Sunday, August 3, 2014


I've finally accomplished a goal of mine (relating to piano), and that is to play an entire piece by memory. I just relearned Scarlatti's Sonata K531. It's not without its flaws, but it's okay. I played this 18 years ago in my senior recital and it came back pretty quickly. Yesterday, I tried to record myself with my phone. I was a little alarmed while watching it back and seeing how terrible my fingers and hands look. I don't think I've always played with *such* collapsed fingers and collapsed hand-arch (knuckle bridge). I know that I have weird joints. All of my joints in my body are hyper-extended and this creates challenges for me. In ballet, I had to compensate for this all the time. In piano, I just let my hands and fingers do what they will. I think perhaps that I currently lack strength in my hands and that maybe as I gain strength through practice, my technique (and hand/finger position) will get better. I know that I use an awful lot of extra energy while playing. Lately, I find that I even get tense in my face/jaw while playing demanding passages. I really think this will go away as I get stronger. Reading articles online about collapsed joints, I am comforted. Everyone's physiology is different. Maybe I don't have to have the perfect, ideal hand position in order to play well. I like the idea of accepting how I am built and working with what I have. We'll see what happens as I continue to practice.

Sunday, July 20, 2014


I guess it's time for my once-yearly post, isn't it? ;) My last entry indicated I had too many hobbies, so I went ahead and added another one. Rose gardening (organic). This May, I planted 5 roses in our front yard. I don't know why I tend to pick the hardest thing ... always. I pick the hardest thing. I guess I just love a challenge. 
That is a photo of the first rose that bloomed. It's a David Austin rose called Tamora. This particular rose plant has been attacked by all kinds of gross bugs like aphids and sawfly larvae. A lot of the leaves have holes in them now. But I am trying to get over my perfectionism and just let them be what they'll be (I do spray with neem oil sometimes, but with all the rain this season, it gets washed away quickly). It's fun to learn about rose gardening. I can see why so many rose gardeners say it is addicting! It is! I want to buy more and more roses. Not only are they beautiful, but they smell amazing. I learned that my grandma had many roses in her garden. I think I must carry on this tradition. I'm learning that roses are very high maintenance (I seriously check them at least twice a day). They need a lot of water, some fertilizer, some pruning and they need to be checked for bugs and diseases. Next year my roses will be even more beautiful and full. This year they are little runts. :)