Hyaku Performance

     I have been playing the Koto for about 7 months. It has been an amazing opportunity to learn how to play this wonderful instrument. I have learned so many things such as how to work in a group and self reliance, remembering to practice and memorizing the piece. 

     It was very important to me to try my best whenever I do something new. To prepare for the performances I practiced very hard. The most effective practicing technique I used was repetition. Playing the most difficult sections over and over  multiple times really helped me memorize and correctly learn the piece. 

     I feel that I prepared very well for the performances but there were definitely ways I could improve. I feel that I should have practiced with Koto 2 ( the second part ) because during the real performance I became lost once or twice becuase I didn’t know what the other Koto part was playing. If I practiced with the other group, it would have been easier to perform. 

     Overall I feel that this past performance our group did very well. Even though we did go much faster than we practiced, we stayed together and ended well. We only had about four weeks to get this piece together so I feel very proud about how we played. For myself, I felt very good about my performance. I only forgot one part but I was able to catch up and continue without making further mistakes. For next time I think I will perform in front of my parents and siblings to get more comfortable because I get very nervous while playing in front of other people. 

     I am very glad that I chose to join Japanese Koto class because this is a once in a life time chance to learn such an amazing instrument. I hope that as I continue to learn the techniques I will gain a better knowledge and will be able to play the Koto very well and correctly. 

Japanese Koto Practice Strageties

When I practice, I always start by playing through the whole song. Then I make note of where I need to practice. After going through Hiyaku, I realized I needed to work on section 1, lines 2-3 because I have a hard time with the press. To fix this, I go very slow until I am confident enough to play through the song while staying in a controlled speed. Some of the other strategies I use are cutting up the song into small parts and practicing them individually until I feel comfortable with them, and repetition. Practice makes perfect so the more you play a part, the better you will get at it.

Movie on 3-1-16 at 9.05 PM #3

–In this video I played it very slowly. This way I could make it through with hardly any mistakes

The next area I realized I needed to work on was section 2 line 2-4. I am not very good at the pattern so I started the lines slow and made them faster towards the end. Even though I played it fast, I was in control.

Movie on 3-1-16 at 9.14 PM

–In the video above, I indicated with my left hand, that I played the part I was having a hard time with slowly without any mistakes. On second time through that section, I played the part faster than was probably needed but after I practiced slowly and accurately, I was able to play quickly and controlled.

The last area I have a hard time with is section 3 the second and third line because they are very different compare to the rest of the song:

Movie on 3-1-16 at 9.23 PM #2

–In this last video I used the strategy of repetition. If I didn’t feel confident about the part  I played, I would repeat it until I could play it without making a mistake so I could speed it up a little.