What have I done?

Hello, I have not updated this for a very long time.  It’s not because I didn’t want to, but I didn’t have anything to write about.  Now I have.   I have been given my hardest challenge and that was to learn to play a Mozart piano Sonata.   Mozart K545 to be precise.    I asked what grade it was and the answer was about Grade 6.    My piano teacher gave it to me, as she felt that although I was not at that level, it would be good for me to do.   So, I knuckled down and got on with it.  It was quite technical in parts but with a little assistance from my teacher, I overcame the obstacles and although it took me rather a long time to get through it, due to the length and technicality of the piece, I am so glad I got to the end of what to me was a very hard and long task.   Half way through I was given the option of quitting and I said no, I am not a quitter so I stuck with it, tears and all but one of my greatest dreams was to play something like this and well, it is not perfect but all three of the pages have been played.  Now the next hurdle is to play all three pages non stop.   ooh now that is certainly a challenge.

Until next time

 

 

Performance Assessment

I don’t know what happened but I failed to update this blog in so long.   Anyway I have decided to undertake ABRSM Performance Assessment.   I stopped doing exams, having done four because I found them too time consuming with other things going on in my life.  The Performance Assessments are better for me as they are more relaxed and you decide whatever you wish to do without having to thumb through a book of pieces.  You are not graded on this and you still get valuable feedback from the examiner on your pieces which can be useful for future reference.  You also get a written sheet and a certificate at the end (without having to wait weeks for it).      After doing this one, I may do another one at some point in the future, but if not, then I will treat this as another string to my bow.  We all learn in different ways and there is no right or wrong way.   Some say grades motivate them, and others are motivated by other means.   I am motivated by watching and learning and doing.

My next challenge

My next challenge for the flute is to try and perfect the G Major scale.  For anyone that is familiar with flute scales it will be well known that you have to reach higher notes and that can be challenging, especially if you are not used to it.  I am not used to it so it is a bit tricky and not something I can learn in five minutes.  This will take A LOT of practice, but there is no rush and I have a lot o time on my ands

Flute progress

I have decided to use this blog to track my flute progress.   This way I can see each step of my progress and work out a learning schedule.  Fortunately I have had a few lessons from a qualified flute teacher so I am thankful that she got me on the road to starting to learn how to breathe, and blow and how to put the flute together as I was a complete novice.  I have not done as much flute practice as I would like due to having a busy life, but I now am in a position where I have some time to devote to it and so with the help of youtube, I am practicing the scales and learning how to do the fingering etc.  I started with the C Major scale and arppegios.  It is fun and whilst the flute is not my major instrument, I am enjoying it all the same.

No performance

Unfortunately, having posted that I will be playing at my local festival, I have decided to withdraw.  This is for a number of reasons, mainly due to the fact that I would have to perform outdoors rather than indoors, and the kind of music I would be playing would not be suitable to be played outdoors.  I am sure there will be other opportunities at some stage that will be more suitable to the type of player that I am.  Until then, I continue to play at home and find pieces that I can play in future.

My next venture

Hello, I have decided to write again. This time it is about my next venture which is taking place next month (August). My local town I holding a festival and when it was advertised, they also wanted musicians to take part and play something of their choice, either as solo, or part of a group. I saw this and thought this would be a wonderful opportunity for me to play a classical piano piece. I usually only play for myself and decided that the time is now right for me to put myself out and do something for others. There really is no point having the skill if it is not to be shared. So I am sharing my skill.  This event covers a multitude of activities, not just music over a number of days. I hope this will be something I can do again at some point, so I will have to keep my eyes and ears open and see what transpires. It is a great opportunity to engage and get out into the unknown. Not really knowing the type of audience. They might be surprised, I might be surprised. But above all, I am sharing something I love.

Something completely different

What is it?   It is ballet!   After a hard week, I came home and needed to relax.  I usually relax to music, but I thought I would watch a ballet.  The ballet of choice was The Nutcracker.  It is a light hearted fun fantasy story which appeals to both young and old.  The dancing and music is superb which is a bonus.  This is the only ballet I have seen on stage and after seeing it again this evening after a gap of almost 25 years, I thought I may start watching some more ballets.  I think if you are going to seriously get into ballet (watching not dancing lol) then The Nutcracker is a good starting point.

Music in films

Happy New Year !

I went on New Years Day to see the movie Hunger Games Mockingjay.   Whilst it is not to everyne’s taste, I enjoyed it.  The main purpose of this post of the New Year is to speak about music in films.  I absolutely loved the song The Hanging Tree from the movie.  It started off as a solo song, and then gradually, the orchestra and choir were brought in which made it sound much nicer.  Now after listening to it, it comes across as a kind of haunting in a strange way.  I would love to see it being done (orchestra and choir).  I now really like it.  Music brings films alive, it brings out so many emotions in the viewer,   I wonder what emotions this brings out in you?

Here it is.

The Last Post

No not literally the last post, but the last post of the year.  I hope you enjoy this clip.   My intention is to add more clips at some point in the future.  I love playing and hope to take it to another level next year.

what we learn

I have posted that I am learning the flute as well as the piano.   It is hard work, and I have only now had about 5 lessons.   I have not yet been taught the full range of notes, but the breathing is becoming easier.  I am just starting to play notes in the lower register which takes more effort.   I have yet to start on very high notes.   It is a challenge and when one challenge finishes, another one starts, which would be the same for anything we do.  Nothing remains static.

I am still not convinced that the flute is the instrument for me, but as I have said before, I do like a challenge and I am not a quitter and once I set my mind on something, I see it through to the end.

My only wish is that I owned a proper piano (a very good quality acoustic), but unlike the flute, there are opportunities to play superb pianos, so all is not lost. There is something really special about lifting the lid of a grand piano and closing the door and just playing.  I have done that, and it gives you a great buzz, and you can just transport yourself into your own world for a while.

I think this video clip says it all.

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