Thursday, December 31, 2015

Tried to remember to concentrate on tone while working on arpeggios, but got more interested in playing fast. Was sort of successful, could definitely see improvement from last week.

Played Bells In Snow, (more like sight-read it) because I want snow. Not that I think I can make it snow by playing the harp.  Worked a little more on Prelude Intimes and Automne, both are coming along, and way more easy than what I've been working on for my album.

Bit the bullet and started working on Chaconne again, which is something that needs to be re-recorded.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Octaves with something I can't remember the name of - "Stilts" something? It's in Tiny Tales for Beginning Harpists. Or Beginners. Or something along those lines. I can't be bothered to get up and verify any of these names.

Got one more line of Automne under my belt. Played almost all of Prelude Intimes.

Tried to work on the first page of Rigaudon. I just do not know how to play that fast and loud without my fingers flying off the strings. Or wobbling.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Double notes (Idyllic Poem): Played at ♪ = 40 and it was a struggle!

Went over 2nd part of Automne, need to relearn it. Played almost all of Prelude Intimes. Flagged on very last page.

Got two more lines crossed off Prelude 4.

Played Prelude 2 and Arabesque 1 just because I can now.


D scale and variations and part of Intervals Single String.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Trills: Tambourin and (Inquietude)

Old tune review: Automne

Got more measures of Prelude 4 knocked out, and moved on to lines. All lines of 1st and 3rd page done. Second page needs measure and line work.

Will the Circle Be Unbroken
How to Warm Up

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Poetical arpeggios and Prelude Intimes. Tried jump to quiet chords in Prelude 2.
Fiddle: Frere Jacques, Ode to Joy, Kerry Polka, Kerfunken Jig.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Bochsa octaves.

Worked on last 2 Prelude Intimes.

Knocked out more measures of Prelude 4.

Played many of the Solos for Harp Player.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Too tired to really do too much. A little bit of double notes, a little bit of review of old pieces.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Fiddle Friday

Did Introduction To Bowing and Introduction To Fingering Lesson 1. Introduction to Fingering Lesson 2 seems to be missing. Played Mary Had A Little Lamb in the key of D major.
RH trills with Tambourin and LH with Poetic Studies.

Went through the rest of Medieval to Modern. Yikes.

knocked out several more measures on Prelude 4.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Using the new practice session structure yesterday I worked on scales from Poetical Studies, ran through Preludes Intimes, and worked on Srebotnjak's Prelude 4.

Notes on the session: I want more speed out of my scales, but can't do that until I've warmed up? It takes a while and takes too much time out of my limited practice time? Will I loosen up over time to the point where I can sit down and bang out some scales quickly? I need to learn the last 2 Prelude Intimes.

Today, I worked on arpeggios from Poetical Studies. I ran through Solfegietto and the first few pieces in Medieval to Modern. Ran out of time.

Notes: My hands feel great.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Sos. Or, "Wow" - with my fingers on the correct keys (although SOS could be appropriate) - I didn't write here that I finished the first draft of my album, ie I got Giga recorded.

However, it's crap, and I'm going to have to re-record it. Editing is underway, which is how I know Giga is crap. Some other things are crap, too, but that may be ok because my microphone was broken during that session.

After getting my album "done", I slipped on practicing (hence the "SOS").  I found a couple resources that helped get me inspired to practice again: which is a website run by Anne Sullivan who blogs helpfully and frequently about being better at the harp, and which is a website created by Jason the Fiddlehed who teaches fiddle through multitudinous youtube videos where you can find lesson plans and strategies as well as an extremely helpful daily lesson outline.  Both are extremely encouraging teachers.

Today, I'm running a little behind in my schedule, so I only got to warm up and work a little on Prelude 4.  I'm going to try going over pieces I already know in future sessions, as recommended on fiddlehed as well as an article I read about Salzedo that said he went though an entire recital repertoire once a week.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Monday, October 12, 2015

I think I may have overcome the mental hurdle I had regarding dynamics in Giga. I really buckled down yesterday and did some work one phrase at a time.  Almost note by note.  Which is what I did today, but my brain could only take 1/2 hour of that before it said "no more".  I need to do some cementing, possibly, after test recording tomorrow - with the right disc - of the dynamics in Giga, as well as the left hand in Berceuse. As well as metronome work with Prelude 2.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Recording was a wash today.  Need to work on Giga dynamics in tiny phrases slowly.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Prelude 2 - pause 2 sec, not 3. go over middle section - remember it's a melody.
Giga- really, really exaggerate phrases and remember it's a dance
Berceuse - left hand needs to be quieter but phrased, beginning in general needs to be quieter, pedal change at beginning A♭.
Recording these tomorrow, fingers crossed all goes well.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Picked random measures and worked on them. 3 in LGR. Then played different pieces to for fun but then to see what I had memorized.  I have a lot memorized, except for various lines in various pieces. So I don't have any one thing totally memorized.

