Wednesday, August 09, 2006

 

Practice Goals


My teacher asked me if I work on specific goals when I practice a piece. I couldn't really answer her. Up till now, my goals have been more general in nature, and aren't really detailed about any one piece. I guess I've just made it up as I go along.

I've run across this concept in many discussions about learning music. I'm going to have to think about what sort of goals I could use; for example:
I have to talk this over with my teacher and get some suggestions.

During our lessons we cover so much material, and talk about so many things, that it's only later that I recall a comment such as the topic of this post. I don't even remember how I answered her. I'd like to record our sessions, so I could go over everything later.

And, another thing: she suggested she would be willing to record the duet parts (and/or the main part itself) of the pieces I am working on, so I can play along at home. But she said all she has is a minidisc recorder; I don't have a minidisc player. I recently downloaded a music recording and editing program called Audacity (which I found through Jennifer's blog, Perfect Fifths). I need to research whether I can use it to record our sessions - and her duet parts - directly to my laptop computer and later save it on CDs, or whatever. I haven't explored the audacity functions yet, to know how to do this nor how much memory would be needed to save an hour's session.

Today we (Y and Z came along!) went to the Kenai Community Library for a Luncheon Concert by the Central Peninsula Youth Orchestra - seven or eight violins, a viola, and a cello - no woodwinds, horns, or percussions. The group played a handful of short pieces. The director commented that the group is actually called the Central Peninsula Youth and Community Orchestra, and that it was open to all ages and levels. The only requirement was that you have to be able to read music.... hmmm.... I wonder when I'll have enough confidence in my abilities to be able to join them. Several months ago, I ran across a fellow cello student, who commented that this group needed more cellists... I figure I might have been able to play half to 2/3 of the pieces (with a lot of practicing beforehand) that they covered today.

Comments:
You should definitely join the community orchestra! It definitely makes you push yourself to keep up.

I find I often pretend I'm performing a piece, that's often my goal. And I take notes during my classes, otherwise I forget things.

Don't some of the Suzuki books have play along CDs? I don't use them, so I'm not sure, but I thought I saw that at the shop.

(thanks for the mention by the way!)
 
Hi! Thanks for the link! All you should need to do is connect a microphone to your laptop and press record on Audacity. Off the top of my head, I'm not sure how much memory it would take for an hour's worth of recording, but unless your laptop is really old or you've almost filled the hard drive, you shouldn't have any problems with space. (It's video files that really eat up your memory!)
 
Thanks for the feeback. The Suzuki books do include a CD with all the pieces. The problem is, they are played so fast - with an annoyingly tinny piano accompaniament that often overpowers the cello. I usually listen to the CD for a few days when I start a new piece, but I just can't force myself, after that.

I plan to bring my laptop and microphone to my next lesson and try out Audacity.
 
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