Soulmates

I will make an admission.

For many years, I had believed in the notion of soulmates. That there was only ‘one’ person, who was destined to be with me. That this person was looking to. That this person could fill an emptiness deep within me. Loneliness is what I have felt, for a majority of my life. It is in this loneliness, I had attempted to find fulfillment but had not succeeded.

I had spent hundreds of dollars, and countless hours of cold-readings, psychic hullaballoo for what? to quell my anxieties. To tell me that “It will be okay. It will be fine.” To be entitled to this fictitious pipedream of ‘true love’, via the media.

Nearing my late 20s, I realize that none of this is real.

The Greek Mythos, as per Plato’s symposium spoke of the notion of soulmates… that the eternal struggle of human, is to find the ‘other’. Such mythos permeates all throughout religions. It is deeply ingrained in history, and by extension, culture.

The belief of soulmate sets idealistic expectations… one which ultimately disappoints. People aren’t products. They desire, and fear… they have feelings. Yet, in today’s era we swipe through slews of people as if we were looking at a catalogue. To place a ‘value’ on a person. The notion of ‘soulmate’ demands that the other person be ‘perfect’, when perfection does not exist. Immediately, the individual strives for “happily ever after”, in this pursuit of perfection. That is their ultimate motivation. We lie to ourselves.

Soulmates aren’t all that romantic. Rather, it’s selfish idealization. Fights, squabbles, arguments… they happen. Polarities between two people. They happen. The notion of soulmate demands that the other does not bring conflict with them, during union. Again, nonsense.

In my digression, that is not to say that I do not wish to get married one day. On the contrary, that is my intention. To one day marry into a stable commitment, with the intention of ’til death do us part with children in-mind. They are not perfect. Rather, they are human. They are real, and practically speaking they fulfill my expectations. Man, or woman. It matters very little to me. It is the person.

“Is this the person I wish to spend the rest of my life with? To grow with, to experience all of life’s trials and tribulations with?” The ultimate question. I am looking for the best journey with this other.

Even then, one is complete all on their own already. There is no cosmic love pre-assigned.

Music Practise. Meryl’s “Technical Bible.”

NOTE: I’ll be updating this with any new discoveries I make for my own pianistic progress. Pianists, especially piano students stress the importance of technique in pianism. That is why many a young student attends Music College. To refine their technique.


It’s been quite some time since I’ve posted, and this is attributed to my attention being divided elsewhere. Namely, my PhD. I, however have not abandoned the prospect of piano. Primarily, I have been working on refining ‘technique’, that is to better make the piano sing… regardless of repertoire, regardless of differing rhythm or key. How can I better serve the piano? How can I?

The piano must sing.

I am reading a fantastic book by Hungarian Pegagogue, Jozsef Gat. It is titled “The Technique Of Piano Playing.” My piano teacher gave me some of the pages—scanned in-fact, which was given from one of the piano teachers to a good amount of students at The Conservatorium. Being the nosy beaver that I am… I tracked down the original publication. These are some notes that I’ve taken, to better refine my technique, so that one day, I may make the piano sing.




The structure of the human organism (physiology and neurology) has not differed, therefore, there is no new way to play the piano. Since Chopin, Liszt, and Bach’s time… the manner of piano playing is still employed throughout all conservatoriums. Good Piano playing. Just as well, in companion to the physiological aspects of human, the piano-forte has not since changed in its construction since the 88-key variation by Steinway & Sons was released in the 1880s. It is therefore, affable to consider that there ought to be a parallels drawn between the aforementioned pianists (and more), in how they relate to their instruments.

As for the “piano-murders”, and the thumpers… non-non. You want to love the piano.

TOUCH:

Questions:
What are tone-colour concepts? :

Tone Colour Refers to the quality of sound, also known as “TIMBRE”.

What is Agogic elements within pianism?
Accents dude, accents.

What is the “Dolce Touch”?
Dolce Touch means “Sweet Touch”. The pianist sweetly ‘touching’ the keys.

What is vibrato in pianism? In context of applying a display of ‘force’.
One can physically bend the pitch by applying more pressure, or forcing the key downward. That is, keeping the hammer in contact with the string, not retracting it to its former raised position.

Do not associate the notion of “Tone colour” with the execution of touch upon the piano. The pianist makes use of many functions, physiologically speaking. Many a time, some functions… whether that be the wrist, pivot of the elbow, trunk and/or feet can be in contradiction to one another. Effecting ‘touch’, thus, effecting playing.

