I’ve a pygmalion cyst which needs draining in my right hand. I’ll have that seen to, next week. Simple is better, at this point. We will be spending many months perfecting technique before moving onto advanced repertoire. The flowing wrist raised slightly higher than the keys, relaxing whilst playing, and finger dexterity.
Music Theory Portion:
1> Tones and semitones, and the major scale (plus relative keys).
Annotation of major keys, and their relative minors:
*Also, annotation of their scales. Always begin with F# for those keys containing it, as a base of reference. All on the grand staff.
On the keyboard, If one wishes to find the relative minor to any major key, one moves from the root of the key… down three semitones to find the relative minor.
The Circle Of Fifths can assist you for better understanding.
Piano Theory Portion:
Relaxing and breathing.
Still developing technique this week. Breathing exercises are needed, so my piano instructor suggested that I read these resources:
“The Art Of Breathing” by Nanzy Zi.
“The Musician’s Breath: The Role of Breathing in Human Expression ”
by James Jordan, Mark Moliterno, Nova Thomas.
I’m not advancing further into advanced repertoire, ’til my technique has been fine-tuned. It may, therefore take a couple of months. However, in refining this technique… I will be ensured that the rest of my musical journey in piano, will be smoother sailing.
Repertoire Alouette & Kumbayah, and scales:
* No squeezing, particularly with the left hand.
* Gentle weight usage.
* Circular wrist movements to help relax. Wrists must be loose, always. Long notes should allow for a generous wrist circle.
* Knead the keys.
* Loosen the wrists.
The left-hand will be isolated in strength exercises:
* Stressball exercises for idling, and for ten minutes before playing. Fore-knuckle, closest to finger tips is the primary focus.
This week, I now had the opportunity to attend a piano and strings competition. The first time, I had ever had the wonderful privilege of experiencing pianists, and string players (violinists and a celloist) playing live. They were only meters away–playing at their best. My teacher, who was in the competition with a skillful violinist (her brother) had invited me to the event. It had went for three hours, and in that three hours… I wished for it to never end.
The acoustic piano, is a fabulously loud instrument–yet the violin, with its shrill timbre can cut through the piano at many occasions. In listening diligently, and observing the movements and sheer focus of each student musician… I had a wave of admiration surface over me.
So loud you are–yet, so soft… just as well. Piano-forte~
I adored each. On stage, they would demonstrate themselves… to command the audience to pay them attention. Yet, off stage. Meek, humble… private. Shy. Especially the pianists. Such a sensitive, and delicate collective of individuals. All with hours and hours to their name, with which they had spent with their pianos.
The dexterity of their fingers, the knotting of their brow. I found, personally… that the instrumentalists that I liked most, were those who were most emotive through their playing. Their emotion would be heard, and demonstrated through their instrument. If they were tense, one knew–if they were truly enjoying themselves, one knew just as well. Their hands knew where the keys were on the keyboard. It was as natural as walking to them. Their hands were at their command.
Some demonstrated a variety of struggle, and emotion. Some passionate at certain sections of the piece–this energy being transferred into the keys of the instrument, which would show to that room, pure emotion. The pianists, knowing their role as an accompanist to their string counterparts would glance over every now and again to see if they were guiding them appropriately. Some, I’m certain would accidentally catch my eye–and in that brief moment, I would smile. Then I would think to myself “Do not mind me, go back to your instrument. I am merely here to observe.”
I have a thing for pianists, that is no lie. The way in-which they can command the keyboard, is one I admire… and one I long for myself. Some of the men who played, were as cute as button. In their little black and white suits–their hair slicked for the occasion, yet, they had that touch of scruffiness. Had you of seen the pianist out on the street, you would not know… he would have that air of intelligence, and glazed-over eyes which would point to his mind–one of which was always ticking. That parallel was one I found endearing… one which warmed my heart.
I recall, on my way out… after thanking my teacher that I had told myself “should I come across one of the musicians who played, I will pay them a compliment”. I came across a violinist, who looked a little out of place in his environment. As if, the stage was his home that he had left momentarily. His instrument strapped around that beanpole physique of his, as he wait idly. I caught his eye and said “You were amazing up there!” He smiled, and shyly looked down–a genuine compliment he felt, and thanked me. I then pointed at him and said “Never. Stop. Playing.” Before skipping off, to tell all of the dream I had experienced. I intend to attend at least one musical event every week. Should I come across any musicians I admire, should the time and place call for it–always, will I show my gratitude and I will compliment them in genuineness. Always. I know what it is like, to spend hours and hours alone. Perfecting your craft. Honing your skill. In an empty room. Just with yourself. The blood, sweat and tears poured into that pursuit. For someone to pay you genuine confirmation, and admiration is unexpected. Sweet.
And yet, when you perform on stage, one only sees the refinement of that entire process. A process which had required a large portion of your life. Sheer discipline, commitment, and one which will be with you ’til you are due to expire. I do not lie when I say that the serious musician has that spark within their eye. They are always distinguishable from others in the arts, I’ve found. My Supervisor said that one can distinguish musicians from designers, in that they had more “sensitivity”. I cannot describe what I see, I however know it immediately. All I know, is that I adore it. I have a Bachelor’s degree in design, therefore I’ve been around my colleagues of design for quite some time. I never felt as if I belonged, nor did I feel as if I was welcomed. That’s the truth of it. However, these music students… When I was set to leave, I found myself standing in amongst the crowd. All of which, who were on stage… all of-which who had performed only moments earlier. Temperance… calm… acceptance. Never had I experienced this from a crowd before. I felt strangely at ease, and welcomed. Perhaps this is where I belong?
It will be a long time ’til then, but I don’t care… for I’ve got time.