My in-depth has been progressing well over the past few weeks, and the extra time during spring break allowed me to practice and progress more than usual. I selected a final piece to work on: Girl from Ipanema, and I’m beginning to add more to my other two pieces. Although my last meeting was only yesterday, and I haven’t had much time to practice this new piece, I’ve attached a short recording of a simple adaptation of the first verse below.
My mentor agreed that it’s a good idea to practice simple ideas while I get used to the chart and then later add more complex parts.
As for the other pieces, we discussed some more complex rhythms that I could add. Since each of my pieces is in a different style, there are different things I can try with each of the pieces.
During the session, I realized that I struggle to put together the piano part and the vocal part. For the purpose of this project, my mentor and I decided to focus on adapting the piano parts specifically to accompany voice. When I practiced on my own time, I didn’t focus on adding the vocal part, since that isn’t the main part of my study, and I assumed that it would be simple to put together. However, during our last session, I realized that I struggle to play both parts simultaneously; in the future, I will be sure to practice the piano and the voice together.
What has been my most difficult mentoring challenge so far? Why?
Recently, social distancing measures have made it difficult to have traditional meetings, so we’ve transitioned to video call meetings. Although this transition went pretty smoothly, there are certain aspects of our meetings that are difficult to conduct over a call. Most notably, we used to play along with each other to work on chording/ rhythm up to tempo, but the delay on video chats makes this difficult. At our last meeting, which was conducted via video chat, I was struggling to get some of the rhythms correct in one of the pieces, and it was difficult to fix this issue without being able to play together. To aid this, my mentor suggested some things I could try on my own time to help me.
What is working well? Why?
I feel like the general style of learning and discussion we have in our sessions works well for me. I do my own practice at home, and during our meetings we spend less time on review and more time on moving forward. In the formal piano lessons I used to take, we spent a surplus of time discussing issues that I now can fix on my own time. This way, we spend more time during meetings moving forward and discussing new things that I can try.
What could be working better? How can you make sure this happens?
Personally, I feel like my most prominent issue so far has been lack of communication during meetings. I often avoid asking for clarification when needed, and although I’ve always been able to figure out the missing information, it would be easier for me to simply ask for the information to be repeated. This issue can be easily resolved; I’ll be sure to be more aware during our next meeting in order to ensure that I’m asking for clarification when necessary.
During the past few weeks, I’ve begun to see my pieces come together more and more; I’m really excited what else I can accomplish in the coming weeks.