

Denise, I'm really happy for you! I know how blue you were feeling before, and to have such a shift is great!


Captain Kawai - I know what you mean- I recently made some of those leaps in figuring things out too and it really gives you a better handle on the piece, doesn't it?

Posted By: Andy Platt

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/06/11 12:43 AM

Recital over - YEAH!!!!

It went pretty well. I was surprised just how nervous I got though. It's much harder to play when your hands are shaking. My daughter (her punishment for complaining about my practicing was she had to attend the recital!) said, "Yeah, I could see them shake ... and you were white!".

My Chopin (waltz in B minor, Opus 69.2) had enough mistakes sprinkled through it to make it a true live performance. But I recorded the performance and, listening to it again, I'm going to submit it for my August ABF Recital Entry smile All mistakes were really shaking hand issues and a bunch I glossed over.

The Schumann duet had a few mistakes (annoyingly one that I also made in our rehearsal that I thought I had practiced enough to get right) but was great fun. I'm posting it to this month's piano bar.

There were some nice pieces on the agenda besides mine. One lady played two selections (March & June) from Tchaikovsky's "The Seasons" - June has gone straight on my "play one day" list - she plays it sooo beautifully. And another guy, who likes to play "on the edge" it seems, tried to tackle Rachmaninoff's C# Minor Prelude but he could not bring off the middle section at all.

Glad it's over!

Oh, and for those playing close attention, you'll see my signature has changed to list my new piece - Debussy's Arabesque No 1! smile

Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/06/11 06:26 AM

CONGRATULATIONS ANDY!

Though I must confess, I'm concerned..... if your hands were shaking what are mine going to do tomorrow?!!!ack.

I can't wait to hear your pieces in the ABF recital and the piano bar!

and now you can put the black grand pic in your siggy line smile !

Three cheers for you!


Posted By: Andy Platt

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/06/11 11:53 AM

Originally Posted by casinitaly
and now you can put the black grand pic in your siggy line smile !


I had forgotten there was a medal for live recitals. This was my second (we had one just before Christmas where I played Mozart K545).

All the best ... and just because my hands were shaking, doesn't mean yours will be!
Posted By: Recaredo

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/06/11 12:02 PM

I admire anyone who is able to offer a recital. Congratulations Andy.

Casinitaly, I hope to know about your concert. My best wishes.

Regards.
Posted By: GlassLove

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/06/11 03:59 PM

Congratulations Andy and thanks for sharing your recital experience. I am with you on the "June" piece. My second favorite is "October." Both are on my "in the future" list. Congratulations too on being assigned Arabesque, another beautiful piece. Should make for a delightful summer practicing.

Best of luck (today?) Cheryl. I hope that your hands don't shake too much!!!! I love the piece you are playing, it falls under the fingers very nicely and I am sure that you will do a beautiful job.

My AOTW is that I finally got the first two pages of Canon in D to flow smoothly (the most difficult measures are yet to come though). The version I am playing is an arrangement by Nancy Faber (in the level 4 classics book). I would say that it is a bit easier than the Coates arrangement, but I cannot be certain.

My non-piano related achievement was that last week I ran a total of 35 miles!!!! Since beginning the piano, I had become a wee bit lazy with respect to my exercise program (when strapped for time, I tended to give up running rather than practicing the piano). Finally, in April, I decided that I had to make some serious changes. The first few weeks were rough (I hadn't run daily in about 3 years!) but now it is downright therapeutic. I literally lose myself while running (listening to piano music, of course). I have much more energy and find myself better able to concentrate when I practice the piano.
Posted By: Teodor

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/06/11 06:16 PM

Congratulations Andy and thank you for sharing your experience! I have my last recital for the school year on Friday then in 3 weeks an exam and then I'm taking a month off from everything including a week off from the entire world in a spa complex somewhere in the mountains with good books and no work. This should help my hands tremendously. When I return I plan on finishing my etudes book which has elementary level etudes I still haven't played through which hold important techniques I need to store for later on. This will allow me to gradually return to playing instead of resuming with my hardest pieces which would undoubtedly re-injure me. I'll take it slow for a month after that just to make sure and then come Fall I have to pick up the pace again, although it will not be easy. I wanted to learn the Witch in the Forest from Tchaykovski's Album for the Young but now I'm not sure if I should be playing it yet.

Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/06/11 08:56 PM

Teodor, that doesn't sound as difficult as one of the pieces you recently shared with us (forgive me, I don't remember the name of the piece but it was really dynamic and "grand").... I think perhaps you could take this on.

Andy - glad to see those grands in your siggy smile
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/06/11 09:57 PM

Well done, Andy. I certainly know what you mean about those nerves. I hope it gets easier over time. How many adults vs. youngsters were on your program? Mine had only four adults and 20 young-uns.

Oh, didn't know there was a little sig thingie for live recitals. Can someone point me to where we pick this up?
Posted By: Andy Platt

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/06/11 10:22 PM

Originally Posted by JimF
Well done, Andy. I certainly know what you mean about those nerves. I hope it gets easier over time. How many adults vs. youngsters were on your program? Mine had only four adults and 20 young-uns.


I don't know if they've always done this, but for both this recital and the Christmas one they separated adults and kids so it was just adults. There were 7 of us (I guess 8 including my teacher since she played secondo in the duet).

I don't mind nerves, it's the shakiness that's annoying because it really doesn't help play!! wink
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/07/11 08:48 AM

Jim. you can get your grand for your siggy at
http://www.pianoworld.com/ABF_Medals/medal_c_x.jpg

The "x" in medal_c_x.jpg represents the number of pianos. Andy has medla_c_2.jpg. I will add c_1.jpg to mine ........later today smile

Christine - I LOVE Canon in D......I think it is my absolutely all time top of the list favourite piece of music. I have a very simple version I hack away at, but one day I will play this piece with a good score!
We have several recordings of it on various albums and CDs - and there is one version (Deutchgramaphone I think, I have to check...) that actually brings me to tears....ah, the power of music!

And good for you for getting back into your exercise routine. I need to do that!!!!!!

Tonight is the night. 8.30 my time, the show starts, but I don't know my position on the program... I imagine somewhere after the little kids and before the brilliant teenagers. There will be 3-4 adults playing, which gives me comfort, and a couple of my friends will be there.

8.30 here is 2pm New York time.

Thanks for the good wishes, I'll report back after the event!
Posted By: Teodor

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/07/11 11:54 AM

A tremendous achievement for me. I managed to sing in front of my teacher and one student today for the first time in my life without too much hesitation. When I was little I was a very good singer but gave up after some years because I was afraid to sing in front of people and my teachers were always giving me solos. On the other hand I didn't feel good singing only as a backup or only during the chorus of songs so I gave up completely. Nowadays I am about average and my range has become very limited due to lack of practice and because my voice has changed in puberty and nobody worked with me for years but with some work I'm sure I can at least work with whatever I have left and extend it a little bit. I realize now that there is nothing to be ashamed of and the voice is an instrument much like any other. I'm not embarrassed to play the piano, so why would I be when singing? laugh

Now to learn how to sight-sing before the exam in July...
Posted By: jotur

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/07/11 02:48 PM

Break a leg cas!

Cathy
Posted By: MaryBee

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/07/11 03:33 PM

I'll be thinking about you today, Cheryl. Have fun!
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/07/11 03:47 PM

Hey Teodor, that's great - I bet that in the future we will enjoy you singing and playing at the same time!!

Thanks Jotur and MaryBee! We'll be leaving home in about 2 hours. I found out I'm number 6 on the program ... I think there are about 20 participants, though I 'm not sure.

So far, I'm still feeling pretty calm...:) so far...!

I'll be back after the recital - but take note: I'm taking you all with me in spirit!!!
Posted By: Teodor

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/07/11 05:33 PM

Well you can hear my singing in the piano bar, don't know about playing yet at the same time laugh

Good luck on your recital! Have fun!
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/07/11 05:46 PM

Thanks for the link, Cheryl. I know you're going to have the crowd humming Chovan for the rest of the evening. Break a leg.

Jim
Posted By: Michael Taylor

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/07/11 07:27 PM

I am learning to play The Entertainer. I can play the first 2 pages fairly well. I am working on page 3. Page 4 and 5 are similar to page 2. I am happy with my progress.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/07/11 08:27 PM

Ta da! Check out my siggy smile

It went quite well. I did flub a bit, but no train wreck.

I made a few mistakes in Lilla, but managed to keep the flow going and ended coherently. In Gypsy Legend I actually managed to leave out several bars!!! Oh my!!! But , the notes I did play were all right lol.....and my husband said it all sounded very musical.

I was the only adult who played without music, and only one of the teens played without her music.

The audience was GREAT - so supportive! There were a few tense moments with a few of the performances and you could just feel the kind support flowing to the musicians!

My performance was fine. Not splendid, not horrible, but it WAS musical and I survived. I'm pretty content.

My hands were sweaty before I played (which has never happened before!) and they were shaking a bit towards the end of my second piece, not too badly, but a bit. However I managed to get through it and I enjoyed it.

I would do it again! smile

Thanks so much to all of you for your encouragement!!!!!!!!! heart
Posted By: Andy Platt

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/07/11 08:30 PM

Well done Cheryl ... but I don't see the grand on your signature yet!

I left some notes out of both of my pieces too. I also added some extra ones. I think it helps to improvise don't you?! wink
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/07/11 08:34 PM

Originally Posted by Andy Platt
Well done Cheryl ... but I don't see the grand on your signature yet!

