The positives here are being able to concentrate more on repertoire and learning more Book 2 pieces, also not doing anything that Mabel has not told me to do, ie extra-curricular. When I have lessons with her, it's usually theory, scales, technical and homework - occasionally questions and answers on the subject of music and small talk. We NEVER do 'that' subject and I'm happy with that.
(oh and I had an extended piano practice touching on everything Mabel had gone through with me)
Scales/arpeggios, my 2 newies were fine after 4 weeks, I am now working with 21 scales/arpeggios, two of which at random I play from my 'scales pot'
Finished book 2 of A Dozen A Day, now I start book 3. The first 4 are easy so I might amaze her and have a go at the first 6.
Theory, all my note groupings were correct, with thanks to Colin Nicholson for his help on this. Only one Ed Ballsup, I wrote a key sig on the lines/spaces for the treble clef when the clef was in actual fact a bass. Next part, 'spot the key sig', which Mabs has given me some help with.
Homework, my 'UKIP dance' as I call it was perfect, and my piece from 2 weeks ago, a melancholy piece by Tchaikovsky only had a minor discrepancy. She's written it down so that means she'll ask me to play it next time. 'Soooo, we need a new piece' she says. That came in the form of 'Reapers Song' by R.Schumann, which I'm on the case of already.
I told her about the SR I'd been trying to do unknown to her since last Autumn but she wasn't phased about it and neither was I. With all these pieces I have to perfect, there's no time to bumfanny around with sight reading anyway. I'm going to have to drastically cut down my repertoire pieces at least until I can get on top of this new Schumann. Everything is getting just that bit more difficult to do now, and I'm not sure whether feeling jaded all of the time as a result of trying to renovate a room and insulate a loft (for which I am doing all on my own) is a contributory factor.
So, next lesson on the 24th. Mabel is playing for a FUN before she teaches me. So, we could call it the Grim Reaper's song then.
The preface looks good, I don't disagree with it at all.
Dave, I LOVE that book. I have a lot of people on it, and my advice to them is to do (at leadt) one each time they practise, and not to dip in, but just go straight through, don't leave any out unless you are finding them really tediously easy, in which case just skip two pages. The speed it works at ought to mean that you'd never find sight-reading dauntingly difficult, and - the main plus - the tunes are all quite more-ish, don't sound like s/r tests normally do. You should actually want to play them again for the sake of the music!dave brum wrote:My new favourite book....if this fails then it's 'Joining The Dots' by Alan Bullard (official ABRSM course). If that one fails then I would have exhausted all of the methods of their type available on the United Kingdom market.
The preface looks good, I don't disagree with it at all.
If only I did, Gill. If that was the case I wouldn't be as scared of it as I am. I've spent nearly all of today at the piano trying to get the 2 tunes I have to play to Mabs as near perfect as I can despite practising in earnest twice daily. Whatever she gives me tomorrow will take up more and more of my time as I have to practically learn one note at a time rather than one phrase which is what I could do with book 2. Then put it all together whilst getting used to the feel. Then I'll play it tomorrow and by Thursday I'd have forgotten most of it. That's what somebody who is incapable of sightreading a Grade 1 or the equivalent piece has to do with a piece that's almost grade 4 and as I say it's taking up nearly all of my time. My wife is complaining that she doesn't see me any more - and that's not good at all. Don't forget I only see Mabel every second Tuesday for half an hour.Gill the Piano wrote:You KNOW what SR isall about.
Perhaps hypnotherapy might help me with this.
So as the Bard may have put it, cry God for Mabel, Bournville and St.Kawai (not St.Jason...) I hope she's not late back from this funeral she's playing for, it could well be my own musical funeral today. You never know.
Here's a quick summary of the main points:
1. Scales/arpeggios, EIGHT of them (but not new ones)
2. A Dozen A Day, all 12 of part 1
3. Pieces. Old French Song okay, Reapers Song needs a few minor tweaks as some of the sections were hurting my hand so she's given me some tips, which I've just gone through on the piano. And they seem to be working. Then I have a new piece by Shostakovich entitled The Mechanical Doll, lots of staccato and odd sequences make it sound rather mechanical. I told her it conjures up an image of Sally Anne Howes doing the music box song in Chitty.
4. Theory, onto composing four bar rhythms with anacrusises, or should that be anacrusises or anacrusi.....
5. The best bit. I brought in my little 99p bargain from Snottingham last week but she looks a little taken aback and asked why when I asked her how anybody can possibly play anything from any of those books as they were in 'complete and utter gibberish'. She then asked me to name a hymn tune, I instantly said hymn no 251, Aberystwyth to which she sat at the piano and played it perfectly. She also showed me a battered but legible 1904 copy of A&M belonging to her grandfather that she told me she learned to sight read with. The music looked much bigger, she actually informed me I have a singers copy in what she called SATB, which I learned to be soprano, alto, tenor, bass (from top to bottom). Clever Mabel. I had to say 'bet you can't sing it yn Gymraeg!!!' She cannot speak a word of it.
I was actually fearing I would get it as homework but she's far far too kind to me!!! 'One day' she said 'you'll be playing it'. The next 25 hour day. Book's going back on the shelf. Unless someone on here would like to purchase it off me for £10 with proceeds going to the St.Jasons ORF??
I'm beginning to think FF was right all along. I am indeed awkward and unteachable, despite my very best efforts and intentions to the contrary. I've still got 2 more book 1 pieces to go and they're going to be brainbending (and fingerbending).
