Lucy's Practice Diary

What I am practicing:

  1. Scales, chords, arpeggios
  2. Bach 1st Partita
  3. Numa Amei by Zhang Zhao (Chinese folk music)
  4. 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:

  1. make the technical part(scale and stuff) into practice routine! 
  2. octave scale, 7th chord with inversions, arpeggios 
  3. memorization
  4. speed (for Chopin 25-2 and the Chinese piece)
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  • 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!

    Like 1
      • Qingzhi
      • Qingzhi
      • 4 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Monika Tusnady  Thanks for your encouragement, Monica!

      Yes I enjoy more to play the pieces of my choice than the technical stuff, but my teacher told me to view those as tools, tools to help me playing the repertoire I love!

      Like 1
      • Monika Tusnady
      • The Retired French Teacher
      • Monikainfrance
      • 4 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Qingzhi your teacher is so right!

      Like 1
  • Do you mind to share the score on "Numa Amei by Zhang Zhao" here ? 

    Like 1
      • Qingzhi
      • Qingzhi
      • 4 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view
      • CK
      • br0wn
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Qingzhi thanks a lot. Really appreciated. My goodness. It’s so tough by looking it at a glance. You must be very good.  Thanks again for the sharing. 

      Like
      • Qingzhi
      • Qingzhi
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      CK you are welcome. I’m far away from playing this well! But I am working on it :)

      Like
      • CK
      • br0wn
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Qingzhi you are such a humble person. Your fingering actions are far more mature than me. 

      Like
  • The past week I spent lots of time to learn the Allemand, analyzing it and fingering it. I even memorized it at home. But when I went to lesson and played in front of my teacher, I couldn't memorize it and made many mistakes :(

    Like 6
      • Randi
      • Randi
      • 4 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Qingzhi That happens to me all the time!! You play beautifully. Thanks for sharing this.

      Like 1
      • Tammy
      • TT2022
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Qingzhi Wow, this sounds terrific! Well done! 

      Like
    • Qingzhi  Very nice baroque style music finger touch!

      Like
      • CK
      • br0wn
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Tammy ya, agreed. I doubt I can play at such. 

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      • Sindre Skarelven
      • Pianist, composer and piano teacher
      • Sindre_Skarelven
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Qingzhi Sounds great! Thank you for sharing. 😊

      Like
  • Nice! I do the same thing, when I play in front of people I make mistakes. 

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  • 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!

    Like 3
      • Sindre Skarelven
      • Pianist, composer and piano teacher
      • Sindre_Skarelven
      • 3 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Qingzhi Wonderfully played! I can understand you love to practice this one, so full of joy :) 

      Like
  • 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!

    Like 2
      • Sindre Skarelven
      • Pianist, composer and piano teacher
      • Sindre_Skarelven
      • 3 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Qingzhi I agree with you with the difficulties of the slow movements, and your analogy with talking or dancing is a nice way to describe it. That long trill was very good! Well played, and thanks for sharing!   

      Like
      • Hilda HuangTeam
      • Concert Pianist and tonebase Piano Community Lead
      • Hilda
      • 3 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Qingzhi What a beautiful performance... I love how sensitive you are to the contour of the right hand melodic line, with subtle flexibility in the rhythm and dynamics!

      Like
      • Qingzhi
      • Qingzhi
      • 3 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Sindre Skarelven thank you! Towards the end of a trill often comes my hesitation, and I tried to hide lol

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      • Qingzhi
      • Qingzhi
      • 3 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Hilda thank you :)

      Like
  • With repeat, my teacher said do something different. So I did plan some ornaments, but was focusing on keeping the notes right and the steady speed (which i did not manage to do well)and forgot to do the ornaments. I wonder if a mature pianists should improvise on them rather than planning.

    Like 2
  • 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. 

    Like 3
    • Qingzhi Love this piece...... beautiful.....

      Like
      • Qingzhi
      • Qingzhi
      • 3 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Brother Will Green thank you, yes it's so pretty

      Like
  • Here’s a complete recording of Schubert D940

    We made mistakes but this is the only one that is complete out of several recordings we did tonight that were interrupted by our laughing of the mistakes. 😄

    Like 4
    • Qingzhi Beautiful!!!

      Like
      • Michael
      • mpetnuch
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Qingzhi wow so lucky your bf always plays. How awesome to be able to do 4 hand pieces together. And what an awesome piece to play. This is actually one of my favorite pieces of music. I could listen to my Radu Lupu/Murray Perahia recording on repeat for hours. Thank you so much for sharing this!

      Like
      • Qingzhi
      • Qingzhi
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Michael Indeed lucky. Playing 4 hands is our favorite activity to do. That's how i practice my sight reading lol.  Radu Lupu/Murray Perahia recording sounds so good! thank you for sharing!

      Like
      • Qingzhi
      • Qingzhi
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Brother Will Green thank you:)

      Like
  • 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. 

    Like 3
  • mainly working on the 2 etudes for exam this week:

    Chopin 25-2:

    memorized;

    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..

    Like 3
    • Qingzhi Love this piece <3 beautiful!!!

      Like
      • Qingzhi
      • Qingzhi
      • 2 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Brother Will Green yes, thank you. it is very beautiful! I saw this in your practice diary repertoire list, have you played or planning to learn it? 

      Like 1
    • Qingzhi I've learned this piece but I switched to op. 33 no. 7 for the concert. I love this playing of yours and it sounds absolutely beautiful. Thank you for sharing :) xx

      Like
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