The areas I focused when practicing were playing the piece in a consistent tempo without rushing, and also being able to listen to the other part while playing the piece so that I can notice if my part isn’t matching with the other part. Two months before the concert, I gradually rushed throughout each part of the piece most of the time. However, at the concert, I was able to play the piece in a steady speed and when I looked at the video of the actual performance, I thought that our group was nearly perfect in terms of the consistence of the tempo and not getting faster nor slower. Also, when we started to play the piece without the music, listening to the other members who were in the same part as me was the best I could do so that I wouldn’t be off the rhythm. But before three weeks before the concert, I gradually was able to listen to the sound of the other part as well as the sound of the others in my part, which made it way more easier for me to play in sync with the other members. To prepare, I used the metronome and the recording a lot. Listening to the metronome was the most effective way on working on the two goals because it helped me to remember the tempo, and also building up the skill to listen to something else while playing an instrument.
Next time, I think I will prepare better by memorising the piece in an earlier stage. For this performance, I memorised the piece two or three weeks before the concert and this made me a little anxious because I didn’t have much practice without looking at the piece. Therefore, I will try to memorise the piece at least a month before the concert which will help me become more confident and relaxed in mind.
While preparing for the concert, I think we shared more ideas to each other regarding to the piece compared to the previous concert. This helped us gain more affection to the piece and also learn more about the piece since some people noticed what the others didn’t notice. In terms of practice, we all had the same thoughts on the parts we had to practice the most, so this helped us practice more efficiently since no one had to waste time practicing the part they felt confident about. As a conclusion, in the concert, no one made a huge mistake and all parts ended perfectly without any problems such as one part ending before another. We were also able to adjust the timing if one of us were a bit off tempo and helped each other if one of us forgot the count. If I had to give one improvement, that would be to practice so that we don’t play the strings which we shouldn’t even if the tempo is fast. This is because in part 4, whenever we play the continuous 八 & 斗, one of us played the wrong string at least once. Therefore, I think we should improve on that if we’re going to play this piece again.
Individually, I think I did the best I could and had the least amount of mistakes ever. I did meet my expectations and was proud of both myself and the group after the performance. I think the performance went well then I thought it would since each part ended as the way we wanted it to end and I was able to play the piece in a steady tempo. If I was going to point out one thing I will work on next time, it will be that I won’t have any mistakes since I mistook two or three times in this concert.
For the first part, my goal was to remember the pattern and then being able to play the part in the correct rhythm and tempo. I have achieved this goal since I memorised the pattern for this part which includes the tempo, rhythm, and the notes used. I have achieved this goal by using the metronome while practicing, and also listening to the recording. Also when I had times when I could practice for a long time, I first practiced playing the part slowly so that I could get the rhythm and the notes right, and gradually I started playing faster to match the tempo we played during class. One thing I could have done better to improve on this part was to play the whole part 3 from the start to the end so that the transition between the section before and the section after would have improved during the break as well.
For the second part, my goal was to play the 八 and the 斗 in a consistent speed. I think I was close to achieving this goal but didn’t achieve it completely because when the right hand comes in, sometimes the tempo is inconsistent and it gets faster and then back to the normal tempo again. While working on this part, I used the metronome so that I can know if I’m a little off of the tempo or not. I also listened to the metronome when I wasn’t playing the koto too so that my mind can remember the tempo. To have practiced more effectively, I also could have practiced the right hand and the left hand separately and then playing both hands together so that the tempo for each hand would have been more clear in my mind and wouldn’t mixed up while playing.
Finally, for the third part, my goal was to play the part without misplaying the strings. I did achieve this goal since now I can play the part without looking at the music, and playing it smoothly in the correct tempo without making mistakes. My practice strategy for this part was to play the piece many times which was the only way I could think of to make my hands remember the distance between the strings. By my hands the remembering the distance of the strings, I can know how much I have to move my hands so that I play the correct strings. During the break, the longest time I played this part was for 20 minutes continuously, which made me able to remember the length of the gap between the strings. One improvement for the practice of this part was that I could have practiced with my eyes closed so that I could play the part without making sure if I’m playing the right string with my eyes, which makes me get confused sometimes since I sometimes miscount the strings I play.
Overall, I think I have practiced effectively during the break and currently satisfied of my achievement of the goals. If we have a similar assessment to this in the future, I will consider of making myself setting a higher and a more detailed goal so that I would get more motivation to practice.
For the first part, my goal is to remember the pattern and then being able to play the part in the correct rhythm and tempo. Right now, since I’m looking at the music, and also don’t know which string to play, I sometimes get the rhythm mixed up. I will use a metronome when practicing, which makes me play the music in the correct tempo. Also, I will try to practice many times during the break so that I can play the part without looking at the strings.
For the second part, my goal is to play the 八 and the 斗 in a consistent speed. I tend to rush when playing the part which makes the transition between the 八 and the 斗 being more faster at the end of the part compared to at the start of the part. If I continue doing this, I won’t be able to finish playing the part as the same time as my classmates. To improve this part, I think the only way is to practice by using the metronome so that I can listen to the beat I play the string for each time.
Finally, for the last part, my goal is to play the part without misplaying the strings. Currently, I mistake a lot by playing the wrong strings. As an example, from the transition between 五為 and 八十, instead of playing the 八, I sometimes play the 七 since there is one string between 十 and 為, and I forget that there are two strings to skip for my right hand. To improve this part, preferentially, I will practice many times to make my body remember the hand movements. Then, I will practice from the start of page 4, which starts off with a similar pattern. By playing it from the start of the page, I think it would make the flow while playing the piece better, and it will also help me practice the transition between the two patterns, and also memorise the amount of times each pattern will be repeated.
For all parts, I will listen to the recording many times to remember the tempo, and how it should sound like, which will help me play the piece even more better.
On October 16th, we had our concert at BankART Studio. Us, 9th graders performed a piece called “Warabe Uta” by Yuize Shinichi. We spent two months practicing this piece. For the first week, I only relied on the practices during class time, however, from the second week I started practicing at home as well. For the last two weeks, we all went to practice in the morning.
The challenges I had were mainly the sukui, and also matching my part with the other parts. There were many sukuis especially in the second part (Children in Ainu) which we had to play in a fast tempo, which made it way more harder. It was really hard to match with the other parts when the tempo increased at the second last page. At this part, I also had a part where I had to press the string which made my hand hurt, and also difficult to listen to the other part.
To overcome these challenges, for the sukui, I practiced a lot at my house. I practiced the areas with sukui at least once a week. For matching the other parts, I listened to the recordings either on youtube or the ones we took during class. I listened to those recordings during my practice and tried to match it with my part. I also sang the melody with my sister at my house sometimes so that we were able to remember the piece at the same time.
As a member of the group, I learned how important it is to discuss about the piece. As we were getting closer to the concert, we all gave ideas of how the tempo should be, and also how we should make some parts softer and some parts louder. By giving ideas, I think we all participated in making the piece better which leaded us to have a great performance on the day! Overall, I think we had a fantastic performance, and we all did our best to finish the first performance as the 9th grade koto crew.