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After many arranged pieces came to the first "original Form" piece by Beethoven in the Faber series. Exciting milestone.


First Lesson Oct. 17, 2017. Now working on Faber Piano Adventures 3B Lesson, T&A, Performance, Theory and Faber FunTime Ragtime & Marches. Kawai MP11SE. My Sound Cloud Piano recordings
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Two things even:
1) Last weekend I noticed my sight reading is now way better than it was some months ago. Helps so much when choosing a piece to play.
2) My work on BWV934 starts to pay off and I'm finally getting more confident so I can really focus on the phrasing.

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Originally Posted by casinitaly
WTM, being patient with ourselves is one of the hardest things we have to do as adult learners. Not only for piano!

Sight reading takes a lot of practice. There are a lot of books available for developjng this skill, and it is certainly one worth having. Working at a level or two below what you can do when studying is a good strategy.

This is so true but unfortunately you have to be at a certain skill level to actually find pieces that are interesting enough below your level smile
In a way only in the last 6 months I became interested in pieces where I don't have to fight for every measure.

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Wow, over a month with no AOTW?
I think we are all feeling the stresses of 2020.

I have been participating in a lot of zoom piano parties, and even group practice/coaching sessions the last few months.

The big achievement is getting nerves under better control.
In one performance , I lost my place in the music but was able to continue on memories fumes while my eyes searched for the pick up point, and I was able to reconnect with the score. Usually that results in a major train wreck, so I was pleased.

Generally speaking I find I am calmer and more relaxed and I seem to be coming to terms with the fact that a bad performance is just that. A bad moment. It can happen. My biggest mistake , until very recently, is to have wasted so much energy being upset over not playing well. It is important for me to understand if I simply have had a bad day, or if I really wasn't as ready as I thought with the piece, but that analysis only needs to take a minute to figure out and acknowledge. Then it is time to let it go and move on.

I have been able to make significant refinements in the Chopin nocturne ( n 21 in C min). I am almost done taking it to the very best of my current ability, which is a huge leap forward from when I had to put it aside 2 years ago.
Have also made good inroads in refreshing and improving a Grieg piece from a few years ago, op 12 n3, The Watchman.

I am able to have my lessons online, and while I know that's not for everyone, it is working well for me.
It's a pretty good piano phase.


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Originally Posted by barbaram
I missed out on submitting to the August ABF Quarterly recital. I had even recorded my piece, but failed to submit as we were heading away on a trip and I just didn't get this done amid the flurry of prep. I was a bit disappointed to miss out, but the recording only barely passed my "just good enough to submit" bar and I love the piece, so I was happy to keep on working on it.
Yesterday I had a moment of stepping back and taking stock and realising just how much better it is now, Of course there are still loads of things I'd like to do better, but I felt really pleased to appreciate the progress. Maybe I'll be halfway satisfied with it by the November ABF smile

Well my AOTW is that I recorded this a couple of days ago and have just submitted it to the Nov ABF. Listening to it now there are definitely things I could do better (as well as things I'd like to do better but can't yet), but I'm pleased overall and it's in, so I'm going to stick with it and bask in the satisfaction of early submission smile smile smile


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Wow. Where did that month-plus go since my last post? You are right Cheryl, covid fatigue is a factor. I'll bet that nocturn is sounding great...will it be your next recital piece?

Peas and Carrots update: Bach's C minor fugue from WTC is coming along very slowly. I'm finding three voices a lot harder than two. Doubt I will ever play it at speed but I'm convinced it is worth the effort to continue. With Bach my AOTWs are more like they were in my first year.... yay, I can play the first half HT. But I find this music fascinating in its structure, the way he weaves the theme and interludes back and forth in each voice, the rhythmic choices that drive the music forward...all so simple in the individual parts and so complex as a whole. Fun stuff.

Stay safe everyone,

Jim


Sonata Pathetique-Adagio LVB
Its All in the Game- KJarrett trans.
Gnossienne No1 E.Satie

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I was able to play the Aria from Bach's Goldberg variations with only a couple of stumbles.

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Congrats Klavierman. The Aria is fun to play, isn't it?
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Sonata Pathetique-Adagio LVB
Its All in the Game- KJarrett trans.
Gnossienne No1 E.Satie

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Less than a month ago, I downloaded 2 short pieces online and learned to play both. Learning the pieces was a distraction not only to the C-19 lockdown, but a way to cope with 2 deaths in the family within a month from each other.

