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You are currently browsing the Little Chopin Piano School, Inc blog archives for January, 2013.

  • We’ve opened sign-up for the upcoming Performances Evaluations on September 23rd and 24th
  • The National Guild schedule was updated on Monday, July 24th.
  • We’ve made additional last minute changes.
  • Little Chopin Piano School is expanding and hiring! We are looking for enthusiastic and talented piano instructors.

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Archive for January, 2013

Don’t give up!

29January
in Music, Video  •   Comments Off on Don’t give up!

.          So I woke up this morning, and I decided that even though it was really cold, I was going to hit the piano.

.           Not literally.

.           Well kind of.
.           Because I was going to say Copland’s “Cat and the Mouse.” And within two measures I have to travel across six octaves worth of piano keys—hitting notes in very fast succession. Now, I’ve been struggling on these measures for about three weeks and every time I would play them, I would miss. It sounded terrible. But I was determined. Over those measures I gained a bruise on my thumb, a cut inside my thumb because the nail bit in, and I forced to not use my thumb for a whole week.
So don’t over practice guys. Sometimes too much is too much.

.          So then the next week I started practicing every day, for half an hour to an hour on that one song. I tried all sorts of practicing methods, rhythm, staccato, everything I could possibly think of. You can get creative here—there’s no one way. Sometimes just repeating things slowly just isn’t enough. (Ask your teacher for some!)

.           But back to the story. So in that one morning, I flipped open the piano. I started the first few notes and then played those measures. Those measures I had practiced for weeks on. And it was perfect. My fingers jumped through those keys with a precision of ninja. Those weeks, those hours, they paid off. I was finally able to hit all the notes. What I felt after this cannot really be described. You’d have to find out yourself. But if I would have to say a few words, I’d say I felt pretty darn good.

Black White Keys

24January
in Music, Video  •   Comments Off on Black White Keys

You guys hear about the harpsichord all the time.

BUT HAVE YOU EVER HEARD IT? HAVE YOU EVER PLAYED IT?
NOOOOOOOO!!!!

HERE IT IS. Except you won’t be hearing Bach (;

DON’T FORGET. Workshop at the end of THIS week. Practice your CM and your Recital song. You play either one during this workshop. The sign up is below.

MONEY HAS A SOUL.

22January
in Music, Video  •   Comments Off on MONEY HAS A SOUL.

Guys, I have this crazy theory. Maybe it’s a rant.
It’s about the workshops and a certain something.

Allow me to explain.

I think workshops are great. It exposes you to performing in public. To be honest, before I go up my heart almost always runs really quickly. And I mean really quickly. As quickly as….how should I put this?

I guess you could say it’s like…A fat guy… going after a twinkie.
Do you have any idea how fast that is? It’s like all the things the guy ever ate suddenly…went away. Vanished. Because no one gets between a fat guy and his twinkie. No one.

So I’m up there and I’m playing right? I start shaking and stuff, but there’s RIPPING SOUND.

IT’S RIPPING ACROSS THE STAGE. YOU KNOW WHAT IT IS?

IT’S A FAT KID. AT THE VENDING MACHINE. HE PUT THE MONEY IN AND IT GOES RRRRRRRIIIIPPPPPP

OK. I WILL STOP THE HATE ON BODY SIZES. BUT THAT VENDING MACHINE IS SO LOUD. MY GOD.

IT’S LIKE THE MONEY IS HAS A SOUL AND IT IS CRYING OUT TO BE SAVED. FOR THE LOVE OF PIANO, STOP! I WANT TO RUN UP TO THAT KID AND SHOUT—WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO YOUR BELOVED WASHINGTON? I COULDN’T CARE LESS ABOUT WHAT I’M PERFORMING. PLEASE DON’T DO IT IN FRONT OF ME!

I wish.

But anyways…Here’s my theory.

Maybe it was MADE to be loud, you know what I mean? Like MAYBE it was made so all those people who DARE interrupt the people playing will get so embarrassed because they want to eat some food.

That’s all I got. Happy Tuesday!

In Cold Sweat

17January
in Events, Music  •   Comments Off on In Cold Sweat

.            Every night I am awakened by a soft padding sound in the darkness. My eyes shoot open, but I dare not make a move. It’s there. I see the monstrous shadow on my wall, one that waxes and wanes into life as a car trudges through the empty streets… It is the scraping sound on the wooden boards, or the great rustling of leaves outside my window.
.           So I lie there in the dead of night. In cold sweat.  I know it’s coming.

.
.           CM is coming.

.           And I have one etude yet to learn. From today, CM is almost exactly a month; it’s actually a day less than that. Yes, this is the nightmare that threatens to drive me into insanity.
.           But there’s a rumor around the school–about Chopin’s 2 page etude. It’s quick, they said. It may come down to it that I must use that piece to save me. Tough to memorize and perhaps worse of all….Polyrhythms. Throughout the whole song.  They are definitely a force to be reckoned with.

Would it save me? Or would it end the world as I know it? I cannot fail.

MOVIN CASTLE!

15January
in Music, Video  •   Comments Off on MOVIN CASTLE!

OMG. HE FINALLY DID IT.