I left some notes out of both of my pieces too. I also added some extra ones. I think it helps to improvise don't you?! wink


Thanks Andy! Oh, yes, improvise ...right! That's what it is called. I didn't know I could do it!

re the siggy.....duh, I changed it and then forgot to save it!!!! argh... Now my grand is there smile smile smile

Posted By: GlassLove

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/08/11 02:12 PM

CONGRATULATIONS CHERYL!!! Sounds like a remarkably satisfying experience for you!!!!! And of course you played two pieces I love a lot. I am sure you were a hit!!!!! So happy for you!!
Posted By: Recaredo

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/08/11 02:14 PM

Casinitaly, I see that you have been playing for only one year and half. It's impressive.

Congratulations for your success.
Posted By: jotur

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/08/11 02:30 PM

Way to go, Cheryl. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I know the sweaty, shaky hands syndrome laugh Congratulations.

Cathy
Posted By: joyoussong

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/08/11 03:36 PM

Wow, Cheryl. What a milestone! Congratulations!!
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/08/11 04:09 PM

Thanks everyone! It really was fun. I think some people were more nervous than I was, but NOBODY had a train wreck! I think our teacher really prepared us well (not just once we started talking about a recital, but right from the start).

What was really an extra dimension of fun was that several people played things that I've played at home and my husband enjoyed hearing them and recognizing them.

I know that it was a positive experience for all of us, and isn't that what it is all about?

There was one little girl - about 8, who convinced the teacher to play a duet with her. She was all dressed up in a blue velvet dress, a ribbon in her hair, patten-leather shoes and charming white ankle socks with lace. She was adorable, and she was the first to start clapping for each performer, and the last to stop. She just radiated joy.

ah, I'm still smiling!
Posted By: GlassLove

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/08/11 06:56 PM

Ooohhhh, what a lovely image Cheryl. The little girl sounds darling and I especially appreciated the description of her clothing. My closest friends always comment upon how lucky I was that we had boys instead of girls. They suspect that I would have turned a little girl into a complete and utter "Fashionista." While doing so would certainly be inconsistent with my feminist sensibilities, I do have a very serious weakness for darling "little girl clothing."
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/09/11 04:29 PM

There are few things more fun for a Mom, (or an Auntie like myself) than buying ultra-girlie dresses for the young ladies in the family.

I've managed to get some really spectacular sundresses for my nieces - some Italian, some French - and they are so pretty. One of my nieces is 17 and she refuses to get rid of some of the dresses I got her when she was 10!!! She just loves them.

I had a lesson this morning, as always, great fun - and we "debriefed" on the recital. My teacher said she'd really like to see more recitals - maybe 3 or 4 a year JUST FOR THE ADULT STUDENTS! I said I'd help organize them. smile

Maybe I'm nuts, but I want to do it again - and really, in a group of other beginners who've only been playing 2-4 years? That's just too perfect. Of course we can always invite one of the teens to give our audience a break and give us some inspiration smile
Posted By: Teodor

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/09/11 04:40 PM

I know that kind of inspiration. Yesterday my teacher played some Rachmaninoff for me and it was more than good. I nearly fainted in pleasure hearing it in person... I see now how she got her performance art degree laugh

Anyway, my last recital for the season is tomorrow at some mall. They have a good grand in there, we'll see how it goes. Lately I've been nervous performing in front of people again but definitely not as much as before. It's just that I don't feel the music when I am not alone, it's something very intimate and I have to learn to express it when others are watching but it doesn't come yet. Personally I see this as an opportunity to gain valuable experience seeing as how I will be playing one of my exam pieces for a second time in a recital. By the time I get to the exam in July there should be no stage fright. I talked to my teacher and she said the only way for this to happen will be to perform hundreds of times. She claims that now she's got the opposite, she plays better for other people than at home because at home she can't be bothered to give it a 100% when she knows no one is listening.
Posted By: clayts

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/09/11 05:26 PM

Whats got me excited is playing my beautiful lovely wonderful red piano(WOW)
Posted By: Teodor

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/11/11 02:29 PM

Back from the recital. I got to play this beauty! It went wonderful. With some mistakes but I never stopped playing to think what's next. I just rolled with it and finished fine. After, a woman asked me if I was a student at the local music high school which I take as a compliment laugh

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Here is one recording of a piece I liked:



I'll have the whole recital on a DVD soon, it was recorded professionally and will be much better than my cell phone recording up there. In fact you can see the camera guy in the recording, working his magic and being slightly annoying.
Posted By: MaryBee

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/11/11 03:48 PM

Cheryl, the recital sounds like it was a great experience! And you're already planning to do more, so that's wonderful!

Teodor, what a cool-looking piano.

Michael Taylor, that sounds like great progress with "The Entertainer". Hope we can hear a recording of it when you're finished learning it.

I'll soon be on vacation for a few weeks with no piano. frown , but smile , too. Will be ready to start working hard again on my pieces when I get back.
Posted By: Andy Platt

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/13/11 01:15 AM

Every year we go off with our church on retreat to the Shenadoah mountains in VA (Orkey Springs for those local to the area). I've never played in the "talent" show before but this year I went for it. Classical performances are rare (usually performers are generally the kids but there are always a few adults who step up too - comedy tends to be the main theme!) but I trotted out Chopin Waltz in B minor. Because I didn't want to to long I cut out some repeats and probably shortened it by 50%. And because we always have plenty of beer & wine flowing, I labelled it "Chopin, abbreviated and slightly inebriated".

I got way more genuine positive comments than I ever expected. I pretty much murdered a couple of measures (slightly inebriated must have been an understatement) but, as my teacher says, the musicality is more important than the notes.

Anyway, it was great fun!
Posted By: jotur

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/13/11 02:10 AM

Michael - The Entertainer! It was my first request at my first (and only, I may add) paid solo gig. I had played it in the first set, and a woman came up in the second set and asked "Do you know The Entertainer?" Possibly it wasn't recognizable the first time laugh I played it for my first ABF recital lo these many years ago. My favorite comment was that I had "splashy octaves." Indeed. I'm still working on it. Great rag!

Teodor - what a cool piano! I envy you your recital venues. My solo gigs are on old, out-of-tune, and sometimes really dirty pianos. The one time I was on a really nice grand I was so intimidated I totally messed up - stopped in the middle and said "I know this tune! I can even play it in the right key!" - The Entertainer laugh

Andy - that sounds like the world's most fun gig. I love informal and play-music-for-the-entertainment-of-it gigs, and it sounds like you guys had a blast.

Now, back to The Entertainer practice. I have a 45-minute set at the Adult Day Care Center tomorrow. I'm going to try to play at least 4 out of my first 6 "tune of the month" pieces, a couple from sheet music. And about 8 other pieces. If I can do 2 longish rags it cuts down on how much I have to know - so Joplin and Black and White it is.

Cathy
Posted By: Teodor

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/14/11 06:03 PM

To be fair, such venues are much cheaper here. Less than 60$ per hour.

Today I played my first Boogie Woogie piece. Although it was quite simple and I was playing it from the score right away, I enjoyed it very much and played it several times in a row just so I could get all the things correct. I think that I can learn it and then increase the tempo and it will be a great tune to have in my repertoire! This is it:


Posted By: jotur

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/14/11 07:17 PM

Boogie/ragtime can be addicting, Teodor! That's a great piece.

Cathy
Posted By: Teodor

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/14/11 07:23 PM

I thought I was immune to those styles but I am not.
Posted By: GracieCat

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/15/11 02:36 AM

Teodor, that sounds fun to play.

I'm excited because my new piano came last week and I've finished Cool Breeze. I'm ready to record it. Unfortunately, my right hand hurts a ton and I haven't been able to play since Saturday. I have arthritis in the last two fingers from an old injury. Soooo, I've just been making myself work on scales with my left hand only. I hate scales. It's better than doing nothing though.

I had a new friend come over on Sunday and her little son was pecking at my piano. She went over and was showing him how to not bang on it. All of a sudden I heard a song that was familiar and it took me a few seconds to realize it was a new song I've been trying to put together. Here she was playing it right through standing up. (One hand only.) It was note perfect. AAAAAAAAA!!!! It was one of those moments when I remembered I have soooooooo far to go in my journey.

PS...I hate scales! I have no idea how to remember the fingering for each scale.
Posted By: crogersrx

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/15/11 07:45 AM

After several weeks of diligent practice, the horrors of having to listen to recordings of myself and share them with my piano instructor, I finally nailed a (virtually) perfect play through with the repeats of the JS Bach Goldberg Aria, Variation 4, and 19... and the Taratella in A-minor by Pieczonka, which I am going to play at an upcoming recital next weekend.

Posted By: Recaredo

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/15/11 08:44 AM

GracieCat: Congratulations for your new piano. I hope you get over your arthritis very soon and enjoy the piano.

Crogersrx: It must be fantastic being able to play the Goldberg Variations. Good luck with your upcoming recital.
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/15/11 06:07 PM

Cary - Goldberg Variations? Yikes! We've got a pro in the AOW thread wow smile How long have you been playing? Good luck at your recital.


No real AOW for me. My teacher has been on vacation for two weeks, so two missed lessons. That feels downright weird. The Chopin Prelude is ready to play for her but I sure wish I had her input during the final weeks of polishing. I keep trying to imagine what she would say. The good news is this has forced me to listen extra closely to every little thing. The bad news is that my weaknesses are just everywhere. Arrrrghh. cry Now I know why teachers always make that particular "feel good" comment somewhere near the end of most lessons --- we need it!!!

Jim
Posted By: Andy Platt

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/15/11 06:26 PM

Originally Posted by crogersrx
I finally nailed a (virtually) perfect play through with the repeats of the JS Bach Goldberg Aria, Variation 4, and 19...


