Sunday, August 13, 2006


I'm trying out a new piece, and once again, I am moved by it. It's called Gymnopedie, by Erik Satie, and the dynamics at the top translate to slow and mournful. It is gorgeous. What really strikes me about doing this piece at this moment in my life is that I am able to read the music so much better than I expect to be able to. I'm not good by any stretch, but this is the first time I feel like I can go to the nation of music and speak the language a little bit. Last night, when I played through the piece for the first time, I was actually able to figure out the melody and the bass lines. It's such a gift, to be able to learn a new language. Honestly, now I think, well, I speak English, Vietnamese, and I read music.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Orff my rocker

OK, so I've been playing these pieces from a book called the Orff Collection, some little piano pieces from Carl Orff. And yesterday, I came across a piece, No. 7, that was really simple and beautiful. It really made me grateful to be playing the piano. It was amazing. I know this sounds cheesy, but I felt really moved. It was so wonderful how he put the notes together, but the fact that I could reproduce it, and be a part of it, was just so touching. This book doesn't have many dynamic markings, so I was able to interpret parts of it myself to make the song mournful.

So I get it. I get the deal about music, and how people get so involved in it. Count me in.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Cat power

I think our cat, Maddy, really likes my playing now. At first, she would just paw at me, with her eyes wide as I plunked through "Jingle Bells" and "Good King Wenceslaus." But now she sits at the edge of the rug that I bought for the piano while I play, bathing herself. She makes me feel like I have a fan.

Monday, August 07, 2006


I was just flipping through this new book that my teacher gave me to practice while I'm on break. It's "The Orff Collection," by Carl Orff. And here's what I saw in the table of contents: Part I: Intermediate Level.

Intermediate Level!!!


Sunday, August 06, 2006

School's out for summer!

My teacher doesn't teach in August, so I'm off for a month. She gave me a bunch of stuff to practice, so I've been keeping busy. Last week, I ran into my neighbor, who also teaches piano, and he said my teacher said I was "a very good student." Y-hoo!

I've been practicing from 4 different books (over the summer, I've started an Orff book), and some of it goes pretty well. I'm up to Alouette and Kumbaya in the Alfred, which I quite like. I've done 4 different versions of Simple Gifts. So I was practicing tonight, and feeling pretty good about it until I got to the Piano Town pieces, complete with their dinosaur drawings and kids with trumpets. And then I started to suck, big time. A major degree of suckage. It really was amazing. But I figured out why: because they change around the fingering. One second I'm in G position, the next second my fingers are all overlapping each other. I get all jacked up.

Anyway, at least now I know why I suck. And knowing is half the battle.

Anyone out there have trouble with crazy fingering?