Need to listen to the recordings I made because I made voice notes.
Giga is still boring.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Made practice charts for Chaconne and Prelude 4. And something else. It's hard to think with a headache.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

I've been working on little sections of Impromptu by Lex van Delden because I'm so sick of Giga.  I'm hoping it's a good thing that I'm "setting it aside" for a little while. Hopefully, all the dynamic and musical things will percolate and it will be perfect when I pick it back up again. 

I almost couldn't make myself play today, so I did the CBT thing of "try it for 5 minutes". I lasted longer than 5 minutes, but not by much.  I did play fiddle a little bit after that, and that was fun.  I'm still working on trying to play the notes in tune.

I also sight-read a little bit of Joaquin Turina's Tocata y Fuga arr. Nicanor Zabaleta (thank you, MultCoLib and Vassar College ILL depts) and will probably order it.  I like the pieces and they are arranged REALLY well.  I always wonder when that happens (Dewey Owens anyone?) if the arranger had the same size hands as me, or if they had really bendy fingers like me.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Results of exaggerating:
- Listen to original Berceuse, more strictly in time and sounds ok.
- Don't pause between measures in Berceuse, make sure glisses dissolve into notes properly.
- Sped up Giga in audacity, don't like the over exaggeration, but some things sound good. Maybe incorporate regular phrasing instead of exaggerated.
- Prelude 2 sounds good, just need to record 3x to find errors and FIX ERRORS.

Friday, September 11, 2015

After all the technical work, Giga now sounds boring.

Options for making it more interesting:
+ Really, really exaggerate the phrasing. Like, REALLY. And record it and see if anything sounds good. (searching duckduckgo brought up a lot of "How to be interesting" articles. Pursue later. Right now, FOCUS.) (Practice these things in small chunks/phrases.)
+ Painting the scene chapter
+ Play along with the recording I really like

Add more as I think of things.

I also need to go back to exaggerating Berceuse. Need to do that and record.

And I need to do that for Prelude 2.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

All 'x's erased in Giga.  Record all tomorrow to see where additional 'x's need to be added.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Erased the 'x's off the 1st and almost all the 2nd page. I'm a little sick of Giga.

Berceuse and Prelude 2 are keeping, I think.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Yesterday, I erased more of the 'x's I marked in Giga. I make different mistakes every time, though.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Giga, Berceuse, and Prelude 2 are all very close to being ready to record.

Since I just canNOT play the first ending in Giga, I need to treat each section as a ... section and rit. at the ends, not necessarily leaving a gap, but just making a noticeable ends like I did in Rigaudon. Take a breath.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Did not want to practice today. Worked on a little bit of buzzing and missed notes in Giga and meas 24 of Flagello's Sonata.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Test recorded, need to listen to Giga and Berceuse and mark trouble spots and write down practice plan.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Giga notes

It's totally fine to play this slower.
Watch out for buzzing jeezy creezy.
Incorporate more dynamics and phrasing.
Make it sound fun.

Monday, August 17, 2015


I finally fixed my good headphones - it took two hours - so I can now do all the subsequent things I've been putting off. 

I'm taking a break, dammit. Two. Hours. Mostly from threading the tecflex onto the wires and now my fingers are killing me.

On the bright side, I did manage to solder and reassemble everything without testing. Ha!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Test recorded Giga 2x, tried 3 but my hand was cramping.  That's something that definitely needs working on before recording for real.

Also recorded Berceuse and Prelude 2 to see where I am.

Also need to rewire my headphones before I can listen to these recordings critically.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Went through Giga and practiced playing my preferred mods at the preferred times.  Time to record and adjust this one.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Changed my mind on Giga again, and I think the last variation would sound better with broken chords and uneven rhythm.  I think I might leave of Prelude 4, too.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

While trying to improve Giga by visualizing, I realized there are repeated themes in different keys, but using completely different fingering and splitting the chords between two hands differently, which may explain why I can't remember how to play either of them. And why it's exhausting to visualize.