The Book 1 piece I have had no choice but to go back to learning one phrase at a time. This is Book 1. One. Uno, Eins, Elementary stuff, and I have to go back to relearning it like it's the first time I tried it. Honestly, I am such a pathetic brainless spazz even though that is not the intention. Meanwhile, I've ordered Joining The Dots 1. If only to be able to join them.
You are the awkwardest person I've ever had the misfortune to teach has been ringing in my head all day.
Going down to see you last August Gill was a real enthusiasm booster and ignited a passionate interest in church organs, however when you are disallowed from going to Sunday services by your over-suspicious and over-shy wife AND discouraged from doing so by the organist at your local church when all you want to do is see and hear an organ being played, then it's a dagger right in the heart of that enthusiasm, I think. The same with going to a free classical concert or jazz gig - the person to whom I am married disallows me to go because she thinks I'll be having cups of tea and massive slices of cake in Caffe Nero (not by any means illegal in the UK but I probably will be doing so) whilst refusing to come with me because she does not like either classical or jazz music as I do. So my musical enthusiasm is shot once more. Everything truly is against me.
I have something to mull over in bed tonight - but I really am sick of things going wrong, especially as, after 14 months they should be going right and I should be learning at least something.
The Book 3 piece I have had to shade in all of the notes that have to be flattened and even draw in little piano keyboards of where to find them on the piano due to my sight reading mental vacancy.
No word back from Mabel yet. I guess it is Holy Week after all and it's a busy time for church organists as Christmas is.
So please remove it. You are only harming yourself, reinforcing negativity and giving her credibility which you certainly don't want to do. Please remove it. I Have The Power, you know...dave brum wrote:Well, it's what she said! That and I AM A PIANO TEACHER NOT A PSYCHOTHERAPIST! Her negative cruel and hateful words - not mine!
If that is a moderator's order then I will. I'm not here to be awkward. I'm just an awkward piano player not human being.Gill the Piano wrote:So please remove it. You are only harming yourself, reinforcing negativity and giving her credibility which you certainly don't want to do. Please remove it. I Have The Power, you know...dave brum wrote:Well, it's what she said! That and I AM A PIANO TEACHER NOT A PSYCHOTHERAPIST! Her negative cruel and hateful words - not mine!
However, the questions as to my relationship with the piano still remain unsolved even though the quote has gone from my postings.
The answer to this question is that the heartache is caused by me. The difficulty is my own attitude to not just learning the piano, but to life in general:
1. I hate myself
2. I often wonder why the hell I'm here
3. Live gives me absolutely nothing positive, which is why I'm beginning to wish I were dead more and more often
4. Everybody wishes me to fail, whether it's the local mental health services, the Department for Work and Pensions, the person to whom I am married or Fanny Fosdyke
5. I am defeated.
6. I do not enjoy doing anything any more. All these negative thoughts all shape my view of myself, the world and ultimately learning the piano.
Okay, so I am an open nihilist - however I am also a balanced liberal and I have been trying to put forward reasons why I am learning the piano, and why I've stuck at it for so long:
1. I AM musical and I refute any allegations to the contrary. Learning the piano is something I wanted to do long before nihilism ensconsed my soul, but had not been given the opportunity to do so by my mother. Who knows what might had happened if she'd had said yes. I would have been a musician with all 8 grades and a B.Mus instead of a failure on benefits sat here writing this tosh.
2. A few months ago, I found somebody who does NOT want me to fail. His name is Allah/God.
3.The more I discover serious music, the more I like it. My love of rock music, Black music and collecting vinyl in a previous life had blossomed into a classical and jazz enthusiast and a collector of classical CD's
4. I would consider myself to be intelligent and a thinker. I am fluent in Welsh, I couldn't speak a word of it before 1991 but I persevered in learning it WITHOUT negative thoughts and fear of failure. Imagine trying to learn a second language if you tell yourself you're going to fail all the time! I am not stupid. I read books and The Guardian. I listen to Radio 3. I vote in elections. And yet I sometimes think I think about things too much and allow stuff to fester in my head. Sight reading for instance - or Fanny Fosdyke. Therefore, the harder I try with SR the more I fail. Attitude.
5. I have the time to devote to a hobby such as collecting classical CDs, faraging round charity/antique shops or learning the piano. However only one of those hobbies make me anxious. I do not feel one iota of anxiety when I'm partaking in a darn good farage through a pile of Naxos in Solihull Oxfam Books and Music. I never ever think 'I'll never have all the Deutsche Grammophon Klassikon series' or the Decca 100 Best Tunes series or replace that Bach Guitar music CD that 'management' scratched for me (even though I am still cross about it months after it happened). Only learning the piano makes me anxious. Why is this?? Again, it's attitude on my part.
So after the questions come the solutions. If I don't give up, how do I correct a mindset that has been rooted for too many months and years? How do I enjoy the things I do? How do I take control of my life again, to take up my bed and walk, to manage the frustration and to deal with years old negative points of view? I've cried for help for years on this particular subject and nobody has heard me, yet alone me. Only God/Allah has said to me 'I know the answers, Dave'. I need to know how to put myself in a position where once again I can feel positive and that I can cope without turning to nihilistic humour which reinforces things.
Honestly I am in such a frustrated mess I could go on for page after page after page. I have not heard from Mabel and tomorrow, I am barred from going to church to ask The Risen Lord what to do as my wife will think I'm down the Premier Inn with a 'tom' or engaging in some sort of holistic enjoyment whilst she's sat in front of her silly television feeling lonely and sorry for herself...for which she will blame me. So, should I give up learning the piano when all of those criteria are taken into account??
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