Sparks
"How Do I Get to Carnegie Hall?"

Posting has been a bit thin lately; lots of fun going on. But Bachtoberfest isn’t over yet, and for now I’ll leave you with this gem from oiseaur0uge

17 October 2013 ·

12

Started working on Chopin Scherzo 4 yesterday. It will take time and diligence, but everything will be squarely manageable except for all those pp thirds near the end. How I will ever get those to sound like anything more graceful than an idling engine without one of its sparkplugs is beyond me. 

17 November 2012 ·

45
  • Georg Friedrich Richter: How hard I work and sweat, and to you, my friend, the keyboard seems but child's play!
  • Mozart: I too had to work hard, so as not to have to work hard any longer.

25 June 2012 ·

"If you sound great in the practice room, you’re probably practicing the wrong thing."

4 May 2012 ·

43

Off to practice tons of accompaniments for an art song presentation and then a vocal masterclass, both later this week. I’m a touch out of shape from the holiday. Wish me luck… @_@

10 January 2012 ·

ambulavi asked: Another quick question - I'm just starting piano and I tend to memorize the music without thinking and then I stare at my hands the whole time so I don't screw up. Would it be wiser to force myself to look at the music while playing (so I can get used to connecting page --> fingers) or keep memorizing?

Pianists differ pretty widely on memorization, I’ve noticed. There are many who will conscientiously memorize music a few bars at a time.

The process I’ve sort of fallen into over the years goes something like this: when I’m getting to know a piece, I’ll practice it with the music for quite some time before I allow myself to even think of memorizing it. When most of the technical issues are ironed out and I’m able to do run-throughs, at some point I’ll take the music away and see how much of it I can play. Almost always I really surprise myself, but often there are a few “spots” that I have to pretty carefully review. 

I would say the downside to the kind of memorization you’re describing (if I understand it right) is that it focuses on “muscle memory,” that is, memorizing movements instead of musical ideas. A certain amount of playing from memory is always going to involve muscle memory, but relying on it can create a situation in which you might find it very difficult to regain your composure, for instance, if you had to stop in the middle of a performance.

So I’d say it’s partially about connecting the page with your fingers, but mostly it’s a matter of internalizing the music as music and not as physical activity, though it certainly is that, too. It helps me to spend a lot of time just sitting and studying the score, listening to it in my head. But everyone learns and works differently, so there’s no right or wrong answer.  

6 August 2011 ·

Why Youtube can be very good *or* very bad for musicians. :)

8 June 2011 ·

How many hours should you practice?

Great article with many interesting points. A summary:

  • Don’t practice mindlessly
  • Quality over quantity

Chopin is known to have strongly discouraged his students from practicing more than four hours at a time.

Working in small chunks is also good. It doesn’t always jive with the modern student schedule, but it lends itself to clarity and mastery rather than mediocrity and injury. Though I don’t always get to work that way at the keyboard, the results are better when I do. 

As far as composing goes—which is really a different ball game—three hours is about my limit for concentrated activity. Occasionally I get in the zone and pull an all-nighter, but I have to be careful doing that. In reviewing my work the next day, I don’t often like what I see. 

(Source: allegroconfuoco, via fantasyofawanderer)

7 June 2011 ·

shiningstar12:

committobefit:

admired:

antigovernment:

leadingtone:

Source: oddquartet.

oh my gosh.

I need to tape this on my wall :}

omg i need this in poster size!

 Passion<3

I love that the most popular thing I’ve ever posted (by a considerable margin) is about practice. That makes me happy. And Oddquartet is awesome, you should check them out!

shiningstar12:

committobefit:

admired:

antigovernment:

leadingtone:

Source: oddquartet.

oh my gosh.

I need to tape this on my wall :}

omg i need this in poster size!

 Passion<3

I love that the most popular thing I’ve ever posted (by a considerable margin) is about practice. That makes me happy. And Oddquartet is awesome, you should check them out!

23 May 2011 ·

from Odd Quartet.
Ah&#8230;I remember those days. They never did get me to march mellophone. Heh, heh. 

from Odd Quartet.

Ah…I remember those days. They never did get me to march mellophone. 
Heh, heh. 

3 May 2011 ·

Source: oddquartet.

Source: oddquartet.

25 March 2011 ·

"After you’ve done all the work and prepared as much as you can, what the hell, you might as well go out there and have a good time."

~ Benny Goodman

25 March 2011 ·

"I try to practice with my life."

~ Herbie Hancock

21 January 2011 ·

Practice makes &#8230;
from asaca. 

Practice makes …

from asaca

23 December 2010 ·

Curtis Lindsay
Pianist, composer,
expert in nonsense.



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