On November 11, I met with Michael for another organ lesson. I will share the highlights in this post as well as about a new experiment that we are going to try with my practicing.
I received a passing mark on the hymn “Christ, Whose Glory Fills the Skies.” That felt wonderful.
I am still struggling with “Glory be to the Father.” As mentioned previously, this is not a complicated piece. I should be able to sight read it. Micheal suggested I find a way to reframe it.
Also, after nearly two years of the prelude from Prelude and Fugue in E Minor being on my assignment list, I played it well enough to take it off the list. I wasn’t able to play it flawlessly, but it was the best that I have played it for Michael. I also played it near the end of the lesson, and I was started to feel fatigued.
Michael also said that I look stiff when I play, so I will try to loosen up!
The New Experiment
I have been working on the fugue from Prelude and Fugue in E Minor. So far, I have mostly practiced with hands only. I played it for Michael. As usual, the tempo wasn’t accurate throughout. My quest for perfect notes leads me to imperfect tempo. And then months of having to overcome the muscle memory that has set it.
Michael said as an experiment, I am to set the metronome to 35 for quarter notes. This pace feels slow and plodding. But he said to do it for two weeks and then make a recording playing it with the metronome on. And he wants to hear the recording.
A few weeks before my lesson, I finished reading The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin. From this book, I learned that I am an obliger which means that I respond better to outer expectations than inner expectation (you can take the free quiz here to discovery your tendency).
So, the experiment works well with my obliger tendency. Now, if he wasn’t expecting to hear the recording (the outer expectation), I don’t know if I would have stuck with it for two weeks.
We have not tried this approach to learning a new piece before. This new practice method may be what I need to learn new pieces faster with proper tempo.
My next lesson will probably be in January. I will let everyone know how it goes!