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Long term goal

  • VCE

22 July


  • sotto voce -under the breath
  • smorz. dying away
  • poco rallent – getting a bit slower


  • big differences between melody and accompaniment
  • first note quick
  • difference between tenuto and non-tenuto

15 July


  • recording review
    • working on evennness
    • dynamic contrast
    • practicing key areas properly
      • don’t stutter start
      • don’t play excessive wrong notes
  • try to finish


  • check where melody is
  • play full voiced chords

17 June


  • be precise, but still do phrasing
    • rubato on key sections only
    • don’t be flopy with technique

10 June

2 June


  • hyper sensitive sections
    • less phrasing
    • nuanced rubato
    • softer overall
  • check notes in critical sections

  • 27 May



  • some LH notes still wrong
    • might help to do LH only, also for memory
  • expression needs to be intentional
  • don’t bounce off keys


  • middle section, don’t think of absolute speeds, can have fluctuations but eventually get faster
  • limit intensity, value memory

20 May

Prelude Rach

  • first page
    • more stable beat, until rit at end
    • can afford more dynamic contrast
  • 2nd page
    • be careful of pedalling
      • use pedal as a way to change pedal
  • plan dynamic increase out carefully
  • 3rd page
    • pretend it is a race, struggle, but catch up


  • RH must be permanently phrased, unless pp
  • generally some LH wrong
  • focus on detailed ideas rather than magnitude
  • focus on narrative building

13 May

  • percieve semiquaver triplets as as quick as possible
  • hairpins soft as possible, ackowledge softs
  • goal 72


  • analyse rubato carefully, assign meaning
  • be ultra careful with LH notes


  • LH accuracy here as well
  1. rubato
    1. offset rubato
    2. tempo rubato
  2. phrasing
  3. balance

6 May


  • watch pedalling
  • watch balance and maximise phrasing
  • new sections, practice without mistakes
  • watch that quavers are not rushed


  • coordination of RH chords with LH is still not perfect
  • dynamics must be adhered to

22 Apr


  • C buffet

1 Apr


  • focus heavily on melody
  • in style of Liszt
  • f, focus on phrasing

Rach Prelude

  • rubato shouldn’t be repetitive

11 Mar


  • enter correctly with the semiquavers
  • cresc. bar 2, plan in RH
  • LH needs to be legattisiimo
  • dip before cresc. bar 7
  • soft not too soft in RH
  • check coordination 16

4 Mar


  • Make sure dotted rhythms are coordinated correctly
  • think about texture in regards to pedal
  • make sure LH is phrased
  • RH can be strong but still phrased
  • try to make sure semiquavers are even as possible
    • rhythm practice can do this


  • first page, don’t hold onto dissonant sections too long
  • cresc and dim are textural, melody always there

25 Feb


  • rubato needs to be free, but still equal parts speeding up and slowing down. Have a base tempo to refer to
  • agitato
    • make sure melody is voiced strongly
    • phrasing can be done by thinning and thickening
    • make sure C# is caught at the bottom ff
    • pedal along with slurs
  • don’t taper off chords on sfff
  • don’t slow down too much towards end, the slowing down is already written down

18 Feb

Rach Prelude

  • make sure timing is correct last line
  • clear pedal in fff pesante
  • make sure that rubato here doesn’t affect momentum
  • sffff can be done by rubato
  • agitato, watch out RH thumb, not too loud
  • fff chord section, voice top notes


  • mini waltz motif needs to accurate, repeated notes soft
  • RH dolce
  • 2nd page semiquavers in RH in general need to be softer

11 Feb

Nocturne Eb major

  • resistance is needed
  • more rubato
  • more intense section of melody
  • choose notes to be ‘brave’ in
  • ends of phrases are soft
  • bar 6, even rubato, equal slowing and speed up
  • small notes not quick
  • bar 9, sudden change to pp, sudden change to f on tritone
  • try this without rubato first then add later. must be clean
  • emphasise tritone


  • watch tempo in first page
  • don’t
  • treat main chord as beat one here

4 Feb

  • make sure that you commit to pedalling in first page. if you need to adjust texture, do it through change of volume of bass note/chord
  • to get chords, prepare chords
  • narrative in first page as well? relation to harmonic movement?
  • legato in top line 2nd page, check fingering
  • more phrasing 2nd page. do softs really soft so that you can re

