Thursday 25 November 2021

Thursday 25th November - Chit chat, this and that

 My poor little Christmas cactus is making a valiant attempt to flower. I have neglected it all through the Summer, and was on the verge of chucking it out several times. Only laziness on my part saved it.

 I've moved it to the kitchen windowsill where I hope it will have a better chance of survival.

I got my new glasses yesterday. As I had hoped, they are making it easier for me to read the music and teach. They are large and fairly round so the lenses are bigger which all helps. And lookee lookee at the wonderful case they came in! Sparkly! That was a nice surprise.

Several of my piano students have gone severely off the boil as regards practicing. Sometimes it is because they are 'stuck' and become discouraged over a particular piece, sometimes they have too much on at school, especially with Christmas coming on, sometimes they are tired of everything except their phones and computer games.

Strategy Number 1; 'as soon as you have done three practices, sent me a text or email and I will post you a postcard.' She has chosen this one, and I have set it aside for her. 

Strategy 2; for a very competitive student 'We can do a practice challenge together; we will each do scales, sight reading, a new easy piece and and get on with learning a 'proper piece' each day'. Oh, hang on, that means I've got to start practicing every day too. Here's my chart (I only started on Tuesday).  

Strategy 3; 'Just do a tiny amount every time you practice - one bar of your Bach, and as soon as you've played it twice you can move on, and the next phrase of the other pieces, left or right hand, and any scale you like played twice, and a Christmas Carol from your easy-peasy book. Then you are done'.

Let's see where that gets us.

The secret is in the word 'play' - as in 'playing' the piano. Now, do you suppose it would help if I called it 'houseplay' instead of 'housework' and had a star chart?

(probably not!)


  1. These all sound like good strategies. I once had a lovely Christmas cactus which bloomed reliably for about 10 years then just suddenly died. Now I am getting into green fingered habits, perhaps I should treat myself to another one...

  2. The Christmas cactus, or maybe a root from the original plant, has been magnificent in previous years! I suspect it needs feeding, and it didn't like as much direct sunlight as it got last year.

  3. I believe cacti thrive on neglect.... Your Piano stratgy is the same as Anna uses with us. "Play a bar till you get it right, then move on"

    1. Yup. You need to give the notes plenty of time to travel all the way from the printed page outside your eyes, into the brain and down to the fingers!

  4. Oh, I wish you had taught me to play the piano! Thank you for visiting my blog,

    1. Aw, thank you! I'm not a good role model, but I do have to start practicing in order to teach some of my more advanced pupils. I've got away with being lazy up to now!