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cardguy Offline OP
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I was about to post this in the Pianist Forum, but then I realized many of those guys and gals are very fine pianists already,and that the Adult Beginner's Forum would be more appropriate.

I thought it might be a nice idea to take time out and pat ourselves on the back for our hard work, and the inevitable improvement that flows from that.

I started the year with an inability to trill decently, and I worked very hard at that. For a while there, I thought I'd never get any better, but then the improvement came almost over night. It's made a tremendous difference in my confidence and my enjoyment.

Beyond that, I'm simply playing better, more smoothly, more expressively, more musically. My sight reading has improved too, though that's no longer the big deal for me it used to be.

So, now that I've tooted my own horn a bit (appropriate New Year's Eve imagery :>), I hope some of you folks will join me...

Anyone else like to give themselves a public pat on the back?

Happy New Year's to one and all :>)

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Good thread idea, cardguy. smile Hmmm.... my piano-related achievements for 2009 include:

1.) Finally playing something at a tempo faster than 'slow and dreamy.' laugh

2.) Picking up new pieces more quickly than in the past. Usually it takes me weeks, or *gulp* months, to get something to a state where I'm ready to break out the Zoom. But I've had a couple of (admittedly short and easier) pieces where I felt ready to record after just a week or two.

3.) Finally playing something besides new age music. This year I've learned Glass's "Metamorphosis 1" and (thanks to Sam) Bach/Gonoud's Ave Maria that I am playing with my daughter (on flute).

4.) Braving YouTube. This has turned out to be more fun than I ever dreamed it would be. It's mind-boggling to see those video view numbers accumulate and realize that complete strangers all over the world are watching you play... and I don't even have to experience stage fright. yippie

5.) This is minor, but I finally figured out how to use our color printer to print a photo on CDs. So for the first time my annual compilation CD has a classy looking photograph of my piano's keyboard on it, rather than a hastily-scribbled message with a Sharpie. thumb Resolution for next year: Figure out how to make an equally classy looking cover for the CD case.


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I did finally get off my duff and call the adult day care center and offer to play. Now I have a regular monthly gig. Which I'm due to play a week from today :\ And I've only practiced about 3 hours in the last two weeks. Yikes. Double yikes after going through some of my rep.

But it's a start -

Cathy


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I am looking forward to the start of this year as the year i properly start learning the piano because as a very busy mum of 3 i have only ever been learning by myself in books/online etc.

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'Improvement'

What does that word mean?


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Like cardguy, I think my ability to read music has improved...such a long way still to go. There has been a gradual but steady improvement in my ability to play.

I contribute most of my inspiration to improve, to the people of this forum. It has been tremendous fun participating in the ABF recitals and I look forward to the coming year's recitals.

Over the past year I have been drawn deeper into the world of classical music. Each piece leads to another and then another- it is an endles, but most satisfying journey.

Happy New Year, to all!








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great topic indeed.. hmmmm let me see....

1) Finally got started and pretty much done with Forest Gump Suite (much harder than I had thought) laugh
2) Getting better at "Live" recitals. Still nervous but nowhere near as bad as the first ones
3) Broadening my horizons in terms of stuff outside "Alfred"
4) Got gone with #2 and began #3 (which went on hold till Jan)
5) Got "into" Einaudi, I know it was only a matter of time
6) Swaped out my older DP for a used P250 which I'm pretty happy with
7) MOYD!

Happy New Year all - catcha in 2010!
- SC


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I think the biggest improvement I've made this past year is that I got a piece to the point of "finished" (I know every piece can be made better) and submitted to my first ABF recital. I've never "finished" a piece of music in my life - always got bored and moved onto something else that never got finished. laugh

I, too, attribute this to the ABF forum. I have more life improvements because of all you out there - now taking lessons, learning jazz (very slowly) cool , and acquiring more sheet music than I will probably ever play in my lifetime! You all always turn me on to some composer I hadn't been familiar with and music I just "had to have" after hearing you play. That's a big improvement in my music library!

So, yeah, pats on back and big thank-yous to start the New Year!


