Author Topic: Piano Diploma  (Read 4434 times)

Re: Piano Diploma
« Reply #25 on: 09 July, 2020, 02:33:03 pm »
I have vague recollections of trying to pick my way through one or two of the "Promenades" from Pictures at an Exhibition which implies that they are relatively accessible, given that I only just scraped my way though Grade 6 (I doubt I would have been able to play them at the correct speed, mind you, though we are going back nearly 30 years).

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Re: Piano Diploma
« Reply #26 on: 16 August, 2020, 09:08:56 pm »
Have not heard anything from my piano teacher about resumption of lessons, even remotely, so may have to search for someone else, at least for a while, who could listen via Zoom or the equivalent to my attempts and at least put me more in the right direction.
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hellymedic

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Re: Piano Diploma
« Reply #27 on: 17 August, 2020, 12:19:21 am »
Most disappointing!

Most pianists I know are doing remote tuition.

Wowbagger

  • Sylph
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Re: Piano Diploma
« Reply #28 on: 17 August, 2020, 10:16:36 am »
Have not heard anything from my piano teacher about resumption of lessons, even remotely, so may have to search for someone else, at least for a while, who could listen via Zoom or the equivalent to my attempts and at least put me more in the right direction.

Do you have anyone in mind? I don't know if our choir's Mus Dir, Colin Edwards, does online lessons, but he is absolutely superb. He conducts our choir practices over Zoom.
Bach without a doubt.

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Re: Piano Diploma
« Reply #29 on: 19 August, 2020, 10:01:54 pm »
Piano teacher back in touch.  Lesson scheduled for 18th September.  I might have at least the Brahms sounding like music by then.  I'm at that awkward cusp between getting the fingers in all the right places and making those places sound like the composer intended.
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Re: Piano Diploma
« Reply #30 on: 19 August, 2020, 10:06:43 pm »
Excellent. Is that online or in person?
Bach without a doubt.

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Re: Piano Diploma
« Reply #31 on: 23 August, 2020, 08:27:54 pm »
In person; she doesn't do zoom.  She's being looking after her mother who must be in her late 90s - so understandably otherwise occupied.
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Wowbagger

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Re: Piano Diploma
« Reply #32 on: 24 August, 2020, 05:13:37 pm »
I took a few lessons recently with a teacher in North Essex. She operates by email. I record my playing to Youtube, send her a link, and she sends me an email with suggestions, advice etc. £10 a pop.
Bach without a doubt.

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Re: Piano Diploma
« Reply #33 on: 28 August, 2020, 09:50:16 am »
The new glasses are helping.   With all the homeworking I was struggling with my varifocals when spending most of the time at screen distance and rarely looking anywhere else.  So I now have a second pair that do from reading a book to a screen 3ft away.  They've made a huge difference to the piano playing as I'm now able to focus on both the music and my hands without having to move my head.
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Re: Piano Diploma
« Reply #34 on: 09 September, 2020, 10:58:29 am »
Interested in strategies for practice.  I have about 5 x 45 minute windows a week to practice, which is probably not enough, but all that I am going to get.  Trying to decide whether it is best to focus on one piece for a week and really dedicate the time to improving that piece, or to continue as I am, which is to alternate the pieces to that they get attention every other practice session?  Really interested to hear what works for others.
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road-runner

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Re: Piano Diploma
« Reply #35 on: 09 September, 2020, 11:57:22 am »
Really interested to hear what works for others.

I usually have to learn a couple of new songs every other week to play on guitar or drums. I have found that being intensive on one song at a time drives it home better than flitting between songs. As ever, YMMV. It will be interesting to hear what works for others.

Re: Piano Diploma
« Reply #36 on: 09 September, 2020, 05:08:16 pm »
I've never been near your level, but would do a bit of "keeping pieces warm" and have one piece that's getting focus for a few sessions. Leaving a piece completely alone for several weeks feels like some of what was improved would fall off again.

Wowbagger

  • Sylph
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Re: Piano Diploma
« Reply #37 on: 09 September, 2020, 07:22:56 pm »
I've never considered myself good enough to play in concerts. I did occasionally at college, but I always found it immensely stressful. Mostly, I didn't feel the same stress in exams - but the effort required to get 3 pieces up to exam standard was enormous.

When I witnessed Andras Schiff performing the entirety of Bach's preluded & Fugues in two 2-hour sittings, admittedly a year apart, I wonder, firstly, how he is capable of memorising so much music and, secondly, how he keeps so many pieces concert-ready. I'm actually a pretty reasonable memoriser. When I did my diploma, I played the whole of Beethoven's Pathetique sonata from memory and I'm pretty sure that I could have played the Bach prelude & Fugue as well, but my teacher advised me not to. Between them I suppose they represent about 20 minutes' music and they were the produce of 2 years' work. Well, more, to be honest, as I'd learned the p & f years earlier, and the sonata. I polished them up for the exam. The one "new" piece that I learned especially for the exam was a Brahms intermezzo and I totally ballsed it up.
Bach without a doubt.

