Friday, November 25, 2011

Progress in Piano

Been working and travelling for work a lot, so haven't been blogging much.

I've continued practicing my piano and was very encouraged by how quickly I picked up some of the pieces I used to know, such as Prelude in C Major (Bach), Fur Elise (Beethoven), Valse Sentimentale (Schubert), and some preludes by Chopin. However, I could feel my hands were not managing the pieces with the dexterity they had 10-15 years ago when I was last playing.

Since I've stuck with this for a few months, I decided it was okay to buy a new book. A very practical purchase though. The only exercise books I had are the ones from my youth (Fingerpower, Know Your Scales and Arpeggios). The first was just too simplistic for me as an adult learner, and the second - while a good resource - seems more about getting familiar with sharps and flats in each key and the basic chords. So I bought Hanon's The Virtuoso Pianist, which is an exercise book written more than a hundred years ago. Playing these pieces is a time-tested way to improve strength, so I now start my practice sessions working here. Apparently, once you learn all sixty exercises, you can play the whole book in an hour. Lofty goal indeed, but why not? I need practice with the basics!

Getting my strength and fingering back up to par should help me reconquer my old repertoire with more control, plus aid me as I re-learn some other pieces: Sonatina in G Major (Diabelli) and Pachelbel's Canon in D.  And, just to keep things interesting, I felt it was important to learn some completely new pieces: Beethoven's Sonatina in G Major (and then continue to work in the Sonatina album) and "Vittorio, Mio Core" a great Italian art song by Carissimi.

Maybe as I get into the Christmas break, I'll work up enough nerve to post of a video of my playing? Hmmm...

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