14.04.15 – 28.04.15

Since Bobtail Rag is jazz, I really needed to memorize the anomalies in the piece. As a method, me and my supervisor, we jot down little notes to the piece. Notes that will make me remember the things that we’ve talked about in the lessons. The piece is actually finished, however I still don’t feel confident. I pause too often after the 17th measure. I know that this problem will easily be solved if I tackle the song individually and apply grouping. As I play the song, I search for the exact places of the chords or some irregular notes, this destroys the overall tempo as well as the memory. My supervisor thought me a new method for the complex chords that are on the 3rd page of the piece. It was really interesting for me when I first heard of it. This new method is called “molding”. I play the chord. Don’t change my hand’s position and remove my hand off the piano. Imagine its position. Shake my hand and place it on the keyboard immediately without looking at the notes. Basically, my visual memory combines with my musical knowledge, this makes me remember the chords faster. For the next lesson I am aiming to play the song with less errors. I will definitely use molding and grouping.

Area: Creativity

Hours Completed: 4


 

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11.03.15 – 13.04.15

Unfortunately, we had to cancel a lesson which was on 23rd of March. My supervisor got ill and he asked me to postpone our lesson. I will write about the one month period including my individual practices as well as two lessons. I enjoy Bobtail Rag more as I continue playing it. It is always better for me to play the pieces I like. I figured out the structure of the piece in approximately two weeks. This exactly matches my supervisor’s guess. He suggested that we shouldn’t move fast. For this reason, I joined my hands till 17th measure and finished deciphering the rest of the piece with separate hands. So, I had to practice all of the pages patiently. This didn’t make me impatient. On the contrary, knowing that I was perfecting the piece made me conscientious. I’ve found the audio file of Bobtail Rag. Whenever I get stuck, I listen to it and try to hear the parts that I’m having trouble with. I’ve also discovered that jazz doesn’t obey some fundamental music rules. For example, if there is C sharp in a measure, all Cs should be played as C sharp. However, in Bobtail Rag, this is not always valid!

Area: Creativity

Hours Completed: 6


 

09.02.15 – 11.03.15

After finishing Rondo totally, we spent our first lesson working on it and going over the parts that I couldn’t play fluently. On 24th of February, we started a new piece called “Bobtail Rag” by Tony Pegler. This is the last piece that I will play in the exam. We started slowly by deciphering the piece. Since it is a jazz piece, there are lots of patterns that I’m not familiar with yet. The piece seems so disorganized and random, however when all notes come together I think the melody will be interesting. I was really patient while deciphering the piece because no two consecutive notes are concordant! Even though I love learning new styles, jazz is stranger than I have thought. My goal for the next lesson is to revise till 17th measure and try to play the piece fluently. Of course, separate hands… At first, I should get used to jazz and the piece’s melody, then I can join my hands.

Area: Creativity

Hours Completed: 8


 

26.01.15 – 08.02.15

I almost completed the Minore section of Rondo. This makes me really happy because I can see that my hard work pays back. My supervisor is also content with the way I study. I’ve learned new methods such as grouping. It is a technique to get used to the piece’s mathematics. You play the notes till the middle of the measure, stop and play the rest as if they are the first notes of the measure. This continues till the end of the piece. Since the technique tires your mind, it gets easier to play the piece naturally. I’ve realized that when I am forced to do something in an extraordinary way, just like playing Minore with new methods, later on it becomes easier to do it ordinarily. So, music also teaches me to deal with difficulties in order to reach success easily.

Area: Creativity

Hours Completed: 4


 

15.01.15 – 25.01.15

After a long snow holiday that affected my piano lessons as well, I could go on with my pieces. I’m looking forward to finishing “Rondo” because I really enjoy its melody. As I mentioned before, the only part left in the piece is the Minore. During both of these lessons, I deciphered the Minore section. Since there is polyphony in this part, it was really fatiguing to combine different melodies. It is only possible to hear and perceive what the music says when it is played with both hands, which is a thing I cannot get along with now. That’s why I focused on this part of the piece this week, ‘Rondo’s Minore’ requires more attention than usual. I can say that our tempo has decreased with Minore because it is even more difficult to concentrate on such a complex melody when I have lots of school work due. Especially during this time of the month, lots of projects came up so I had to decelerate my progress with piano.

Area: Creativity

Hours Completed: 4


 

16.12.14 – 14.01.15

Till the 100th measure, I played “Rondo” both hands. Since there is a repetition of the beginning between 100th and 136th measures, only the Minor part of the piece is left. In other words, half of the piece is completed. For next week, I needed to practice Rondo and try to play it without hesitations and fluent. During the week I couldn’t work too hard but I corrected most of my errors till the 136th measure of “Rondo” with my supervisor the next lesson. It wasn’t easy to go over the parts that I had trouble with. Since it was the exam week, I found it really challenging to set up my mind and concentrate on the piece, however I managed to overcome this problem during our lesson. We didn’t have time to play “Nocturne” in the lesson. I will study both of these pieces during this week. Sometimes I feel like there is no time left to study piano, but I manage to create time especially when I underperform in the lessons.

Area: Creativity

Hours Completed: 4


 

31.12.14

I gave a little New Year concert on request. I played the famous song “Let Her Go” by Passenger and sang it at the same time. Although I felt a little stressed before my performance, I could play the song without any mistakes. I think I proved that I’m good at memorizing piano notes. I didn’t have a chance to practice since everything happened in the blinking of an eye. Without any notes or practice, I was in front of 27 people singing and playing. It was a great experience for celebrating New Year and it can be counted as an attempt to develop new skills such as improvisation. This experience also helped me to overcome my stage fear because I didn’t even have to time think what to do. My concert continued with “Hungarian Dance” which was a piece I studied two years ago. I was surprised and enchanted by the audience’s reaction, they loved my performance and congratulated me. At that moment, I understood how much I enjoyed music being a significant part of my life.

New Year Concert

Area: Creativity

Hours Completed: 1