Kyle Landry FINALLY made an improv for Howl’s moving castle.

TODAY!!!!

For those of you who do not know Kyle Landry, Kyle is a 22 year old pianist, made famous by the virtuosity of his improvisations and arrangements for movies, animes, and video game music on Youtube. One of my absolutely favorite things about him is that he takes a piece and boosts its technical skill by tenfold! LITERALLY! This makes it much more fun and alluring for advanced piano students all across the world. Not only are they more interesting to listen to, he introduces different styles, chords, articulations, and so much more. To give you a small scope of what he has done, he has up to date created SEVEN arrangements of Dearly Beloved (a famous song from the game Kingdom Hearts) and ALMOST TWENTY improvisations on Canon in D, all in different styles.

And now he has done Howl’s Moving Castle.

OH LAWDY!

Rolling and Hairflips

10January
in Music, Video  •   Comments Off on Rolling and Hairflips

Rolling.

What’s rolling? It’s when you do this fancy smancy stuff with your hands. You wave it around like you’re a butterfly or some drunken bird. Like you’re about to flap into the heaven and outer space. Your teachers tell you to do it at the end of chords, phrases, or whatever. I don’t even know. Maybe everywhere.

So one day I show up for my lesson. I got all the notes down and I’m feeling great. I give my teacher this grin. It’s one heck of a grin. Time to show her what I’ve got. So I start playing you see…and I keep playing and I’m on fire! I’m smoking this piano! I keep going, but slowly I begin to hear her. She’s saying something. I guess listening to her praises couldn’t hurt that much…

“Roll! Roll! ROLL MORE. ROLL YOU LITTLE ALS;DKJFLASKJDFAKSDFJ”

I stop and I look at her. She gives me this look like I lit a cat on fire instead of the piano.
I don’t remember what happens afterwards.

Well I don’t wanna either. It was a few years ago. I think I kind of get of it now. Apparently it has to do with dynamic shaping. If you don’t move/roll your hands while you play like an expressionless robot, you won’t be able to get much out of it.

Check out this guy. He doesn’t roll like a butterfly but he knows how to rotate his wrists in areas of repetition. When stuff repeats, it asks for movement. So you want to give it movement with your hands. His articulation is pretty great too. Clean staccatos when the piece is exciting and quick. Observe how though, at the more emotional parts his hands slows down and he seems to caress the keys. It’s completely different, so his hands adapt.

So next time you play, ask yourself. What is the piece asking for? What does the composer want? When you figure this out, match it to the movement of your hands until your ears are satisfied. Listen to yourself.

If the piece is Chopin’s revolutionary etude, get angry! I don’t care if you have a date with your hot girlfriend/boyfriend that day, get MAD. RIP across those keys. DO your hair flip. Watch this guy. He’s great.

And that’s all! Happy Thursday!

 

School vs. Piano…oh and Mozart! :D

8January
in Music, Video  •   Comments Off on School vs. Piano…oh and Mozart! :D

Hello there Little Chopin Students! Most of you are back at school again….unfortunately. It makes us so sad because we don’t have that much time to practice anymore. Now we have to do more important things…

BBULLLLSHHH—-

Wait what? What I mean to say is that piano should be equally as important! One little chopin pianist made us proud when he said “piano > school” and went to practice on his merry way. WE SHALL ALL FOLLOW HIS BOLD EXAMPLE! GO GO GO!

Here is an innocent Mozart variation on twinkle twinkle little star (: If you haven’t heard it already you’re in for a treat!

In Preparation for Next Month’s Recital….

3January
in Events, Music, Video  •   Comments Off on In Preparation for Next Month’s Recital….

You guys DO remember about the recital next month right? The one happening on February 9th, a Saturday? Perhaps you remember that it’s Chinese New Years themed, meaning Asian songs are favored? It’s time to whip out all those Asian songs you’ve wanted to play. Maybe you have an Asian parent that has been bagging you to play this one Vietnamese song or something. You can take this chance to practice it and make them happy!

Or…not. Perhaps you have a song from an anime or an Asian video game that you’ve been DYING to play. I know I’ve played songs from Asian composers for the last three recitals!  Here is one of my personal favorites, from the man himself.

I cry. Everytime. wai. ;~;

 

Happy New Years!

1January
in Uncategorized  •   Comments Off on Happy New Years!

HAPPY NEW YEARS!!!

Take a moment and think about what you’ve done this year. Were your resolutions met from last year? Do you even remember them? Set new ones for this year and get on it!
For example! You’re not satisfied with where you are in piano, make sure you find a way to change that. It is surely surprising how much one can learn by practicing every day, even if it is only one hour. If you don’t allocate your time towards learning the piano while you’re young, you won’t be too happy with yourself when you grow older.

.

.

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“Continue it you must.”
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A teacher once told me that “someone with depth has such a much better chance of enjoying life than someone without it.” And that’s what music is. It is depth. If you give it up now, you will lose one of the utmost intricate forms of expression, one that chronicles the depth of the human heart.

To start off the new year, here is a piece that is far ahead of its time. It sounds as if it comes from the Romantic period, but to say so is to be off by two centuries. My friends, it is from the Baroque period.