Hello, I am Tomislav from Croatia. I'm 20 years old and I play piano for around 3 years now, taking private lessons. Before those 3 years I never went to music school and never been thought much about it, especially not about Chopin.
I've been already visiting this forum and reading posts because I felt desire to be in contact with people who also admire to Chopin's work and who are also his fans so I can talk with them and learn about his life and work and also get some good advices about playing piano, for which I would be very thankful. When I have visited this forum and read it's posts for the first time, I've realized there is many people who are school educated musicians so I didn't register before because I felt I don't have enough of knowledge and experience to talk with people like you, with people who really know things about music and I'm a just someone who's knowledge is very poor and who can't say for himself he really knows something about music... But day before yesterday I talked to pianist who is a piano professor in my town and who finished piano course at music academy (not the one who teaches me, but from day before yesterday he will also teach me). He told me I shouldn't be afraid of playing in front of people (I get nervous when being watched by someone, I become afraid if I won't play well) and I should get in contact with musicians so I can improve.
Now, off course, I can read notes without a problem. I just can't read notes and play the piano at the same time. Only if it is about something really simple.
Before 3 years I couldn't even read notes. My mom played a piano. We have a 95 years old piano in our house and I was ignoring it for around 17 years of my life. At school, I learned a bit about theory, in high school. But then I didn't think about the music like I do now, and I didn't study about it much. We also never heard any Chopin's piece in that school
. We just learned the theory a bit. A bit... I didn't think about the artistry the way I think now.
And then I've heard Chopin. First things I've listened to were two preludes; Op. 28 No. 4 and Op. 28 No. 15. After that, I started to search for his music, listened to his pieces and realized I really enjoy listening his music, especially his nocturnes. Nocturne Op. 9 No. 2., nocturne Op. 27 No. 2, nocturne Op. 48 No. 1, nocturne Op. 72 No. 1, nocturne No. 20 in C-sharp minor... To be honest, I liked the sadness I saw in his pieces. Whenever I felt that way, I took some Chopin's piece, just played the beginning of it (if I could, off course) and repeated it... Even if I knew I'm not good enough to play more than a beginning. I was also amazed by the speed of his pieces. Like Fantaisie Impromptu, for example.
I study Economics at the moment. But to be honest again, that's not what I want. I'm not really happy with it but I began to study music and to read things about artistry too late. Before I started that, I didn't have a real aim in my life and it wasn't hard for me to get in Economics University. I do know I can't be a good pianist anymore but I hope I can learn one big part of Chopin's work.
Except Chopin's pieces, I've been also learning some small pieces of Bach but I won't write them down because I didn't play them after I went through them with professor. I just keep playing Chopin's pieces
I will write down here what Chopin's pieces did I go through with professor and learned them so far.
waltz No. 19 in A Minor
waltz Op. 69 No. 2
nocturne Op. 9 No. 2
nocturne Op. 55 No. 1
nocturne No. 20 in C Minor
prelude Op. 28 No. 4
prelude Op. 28 No. 15
There are two pieces I'm already playing by myself very good but still I need to work every single small thing of them, dynamics and accents and all that stuff with professor... But mostly, these two piece are really close to be done: waltz Op. 34, No. 2 and waltz Op. 64 No 2.
The second professor that I mentioned in the text before, the one I meet a day before yesterday, is going to teach me Ballade No. 1. I'm really really looking forward to learning that piece
I've already learned all the notes and played it with both hands together. The professor who was teaching me with 3 years told me I did a great job but there is still plenty of things that I need to improve, related with dynamics, accents and 100% precise equalization of notes when it comes to parts that demand high speed.
The biggest problems I have are getting 100% precise tempo and equalization, getting dynamics to perfection and getting my hands and fingers to look and to be the way pianist's fingers must be. I mean, my small finger for example, doesn't want to be rounded, I can't get it rounded, it just goes even when I hit a not or when other fingers do their job. My fingers can be stiff and I can't fix that. Professors gave me some exercises but even those can't do it. Maybe it is just a matter of time but when the professor from day before yesterday saw the way they are stiffed, he doubted my small finger can be fixed with those exercises. He told me not to use it when exercising before I don't fix all other fingers completely. I played one prelude in front of him and he said it was excellent but the way I sit and this issue with my fingers must be fixed because I'm doing myself an extra efforts that would be reduced if I improve the behavior of my fingers and sit the way pianists sit.
Can I make topics about that problems and explain what exercises do I do at technique part of the forum? And maybe somebody give me exercises I can talk about with my professor...
I really apologize if this introduction is too long. I just wanted to give you a picture of myself and explain the reason why I registered on this forum. I'm really sorry if this is a too long post and if it is, I won't post long posts like this in the future. I hope you will accept me.