Tuesday, March 5th, 2019

I practiced for quite a while today because I did not have any lessons to teach or retirement homes to go to. It was refreshing to be able to practice all my pieces and not feel like I had left anything behind. Many times I have to compromise, whether it's skipping the sightreading portion of my practice, or not practicing one of my pieces to an extent where I feel like I have learned a sufficient amount.

One of my newer pieces is "June," or "Baracolle," from Tchaikovsky's collection called "The Seasons." I have only been playing it a little more than two weeks, but I am able to get through it at a normal tempo. It may not sound polished, but it sounds good for the amount of time I have put into it so far. The most challenging thing about June at first was arranging my fingers for the awkward feeling chords in the beginning, and after that it was the rolled chords at the end of the middle section. I surprised myself by learning the rolled chords in a couple of days, however in reality there were a couple of easy tricks that helped me out. This piece has me feeling like I have progressed well in my studies if I am able to play certain parts a limited amount of times before I understand them. What makes me happy is I am able to play through the piece in a couple of weeks whereas in the past it would have taken me much longer. Of course the time I am taking is including the time I spend on my other pieces as well.

Prelude 5 is coming along well, and I feel I will be able to play it through in less than a month. There is a lot to say about my progress there, but I will save it for my next entries.


Thursday, March 14th, 2019


My new goal of practicing Prelude 5 comes in the form of memorizing. Memorizing portions has made it easier to work on the phrasing, since I am not spending so much time looking at the notes. I am pleased by the amount I have been able to remember even though it primarily gets stored in my short term memory. To combat that, I spend everyday practicing the previous day's memorization goal hoping it will increase it's longevity. So far I have memorized the first two pages, half of the third page, half of the fourth page, the complete fifth page, and about a third of the sixth page. Six years ago I would have been intimidated by a piece like this, but in that time I have learned many practicing strategies that incorporate my theory knowledge, making it easy to break down the piece in concepts rather than individual notes. What I mean is I have an easier time recognizing things like inversions, patterns of chords, and dynamics. With dynamics, I can compare this piece to others than are similar in style and background, making it simpler to deconstruct by composer, time period, or style. Inversions are not as hard to study, and patterns of chords are not either, but they  still take some close inspection. I am happy with the progress I have made with Prelude 5, and look forward to memorizing the entire piece within the next month.

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