Sunday, March 1, 2009

Peformance Today

Today is the Day! I'm going to play Chopin's Butterfly Etude after practicing for 10 minutes a day for the past month. I must confess that over the last few days...I've played the work for more than 10 minutes....nerves...

(STAR Branch...Handmade by Bee)...Today I will be a Star!

Some thoughts regarding the last few weeks of practicing. I haven't written about my process so much because I've been PRACTICING!

1. I noticed again that sleep does help with learning. (See my post on October 10, 2007 on Tempo. I note the science behind learning in your sleep).) In the Butterfly Etude there is a passage where the left hand chords only changed a little and when pared with the right hand melodic line created a great deal of dissonance. This passage gave me a great deal of difficulty. I paused every time I made it to that phrase. Tamara Loring told me to physically feel the the chords and the dissonances. That helped, but didn't solve the problem. So one morning before I was completely awake and was lucid dreaming, I saw that the pattern of the white and black keys in the chords were mirror images of each other. I saw clearly in my mind the chords:

First chord:
(white, white, black)
Second chord
(black, white, black),
Third chord
(black, white, black) and the
Final chord in the series
(black, white, white)

At my practice that day I played that section with great ease. Problem solved!

2. Also, the maxim that several teachers have tired to teach me EVERYTHING YOU NEED IS THE SCORE (paraphrased, but I hope you get the meaning) is true. The same passage above had one more element that I needed to never miss it (at least in practice) and that was to observe the accent marks in the right emphasising the dissonance as Chopin indicates, the ear and hand agree and mistakes are not possible.

3. I did enjoy listening to so many interpretations of the work. I had lots of artistic material to draw my own conclusions. My version at this date is lyrical, not too fast, with an emphasis on the horizontal melody line and dynamics.

So now I must play.

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