Monday, July 30, 2007

Piano Project

At the end of last week I discovered Joshua Nemith's Cincinnati Pianist Blog, and more specifically, I discovered a post he wrote in June that contained a detailed description of how to break Bach's 2-part invention in C major (for keyboard, obviously) into chunks in order to learn a piece of music that can't be digested in one fell swoop. Whew, that was a mouthful.

Josh (if I may refer to him in the familiar) was kind enough to answer a couple of my questions regarding his approach (note to Cello Chatters: he did not tell me to go get a teacher - how refreshing) and I came away totally psyched to try this out.

As you know from reading my cello posts, I'm at that developmental phase where I am really struggling with the transition from working on music I can already (almost) play, and music for which I have (most of) the technical skills required but the piece is too much to play it right off. This looked like an ideal laboratory for trying out the chunking approach to learning this kind of music. Partly because I love the Bach 2-part inventions. In fact, other than using keyboard skills to assist in ear-training and learning cello music, playing them is my primary goal for learning to play the piano at all.

On the second day I had the idea of recording the chunk I was working on at the end of each practice session. I think it will be very cool to have that available to assess how this whole thing worked for me later - when hopefully I have mastered this piece.

On the third day I had the idea that a "social network" on Ning would be a great place to set up a practice log - so today I did. Now I have an audio player which will list each day's work. I'm using my Edirol R09 to record instead of my minidisc player because it is dead easy to put the SD card into my computer's card reader and upload the mp3 directly to Ning. Woo hoo!

So without further ado, here is my practice log.

Find more music like this on Gottagopractice - Practice Log

A note for the observant: this log will magically update as I add new recordings to the master player on my practice log.

And here are today's segments separately:

Sections A1 and A2 at 1/8=66, 070730

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Section B1 at 1/8=60. 070728

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Section C1 at 1/8=88, 070729

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CelloGeek said...

Very nice! Thanks for putting the audio files up. Your post inspired me to look for my copy of the Bach Inventions and to play #1 for the first time in years. My copy is so old - the price was $1 - ouch!

Maricello said...

Sounds great! Thanks for posting. Speaking of inspiration, your photo of new piano music inspired me to play a little, since I have some of the same books (Romantic Impressions, Joy of First Classics, Czerny).

Thanks for your help with and ideas for audio.

Joshua Nemith said...

I thought I would leave my comment for you over here at your "home"! Hope you don't mind -- here goes:

You're doing a terrific job so far; working with the metronome set on the 8th is very good. I think you rush just a little bit and get ahead of the beat in the first two samples -- try to stay with the "back" of the beat more and it will help you stay steady at higher tempos.

Try putting chunks A1 and B1 together, but with the metronome set at 8th=56. Don't be tempted to try it at 66 or even 60 yet. It should work out well for you if you keep steady and don't rush.

Well, there's your free lesson! Happy practicing, and keep me posted on how it's improving.

I will list some additional Bach pieces to do before the inventions over at my site, in a new post in a couple days. (Since it could be of interest to other readers.) For now that invention should keep you plenty busy...

Joshua Nemith said...

correction: I meant A1, A2, and B1 should be put together.

Gottagopractice said...

Thanks to all for your encouragement, and especially thanks to Joshua Nemith for the lesson! I can't wait to read your next Bach post.

Joshua Nemith said...

Finally did a post on easier Bach repertoire...hope it's useful!

Bach Rep with "Training Wheels"