Tone colour refers to the quality of sound, within the harmonics series the ear is a peculiar thing… we’ve the lower overtones and upper overtones within each tone/note. Lower overtones produce a ‘softer’ note, whilst upper overtones produce ‘sharper’ notes… note that this is on the minute level. Within semi-tones. To the standard listener, a note may sound the same or register as the same note via a tuner device… however, the frequencies/oscillations will determine the ultimate quality of the sound. E.G. 440 HZ may register as an absolute A4, however 430 HZ still registers as an A4… albeit softer in its colour. The colour of tone is dependent entirely on the construction of the piano, and its very quality… that is, the physical materials used in unison to produce the sound. Quality of felt, and coating on the hammers for instance.

A longer time of contact, that is hammer to string will produce softer tone colours. Inversely, if contact time is shorter, tones will be sharper. Again, this has much to do with the piano’s construction.

By way of oscillograms, higher piano tones diminish more rapidly in comparison to lower piano tones. In essence the tone colour does not depend strictly on the pianist, but rather the construction of the piano.


SWING STROKE VERSUS PRESSING A KEY:

“The hammer cannot be brought up to the strings by a uniform motion and therefore a swinging motion has to be applied in order to give the hammer the require impetus” (23).

NOTE: The velocity of the hammer, to the string determines the dynamics/volume of the vibration.

The velocity of the hammer is dependent on the pianist’s striking of the key, attained at the escapement level.

The manner in-which the piano operates, mechanistically to produce sound has to, in simplistic terms do with the hammer striking the string. Not ‘touching’ the string, rather, ‘striking’. If one were to softly press a key downward in a soft and even manner, one will no-doubt touch the string of the piano to the hammer. No sound, however, will be produced (Mute Sustain). The feature of the hammer falling back immediately, after ‘striking’ a string is tantamount to the production of sound.

Sustaining a note, without use of the pedal is where one would press the key/depress it right into the board. If one listens closely to the piano, vibrato is generated. A display of force leads to “Vibrato”. One is forcing the key, if one presses the key down to the bed of the keyboard.

Pressing refers to a consistent, and constant application of ‘force’. One does not press piano keys to adequately play, doing so is an inefficient use of energy. The beginner’s mistake, also is to combine the two… that is, ‘swinging’ with ‘force’ after the previous.


This is known as ‘thumping’. The pianist who depresses the key all the way to the key bed, fails to see how the piano works. There is no need to exert unessacary energy to produce a sound from a piano, even if one is attempting play at a louder dynamic. In deploying the depression of the key, should the strike be executed correctly… the key needn’t sink in completely, rather, only half-way to the bed of the keys. The mechanism of the hammer, supports this. Even a slight tap will deploy the hammer on the string. Therefore, any additional movement or force from the finger is merely supplementary. Never force the sound out of the piano, by way of the keys. Never.

THE FACTORS OF SWING-STROKE:

  1. A firm basis: An elastic support; an actively swinging unit for executing the swinging motion, referred to as the “Active Unit.”
  2. A firm basis refers to the appropriate position of the body. That is, a good stool or bench and correct posture.
  3. In piano playing, the entire body works as an elastic support. The body is always in a state of elasticity, when afforded healthy tension. The rebound (springing back) of keys/shock produced is absorbed by a series of elastic joints. The subtle kickback is not noticeable, but indeed present.

    The same can be said for one striking a hammer onto a nail. One will not hold the hammer down after the blow, but rather, one will re-coil the hammer elastically by muscular action as well as force generated from hitting the hammer onto the nail initially. The same mechanism can be said of the piano hammers to the string. The ‘rebound’ or ‘kinetic force’ must be absorbed by the joints (of the entire body) in-order to execute the next stroke successfully.
  4. Yes, the entire body plays a role in absorbing this ‘rebound’ produced from the keys bouncing back. Therefore, the feet of the pianist plays a very active part in providing ‘elastic support’. NOTE: The feet do not play an ACTIVE role in playing a note, rather the feet act as support to the rest of the proceeding mechanisms of the body.

NOTE: Elasticity refers to physics. That is, the body possesses a healthy amount of tension, where the body can resist distorting influences I.E the motion of touch to the key.