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In 2009, I...
1) played my first Chopin piece (posth. waltz in a minor) as a lesson piece...
2) and played it in a recital and a competition...
3) took 2nd place in the competition (this year out of 3 adults rather than last year's second place out of two competitors smile
4) got better at sight reading
5) practiced at least the MOYD minimum 363 days out of 365 with only a lack of piano on travel days keeping me away from some playing

And in 2010, I'd like to...
1) keep getting better at sight reading
2) be SMARTER about practicing (not just doing run throughs, but working on the trouble spots in a focused manner) while keeping up the MOYD discipline
3) work more on my dozen-a-day exercises and regular scale practice (instead of just running through them before they're due again at a lesson)
4) play my first duet with a soprano/neighbor/friend of family (Strauss' Morgen, Op. 27, No. 4)
5) play my first Bach Invention
and other goals!


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My especial improvements are
1) to finally feel relaxed in a one-on-one lesson. I no longer feel that I am not a "proper" student, and I can confidently play as well as I did at home. And confidently and happily make mistakes too laugh

2) My sight reading (prima vista) has improved so much that I don't think I need to say "but I'm not a good sight reader" anymore. This will take some getting used to! I'm not Good, but I'm no longer bad for my level and don't need to be afraid of SR in an exam.

3) Getting the Practice Habit. This has been going for 3 months now, so I am hoping that 2010 will be a whole year of piano practice. I practise nearly every day, and do more practice each week than I ever have in my life before.

4) My hands behave just a little bit more like a pianist's. I have more speed and control of touch than a year ago. And I am playing scales and arps for the first time too.

Reading over these achievements it's not surprising I've improved smile hurray! It just takes time and effort and we all make great leaps when you look back over the year. Well done to all adult restarters and adult beginners, and may 2010 be a happy new year of piano playing.


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1) The MOYD thing really helped me (and my students, even if they didn't join online! I have a student who joined MOYD on her own since she doens't have a computer - she would have earned her little signature picture :D). But for me, I actually kept better track of my practicing of my own music rather than music for my students. That in and of itself was a big step forward, because often I would put student's needs in front of my personal needs, meaning I wouldn't progress on my own musical endeavors. This makes me a cranky person smile

2) I continued to expand myself as a teacher, but also expanding my sight reading abilities and learning to trust myself more and more in this area

3) My accuracy has increased, and I attribute this partly to the MOYD and partly to Bach.

Goals for 2010:

1) More organization in my teaching, I'm pretty organized in general, but I know there's more I can do and should do.

2) I'd like to improve my ability to improvise. I heard a wonderful pianist play today and it was all extrapolated material based on a hymn at the audiences' request. Truly amazing, and I know I can do it!

3) Work my transposing music on the spot. Often I'll have a student singing a piece that just doens't work in that key, and if I don't have it in another key, it would be nice to be able to play it a half or whole step up or down to see if that key works better. I can transpose melodies, but not an entire accompaniment.


Well, I hope that others realize that no matter how far along you are in piano, there's always farther to go. This is not discouraging, but exciting, because you'll never get bored!


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Originally Posted by Morodiene
But for me, I actually kept better track of my practicing of my own music rather than music for my students. That in and of itself was a big step forward, because often I would put student's needs in front of my personal needs, meaning I wouldn't progress on my own musical endeavors.

Yes that was me too until recently. All I did was learn pieces to teach my beginners. Then one day i realised that some of them were improving, and to be a good teacher I had better get going and learn some solid piano technique and repertoire.

I Never thought I would enjoy it so much, nor imagined I would be so lucky to find the very best teacher (she is brilliant). And on this rather solitary journey, being able to share stories and ideas with all the enthusiastic piano players here has helped enormously. And I like to rest between practice spurts, or my brain gets tired wink


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Originally Posted by Monica K.
Good thread idea, cardguy. smile Hmmm.... my piano-related achievements for 2009 include:

1.) Finally playing something at a tempo faster than 'slow and dreamy.' laugh

2.) Picking up new pieces more quickly than in the past. Usually it takes me weeks, or *gulp* months, to get something to a state where I'm ready to break out the Zoom. But I've had a couple of (admittedly short and easier) pieces where I felt ready to record after just a week or two.

3.) Finally playing something besides new age music. This year I've learned Glass's "Metamorphosis 1" and (thanks to Sam) Bach/Gonoud's Ave Maria that I am playing with my daughter (on flute).

