Grade 8 Koto have performed the piece ‘Hiyaku’ on a concert, and we have been working on this piece for few months. Here is my reflection for the whole piece, including my practices and the actual performance.
During the past few weeks and months, I have been practicing Hiyaku at school and at home. I thought the piece it self was fairly simple and easy to play song. Some parts I had trouble switching my fingers or just remembering which finger to play. For those ones, I wrote a note on my music sheet which finger to be using and made sure I always played them with the right ones. This helped me to read the music sheet clearer and more efficiently, and I was able to play the hard lines easily. Whenever I practiced at home, I was always careful not to go fast. I thought this was something important especially for this piece and needed more focus, since I tend to play easy lines fast and that would make everyone else had to play. I used a metronome to keep a steady pace. It worked and I was able to practice in a steady slow pace. The metronome also helped me to count in my head accurately and not go too fast when I’m performing without any metronomes.
Some improvements to make when I’m practicing next time is not to always start practicing from page 1. Whenever I practiced at home, I always started playing from page 1, all the time. This made me remember the piece at a one whole thing, and not into 3 different sections. This was quite inconvenient, since if I suddenly forget what to play, It would be harder for me to remember what to play next and I would have to recall the whole piece rather than remembering one section. Next time whenever I practice, I would practice from different sections so I would be able to remember them through sections.Also another thing I would do next time for sure, is to read and remember the music sheet while listening to the recorded piece. One of the way I tried to remember the piece was to listen to it whenever I have time. This really helped me remember the piece easily, but because I remembered it through sound and not the notes itself, sometimes whenever I’m performing I forget what string to play next even though I know how the piece would go next. I had trouble articulating the sounds and the string and I sometimes had to stop playing, like I did in 2:56~2:59 in the video.
Overall for the performance, I thought everyone did a good job of keeping ourselves together. This piece would only sound good if koto 1 and 2 are in harmony. In the middle we had part that we fell apart (like in section 2) but we were able to end together in sync. I thought it was impressive, and something we should be proud of, since we went far faster than we practiced, but we were able to keep it up together as a class. I thought the most improvement needed was section 2, since koto 1 and 2 fell apart on that section and I had parts that I forgot to play. I guess to improve for next time we should focus hard on playing the piece slowly so everyone would be together in harmony. As an individual, I thought I could’ve done better. Being at the very front, I could’ve slowed the pace of the piece for everyone to play comfortably, but I was too focused on trying not to fall apart and playing strongly. If I had practiced more and became more comfortable playing the piece, I would’ve had the room in my mind to intentionally slow down the piece. Next time I would improve by practicing more on the piece and being extra confident on what I play. I was able to play the piece strong and confidently though, which I thought was good, since not only people would be able clearly hear my sound, but the students in the back could listen to it and follow my lead. By playing confidently, I was able to bring back koto 1 and 2 together when it was about to fall apart. I thought this concert was a success, but for me individually, I have some parts I could improve on next time.