Just What I Needed

Know what I needed today?

A good piano lesson. That’s what I needed. And that’s exactly what I got.

I told Deborah all the same things I wrote about here a couple of days ago. We came up with a way to make better use of my practice time so that I’m able to give more effort to the Dett and the Mozart.

About the Mozart … we’re taking some time off from it. I’d been working on it for an adult piano recital in Asheville, which was supposed to be this weekend, but it was cancelled. I pretty much have the piece down … so maybe it’s time to move on. And, when the next recital comes up, I’ll work on the Mozart again, along with whatever else I might be playing.

My thumb problems seem to be the result of several things. One, I have too much movement in my wrist, which forces my thumb to twist. So I need to keep my wrist firmer and let the movement be a more horizontal movement of the forearm. Plus, I need to relax my thumb. She’s been telling me this since Day 1. I don’t know why I can’t relax it. Why don’t they make Xanax for thumbs? I think another problem may be that I type all day, so my thumb is always on the space bar, tensed slightly because it gets used so much. So I think its natural habit is just to stay tense all the time.

I played the B-flat contrary-motion scale well! Woo hoo! And she said not to spend more than five minutes a day per practice on contrary motion scales. But she did encourage me to devote some of those 10-minutes-here-and-there practices to contrary-motion scales. Good. Because they need the work!

The arpeggios sounded fine, both in similar and contrary motion. I find contrary-motion arpeggios so much easier than contrary-motion scales.

We worked on the Dett for probably half the lesson. There is this section with crossed hands, and there are three voices singing, similar to what you might find in a Bach three-part invention. I hadn’t realized this before. Seeing it as a modern-day three-part invention rather than … oh, I don’t know, something else … made is suddenly make a lot more sense to me. So now I can’t wait to get home and practice, and learn the personalities of each “voice” the way I did with the three-part invention I worked on last year.

So, I’ll probably be blogging a lot more about Dett in the future. (Finally! It’s taken me a while to warm up to this piece, but this little three-voice thing has definitely motivated me!)

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