EXERCISES/BREATHING TECHNIQUES:
Alexander Technique.


PhD Progress PT II (Drawing)

An update to the former post of a digital drawing I’ve been working on today. Here’s a portion of the cover, somewhat finished. The glitchy effect was by accident, but I loved it so much I decided to keep it as a side piece to the original cover.

The title is withheld until the comic is published of course.

I seem to have a thing for hands, truth be. Especially long fingers. That’s probably why I like most pianists.

Photoshop CS6 was used, with a Wacom Intuos pro tablet. A whole lot of references via google, were also used.

It’s been a while since I’ve drawn, admittedly… in-between my other responsibilities I have been trying my best to fit it in. Not just drawing, but painting, as well!

I’m influenced from a lot of artists, truth be… if anyone can guess my influences in this piece. Feel free! Of course, I will admit this time around I didn’t consciously reference any particular artist. I focused on rendering values, and playing with colour instead.

No this isn’t me, my Nephew seems to think so. This is Stuart. His appearance is one I’d like to imagine what my future son would look like (all of my drawings are my children)… hypothetically-speaking of course. That is, if I ever do get around to having a son. IF.

PhD Cover progress

Pianism and music has been put on hold for my other responsibilities. There isn’t a lot of time in day, sadly… or, I’m just terrible at time management. Here’s what I’ve been working on, in-between marking students’ work for my sessional job as a drawing instructor:

Meryl Keioskie
Stuart

The cover for my PhD comic. Admittedly, it’s been a while since I’ve digitally painted anything therefore, with this drawing I’ve been doing studies here and there.

Music Practice. 05-04-2021 to 10-04-2021

Feedback:

I have decided to take the plunge and upgrade to a beautiful acoustic piano. A second-hand Yamaha UX upright, which I will be practicing until… I predict, AMUS. I have named him “Alistair”. Some may call me weird, strange… and definitely I am those things. I see my piano as a breathing, organic instrument. He is made of wood, after-all and although he has most likely passed through many hands, he is as much as mine as he was the others. I will love him, and he will love me.

Alistair sits in the background.

Alistair is polished, and dusted frequently. I treat him with care, for soon enough he will be someone else’s. Alistair, like most pianos pass through many hands. Just like a lover would…

As I play his keys, I wonder who graced them before I ever did… what became of them? Are they still pianists? Have I crossed paths with them? Has a terrible fate befallen any of them? Who are they… I’m strange like that, yes.

As for my previous keyboard, Alexander, he has been given to my Nephew who has taken an interest to music. Hopefully Alexander, serves him well.

I have also purchased a Theremin, and will name her accordingly.

I have, attempted to… through the weeks… sluice in 3 hours a day, of practice on the piano.

By way of feedback, my teacher is happy with my progress/ She mentions that my technique is excellent. For next week, I must focus on learning repertoire.

Scales:

*NEW:
D Major. (LH/RH)
B Natural Minor. (LH/RH)
B Harmonic Minor. (LH/RH)

Bb Major. (LH/RH)
G Natural Minor. (LH/RH)
G Harmonic Minor. (LH/RH)
D Chromatic scale. (LH/RH)

Note: Currently I know up to 2 flats, and sharps for key signatures. The sevenths being raised for each minor, does not count. By the end of the year, I hope to surpass this to at least 4 flats and sharps.

Theory:
More to do on SATB chords and such…

Repertoire:

“In The Hall Of The Mountain King” by Grieg.

Drawing Dump.

I forgot to post these drawings, I did. They’re from 2019.

Alain.
Meryl Keioskie
Self-portrait.
Meryl Keioskie

At this moment, I am still practicing pianism and music theory. Mind the delay in updates… more or less, I’ve other things to tend to. Enjoy these drawings, anyhow.

Music Practice. 13-03-2021 to 20-03-2021.

Feedback:

This is indeed the year for piano. I’ve marked my calendar/schedule for many pianistic events to take place–specifically at The Conservatorium. I see it as wise, to sit in the front row… directly parallel to the view of the keyboard, and the performer’s hands on the keys… so that I may observe their technique.

In my observations, although sparse… (I began learning piano five months ago, and I began attending musical events, the very same) weight is never forced/sourced from the fingers. Physiologically speaking, that would be impossible. Fingers don’t have ‘muscles’ (Sorry, Hanon, your exercises are outdated). The mechanic of movement, that the finger joints are capable of are by way of tendons–which, of course run up the entire course of one’s arms.

