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Originally Posted by casinitaly

... I am making good headway on the Chopin Prelude in Bmin, and the other day I felt positively giddy as I caught a glimmer of what it could be under my hands. I felt a shift in perception and ability to "give" something to the keys to bring out the music. It was terribly exciting. ...


This is a great part of the journey isn't it. Exciting.

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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by KevinM
I really should let things go, but i struggle to do so, especially when I like the music.

The music you like most of all, you can keep in an active repertoire and tweak to your heart's delight smile


I suffer from the delightful problem of having far too much music just within my grasp that I like. I am nowhere discriminating enough, a musical tart you might say. Even if I gave up full time work, I could not keep all the piano music I would like to in an active repertoire. But no worries, it is a lovely problem to have.

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Originally Posted by KevinM
Thanks for the support for my efforts on the C#Minor Chopin Nocturne.

I think my learning of Mendelssohn SWW 19.6, the first of the Venetian Gondellied has overtaken the C#Minor Nocturne in terms of getting to sounding how I want. My problems that I still need to resolve with SWW 19.6 and the Nocturne are so very different.

Again, another ‘wow’ on the Chopin c# minor. Awesome piece. I like the Mendelssohn SSW op30 no 6 as a nice break from tougher things. Some of those SSW’s are a challenge! My last Chopin was op 27 no2 and it took me a long time to master but so very beautiful.
I’ve just about got Brahms op19 no1 down and currently ‘on break’ down in Costa Rica with no keyboard to be found out there in the jungle. Back in another week and ready for a new challenge.

Those Beethoven Bagatellen were the first pieces I did on my return to my piano journey.
Go got it casinitaly! They’re are a delight. I did the first three then wandered on to other things. That has to let’s 7 yrs ago now.... maybe 17.....! Progress has been intermittent but progress nonetheless, though I can’t claim anything for this week!


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Congratulations Kevin and Casinitaly.

It's quite humbling to listen to all you can play LOL

Last edited by Jytte; 01/07/20 12:08 PM.

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Originally Posted by KevinM
Originally Posted by casinitaly

Second part - I started Beethoven Bagatelle, Op 119 N1 - inspired by a friend who played it for me over the holidays - and I am really pleased with how quickly the first part is coming together. I can see there are tricky patches ahead, but the inisital work has gone really well!


The Beethoven Bagatelle 119.4 I picked up surprisingly quickly and I really enjoy the piece, I have the music for N1 and I should add it to my queue of pieces I'd like to learn. N4 will be my submission for the Beethoven recital in April. I have a recording of it, but I've come to realize I think I can improve upon that recording so I am back to playing it again.

I really should let things go, but i struggle to do so, especially when I like the music.


I have really struggled with a couple of other Beethoven pieces, and now I am thinking maybe they were just the wrong pieces for the moment. I can relate to not letting go when you like the music --- though I have found that sometimes even a short break from a piece can help you get back to it more productively.


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Originally Posted by Jytte
Congratulations Kevin and Casinitaly.

It's quite humbling to listen to all you can play LOL


I feel humbled to receive such a compliment. ---I never imagined anyone would say that to me! Thank you-.

I am starting to be really excited about the pieces that are within my reach now, but it has been a long road.
I am still in awe of so many people here, but it's really gratifying to feel how much farther I've been able to progress in the last couple of years.

I don't feel particularly talented, but I do work away at it, with pleasure, and I've learned that at the beginning you can't see very far ahead, you can't imagine where the journey will take you - I have been inspired and encouraged by so many of our members here, the support is tremendous.
I think one of the most important things I 've learned is that you have to be very patient with yourself and learn to slow down and get it right slowly, as soon as possible, before worrying about performing. The study is a journey in itself.
As adults we put a lot of pressure on ourselves, it's hard to let up on that.

Enjoy your journey Jytte - and all the surprises that come with it!


