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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 11:56 am 
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kfisherx wrote:
Okay I pulled out my goals and in practice I think I am trending only slightly behind if at all. In Musical and Performance experience though I think I am behind.

In Performance I am supposed to be able to play all my entry level type pieces in self 2 at 85% of the time and working towards playing the intermediate pieces in 85%. I am nowhere NEAR that. The self 2 thing still regularly kicks my butt. I go for long periods of time not thinking about it still. One day, after we both got our butts kicked in PAR class, Brent commented that finding self 2 was like finding Jesus. You just have to have faith that it is out there and once you find it your playing is born again.

For Musical goals I am supposed to be using analysis as an interpretive tool making clear interpretive decisions. I SO don't do that. I can somewhat analyse but that is where it all stops. I still don't get how to trasfer this into anything really useful. Sigh.... I feel so incompetent in this area too.

Last night we had a really cool PAR class where Scott filmed us performing one of our works. I did my piece and listened intently to each and every note. When I watched back I was shocked at how the piece did NOT run smoothly together. I hit mostly the right notes but I was over playing the notes and there was no legato to the piece. So while I felt absolutely comfortable on the stage and I was listening intently to each and every note the performance still sounded very poorly. Again I strike....

I know that it is my tendency to always overplay. I have been hearing that comment forever now. I need to figure out why that is so hard wired into me and how is the best way to combat it. I have homework to do to this end but am wondering how effective anything I do will really be long term. Can we really stop such ingrained behaviour? Perhaps this would be a good topic to bring up in NY and get a different perspective on? Perhaps also getting some interpretive ideas that a newbie like me can somehow understand and use.

Okay these are my latest thoughts on this matter.


Here's some ideas for objectives based on your thoughts:

Performance: The self 2 thing is a huge challenge for all of us, but I really feel it is the most important door to walk through. The funny thing is that even though we know that, we all seem to have a tendency to forget about it (from conversations at CGI, I picked up on this). When Scott reminds us, it's like we are hearing about it for the first time! :) So, I suppose it is a good analogy that Brent came up with. Self 2 is a very spiritual part of all of this. Why don't you focus on the entry level pieces right now and get as many of those under your belt as you can.

Musical: Choose a piece of music that is about 2 grades below your current top ability, and in which you know the fingering well. Play it solely with interpretation at the goal. To help you, utilize the techniques Scott teaches regarding imagining you are another player -- like Bream or Segovia, or interpreting what the music feels like to you -- wind, fire, etc. Remember how I played "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring"? It never dawned on me that it might be about "Jesus". As soon as I connected the life of Jesus to the song, it all made sense, and I was able to interpret it. Why don't you choose the piece for this, and let us know, so we can help you with some ideas?

Overplaying: This flows with the interpretation. When you interpret, you phrase, and the individual notes become part of the big picture. So, how about if you make an objective of paying attention to each and every note as a part of the musical story. In that way, each note has to have it's own meaning which is different from the note before or after it, and the silence inbetween. The result is that there is no way you can play every note the same way, otherwise they won't connect.

My theory on the reasoning that you may be having trouble with overplaying is because you have an engineering mind. Engineers think about every detail and leave no stone unturned. While this is a great quality in figuring out the science to doing something, it can be a quality that is killer to figuring out the "art" of doing something. My favorite story for this "engineer" thing comes from nursing. I was once trying to teach a brand new mommy and daddy how to go about breastfeeding the little one. Both parents were engineers and they were following every step I (and others) had taught them, to perfection. But the baby was hollaring and screaming and turning that lovely beet red, mommy was crying, and daddy kept mumbling, "why isn't this working, we are doing everything CORRECTLY!". I decided to crack a joke, and while we were all laughing, the baby started to nurse. Mom and Dad had relaxed into the "art" of the feeding, and it all worked out just fine. IOW, they let go of the rules. So, here's another time, when perhaps you just need to let go and let the music flow.

Hope this helps,

Donna


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 12:10 pm 
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Karla, we have never met, but I do know you have horses. So, I say approach this like you were going on a fast ride. Jump on, feet in the stirrups, keep the reins loose, give er a kick, and just let the horse take you where it will (my apologies to Mr Lorimer for the metaphor).


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 12:36 pm 
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guitardzs wrote:
So, here's another time, when perhaps you just need to let go and let the music flow.

Such a great story for this, too, Donna.

One thing, that I feel like adding. I've seen too many people take the term "let go" way to literally. Like when Jamie talks about students that relax so much that they are slumping down in the chair.

Rick wrote:
Karla, we have never met, but I do know you have horses. So, I say approach this like you were going on a fast ride. Jump on, feet in the stirrups, keep the reins loose, give er a kick, and just let the horse take you where it will (my apologies to Mr Lorimer for the metaphor).

To use Rick's horse analogy and add to it, remember to train that horse to respond quickly to your commands when you do need to direct it (and with the kind of practicing you do, Karla, that shouldn't be a problem); but more importantly remember that you are keeping the reins loose, you're not supposed to drop them entirely and grab the saddle horn. You have to maintain control of the situation on a large scale, but not all of the details need micro-management at all times.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 8:46 am 
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Rick wrote:
Karla, we have never met, but I do know you have horses. So, I say approach this like you were going on a fast ride. Jump on, feet in the stirrups, keep the reins loose, give er a kick, and just let the horse take you where it will (my apologies to Mr Lorimer for the metaphor).