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Re: Piano Diploma
« Reply #38 on: 19 September, 2020, 06:31:53 pm »
Probably the most complicated piece of piano music I saw performed was Messaien's Vingt Regards by Steven Osborne.  He did perform with the music.  It was around the time he was recording it.

I saw Marc-Andre Hamelin perform Haydn Piano Sonata in E minor, Stockhausen Klavierstuck IX, Villa-Lobos Rudepoema, and Liszt's Piano Sonata in B minor at Wigmore hall.  Each one of the pieces would have been a centrepiece for most pianists.  He did have the music for Klavierstuck IX, because Stockhausen asked the performer to decide whilst performing the order of sections. 

I found a review https://seenandheard-international.com/2012/02/thrilling-virtuosity-from-marc-andre-hamelin/ which helped me to recall the actual pieces.  I would guess that, as this was 3 times as long as my diploma programme, and 3 times as many notes, he had 9 times as much stuff to memorise, just for that one concert.

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Re: Piano Diploma
« Reply #39 on: 13 November, 2020, 06:24:41 pm »
The new approach of focusing on one piece for a few days then moving to the next feels like it is working.  Plus having actually had the piano teacher pull the Beethoven apart and put it back together again means I now know what I am doing wrong.  You would think that having been an qualified accountant in 5 separate decades would help me to count, but sadly it doesn't.  The problem with improvising (which is what I did most of the time before going back to lessons) is that you can use rubato or introduce a new theme to get out of difficulties, but the early and mid Romantic composers didn't intend you to do that.... :facepalm:
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Wowbagger

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Re: Piano Diploma
« Reply #40 on: 14 November, 2020, 10:59:42 am »
That's encouraging.

If you'd like some (hopefully constructive) comments from me, then I'd be very happy to listen to videos of you playing, FWIW. I'm a (retired!) qualified piano teacher. As I think I mentioned above, Beethoven op 10 no 2 was the second of his sonatas that I learned, so that would probably have been about 1969. I think I know it pretty well.
Bach without a doubt.

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Re: Piano Diploma
« Reply #41 on: 08 January, 2021, 10:02:57 pm »
Into another interminable hiatus in piano lessons.  The pieces are continuing to improve but am getting nervous that I will develop some bad habits in them that I won't spot.  So have opened Pictures at an Exhibition and have started on the first Promenade and Gnomus.  Having to shut out all the different orchestrations, including the one by that Emerson bloke.  The notes are relatively manageable but the musical language isn't, which is perhaps one of the things that lends itself to orchestration, and will also make it rather hard to get right, but I suspect that I'm going to enjoy trying.
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Re: Piano Diploma
« Reply #42 on: 30 March, 2021, 08:42:38 pm »
Continuing to enjoy Pictures at an Exhibition - have got as far as Bydlo - which has to be played with the Aures system on for fear of upsetting family, neighbours, and probably half of North Hampshire, as the enthusiasm of the FF chords is not matched by accuracy of either notes or timing.  It does mean the pieces I am supposed to be perfecting are still struggling, but I am doing this because I enjoy it.  Still no sign of when piano lessons will resume, so perhaps mild neglect of those pieces will mean that any bad habits I creep into will be erasable.
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Wowbagger

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Re: Piano Diploma
« Reply #43 on: 31 March, 2021, 10:12:56 am »
Well done for carrying on with the practising.

I'm concentrating (but not for many hours a day, I confess) on J. S. Bach fugue no. 3 in C# major. I recorded the prelude a couple of months ago and linked to it somewhere. The fugue in 3 voices, but the real issue is with the 7 sharps. There are some technically tricky bits where you have to play two voices in the one hand, and holding a minim with the weak fingers whilst doing stuff about an octave away with the thumb and forefinger definitely requires attention.

Apart form that, I'm having an occasional toot on one or other of my recorders.
Bach without a doubt.

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Re: Piano Diploma
« Reply #44 on: 06 April, 2021, 08:42:52 am »
Much of Pictures at an Exhibition has 5 or 6 sharps.  That's not the problem.  Its the deluge of accidentals, especially double sharps and double flats that sends my Oxen off key at every opportunity. 
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Wowbagger

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Re: Piano Diploma
« Reply #45 on: 06 April, 2021, 11:49:34 pm »
Which edition of the Mussorgsky are you using?
Bach without a doubt.

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Re: Piano Diploma
« Reply #46 on: 09 April, 2021, 08:51:04 pm »
The 1992 Urtext version from Henle Verlag. I think it is the one used by Valentina Lisitsa whose steady tempi attracted me to study the piece in the first place
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Wowbagger

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Re: Piano Diploma
« Reply #47 on: 09 April, 2021, 08:57:32 pm »
Thanks. I've ordered that. I've played very little late 19th century music. This will make a change from wall-to-wall bach.
Bach without a doubt.