Berceuse needs test recording, or I need to listen to my other recording to remember how I want to play it.

Started some good work on Prelude 2, need to chain the rest of page 1 and first part of p 2.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Giga - need to work on problem spots on 2nd and 3rd pages. Another two week heatwave coming up, so who knows when that will happen. Visualizing helped, though so maybe that's something I can do when it's hot.

Monday, July 20, 2015

After an epic heatwave (for Portland) I got back to Giga. I got out the red pen and listened to my practice recordings. The first repeat is a source of constant trouble. Reading Practicopedia chapter "Clearing Obstacles" to see if it helps.

Berceuse seems ok. Need to record that to see if it still sounds like what I want.

Prelude 2 is ok. Need to work on trouble spots.

Prelude 4 needs a lot of detail work.

And I'm going to have tater tots for dinner because now I can actually use my oven without my apartment nearing temperatures that would melt the One Ring.

ETA: I might try visualization - last chapter in the book - along with chaining.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

The prolonged heat is taking a toll on my ability to practice, both mentally and physically.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Two versions of Italian Pavane

I may or may not be learning this.  However, it turns out it's perfect for if you've sprained your right ankle as most of the accidentals are B, C, and D.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Recorded four pieces today. The session was a little shaky. I learned recording four at one time is too exhausting. However, someday, if I can get to the point it only takes two takes, it might be feasible.

Need to buy another SD card.

Friday, June 12, 2015

I could use a couple more days work on everything, but heading into studio tomorrow anyway. 

Today I just need to mark First Arabesque with red pencil articulations.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Now I feel suddenly not ready to record. I still am having trouble with spots in all the pieces and I'm not sure on some what picture I'm trying to create.

Monday, June 8, 2015

The Folk Song is something that needs to be played regularly in order to remember it at all.

Everything else is very close to being recording ready.  Tambourin just needs practice variations recorded. But I do know faster is better.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Fingers sore from yesterday's trills. Plus arms tired from working out. Concentration nil. Will try again after lunch.

ETA: Nope.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Tambourin - trills need to be slower and less squeaky. And I need to figure out dynamics, wow.

Rigaudon - The dynamics I decided on I like and can be added to the actual music. 

1st Arabesque  - need to go through and mark mistakes and drill those.

Folk Song - ready? possibly?  need to mark dynamics, but they're already kind of ok?

Not recording this weekend, hopefully next.  Then I will have ONE piece left. I think I'm going to skip the Italian Pavane.  Then I can re-record whatever is necessary.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Friday, May 29, 2015

I think Tambourin, Rigaudon, First Arabesque and Folk Song I might all be ready to record. Tambourin is probably as good as it's going to get.  Everything else just needs test recording work. And I do mean work, not just "whatever".

Monday, May 25, 2015

Friday, May 22, 2015

Rigaudon - worked first 2 sections slowly. last phrase of 2nd section still needs work.  Need to work slowly on last 2 sections. With dynamics. Need to listen to recording.

First Arabesque - I may have finally deprogrammed myself for the opening triplets. 2nd and last page still need deprogramming. Need to listen to recording.

Folk Song 1 - need to listen to recording. May just need work on one arpeggio.

Giga - ?? Not sure what to do with it. Maybe just keep working it slowly up to speed.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Re-mark Rigaudon and re-record. I liked the slow version. Take elements of slow version and make fast.

Not much difference in variations on Folk Song. Just need to record?

Sunday, May 10, 2015

I also have Arabesque 1 almost completely memorized. I still have one page where I have it memorized wrong from my high school years, and need to un-cement it.  I've been close to successful with the other pages. The opening thirds finally work except for my right third finger occasionally.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Folk Song I, Tambourin, and Rigaudon are all ready to be recorded 5x.

Arabesque I needs more line by line work, then recording 5x. Also compare to piano rolls.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Notes from video

Reeeaally need to learn not to lick my lips, or press them together, or do that weird fake-smile thing.
My bangs are too thick.
Look at one thing, either the music or strings, constant head turns are distracting. Basically need to know my music better.
Need to match my facial expressions and hand gestures to the music.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Practice Performance Notes

This was such a good thing to do.  I got really nervous, and I had completely forgotten everything that goes along with that, like turning bright red and then getting even more nervous because of that. And being really tense and shaky.  Maybe nervousness is like pain - you forget how bad it is and get tricked into thinking "Hey, it's not so bad!"

