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Animisha, thank you for your kind words. Yes, I’m very happy with my new teacher. I look forward to my lessons. I know I’m allowing myself to be let down by her but I got tired of weekly effort to restore self esteem. I told my old teacher that I was getting a new teacher because I have technical gaps. I told her that her job was to prepare to transfer piano performance majors to 4 year colleges and conservatories. Her college students (community college is a junior college) come to her after high school with more than 10 years of continuous piano study. I have serious technical gaps. She is not a teacher to fix gaps for adult learners. It’s all true but I did not tell her that I needed a change.

I’m taking summer school for theory 2 with most of my classmates. In this way we can start theory 3 together in the fall. I’m also joining an adult piano camp in Oxfordshire in UK. I may misspelled it. In the fall I will start preparing for University audition and playing the piano for students chamber music. I’m trying to prepare three required pieces for the fall semester now so that I have time for chamber music.

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A week ago worked on a lower intermediate Beethoven piece with 2 mvts. Half way through learning experienced flu-like symptoms. Stayed in bed for nearly a week. Luckily no major health issues. Eventually finished the piece and moved onto a Pop song that I started learning a year earlier.

Meanwhile started playing quartets with a string ensemble group. A lot of music to learn.

The past 3 months several people in the family tested positive for the virus. Have to be grateful I’m still around and able to play music regularly.

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thepianoplayer416, indeed the health is the best thing one can have. Enjoy playing with quartets. What pieces are you guys playing?

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Originally Posted by FarmGirl
thepianoplayer416, indeed the health is the best thing one can have. Enjoy playing with quartets. What pieces are you guys playing?

There are 3 quartet pieces we're working on with 2 violins, viola & cello by Beethoven, JC Bach & Mozart. At the moment just the first movement of each. The Mozart piece is the commonly performed Divertimento in D. A lot of practice to get everybody to come in at the right places.

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

Thank you Nahum, you are quite right, this is what I thought would be music theory. And an interesting answer about what is perceived as music. Not all jungle sounds are music to my ears, but some are.


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Great to hear your update Farmgirl. And for being so vulnerable in sharing your journey. When you have a trauma you don’t realize that you need to make a change, and it is often hard to; but I am heartened that you are making a stand for yourself. you got this! Inspiring.

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After 2 weeks away from th e piano. I wasn’t sure where I stood with my exam pieces as I decided not to rush and record before leaving. I was shocked how well all the pieces came back [well, I did work very hard and practiced with patience..paid off]…now I am more optimistic in recording sooner than I thought. I noticed how relaxed I felt as I played the pieces was something I wasn’t feeling before vacation. Maybe, this is something I am going to do before an exam…take time away..literally.

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Pianoperformane8, congrats getting the pieces back in shape. What a relief! I can feel your joy.

I admire you for figuring out recording. It always takes me one whole day between recording device q2n), laptop and changing formats etc. I could not figure out how to get decent zoom session either. If I spend a couple of days, I can probably figure out. I will postpone it until I have to. I record regularly on iPhone but it is a bit more complicated to upload the file here from the iPhone recorder.

In the meantime, I have to get a short new piece performance ready for Phoenix piano club meeting. I could play mozart A minor rondo too but I can only play the first half by memory. I have about 10 days, so settle down to an etude by Ernst Haberbier. The left hand was MUCH tougher than I thought. But it’s pretty. I will go back to practicing now.

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Thank you Farmgirl for your encouragement. I love reading your posts, your honesty and I look forward to hearing a recording.

Recording is bore out of necessity. Hub helped the first few times to down load, and now I do them myself. If I can, you can too!

I am keeping practice light until jet lag is gone. Taking a break from exam once I submit my pieces. Need to buckle down re G5 theory and look at some new pieces teacher recommended: we are working on fast tempo pieces and he suggested we look at 1st 2 pages of Allegro of Beethoven Sonata 1….lol, ambitious, but I will see how far I can go with these pieces.

A question: all these pieces you’re learning: are they determined by combination of the course and the new teacher?