Therefore, an efficient way of playing is to never play from the fingers… but rather, through conventions of gravity. Source weight from the pivot of the wrists (whilst keeping them loose) and elbows. With a drop–and of course, the fingers will be shifting positions in a subtle push forward (for standard legato) all the while. Staccato is handled differently, where the push is inverted with the tips. Of course, these aren’t the only muscles to consider. The entire body, is used for piano.

In my sitting closest to a pianist, last performance I had attended… I could hear breathing. The fellow played for an hour, just as well… with little breaks/intermissions, and of course–he did an encore performance for his adoring crowd. Beautiful hands, intelligent playing–grace. He is one of the staff members at The Conservatorium, he looks a bit like Mr. Six from Six flags (Mr. six is cool, don’t worry) and seems to scream PIANO from his very pores.

Err… literally, he was sweating. In-fact, any pianists performing repertoire which is demanding WILL sweat profusely. This fellow was playing Bach, Liszt, Schumann, and Rachmaninov for his entire performance. He’d stop between each movement, crack his hands/fingers at his sides… brace himself for the next piece… taking note that he had no music sheets in-front of him, to speak of. He is such a lord. Lord of the keys!

Sweat pianists, sweat. I’ll smile all the while.

Note: Musicianship will be added to my learning curriculum, mid-year. I will be moved up to fourth grade Musicianship, via the AMEB standard. When I advance far enough, to AMUS, I will be sitting some tests to earn some qualifications in-relation to the theoretical conventions of music. Musicianship, or Music theory. As for my progression in playing, I foresee that this will be a more gradual progression. Eventually, when reaching past seventh grade, I will sit an exam, the very same.

After doing so, I intend to attend Music School. And perhaps, eventually, I wish to bridge into higher-education, so as to contribute to research in-relation. Although, knowing me, this is apt to change.

Why do this? Simple, because I can and I must. If I do not cease this opportunity now, I will live my life in regret. The time is now, for me!

Being a musician IS a trade skill.

Music Theory:

Some recommended listening from my teacher:
Ian Munro, Jason Gilliam, Boris Berezovsky (the pianist, not the politician).

With these recommendations, I’ve still my favorite. The Rat Stroganoff.

Rachmaninoff’s compositions always contain some of the most orgasmic climaxes, EVER. That’s romanticism, for you.

My rat is named after him. Hence, Ratmaninoff. When Ratmaninoff goes to the vet, they have no idea how to spell his name. One of the vets said they searched up the pianist, and listened to him for the first time. Good! More ears need to hear Rachmaninoff. I also have a pet-name for my rat, to which I call him “Rachmans“, which makes absolutely no sense, in reference to the original Rachmaninoff.

Frederic Chopin is also my favorite, and that’s mainly because Chopin was, in my opinion, hot. I gots me a thing for pianists. I won’t deny it.

GRADE III THEORY.

Scale Intervallic Sequences:

Major: T-T-S-T-T-T-S
Harmonic Minor: T-S-T-T-S-T1/2-S
Natural Minor: T-S-T-T-S-T-T

Melodic minors will be explored during 4th and 5th grade theory (AMEB).

It helps to remember these sequences, by remembering that TONES rest mid-way.

Accidentals:
I had trouble wrapping my head around accidentals at first, my teacher clarified this for me… thankfully!

For example, if one were adding a sharp to a Bb… this would make the note a B natural as opposed to a B#, since one would raise or lower the semitone in correspondence. Initially, I had assumed, that if one were to apply an accidental sharp to a Bb, it would lead one to play a B#–but this is not correct, especially when we are speaking in context of the piano, and how the piano keys sit. The sharp, as an accidental leads one to step up one semi-tone on the keyboard, whilst the flat has the inverse effect. As for double sharps, and flats… these would be equivalent to stepping up and down two semitones–which, would be akin to a tone (there are two semitones in one tone).


Inversions:
There is total of only two inversions, for triads. Bach’s repertoire, is demonstrative of some sexy inversions. Especially in his inventions.

Minors:
I asked my teacher for further clarification on the different types of minors, there are. In total, three: natural, harmonic, and melodic.