Hey Rick... This is exactly how I hoped to approach this lesson thing in NY but Michael very explicitly has requested that I have a plan for this time. I have been working very hard processing what it is that I hope to get from this time. I think I have come up with the following based on my experiences of the past week.

I am going to throw some things out there and hopefully you guys can add or help me with these.


Objectives:
* Develop focus and confidence in my abilities as a guitarist: This directive ties directly to my lesson last week and is a skill set that I want to increase for many reasons. One is so that I can more readily participate in Master Classes and that sort of thing. Scott has often told me that I limit myself due to my lack of confidence. I hope to change this about me a little bit on this trip. At the end of this time if I can fear less and play more I think that will be a good thing.
* Musical awareness: Connect to the pulse of the music: In listening to my recordings I feel like this is one area where if I upleveled that everything else would uplevel. I hear that my balance is pretty good but I lack that sense of movement in a piece. I am not sure if this is done via legato or rhythm of a combination. I just know that when I hear myself played back in a recording that the piece just sounds not fluid.

What do you think? These do not really tie to my goals as they are stated from PAR class but indirectly they do.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 12:06 pm 
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Having read your other posts I think those are good and appropriate goals, Karla. Kudos on putting such thought and effort into defining them.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 12:46 pm 
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Thanks Sharon. I was also asked to compile a list of questions for this event. If you were able to sit in front of such a teacher what questions would you ask of him? I know that no question is stupid in theory but the ones I am coming up with seem so stupid. :)

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 8:08 am 
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kfisherx wrote:
I am going to throw some things out there and hopefully you guys can add or help me with these.


Objectives:
* Develop focus and confidence in my abilities as a guitarist: This directive ties directly to my lesson last week and is a skill set that I want to increase for many reasons. One is so that I can more readily participate in Master Classes and that sort of thing. Scott has often told me that I limit myself due to my lack of confidence. I hope to change this about me a little bit on this trip. At the end of this time if I can fear less and play more I think that will be a good thing.
* Musical awareness: Connect to the pulse of the music: In listening to my recordings I feel like this is one area where if I upleveled that everything else would uplevel. I hear that my balance is pretty good but I lack that sense of movement in a piece. I am not sure if this is done via legato or rhythm of a combination. I just know that when I hear myself played back in a recording that the piece just sounds not fluid.

What do you think? These do not really tie to my goals as they are stated from PAR class but indirectly they do.



These are great! You seem to have really gotten to the root of the issues in your playing.

As for a list of questions, here's some ideas:

1 - Try exploring the reasons for not having confidence and then ask how these can be dealt with one at a time. For example, does this lack of confidence appear in other areas of your life, or is it just with the guitar? If it is just with the guitar, explore the possibilities regarding where the root causes are? Examples: Does it have to do with lack of familiarity with the guitar repetorire? Is it an adult learning issue? Are you feeling overwhelmed by the amount that must be learned? Do you not feel worthy of playing the guitar? Are you comparing to others too much? etc. Once you have discovered the reason, then you can bring this before Michael to ask him how to deal with it. Also if you can't discover the reason, perhaps you can come up with a list of possible reasons and you can explore these with Michael.

2- With regard to the fluidity of your pieces -- again explore the possibilities -- Examples: could it be fingering issues, phrasing, interpretation, confidence in knowing the piece (which ties into the above questions), etc.

3- For a general question:

You might want to get Michaels ideas for repetoire that he feels suits you.

Techniques for improving focus in practice -- i.e. staying in Self 2. I think this is a large part of what separates amatuers from professionals. I would be really curious to know more about techniques that one uses to focus in on practice especially when the world around is very distracting.

That's what I have for now. Is it this weekend or next that you are going?

Donna


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 4:06 pm 
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Okay it's a wrap. I recorded several of my pieces and wrote up all my objectives and goals and sent them off. All that is left to do now is to survive the experience. I will let you know how it goes.

Here are my recordings for this. I did not try to get them perfect and took less than an hour for all of them. (I was really crunched for time this week)

http://www.kfisherx.com/Guitar/MyVideo/Oct07/

Wish me luck next week!

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Last edited by kfisherx on Fri Oct 05, 2007 5:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 5:11 pm 
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Your recordings are beautiful and show off your technique and musicality. No doubt you will learn many things from this trip, but you can be proud of where you are when you walk into Lorimer's studio.

Brent


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 6:21 pm 
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Karla,
Impressive! Great playing! I especially enjoyed "SeLo". What is the full name of that piece?

I hope you enjoy your lesson with Lorimer. You certainly are ready.

Robert


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2007 7:21 am 
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You are definitely ready to go! You have lots to be proud of for standing up and taking on this challenge. You are going to learn so much, and we are so blessed to get to follow you on this journey!!!

Huge hug!

Donna


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2007 12:24 pm 
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Karla!! Really beautiful. You are SO ready for your time with Lorimer. :)


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2007 9:26 pm 
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I know that everyone is waiting for the trip report. I can only tell you that it is coming. Because Michael is well known I am getting his approval on the first draft before publishing anything. It just makes sense to do that. I am almost finished that draft now and will send it to him over the next day or two. As soon as I work in his corrections I'll post the full report for you all. :)

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 12:17 am 
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And finally the trip report....

http://www.kfisherx.com/Guitar/LorimerTrip2NYC_rev5.pdf

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 4:22 am 
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Karla,
That is a wonderful article about an amazing experience. Thanks for writing this for us.
Robert


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