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Hi,

Over the past 12 months, I've really found great value in learning two new pieces a month. I see an improvement in my sight reading skills. When I pulled out my old binder of church music, I was really surprised how well I could play those after going thru them a few times. While I don't play piano for church anymore (they have an organ now), I would like to be able to get these new pieces up to performance level to play for family and friends.

Have a great week everyone.


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Pianoperformance8, I usually pick the pieces. My teachers may disagree with my selection. If it happens, I will change the piece with their recommendations.

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

I drowned in work shortly after writing mine - wanted to respond days ago.

For the legato octaves - my "fair clip" is probably a fastish stroll for some. The legato is being achieved through pedal, which I'm refining anyway, and this was the breakthrough. Esp. for chords played deep in the bass, and especially if it crescendoed, I'd get a spillover. I thought maybe I'm moving the foot up-down too fast, not coordinating the hands right - tried various things. Well, what I've always done is I guess it's called syncopated pedal, where when you change a chord, your foot goes up and down again as you play the new chord - but that gave a slight blur. I had to raise the foot a bit before the new octave - maybe because so much vibration carries over that it doesn't clear immediately. In any case, after days of partial failure, suddenly I was able to get the octaves legato consistently as long as I paid attention.

I think there are legato octaves with the fingers, where finger 4 alternatives with 5 (I've only seen it in passing and didn't note the details) - That's not what I tried to do.

Quote
My own AOTW: A little over two years ago I started learning Debussy's Arabesque I with someone else here on PW. I didn't get very far. Now I've started it officially as a lesson assignment and it is coming along much, much better. Progress is sometimes difficult to see in the short term, but long term--it's there.
Similar timeline. Just finished it after a 2nd restart. For me it was the polyrhythm 2:3, 3:2 - When I changed approaches that finally came together. Your short term / long term observation - exactly!

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

Jury - that seems pretty huge to me. Congratulations. I love the response you got. It's cool that you're encouraged to practice - that's a handy thing to have happened.

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Originally Posted by Pianoperformance8
I am keeping practice light until jet lag is gone. Taking a break from exam once I submit my pieces. Need to buckle down re G5 theory and look at some new pieces teacher recommended: we are working on fast tempo pieces and he suggested we look at 1st 2 pages of Allegro of Beethoven Sonata 1….lol, ambitious, but I will see how far I can go with these pieces.

A question: all these pieces you’re learning: are they determined by combination of the course and the new teacher?

Good luck with the Beethoven piece. I loved it. It’s beautiful and you would feel Beethoven all over. I played it when first came back to piano years ago. In those days, I did not need to make special effort to memorize. Now I have to go through all kinds of tricks.

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Someone mentioned polyrhythms. I have to tell you guys that music majors are seriously trained on the rhythms with hand clapping. I was very surprised that we have to hand clap in every aural perception class. The class consisted of ear training, sight singing (movable do) and hand clapping. We had to do 3X2 in pairs. Also by yourself with metronome. The last test included polo rhythm hand clapping too. Is it effective? I think so very much.

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Originally Posted by keystring
For the legato octaves - my "fair clip" is probably a fastish stroll for some. The legato is being achieved through pedal, which I'm refining anyway, and this was the breakthrough. Esp. for chords played deep in the bass, and especially if it crescendoed, I'd get a spillover. I thought maybe I'm moving the foot up-down too fast, not coordinating the hands right - tried various things. Well, what I've always done is I guess it's called syncopated pedal, where when you change a chord, your foot goes up and down again as you play the new chord - but that gave a slight blur. I had to raise the foot a bit before the new octave - maybe because so much vibration carries over that it doesn't clear immediately. In any case, after days of partial failure, suddenly I was able to get the octaves legato consistently as long as I paid attention.

