Dottie's Practice Diary - Beginning Again
I feel like I'm beginning all over again. I graduated with a BS in Music Education back in 1984. I made a lot of progress during my program but was not able to continue taking lessons after I graduated from college. Once I began working, my piano was severely neglected. In 2005, I began to practice the pieces in Mikrokosmos by Bela Bartok. Even though I worked my way through Books I to V, I still feel like my technique is not where it was when I was in college.
I watched "Russian Scales," by Dominic as well as "7 Practice Strategies," by Marina. I have been implementing these strategies with the pieces I am currently working on.
The piece I am actively working on at the moment is Invention 4 by Bach. I have had a lot of success using Marina's practice strategies; however, the trills continue to escape me. While they have improved, I always find that when I reach the parts where the right-hand trills, and then the left hand, I always have to slow down.
The next piece that I have been working on is Valse Op 69 Nr 2 by Chopin. I also played this piece in college and would like to be able to perform it one day in one of the tonebase concerts. The section that gives me the most problems is where the key changes to B major.
Finally, I would also like to start working on the Sonate in F major K332 by Mozart. I played the first section of this Sonate for my Freshman Jury (1979) and did very well. This time I would like to learn the entire Sonate.
I would also like to begin working on Etude Op 25 No 2 by Chopin.
I really want to get my technique back, and then keep progressing and learning new pieces. I really love classical music and want to keep learning.
I'm really looking forward to continuing my studies on tonebase piano.
Hi Dottie! What a wonderful and interesting journey you have embarked on! Do reach out and also post any videos of your playing or questions you wish to discuss in this very friendly community!
Also do check out the thread on Bach's inventions which Sindre Sindre Skarelven started. Invention No. 4 is one of the more popular ones, and there are a few videos posted by some of the members for it!
Welcome! :-) I had a similar lapse... I tool lessons until I was 18. Wanted to major in music, however my family had other input, so I joined the Navy! HAHAH! I went to school in my 30s and got my music degree, however, returning to play at age 33 after 15 years of not touching a piano was intimidating. It took a bit to get back on the horse, so to speak. I did manage to complete my bachelors when I was 36 :-)... I now teach private lessons at home (also a SPED teacher on campus), and continue to take lessons every two weeks with an amazing mentor so I can "keep my chops" up for my students.
You will get your technique back!! my mentor has me working through Bartok's Mikrokosmos also! I never used it... great for building back up, mainly because a lot of it is so unfamiliar and they pieces are short. I actually enjoy them. I did his Romanian Folk Dances for one of my Juries, so I really enjoy Bartok.
Keep at it... I vowed when I got my degree, I would never EVER be without a piano for 15 years!!
I look forward to hearing your playing.
I moved on to Bach's Invention No. 8 in F Maj. I picked this Invention because I studied it in college. I felt challenged through one of the teachings to memorize it. Through a variety of teachings that I watched I was able to compile a list of several memory techniques. I even got to the point where I could practice the piece without looking at the music. I also challenged myself by playing the piece before I turned the light on as well as playing it while standing up. If I could do it fairly well, I know I'm on the right track.
Attached is my recent attempt at recording myself playing the invention by memory.