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1983 (24), Marina’s Lessons

Tag: English 1981 ← Please click here.
Tag: English 1982 ← Please click here.
Tag: English 1983 ← Please click here.

b0071688_19214162.jpg

#Marina’s Lessons

I started my lessons with Marina on September 16. Since I didn’t have enough physical strength to choose the piano as my major in the second year, and I took singing as my main subject. That is why I had 30-minute piano lessons. I chose Bach’s Prelude and Fugue BWV 852 as a number to play for my exam.
Marina listened to me playing this number till the end, and because I could not play the 16th-note tuplets she said: “Go back to legato.”
I played legato with my stiff hands clinking. However, the sound was not smooth and it didn’t settle well.

“You cannot play legato? Or you don’t know how to play it?”
“I don’t know how to play it. Is there some easy way to practice legato?”
“Actually, there is,” Marina said.

Marina sat in front of the piano, counting from 1 to 4. She would raise her wrist in time with the counting, drop it on the count of 4, when she would press the next key, and then start counting 1, 2, 3, 4 again. That was an exercise to go through an octave by lifting and dropping just one finger.

Sitting in turns with Marina in front of the piano, I learned about the position of a hand and wrist when dropped and sounds produced at that moment, as well as the difference in sounds when striking with a key with a finger. I was to take good care to play close to chromatic keys. In the end, this is what she told me.

“Let’s play Chopin’s Prelude. Bring the scores next time. Don’t use other ways for practicing but mine. I will tell you now how to do it.”
“Why can’t I play legato?”
“Because of the tension in your elbows.”

This answer surprised me. Nobody explained this to me before.
We decided to put Bach aside until the tension in my elbows eased.
I would repeat this monotonous practice throughout the week.
From time to time I would get worried whether I were doing it right or not. Anyhow, I would practice every day for two hours, twenty minutes for each finger. I used my index finger, middle finger, and my ring finger.

The day of my next lesson.

Marina was frantically prodding and pulling my elbows. Elbows without any tension, when not pressing any key, should be just like a marionette when the threads are loose. They should be relaxed so that, even when an elbow is pulled, it can invariably go back to its original position.
It felt so good when Marina would pull my motionless elbows and shake my arms, like air was entering my arms. She taught me while sitting on my right, continuously with her arms around me, and my elbow often poked her in the chest. I can say it was more like a ballet then a piano lesson.

She chose no. 20 in C minor from Chopin Preludes, and told me to practice it with a maximum return of the wrist. I was strongly impressed by the fierce black sound of Marina’s music coming from the piano. Chopin’s music was not something that attracted me since childhood, but I learned the whole Prelude by ear.

I repeated the monotonous practice relentlessly throughout another week. I exerted myself to find the most appropriate line in my arm to let good energy flow while playing the piano. It always took me 2 hours of practice to be content with my work. When I realized that the problem I had is about to be solved, warm tears of relief fell from my eyes.

By the mid October I learned to legato playing of four Chopin preludes and I memorized the music scores.
Marina’s reaction to my progress was: “When a colleague of mine told me how much her new student managed to achieve in just one month, I couldn’t believe her. Now that I’ve seen it with my own eyes, I can believe it. Except of particularly difficult pieces, you can play most of them to perfection. What have you been doing till now? Have you practiced the piano at all? Ever?”
“Sorry,” I said, “I could not play much because I was ill.”



                                                               Tranlated by Saiko


Japanese version of this page ・マリーナのレッスン83年24 へ


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by mhara21 | 2017-06-22 19:22 | 後追い日記83年 | Comments(0)
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