In reading a score with the key of a minor, it is played in the context of ‘harmonic minor’–therefore if a score was in A Minor, one would play the harmonic of that minor–with the seventh raised with an accidental, and not through the key signature (the key a minor has, is sourced from its major equivalent). The natural minor wasn’t introduced in the AMEB syllabus, until recently–for theoretical purposes.

The seventh of the harmonic minor, is raised in correspondence to its diatonic scale pattern.

I’ve been learning about triad chords thus far. I composed this minimalistic piece, some-time ago which makes use of triads. The piece ends on the tonic, giving it a proper conclusion (this is an unspoken rule that can be broken).

The triad chord in this piece is a Tonic Chord. It is built from F to C.

Take note, the 2nds of the Tonic chord for F Major (G), are also added to vary the melody, that is, in separation and not on the chord itself–the primary chords used in this composition, are however triads.

I may re-purpose this piece’s basic rhythm with a Median Chord, and Dominant chord to explore the possibilities further.

F-A-C (Tonic chord of F Major) I Chord.
C-E-G (Median chord of F Major, is essentially the same as the Tonic chord in C Major.) III Chord.
G-Bb-D (Dominant chord of F Major) V Chord.

When I advance to fourth grade theory, I will compose another piece–that is, with other chords in-mind. I also intend to compose some pieces in the minors I have learnt to play, thus far–that is, with the intention of raising the leading-tone (7th) up a semi-tone manually, through accidentals.

Note: Accidentals are called accidentals due to their only occurring, occasionally in the course of a musical composition. They are distinguishable from the key signature. Before accidentals, musicians played music, in-accordance to what their ears told them sounded good. This is known as ‘Musica Ficta’.

Etymologically speaking. Accidental is sourced from Medieval Latin–from “Accidentalis” and original Latin with “Accidentem”. It refers to something occurring outside the normal course of its intended nature. Therefore, the term accidental in the context of music is indeed very fitting.

For accidentals are characterized by both non-essential attributes, and occur outside of the expected nature of its context. In this case, the key signature.

More revision:


+ Chords. Completion of ‘Chords’ in AMEB ‘Theory Of Music’.
+ Annotation of bass clef, up and down two leger lines.
+ Scale degree revision. Technical names, and qualities.

Pianistic Practice:

Scales:

All 2 8VEs. RH, and LH. Contrary, and similar motion with both, also.

C Major
A Natural Minor
A Harmonic Minor

G Major
E Natural Minor
E Harmonic Minor

F Major
D Natural Minor
D Harmonic Minor

C Chromatic Scale.
G Chromatic Scale.
(New) D Chromatic Scale.

(New) D Major.

With scales, I exercise technical skill and use of the hands. Paying close attention to playing smooth, and even legato, with smooth tone of each note–just as well, experimenting with the movement of the tips, slightly expending force forward… and exercising the wiping motions for staccatos.

Scales, again are where I source much of my refinement of technique. I make it a habit to practice scales, right before practicing anything else in piano-work.

Repertoire:

“Royal March Of The Lion.”
“Quadrille”

Refinements of rhythm, and articulations. I am re-visiting these pieces, due to months prior… my hands were still being strengthened and trained to play properly. Technique, always, is at the forefront of my practice, past repertoire.


*LH push in, not down when playing.
*RH extension, keep grounded.
*Don’t miss any stacattos!
*Play bar, by bar. Not the entire piece.
*Slow, and relaxed. Be quick to go slow. Fracture mistakes. Don’t play the entire piece, through.

“A Little Hush Song” = New Repertoire.

Music Practice. 27-02-2021 to 06-02-2021.

I have been learning piano for roughly five months, now. Music theory, a good eight months, now. Before, I had learnt viola for a good three months–and had advanced to I grade music theory, in those three months. Viola wasn’t for me, I had found… piano, I love.

Before then, I had absolutely no knowledge of music at all. That is the truth. Therefore, I began learning music at the age of twenty-five. Music is indeed a worthy investment.

By that measure, it should take me roughly a year to advance to Grade IV music theory by AMEB standards. I am up to GRADE I repertoire for piano-work, and GRADE II for scales.

Mid-year, I will also be taking up MUSICIANSHIP by AMEB standards to learn.

Piano-work is slower to progress in-comparison, due to my desire to focus on technical skill past playing pretty things. I must strengthen my hands, and temper my fingers in-order to practice efficiently. Perhaps this will be reached by Grade III repertoire? Who knows?