We're not worthy, we're not worthy wink

Posted By: FarmGirl

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/15/11 06:52 PM

Last night, after a dinner with my business partners, I sneaked back into the 26th floor of our building, where the company keeps a yamaha baby grand for some reasons. I had to wait for a few min. until the MBA interns welcoming sessions is over. The important staff. The piano had a notice "do no put anything heavy on it". I looked at my hands. Well, they look okay. It's not like I am placing my whole body (quite heavy). So I did it. I finally did it. No security personnel came by. I was not escorted out. At the beginning I was nervous but then I became bald and started practicing loud. I don't know how much practice value I got from the hour, but, hey, the important thing is continue to play, even if it's 10 min. I am on my way to salt lake city. Writing this on the plane. I wish someday we will have similar convenience with piano too. wouldn't be great if we can practice in flight.
Posted By: crogersrx

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/16/11 08:22 AM

Originally Posted by JimF
Cary - Goldberg Variations? Yikes! We've got a pro in the AOW thread wow smile How long have you been playing? Good luck at your recital.
Jim


Not the entire work, only selected variations.... I fear that there are some of them that I will never be good enough to tackle. But, I have made leaps and bounds tackling JS Bach pieces again. It really makes you pay attention to details. When you turn to other works, many seem much simpler by comparison because you're only working with arpeggiated base and relatively simple harmony and melody. With Bach, you're often working with 4 independant voices at once.
Posted By: Newman

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/16/11 08:59 AM

I worked out Penny Lane, essentially by ear, and with a left hand bass part. I'm really focussing on getting bass parts going in the left hand.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/16/11 10:09 AM

Teodor: that is one lovely piano you got to play! and I like the boogie woogie... who could be imune to boggie woogie? smile

Michael Taylor: I love the Entertainer - I hope you are really having fun with it - it is a piece worth mastering!

MaryBee, hope your vacation is going well (and that you have better things to do thatn read PW while you're on vacation!)

Andy - I bet you wowed them with your Chopin!!! smile

Cathy - I am sure that the folks at the centre really appreciate your music.

Gracie - you must be over the top with your new piano. Don't worry about what other people can do on the piano - just focus on enjoying your own adventure. Scales can be a bit dull, but what can you do? They serve a purpose.

Crogersx - Bach. Goldberg Variations. Right. I'm green with envy. I love GV.
Hope you play something for us at the August recital.

JimF - if you need "feel good" feedback - post something here. I promise to give you warm and fuzzy feedback as needed.

Farmgirl.... You made me laugh when I read about your "not too heavy hands"! I'm glad you found a piano to play on your business trip.

Captain Kawai - Good for you. I love when I can figure out old favourites. It is just so darn satisfying!!!

I am making slow progress with my Beethoven. On the positive side, work has picked up,and I'm not complaining because a) I need the work and b) I love my work ---- Sadly though, this means less energy for piano!
Ah well, it isn't a race!


Posted By: BenPiano

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/21/11 03:31 AM

My Achievement of the Week is finally getting Tchaikovsky's "The Witch" to sound musical. smile

It sounded like fun to learn when I first became aware of it here in another thread, but dude, this is a real "witch" of a piece!

After many nights trying to figure this one out, I felt like I was going nowhere with it, and probably would have given up on it if it wasn't so short. Then sort of all of a sudden, it just started to gel before my very eyes (I mean ears smile ). I love it when that happens!

So, after surviving the initial "OMG this is crazy" reaction and sticking with it, it really is sorta fun to play! *


* - still a long way to go before recording tho ha
Posted By: Andy Platt

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/21/11 11:49 AM

Originally Posted by BenPiano
It sounded like fun to learn when I first became aware of it here in another thread, but dude, this is a real "witch" of a piece!


Did the piece cast a spell on you?! wink
Posted By: WiseBuff

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/21/11 12:53 PM

FarmGirl
I loved your story of "sneaking" to the hotel piano and boldly playing for an HOUR! Good for you. My fear would have been that someone would come and just listen...let alone ask me to "stop...please stop". LOL. There was a POW (I think this is how the story went) who drew a piano in his cell and practiced the music he could remember...when he finally got home he was proficient on those pieces. Maybe the same concept could work when we're on an airplane or stuck in the dentist's office or in a boring meeting.

I want to tell you all that my AOW was to play a piece (any piece) without glitch. Since that would be untrue I'll have to say that I reached a breakthru with the piece "Addie" that I'm working on. I can hear the music calling her name. Getting closer to musical.
Posted By: Teodor

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/21/11 02:32 PM

My AOW is playing my Bach Prelude without pressing a single wrong note and without ever looking at my hands (just the sheet music) and almost without slowing or speeding up and at performance tempo (it's a slow prelude in andante ma non tropo). I am playing with the metronome a lot and it's not as easy as one might think. But looking directly at the score made it easier to follow the metronome clicks.

The prelude is in E minor and is only one page long which is good. I have to now do as well on my recital tomorrow. Not sure it will work because just yesterday some people came into the practice room to tell me how good they thought my playing sounded and I decided to play the bach prelude for them and it was a disaster. They still liked it though. But my task for tomorrow's recital is to play it cleanly and with no change of tempo at unnecessary places.

On that note I think I'll need to be allowed more signature space to fit all my pianos :P

I'll probably record it all from a close perspective on the piano, maybe you'll be interested to see what some of the children have been up to, they all have wonderful pieces.
Posted By: Michael Taylor

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/21/11 07:57 PM

I'm still working on The Entertainer. I've got the first 2 pages down. I've been working on page 3 for at least a week, but I'm making progress. Page 4 and 5 shouldn't pose a problem. I'll record this one when I'm done (hopefully sometime this year.)

One question for you experienced beginners......the version that I have doesn't show pedaling. I've added pedaling where I thought it was appropriate. Do you use pedaling by instinct or just follow the sheet music?
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/21/11 09:48 PM

My AOW is finally having a lesson after my teacher's 21 day absence for vacation. Boy, did I miss her input during the last few weeks. The little Mozart minuet is done and put to rest. The Bach C Prelude is hands together accurate and going into the smoothing, dynamics mode. The Chopin B-minor Prelude is getting there -- working very hard on voicing, pedaling, and dynamics. It seems like there are infinite ways to fiddle with the sounds we can make. For fun I've been working on The Shadow of Your Smile from the book of Dan Coates jazz arrangements. I'm such a sucker for a great melody.

Cheryl- I may consider getting some kind of recording device if thats the only way I can get a group hug when I need it wink
Posted By: Michael Taylor

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/22/11 04:59 AM

I just made a major breakthrough with The Entertainer!!! I don't know if I will sleep tonight. I've been really struggling with page 3 for the last week. I can play it now! I was ready to give up on this one....maybe another week and I should be able to play the whole piece.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/22/11 05:54 AM

Ben I don't know your Witch piece, but if you are having difficulty with it, then it must be "witchy" indeed!
Teodor - you're really steaming along! Best wishes for your recital today!
Michael - good for you! I hope some day I'll have the coordination to work on the Entertainer!

Jim - just to hold you ((((((group hug)))))) (I tried to get a .gif, but I don't have time to search upload and insert! )
I can imagine how much you enjoyed sitting down with your teacher after 3 weeks!
Shadow of your Smile is a tune I like. I've got a Dan Coates book too, ...top 50 Jazz Standards (though I wouldn't really call them jazz).

I have no great AOW to report. Beethoven is very slow, and I've got a Burgmuller to work on that just isn't grabbing me.
Posted By: WiseBuff

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/22/11 12:20 PM

Michael
Which book are you playing the Entertainer from? I have it in a "greatest hits" type book but mine may be an "easy" version. For sure the easy is good for me at the moment. Do you think it's possible to regress? I mean really regress? Some of the pieces that I know I played years ago now seem way over my head.

Casinitaly
Love the Shadow of your Smile sound too. I've played that one in the same "greatest hits" book. I want it to flow beautifully out of the piano and some days it gets closer...must depend on the weather. :-)

Just bought a new ergonomic computer keyboard and mouse to reduce the right hand strain from way too much computer time. I'm in research/writing mode. It interferes with my piano work for sure.
Posted By: Canonie

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/22/11 01:15 PM

Originally Posted by BenPiano
My Achievement of the Week is finally getting Tchaikovsky's "The Witch" to sound musical. smile

It sounded like fun to learn when I first became aware of it here in another thread, but dude, this is a real "witch" of a piece!

After many nights trying to figure this one out, I felt like I was going nowhere with it, and probably would have given up on it if it wasn't so short. Then sort of all of a sudden, it just started to gel before my very eyes (I mean ears smile ). I love it when that happens!

So, after surviving the initial "OMG this is crazy" reaction and sticking with it, it really is sorta fun to play! *


* - still a long way to go before recording tho ha

Oh yeah The Witch is a beast of a piece. Doesn't look too bad, but playing it faster than plod is challenging! Good luck!
Posted By: Teodor

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/22/11 01:48 PM

Do share your recording when you make one. I'd love to hear it!
Posted By: Michael Taylor

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/22/11 01:55 PM

The book that I am using is a titled "Simply Joplin" arranged by Mary Sallee. It is an easy version. When I bought it, I thought "since it was easy" I should be able to play the music without too much difficulty......NOT! My 7 months of (in)experience reared it's head from the beginning. The good news is that I didn't give up!
Posted By: PaperClip

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/22/11 02:21 PM

My achievement of the week is that I found a new composer. There was a sheet from my teacher of a piece that was very bad in shape and barely readible, but so beautiful. There was no composer name or the name of the piece on it. It was from a spanish composer, that was the only thing we knew.

Finally on the Internet I found the piece and composer name, so I could make a good copy that I can read well. It's the second song of 12 spanish dances of Enrique Gradanos, named Oriental.

Here's a youtube link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DiN7LTgV6Ps

The copy I found, was on the ismlp website.

