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Dear Toshi, ..
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タグ:English 1983 ( 2 ) タグの人気記事

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

1983 (12) New Teacher

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

b0071688_23414986.jpg

New Teacher

My landlady Eileen thought that my lack of appetite and generally depressed state was to be blamed on my piano teacher.
“Mako, I will pray to God to find you a good piano teacher.”

This time, I really have to find a good piano teacher. Based on my experience so far, I created my own conditions for a teacher.
No 1, it has to be a married woman
No 2, it has to be someone who has studied how to teach legato to their students.
There is no way I would give up these two conditions.

I consulted a professor at my school about some good piano teacher. He gave me a memo with “Marina TEL 7xx-27xx” written on it.
When I called, I first reached the teacher’s husband who is a violinist. He then passed the phone to a female person.

“I do not need a piano teacher. At the moment I am preparing for the Grade 10, but in my second year I will need a teacher” I rambled wildly.

I suddenly got anxious about speaking with an unfamiliar person. Mrs. Zhou, a Taiwanese immigrant and a friend of mine whose two sons were pianists, continually complained about me not having a piano teacher, insisting I needed one. So I boosted my courage and went ahead with this conversation.

At my initial “I don’t need a piano teacher” Marina Geringas started laughing really funny.
“Are you from Japan?”
“Yes.”
“Let’s meet once, first.”
Then we arranged to meet in front of the Studio 314.

I don’t find it hard to practice the piano on my own. I prefer playing on my own than playing in panicky haste before someone without understanding while my stiff muscle clink, and my heart grows smaller and smaller. However, in order to move to the next grade, I needed to find a piano teacher and report that to the school office. I had so many things on my mind and I was still very young at the time, and I stumbled around when I talked in a way that could often leave a person in bewilderment.

I was relieved to find that Marina was a person I’d seen before, thinking how pleasant she seemed.

“Why did you quit learning the piano with Pol?”
“We got from each other all we were able to get,” I said.

“Do you plan to take ARCT after the Grade 10?” she asked.*
“No. I’m playing the piano to enrich my soul. That is why I don’t have an intention to take that exam.”
“I understand. In that case, I will teach you.”

From her appearance, I felt her to be a very accomplished and knowledgeable person. Her voice was extremely gentle, and she spoke grammatically correct English.

She was also honorable and had gone through a lot in her life. I told her my story about Gould, about how much I had been thinking of him. I also told her I always had problems with pains in half of my body (mainly in my left side, but that pain often moved to my right side too).

“My husband is a violinist in the Toronto Symphony, and he had an opportunity to visit Japan. Ever since then, his dream is to go to Japan again. We came from Russia,” she told me.

Marina had a sweet fragrance to her. Her English was excellent and sharp, and there was a suggestion of an extraordinary mind behind it. In addition, when she spoke Russian language, even native Russian speakers later said, “There is nobody who speaks such a beautiful Russian language.” I really wanted to have a person with such exquisite sense of hearing as my piano teacher. Mone’s ‘Water Lillies’, and some modern paintings hung on the walls of her studio.

I made blunders because I never dreamed we would get along so well. I was on the verge of collapsing with anxiety and pointless fears.


(*) The Canadian Royal Conservatory of Music has 1-10 grading system. Except this, there is the ARCT, which is the highest qualification similar to the final graduation.

                                      Tranlated by Saiko  


Japanese version of this page ・83年12・新しい先生



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[PR]
by mhara21 | 2017-06-17 23:45 | 後追い日記83年 | Comments(0)