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Just thought I would make a new topic so we can post our progress without clogging up the idle chit- chat section! Feel free to give a detailed description on the piece you are learning or how you are doing with it - others may be interested too.
And of course it’s open to all not just the beginners!
Currently learning / playing:
ABRSM grade one pieces: A3 Vivaldi, L’autunno. B2 Gedike, Kummer. C2 Paul Drayton, Never Vex a Tyrannosaurus Rex!
Beethoven: Landler in D minor WoO 15 No 4. A lovely ‘aggressive’ sounding short dance, very ‘Beethoven’ IMO. A great workout for the fingers, and much nicer then any Hanon! Almost finished putting both hands together.
Beethoven: Ecossaise in G major WoO 23. Can play it ok most of the time...
Beethoven: Ecossaise in Eb major WoO 86. I have neglected this one I still need to learn it with both hands! Ok HS though.
Chopin prelude 7 in A major Op 28. Trying to get the timing, dynamics etc ok. Will take a lifetime to prefect this one I think, deceptively simple!
Hows your Paul Harris signt reading book going then? Its useful init? I'm trying to do a bit of sight reading everyday now. Its good to do it so we can over come the fear of it!
Oh no ! that means I need to go and get the NEW book then! . Another excuse to go into a music shop . I suppose sight reading anything is useful though...dave brum wrote:Oh, the book have been thoroughly revised to coincide with the new piano syllabus. I have the 2009 edition and its very different from your copy, Anna!
I'm allegedly preparing for the LRSM, but it's progressing about as fast as that church in Barcelona they started building in the 1880s. Still, gotta keep at it. My programme currently looks like this:
Bach: Chromatic Fantasia & Fugue in D minor
Haydn: Piano Sonata in Eb No.52
Mendelssohn: Rondo Capriccioso
Makes me tired just reading it. What exercises do folks find helpful? I'm using the Dohnanyi and Brahms, but by Christ aren't they tedious. Then again, I suppose all exercises are. People always go on about Hanon - are they any good? I saw Richard Meyrick has also published some - anyone tried those?
Solon (c. 630 - c. 500 B.C.), Greek Statesman and Reformer
Full-time teaching is just too hard to balance with a private life or even a hobby, I find anyway! Still in a state of after-shock following my hectic school music program before Christmas that practice is becoming a foreign word!
Just biding my time before we launch into music festival season!
ABRSM grade 2 pieces:
A2: Biel. Allegro grazioso: 2nd mvt from Sonatina in C Op 57 No 1
B3: Delibes. Mazurka: from Coppelia
C2: Elissa Milne. Mozzie
Schuman: Kinderszenen Op 15 No 1 from strange countries and people – just dabbling in this at the moment and writing the fingering for it, it may be my new ‘big’ piece to work on next.
Beethoven: German dance in C major WoO 8 No 7
Beethoven: Landler in D major WoO 11 No 4
Just finished Working on:
Beethoven German dance in C major WoO 8 No 1
Chopin prelude 20 Op 28
Thanks Dave for sending me this I might work on it when I get a bit bored of all this Beethoven stuff . Looks tricky in some parts I see it has a mordent in there too! .dave brum wrote: Over the page tho is Landler by Schubert - which is a piece I really do like (twas on Radio 3 a few weeks ago) but the left hand part includes big jumps and pedal work. Oh how I wish my name was either Gill the Piano or Celestite as I really want to play it but it looks way beyond my ken at the mo
Even if it looks hard just work slowly on it thats my advice. Try not to think oh this looks too hard so I woundn't bother. A few months ago I was terrified of all those chords in Chopin's prelude 20 and I gave up, I finished learning it a few weeks ago as I slowly battled my way through it. I think its good to work or at least try to work on hard pieces as it makes you less scared of them.
Thats great you are progressing in your book! I'm not really following a set path at the mo, just picking pieces here and there from various sources .
The mordent not Morden in the piece you sent me is in bar 9 its the little ziggy zaggy thing above the G, I don't know extacly how you would play it but its a bit similar to a trill ( I guess ) only it consits of more then 2 notes played just ( after?) the G. I have only played mordents in Bach's menuet in G, thats the only piece I have played with some in so far so I'm not really sure! its an ornament. No doubt Mr Marky will tell you, after he has come back from marking school work .
