Yesterday, we had our spring concert and we 8th graders performed the piece “Hikaru Umi (Sparkling Sea)” by Hikaru Sawai on the koto. We got our piece 3 months ago and started working on it. I didn’t really practice the first 2 months and relied on the time we got at class. However, around the last week of May, I gradually started to practice the piece at home. Also, I went to practice during lunch recess two times, and in the morning yesterday.
The technique that was hard for me was the sukui. In the piece, we had a part when we had to play the sukui at a fast tempo, and whenever I tried to play it, I kept on messing up. Another challenge was when the strings we had to play were apart from each other and there was awase-zume after the certain note. For example, in page 4, 5th line, 4~5 measure, the last note in measure 4 is 六 and after the 六 is an awasezume with 十 and 巾. I had to play the 十 and 巾 right after 六 and sometimes, I wasn’t able to play the awasezume in time or only played one note, either 十 or 巾.
In the performance, I didn’t really make any mistakes, however I felt that my tsume was going to fall off a several times, so I had to push my tsume back onto my finger, which made me miss playing some parts. As a group, I found some people forgetting to change their tunings. Also, in some parts, people were rushing and I heard the delay of some people. Out of 10, I would give myself an 7 because I could have played some parts better, and also I remembered the piece the day before, which should have been memorized around a week before the concert. Overall, by experiencing this concert, I learned that even though, playing an instrument doesn’t need much communication, we have to communicate with each other so we know the speed we’re going to play the piece and when we have to come in. Also, I learned that knowing the situation of others is important too because when I saw some people who didn’t memorize the piece until the moment before our performance, I was a bit nervous if they can play the piece without making a big mistake. From this, I thought that if I found some people having trouble with the piece, we should notice that they need help and ask them if we can do something to help them.