Friday, June 10, 2011

Day 137: Sight Reading Improvements

I have, in general, improved my sight reading skills over the past ten years or so.  Now I am working on improving them even more by working through not only the ragtime pieces I picked to learn, but just playing through the right hand of other pieces as well in my big book of ragtime.  At this point, I am going to spend a lot more time on sight reading.  I am unsure when I will return to Debussy. It will probably be later this summer.  Updates will be few and far between for the blog and the Twitter.  Being able to sit down and sight read for 10-20 minutes here and there throughout each day lends itself more to my schedule at the moment over a rigid hour or more dedicated practice to a technically and musically difficult piece of music such as Clair de lune.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Day 132: Clair de lune Going On Hold

I'm stopping the clock here on day 132 out of 150 and spending time on something else for a little while.  Quite simply, Clair de lune requires a lot more time and effort than I am able to put into it at the moment. I will pick up with 18 days left in the coming weeks.  In the meantime, I am going to focus on some ragtime.  Yes, I'm changing up the game plan slightly.  I had intended to finish the five pieces I set out to relearn in no more than 150 days and then I was going to move on to additional pieces by each composer.  I was going to start with Grieg and move on from there, but now I have decided I want to go ahead and learn the additional Joplin pieces.  I do not know how long this will take me.  I will not focus on committing the new pieces to memory.  That will be a secondary product of what I do beyond the five pieces in the original course of re-learning.

I feel I have to take myself off of Clair de lune also because I am getting generally discouraged by just about everything in life right now.  Having something so difficult to do during what is supposed to be an enjoyable time of my day just does not help.  Don't worry, I will be re-learning Clair de lune.  It is, after all, one of my most favorite piano pieces.

So, now I am cracking the big book of ragtime open to the two Joplin pieces I planned on learning at a later date. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Day 128: Easing Back Into Things

Depression always has bad timing, doesn't it?  I am pulling myself out of the funk I have been in and getting back to practicing.  I have completely blown the extra time I gained by finishing other pieces early.  I have 22 days left of the original goal time to finish Clair de lune. It will be tough, but I am still going to try to finish within the time I allotted for myself.  I have decided during my downtime and a lot of listening to ragtime that after I learn my additional "new" pieces by Grieg, Joplin, and Debussy, that I will devote myself to the ragtime genre.  It is too much fun and very rich.  Everyone enjoys hearing ragtime on the piano.

Enough of my future plans, though.  For right now I am easing back into Clair de lune. And by easing, I mean I only practiced a handful of measures this morning (about five).  I am going to take it slow for a couple of days so I don't get discouraged as I make myself get back into a routine.  This will definitely not help with the schedule I set out, but I think I may still be able to complete Clair de lune ahead of schedule.  We shall see!  Thank you for sticking with me during my bit of a break.  I wish I had more encouragement to soldier on.  That always helps!