I'm so happy I found the name of the composer. Otherwise the piece would be like an orphan to me.
Posted By: jotur

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/22/11 03:33 PM

Michael - yea! on The Entertainer! I've been working for the last month or so on bringing it to a faster tempo than I originally played it, and last night I played it at 1/4-note = 130, including that blessed 1/16-note octave run in the C part. At some point all of us who can play, in some form or other, The Entertainer should do a thread with all TE recordings, just to hear all the versions and interpretations.

I keep hearing about Dan Coates. Maybe I should put a book on my piano projects list. But wait - do I *really* need another piano project? laugh

Cathy
Posted By: Teodor

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/22/11 05:51 PM

Two pieces, not a single wrong note no worrying about it being a recital, I was actually charged by the audience. It let me play slightly better than I usually care to. The Bach needs more work with a metronome. I keep rushing. You can see it in the piano bar smile
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/22/11 06:46 PM

Paperclip,

Good for you for discovering Granados and his Danzas. I have a great recording of all twelve by Alicia de Larrocha, who is sort of a Granados specialist. Other beautiful Granados works include Valses Poeticos and from the Goyescas Suite - Quejas o La Maja y el Ruisenor (The Maiden and the Nightengale).

If you like Granados you may also like the works of Albeniz. I really like the pieces in his Suite Espanola(try Sevilla from this suite).

Like you, it was a revelation when I discovered these famous Spanish composers. That's the nice thing about learning to play the piano - all the music we get exposed to that might have been missed. I don't know how long it will be before I'm able to play something by Granados or Albeniz, but I'd sure like to try.
Posted By: PaperClip

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/22/11 08:22 PM

JimF,

Yes, it's like finding a pot of gold. I'm so happy I find a key to a treasure of beautiful spanish classical music, I never know it existed until now. Thanks for the tips. I will check out Albeniz for sure! smile
Posted By: Recaredo

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/22/11 08:50 PM

Olivier Messiaen said about the Albéniz's Iberia:

Iberia is the wonder for the piano; it is perhaps on the highest place among the more brilliant pieces for the king of the instruments.
Posted By: PaperClip

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/24/11 03:32 AM

Recaredo,
I listened to the Iberia of Albéniz and it's indeed quite impressive smile Now I'm going to listen to Pedrell as well.
Posted By: Recaredo

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/24/11 08:20 AM

I'm glad to hear you enjoyed Iberia, Paperclip.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/24/11 10:29 AM

I'm listening to the Granados as I type - wow. I like it a lot.
A new door has opened! I love it here - as Jim said we really have such wonderful opportunities for being introduced to new music here.

I'm going to listen to some Albéniz too!

Teodor- congrats on your recital work! I'll pop over to the Piano Bar to have a listen.

FINALLY I have an achievement ....... I can now play the first page of my Sonatina. Not up to speed, but with all the correct fingering and if I focus REALLY WELL, my errors are few and far between. My optimism is returning.

edited to add: I'm listening to Iberia - I can very easily imagine this being played on a guitar.

I'm totally enchanted!!!!! I know what is going on my wishlist for cds !!!!
(I'm certainly not able to play any of this yet, but listening to it will be a marevellous experience)

THANK YOU for mentioning these composers !


Posted By: GlassLove

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/24/11 11:15 AM

Good news for all of the Granados lovers:

You might attempt a beautiful piece he wrote and dedicated to his son, called Dedication. According to Jane Magrath its level is 5. I have had this piece on my "to do" list and intend to work on it relatively soon. An additional clue to its difficulty, Magrath compares it to Schumann's About Strange Lands and People (op. 68, no. 1).

Posted By: Recaredo

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/24/11 11:33 AM

Casinitaly, It would be marvellous playing so difficult music. But one day we will be able to do it. wink
Posted By: WiseBuff

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/24/11 12:08 PM

Originally Posted by Michael Taylor
The book that I am using is a titled "Simply Joplin" arranged by Mary Sallee. It is an easy version. When I bought it, I thought "since it was easy" I should be able to play the music without too much difficulty......NOT! My 7 months of (in)experience reared it's head from the beginning. The good news is that I didn't give up!


EASY apparently means level 4-5. I found that a bit condescending when I first realized it. They seemed hard enough to me. Enjoy the Joplin...they are crowd pleasers and sound very accomplished. My versions of Entertainer and another Joplin are in my EASY book.
Posted By: Lain

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/24/11 01:02 PM

Finally spent my bookstore rebate card and bought David Dubal's The Essential Canon of Classical Music. Discovering a lot of new music now!
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/24/11 01:37 PM

Recarado - that's a wonderful attitude -you are right! Someday!

Christine, do you have a link to the sheet music for Dedication?
Or the name of a particular book ?
Posted By: jotur

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/24/11 02:54 PM

Originally Posted by Lain
Finally spent my bookstore rebate card ...


Oooo, I want one of those laugh

Cathy
Posted By: GlassLove

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/25/11 08:59 PM

Yes, I have the name of the collection: it is Stories of the Young, Op. 1 (Cuentos de la Jevenitud).

Here is also a little blurb about Enrique Granados from Jane Magrath's book of piano literature:

"Granados lived most of his life (1867-1916) in Barcelona, where he established his reputation as a leading piano virtuoso and teacher. He felt a strong tie with his country's past and with the paintings of Goya. Granados died as a result of World War I: he was sailing back to Spain from the United States on the British liner Sussex when it was torpedoed by a German submarine.
Posted By: PaperClip

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/26/11 12:37 AM

Originally Posted by Lain
David Dubal's The Essential Canon of Classical Music


Ah, I enjoyed reading David Dubal's book about Horowitz. I put this on my booklist. Thank you for the idea! smile
Posted By: crogersrx

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/26/11 04:27 AM

Added another Goldberg Variation to my repertoire.... Variation #13.

Now I've done the Aria, #4, #13, #18, #19. I may try a couple of the cannons (#3 and #9), but after that, I fear the remainder surpasses my abilities.

I'm gunning for Handel's "Harmonious Blacksmith" Aria and variations next.
Posted By: FarmGirl

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/26/11 06:59 AM

Hi I am finally back from my business trips.
I just practiced about four hours and felt whole for the first time in weeks. It's been long time, too long not be able to practice. I missed piano so badly that I felt depressed last week.

Next week is the first week in seven weeks that I can be at home whole week. Of the six weeks I traveled, I only practiced a couple of days when I was in NY. I could not find any piano to practice in Utah. I went to a community college but I could not get in to the practice rooms. Access to all the classromms and labs are controled by electronic badges so that only valid students can enter. Piano stores were closed by the time I could visit them. Since I took several people to Utach with me, I wound up having to have dinner every night after worked until 6 or 7 PM. As far as I was concerned, I would have been perfectly happy to practice in my hotel room - even if it means I have to eat ramen noodles that I carry with me when I travel (just in case). But I realized that I could not be so selfish. Sigh. If I want to do a good job, it is extremely important to take care of the team. Besides it pays for my expensive hobby (piano), I love my job. I probably need to buy a small electronic keyboard and carry them around whenever I travel. Has anyone tried it?
Posted By: Lain

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/26/11 01:30 PM

crogersrx: Thanks for sharing, I just listened to #13 on YouTube, and it's rather lovely. Congratulations!

FarmGirl: Welcome back...Yeah, don't we all wish we had a job that could both pay for our hobby and give us enough time to actually enjoy it?
Posted By: Andy Platt

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/26/11 09:09 PM

Not so much AotW, more AotLSM (Last six months) ... my sight reading is gradually but steadily improving. I've been doing a piece out of Classics to Moderns (the easy volume) every day, along with various exercises. They are never perfect, and anything faster than moderato is definitely played much slower than at tempo. But they are geting there. Less missed notes, way way less stop and starts and dynamics and rhythm getting there.

In short, as everyone says, if you want to improve your sight reading:

Practice, practice, practice!!!
Posted By: BenPiano

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/27/11 01:39 AM

Great to hear about your improvement in sight reading, Andy! I've been using the Four Star books to help with mine. I don't know how much progress I've gained, but it's a long process. And as they say, to get better at it, one needs to just do more of it - lots more!
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/27/11 06:24 PM

Andy,

Nice to know there might be light at the end of the tunnel if we keep working at it. I've got the Classics to Moderns book also, but have decided most of it is beyond my sight reading level. I've been using it for weekly throwaways. For sightreading I've been working my way through the Hanna Smith book that someone (you?) here on PW recommended. It is great because it offers so much material in one book (100 pages if I remember right, something like 600 eight to twelve bar lines of music. It is also very gently progressive, introducing new elements quite slowly. I find it does a good job of forcing me to look ahead and keep going. Some of the other sightreading exercise books I've tried just didn't have enough material.



Posted By: daviel

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/27/11 06:52 PM

played all the way through Moment Musicale by Schubert. I need to memorize it.
Posted By: PaperClip

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/27/11 06:54 PM

Andy,

Good to hear there's improvement with sight-reading. It stimulates me to do the same. Honestly I started a few weeks ago but somehow I already stopped again. I've printed Czerny op 599 for sight-reading, but I'll have to white out the numbers of fingering. It confuses me. But I'll start tonight!
Posted By: Andy Platt

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/27/11 07:07 PM

Originally Posted by JimF
For sightreading I've been working my way through the Hanna Smith book that someone (you?) here on PW recommended. It is great because it offers so much material in one book (100 pages if I remember right, something like 600 eight to twelve bar lines of music. It is also very gently progressive, introducing new elements quite slowly. I find it does a good job of forcing me to look ahead and keep going. Some of the other sightreading exercise books I've tried just didn't have enough material.