Things to consider:
- tie down my hair so it doesn't get caught in the sharping discs and make a really distracting "plink!" noise EVERY TIME I change a pedal.
- wear lip balm/gloss/stick/ANYTHING so I don't like my lips while playing. Not attractive.

- Make a setlist and stick to it, even if it's just the order I have my music in on the stand, with sticky tabs.
- if playing on hardwood floors, make sure I have quiet shoes.
- when I make a mistake, don't laugh. Reeeally not professional.
- I need someplace to put my music after I'm done with it.

Things that went well:
- I managed to force myself to relax a few times when I noticed I was really tensing up. I managed to do that by both physically relaxing, and asking myself why I was getting so tense since I clearly knew the pieces. Even the pieces that I didn't know well went ok.
- I relaxed more when I chatted between some of the songs.

I'm scared to watch the video recording, though.

ETA: I also forgot about the post-performing post-nervousness blah feeling. Even my eyes hurt.
ETAA: I can play for about 45 minutes before I need a break.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Doing a practice practice session was moderately helpful. I know I'm not at all prepared musically for next week's practice performance. And my camera defaulted to 2:30 video, instead of 29:00, so I got nothing useful there, either.

Things to remember: hands ON lap, stand needs to be low enough to make eye contact with people, need harp dolly to move harp, need to arrange seating?, need to ask audience for feedback on how to place music stand and harp for best results, need to rearrange my set list.  Other things: maybe wear makeup and nicer clothes. Hair up or down is fine.

My harp sounds much nicer in my living room.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Need to listen to Pavane Fuga and Folk Song before doing any more work.

Edited more of Siciliano. Est. 2 more edits before ready for mastering.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Picking a repertoire is hard: I forgot all about the mechanics of page turns - what happens if the music falls off the stand, what to do in between songs so I'm not fumbling around for an uncomfortable amount of time.

I also found I get tired and start sighing, as well as decreased engagement with the music.

I need to record and listen to everything I will be playing. Everything.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Fuga sounds best when phrasing starts quiet and slow, builds, then ends the same way. No real pauses, just breaths.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

I need to play Pavane with ALL the chords slowly broken.

Working on Fuga 2 lines at a time, did 6 today. Slowly and jumping 4 clicks from 54 to 126.

Last measure of Folk Song maybe needs a slow approach, too.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Pavane chord work better when rolled more. May need to muffle some notes so pedal changes are covered. But I have to listen to the recording first to know for sure.

I'm modifying Folk Song to play single notes instead of octaves because I can't play it otherwise, due to elbow issues as well as my harp having no room in the upper registers for my huge hands.

Fuga needs constant work.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Listened to recording of Pavane.  It sounded better than I thought, but then there were other things I didn't notice, like I tend to speed up without the metronome, and don't take enough space between phrases.  I think it's a good thing I scheduled myself to record it 5x.

Sort of got another measure of Folk Song I.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

I finally understood what my harp teacher had been telling me 20 years ago about placing with the 4th finger first, or aiming for the bottom note to help get the chord you actually want. Twenty. Years.

Fuga hasn't completely gone away. Tambourin made my hand twinge. Pavane fell to shit as soon as I turned on the recorder. So yay and boo.

Meeting with GA went well? I hope I gave her enough info to get started.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Hand started to go numb while playing, so put off until later. 

Meeting with GA to go over album artwork. Eep!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Slept on my arm funny and made my elbow worse. Did play a little bit and Pavane is much better than last time. Just a few chords here and there that need work.  Then to practice record, then record for real.

Monday, March 23, 2015

My hand started bothering me both in Pavane and Folk Song. So I switched to Arabesque #1, but got fatigued. I did get in a good solid hour of playing, and Pavane is halfway done, and Folk Song is close to halfway, so it's not going too badly.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Another few measures of Pavane and Folk Song I. Feeling more hopeful since accomplishing that.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Fatigued from actually practicing (yesterday) for the first time in a month. It was actually my left arm. So instead of overdoing it, I practiced maybe 20 minutes.  The Chinese Folk Song went really well. Pavane is going to need much repetition of the big chords. Much.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Kind of came up with a new schedule, I think. It's a schedule without time constraints, only the order of things is set. I'm not sure that will work, but I'm not sure I can put a timetable on when I will be injury-free.