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Originally Posted by casinitaly
I don't feel particularly talented, but I do work away at it, with pleasure, and I've learned that at the beginning you can't see very far ahead, you can't imagine where the journey will take you - I have been inspired and encouraged by so many of our members here, the support is tremendous.
I think one of the most important things I 've learned is that you have to be very patient with yourself and learn to slow down and get it right slowly, as soon as possible, before worrying about performing. The study is a journey in itself.
As adults we put a lot of pressure on ourselves, it's hard to let up on that.


Lots of wisdom here. Sometimes reading about what other people are working on brings me down, because it's so far ahead of where I'm at. I put TONS of pressure on myself, and I'm constantly frustrated and disappointed that I can't play as well as I want to, or the more difficult pieces on the shelf. I am definitely enjoying the process (mostly), but I'm just so impatient to improve. I know I will feel the same a year from now, and a year from that...and I probably won't realize or appreciate how far I've come in that time. So hard to stop this mental nonsense!

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As 2020 speedily marches on, I want to post my biggest accomplishment of 2019...

Despite months of interruptions I practiced 780 hours in 2019. Those hours bring my lifetime total to 5056 hours, or, halfway to my holy grail of 10000 hours.

To me 1000 hours is equivalent to 1 year of piano experience thus I've finished 5 years of piano. It's taken 45 years to garner my 5 piano years so I must pick up the pace! Nevertheless, I'm EXTREMELY happy to break the 5 year mark.


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My achievements of the week are posting my first piece to the 40 piece challenge and getting a new video editing system (mostly) working. I am focusing this year on doing easier pieces and trying to bring them to a performance level. My goal is to learn and perform a piece in one or two weeks. I will have long term pieces as well, but if a piece takes longer than a couple of months, I am considering too hard for right now.

For years I have used iMovie, and loved it, but I retired my Mac years ago and now I am on Linux. I have been searching for a video editor similar to iMovie, and I have finally found one that is free, open source, easy to use, and doesn't crash regularly. So, learning it and producing my first crude video is an achievement!

Originally Posted by casinitaly
I think one of the most important things I 've learned is that you have to be very patient with yourself and learn to slow down and get it right slowly, as soon as possible, before worrying about performing. The study is a journey in itself.
As adults we put a lot of pressure on ourselves, it's hard to let up on that.

I wish I had learned this lesson a long time ago. I have been too driven in my piano journey, and at times it has taken the joy out of it. Now I am at a point of enjoying and applying what I have learned instead of trying to push forward.

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I'm loving all the achievements, and looking forward to another year of celebrating the small steps in our progress!

My AOTW is that the 2nd movement of the Beethovan sonata I'm working on has taken one of those occasional jumps forward where it feels like a number of things that were wobbly or disjointed have fallen into place. Of course, that just brings the many other aspects that need work into clearer focus, but that's all part of making progress!

I've also got 2 of Bach's Little Preludes recorded for the preludes recital. This feels more like a non-achievement of the week though!
I had planned for 4 and hoped for 5 when I signed up,
Quickly realised that 5 was out of the question but that 4 was realistic,
Then got a bit bored with #4 and stopped working on it much, so now it is not achievable in time
And now I've realised that there is a major problem with my playing of #1 (which I thought would be a piece of cake), so I am working on fixing this and recording it by the deadline but haven't yet :-)


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I learned a relatively simple little 3-line song, all of 30 seconds. I have been working on it to keep the melody RH clear, but make the LH soft. It was hard, but I finally got there I think. This is a HUGE step for me smile


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Originally Posted by KevinM
I've had a step change in the last couple of days in improvement when playing and practising Chopin Nocturne in C# Minor post. I feel like I'm getting close to be able to do a recording.
I suspect I will now plateau at this new level for sometime and will become frustrated at the lack of progress again, so being able to record is probably further off in time than I'd like. But I really do need to acknowledge this feeling of satisfaction with my recent improvement. Also it is a joy playing against my VST Synthogy Ivory II American Concert D.