I won't claim to be the original person to recommend it because I know I picked it up from another thread. But, yes, I am using it and it is great. The one thing I wish is that there was a volume two that started going beyond fixed hand positions. I'm on the final chapter now of it which finally has key signatures but, unless I have yet to hit it, your hands don't need to move to hit any keys.

My routine is basically one or two pages of Hannah(depending on how much time I have that evening for practice) followed by the classics to moderns. And, to be honest, the latter is beyond my sight reading too but not that far. And, as I posted, it's getting better.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/27/11 07:57 PM

What is the exact name of the Hannah book?

And is the From Classics to Moderns a "Joy of" book?

I really should not be thinking of getting more sheet music, but ...ah, it is irresistable.

ah and 4 Stars too?

So much music , so little (skill)...time!

I feel I'm far behind with what's been happening here the last week - and yet I see that in fact I've only missed a couple of days. I'll have to give a more careful read-through of the above posts!

I was told that Alicia de Larrocha is on of the best Spanish pianists, and she has recorded quite a bit of Albéniz, and Granados. I will be shopping!
Posted By: Andy Platt

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/27/11 08:34 PM

Originally Posted by casinitaly
What is the exact name of the Hannah book?


Easiest way:

Progressive Sight Reading Exercises

Quote
And is the From Classics to Moderns a "Joy of" book?


Nope, it's just a huge collection of (usually available elsewhere) pieces:

Easy Classics to Moderns

You will find the pieces in this book probably just slightly below the level of the Beethoven Sonatina you are learning. Some easier than others.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/27/11 08:36 PM

Thanks Andy - just one small glitch - the two links go to the same book (Hannah's). Could you fix the Classics to Modern one please?

tks!
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/27/11 08:50 PM

Cheryl,

here's the amazon link to Hanna Smith sightreading book
amzn link

Yes, Alicia LaR is a great pianist. You will find lots of Grandados and Albeniz by her. I actually also have a recording of Granados himself playing one of the pieces mentioned.

Andy,

I agree about the five finger - but on the other hand I'm also mindful that trying to do too much at once is what usually keeps me from practicing real reading. My routine is about the same as yours each day. I've now been doing at least 15 minutes a day for a bit over a year. There's progress, but the pace is downright glacial.

edit: too slow, now you have 3 links to it C. heres andy's other link to the Agay book: easy classics to moderns
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/27/11 08:54 PM

Thanks Jim. smile (I wasn't going to say anything about 3 links to Hannah, but I'm glad you noticed!)

And thanks for the further information about the Spanish music.

I'm so keen to get the cds. I can't imagine ever being able to play this music, but these pieces gave me the most delightful shivers when I listened to them.
Posted By: squiggyflop

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/28/11 05:44 AM

well im a beginner.. i mean really really beginner.. my achievement of the week, was getting to lesson 4 in piano wizard (its a software that you hook to any midi keyboard).. its the first time ive played multiple keys at once.. the real achievement is getting the praise of my father when he walked in and listened over my shoulder. if you have seen me play you would know just how lame i am at it so getting any praise is wonderful. of course the better i play the more i notice how awful my 100$ casio keyboard is. but it was all i could afford and i didnt think i would ever be even able to play twinkle twinkle little star.. anyway, so yeah, lesson 4 song 3 (i think its the third one in the lesson but im not sure) on half speed with 100% accuracy. lame, but you gotta start somewhere right?
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/28/11 06:08 AM

You're right squiggyflop - we all have to start somewhere. It is especially exciting when those who have been listening to us struggle to take our first "steps" in Pianoland start noticing improvements. Good for you !
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/28/11 05:48 PM

Welcome to the AOTW thread squiggyflop. There are no lame achievements here. Many of us were right where you are just a short time ago, including starting out on a cheapo keyboard. Keep up the good work.

Jim
Posted By: Syboor

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/28/11 07:47 PM

I participated in my teacher's studio recital today. It went great. No memory slips at all smile. Some finger slips but I didn't dwell on them and I cannot even remember where they occurred.

My teacher's embarrassing exercises in making up images/stories to go with the pieces seem to have payed off in some way. I still don't think that such a "visual" method is best for me; the best piece was where I could feel myself dancing, not conjure up pictures. And I had plenty of more "explicit" thoughts about dynamics and pedaling and phrasing, and I don't think that did me any harm. But those images were a great way to occupy the mind "as much as possible" and not give it any leisure to form destructive thoughts.



Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/28/11 09:10 PM

Congratulations Syboor. I'm sure someone here in can point you to the little piano that you can now put in your sig line.
Quote
But those images were a great way to occupy the mind "as much as possible" and not give it any leisure to form destructive thoughts.
I'm going to have to look into this techinique for next year's recital.


I just returned from my lesson where I played the Chopin and the Bach preludes. Although there were a few slips, both went well. I'm feeling particularly good because she actually called my tones 'beautiful'. I've worked very hard on every single note of the Chopin, so that really feels like it paid off. Moreover I feel like I learned so much from this piece, particularly about pedaling (left and right) and chord voicing. I was actually a little sorry when she said she didn't need to hear either one any more - I may keep working on the Chopin a bit anyway, as I'm going on a cruise later this summer and would like to have something to play if I happen to stumble upon a piano.

For the moment I have one of these grin glued to my face.
Posted By: Newman

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/28/11 09:51 PM

AOTW playing a twelve bar pattern in F with three note left hand AND using F7 2nd inversion, Bb7 2nd inversion and C7 root. Must have played the same 12 bars for about half an hour last night and the inversions ALMOST beginning to feel natural.
Posted By: Lain

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/28/11 11:02 PM

Originally Posted by CaptainKawai
AOTW playing a twelve bar pattern in F with three note left hand AND using F7 2nd inversion, Bb7 2nd inversion and C7 root. Must have played the same 12 bars for about half an hour last night and the inversions ALMOST beginning to feel natural.


Nice, I still need to work on chord inversions while sight reading.
Posted By: DMT3339

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/29/11 06:09 AM

First of all I want to say that finding a really good teacher has had me excited every week, but, more to the point he's had me working on Burgmullers Arabesque which isn't a piece that I would say I like, but it has been fun to learn and play; Anyway, I played it well enough today that it passed inspection. It still needs a little more polish but I get to learn something new, and the piece that he assigned me was Chopin!!! Op.28 Prelude #4 a piece I know and like! so happy!.
On the other side of the excited spectrum, my teacher is heading for Prague all of next month to work on some 30 min long piece by Liszt, he's excited but i'm a little bummed.
Guess I will just have to surprise him with this little prelude when he returns. smile

Dave T
Posted By: Lain

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/29/11 01:41 PM

Originally Posted by DMT3339
the piece that he assigned me was Chopin!!! Op.28 Prelude #4 a piece I know and like!


thumb
Posted By: MaryBee

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/30/11 08:46 PM

I came back from a two-week vacation on Sunday. Sat down at my piano and tried to play the Chopin and Debussy pieces that I had been working on (and that had been in pretty good shape) before I left. Yikes! How many wrong notes can you play and still have the piece be recognizable? But the exciting thing was, even with all those wrong notes, I felt, after months of trying to understand how to do this, that I was finally playing musically. It felt almost as if I was listening to and watching someone else play this beautiful music. What a strange and wonderful feeling that was!

Funny thing is, my teacher has been telling me to do this for a while -- just play expressively without worrying about the wrong notes, but I was never able to do it before. Can't wait to tell him about it!

Now I have to get back to work on relearning the notes I've forgotten. smile
Posted By: Recaredo

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 06/30/11 10:20 PM

Playing musically is the best way to enjoy the instrument. Tomorrow, the wrong notes will become right notes, for sure.
Posted By: Newman

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/02/11 11:43 PM

[quote=Recaredo]Playing musically ...[/quote

I'm not entirely sure I know what people mean by 'musically' in this context?
Posted By: Newman

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/02/11 11:49 PM

Originally Posted by MaryBee
I ...Sat down at my piano and tried to play the ... pieces that I had been working on (and that had been in pretty good shape) before ...Yikes!

Yes I had this happen to me yesterday. After about, I don't know, 20 hours working on Penny Lane (with left hand bass part)and getting it to a good standard about a week ago, I sat down to play it yesterday ... plinkety, plink. But AOTW, I found myself, from memory and by ear able to work out a simple version of "It's all in the game" a song I have liked since very young.
Posted By: CebuKid

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/03/11 02:44 AM

After almost no time at the bench during the month of May, I had an excellent month of June. I began jotting down the dates on my current score - when I started and when I finished - and realized that I covered 3 sections this month to bring me to about 85% completion. When I say "finished" I meant learning the notes, the fingering, and memorizing. I can play most of the piece at 50 to 75% tempo so now I'm just about ready to "put everything together" for July.

Anyway, great month! I practiced my butt off. grin
Posted By: TrapperJohn

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/03/11 01:50 PM

Originally Posted by CebuKid


Anyway, great month! I practiced my butt off. grin


My butt is still on - haven't been practicing so intensely lately - too much maintenance work on my "country estate" and too many golf courses in the area (shot a 77 last time out!) laugh

But, I did manage to finish work on a Minuet (in C) by Haydn and get a decent recording of it - now starting work on a Dan Coates arrangement of the beautiful Cole Porter song "So In Love" (from the Broadway musical "Kiss Me, Kate").

Trap
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/03/11 06:20 PM

Well, everyone has been busy little bees, haven't they?

Syboor - complimenti on your recital! Isn't it exciting to perform live (ok, terifying, too, I agree smile )

Jim FI love it when my teacher tells me I'm doing something well, so I understand that moment of bliss you had during your lesson! smile I am encouraged that you're making progress with the pedal. Congrats on both points to you !
I personally am NOT making progress on this front, so need some inspiration - thanks!