Well. its official, I’m learning the Schumann piece for real now, having some trouble playing the middle bit at the moment and keep messing up the end of the phrase in the second repeat. The grade 2 pieces are really nice! Its such a shame the B section has two tunes I really like, I wish I could stick with the mazurka and also play another B piece for the test instead of the A piece!
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I'm doing some Grade 1 pieces from previous years:
Attwood - Sonatina no 3 in F
Beethoven - Air from little Russia as well as scales (bB major, bE major and related minors)
but my main focus at the moment is a waltz by E.Doga.. I think (hope!) it's a bit beyond grade 1, but it's just sooooo beautiful. I've found out some more about it, I think it's based on a book by Turgenev. I sit down at the piano for ten minutes to practise a couple of bars, then my husband comes in and I find I've been there for an hour..
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2QB4zN_ ... re=related
is an orchestral arrangement, but you'll get the idea..!
Ah! I just started learning this piece but there's one chord that I don't know how to play because my hand span only reaches an octave. How do you play it?Moonlight wrote:Chopin prelude 7 in A major Op 28. Trying to get the timing, dynamics etc ok. Will take a lifetime to prefect this one I think, deceptively simple!
Yeah bar 12 is a toughy for people with small hands that don't have much of a stretch but it is doable! . Some people arpeggiate this chord if its too big for them, but I don’t think Chopin had this way of playing the chord in mind – he hated people altering his scores and playing it differently to how he wrote. Try this fingering I worked out, it might make your hand into a weird shape but it does the job, at least for me.
For the last chords on bar 11 use, for the top notes in the treble RH: 5 3 2 1 and in the base LH use: 1 2 5
Then for the big chord in bar 12 for the first four notes in the treble use RH: 5 4 2 1 ( the A# is going to be taken by your LH )
so for the rest of the chord that starts with the A# use finger 1 for the A# 2 for the F and the rest is 3 4. The very last note in the base I omitted as my little finger couldn't go that far!
Pratice moving from the chord positions very slowly so you know exactly were your fingers are going, until they just go into position without you needing to look .
Hope this helps, I can only streatch a 9th and can hardly do octaves very well.
So when do you move into your new house?dave brum wrote:Think I'll do one stage a week, that way come the exam I'll be that confident I should be able to walk on water (well in sight reading terms anyway!!)
Oh, the book (well in fact the whole series through the piano grades) have been thoroughly revised to coincide with the new piano syllabus. I have the 2009 edition and its very different from your copy, Anna!
Curently learning: Menuet in G by Christian Petzold
(some) Dance in C by Beethoven
Burgmuller study No ( I can't remember the number at the moment! ) its called 'Innocence'
I have my next lesson this monday at belive it or not, the RCM I'm meeting my teacher there as she is rehearsing with her violinist friend there so said I might as well come and have a lesson after work, its her old college.
Oh yes I had my lesson at the RCM, very nice old posh building! Way more impressive then my university! I didn’t really get to see much, I wanted my teacher to show me about but she was busy with her homework after the lesson! Had a quick look at the rooms above the piano practise rooms that are where the harpsichords were. I was more bothered about using my time to practice on a real piano then look around. But it’s really lovely walking up to the building you can hear people practicing and rehearsing as you walk by, sound really cool .
I have to say I know share my teacher's dislike for Yamaha uprights now, I don’t hate them but I do think they are very loud and bright. I don’t think I will buy one after all, they don’t sound good in small rooms IMHO. That what I used in the college.
The studio where I have my lesson was shut for the summer (stupidly, kids have more time to practice in the summer holidays!) so I haven’t really had much to talk about, as I have had no lessons for a few weeks. Practice is going ok, but more slowly, without a teacher to kick me up the backside I find I spend too much time fooling around on the piano and improvising then concentrating for long.
But all the pieces I said I was learning are coming along ok, and I’m learning others too.
Had my first lesson of the New Year last Friday, this time in one of the practice rooms at the Guildhall had to wait a while for a room though. Played on a battered Yamaha studio piano, gosh they have a heavy action! Here’s what my home work looks like for anyone interested...
