Life According to Piano

Slow Practice

It’s Advent, so we are preparing for Christmas, and that means music. (Also shopping, and high-calorie food, of course. That would be a different blog post.)

Each year since we moved to New Mexico, I have accompanied the local chorus in their Christmas cantata. My part is a piano reduction of an orchestral score, which means basically that it’s not particularly piano-friendly and it’s not the kind of piano playing that I routinely do. The first year I really struggled with learning my part; the classically trained pianist in me wanted to get every note just so! That’s simply not possible when someone has put too many octaves-worth of music on the page!

Each year I have improved in throwing away the notes that are unnecessary, and also in my sight-reading of this style. It is no longer painful to learn this music. (And in case the previous reads like a rant: I have always loved my rehearsals with the singers and hearing the music come together. And the performances — that should go without saying!)

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