Monday, July 14, 2008

Back at it

So yesterday, I got about 30 minutes at the piano, to see if I'd forgotten anything in the last three-plus weeks. Um, yes, I had. If I had been live-blogging the event (I wasn't, I'm not that geeky... yet), I would have recorded something like this.

Opens straight to The Entertainer. "Wow, that looks really hard."

This is one of those things that probably keeps me from using my time as wisely as I could in practice sessions. I don't have a proper, repeatable warm-up routine. I haven't gotten into scales or arpeggios, and I have rejected (for now) the Alfred's Hanon pages, as I find them really boring. For awhile, I was warming up with pieces that I had "mastered" earlier, but for some reason, I got away from that. But as I looked at the music I had just opened up, it looked too hard to play. And I had been threatening y'all for quite some time that I was going to go back and revisit old Alfred's Book One pieces.

Turns pages back to Lavender's Blue. "OK, that looks doable."

Or so I thought. But I had quite a bit of trouble the first few times through this. After maybe 10 minutes, I got it down, but that was a disconcertingly long time to spend on what I had hoped was just going to be a warm-up.

Flips forward to Blow The Man Down.

Yikes. Takes three attempts to get through it without error. Is it a warm-up if you can't do it?

Jason asks to play the piano. I relent, and let him at it. Five minutes later, it occurs to me that nobody is on the piano, so I return to it, and attempt Lone Star Waltz. "That's one I can do."

This was the low point. It got better after this, but I had forgotten that Lone Star Waltz required some RH movement. Once I had that down, I had my sea legs under me, so to speak.

Jillian showed up about this time, and let me know that Lone Star Waltz is her favorite piece in Alfred's. She's even asked me to play it while she dances with various stuffed animals. I think she could play it, and told her so. Maybe we'll work on it.

With new confidence, I race through a couple of Blues pieces, then return to The Entertainer.

There was one measure that kept me from being able to go through this the whole way without stopping. So rather than just jump into the thing from the beginning, I spent about five minutes, hammering this measure, Chuan Chang style, over and over again. I probably played it 50 times in those five minutes. I then played the piece a couple times, in its entirety. I still have a couple of hesitations, but by the time I had to shut it down, I felt like I was finally back to where I was in June. Maybe even a little further ahead. It was good to be back.

1 comment:

Michelle Himes said...

Welcome back. I missed reading your blog. I'm glad it didn't take you too long to get your practice routine back to normal. I'm still on Lone Star - I can play it, but not ready to move on yet.

When's that baby due?