CaptainKawai It is marvellous when something you've been struggling with starts to feel smooth, and you feel that all the hours of hard work are starting to pay off. It sort of makes you wonder what was so hard about it in the first place, (sometimes) doesn't it?

DMT339 If you are working from the Burgmuller book of 25 progressive pieces (Op100 I think) there are several pieces that are really charming.
I personally like Limpid Stream and Innocence (I also prefer the titles in Italian - Limpido Ruscello, Candore)
Congrats on having the Chopin to work on . I have yet to be assigned any of his pieces. .....I can dream.....

MaryBee What an interesting milestone. I think you must have crossed some physical awareness (or maybe moved on to some level of UNawaremess ) - I agree that sometimes it isn't about getting all the notes right (of course that's nice too, and eventually we aim to get most of them right wink )

Recaredo - you always have something kind and supportive to say. I'm looking forward to hearing more about your adventures and successes.

Cebukid...and more satisfaction - may I ask what your current piece is?

Trapper JohnGlad your butt is still in the right place smile I LOVE Haydn - will we be hearing your piece at the recital?


and me, my turn..My Beethoven Sonatina saga continues smile My teacher told me I have been studying very well and she can see my focus has improved. I can feel that too - it is really quite an interesting sensation of mental absorption. I thought I'd been focused before, but now I realize how many distractions I've been allowing to filter in - and I see that I probably have even more potential for deeper concentration and focus. That's a pretty exciting sensation to have.

I can play all the first page of my Sonatina - not up to speed yet, but getting there - and I have started on the Rondo. Several months back, I distinctly remember having enormous difficulties with getting my left hand to do a 1-2-3 waltz beat while the right was doing something else ..... today I finally got the swing of it.

My husband hums the Rondo while he putters about in the kitchen... I love it.
Posted By: CebuKid

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/03/11 07:20 PM

Originally Posted by casinitaly


and me, my turn..My Beethoven Sonatina saga continues smile My teacher told me I have been studying very well and she can see my focus has improved. I can feel that too - it is really quite an interesting sensation of mental absorption. I thought I'd been focused before, but now I realize how many distractions I've been allowing to filter in - and I see that I probably have even more potential for deeper concentration and focus. That's a pretty exciting sensation to have.

I can play all the first page of my Sonatina - not up to speed yet, but getting there - and I have started on the Rondo. Several months back, I distinctly remember having enormous difficulties with getting my left hand to do a 1-2-3 waltz beat while the right was doing something else ..... today I finally got the swing of it.

My husband hums the Rondo while he putters about in the kitchen... I love it.


cas, what's your key for concentrating and focusing more? I've tried to focus and concentrate better also, but really have no mental "key" - I just basically tell myself to try harder and "stop making mistakes." lol

Husband humming the Rondo...hahaha. Our loved ones know all of our piano pieces - that's the price to be paid...and I am working on "The Chrysanthemum". Here's a preview of it I(an instrumental version).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDAEKyzQuHw

Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/03/11 09:13 PM

Originally Posted by CebuKid
cas, what's your key for concentrating and focusing more? I've tried to focus and concentrate better also, but really have no mental "key" - I just basically tell myself to try harder and "stop making mistakes." lol

Husband humming the Rondo...hahaha. Our loved ones know all of our piano pieces - that's the price to be paid...and I am working on "The Chrysanthemum". Here's a preview of it I(an instrumental version).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDAEKyzQuHw



Cebukid, the Chrysanthemum is delightful! I have a book that has about 10 Joplin pieces in it, among others, but they are way above my level. I love listening to them though.

A key for focus and concentrating.....
I don't know that I have a key. What I can say is that saying the names of the notes, outloud with HS while playing slowly, and then doing repetitions HT and saying the notes of one hand then the other in alternate reps seems to help.
I think in part the change I feel is due to a combination of factors.
1. hitting a new level of "I know where the keys are" confidence.
2. working with combinations of looking at the score, looking at my hands, practicing to look at hands only when necessary. (My teacher isn't strict about what I do, but tries to get me to do what is sensible and necessary - to find the right balance of looking and not looking).
3. really and truly slowing down and playing eighth notes as if they were quarter notes, focusing on the physical sensation of the right fingers going down in the right order and right combination.

I did some relaxation therapy years ago, where one of the activities was to tense muscles and then relax them - focusing on different muscle groups. I think that probably is helping me now.

Overall I think the change is just a bit of a "growth spurt" after a plateau - certain things are clicking and falling into place.


Posted By: Recaredo

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/03/11 09:17 PM

Congratulations Casinitaly, for your good feeling on the Beethoven's Sonatina. It's a beatiful piece. Maybe Beethoven composed this piece for us, Adult Beginners, so we can to get the pleasure to playing the music of Bonn's genius wink .


I'm still learning the Fantasia No. 2 by Telemann. It is being really hard for me. Now I can play the first twenty four bars; this is the half of the piece, more or less. But the piece is so amazing, that it deserves all my efforts.

Regards.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/03/11 09:37 PM

Originally Posted by Recaredo
Congratulations Casinitaly, for your good feeling on the Beethoven's Sonatina. It's a beatiful piece. Maybe Beethoven composed this piece for us, Adult Beginners, so we can to get the pleasure to playing the music of Bonn's genius wink .


I'm still learning the Fantasia No. 2 by Telemann. It is being really hard for me. Now I can play the first twenty four bars; this is the half of the piece, more or less. But the piece is so amazing, that it deserves all my efforts.

Regards.


Thanks Recaredo smile I think you could be right about Beethoven composing for us, and surely, everyone deserves to be able to play a little Beethoven?

I looked for your piece on youtube - I know nothing of Telemann - but I love the Baroque period. I have so much to learn! How did I miss hearing about this composer ?
Music from this period is very challenging - even the simplest pieces are delightfully complicated. I do hope you'll post a recording when you are ready - or maybe you'll play it in one of the recitals?

(Next recital is only 6 weeks away!!!! ack!!!!)

Posted By: TrapperJohn

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/04/11 09:35 AM

Originally Posted by casinitaly


Trapper John ... I LOVE Haydn - will we be hearing your piece at the recital?




Maybe you will and maybe you won't (not that I want to be too devious about this smile ) - there's a fairly good chance if only by default since I haven't been working on much else and those Recitals tend to sneak up on us before we know it shocked

I'm a big fan of Haydn too - he's highly neglected and largely underplayed - and he's the "Father of Classical Music" after all!

Trap
Posted By: CebuKid

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/04/11 03:16 PM

Originally Posted by TrapperJohn
Originally Posted by CebuKid


Anyway, great month! I practiced my butt off. grin


My butt is still on - haven't been practicing so intensely lately - too much maintenance work on my "country estate" and too many golf courses in the area (shot a 77 last time out!) laugh



Trapper, you're now officially my new hero here. Great at golf and piano - my 2 favorite things on the planet. You are living my dream. grin
Posted By: TrapperJohn

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/05/11 12:56 PM

Originally Posted by CebuKid
Originally Posted by TrapperJohn
- haven't been practicing so intensely lately - too much maintenance work on my "country estate" and too many golf courses in the area (shot a 77 last time out!) laugh



Trapper, you're now officially my new hero here. Great at golf and piano - my 2 favorite things on the planet. You are living my dream. grin


No, no - I protest - you're my hero - but I'm not great at either - just passing or barely "above average" - a "duffer" at both - but not too shabby for a geezer trying to self-teach both with rapidly declining physical & mental faculties laugh

However, you're obviously a person of incomparable intelligence and impeccable taste - and as they say "it takes one to know one" smile

Trap
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/05/11 09:48 PM

Cheryl and Recaredo,

Quote
Congratulations Casinitaly, for your good feeling on the Beethoven's Sonatina. It's a beatiful piece. Maybe Beethoven composed this piece for us, Adult Beginners, so we can to get the pleasure to playing the music of Bonn's genius .


As you can see from the updated sig line, I've joined you in the Beethoven admiration society. 3hearts Mine is a different (and easier) G Sonatina than the one you two are working on, but beautiful nonetheless.

Posted By: CebuKid

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/05/11 10:59 PM

Originally Posted by TrapperJohn
Originally Posted by CebuKid
Originally Posted by TrapperJohn
- haven't been practicing so intensely lately - too much maintenance work on my "country estate" and too many golf courses in the area (shot a 77 last time out!) laugh



Trapper, you're now officially my new hero here. Great at golf and piano - my 2 favorite things on the planet. You are living my dream. grin


No, no - I protest - you're my hero - but I'm not great at either - just passing or barely "above average" - a "duffer" at both - but not too shabby for a geezer trying to self-teach both with rapidly declining physical & mental faculties laugh

However, you're obviously a person of incomparable intelligence and impeccable taste - and as they say "it takes one to know one" smile

Trap


Trap, in the game of golf, just breaking 100 on a regular basis automatically puts you in the 90th percentile among other adult beginner amateurs. If you can break 80, you're probably in the 98th percentile easily.

I think golf is the #1 adult beginner activity in the country, and that explains why so many are bad at it - even after much practice and many dollars invested. crazy (lol)

If I were to give myself a "piano handicap", I'm a solid 15. (lol). Scratch - being able to play Fantasie Impromptu, and hacker - only playing "Mary's Little Lamb" after a year. Also, I know my technique is bad, but I'm able to somewhat get away with it, which shows that's I've got at least a little talent. crazy

Back to golf (where I have no natural talent)....I worked very hard at it, and still looked like a hacker at times. frown At my "best", I was only a 22 - never having broken 90 after 8 years. frown

...and that's why you're my hero. grin

PS-just go with it...lol.

