Thursday, May 27, 2010

When it's going well

I really love it when my piano practice is going well. When my fingers do what I want them to and I'm making music. That generally only allows me a week or two of fine tuning before my piano teacher suggests that we retire that piece and move on.

I really hate starting new pieces, when I don't have the music in my head yet, much less my fingers. It's so hard to motivate myself to practice as it doesn't seem to work at all.

I am taking part in an adults-only recital on Friday, June 11. Most of the pieces I'm working on - whether they're for the recital or not - are at the "ok, we can give them a rest" stage. This means that I need to be choosing new pieces. I find this part really difficult.

Luckily, I have one piece that's about half-way along in that progression. It's an Invention by Bach. I think Nancy or Ruth (or both) learned it, probably about 40 years ago - because from the first time I tried it, it sang in my head. It's very familiar, which makes it so much easier.

However, that's only my List A piece; I still need to pick a List B (classical), List C (romantic/impressionist); List D (20th Century - YUK) and two study pieces. Oh yeah, and a supplementary piece. 1 piece selected, 6 to go!

However, let's not forget that I also need to work on all that technical stuff. Scales, chords, arpeggios, chord progressions, harmonization, transposition, sight reading and ear training. The ear training is easy - the rest? Not so much.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Long Weekend

It's a long weekend but Rose is working everyday so I'm not planning on doing anything but veg a bit. Rose needs me for transportation, so I couldn't go very far anyway. Bram's supposed to bring a bike down for her when he comes the end of June and then we'll both have a little more flexibility.

My goal for today is to pay bills and order my texts for my course. I've felt all week that I've just been rushing from one thing to another, but I think that's primarily because I was busy all last weekend so didn't get my down time. I need down time.

I already practiced a little piano this morning - I stayed in bed until 7:30 (didn't actually sleep in as I woke up at 5). Rose got up to tell me that she wasn't planning on waking up until 8:30. I really can't feel that repentent though. She slept most of yesterday when she had the day off, so couldn't go to sleep until really late last night.

DeVon (my nephew, Jennifer's son) mowed the lawn for me Thursday. That's wonderful. It had been looking so bad, and I just couldn't find the time. I tried suggesting to Rose that it could be her responsibility, but although she's not working full time she is working 30 hours a week, and that's pretty close to full-time. In addition, she finds the warmer weather a real challenge - it takes awhile to adjust to the climate. DeVon then went and mowed Ruth's lawn yesterday, and he's scheduled to mow another teacher's lawn this afternoon. He's happy to be making the money, and we're all delighted to get the lawns mowed.

Lewvan Drive has been closed to one lane while they work on the roads. There's no access to Lewvan from 4th. This makes life interesting for anyone wanting to get to either my house or to Western. You have to know how to make the detours.

If you've checked Western's website recently, they now have a new letter up stating that things are going ahead for the next year. The official announcement to staff was Thursday and it went up on the website that evening. That's good news for all of us. You can read the letter for yourself - I've tried to include the link three times, (and I've done this before without any difficulty) but it doesn't seem to want to let me this time. It's on Western's website - the left bar near the top says "announcements" and it's the first one.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

OK, it's been awhile

Sorry. I've been incredibly busy lately. What's been going on my life?
1. Education wise - I'm now officially enrolled in the U of A Master of Education (school libraries) program by distance. My first class starts in early July. My first assignment is due the first day of class. I guess I need to get on the ball and get my texts ordered so I can get my first assignment done.
2. Work related - only 5 more weeks of school! I'm still finding my class very challenging, but I will survive. Things go better with lots of prayer there.
We had our final quiz meet of the year (Western always hosts this - and it was great.)
3. With my church family - I just participated in a tremendous workshop/weekend ReVision. Very intensive. It's on how to be a more missional church. It will take me awhile to process all of it, but I have a lot of chew on and grow with. It's always good to be challenged like this.
4. With my family - Rose has a job at Safeway in Southland Mall. It's an hour's bus ride there, but most days I can either drop her off or pick her up, so it's only a long ride one way or the other. They've guaranteed her that she can have Sunday mornings and Tuesday evenings off (so she can help with The Party). There's not many employers that are flexible like that and we're grateful. Bram's registered for Western for the fall (as is Rose), and I'm looking forward to having him here for part of the summer as well. I haven't seen him since Christmas and that's really been too long.
5. With piano - I'm participating in a recital (adult students only) in early June. Trying to get enough practice in so that I don't embarass myself. It's coming, slowly but slowly. I'm learning a really nice jazz arrangement of Jesus Loves Me, plus several baroque pieces. (I really like baroque).
6. Physically - I haven't had much trouble with my arms for several months but they're acting up again, so I think I need to go and have a massage. That tends to help as much as anything else. Ruth and I are trying to walk around the park every morning, which is good for both of us, both physically and socially/spiritually.