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Originally Posted by JimF
Congrats Klavierman. The Aria is fun to play, isn't it?
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Thank you. Yes, once I finally got those freakin' trills down!

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Originally Posted by thepianoplayer416
Less than a month ago, I downloaded 2 short pieces online and learned to play both. Learning the pieces was a distraction not only to the C-19 lockdown, but a way to cope with 2 deaths in the family within a month from each other.
Sorry you have had a tough time thepianoplayer416. It sounds like you have turned sorrow into music. What new pieces did you learn?


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Today I picked out 2 Christmas carols in the key of G with accompanying chords, all by ear, because I didn't feel like spending on a beginner carol book. I was excited that the fingering came naturally, thumb under & reaching for the F sharp with the appropriate finger. Granted they were baby simple carols -- Good King Wenzceles & The First Noel. But I was so happy that it all came together automatically, that I could just sit down & play by feel & ear & instinct. I'm learning! I'm learning!

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I played Db scale left hand and Bb minor scale right hand at the same time.


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Originally Posted by Panama
I played Db scale left hand and Bb minor scale right hand at the same time.
Wow, cool! I hope it was on purpose. laugh


(Sorry, couldn't resist.)


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Yay! Peas and Carrots retired to the back of the cupboard... time for some sweet candy!

At this week's lesson we decided to put the c-minor fugue to rest, even though it is not really quite done. Although I can play it musically with appropriate voicing, it would take me quite a bit longer to get faster and more comfortable with it. But I've started burning out a little practicing it... kind of exhausted being at the edge of my abilities all the time... so it is time for my six-month immersion in Bach to come to an end. I feel like I learned a ton from these pieces and it was well worth the effort, but its time for something a little less intense.

At the lesson we were discussing what kind of candy I wanted... something highly melodic, probably romantic era or later, short and well within my wheelhouse.... when I remembered that I recently binge-watched a pretty cool new show on netflix or amazon called Queens Gambit in which one character plays a hauntingly beautiful Gnossienne no.1 by Satie. My teacher quickly printed out a score. To my enormous surprise I was able to actually sight read it all the way through, albeit slowly, which is definitely my AOTW! She says I'll only need a week or two for this, making it the perfect bon-bon dessert to follow my platefull of Bach veggies! So far I'm having a blast with it and find myself looking forward to practice again.

Hoping all of you are enjoying the Holiday season as we wind down this very trying year.

Jim


Sonata Pathetique-Adagio LVB
Its All in the Game- KJarrett trans.
Gnossienne No1 E.Satie

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Originally Posted by thepianoplayer416
Less than a month ago, I downloaded 2 short pieces online and learned to play both. Learning the pieces was a distraction not only to the C-19 lockdown, but a way to cope with 2 deaths in the family within a month from each other.

I am so sorry for your loss. That must have been so very very hard.

Originally Posted by No Expectations
Today I picked out 2 Christmas carols in the key of G with accompanying chords, all by ear, because I didn't feel like spending on a beginner carol book. I was excited that the fingering came naturally, thumb under & reaching for the F sharp with the appropriate finger. Granted they were baby simple carols -- Good King Wenzceles & The First Noel. But I was so happy that it all came together automatically, that I could just sit down & play by feel & ear & instinct. I'm learning! I'm learning!
That's really satisfying - and so much fun! Good for you!

@JimF --- Giacomo, that's a satisfying progression--- bringing a piece up to the best you can do at this point in time. I hear you on that!
We just watched the Queen's Gambit too and I noticed the Satie piece! It's deliciously weird and wonderful - have fun with it!


My AOTW--- or maybe month, or maybe season... I don't know.... I've been playing in zoom groups regularly and am finally relaxing about playing for others. Learning to accept that there are good days and bad days, an a bad day is just that. Nothing more, and nothing to beat myself up over.
I'm working on Mendelssohn Song without words Venetian Gondolas, and Haydn Sonata HOB XVI G1, both are coming along nicely. I am revisiting Grieg Watchman and will be putting it to bed next week- having improved it from when I played it in the Grieg recital a few years ago, and also the Chopin Nocturne in C minor -- which I have improved as much as I can for the moment. Maybe next year I'll be able to really get it the way I want it.
I am also working on studying 2 Christmas Carols - Il est Nè le Divine Enfant and O Holy Night.
I've never worked on so many pieces at the same time --- they are different levels and at different points in the study cycle, but still, It's a lot more than I have ever been able to wrap my head (or hands) around before.
It's all very satisfying.