I'm working on the two shortest pieces first - Pavane and Chinese Folk Song I.  Hopefully, I will be able to do these relatively quickly and get them recorded. Then will progressively work through more and more challenging pieces.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Thought I had lost the list I made of things I can play, but just remembered I transcribed it here.

More play-throughs of repertoire.
Opuses 7, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, Fine, Tango, 20, 23, 21, 22, 26, 28 30, 37, 35
Possibly some things from Medieval to Modern.

My elbow is getting better, but very slowly.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Revising set list to things I can play with injuries:
Berceuse Flagello
Notturno Van Delden
Chinese Folk Song I Chung
Zarabanda Turina
Siciliano Bach
Gavotte and Sarabande Corelli
Fuga Cabezon
Pavane Anon
Opus (Opi? Opuses?) 7, 13, 14, 15 O'Halloran

Monday, March 2, 2015

Got all the pedal markings in O'Halloran's book.

I thought my elbow was healed, but I did something else to piss it off, so now it's hurting again.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Trying to relearn Solfeggeitto by KPE Bach and I'm getting now that it's just the same pattern repeated in different keys. I also need to play it more evenly. Do I need to make a practice sheet?

Also trying to work on the problem measures in Automne on 2nd page. Not sure why the transition from line to line is so difficult to have stick in my head. Got tired trying to play it 5x well and let myself not work on it as hard as I could have.

Got Dennis O'Halloran's book of piano solos and wrote in a lot of pedal changes.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Prelud Intimes

I. Pay more attention to the space and relax on tempo.
II. RH can be quieter, it really carries over the lower strings. Pay more attention to LH melody.
III. Get quiter and slower at rits and decrescendo more evenly.
IV. Learn the notes!
V. Ok to leave out.

Friday, February 20, 2015

So I figured out what I can't do on the harp, which is very quick, loud 3-1-2 turn-arounds, which rules out Tambourin and Rigaudon until my tennis elbow is better, and pushes recording and performing off to... sometime in the future. I was pretty depressed today, probably a combination of the weather and the above, and other things.

But! I just remembered I delivered Zarabanda to my engineer for final editing and prettifying, so that's something.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Oh, and I thought of some advice for myself: the whole "polishing a piece" process is new to me, so it's probably going to take the same amount of time and concentration to get that process faster as it did to figure out how to learn pieces faster, ie a LOT.
My tennis elbow has turned into a hand problem now, too. My elbow hurts less.

Trying to play Tambourin with my eyes closed to see if I can get better accuracy. It's sort of working.

Memorizing Fuga is easier than expected, but it goes out of my memory quickly.

I figured I'd do a little work on Pavane, since I pretty much already know it, and get that out of the way recording-wise, but I need to be organized about my work in order to undo the bad version of the chords in my hands that was cemented there in my younger days.

Rigaudon is actually close to ready to record, too.  It would be great to get all those out of the way, then I'd only have two pieces left, and whatever redo's I want.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Upon reviewing the video of me, I mostly look very surprised to see music in front of me.  I need to relax my jaw and lips - maybe wear lipstick a few times as a reminder. I also need to pay more attention to the harp and the notes I'm playing - lean into them. I don't know how else to describe it. Ugh, no fake smiling, either.

Next time aim camera to get hands and move light more toward front.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Came up with a set list, finally, but I need to add about 10 minutes.

Also, video recorded myself. It is sobering.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Spent many hours today and yesterday timing pieces, and I still have not come up with a set list. I'm so done with counting measures and calculating beats and times.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Figured out I can use my recorder as a microphone (duh!) and get immediate feedback.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Went through all the music that I own today - not playing everything - to see what I might or might not want to perform.  It's quite the spectrum. So instead of making a setlist today, I've just sifted through everything.  I'll do some mulling next Friday?

Monday, January 5, 2015

Worked trouble spots in Fuga to bottom of 2nd page.

Gave myself blisters trying to get one measure of Arabesque 2.

Ran through exercises looking for repertoire - some Boscha might be good? Or Pozzoli?

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Played and worked on many things from Solos for the Harp Player in order to build my stamina back up and keep things in playable order.

Fuga does not sound as awesome as I thought. I'm taking too many breath breaks and speeding up too much.

Tambourin sounds better than I thought.

Recorded both, need to do that every day and really pick the parts I like and work them so they always sound that way.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Forgot about the whole "callus peeling off after a break" thing. Super.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

The other thing about coming back to the harp after a break is trying to sit up straight and how tiring that is.

Took the first tape line off my fiddle.