4.) Braving YouTube. This has turned out to be more fun than I ever dreamed it would be. It's mind-boggling to see those video view numbers accumulate and realize that complete strangers all over the world are watching you play... and I don't even have to experience stage fright. yippie

5.) This is minor, but I finally figured out how to use our color printer to print a photo on CDs. So for the first time my annual compilation CD has a classy looking photograph of my piano's keyboard on it, rather than a hastily-scribbled message with a Sharpie. thumb Resolution for next year: Figure out how to make an equally classy looking cover for the CD case.



I had to laugh Monica, because I routinely work on things for many months, and still don't consider them finished :>). Yikes. And in all honesty it's less a testament to some supposed perfectionist ethic than a measure of my own lack of ability. But I love the work, the journey, and who cares if I'm not quite ready for Carnegie Hall?

My sincere congratulations on your YouTube performances. I can see how that must be immensely satisfying. My trouble is I don't even need people around to get nervous. As soon as I hit "record" my hands get sweaty and my playing deteriorates :>)

How frustrating!

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Quote
I have a student who joined MOYD on her own since she doens't have a computer - she would have earned her little signature picture


Perhaps one printed and pasted to her current music book would make a well deserved badge of honor.








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Originally Posted by Carl Mc
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I have a student who joined MOYD on her own since she doens't have a computer - she would have earned her little signature picture


Perhaps one printed and pasted to her current music book would make a well deserved badge of honor.


What a great idea! Or perhaps a plaque or certificate or something would be more appropriate. This woman had taken lessons for years before coming to me, and she would never practice what I assigned, only preferring to sight read hymn arrangements. She made no progress until I came to the point of saying that she's wasting her money and time in lessons if all she wants to do is come and play for someone. If she wanted to stay with me, she'd have to at least try doing the things I wanted her to do. She did, and she's been practicing every day and making a lot more progress in her playing. She deserves something for her dedication. Thanks for the idea!


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Mainly I learned to relax and enjoy playing. Until recently I sort of approached the piano as a knight might have a dragon -must slay that beast! mad

But now it's become my companion in my quest to enjoy producing beautiful music from that big gorgeous box. thumb


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I hope you don't mind me joining in as I haven't been on PW for a whole year, although I have been playing piano for about 8 years, but this last year I finally changed from a digital to an acoustic piano and it has made SUCH a difference to both my technique and my pleasure in playing!

It has improved my posture such that I now get very little backache and can now play for up to an hour and a half instead of 5 to 30 minutes without pain (hurray!) which in itself has of course made a huge difference to the progress I can make!

I can now make bigger progress on dynamics and I love the feel of the acoustic under my hands and enveloping my body as I play, its so much more enjoyable to play than the experience of playing my digital with the headphones on, although I've also had to learn to play less self-conciously about my mistakes now everyone can hear me for the first time ever!

Its been a huge step in musical pleasure for me and I look forward to improving my health (hopefully) and having more time in the future as my children start fulltime school to be able to practice each weekday!

Thank you to all here on PW for continuing to fuel my passion when I can't get to my piano...


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Sure I will join you in kudos! I never thought that I would be playing anything!! But I truly enjoy learning new music. I am playing with confidence and I would like for 2010 to be the year that I play with a group! Now, I need to work on remembering all the hard work I have done on various pieces!! smile


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2009 improvements / achievements;
1. Returned to playing piano after 30some year absense smile
2. Found pianoworld
3. Learned how to record and post the little I can play
4. Played duet with my niece on Christmas (Ave Maria, she sang, I played, my bigest mistake was that I wasn't set up to record it frown )
Julius


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'09 was a good year for me too, my second year back at the piano. after a 30 year absence. The highlights:

1) Got an acoustic piano. Actually two, the first one borrowed from my wife's church, and then I saved my pennies and got a used Yamaha to replace it. There's nothing like having a real piano that sounds good and plays well to inspire me to practice.

2) Have three "serious" pieces that I can play from memory or with an occasional glance at the music. That's a big moral booster too.

3) Accompanying my wife on the recorder. Trying to keep up with her gets me to practice and find new pieces that we can both play together.

Sam

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