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Topic: Im bored..why dont I practice instead..  (Read 4119 times)

Offline donjuan

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Im bored..why dont I practice instead..
on: July 08, 2004, 05:24:50 AM
I am forced to take Career And Life Management (CALM) in summer school.  It is SOOOO boring.  I cant keep focus, and I dont find the material too important to me, so I was hoping to come up with some way to practice piano in my head while the teacher blabs on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on an..

Do you have any ways of practicing technique or theory- whether it be some sort of finger drumming, or drawing pictures of the clefs and key signatures......
Help me out here please, I cant stay awake in CALM!!

any help would be appreciated.

donjuan ;)

Offline squiggly_girl

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Re: Im bored..why dont I practice instead..
Reply #1 on: July 08, 2004, 05:33:02 AM
With a name like CALM students should be graded more highly if they sleep in class.

Offline DarkWind

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Re: Im bored..why dont I practice instead..
Reply #2 on: July 08, 2004, 06:27:03 AM
Buy sheet music and start composing. Even if you don't know what it sounds like. I always come out with good stuff. Who knows? Maybe you have an inner talent. I love to write down thoughts, mainly rythmicals and develop forms. Melodies are hit or miss though.

Offline llhyperdude

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Re: Im bored..why dont I practice instead..
Reply #3 on: July 08, 2004, 02:12:29 PM
I have to take 4 hrs. of summer school each day, so I can relate ;D. I actually am bringing a book to read as we do hardly anything.

How about bringing a score and studying it? Then bring in a blank sheet and try to write the score from memory.

Offline pies

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Re: Im bored..why dont I practice instead..
Reply #4 on: July 08, 2004, 04:52:20 PM

Spatula

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Re: Im bored..why dont I practice instead..
Reply #5 on: July 08, 2004, 05:25:17 PM
Quote
I am forced to take Career And Life Management (CALM) in summer school.  It is SOOOO boring.  I cant keep focus, and I dont find the material too important to me, so I was hoping to come up with some way to practice piano in my head while the teacher blabs on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on an..

Do you have any ways of practicing technique or theory- whether it be some sort of finger drumming, or drawing pictures of the clefs and key signatures......
Help me out here please, I cant stay awake in CALM!!

any help would be appreciated.

donjuan ;)


Oh God I remember that course in High School, what a joke.  Yeah its like CAKM 20 or 30 or something that is MANDITORY for HS graduation.  God most of that stuff my mother could tell me.  Don't smoke, don't have sex until marriage,  don't spend your money like a big $pender!  I mean seriously.  Anyways I still got 92 in that class because we all did dick all.

Offline Snappy Joe

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Re: Im bored..why dont I practice instead..
Reply #6 on: July 09, 2004, 08:10:54 PM
When Im not playing, I almost always practise my finger dexterity by thrilling on the table, or legs, doing rhythms, 5 finger scales(from pinky to little and reverse) fast and slow, fingers together, octave play from mind and a bunch of others...both HS and HT.


And a must; play music inside yourself! visualise you're playing Reminescens De Bob Juan for example! :p
 F. Liszt

Offline Motrax

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Re: Im bored..why dont I practice instead..
Reply #7 on: July 10, 2004, 12:08:14 AM
If you've no qualms about drawing in pencil on your desk, draw yourself a nice keyboard. If your teacher doesn't like you drawing on the desk, draw on the desk anyway. Worked for me!  ;D
"I always make sure that the lid over the keyboard is open before I start to play." --  Artur Schnabel, after being asked for the secret of piano playing.

Shagdac

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Re: Im bored..why dont I practice instead..
Reply #8 on: July 10, 2004, 02:42:53 AM
DonJuan,

I agree with what IIlhyperdue wrote about trying to practice at your desk. Often at work (I work the overnight) when it is slow, I work out and practice diffictult figuring patterns. I can't tell you how much practicing AWAY from the piano has helped my practicing AT the piano. Anything you can do at the piano can be practiced at a desk (except of course pedaling). It's is not the exact same thing, but is better than nothing.

Many times I've found that practicing WITHOUT sound, jus to get the movements down does wonders. I'm just practicing over and over the movements that my fingers, hands, elbows, forearms and shoulders will have to do on the real thing. By practicing this on a desk (fake piano), I am getting myself to memorize the movements that my body will have to make to accomodate these sounds. It helps me anyways.

Also, I use this time to s-t-r-e-t-e-c-h my hand. I put my  thumb and pinky straight out on the outside of the desk.....and push making the palm of my hand touch the outside of the desk. I do this for 10 counts each, 3X's on each hand, then do the same between each finger.

Also visualization is also a form of practice. Visualize yourself playing the piece...picture exactly what you would play....play in slow motion...(each note deliberate) and see how far you can go.

Hope this helps.

