Since the beginning of the 2016 school term, we have been working on a famous Japanese koto piece known as Sekijun (In which we will be performing on December 7th).
So far my practice habits have been consistent for several weeks but noticed recently that although I was submitting practice logs, the music demonstrated was not completed to perfection and rather sloppy. However, I feel that I have been practicing sections of the piece reputedly gaining more confidence to perform. Something that I will practice working on between now and the concert will be dividing my practice sessions in equal amounts, as I realized that I tend to only practice parts that I feel confident already with.
My goal per week, is 2 practice logs (a week), striving for perfection of the sections demonstrated whilst recording. I feel that per week, I’ve been able to submit 2 at most practice logs consistently, and will keep reminding myself to practice in order to keep up with the ensemble.
I think that I’ve been successful with the sukui sections on page 2 as well as page 3. As both sections began difficult for me as the song progressed, I began doing the sukui sections as a warmup for 5 minutes before focusing on a certain section to practice. The strategy that I use in order to feel comfortable with any particular section, would include playing the part over and over, then playing once glancing at the sheet for reminders, then the next, focusing on the koto only (attempting to look away from the sheet). This helps me, as I eventually do not need to worry about the notes, and can then focus on the dynamics, strength, and feelings of the part.
Still an area that I need to focus on would be page 6 lines 1, 2 and measure one of line 3. This section involves a new and tough technique known as arpeggio which I have not gotten comfortable yet. However, by doing the section over and over repeatedly, I will be able to do this section.
I enjoy that when koto’s 1, 2 as well as the jushigen, work separately on sections that we may feel concerned about as a group, we are able to focus on it, and then come back with both groups to put all our hard work and effort together to compile the final song. I enjoy that when each group plays alone, the song and melody is brought out, but when we play as an ensemble (together), the true song is able to be heard and demonstrated. A struggle that I found, was that when a student forgets to practice, it can have an impact on the ensemble and make the others that have practiced wait and waste time. As it has happened to me before, I plan to keep submitting practice logs in order to not let my group down.
Overall, I am proud of the progress that I as well as everyone in the ensemble has achieved, and excited to learn different techniques and tips in order to enhance our performing skills as a whole.