PPS-if you're ever in the Chicago area, we should get out one day for 18. grin
Posted By: achat

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/05/11 11:39 PM

Hi,

my achievement of the week is to learn "perfectly" this one from 00:00 to 1:22
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTMyGACAGe8

but the big obstacle to me is the fast scale at 0:34, I never practiced scales frown
anybody here knows if there is a best fingering to reach that speed?

A.

Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/06/11 06:54 AM

Achat, I can't quite tell which key you're playing in - I think there are 3 sharps but I'm not sure. Can you specify?

JimF - which Sonatina in G are you playing???? I'm very curious to hear it.
I did some hunting on youtube for one that was different than "mine" and all I saw were kids 10 and under playing exponentially faster than I'm playing.
The Bach Musette you're playing in ... Is that the Musette in D?

TJ and Cebukid..... what fun you've got two hobbies in common. I never got into golf, but when we lived in Canada we played curling. That too requires a tremendous deal of focus and attention to small details. ...while you are shivering smile

Posted By: achat

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/06/11 09:42 AM

Originally Posted by casinitaly
Achat, I can't quite tell which key you're playing in - I think there are 3 sharps but I'm not sure. Can you specify?



Sorry, it is a double scale with Eb and Bb.
maybe it has a specific name?

A.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/06/11 09:46 AM

Originally Posted by achat
Originally Posted by casinitaly
Achat, I can't quite tell which key you're playing in - I think there are 3 sharps but I'm not sure. Can you specify?



Sorry, it is a double scale with Eb and Bb.
maybe it has a specific name?

A.


That would be Bflat.

here is a link that shows you all the scales and the fingerings. I'm not an expert, so maybe there is a better way, but you can at least have a look and maybe get some ideas.

http://www.learn-piano.org/major-scales.html

Btw - that is a very pretty piece of music you played!!!!
Posted By: achat

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/06/11 10:31 AM

Originally Posted by casinitaly

That would be Bflat.

here is a link that shows you all the scales and the fingerings. I'm not an expert, so maybe there is a better way, but you can at least have a look and maybe get some ideas.

http://www.learn-piano.org/major-scales.html

Btw - that is a very pretty piece of music you played!!!!


Thanks!

Kyle's performances are a constant source of inspiration.
I will be satisfied if I will be able to play just the begininning of Eternity. Then it becomes too much hard for me... frown

A.

Posted By: TrapperJohn

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/06/11 11:23 AM

Originally Posted by CebuKid


Trap, in the game of golf ... If you can break 80, you're probably in the 98th percentile easily.


...and that's why you're my hero. grin

PS-just go with it...lol.

PPS-if you're ever in the Chicago area, we should get out one day for 18. grin


I'd love to believe that percentile figure (and won't question your source out of fear that it's too good to be true!) smile

OK, OK, I'll be your hero, but it's an awesome responsibility and I'm not sure I'm up for it laugh

Would love to do 18 with you some day!

Now, back to our regularly scheduled thread...


Trap
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/06/11 08:20 PM

Cheryl,
Quote
JimF - which Sonatina in G are you playing???? I'm very curious to hear it.
I did some hunting on youtube for one that was different than "mine" and all I saw were kids 10 and under playing exponentially faster than I'm playing.
The Bach Musette you're playing in ... Is that the Musette in D?


Here's the IMSLP score for the G Sonatina I've been assigned:
(You should see two pages - A section and a B called Romanze)
Sonatina in G

The Bach is not Musette in D. (I know because I've played M in D). It is a one pager from his English Suite No.3 in G minor. If you go to this link and scroll down to the bottom of page 9 of the pdf you will see it is actually called Gavotte II (ou la Musette) IMSLP link Bach's English Suite No. 3 (and just to make it more confusing this part is actually in G, not G minor)

I haven't looked for any youtube performances of either one, so don't know what is available if anything.

Glad to hear you've got things on track. I have moments when I think my focus is good, but more often think it could be a whole lot better.


Just found this, I believe the relevant part starts at about 5:10 Richter plays English Suite No.3 Nice performance, glad I found it. The Beethoven is anh.5, and everything on utube I saw was awful.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/06/11 09:46 PM

Jim, the Beethoven IS exactly what I'm playing ! If you go up a few posts, you'll see Andy has a super recording of his performance from a recital back in December (I think it was December...anyway, he plays is beautifully!!!)

Do you love it? I do. I'm thinking it might be my November recital piece - here in the ABF, or maybe even LIVE ooooooooh !!! lol.. We shall see. I do find it very exciting to be playing this piece - and very satisfying, even though I've still got a long way to go on it. It is really stretching my skills and that feels good!!

The Bach is really - I love Bach! ( I confess to going "gulp" while I scrolled down.... I found the pages preceding the Gavotte ou La Musette rather scary!!! )

Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/07/11 09:00 PM

Cheryl,

Oh, it is the same. blush I really thought you were playing something different - didn't you call your B section Rondo?

Anyhooo, yes I really like it. I'll even show you one specific reason why...which you may find trivial or uninteresting, but its one of the things that always amazes me when I realize it....

So, I was doing harmonic analysis on the first section, you know, writing in the chord names and numbers. I do this sometimes just in hopes I will learn something from it sooner or later. Anyway, I get to measures 13,14 and 15 and I'm playing those five little chords; D-A,rest,rest,D-F#,D-G, rest,rest, D-E,D-F#. I'm looking at the corresponding treble and wondering, gee, I wonder why he chose those? Nothing seems apparent, so I try playing the top note of each of the five chords above; A,r,r,F#,G,r,r,E,F#. Oh, that sounds familiar, where did I hear that. So I look up a few measures back and see the little slurred phase in the right hand in measure four (D,E,D,B,C,A,G), I play that and realize the later chords are just an echo of that phrase (If you don't hear it at first add in B to make it ABAF#GEF#). And then I look ahead and see we are also previewing the little slurred phase in the treble in measure 16.

I would guess that folks who had lessons as kids or studied music though another instrument would probalbly find this kind of stuff old hat, but it continually amazes me. I really don't know what it all means, but I'm pretty sure Mr. Beethoven did and it is not an accident.

So, sorry for such a long-winded way of saying, yes, I really like it. 3hearts

Oh, and you're not the only one that got heart palpitations when they first scrolled through the score of Bach's English Suite looking for the ou Musette part. sick
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/08/11 05:46 AM

Jim, sorry for the confusion. I did say Rondo! Oops! I have other pieces where I've seen part two called Rondo and I just carried it over. Sorry.

I agree with you that it is fascinating to discover the patterns in this piece. Well, in any piece, but it is even more rewarding when we're talking about Beethoven, isn't it?

My homework for this week is to play slowly and without tension. My teacher won't let me bring it up to tempo until I master this aspect. She's right. I find with my familiar works I can be relaxed but with the new ones tension creeps back in.

We're really focusing on many technical aspects now and I am very pleased. I feel like I'm working at a different level.
Posted By: Andy Platt

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/08/11 12:39 PM

Cheryl, I'm glad that's sorted out because you saying Rondo instead of Romanze really confused me too. And thanks for the compliments.

My AotW is somehow managing to have convinced my wife that one hour practice is "expected". I have been setting a timer ...

... but, of course, I now thing I need two hours a day! wink
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/08/11 04:41 PM

Originally Posted by Andy Platt
Cheryl, I'm glad that's sorted out because you saying Rondo instead of Romanze really confused me too. And thanks for the compliments.

My AotW is somehow managing to have convinced my wife that one hour practice is "expected". I have been setting a timer ...

... but, of course, I now thing I need two hours a day! wink

The compliments are well deserved Andy!
I don't have to convince my husband how much practice time I need because I generally do the bulk of "practice" when he isn't home, and he gets to hear the "performance". I play a little "concert" for him when he comes home from work, and on the weekends. There was a time when I was really working on scales a lot and it was the ONLY time he ever said anything....what he came out with was "Um, could you please play some ....music?"
So now I play scales etc when he isn't home, or with the silent feature in place.

Posted By: squiggyflop

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/08/11 07:02 PM

this weeks achievement for me is playing the new song ive been working on better.. and i no longer have to look down to find the chords in it as i play it.. it may not sound like much but its my first song with chords so i count it as an achievement.. smile
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/08/11 07:20 PM

Good work Squiggyflop. Keep at it. What is the song you are working on?
Posted By: squiggyflop

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/08/11 07:47 PM

Originally Posted by JimF
Good work Squiggyflop. Keep at it. What is the song you are working on?

thanks smile i think its called "outdoors in new england"..
Posted By: MaryBee

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/08/11 07:53 PM

Originally Posted by CaptainKawai
[quote=Recaredo]Playing musically ...[/quote

I'm not entirely sure I know what people mean by 'musically' in this context?
I'm not sure if this is right, but I like to compare it to process of reading aloud to someone, because I have a lot of experience doing that and can understand what it involves. So have you ever heard the result of a text-reader program on a computer? It doesn't ever sound quite right. It sounds mechanical, the words aren't always given the correct emphasis, and the rise and fall of the voice doesn't match what is trying to be expressed. So compare that to hearing a good production of an audio book, where the actor uses pauses, tone changes, volume and tempo changes to draw you into the story. I try to use this comparison as a way to think about how to play something "musically".
Posted By: MaryBee

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/08/11 08:06 PM

Cheryl - oh, I love that Beethoven piece. I do hope you play it in one of our ABF recitals!

