Monday, June 22, 2009

The Schubert Practice That Didn't Happen

"Self, if you're going to be tired and super-sensitive and not pay attention, then you might as well be at work, where you don't *have* to think this hard. So just go back to work, Self."

That's what I told myself. So I packed up my music and went back to work.

There are few things I hate more than wasted practice time at the piano. I know myself well enough to know that today was going to be a bad practice. I was tired and fuzzy-brained, but that wasn't the real problem. The real problem was that I was distracted.

For one thing, I didn't want to take a long lunch hour. The knowledge that I was on a short (25-minute) timetable was disastrous for my concentration. Too bad, because I'm usually pretty good at making those short sessions pack a punch.

I also kept thinking someone was listening. Paranoid, I know. I don't usually worry about people listening when during a lunch hour practice session. So maybe I have a sixth sense and someone really was listening today. Either way, if I even think someone might be listening, my ability to focus on practicing goes out the window.

So I did my scales and arps and "practiced" for about five minutes, then I packed up and went back to work.

Maybe tomorrow's practice will be better.

To make this post a little less depressing, I'll show you what I'm focusing on for this week.

This is the Coda of the Schubert Impromptu in E-flat major, Op. 90, No. 2. Much of the piece falls right into the hands, but the Coda didn't look like it would feel quite as natural to play. So I decided to work on it first. Here's the entire Coda:

Yesterday I focused on the second half of the coda. It turned out to be much easier to "pick up" than I'd originally thought. The only parts that gave me a bit of trouble were the part where the chords went in opposite directions:

See what I mean? Also, the chords in the RH (right hand) are a bit of a stretch for my tiny fingers. Plus, much of this is played on the high end of the piano, which means I have to imagine what it sounds like, thanks to my high-frequency hearing loss. I know, I could practice an octave lower, but I'd rather not.

I was happy with yesterday's practice. I can play the second half all the way through, at a slow tempo. I actually have it by memory too, for the moment. I have the notes.

My practice for today was supposed to be on the first half of the coda. My goal was to have the first half up to the same standard as I have the second half. Specifically, I knew I would need to work on those parts of the first half that were similar to the second half:

I didn't get very far. But I'll be able to work on this tonight. I'm due for another good practice.

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