I foolishly decided to give recording a go today of the Nocturne. Still pretty rough, but I mostly like the way I have got it to sound. https://soundcloud.com/sheffieldkevin/chopin-nocturne-cminor-posth[

Still work required on the runs, trills, poly rhythms and avoiding ghost notes.

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Originally Posted by KevinM
Originally Posted by KevinM
I've had a step change in the last couple of days in improvement when playing and practising Chopin Nocturne in C# Minor post. I feel like I'm getting close to be able to do a recording.
I suspect I will now plateau at this new level for sometime and will become frustrated at the lack of progress again, so being able to record is probably further off in time than I'd like. But I really do need to acknowledge this feeling of satisfaction with my recent improvement. Also it is a joy playing against my VST Synthogy Ivory II American Concert D.


I foolishly decided to give recording a go today of the Nocturne. Still pretty rough, but I mostly like the way I have got it to sound. https://soundcloud.com/sheffieldkevin/chopin-nocturne-cminor-posth[

Still work required on the runs, trills, poly rhythms and avoiding ghost notes.


Well, there may still be some work to do but you have really caught the mood of this piece and have been very successful in transmitting its sublime quality. Bravo. I say most sincerely that you gave me the courage to look at the score and decide that this is my next "dream piece" . Thank you!


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Originally Posted by KevinM
Originally Posted by KevinM
I've had a step change in the last couple of days in improvement when playing and practising Chopin Nocturne in C# Minor post. I feel like I'm getting close to be able to do a recording.
I suspect I will now plateau at this new level for sometime and will become frustrated at the lack of progress again, so being able to record is probably further off in time than I'd like. But I really do need to acknowledge this feeling of satisfaction with my recent improvement. Also it is a joy playing against my VST Synthogy Ivory II American Concert D.


I foolishly decided to give recording a go today of the Nocturne. Still pretty rough, but I mostly like the way I have got it to sound. https://soundcloud.com/sheffieldkevin/chopin-nocturne-cminor-posth[

Still work required on the runs, trills, poly rhythms and avoiding ghost notes.

Great start! Such a great job! thumb Did you add pedaling yet? Because there wasn't much (any) sustain that I could hear.


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Originally Posted by casinitaly
I say most sincerely that you gave me the courage to look at the score and decide that this is my next "dream piece" . Thank you!

This pleases me. 😀

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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop

Great start! Such a great job! thumb Did you add pedaling yet? Because there wasn't much (any) sustain that I could hear.


Plenty of pedal used. I think the Synthogy ACD VST has quite a loud attack compared to what gets sustained so that you can use plenty of pedal without it sounding like a lot. I do find it a bit difficult switching between ACD and Garriton CFX which is opposite with a loud long sustain and I often end up making the result somewhat muddy.

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Originally Posted by KevinM
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop

Great start! Such a great job! thumb Did you add pedaling yet? Because there wasn't much (any) sustain that I could hear.


Plenty of pedal used. I think the Synthogy ACD VST has quite a loud attack compared to what gets sustained so that you can use plenty of pedal without it sounding like a lot. I do find it a bit difficult switching between ACD and Garriton CFX which is opposite with a loud long sustain and I often end up making the result somewhat muddy.

That explains it, my N1X has acclimated me to a more substantial sustain. I've just recently noticed though that the sustain is much less on the N1X when playing through speakers instead of the headphones.


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Three weeks between lessons, every piece I played for my teacher there was a clear improvement since the previous lesson. That was really nice. I often don’t notice much the improvement with my weekly lessons. This felt really good.

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Originally Posted by Jytte
I learned a relatively simple little 3-line song, all of 30 seconds. I have been working on it to keep the melody RH clear, but make the LH soft. It was hard, but I finally got there I think. This is a HUGE step for me smile

Jytte, that development of the technique in support of the musicality of the piece (hand balance) is awesome. Congratulations!


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Thank you PS88. It's not all that consistent yet, and still hard, but it's a start, and yes, it feels awesome to at least get somewhere smile


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