JimF - isn't it cool to make these kind of discoveries in the music we're learning? One of the things I really like about my teacher, is that he is always bringing these kind of details to my attention. (I think he's very attuned to that because his primary work is as a composer.) It makes me appreciate the music so much more.

squiggyflop - yeah--chords! Adding chords gives such a richness to the music, don't you think? I have a dim memory from when I was 3 or 4 years old, hearing a chord played on the piano for the first time, and feeling like I had never heard anything so beautiful before. It still sometimes gives me goosebumps to hear a perfect chord.
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/08/11 09:06 PM

Mary Bee,
Quote
JimF - isn't it cool to make these kind of discoveries in the music we're learning? One of the things I really like about my teacher, is that he is always bringing these kind of details to my attention. (I think he's very attuned to that because his primary work is as a composer.) It makes me appreciate the music so much more.


Yes, it sure does. Also, it makes me dream of having the skills to bring out these subtle melodic lines buried within a series of chords. In the example given above, the focus is on the right hand scale runs that are occuring in those measures, but I can imagine a highly skilled pianist playing the five left hand chords such that you can simultaneously just discern the echo of a melodic phrase heard previously.

That is a level of control I would love to have some day, although I'm sure it is many years away, if ever. My teacher says being able to hear it and imagine it is the first step, so I guess its a good thing to dream about.

Jim
Posted By: Lain

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/08/11 09:11 PM

Originally Posted by JimF
Also, it makes me dream of having the skills to bring out these subtle melodic lines buried within a series of chords.


Can I dream too? blush
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/08/11 09:20 PM

Lain, you don't have to dream! I've listened to you playing Ravel's Sonatine and it was absolutely gorgeous. Not to mention it is one of my favorite pieces. My teacher loves it too, so I know she will assign it to me when she thinks I can handle it. How long have you been playing?
Posted By: Lain

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/08/11 09:28 PM

Originally Posted by JimF
Lain, you don't have to dream! I've listened to you playing Ravel's Sonatine and it was absolutely gorgeous. Not to mention it is one of my favorite pieces. My teacher loves it too, so I know she will assign it to me when she thinks I can handle it. How long have you been playing?


Thanks for the kind words, Jim. Hmm, good question, I just emailed my parents, because I don't know how long I've received lessons as a kid. I quit sometime in high school then picked it up again as an adult early this year. I'm working on Rachmaninoff's Prelude, Op. 23, No. 5. now, and the Un poco meno mosso section is oh so, so beautiful. If only I could bring the melody out of these big chords...!
Posted By: Recaredo

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/08/11 09:38 PM

Originally Posted by casinitaly

My homework for this week is to play slowly and without tension. My teacher won't let me bring it up to tempo until I master this aspect. She's right. I find with my familiar works I can be relaxed but with the new ones tension creeps back in.


You have given me a great idea. I tried to play the Fantasia at tempo (Presto), but I made a lot of mistakes, and I was not very sure about my playing. As I advanced through the piece, I started to feel lost in the music score.

This night, I have been playing the Fantasia more slowly, focusing each note, thinking about my playing. Playing only half hour, I have got more confidence!


Regards.
Posted By: Recaredo

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/08/11 09:44 PM

Lain, are you working on Rachmaninoff's Prelude No. 5????.

It's really impressive. So, you have a very high skill.

Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/09/11 10:56 AM

I feel like you lot had a party while I was sleeping !! So many posts during my night time! smile

MaryBee I hope to play the Beethoven piece for the November recital - There's no way it will be ready for the August one.

For August, I'm still wavering over what to play. I don't feel anything is good enough right now.
One idea I have is to play a duet with my niece (she's 10). I think that would be amusing for both of us, and short enough that it wouldn't be irritating for listeners. I'll have to see if she's up for it and if we can get it in shape quickly enough.
I'm not going to be with her til 4 August!...We shall see.





Posted By: jotur

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/09/11 04:41 PM

MaryBee - I like that analogy. It's very apt.

Like the difference between those mechanical voices, a different one recording each number, giving you a phone number you've dialed wrong, and a good audio book. The first is random laugh

Cathy
Posted By: PaperClip

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/09/11 08:02 PM

My achievement of the week is how to fill my empty printer cartridges with ink. Now I can print my sheets in perfectly black and white at low costs. Ok, it isn't really an achievement, but I'm very excited about it, for now I can print more from the ISMLP database.

On the piano I learned how to do a triller (finally) and how to bind three 3th intervals together. Both I needed to learn for learning dance no 2 of Granados which is above my level, but I really want it to learn. The triller with afternotes in the piece, I can do it in time, which is my biggest achievement this week. It's not perfect and it still sounds awful, but at least there's a start.
Posted By: Recaredo

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/09/11 08:47 PM

I never understood how the cartridges are so expensive. Some times they are more expensive than the printers. You have done the best.

The Dance no 2 of Granados is so beautiful. For sure, you will master it. Loving a piece is the best way to learn it.
Posted By: JimF

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/09/11 08:55 PM

My AOTW is finally breaking down and getting a recording device (a Zoom 1) and posting my best shot at Chopin's B-minor Prelude. It still needs work and there are a few glitches, but its pretty much where I'm at on the piece, especially in the face of the red-dot. I was going to wait until the August recital, but decided that was really just procrastinating a month, so I posted it in the July Piano Bar. Here's a link to the box net file:

http://www.box.net/shared/023uxbrkvrgh6ru1jpgb

Cheryl, all your subtle hints (ahem,ahem) finally had the intended effect. grin

Posted By: Recaredo

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/09/11 09:05 PM

Jim, the prelude sounds very good.

I love your working pieces. Your music stand is full of amazing music.
Posted By: AimeeO

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/09/11 09:07 PM

My AOTW was starting a practice log. I realized today that I can't remember how long its been since I practiced a scale, and I'm in a rough patch with my Hanon, so I figured I should start revisiting my scales and older Hanon exercises. Then I started writing down my problem spots in all of the pieces I'm working on.

Hopefully, my AOTW next week will be that I actually kept up with it!
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/09/11 09:20 PM

I just bought new cartridges ...but next round is going to be refill!!!!
argh so expensive. No, not as much as the printer but too much.

MaryBee loved your analogy! Well put.

JimF - subtle? subtle? You must have me confused with someone else. I don't think I have a subtle bone in my body smile
I really enjoyed your piece - I love Chopin and wonder when I will ever manage to play any of his work. This piece sounds "possibly" within my grasp in the not-so-terribly-distant-future.
I love the sound of your piano, especially the timbre of the bass.
Delicious!!!

Complimenti!
Posted By: PaperClip

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/09/11 10:54 PM

JimF,
That piece of chopin was very beautiful. It definitely has expression! I enjoyed it very much. *applause*

AimeeO,
That's a good idea. i tried before, but I practised so many things, I couldnt find a way to describe it shortly.

Btw: refilling cartridges is so easy, I feel so stupid I didn't do it earlier. Now for half the price of a cartridge, I can refill it 20 times. So I recommend it to everyone!
Posted By: Lain

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/10/11 02:23 AM

JimF: Very musical, lovely playing. Thanks for sharing!
Posted By: BenPiano

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/10/11 02:26 AM

Wahoo! My achievement of the week was the result of my very gracious wife taking the kids out of the house for 1 hour this afternoon so I could record.

I have only listened to the one I put up on You Tube so far, so I think they're decent takes (flubs and all). This is what I got today: smile

Tchaikovsky, The Witch (Baba Yaga) - This one drove me mad. I was sucked right into and couldn't let go of it, sort of like I was under a spell or something. (Coincidence, I think not!) I'm relieved to have broken the spell by recording it.

Here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q69ytKVPtIc

Chopin Waltz in B Minor Op. 69 No. 2 - I've been toying with this one on and off for a year and a half (no joke). I completely forgot how to play it, and just revived it about 10 days ago. It came back so much easier this time. A possible recital entry for August!

Diabelli Sonatina 1 Op. 151 No. 1 - Recorded all three movements of this one too. Man I was I happy guy today.

The third one gave me a little trouble since I've had the least amount of time on it and it's the longest. So with some big misses in the last movement, I was just happy to be done with it. I have to go back and see how badly I screwed this one up - but most will probably get bored with the piece by the third movement and not even notice the flubs! laugh

I've really enjoyed the various Sonatinas I've learned, and I think they all have really given me some valuable experience. If you haven't tried a Sonatina, give one a try!


And so, my hour was up. But wait! The wife and kids still weren't home, so then I had to try one more:

Einaudi, I Giorni - I have tried and tried to record this thing, but at some point, usually minutes into it, I ignite a major meltdown.

In my first hour, I had tried a couple of times between other takes to distract my brain, but now since I had extra time, I gave it a go and made it through on my second attempt (the first take fizzled out right at the end bah ) I think there's a couple of hesitations in there, but I'll take that over a major brain lapse any day!

This one too is recital worthy. (at least I think; I need to go back and listen cry )


So, I'm a happy guy today. By getting these 6 pieces out of the way (6 if you count Diabelli as 3) I've freed up a lot of practice time for other things.

Time to go practice! grin
Posted By: WiseBuff

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/10/11 02:44 AM

Jim
The Chopin was musical and sensitive...quite lovely. The preludes are wonderful.

Posted By: Andy Platt

Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? - 07/10/11 02:56 AM

Originally Posted by BenPiano
Tchaikovsky, The Witch (Baba Yaga) - This one drove me mad. I was sucked right into and couldn't let go of it, sort of like I was under a spell or something. (Coincidence, I think not!) I'm relieved to have broken the spell by recording it.

Here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q69ytKVPtIc


That is awesome. I've given up adding pieces to my "must play" spreadsheet because I'm running out of rows! wink One day, one day ...

Nice clicking fingers too!!!

Quote
Chopin Waltz in B Minor Op. 69 No. 2 - I've been toying with this one on and off for a year and a half (no joke). I completely forgot how to play it, and just revived it about 10 days ago. It came back so much easier this time. A possible recital entry for August!


Ah, now that is a piece I know well. And is a definite for my August recital entry since I'm submitting my live performance (warts and all).