I think there are legato octaves with the fingers, where finger 4 alternatives with 5 (I've only seen it in passing and didn't note the details) - That's not what I tried to do.
I assume that when speaking of legato octave, the movement is meant to be no more than a thirds.
Linking octaves is a very complex combination of movements each part of the hand, starting from the front phalanges of the fingers and pre-establishing the fingering, for the right hand of the upper voice, which includes substitution of fingers 3-4-5. In the initial stage, they work on only one pair of octaves, no more.
Before putting all the movements together, one must begin to work on each movement separately, which often does not allow legato, but prepares it. In any case, the carpal fold should be free and elastic.

1. Divide the octave into voices, and work on each voice separately. Do not try to press the keys, but glide over them soundlessly, using only the largest horizontal movement of elbow .The pace is slow.

2. Combine both voices, silently. This already requires additional movements: a small parabola of the elbow, in the case of alternating fingers 3-4-5 - a slight change in the height of the wrist and the angle of the hand in the horizontal plane. The wrist continues to be elastic.
3. The alternation of fingers in the upper voice requires the flexible placement of the little finger under the ring or third finger.
4.The transition to sound extraction connects more movements:
fingertips, plunging the hand from the shoulder into the keyboard on the first octave, and exiting it, requiring more activity of the fingers and wrist on the second octave .
5. It must be taken into account that in the right hand, almost 100% legato is possible only in the upper voice - when alternating fingers, while the thumb presses the keys, sliding across the keyboard.The legato in the top voice obscures some of the non-legato in the bottom voice.
6. At faster tempos, more weight is added due to the resistance of the keyboard. The wrist is flexible and free.

But this is only the earliest stage of work on legato octaves.

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Originally Posted by Nahum
Originally Posted by keystring
For the legato octaves - my "fair clip" is probably a fastish stroll for some. The legato is being achieved through pedal, .....................

I think there are legato octaves with the fingers, where finger 4 alternatives with 5 (I've only seen it in passing and didn't note the details) - That's not what I tried to do.
I assume that when speaking of legato octave, the movement is meant to be no more than a thirds.

Can you explain what you mean by "thirds"? I know "thirds" as an interval, but you can't mean that.

Quote
Linking octaves is a very complex combination of movements each part of the hand, starting from the front phalanges of the fingers and pre-establishing the fingering, for the right hand of the upper voice, which includes substitution of fingers 3-4-5. In the initial stage, they work on only one pair of octaves, no more..........

You seem to be describing legato played with the fingers - the kind I am not working on at present. I do appreciate the detailed description for the future, however. smile There's a lot there to consider and explore.

Quote
... In the initial stage, they work on only one pair of octaves, no more.
This may explain your "thirds" ---- no more than three in a row?

This piece is continuously octaves, but the way it's written, the octaves do end up being played in pairs. The legato effect is done via pedal, and the fingering is continuously 1-5 throughout. For me, at not full tempo, and not the whole thing at once, it's proving to be an excellent means of improving coordination and also pedal sensitivity.

This is the piece:
the piece in question - played masterfully by an expert wink

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I actually practiced a scale this week. That's a first.

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Originally Posted by keystring
Can you explain what you mean by "thirds"? I know "thirds" as an interval, but you can't mean that.
I meant neighboring octaves to the distance of the seconds or thirds, without leaps.


Quote
You seem to be describing legato played with the fingers - the kind I am not working on at present.
It's so much more than finger legato: each octave is in a different position and requires patient, in-depth work to adapt each muscle group of the arm from fingertip to shoulder in the most flexible and smooth transitions between positions. This requires independent research.


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This may explain your "thirds" ---- no more than three in a row?
Movement in octaves is no more than an interval of a third.

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Originally Posted by Nahum
Originally Posted by keystring
Can you explain what you mean by "thirds"? I know "thirds" as an interval, but you can't mean that.
I meant neighboring octaves to the distance of the seconds or thirds, without leaps.

Got it - thank you - and what you wrote (all of it) makes sense.

Meanwhile, did you see the link I provided? That is the piece I'm working on.

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Originally Posted by keystring
Meanwhile, did you see the link I provided? That is the piece I'm working on.
Video with the performance of Scriabin? I can't find it anymore. If you play this, then very respectfully!
A fantastic example of perfect coordination inside the hand is the playing of Emil Gilels.


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