Practice for Monday, January 7, 2008

Duration: 45 minutes
Piano: Stubby

I’ve found that I like to swing my arms vigorously (kind of like swimmers do in preparation for a race) before I start to practice. It seems to relax my arms and hands, get the blood flowing, etc. Does anyone else do this?

Scales: Sounding good. Sounding professional. Woo hoo.

Inversions: Sounding awesome. The four-note chords now feel very comfortable in my hands.

Arpeggios: Sounding … better. Actually not sounding bad at all.

Warm up pieces:

Bach, C# P&F: Ahhhhh …

Schumann, Elf: Fun. Playing those last three notes is pure joy. (The rest of the piece is, too, but those last three notes especially so.)

Bach Bb P&F: This is all I had time for. I focused on the first 12 measures of the fugue, the soprano and alto voices. Played the voices separately, just working on getting them into my head. Played them slowly, concentrating very intently, listening, then played bits and pieces of the voices together to get a better understanding of what intervals were going on and how they sounded to my ear.

I am convinced that this is some kind of very intense, deep form of meditation. (I typed “medication” by accident at first … but then I thought, “It’s probably medication, too.)

So I felt like I was being awakened from a deep sleep when Lou the Organist tapped on the door to say hi.

Lou the Organist practices at the same church where I practice piano, often at the same times (at which times I am relegated to either Theodore or Stumpy for pianos, rather than Zan the Grand). Now, Lou the Organist is a very nice person and a talented musician, so I always welcome the opportunity to chat with her about music. But today I felt jarred and irritable at the interruption. She had no way of knowing this, so it wasn’t her fault, and I hope my irritability wasn’t apparent. I was glad to see her, except for the fact that I was so focused on Bach, and my lunch piano hour is so inflexible at this time …

So we caught up a bit, for about 10 minutes, then I got back to the fugue. I wasn’t able to get back into the meditative state, though, since I only had about 10 more minutes available for practicing. I used those 10 minutes to work out a right-hand challenge (the third beat of measure 9, for those who are curious … I’ll try to remember to scan it tonight so I can do show-and-tell, which is ever so much more interesting). By the time I packed up to head back to work, I felt good about that third beat.

OK, break’s over. Time to get back to work. Later, y’all.


Laura said…
Oh, I hate playing with that swollen finger PMS thing. I know exactly what you mean. And, I swing my arms, too, but probably for a different reason. I tend to get Reynaud's disease (a circulatory condition) in cold weather like this. The swinging seems to help. A glass of wine helps, too, but doesn't improve my practicing much!

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