Schumann, Merry Farmer, from Album for the young Op 68, No 10
Schumann, First loss, from Album for the young Op 68, No 16
Beethoven, Bagatelle in A minor Op 119 No 9
My practice can get a lot more serious now I have a real piano! My teacher wants me to work on polyphony more with the first Schumann piece so I bring out the melody and tone down the accompaniment. Grade 3 was also mentioned! But to be honest I would really like to learn a few more pieces before that!
Sight reading I think is making some sort of improvement, I can now attempt to play an easy grade 1 exam piece as a sight reading exercise, but not very well! I’m reaching the end of Paul Harris grade 3.
Thanks Gill for making me feel better about that, I always love to have a crazy few mins, or should that be an hour of improvising!You're still learning whilst 'fooling around and improvising'
I'm interested to find out more about the practice rooms you mentioned in guidhall. Are they for hire? I work in London, so I'm looking for somewhere to steal an hour or so practice once in a while. Also since I don't have a proper piano at home (I've got a 'infernal electrical device' as my teacher calls it!) I want to get some practice on the real thing. If you know of any other pianos available for use let me know. Oh by the way i'm doing these grade 2 ones at the moment: Gypsy Dance, Haydn; Muzurka, Delibes; Wonderful Tonight, Eric. The Gypsy Dance is great, but sounds rather more like a Gypsy Funeral at the pace I can manage right now, working on speeding it up a bit more.
I don’t think the practice rooms at the Guildhall or RCM are available for practice buy non students. The reason I can get in there is because my teacher is an ex-student of the RCM and is currently studying at the Guildhall, so she smuggles me in for a lesson. You need student passes to get a room at the guildhall.
You’re not missing out on much; the pianos in the practice rooms can be ok but are quite battered in music colleges. I played on a couple of not very nice Yams at the royal college and on a small one at the guildhall - it had a very heavy action! Although they did have a nice Ibach in one room.
You’re better off renting a practice room in London at a piano shop like Marksons, Jacques Samuel or Bluthners. Bet the pianos would be in better condition too. Maybe you could find a place locally with a piano like a church or hall maybe they would let you practice on it? Your local music shop might even have a practice room too, would probaly cost less to rent then one in London.
Good luck with grade 2! And don’t worry about being slow with the Haydn piece, my teacher always tells me to slow down!
I've just started playing again after a long absence. I managed to find a teacher quite close to home and I've been trying to find my feet again since lessons started a few weeks ago. And, it's proving to be quite difficult. I'm not downhearted. I know I'll get better if I practice regularly. But I thought I'd be able to play better than I can with just a little practice. Sadly this is not to be and I need to give myself more time to see any results.
Still, I've just started playing The Joy of Boogie and Blues. Very simple arrangements of some old favourites, including House of the Rising Sun (Oh! the nostalgia!).
And my scales are coming on a bit. Can do most of the major scales now with both hands ... well, after a fashion.
So, I don't think I'm going to be the best pianist the world has ever seen, but I'm sure I can get roughly in the direction I want to go ... which is the point at which I can play a few fairly decent arrangements of old jazz standards. So you see, my objectives are quite modest.
Will wite again with more progress soon.
Happy practicing to everyone.
I'm currently trying to learn Debussy Clair de Lune by heart. I'm trying to learn everything by heart these days to keep the memory cells ticking over, but all too frequently it disappears overnight...
Also I'm wary of practising too much when the neighbours are in (we live in a semi). I believe you can get dummy keyboards printed on card or plastic. Anyone ever tried them? Are they any help?
EmmaC (a different and probably much older Emma)
The Beethoven bagatelle notes are ok most of the time, but it’s the dynamics that are a real pain, you need to go from F to P so suddenly. Might give old Beethoven a bit of a break after this piece, I’m looking forward to learning some music from Cuban composers soon!
Schuman, ***, from album for the young Op 68, 30. Lovely introspective piece this, more polyphony to work on, quite a learning curve!
Vaughn Williams, Valse lente. Saw this lovely piece on you tube it’s in the grade 4 book so I bought it and have started learning it. I really didn’t think I would be playing anything by him, he’s not really a composer I’m really bothered with but this piece is very nice.
So then Dave when’s your exam? Sounds like you are well on your way to doing it soon . I’m really not sure when I’m going to do mine, don’t wait for me! Having too much fun building up on repertoire, I did start to memorise the grade 3 pieces but have neglected them again. Scales are all memorised the minors could be improved though.
