Clouds for Alma: Spring Concert 2015

On March 11ty 2016, our school had a spring koto concert. Our koto class worked on the piece ‘Clouds for Alma’ through December to March. At this concert, there were various level and ages who of performed which made the concert entertaining. As a reminder, March 11th is an important day in Japan, as we throwback to 2011, there was a 4.5 magnitude earthquake and a tsunami that happened in Tohoku. More than 10000 million of people died and has suffered from a huge damage. It’s been 5 years since the earthquake but The Japanese people still can’t never forget this event. I think this day was a great day to perform since it strongly showed a Japanese culture.

Reflecting back to my performance, I think I did an awesome job! This is because I focused on the level of the tone and I perfectly counted the melodies while I was playing. When I was playing this piece, I felt relaxed and I actually thought I was flying and watching the clouds. 

Firstly, I focused on playing the right strings and getting the music stuck in my head.  When times flies, I focued on thinking about the timing and speed ( piano and forte.) In addition, my main focus at the very end was playing the last movement  which is page 4 measure 774. I had struggled playing this because my hands didn’t move really fast and I always play the wrong string because my fingers get stuck.
Before the concert, I missed some classes on Thursday because I had cheerleading practice. Sadly, I couldn’t really practice as a group during March and I felt really bad. By this, I practiced at home a lot and listen to the recording because I didnt want to めいわくする.  I practiced more than an hour and keep on playing the same thing over and over again. My head was full of worries but A week before the concert, when I practiced with everyone, I realized I was able to play and synchronize with everyone and happily, I was able to play movement 4 perfectly. I was really really happy!!!!

To be honest, I think I took too much time to memorize the 4th movement since I was so forcued on movement 1 to 3 because I couldn’t play it perfectly. So next time I would like to memorize the piece at an earlier time. I realized it is really easy to memorize the piece first so that we can think about the tempo, the pitch, and syncniying with others. In addition, I learned that you can feel 安心. In a minimalist pieces, it includes a lot of repetition of patterns which are hard to keep track of and while playing we need to count, therefore it is hard to look at the music piece and count at the same time. All in all, I think  I shoud have memorized my piece ealier.

I think our group performance was successful because luckily, we were all syncronized and ended at the same time in movement one. Furthermore,  our dynamics enhanced the whole piece and I think everyone was listening to each other. I saw people having eye contact to each other and this tells me they were listening and being careful of not going too fast or slow. Our dynamics in movement two  were very soft, and the loud part were strong and clear.

Overall, I think I played really well and I am really sad that we cannot play this piece anymore since piece uses fingers the whole time and I have never played a piece that only uses fingers in this 5 years. But I am kind of happy at the same time that my hands will not have blisters and so on.  For me, practicing many, many times worked, because my fingers and ears would remember better and my hands just keep on moving. Also, practicing with the metronome as helped me because it gives you the steady beat all the way and you will know when you are fast or slow. I think, playing with the recorded music didn’t help me because it was really fast and I couldn’t hear myself playing.




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