Let the music journey, continue.

I try to, as much as I can… fit in allotments of music practice in-between my other responsibilities. The skill won’t acquiesce on its own. Save for the crucial element of retainment of knowledge.

Feedback:

For piano work–It is said that my technique has improved, through these five months of instruction. My tone has become more even, from finger to finger. Tenseness has been alleviated. I do not injure myself as much as I formerly did, with improper playing. Thank goodness.

I have made changes to the manner in-which I play, from my teacher’s instruction. To play from the kinetic energy of my elbows pivoting–the fingers, whichever one is pronated, acts in consequence to the transference of force. Finger strength is worked on primarily for the fingers to stay in a fixed and grounded position–not to draw effort from the fingers directly. Efficiency of energy transference is achieved from the fore-knuckle. Wrists must be supple, and loose to allow the hands to navigate from octave to octave on the keyboard–the groundedness and healthy tension applies only to the fixing on the fingers in the optimal position (the context of this, differs from piece to piece).

Between this, I have been filing back my nail-beds and now I can play on the flats of my fingers comfortable. I see this as a worthy trade.

Stiff playing, is attributed to sourcing weight from the fingers alone–when piano demands use of many muscles in-tandem. Stiff playing, is a big no-no.Speed, among other techniques still must be developed–this is, however in regards to the basal technique all pianists must learn to play decently.

Theory (Grade III, by AMEB standards):

This week, I had worked on:

Major & Minor scales up to four sharps and flats.
Intervals (number and quality).
Scale degrees and technical names.
Primary chords, and first inversions.

I had taken notes, in-relation to learning these. As such, my observations:

* The tonic and root are not synonymous to one another. The root refers to the base note in a chord.
* A dominant triad of a minor key must have an accidental for the leading note (scale degree 7).
* Tonic chord (I), Subdominant chord (IV), and dominant chords (V) are all (1st) primary chords. One will observe their use, mostly in mainstream pop music. These chords, being the primary ones are of PRIME importance.
* The circle of fifths allows one to memorize proceeding key signatures.
* The mnemonic Fresh-Cherries-Grow-Down-At-East-Brunswick is often used to memorize the placing of signature flats and sharps for each key.
* C Major’s Dominant (V) triad is also the Tonic (I) triad for G Major. This pattern is also applicable to proceeding key signatures–such as G Major’s Dominant triad, being D Major’s Tonic triad (D-F-A). The defining feature between each key, of course, is the signature. All is in the matter of context.
* Revision of scale degree names, as per the Ionian mode:
Tonic, supertonic, mediant, subdominant, dominant, submediant, leading tone (vii).
* The tonic can be numbered as either 1/8, for the pattern repeats itself when the tonic note is reached on the next range. The leading tone, is of a diminished nature–which explains the ‘circle’ above the lower-case Roman no. 7.
* Augmented notes, are the inverse the diminished notes–this will be explored further in grade IV music theory. There is also mention of double Augmented, and double diminished notes–again, however, this will be explored much further on.

Pianistic Practice:

Known Scales (GRADE II AMEB):
C Major.
A Natural Minor.
A Harmonic Minor.
G Major.
E Natural Minor.
E Harmonic Minor.
F Major.
D Natural Minor.
D Harmonic Minor.

Chromatic C scale.
Chromatic G scale.

2 8VE.

New Scales:
D Major.
B Natural Minor.
B Harmonic Minor.
Bb Major.
G Natural Minor.
G Harmonic Minor.
Chromatic D scale.

Singular LH & RH–and Contrary motions.

2 8VE.


Repertoire:
“Light Blue”.

A Rat Appreciation Post.

It is no secret. I am somewhat of a rat enthusiast. I own six of my own.

Meryl Keioskie.
My Rachmaninoff.

Rachmaninoff is my favorite, of course.

Meryl Keioskie
Meryl Keioskie.

Then there’s Papa Haydn. A huge mega-chonk.

Meryl Keioskie.

It’s a pity, that they only live for two to three years.

Such wonderful creatures. They bring me a lot of joy, they do.

Pianistic Practice 06-01-2021 to 20-01-2021.

By the Finnish painter Albert Gustaf Aristides Edelfelt . This is my wallpaper at the moment. Hyuk-hyuk~

Feedback:

Pianism will be delayed in progress partially, due to my PhD being due in early 2022 and my teaching drawing classes for the first portion of 2021. I am, at this stage… up to Grade I repertoire, and Grade III theory by AMEB conventions.

