My passion is to help others in the community, young, old, and everyone in between, find relevance and joy in learning, performing or listening to classical music.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Beethoven in...not enough minutes a day! - (Day 5)

Image from Wikimedia Commons
Sigh.  Perhaps you can tell from the title of this blog post but I'm a wee bit discouraged.  Last night's practice session was anything but encouraging.  Admittedly I went into it with not such a good attitude - I believe I even wrote in yesterday's post that,"I find it [Clara Schumann's cadenza] a bit intimidating."  Not a great way to start my practice time.  

Oh well.

I did end up spending my entire session just on the cadenza because I wanted to get through more of it, thinking that would make me feel a bit better about my progress.  But as you can tell I ended up stumbling quite a bit and even had a crash-and-burn ending - not something I usually encourage.  In the video you can see me put my hand up to my face in dismay.  Dramatic, aren't I?

But you know what?  I think this is all good for others to see and for me to go through.  It is, after all, the way it usually goes when learning and refining any piece of music.   As long as I keep pushing ahead, I will make it to the other side.  I always do.  And in the end, that process of finding myself up against a wall will serve me well and will give me something to really feel proud of when I'm standing on the other side.

I've got some new tactics in mind for the next couple of days - I hope they will be enough to get me to the other side of this wall.  After all, there are only 15 days left!  

Attitude, attitude!  Attitude is half the battle.  And maybe some chocolate.


  1. Keep at it. You got this! I remember reading in a prior post that you were purposefully not using the metronome. May I be so bold as to suggest that you use it in a future practice session? I don't write this to imply that you need help with rhythm, but instead to suggest you use it as a tool to help quieten any inner voice of self-doubt while you practice. Concentrating on something external may have a paradoxical effect of helping you focus on the music rather than yourself. Just a thought. Happy practicing, and I look forward to hearing your future progress on this piece.

  2. Thank you, Jamey, for your encouragement and for the suggestion to revisit my poor, lonely metronome. I'm sure it would be delighted if I give that a go. And your reasoning behind why you think it might be helpful is insightful and clever. I'll have to test it out.

    Many thanks for listening and following the project! And feel free to continue to advise me along the way - I welcome any suggestions and comments!

    All the best,

  3. Metronomes are evil. EEEEVVVVIIILLLL... Mine is named Lucifer...

    That said, I've been using it for my particular challenge.

    I really like that you've been posting the practice sessions, not only for people who understand where you are coming from, but perhaps for the music lovers who really don't know what happens during practice.

    Keep going on the cadenza and the concerto, Erica!

    1. Ha ha ha, T. Kareem. That's fantastic. I think I'm going to print out your metronome statement and post it in my studio! I'll have tons of music teachers coming after me with for going against the norm and setting a bad example for their students.

      Thank you for your feedback about the videos. It's so hard to know sometimes if anyone cares or even watches so it's very encouraging to hear that someone is out there listening and watching!

      So I'll keep going! Thanks!


  4. Hello!

    You don't know me... but I really enjoy listening to your practice sessions! Are you re-learning these songs, or are they new to your fingers? I am working on building up my piano repertoire, and this is an insightful way of doing it! You are a very good pianist, keep up the hard work! I also noticed you are left-handed. (I am as well.) :)


  5. Hello, Rachel. Thank you for reading and for taking the time to also listen, watch, and comment! I learned the concerto a couple of years ago and performed it with the local college symphony - it was a dream come true as it was my first time playing with orchestra. I blogged about it while I was working on it then as well.

    So the music isn't new, which definitely makes a difference in how I practice it. I don't know that I would be able to do this in the short time span allotted if it were new. Maybe I'll try that next time!

    And yep, definitely left-handed and very proud of it :-)

    Happy practicing to you!