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Well I did it! I played O Come, O Come Emmanuel by Melody Bober in front of our Christmas church ladies fellowship group yesterday. This is the very first time I've played in front of a group ever! I started playing at 67 yrs. old and this coming January I'll be starting my fourth year. My hands did not shake as bad as I thought they would. I also played through without fixing or stopping for any errors. I just keep going. I'm glad I chose this group to play for instead of trying to do an offertory in church. Way less intimidating. But at some point I hope to play in church.


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Quote
Well I did it! ......... This is the very first time I've played in front of a group ever!

PatG - Thats such a milestone. Congratulations! You and Cheryl are my heros, along with anyone else that regularly plays in front of others. To me, thats just one little step away from being a pro!

Quote
I've been playing in zoom groups regularly and am finally relaxing about playing for others. Learning to accept that there are good days and bad days, an a bad day is just that. Nothing more, and nothing to beat myself up over.

Cheryl - I always figured with your exemplary track record of ABF recitals and piano parties, sooner or later you'd wind up being a "public" player. Seems you are right on track. What do the brits call it? Busking? On the good day, bad day thing.... I hear you. That is actually the answer to a lot of our beginner problems.... just let it go, stop all the self analysis and give ourselves a break from our expectations. Constantly have to remind myself of this. And I know you will agree that when finally we let it go, relax, and focus on the music and the experience of it, suddenly we start having positive surprises! Piano is weirdly counterintuitive sometimes.

No real AOTW for me yet, but I did learn all of Gnossiene No1 in less than a week. Started on 1st Gymnopedie this morning. Oh, and Sunday night I was home alone messing around with a rock fakebook playing Pink Floyd's Brain Damage. The little music desk light was the only one on and I was kind of lost in the sounds and my head when the pizza delivery guy knocks... I holler come in and he proceeds to tell me he was waiting for me to finish because the song is one of his favorites. That kind of made my day.... that he even recognized it, let alone that he might have been enjoying it.

Lesson tomorrow.... why am I so happy I'm not playing Bach for her?

Cheers,

Jim


Sonata Pathetique-Adagio LVB
Its All in the Game- KJarrett trans.
Gnossienne No1 E.Satie

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Originally Posted by JimF
Cheryl - I always figured with your exemplary track record of ABF recitals and piano parties, sooner or later you'd wind up being a "public" player. Seems you are right on track. What do the brits call it? Busking? On the good day, bad day thing.... I hear you. That is actually the answer to a lot of our beginner problems.... just let it go, stop all the self analysis and give ourselves a break from our expectations. Constantly have to remind myself of this. And I know you will agree that when finally we let it go, relax, and focus on the music and the experience of it, suddenly we start having positive surprises! Piano is weirdly counterintuitive sometimes.

No real AOTW for me yet, but I did learn all of Gnossiene No1 in less than a week. Started on 1st Gymnopedie this morning. Oh, and Sunday night I was home alone messing around with a rock fakebook playing Pink Floyd's Brain Damage. The little music desk light was the only one on and I was kind of lost in the sounds and my head when the pizza delivery guy knocks... I holler come in and he proceeds to tell me he was waiting for me to finish because the song is one of his favorites. That kind of made my day.... that he even recognized it, let alone that he might have been enjoying it.

Lesson tomorrow.... why am I so happy I'm not playing Bach for her?

Cheers,

Jim
Thanks Giacomo, -- -can't say I fee quite ready for true "public" performances, but small personal groups... I think I'm ok now smile
Congrats on the Gnossiene - those are really fascinating pieces - and I love Satie's comments and instructions--- they are delightful.
Love the story about the pizza guy! That's a real compliment!


My AOTW is that on Christmas day I celebrated 11 years of playing every day , barring illness or travel. I was going to let up and relax afte 10,... but I find I can't let myself do it. Now I feel I have to go to 15 at least. smile

Happy holidays to all , and may the coming year be MUCH kinder to all of us, everywhere.


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Excited to see an activity like this.

I started playing the piano a month and a half ago, and I am truly enjoying the progress.

My AOTW is that I am using to play without having my thump necessarily on middle C (this was a big big hurdle for me since the beginning of the week) as my teacher is using john Thompson's books & the first book had all the notes start with my thumbs on middle C, so the different hand positioning had me confused right after my session, but I am getting used to it now. Appreciate if you can give me tips & tricks though ^^

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