S :)

Offline donjuan

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Re: Im bored..why dont I practice instead..
Reply #9 on: July 10, 2004, 03:47:40 AM
Thank you all for your suggestions!  I will try it out next week, especially bringing a score to study.  I just have to put up with another 25 hours over 5 days of this sh1t.  Today, I learned about budgeting--> it was so stupid, we all "got married" to other classmates, and drew jobs out of a hat.  I work in a store and earn a gross income of 2200 CANADIAN, which is wow- just over the poverty line.. :o

Thanks again! ;)
donjuan

Offline johnjwong

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Re: Im bored..why dont I practice instead..
Reply #10 on: July 28, 2004, 01:40:05 AM
I was doing the same thing!!!
I am in grade 11 going to grade 12 and studying stupid grade 11 accounting in summer school.  I live in Canada and i have to attend summer school for 6 hours a day.  I was so *** bored so i decide to think of what to do.  I tried to play some songs without the piano and just with my fingering movement but without the piano, I can't play the song because all the memory I have are finger touching memory on the piano, without a piano, i can't feel the keys so i can't play ..... I will tried some ideas you guys side.

Offline donjuan

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Re: Im bored..why dont I practice instead..
Reply #11 on: July 28, 2004, 01:43:39 AM
Quote
I was doing the same thing!!!
I am in grade 11 going to grade 12 and studying stupid grade 11 accounting in summer school.  I live in Canada and i have to attend summer school for 6 hours a day.  I was so *** bored so i decide to think of what to do.  I tried to play some songs without the piano and just with my fingering movement but without the piano, I can't play the song because all the memory I have are finger touching memory on the piano, without a piano, i can't feel the keys so i can't play ..... I will tried some ideas you guys side.

you're canadian?  y dont you drop us a note at the "who's canadian here, eh?" thread in the anything section..

Offline Bob

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Re: Im bored..why dont I practice instead..
Reply #12 on: July 28, 2004, 05:20:04 AM
Bring music paper and write out scales or chords -- It looks like you're taking notes!

or just spell these things out with letters CDE....

There's no end to that -- try thinking of these things in tempo while looking at the front of the room -- it makes you look interested and concentrating.

Try imagining your fingers moving.

I liked the idea about writing out the piece your working on -- it helps you to hear it I think and it really lets you know what areas are "missing" in your mind.

If you're in an auditorium, you can drape one hand over the seats so no one sees -- you can drum your fingers along the seat and do finger patterns.  Works well for "conducting" while listening to a live concert too.

If the class is big enough, place one earphone of the "in your ear" style of headphones in your ear.  Turn slightly so the teach never sees.   Study music recordings this way.  It also works well just to have music playing while your actually paying attention in class -- You can absorb a lot of music this way without having to really pay attention to it.


Oh yes... ear training.  You can think solfege, hoping linking them up with the sound in your mind.  -- Also good for doing while you're writing out scales or chords.

Air whistling -- part your lips slightly.  You can produce a sound with the air only you can hear -- more aural skill madness!

Plan your practicing or plan the rest of your day.

Print out some pianoforum threads to read.


They may make you sit there, but they can't imprison your mind! ;D

Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Offline donjuan

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Re: Im bored..why dont I practice instead..
Reply #13 on: July 28, 2004, 07:00:27 AM
Quote

Oh yes... ear training.  You can think solfege, hoping linking them up with the sound in your mind.  

This sounds interesting.  what is "solfege"?
My class ended 1.5 weeks ago, but I still would like advice for these situations.
donjuan

Offline Bob

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Re: Im bored..why dont I practice instead..
Reply #14 on: July 28, 2004, 10:34:51 PM
Solfege are syllables that go along with each step of the scale.  The idea is they will help you hear each scale step and function faster since you have a piece of language to attach to each sound.

The basic solfege syllables are:

Do Re Mi Fa Sol La Ti Do

Those follow the major scale.  It's Latin, so Re is pronounced "ray" and Ti "tee" just like the Do Re Mi song from Sound of Music.

For chromatic solfege, I've seen the following:

   Di       Ri            Fi      Si     Li
Do    Re    Mi    Fa    Sol    La    Ti    Do
   Ra     Me          Se     Le    Te

(If those chromatic ones don't appear correctly, just picture the black notes on the keyboard -- that's where these chromatic solfege syl's fit in.)

In general, for raisied accidentals where the pitch resolves upward, use an "i" ending -- Do, Di, Re  for example.
For lowered accidentals, use an "e"  ending, like Mi, Me, Re   or Sol, Se, Fa.


It's very important to make sure you established tonality so you can actually hear these relative pitch colors.  The good old V-I  or playing a scale can do that.

There is moveable solfege and fixed solfege.  Moveable means Do is always the tonal center (tonic), so Do moves around and can be any pitch.  Fixed solfege means Do is always C regardless of the key.

I'm sure there's more on solfege somewhere in this site.


For practice, I've found it is useful to work with the syllables alone (without pitches) just to get familiar with them.  The idea is to combine these syllables with pitches though so you can hear and understand music better.



Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Offline steve

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Re: Im bored..why dont I practice instead..
Reply #15 on: July 28, 2004, 10:59:32 PM
I know it's a dumb question, but what's summer school? I mean, I get that it's a school you go to during summer... but why?