17 Dec


  • explore explicit variety of textures in first page. rubato must be varied and not too much. don’t put cap on ppp
  • When large chords come in, allow space for phrasing

Chopin Nocturne

  • Focus on sideways movement in LH, to limit volume

10 Dec


  • sfff section, prioritise bottom melody, make sure pedalling is correct
  • agitato section, phrasing chromatic downwards is fine.
  • phrasing must be exaggerated to be significant
  • recording analysis is essential for an independent interpretation


  • bounce off this Bb, not too loud
  • after sf, comedic contrast to p

4 Dec

  • if anything, preserve integrity of top phrasing line. when slurred, try best to avoid ‘staccato’ touch
  • don’t neglect LH line here. RH, try to preserve held note with fingers to allow for variability in pedal

  • coordinate these two notes. LH is in tandem RH, LH is not an accompaniment. Catch bottom note with pedal.
  • in mf section, phrasing is key with top line. It is much more phrased than the ff section. (more influenced by fluctuations)
  • When in practice mode this week, do without pedal
  • fff section is diminshed chords resolving to minor chords


  • always have light 3rd beat, especially when slur ends on 3rd beat. Watch pedalling for this as well.
  • Equally as important
  • start: trumpets
  • lightly section: phrase, but back away quickly. Watch out for chromatic

Chopin prelude

26 Nov

  • use of arm weight first page will give greater control. phrase of inner chords should still be phrased, only on top note though
  • phrasing is based on how much it blends into the

Hot tips 4 learning quick

  • fundamental philosophy is ‘correct repetitions’
  1. slower
  2. smaller sections
  • important if low on time


3 elements this week:

  1. pedalling?
  2. phrasing?
  3. accent on 1


  • left hand thumb in accomp is important
  • fast notes should not be ‘rushed’
  • even if going really soft, make sure notes are going down fully. Keep legato so there isn’t an over-reliance on pedal.

19 Nov

Arpeggios: accuracy + legato


  • ppp sections, keep soft, not too much rubato.
  • mf sections, watch pedalling, can lift off slightly but keep the spirit
  • last line of first page, opportunity to voice something in the LH

Notes 12 Nov


  • count start slowly, rubato before 3rd note
  • follow pedalling carefully
  • phrase by subtle differences on how clear the top note is
  • You can skip to fff section, middle section is difficult


  • when playing soft, not actually weak technique. Confident but soft, go down to the bottom of the key rapidly
  • dolce, the zone that projects, but is not aggressive. Certain peaks of phrasing can be aggressive
  • LH marcato more here (voice LH). Generally in middle section, RH softer.
  • cresc in RH here. bar 31-32, diminuendo late
  • RH getting louder
  • take advantage of small notes for rubato
  • don’t repeat tie note here

Notes 5 Nov

  • start arpeggios

Ex 8C

  • high level analysis: assign each pitch a separate dynamic level


  • Now that pedalling is adjusted, listen carefully to voicing of melody. Can I hear it (do I want to hear it?). In front section, make sure phrasing occurs from RH
  • Inner triplets always soft
  • rubato, bigger or smaller? good self assessment tool is recording
  • pp, rubato before, take advantage of small note
  • sotto voce – under your voice, fade with accompaniment
  • aggression on this crescendo
  • start RH softer here for bigger cresc
  • voice top note here

Notes 29 Oct


  • Hit top note hard for phrasing


  • group in 4s make sure it is 4 octaves
  • Start Dominant 7th of E


  • in opening section, much less pedal. The left hand pattern/motif needs to be clear
  • when doing rubato, always have original speed in mind to return to. Can do more rubato.
  • When phrasing, take advantage of getting softer.
  • check number of LH notes in these sections
  • half pedal here, helps voice the melody here
  • Pedalling is okay here because it gives the feeling of coming towards an ‘end’


  • At the simplest level, rubato here is pause then speed up. Should be in perfect balance.

Sight reading

  • Rhythm: find fundamental divisions and read rhythm off that.
  • Reading: next step up is to read harmonically