I will, however, always do music for the foreseeable future! It is now part of my life.

So far, I have been doing pianism since 29th of of October 2020. It has been four-five months, in my learning so far. Much has been learnt, and yet… I have barely scratched the surface.

My tone in playing scales is becoming more even. The wrists are observed to be nice and soft. However, the hand positioning needs more work. Being grounded is what I am working toward, with the fingers in-relation to being solid in their foundation. That is, the tips of the fingers are cemented into their position of the keys. No pivot occurs from the knuckle. That exerts unnecessary force. No tenseness, either. There is a fine-line to be drawn between being both tense, and applying the proper weight to the keyboard. Rather, the weight of the arm should be transfer the kinetic energy through the final joint (tip) of the fingers.

The hand moves, not the tips of the fingers. No force comes from the fingers, nor do they move. One knows they’re playing properly, if the playing feels comfortable and not over-strenuous. That is, from the tip of the fingers.

For pianists, especially at the professional grade… they are expected to play for long periods at time–and not just that! The repertoire they are expected to, at that level play, is very demanding. Physically.

Theory (GRADE III AMEB):

Worksheets:

The pulse is what the beat is divided into–the individual instance of the notes. An indicator of the rhythm. Grouping of notes, show clearly, how many beats are in each bar.

*Time Signature And Rhythm:

With groupings, one can beam the entire quavers/semi-quavers and so-on in the bar. However, it is not typically accepted, in composing standards. The time signature can always be deduced by the notational values of the notes within each bar—and, the groupings of the notes, if applicable.

Sometimes, on the rare occasion… pieces may not end of the tonic to signify. Instead, it can be from the tonic chord. For example, if a piece written in C Major ends in either C-E-G, it is still correct… however, if it doesn’t end on the C, it’ll sound comparatively more incomplete.

Compound: Pulses are counted.
Simple: Beats are counted.

+ More completion of the work-sheet, in-relation to Scale Degrees, and chords.

+ More practice of subdivision and rhythm. Via “Rhythm trainer”, and sourcing repertoire.

Pianistic Practice:

  • Grounded finger exercise: A flat and uniformed surface. Finger-tips stay stationary. The weight is pushed forward in a subtle manner. The tip stays grounded, and stays glued there. The finger-tips will feel well-worked, however not exerted. Do not move the tips. This will help build a foundational structure. One doesn’t play the piano, like a typist.

Form the bridge, and keep it steady. Never raise the shoulders, or wrists. One plays with a slight pushing forward movement, from the tips. It is very subtle. The structure of the hand, for a basis is being done right if no fingers collapse.

The primary knuckles are elevated higher than everything else, on the hand. Not on the wrists.

  • Intervals = Do so three minutes, three times per day.
  • Squeeze ball: Strengthen fingers/finger tips.

Extension of finger arc, outward so as to not hit my nails (my nail beds extend outward, to the tips of my fingers… thus I must adopt a flatter curve). The mechanic of applying weight to each key, from each finger is a subtle PUSH forward as opposed to HITTING/STRIKING the keys. Remember to utilize WEIGHT of the fingers. Drop them, don’t force them.

The publication of HANON, in regards to its finger exercises are criticized by contemporary school of piano as outdated. Many will find that the exercises within the publication, will lead to a more rigid style of playing… due to the player not employing the things aforementioned here. The force isn’t at all source from the hands.

Scales: (Grade Prelim to II scales)

Further refinement of playing. Grounded-finger playing. Between each note played, reset the position. Be quick to go slow. Verrrryyyy slow. “Push, and back.” One can see a tip of the wrist, back and forth–to utilize the force/weight produced from the upper-arm and so fourth.

Repertoire:

Repertoire isn’t of the utmost importance to me, at this stage in my pianistic progress. More or less, I am intending to spend a good year in solidifying technique. The emphasis with playing repertoire, is to slowly, but surely learn technique in each piece… so as to solidify technique.

Rhythm, and subdivision must also be practiced.

“Light Blue”

This piece, in-which I am learning has the first tuplet to play, in-which I am firstly introduced to. Just as well, between both hands, the rhythm is different. Learning the delicate process of playing staccato and legato per hand, is still something I am indeed working on.