Friday, June 7th, 2019
The last time I wrote in my practice journal, I had almost memorized the entirety
of Rachmaninoff's Prelude Op. 23 No. 5. I can safetly say that I have
now memorized the entire piece, and am trying to find new ways to
practice it in order to keep myself as interested as when I started. To
do that, I have been testing my memorization of the keyboard and
started playing the piece without looking at the keys. My goal is to be
able to play it without thinking, and it is not as difficult as I
thought it would be. It does take more effort and brainpower than
playing the piece normally, so I cannot practice it as long as I used
to, but I think I am doing better work than I usually do when I sit
down with it. In the end, I feel like I am still being effective at
practice rather than running through the piece endlessly.
I also have a goal of preparing all
the Tchaikovsky pieces I know from his "Seasons" so that I will be able
to perform and discuss them in front of my audiences. This will
be different than my usual performance where I introduce the piece,
speak about it for ten seconds, and then procede to play. I have been
feeling like I need to spruce up my performances, and hopefully this
will make things different. I will not be spending a large amount of
time polishing every piece from "Seasons," just May, June, and October.
I do not think I will be choosing any new pieces soon, since a third goal of mine is to be able to polish my pieces to a more advanced level. I have been listening to a lot of my recordings lately, and I have noticed in my comfort performing, I have stopped caring if I make mistakes. This had led to me being more sloppy than I would like, and as a result I will be rearranging my performance repetoire so I am a little less likely to stumble. I would like to eventually make a semi-professional recording, even if it will be with my cell phone microphone at first. I have been getting some requests by the people I know at the retirement homes who want recordings, and I would like to honor those.
Tuesday, June 25th, 2019
I have continued performing Prelude 5 at retirement homes now, because I have reached a point in my practicing where I feel comfortable enough playing through on my own without too much effort. These instances where I play through it on my own are mostly ones in which I try not to look at the keys too much. Currently I am a mostly comfortable doing that with the slower section, but it is a bit more difficult to do the same in any section with large jumps. It almost makes me question if it's worth practicing those parts without looking given the jumps being so drastic.
The praciticing I have been doing
with my Tchaikovsky pieces, May, June, and October, have all been going
well. I am trying to accomplish playing them without looking as well,
just like the Rachmaninoff piece. I can do that with May, but October
is still not finished in that manner, and June is even less memorized
than October. I will say though that I am doing a steady job memorizing
these pieces, even if it is a difficult mind exercise. I hope to have
them all done in the next month, so I can start playing them as a group
for the seniors. Right now I just play May, and sometimes October.
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