Monday, November 15, 2004

Piano Report

Piano today was good, despite the spottiness of my practicing last week. My manic mood didn't bode well for playing the Mozart Fantasie, but that was OK because we spent most of the lesson on technique (this blasted hyper-stressed thumb), figuring out scheduling for the next few weeks, and discussing the wall I've seem to have hit with the Mozart.

TECHNIQUE: I'm actually going to buy smiley face stickers and stick them on the back of Thumb so I'll remember not to tense her up when I type and play piano. I hope I can find frowny-face stickers, actually, since Thumb is very unhappy that I'm always stiffening her up when all the poor girl wants to do is relax and fit in with all the other fingers. Even though Thumb isn't technically a finger. But if I look at my fingers while typing and see my poor, stiffened-up Thumb looking sad, then I might be more likely to relax her a bit.

(Yes, Thumb is a girl. At least Right Thumb is. All the left-hand fingers (and thumb) are boys because ... well, because they typically play tenor and bass and their "voices" are deeper than those of the soprano/alto right hand fingers (and thumb). My apologies if I offend the gender-sensitive.)

I'm also playing piano with pencil erasers at home. That's because I try to make my poor fingers (and two thumbs) do all the work and don't give my arm the bulk of the work. By holding pencils in each hand and striking the notes with the erasers, I get the sense of playing with the force of my arm/elbow without working the fingers (or two thumbs) at all. Then, when I switch to playing without the pencil erasers, I find that I've transferred some of the energy and effort into my arm and my fingers (and two thumbs) are free to relax and just play.

Sounds weird, but I think it's helping me. For the first time in months, Deborah didn't say a word about my fingers doing all the work when I played my scales. But I forgot to tell her about the erasers. Next time.

I love piano.

SCHEDULING: Deborah was very nice about saying I need to work on a schedule where I'm playing more. It's been sad lately. I've just been so busy with non-piano stuff. Hoping to get some good practice sessions in between now and my next lesson.

I love piano.

MOZART: We worked on the Mozart for the last fifteen minutes of the lesson. I feel as if I'm overanalyzing my own playing, and I told her this. "It seems like it should be so easy, but I'm working so hard ... I think I'm taking the piece, or myself, too seriously. I'm being too perfectionistic when I don't need to be."

Much to my relief, she said, "No, it's not easy. It's not supposed to be easy." And she approves of perfectionism, at least to a certain degree. :-)

So I can continue to perfectionize with abandon. Sort of. She didn't say that, but at least I'll know I'm not "beating a dead horse" by playing the first eleven measures over and over and over again because it didn't quite sound right the first 40 times.

We ran out of time and didn't work on the Dett. That's OK. I'm still getting to know it ... still learning the notes. So next time we'll focus on it more.

I love piano.


Guess what! My mommy is coming to visit soon! My daddy is, too!

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