Offline donjuan

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Re: Im bored..why dont I practice instead..
Reply #16 on: July 28, 2004, 11:18:22 PM
Thanks for the explanation Bob!  I will work at it- Do you think it may be possible to compose and find melodies using solfege?  On my vacation coming up, I would love to do some composing, but I wont have access to a piano.

Steve: You take summer school to free up your schedule for the following school year.  You may also take it because it is an abbreviated course that will only last 2 weeks (every day, for 5 hours) instead of having to go to class every other day (maybe 1 hour) for half a year.
I did it to get it over with.  CALM is such a stupid course...

Offline steve

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Re: Im bored..why dont I practice instead..
Reply #17 on: July 29, 2004, 03:43:36 AM
Ah, thanks donjuan :) It just sounded a weird concept: school works pretty differently here!

Offline Bob

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Re: Im bored..why dont I practice instead..
Reply #18 on: July 30, 2004, 12:09:33 AM
Don Juan,

Yes, you can use solfege for figuring out melodies and for composing -- that's what it's for - sharpening your ability to hear, mainly pitch relationships for solfege (as opposed to tuning, timbre, taste, compositional aspects, etc.)

Colleges have aural skill courses.  If you pick up the text they use -- an ear training book, you could actually work on your own.  You just have to be able to put the syllable with the note on the page -- so Do Re Mi in C Major is C D E,      in Db Major it's   Db Eb F (if you use moveable Do).  

You can use solfege anywhere.  The advantage of the ear training books is that the exercises are put in order -- you start with easy stuff and they should be in progressive order.  They usually start with simple patterns related to tonic and dominant harmonies, then progress to other diatonic harmonies, and later to more chromatic stuff.  For example, there would be a group of exercises that focus on IV chords and Fa syllables.

Oh, in case it's not clear or for anyone who doesn't understand -- You're supposed to sing the syllable and the pitch it relates to.  You start off matching pitch with the piano -- Play a V-I progression to establish tonality and match pitch on Do, the first step of the scale.)  It's amazing that some people play really well, but can't match pitch.  Try moving your voice up and down like a siren until you know you're matching pitch.  You start out on simple things, like Do Re Mi.  Then you learn to hear each individual scale step -- exercises for the Fa syllable.  You read the exercises off the page and learn not to use the piano to match pitch.  You hear melodies from aural skill book recordings and try to write them down on staff paper.  After awhile, your mind absorbs the sounds and you can hear Fa, or whatever solfege you're working on.  You work toward being able to read and sing music, being able to know what you're hearing, and being able to hear all this inside your head.

It takes an investment of time.  And years of practice to get really good.  It pays off in being able to learn faster, hear better, know your music better, etc.

Oh yes, don't forget working on hearing chords -- the tonic, dominant, etc.  That's a different aural skill that's related to solfege.

And the way you practice -- reading and singing  or  hearing and transcribing -- two different ways to work on material.

Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Offline donjuan

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Re: Im bored..why dont I practice instead..
Reply #19 on: July 30, 2004, 04:18:28 AM
ok, so I need to go to college to learn this stuff...

Offline Bob

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Re: Im bored..why dont I practice instead..
Reply #20 on: July 31, 2004, 09:19:13 AM
as a music major maybe.

But you probably can figure it out yourself, too, if you have an ear training book.
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Offline johnjwong

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Re: Im bored..why dont I practice instead..
Reply #21 on: August 07, 2004, 11:14:00 PM
donjuan, i had to go to summer school for 20 days, 6 hours a day, why u so lucky only 2 weeks, and 5 hours a day?  I live in toronto, richmond hill, u?

Offline donjuan

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Re: Im bored..why dont I practice instead..
Reply #22 on: August 20, 2004, 09:57:29 PM
Sorry for my late response, I was on vacation.

I live in Edmonton, Alberta.  The CALM course I took only had 50 hrs total instead of 75 hrs I would have to do if i did it in high school during the year.  However, the abbreviated course is only 3 credits.

I took the course at Metro Community College, if that helps you any.

donjuan

Spatula

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Re: Im bored..why dont I practice instead..
Reply #23 on: August 21, 2004, 01:11:28 AM
Quote
Bring music paper and write out scales or chords -- It looks like you're taking notes!


I liked the idea about writing out the piece your working on -- it helps you to hear it I think and it really lets you know what areas are "missing" in your mind.



That's probably my biggest problem whilst composing.  It's so hard for my brain to "hear" lets say a cocert pitch A at 440 HZ or even play a scale from the key of G.  When I read a piece of music, its super hard without a piano to even get the melody or theme of it.  Any suggestions?

Offline super_ardua

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Re: Im bored..why dont I practice instead..
Reply #24 on: August 21, 2004, 03:41:10 PM
Quote


If the class is big enough, place one earphone of the "in your ear" style of headphones in your ear.  Turn slightly so the teach never sees.   Study music recordings this way.  It also works well just to have music playing while your actually paying attention in class -- You can absorb a lot of music this way without having to really pay attention to it.




Or even,  grow long hair!!
We must do,  we shall do!!!
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