Hi Emma(c), don’t waste your time with a roll up rubber keyboard! You just can’t get any benefit from playing on a flat surface I think. I have one, got it for £2. Maybe your budget could extend beyond £2 and you could get silent system installed into your acoustic piano?I believe you can get dummy keyboards printed on card or plastic. Anyone ever tried them? Are they any help?
Chosen my pieces as you know, I would like to take grade 3 next year, as I have had a year to play repertoire. I have chosen the same pieces as you, but for the C piece I have chosen C2 Stroll On, sounds quite funky and bluesy. I’m happy they have Wild rider as I learned that a while back, and have just refreshed myself with it again.
At the moment I’m currently learning:
Beethoven Bagatelle 5 Op 126 – Having fun with this but there are some large intervals I’m not too sure about.
Grieg Lyric piece Arietta - I can’t seem to make this sound as nice, it’s still too loud, and sounds clumsy, on my acoustic piano.
Piazzolla, Tango final – This is the piece I’m having trouble with at the moment, it’s an intermediate arrangement. Sight reading a grade 4 piece is too hard for me, I’m not even sure if I have the rhythm right, teacher where are you? I guess I could work on the easier bits in the piece...
Bach piece for grade 3
Schumann Wild rider – I’m experimenting with how to make it sound better.
That sounds really nice, is it a Victoria sponge?Making one of my special cakes on Sunday for Teresas birthday,
The first piece in Schumann’s kinderszenen, from strange countries and people. I started this last year but never finished it; I have a bad habit of starting pieces and leaving them, I’m going to finish it off this time.
I finished memorising Arietta by Grieg, but would love to play it on another piano, is it me or do some pieces sound better played on another piano then your own?...my piano needs its 2nd tune next month.
Started the last and hardest piece in suite of short pieces by my teacher’s friend. I have been working on them over the summer, they are modern Cuban pieces. It’s a very beautiful emotional piece, full of arpeggios and quintuplets.
I still need to memorise Stroll on, the grade 3 C piece, I’m having trouble memorising it as I’m not practicing it enough and keep sight reading it (badly) , I’m so lazy .
Hey Dave did you check out that book website? its cheap init?
I'm new here! I started learning the piano again about 6 months or so again and am going to be doing my Grade 2 in November sometime! Scary stuff! It'll be my first exam so Im really nervous but excited at the same time.
A2 Biehl Allegro grazioso: 2nd movt from Sonatina in C, Op. 57 No. 1
B3 Reizenstein The First Snowdrop
C1 Eric Clapton Wonderful Tonight, arr. McNamara
Thanks for your advice, Ill certainly bear in mind not to eat a full breakfast! I hope I get a morning exam and not an afternoon one though, Ill probably get nervous if I have to wait all morning before I do an exam! Yes Im going straight in for grade 2! Allegro Grazioso is my favorite piece, I love it! in some ways Im quite excited about doing my first exam, is that normal lol? I know Ill be nervous on the day though!
I notice from your previous posts that you siarad Cymraeg! Im a Welsh speaker too! Where are you from?
I’m fine, don’t worry I’ll email it to you again, the grade books are even cheaper there! Sorry to hear of the bad news, but you can still practice even without lessons. I haven’t had one for about 2 months now, I’m going to have one this week though.
I was just wondering why don’t the piano veterans of the piano page don’t ever bother to post something about their playing, in this topic. Gill? Marky?
Filming?? You're talking to a woman with a grind-up whamophone here, Dave!
You must have regular lessons, even if it's only one every month/three weeks/fortnight; it really WILL help and improve your performance and nerves considerably.
Cant wait for it to be over, fed up of playing the same tunes now, need to move on!
Blodwen wrote:OMG grade 2 exam a week on Friday the 19th!! Mixed emotions, excited and nervous at the same time. Practicing like mad and feel like my fingers are going to fall off lol! Went to Tesco yesterday stocked up on kalms and bach rescue remedy, just hope I dont get shaky hands! Nerves I think I can handle,if I get shaky hands Im stuffed!
Cant wait for it to be over, fed up of playing the same tunes now, need to move on!
Good luck with your exam, I have my Grade 1 tomorrow Feeling a bit ooer now. That's not the reason for being up at 4am tho lol
You'll all be fine; it's evident that you care and practise a lot - that's the most anyone can do! Break a leg!