Lucy's Practice Diary
What I am practicing:
- Scales, chords, arpeggios
- Bach 1st Partita
- Numa Amei by Zhang Zhao (Chinese folk music)
- two etudes: Chopin 25-2; Rachmaninoff tableau 33-8
Why I want to play:
- 1&4 for RCM level 10 technical exam (aiming to complete in March 2022)
- 2&3 because they sound pretty
What I am struggling with:
- make the technical part(scale and stuff) into practice routine!
- octave scale, 7th chord with inversions, arpeggios
- speed (for Chopin 25-2 and the Chinese piece)
Lucy, Practicing decontextualized scales and arpeggios is difficult, sometimes tedious, and, above all, keeps you wondering what the examiner will ask you to play! A preparation so different from exams where you present pieces of your choice. Of course, I know that you will be more than ready! I send you my best!
I loved practicing this extremely happy Corrente.
What troubles me a little bit is the ornaments parts. Whenever it comes to those passages, I struggle to catch up with the beats.
My teacher asked me to write the chord progression in 4 voices on the 1st part. Theory is my weak part but it is important, so I am going to work on that!
I always find it more difficult to play slow movements. Like in talking, or dancing, when the talker or dancer slows down, time gathers attention and puts pressure to the next word to say or movement to do. With this Sarabande, my teacher told me to look for directions for the each notes, some moving forward some drawing back. I guess it also requires more courage and confident to play slow. I have to practice more!
This week, I worked on Bach, Schubert, and Chopin.
Bach Partita1 Gigue: was practicing with right hand playing melody for a whole week, and then when I went to lesson, my teacher and I decided it is better to switch hands, and let the left hand be the flying hand. So it is now a new piece for me to learn.. (this tells me how important to think and try different approaches before spending more time in a piece), trying to play the whole Partita all together.
Chopin: etude, 10-11, it is a piece that I gave up when I first learned it, I thought it is too difficult because my hands are not big. But I eventually learned the whole thing, and benefit a lot from the practicing. I plan to bring to the community concert although it is not a finished product. But as my teacher once said, it is never a finished product.
Schubert: I listened to lots of Schubert and feel closer to him thanks to this community challenge. If I could donate some of my lifetime to Schubert, I would donate a little bit. I have been working on D664. This weekend, being in Schubert mood, my bf and I played D940, but he turned 1 extra page (we always make fun of his page flipping skill), so there's the interruption. Will try to record the whole thing next weekend.
Beside Schubert, I start to work on the rcm technical stuff. Here is the Chopin 25-2, one of the etudes I chose to play for the exam:
1. pedal: generally I can use less pedal, but I have to make sure the pedal covers the first big leap of left hand arpeggio in each measure.
2. wrist rotation: left hand is doing big rotation, right hand should do small rotation. Just by looking at the recording, I realize how much I rely on fingers instead of wrist movement with my right hand. Fingers too high preventing me to speed up.
mainly working on the 2 etudes for exam this week:
trying to move more naturally on wrist especially on right hand;
trying to feel right hand in triplets, instead of 4 note group, so forming a poly rhythm with left hand.
this etude is supposed to be the easiest of all Chopin's etudes, but the more i practice, the harder it gets!
Rachmaninoff etude tableau 33-8:
need to know the notes better, memorize it.
need to separate layers: play the arpeggios softer bring out melody more
rhythm at end of middle section still feels weird..