Two Books and a Performance

A lot has been happening for me on the piano front and I can’t believe its been a month since I last wrote! Ofcourse, ever since I got my piano practice has kicked into high gear. The piano is still rather new but slowly opening up with all the playing that has been going on. I’ve gotten more used to its sound now and have no reservations about playing a forte in my tiny apartment. No complaints from anyone yet so that’s promising.

In the meantime, my teacher informed me that I’ll be performing the Chopin etude (op. 10, no.9)  sometime close to the end of this month. For the last two weeks I’ve worked on cleaning up certain areas of the piece and trying not to have memory lapses on certain areas. It’s a tough piece but it’s sounding loads better from where it was two months ago. My fingers and arms feel very relaxed throughout and that’s always a good sign with such a fast piece.

Two new books have made it onto my bookshelf to accompany me on this journey. The first has to do purely with pedalling. While practicing my piece I realised that I would often get so caught up in the piece I’d forget about my foot resting on the pedal. To better understand the art of pedalling, I picked up the “Pianist’s Guide to Pedalling” by Joseph Banowitz. It’s a well written book although it’ll take me some time to get through it all. It covers a variety of pedalling technique over different musical periods which I found immensely helpful.

The second book I’m currently reading is “The Musician’s Way” by Gerald Klickstein. This one isn’t specifically about piano but it has everything to do with general musicianship. I’m only a few chapters in but I’m already reaping the benefits of many of the suggestions in this book. One of the biggest changes this has helped me do is structure my practice sessions and break down my repertoire into various categories (such as developing pieces versus performance pieces etc.) This helped me not only view all of them in bite-size amounts, but it also helped me keep track of my progress. Recently, the Bach Prelude went from a “developing piece” to a “performance piece” and it was pretty rewarding to watch it move to a different list and have space for a new piece.

Sometime in the near future, I will figure out a good way to record an accoustic piano. I’m learning quite a bit about the way sound travels and I did a couple experiments today with a studio condenser mic we recently bought. The general consensus seems to be that one requires atleast two or three mics placed at various spots near the soundboard to adequately capture the range a piano produces. After today’s experiments, I can see why they say that.

Well that’s most of the update for now. Hopefully the next time I post, it will be with a recording from my new piano!

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One thought on “Two Books and a Performance

  1. I am so impressed by your methodical and dedicated approach to practice. Very inspiring. I’m definitely going to look up those two books. Thanks!

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