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How to Decide What to Play or Sing?

One of the nice things about being in the Georgia Musicale Group is getting to hear a wide variety of pieces played and songs sung of different genres. At yesterday's home musicale, Utako posed an interesting question: how do each of you decide what to sing or play? Good question!

For some who are taking lessons, your teachers might suggest certain repertoire as part of your learning experience. For others, a choice might be a piece or song you recently heard that serves as an inspiration to learn. The purpose of this blog is to hear from you on how you are deciding to go about and learn a new work.

I will start it off. On 9/18/2022, I will play the first movement of the Beethoven Sonata #3 (Op 2, No 3). When I was 16, I first heard this Beethoven Sonata played by Schroeder on a Charlie Brown special. I remember telling my piano teacher at my next lesson about the piece and how I wanted to learn it. She told me it was a very hard piano work, but I could learn it if I wanted. It took 50 years of practice and I'll finally play it at the Spivey concert.

From 2018 until I retired, I listened to a CD of Rachmaninoff's Preludes going to and from work. Some I will never play – too hard or will take years to learn. I’m not that driven. So I am looking over a couple of lesser known ones and one or two more well known ones of interest to me.

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I often want to learn to play a piece that I have heard and liked. In college I had a 3-disc LP record set of Ravel's complete piano music performed by Vlado Perlmutter. I loved Ravel's music and wanted in the worst way to learn the Valses Nobles et Sentimentales. In 2011 I finally had the opportunity to perform it at the Cliburn amateur competition. I have also had a long-time affinity for Debussy, and a more recently acquired admiration of Schubert.

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