My last lesson of the semester was this past Friday. I can't believe how time has flown!
As a faculty member at the institution where I take lessons, the recital requirement for the applied credit was waived, so my last lesson of the semester was really a private recital of sorts.
I started out with the three Burgmullers I worked on over the semester, La Candeur, L'Arabesque, and Ballade. Despite some stumbling here and there, I managed to play all of them from memory. I concluded with Clementi's Sonatina, and again played all three movements from memory. I didn't play the little pieces; she's been trying to wean me over to larger pieces anyway, so the Schumann "Soldier's March" is the only assigment from the semester that never got touched. Pity too, because, for all its brevity it has been one of the most instructive pieces I have played yet. Block chords have been a stumbling block for me, but seem less so now that I've had this workout.
My teacher seemed impressed that I was able to play all six pieces from memory, so much so that she remarked about it to the student who came after me. I felt sorry for the student, so I downplayed it a bit with the qualification that it didn't mean I played them all that expertly! I guess the memorization part didn't seem like that big of a deal to me, but her students are only required to play one piece from memory per semester, so I actually exceeded the quota sixfold!
And they really weren't all played to my satisfaction, but judging from the comments she wrote down in my book, I'm doing some things right that I'm not even aware of, e.g. phrasing. Where did I learn that? I don't know, but something is working. I am, on the other hand, weak on other areas that I am WELL aware of--such as pedaling! I suck at pedaling! It is the mains reason the middle section of Ballade went as badly as it did. But, I muddled through each rough spot and made sure I finished everything.
Overall, I felt good though. I really didn't think I'd finish Clementi by semester's end. Now it feels like pieces are coming together more quickly. My summer assignment includes another Sonatina, this one by Frank Lynes, which I was able to read through fairly easily over the weekend. The Burgmuller she assigned me is another pedaling exercise: "L'Armonie des Anges"--not real difficult, fingering-wise, but the pedal will throw me for a loop.
I didn't discuss any other pieces with her, but I've alread started on Prelude 1 from the Well-Tempered Clavier. It's easy enough, so why not? I may as well play as much "real" music as I can at my level, as long as I don't get overly ambitious and bite off more than I can chew. The prospect of playing real Bach is exciting indeed, but realistically the "good stuff" is still years away and I'm just going to have to curb my appetite.
I have also begun looking at some of the early Haydn sonatas contained in a Snell edition I picked up. I have the Jando recordings of all six on a Naxos download and quite like them. They're supposedly at an intermediate level, but I can see some scale bursts and ornamentation that will require a bit of work. I'll just have to keep these under my hat for the time being. Maybe if I polish off the assigned pieces over the next month or so I can give those a go.
It will be interesting to see what nearly four months of no lessons does to my motivation. I don't have any trouble making time for practice, but having specific pieces to work on keeps me from wandering all over the place and accomplishing nothing. Wandering is fun, but my motivation tends to dissipate after a while if I don't have a task to stick to.